This is just a short post of the situation of the Kashmiri Pandits over the last two decades, after the genocide and exodus from Kashmir. Since there is a lot of discussion on Article 370 in the news lately, I thought a short post would be interesting. I will be doing a more detailed post on Kashmiri Pandits a little later.
Kashmiri Pandit Population
No population census was taken in Kashmir in 1991 due to insurgency. Kashmir’s population at that time is estimated at 41.6 lakhs. The estimated population of Kashmiri Pandits in 1989 varies in different sources from 200,000 to 600,000. According to the BBC, it was around 300,000 or 7.2%.Today there are only about 1500-2000 Kashmiri Pandits left in Kashmir. These rest have migrated to Jammu or other parts of India. Kashmir’s population in 2011 was 68 lakhs.
There is also a controversial Resettlement Act that the J&K government seeks to enact, which is currently in hearing at the Supreme Court. The act seeks to allow former residents of Kashmir, who migrated to Pakistan in 1947, and their descendants to return to Kashmir.
The percentage of Muslim population in Jammu is also increasing, while that of Hindus is falling. From 1981 to 2011, the percentage of the Muslim population increased from 29% to 33.5%.