SRINAGAR: Displaced Kashmiri Pandit and Bollywood actor Rahul Bhat, who is currently in Jammu& Kashmir in connection with the filming of ‘Fitoor’, on Monday said the return of migrant Kashmir Pandits to the Valley is next to impossible. However, Bhat asserted that Kashmir is not a “conflict zone”.
“I think the return of migrant Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley is not possible. Many Pandit families want to return but their children are settled outside. It would be difficult for them to give up their jobs and return to the Valley,” Rahul told reporters during an interaction at Nigeen Club, here.
The actor, who hails from Vichernag area of Soura in the downtown area said, “Kashmiri Pandits, who have settled in different parts of India and abroad, will never return to Valley due to lack of avenues. I work in Bollywood and am settled in Mumbai. How can I leave my business there and settle here?” he said.
‘Fitoor’ is the first Bollywood flick which has the pristine state as its locale since last year’s devastating floods. Besides Rahul, the film stars Aditya Roy Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Rekha. According to official statistics, over 24,000 Kashmiri Pandit families had fled the Valley and migrated elsewhere following the eruption of militancy in 1990. At least, 38,119 families are registered with the J&K Revenue and Relief Ministry.
Terming the migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley after the eruption of militancy in J&K in 1990 as a ‘dark phase’ of Kashmir’s history, the Bollywood actor said, “We should forget about it and move on. We should live in harmony.”
Rahul, who plays a key role in an adaptation of Dickens’ classic, ‘The Great Expectations’, said he was overwhelmed by the response and love showered by the people.