While rumours of actor Anupam Kher as the seventh nomination to Rajya Sabha are doing the rounds, the Kashmiri Pandit community does not sound pleased with the reports.
BJP leaders Subramanian Swamy and Navjot Singh Sidhu, member of erstwhile National Advisory Council (NAC) Narendra Jadhav, Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi, journalist Swapan Dasgupta and boxer Mary Kom were nominated by the Narendra Modi government to the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
However, the BJP has yet to announce seventh name in the nominated category in the Upper House.
The BJP perhaps thinks that Kher’s nomination would ease its position within the Kashmiri Pandit community.
However, the credentials of the actor, who, of late, has been at the forefront to defend BJP’s stand on intolerance and nationalism debates, do not please many Kashmiri Pandits.
Sanjay Tickoo, president of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), said: “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.”
“There are some 6,000-7,000 Hindus in the 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?” said Tickoo.
Meanwhile, lawyer Ashok Bhan said there is only remote chance of Kher getting the Rajya Sabha.
“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.
For the lawyer, Kher is behaving like an anti-Kashmiri as he often abuses Kashmir in Kashmiri.
Commenting on reports, theatre personality MK Raina, “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”.