Sunday, September 6, 2015

You are not welcome!

In the late 80’s, the minorities were forced out of Kashmir and there was a mass exodus of large Pundit population. As Kashmiri Pundit's we were told that it was only an internal temporary displacement from Kashmir to its neighboring state. We were going to another city in the same country, where the locals were mostly of the same religious and cultural background.
 Hence, we pictured gates being opened to the refugees with empathy, kindness and relief that we had made it out alive. But instead what waited us was skepticism, hostility and judgement. Sadly, Refugees are never welcomed.

Sea of people with no money, material possession were running to be alive. This meant that resources were going to be redistributed and mostly on unfair terms that involved moving the tax payers hard earned money towards feeding unemployed, homeless cowardly humans who couldn't fight for their homeland.We were a massive liability of over 150,000 humans who were also expecting empathy and kindness.

The world we live in does not promote humanity over religion, or Brotherhood over Nationality or someone else's safety over our own economic security. We value our personal comfort, financial stability, growth over someone else’s life. Hence, it was only fair that the Locals were feeling threatened by the inflow of migrants. We were crowding their city,  taking their jobs, eating their food and claiming what was meant to be for them and their children. While, we relentlessly argued that we were entitled to a life and security and that we had suffered enough to gain these advantages. But in reality we were the guilty guests who wanted to wash utensils after we ate their food just to feel included.

 In order to fit in, we compromised on our culture, religion, traditions and language. We were the unwelcomed temporary guests, who had nowhere to go back to. Eventuality we tried to replicate our pre-migration normal life, built houses, made friends, built relationship, and completely forgot who and where we could have been. But kept our old fading memories of who we were without any substantial proof like photographs, papers, or documents.

 We have been here for over 25 years, we have learnt to call this Home, but they continue to call us "Migrants”.