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We too will return to Kashmir like Jews, says KBC Winner


ADITYA RAJ KAUL | New Delhi, September 11, 2012 21:14
Tags : manoj kumar raina. kaun banega karorpati | sony tv | kbc | amitabh bachachan |


Manoj Kumar Raina, 44, who is the latest winner of Kaun Banega Crorepati Season 6 is a man with a golden heart; uprooted from his home in Kashmir in 1990 due to terrorism, Raina continues to dream of a better day to return home and aspires to encourage poor civil service aspirants from the Kashmiri Pandit community to reach zenith of their careers through free coaching.
Reciting a couplet written by a Kashmiri poet Prithvi Nath Koul ‘Sayil’, Raina went on to present a Kashmiri pashmina shawl to Amitabh Bachchan on the show.
An employee of Indian Railways, Raina spoke to Aditya Raj Kaul about his success and future plans.
What was your first thought at winning a crore at KBC season 6?
It’s was a happy moment for my entire Kashmiri Pandit community. It was a challenge worth proving. Before coming to the sets, I had gone to Siddhi Vinayak temple in Mumbai. I prayed to God for this win as it was a very rare chance that I had got and I had been preparing for it since long. It was a moment of joy when Amitabh Bachchan told me that I’m the winner. I couldn’t resist myself; I went on to give him a hug. He has been my hero for last almost 30 years. I’ve been religiously following him in newspapers, films, blogs etc. Often in Kashmir before 1990, Mr. Bachchan used to come for shooting in Gulmarg and Pahalgam and we used to follow the shooting team wherever they went but unfortunately could never get an opportunity to meet the icon. It was an amazing moment for me which might never ever come again in this lifetime.
Did you ever try for KBC earlier?
In 2000, I tried my best to crack the first season of KBC. I prepared for the questions by studying overnight and all day waited for the call from the KBC. But, there was no response at that time. I got disheartened. In 2009 I thought of trying for it again. I was working on a railway project connecting Jammu to Kashmir when my boss suggested I read the poem, “Koshish karne waalon ki kabhi haar nahi hoti”. That was the turning point of my resolve to reach KBC. It takes time to reach your goal. One should never leave hope and keep trying.
Since 2012, I increased the efforts to reach KBC. My superiors in the railways department encouraged me in the process. I bought books on current affairs and general knowledge. Ultimately, I finally reached my goal.
You must have received wishes from people from across the globe. Sneha Rajani, the executive vice president and business head of Sony Entertainment Television wrote on twitter that, “A Kashmiri Pandit on the Hot Seat for 1st ever time in the history of KBC. And he wins a crore! What a story! Well played Manoj Kumar Raina!” How does it feel to be the first person from Jammu & Kashmir to set this record?
It feels great. Kashmir is our motherland. Even Jews had to suffer for years but they eventually fought back and returned. We can never forget our roots. We (Kashmiri Pandits) are not migrants. Criminals paid by our neighbouring country killed hundreds of our community members and we were forced to leave. It was the need of the hour to save our lives.
Everyone is appreciating your stance that you’ll go back to Kashmir and construct your house. What are your immediate plans?
“We should go back to Kashmir as situation improves but only with dignity and honour. I got name and fame, now I can go back to Kashmir and build my home again. My home was destroyed by terrorists in 1990. I hope others will follow suit. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah should have a positive approach to ensure safety and security of Kashmiri Pandits. I can go to Kashmir as a tourist but permanently living there is a different thing. I don’t want to sound negative. But, I’ve announced it in national media that I’ll go to Kashmir. Now it’s the responsibility of the J&K state government and the central government to ensure my security. It is up to them if they want to take maximum advantage from my positive message.
I don't want to construct a house outside Syed Ali Shah Geelani's residence in Kashmir. That sure will be madness. I will try to establish coaching centre in Jammu for civil service aspirants and work for victims of terrorism.
You met Amitabh Bachchan and even won a crore in the season 6 of KBC. What is your dream now?
I want to help those members of my community who’ve been hurt by terrorism badly and continue to live in darkness. There are very few people from us in the civil services. I want to contact the top most coaching centers of Bihar and establish one such center in Jammu to give free coaching to civil service aspirants. All other professions are good but I think being a civil service your voice matters much more. I hope this step will encourage many other people. 
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Posted By: Shantiveer Kaul | Delhi | September 19th 2012 | 23:09
ARK of Kashmir!
Posted By: Ravinder Shah | Delhi | September 12th 2012 | 10:09
Indeed a very proud moment for KP community. A community which always roots social & cultural values during up-bringing & never turns hostile. Wishing good luck & success for his future endeavours.
Posted By: Umar | Jammu | September 12th 2012 | 02:09
It was pretty good to know that our Kashmiri fellow won the Rs 1 crore final in the KBC , I being an Kashmiri Muslim shared enthusiaticaly on Facebook & on twitter when I came to know that he had won but now I am extremely disgusted & angered on his thinking of Jews, having his thinking like jews... I mean its better now that you people stay away from J&K, you people will make my J&K a hell, you people have a similar thinking like Jews. I could not believe it what you have in your mind. I know that every one is not same but Manoj has shared majority people thinking from your community.
Posted By: Rohit | Jammu | September 12th 2012 | 16:09
Who are you to make us stay away from J&K. J&K belongs to Kashmiri Pandits, Dogras and Ladakhis and not you people. You are outsiders and are living illegally here. You have made my vale a hell, that once used to be a heaven. You people are suffering from spoiled mentality. Kashmiri Pandits will come back. It's our resolve.
Posted By: Rathod | Kolkata | September 12th 2012 | 16:09
Umar, it's not only your J&K. It's his J&K too and by the way J&K has already been made a hell by terrorists. You can't appreciate a person's eagerness to return to his homeland, instead you discourage him. Sorry but Manoj only wants to return back to his home, if you ever can think beyond the lines of your fanatic mentality.

Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017