Kashmiri Pandit Literary and Socio-cultural Associations

Kashmiri Pandit Literary and
Socio-cultural Associations

*Arvind Gigoo

any Kashmiri Pandit literary, socio-cultural and political organizations in Jammu arrange functions where books are released, “critical essays” are read out, speeches are made, and, at times, even discussions are held. The writers talk about their books (which nobody reads!) and the “critics”___ criticism is not everybody’s forte ___ evaluate them. Prizes are given away, pressmen click cameras, interviews are recorded, and then the tea and snacks…… Familiar elderly/old persons comprise the audience whom I (an old person) have been seeing for the past so many years.

When the functions are over the “littérateurs” indulge in backbiting and slander. They talk about the private lives of other writers and comment upon their personal affairs maliciously. After 9PM the “literati” and others talk against one another by telephone.

I see the clash of egos, jealousy, arrogance, self-deception, conceit and hate. The persons hunger for praise; some exhibit self-assertion. I have seen “critics” using bombast to belittle others. I have seen writers intolerant of criticism. (Low-grade criticism should be ignored). The bombastic speeches that are made, (un)critical judgements that are passed, and the verbosity and political jargon used by the “intellectuals” and “orators” are beyond my comprehension. Their analyses of books and events flabbergast me. I feel very small in the company of the “elite”.

The contribution of the exiles to literature, art and culture is immense. (Fortunately, I don’t know what culture is). In these meetings I am a shambles.

I am not an “eminent personality” or an “eminent citizen”. (Some newspapers told me this!). I am an émigré nobody. I don’t speak because I have nothing to say. My presence at these meetings has always proved useless. I am not associated with any organization. I want to remain away from the contagion of backbiting, mud-slinging and slander.

My hobbies are smoking, sleeping, laughing, laziness, foolery, drinking and talking to a select few. I am the best in the corner of my room. Let me sit there alone. I hold the night in my grip. Some dead genius is my only companion in loneliness. Please, don’t disturb me. No more invitation cards/letters and phone calls in future, please!
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Well said. Facts are facts.
Added By Chander M. Bhat