July 29, 2020 00:00:00 | Adv. Pulkit Chrungoo,
Analysis from a deeper depth of a person whom you are watching from the closest quarters is always a privilege for a political and strategic analyst. I hold myself fortunate to do it for the cause so dearer to all of us about a persona who has assumed a great aura in the socio-political scenario of the UT of J&K by the great blessings of the Almighty, indelible support of his comrades and colleagues, consistent handshake of the family and by his sheer personal hard work over the last five decades.
Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, as is he known to all and sundry, is a multifaceted personality by any means. He has to his credit a large volume of books and booklets that were authored or co-authored by him over the last several decades of struggle. He is an accredited regular columnist of at least four prominent newspapers of Jammu and Kashmir besides being a recognized human rights defender of the minority Kashmiri Pandit community. He had been the Representative Observer of GHRD, Netherlands for a long time in India. A number of his HR reports regarding Jammu and Kashmir Hindu minorities are the only data available at a global level that has the accreditation of the Human Rights bodies.
It may be surprising for many to know that the case of genocide fought by Chrungoo and his organisation at National Human Rights Commission for long eight years is a part of the syllabus in a number of universities in India. Thesis and research works by scores of students throughout the world on the issues of displacement, Kashmir & Kashmiri Pandits and the trauma of struggle in exile are inspired and guided by him over the last three decades. These comprise courses of the level of graduation, post graduation, MPhil, PhD and story-making on TVs and Films. He must have contributed a plethora of hundreds of articles and thousands of posts and updates for the media, social media and the digital media by now.
I really fail to understand who in the Pandit community, as on date, could be compared with him. During Covid19 pandemic period, he organized, while sitting at home, the project of ‘Nar Seva-Narayan Seva’ for the migrant labour families, Nepal’s labourers and the displaced communities of Jammu and Kashmir. With the complete support of his friends, colleagues and family, he managed distribution of 1,600 ration kits, 20,000 facemasks, cash assistance to the needy and the deserved over a span of three months among over 1,000 families. To my utter surprise, people from all the three communities, the Kashmiri Pandits, Dogra and those outside these freternities would come to contribute on his first call and made the project a huge success. Twenty one lakh rupees were spent on the project by his team in kind and cash in this philanthropy. The other astonishing fact is that not a single paisa was taken either from the government or the party.
Besides being an important state office bearer of his party, he is also a prominent leader of the Pandit community for the last several decades. He considers himself a disciple of Late A.N.Vaishnavi, Tikalal Taploo, Adv. P.N.Bhat, Amarnath Ganjoo and Bhagwat Swaroop Ji. As a Pracharak of the RSS in the districts of Jammu, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban during seventies, his contributions are immense and stark. During campaigning with Dr. JItendra Singh, MoS in 2014 and 2019, those of his connections in hilly districts came forward with vigour and valour to make the BJP candidate win hands down both the times.
As a prominent and effective leader of the community and also of the Global Hindu society, he undertook a number of Yatras, prominent among them are, Kashmir Sankalp Yatra, Anandpur Saheb Yatra and Sheetalnath Yatra. He represented his community and the Indian cause in UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, US, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea for the last 25 years. There is hardly a state, excepting in the north-east that he has not visited in connection with the cause of the struggle in exile.
I know as a child, I would often miss him in my home when he would be away for days and weeks without having any information about his home and family. My mother was gracious enough who didn’t allow us to feel the loneliness at times due to his absense from home. His only passion and mission was, as it is today, the Kashmiri Pandits and Bharat Mata. Is his personality really comparable or defeatable, I doubt and wonder who in the entire KP society from Kashmir to Calfornia can match him in his contributions, aura and knowledge about Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandits. He had tremendous relationship with Vaishnavi ji and he would not generally say no to Vaishnavi ji. Utpal Kaul, senior KP leader, remains my father’s first and last bet, and, Utpal Kaul is equally attuned to him consequent upon their almost five decade friendship cum brotherhood.
In politics and public life, jealousy and hatred, acrimony and competition, success and advancement have their role to play. Unfortunately, Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo doesn’t count these as potential barriers. He is fond of speaking the naked truth without mincing words and doesn’t care more for his image. I have seen him tens of times doing the same at the cost of many things, but he is uncompromising on issues of principles and facts.
Last year, he spent weeks together in the Kashmir valley as the official Spokesperson on Kashmir affairs of his party and was able to bring positive changes in the political narrative in Kashmir. His intellectual contributions and political management of things in the valley will be an issue of research in future for the students, sure.
A controversial TV debate, if can boost the TRP of a channel, so could be true with the political personality involved in the debate. My father can’t digest anyone’s bad intent or words against our own country, demeaning the national interests; and, calling for any sort of third party intervention in Kashmir, are simply out of question.
Conspiracies, in my opinion, can’t damage a person who has virtually nothing at stake, and it has come true in his case. Beating of drum by a TV, or the so-called protests or the negative campaign by a few on the keyboard, sooner or later, had to come to an end. What will survive and glitter is the positive approach, right attitude and contributions to the cause, which undoubtedly Chrungoo is a master in. His friendship and role so far as the government and administration in J&K is concerned, has brought a great succor to the needy and the deserved in the community. Be it the poor, the unemployed youth, the overaged youth, reform processes in the departments, bringing GoI schemes to the doorstep of the people, solving issues pertaining to joining, transfer and health issues, he is always ready 24×7×365. Anybody competing him will have to someway come somewhere nearer to him, and I don’t visualise that happening in near future.
Those who tried to bring Ashwani Ji to dust have themselves mixed with the dust. That is what I have been witnessing for the last one decade. The biggest strength of him is his activism without his self-interest. He has no bank balance, no lands, no flat-buildings, no vehicle and nothing of the sort, that could make one weak on issues. He remains oftenly contented, happy and satisfied.
Then he makes it sure to be spiritually attuned to his task and is a regular Upaasak of Devi Mata. Having tremendous faith in the Almighty and the cultural traditions of the Dharma, I have never seen him asking for anything from the Almighty. He always recites these four words while bowing before Him…….”Daya, Kshema, Raksha and Kripa”.
My dear respected all, here is an asset for the community and Kashmir…….who with the twinkle of an eyelid, left his fabulous job way back in 2007 at the age of 49. Is someone so out of mind to pull legs of such a persona while himself doing nothing and trying to be in competition. My humble, but little knowledge and experience guide me to believe that the community, the people in general & the UT of Jammu and Kashmir are going to be served by him for a longer period, with the grace of the Lord Amarnath. Choice is with the others, to befriend him or to make him your foe. He is on his path, undaunted by the circumstances, whatsoever, and is deeply committed to his community, party and the nation. In order to create an alternative to him, it is unwise to take upon him singularly, one can however, try it jointly. But my suggestion is, that it will be entirely futile, since that was also tried by a couple of “brave people” since who failed time and again.
His activism is his key, you can come up to his level by more aggressive activism, if you can, and then challenge him. It would be my appeal, let us forget the bad past and evolve a bright future jointly. I may be able to play my role. For me, all are like my elders, teachers and guides. My duty was to bring before you an analysis that I did from deeper depths sincerely and honestly, hope it helps you and helps you for good.