Mumbai, April 12: Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, a well-known Kashmiri Pandit on Sunday, April 12 said that he personally think Article 370 should be abolished.
During a press conference, 60-year-old Kher said, "Everyone knows we (Kashmiri Pandits) have been out of our homes for 25 years now." [Article 370: Facts you should know]
"You are unfortunately a refugee in your own country because you are thrown out of your own house. It has taken 25 years for the government to finally come with a plan of resettling Kashmiri Pandits". he said.
"And the result is that the moment this was announced by Home Minister, there is a major agitation going on in Kashmir because there is no killing happening, because no Kashmiri Hindu has picked up a gun and shot someone, it is not making any sense", he added. [Kashmiri Pandits say hurt by "politics" over their return; township needed]
"It's not a Hindu-Muslim issue. It's an issue of we (Kashmiri Pandits) wanting a separate place. How is it not possible that even if we go and live in those areas, that some separatist will not tell people or a mob "go & kill them again", he further said.
The press conference was organised by the 'Roots in Kashmir' group working for the cause of the migrant community.
Kher lauded the Narendra Modi-led government for making a "serious attempt" at rehabilitating the community and said it should have the "courage" to implement the proposal and also advocated the revoking of Article 370.
"I feel the intent of the Prime Minister is right. But it will take time. If the intent is there things can happen," he said.
Kher, who has been vocal about several social issues in the past, also slammed Engineer Rasheed, MLA from Langate, for his reported comments on the return of Pandits.
"He has the gall to say that we should apologise for migrating out of the Kashmir. What kind of a dimwit would make a statement like that?" Kher asked.
"Who are separatists? They are not elected members. Cameras have made them into messiahs for a section of the people. Youth of Kashmir wants jobs, infrastructure. 5-6 people is holding it to ransom. Put them in and let them remain in," he said.
On the way forward, he said that it was time to shun "symbolism" and bring in "practicality". "I am a minority in this country who has no voice. I am here as a victim who wants to raise his voice," he said.
Earlier in the day, Kher tweeted:
High time Kashmiri Hindus got respect they have earned being patriotic, hard working & peace loving. We want Smart City 4 us in Kashmir.:)— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) April 12, 2015
As Indian I've learnt tolerance. As Kashmiri Hindu I've understood d meaning of patience. But let it not be confused with me being WEAK.:)— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) April 12, 2015
"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.":)— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) April 12, 2015