Iqwat is a virtual platform to preserve and promote the culture of Kashmiri Pandits
The people of Jammu will now have the advantage of choosing their buyers from a larger pan-India pool and also seek higher price, the minister said. Representational image
Kashmiri Pandits have faced exodus from their homeland seven times, the most recent being in 1990 when they were forced to flee the Kashmir valley on account of being targeted by JKLF and Islamist insurgents. Since then, they have been scattered across numerous cities in India and abroad. This has led to the gradual erosion of culture, language, and heritage. Recognising the challenge and driven by a passion for the community, three corporate stalwarts: Sanjay Kaul (ex country head – Apple, India), Ajay Kaul (ex CEO, Jubilant Food Works), and Mukesh Kachroo (ex CTO, Gain Capital, USA) have joined forces to launch an initiative, called ‘Iqwat’, to preserve and promote Kashmiri Pandit culture.
Basically, Iqwat is a virtual platform where Kashmiri Pandits can come together and engage in professional and social networking to seek, explore, inspire, and collaborate. People behind the initiative inform that it is a bridge between yesterday and today, a way to stay in touch with their roots, culture and rich traditions. It is a platform to revive the folk tales and songs that have been lost to time, rekindle the legacy, inspire and engage talent and provide a foundation for the youth of the community to rise and shine.
The app will be rolled out in two phases. At the time of launch in January 2021, Phase I will feature a section that illustrates the history of Kashmiri Pandits dating back 2,000 years with a special focus on the year 1990. The ‘Spirituality’ section will highlight the spiritual journey of the community with a focus on Kashmir Shaivism and prominent spiritual leaders and saints. The ‘Showcase’ category will feature young talent and support them in advancing their respective careers. Other segments include culinary section, festivals and key days, and a section featuring and celebrating prominent Kashmiri Pandits.
Phase II will focus on developing an e-commerce marketplace, digital corporate centre, cultural and entertainment initiatives, matrimonial feature along with many other components. The app will give a chance to Kashmiri Pandit entrepreneurs to seek out business partners and list their products and services to cater to a global audience. Other features include a section that will showcase calibre of young Kashmiri Pandit professionals and connect them to jobs and internship opportunities, and most importantly, a section to showcase the rich philosophical heritage of Kashmiri Pandits in context of traditions, ceremonies and Kashmir Shaivism.