Friday 16 January 2015

The Third Meeting of the Chinar Foundation
I had mentioned in a previous post about the third  meeting about the Chinar Foundation. Several people spoke in that meeting. I will briefly mention what I said :
 Friends, let me tell you about myself. I am a creator of ideas, that is my expertise, and without me you are all people groping in the dark, not knowing what to do and where to go. So I will tell you, I will supply the ideas.
You people are practical people, specialized in your own fields, and it is your job to implement my ideas, because while I can create ideas, I do not know how to implement them, as I am a totally impractical person.
  Why was the Chinar Foundation, which is my idea, my brainchild, created ? Because I found people in Kashmir, like the people in India hopelessly divided. I saw Kashmiris divided between Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits, and even Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits divided among themselves. We must unite if we are to progress.and solve our problems. So the thought of the Chinar Foundation occurred to me where all Kashmiris ( and even some non Kashmiris ) come together under one umbrella.
 There are deep wounds among Kashmiri Pandits, just as there are deep wounds among Kashmiri Muslims. The time has come to apply balm and a healing touch to these wounds. As the great President Abraham Lincoln said in his famous Gettysberg Address, the time has come to bind up these wounds instead of aggravating them. The Chinar Foundation has been created for this purpose.
 The Chinar is a tree symbolic of Kashmir. It is a huge tree, which provides shade and comfort to people who come under it. Its leaves and bark have medicinal properties. So the Chinar Foundation will be that tree for all. It will give comfort and supply medicine and balm to the wounds of Kashmiris and others.
  What do we stand for ? What are the objects of the Chinar Foundation ?
 Firstly, on the theoretical side, we stand for and wish to restore the true Kashmiri spirit. What is that spirit ? It is the spirit of the great sufis and saints, the Rishis of Kashmir, who preached harmony  tolerance and love for all mankind, the spirit of the Shaivite Yogini Lal Ded, who had a great influence on the great Kashmiri sufi saint Sheikh Nooruddin Wali, also known as Nand Rishi, Bulbul Shah, Laxman Joo, etc.
 That is the spirit not only Kashmir needs, but also the whole of India. We will therefore introduce all Indians to the true spirit of Kasmiriyat. We have therefore not only Kashmiris as our members, but also people married to Kashmiris and their descendants, and even pure non Kashmiris who subscribe to the spirit of Kashmiriyat.
  You ask what are the rights of the members of the Chinar Foundation ? The answer is : they have none, they have only duties. We are all servants of Kashmir, indeed of the whole of India. All of you are servants, and even I am a servant, and must always regard ourselves as such..
 The great Emperor Jehangir said of the Kashmiri Rishis " They possess simplicity and are without pretence. They abuse no one. They always plant fruit bearing trees so that men may benefit by them, they themselves desiring no advantage "
 So we desire no benefit for ourselves, we only want others to benefit. So we claim no right.
 The Chinar Foundation will not have elections of its office bearers, because experience has shown that elections result in cliques, netagiri, and selfish pursuits, which we have to eschew.  I myself will appoint all office bearers, and in that sense I am a dictator in this organization, though a benevolent dictator who will consult you all before taking decisions. But the buck must stop somewhere, and it stops at me. Though you all are requested to suggest your ideas, I believe in one man command. An army must have one single commander-in-chief, and that is me.
 So far as the practical activities of the Chinar Foundation is concerned, they are broadly (1) to promote Kashmiri culture, its music, poetry, philosophy, etc and (2) to help the Kashmiri people in several ways,e.g. flood relief, sustainable development, providing career opportunities to Kashmiri youth, etc. We are a purely non political organization.
  Mr. Riaz Patloo, who has come from Srinagar to attend this meeting, has pointed out that 5000 scholarships were sanctioned by the then Prime Minister in his Scholarship Scheme for the J&K students studying outside the state, but very few scholarships have actually been released. We will take up this matter with the Prime Minister and Union HRD Minister.
 We have several other plans for Kashmir. At my request Dr. Patel, who is a, internationally renowned Disaster Management and Disaster Disease expert came from England at his own expense to study the flood calamity in J&K., He went to Srinagar where he studied the situation and had extensive interaction with the people and authorities there. He has sent a scheme to deal with the situation, and we have to implement many of his ideas.
 There are many other practical things to do to help the people of J&K ( in which we include Ladakh also ). We have particularly to help the youth of J&K in career advancement, as many of them are without jobs even after finishing their education. Unfortunately, while education was made free in J&K right upto the postgraduate level, no one thought what the youth will do after he/she completes his/her education. We have to urgently think of that now.

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