Sopore, May 16: Gawri Shri, a Kashmiri Pandit, is one such mother who chose to stay back in the valley despite all the risks, to fulfil the wishes of her son Haidaynath Pandith.
The 83-year-old Gawri lives in Zaloora area of Sopore in north Kashmir. Behind the many ruins of the once flourishing Bhat Mohalla in Zaloora, Gawri’s house exists as an example of the legacy of Kashmiriyat. Both Pandits and Muslims in Kashmir have suffered a lot and Gawri, too, has lived a hard life.
In the 1990s when Pandits were being eliminated by militants in Kashmir, she relied on her Muslim friends, only. “Those days were fearful. The militants used to threaten us and they would take us with them but our Muslim brothers fought for us. I remember them requesting the militants not to harm us,” recalls Gawri.
In 2000, when normalcy returned in Kashmir, Gawri Shri was hopeful that it would knock at her door, too. She had almost forgotten what had befallen her and her community a decade ago. However, she says the fear and pain of the early 90s returned like a scary dream in 2008 after the Amarnath Land Row Though Gawri speaks highly of her Kashmiri neighbours, she wishes she had left.
She says she sacrificed a ‘better life’ just to be with her son.