“Pandit” is not a race, an ethnicity, a nation or a people. The race/ethnicity/nation/people is Kashmiri, most of whom are Muslims. The Pandit identity signifies nothing besides a Brahminical caste identity. And in a democracy, caste is not something to take pride in identifying with. This means the identity assertion of Pandits, if done democratically, can only be as Kashmiris, not as Pandits. Otherwise it is an assertion of Brahminism, which incorporates the Tamil Brahmin and the Kashmiri Pandit into a common mythology of ‘Kashmir to Kanyakumari’. What makes this India ‘one nation’ is the millennia-old Brahminical-colonial system called caste — the unity of Brahmins and other caste elites against the societies they dominate and subjugate.
“I was born to a Brahmin family and my father did not give me the family surname because it served no purpose other than declaring the caste as if it were something to be proud of, whereas it should have been a tag of shame among people oppressed and separated from each other by Brahminism.”