India Outreach

OBJECTIVES

  • Partner with various social community organizations in India on preservation of our culture and heritage
  • Evaluate some programs where in KOA can collaborate for tangible outcome
  • Build strategic partnership with AIKS as per the mutual agreement by the Boards of AIKS and KOA

KOA India Outreach Program
KOA India Outreach program

ACTIVITIES

STATUS

Jagti Township School: Raj Kachroo ji is working with the J&K Government to remove the barrier which was created by a bureaucrat. Unfortunately the new State government is distracted and I have not received an update. Raj Kachru ji will travel to Jammu on the 25th of this month and we will see what the Government’s attitude is. I did discuss with Moti Kaul ji that if the government school is not made available to us then he would initiate discussions with Mr. Roshan Lal who runs a private school in the same area to see if he can be the conduit for delivery of the services that we plan upon.

Heritage Center: Met with Mr. Vinod Pandit who has presented us with a proposal for the Mata Katyayani center which is with the Board and should provide me with feedback if any. I am awaiting some paper work on the organizational structure at which time we will proceed ahead with funding the rebuild of the Mata Katyayani center. AIKS is conducting a feasibility study of the Ganpatyar site to determine if that would be a good candidate for the Srinagar based center. They will then send us a project proposal. Vijay Dhar ji who is part of the KOA Heritage initiative and will be intimately involved in both the Ganpatyar and Mata Katyayani temple is in close touch with Mr. Ramesh Pandita who lives right across the temple. Raj Kachroo will visit him as part of the feasibility study.

Tengapura Durga: I met with ASI. I was pleasantly surprised that they had become quite forceful and proactive. They had gone to Srinagar and filed a FIR. They had tracked down the photograph of the Durga within their archives. I had already provided all of the materials to the German Ambassador. The Linden museum came back with a “compromise” proposal that the Durga could be treated as a permanent loan to them. Thankfully ASI has rejected that stance forthright and asked for the return of the Durga.

Temples and Shrines Bill: I have given my recommendations on next steps regarding the Bill and also the recent ruling by the Judge on the Land appropriation case. The ruling is quite dangerous and has severe downsides for the community because while well-meaning the Plaintiffs may have scored a self-goal. I have alerted the community in India on this and will await the response.

Heritage Books: I have put together a small team under the leadership of S. S. Toshkhani ji to see the feasibility of publishing a book on our sacred arts especially those visual materials which will be aids to our daily lives. Vinod Razdan ji in Delhi has agreed to be the project lead on it. Bhushan Khashu has agreed to Chair it from the US end.

Control: Rajeev Kaul ji, KOA Treasurer, will provide a cash control report which we will request all recipients of KOA moneys to provide so that we have IRS compliance. In addition I continue to put pressure on AIKS to move ahead with its FRCA compliance but the NGO climate has really tightened up recently in India.


PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Rakesh K. Kaul

Rakesh KaulRakesh K. Kaul is a community activist who is focused on Kashmiri culture, arts and heritage. He has co-chaired The Arts of Kashmir Exhibition at Asia Society in 2008. He has published articles on Kashmir including – Book on Durga personal and relevant to the times – The Indian Express, July 2011; Midnight’s Refugees –  The Indian Express,
August 2011; The 4 pawns on the Chatarunga Board – Shehjar, September 2008; How KP international Diaspora can help in finding solutions in Jammu and Kashmir – Shehjar, February 2011; The Idea of India and Core of Kashmir – The Indian Express, June 2012; Turning off Shankaracharya’s beacon – The Indian Express, March 2014; NaamaRoopaAham’s role in Indian HistoryKashmir’s case history- Hindu Historiography Seminar Global Hindu Institute 2014, San Jose; India’s 25th Anniversary of the Night of Broken Bangles – The Indian Express, January 2015.