Character artist Anupam Kher may have been projecting himself as a great champion of Kashmiri Pundits, population both within and outside the valley do not find his credential any praiseworthy.
The debate over how honest he’s been to the cause of Kashmiri Pundits became intense after the reports emerged that he may be nominated for Rajya Sabha as President’s nominees.
However, a report in DNA said that Kher’s credentials did not bring the same fervor among many Kashmiri Pundits it spoke to.
“Kher does not deserve it at all. What has he done for the community? There are several other stalwarts who have worked hard for the cause of Pandit community. He has set his eyes for RS seat since last one year or so. But during that period he has done more harm. Spewing venom against any community does not fetch anything.”
Tickoo said that Kher’s inflammatory speeches often made the Pundits insecure in the valley.
“There are some 6000-7000 Hindus in Kashmir valley how he is going to increase their morale. We have done it alone so far. We rather feel insecure because of his speeches. How Kher can presume that any Indian not holding a tricolor is not a nationalist? Why does not he shift with family to the valley and see? Did he ever visit my home or any other family?” Tickoo was quoted by DNA.
Lawyer, Ashok Bhan who had to leave Kashmir in 1990 sees remote chance of Kher getting the Rajya Sabha as his wife is already an MP and he recently got Padma award.
On the possibility of Kher being nominated for Rajya Sabha, Bhan wondered if President would consider his performances as a “clown” worthy of eminence.
Bhan added that Kher was guilty of trying to subvert constitutional provisions on the plans of intolerance propaganda.
“President nominates eminent people. Does he fit that position of eminence despite trying hard to do so by subverting constitutional provisions? He is trying to masquerade the cause of Kashmiri Pandits to which he is not connected and does not know anything about. True KPs cannot a party to right wing politics as it is not there in their ethos,” says Bhan.
Bhan said that Kher was behaving like an anti-Kashmiri as he often abused Kashmir in Kashmiri adding that the actor may do a great service to the community if he left “Kashmiri Pandits fate to be determined by them alone.”
Famous theatre personality, M K Raina, who DNA spoke to, felt sad for Kher for doing things that are quite unbecoming of him.
“I felt very sad when I saw him lampooning intellectuals. He lampooned great personalities like Krishna Sobti who is 90 years old, a freedom fighter and a stalwart in her field, when they returned the award. Sahitya Academy is the most respected award for any writer and it is not easy to return it but he made a mockery of it. I was very upset, it pained me,” said Raina.
Raina said that Kher should reject the Rajya Sabha offer if he had any dignity left.
He said, “For his own grace he should refuse it or else he will have to defend the decision all his life.”
However, the former president of Kashmiri Samiti, Sunil Shakdhar, is Kher’s admirer.
He said, “He is an India Kaskhmiri Pandit who was born a KP family, eats Kashmiri food speaks Kashmiri. His family migrated during the first onslaught on Kashmiri pundits by the Qabayalis. Many people do not know of that he was the chief guest in first KP world conference held in Siri Fort in 1993-94. He has been espousing Kashmiri cause since then. He has visited Kashmiri camps also. His wife became BJP MP accidentally, it is not his fault.”