INTIMIDATION OF PILGRIMS TO AMARNATHJI:
The first issue of Shehjar was released a little less than a year ago and our goal was to present a true representation of Kashmir, taking a balanced view from its history and present circumstances and creating a vision for its peaceful and all encompassing future. Our focus was to be on our people living in all parts of the world and through their contributions, views and experiences pool a resource base which would interest and make aware our coming generations and the world at large about our homeland-motherland as it was and as we knew it to have remained - in parts. The aspiration was also that such interest and awareness created through Shehjar as a medium would help steer many people from the world-over towards healthy activism, whereby we would recreate a space and important role for us in the future of Kashmir.
Shehjar has been undertaking its journey of life humbly, with a pure journalistic mission. However, we have lately realized how crucial the life and existence of this global magazine is in the context of presenting an honest and forthright representation of the situation in Kashmir to the world. Please read the below letter to Editor.Shehjar from one of the most renowned men in our community to understand our reasoning:-
Amarnath Yatra is a burning issue and is another unfolding tragedy in Kashmir. I am attaching a letter for your forthcoming issue. I wrote this letter much earlier, as you will find from the date at the bottom, and sent it to several daily news papers - regional as well as national. But no one published it. Because I did none of the balancing tricks and apportioning some of the blame to Hindus, which are necessary before anything is accepted for publication in India. That is the biggest slur on the free media in our country, which are financed in a big way from Arab petrodollars. All the best.
Our Kashmir was named after Kashyap Rishi and has a history and tradition of having created and supported great seats of Vedic and Shaivic religious learning. Kashyap-Mir produced scholars and religious leaders of immense knowledge and wisdom, whose notes and preaching find reference and application ever more in today’s environment. The world has a need and duty to preserve and distribute this learning as well as protect the many places associated with such learning and divine power. Where was once the seat of Shaivite wisdom, today even a pilgrimage to Amarnathji is denied!
Eventually, all Kashmiris have to act and seek a solution. The displaced Hindus of Kashmir can only be a party to the solution if we get into a position for negotiation. As a community, we need to acknowledge publicly (especially in the media world-over) that Kashmir has several problems and one of these needs immediate resolution. That is the one which concerns making provision of safe quarters within Kashmir for the displaced Kashmiri Hindus, as per their wishes. Till such time this problem is not solved, all aid and moneys to the administrators of the state (Mufti and all) should be frozen and at least made conditional. If the aid is not stopped or made conditional, what motivation do these people have to work a practicable solution or to even work at all? They are having the time of their life, traveling the globe while ruling Kashmir like Kings. All they have to do to maintain status-quo is to raise some bogey or the other.
History will say that the peace loving Kashmir Hindus did not escalate the problem. Like the Pandavas, they only wanted the 5 villages so that they could peacefully exist but were denied even a pilgrimage to their homeland by insensitive politicians and communalists. It is then that they demanded their full fair share. The issue of denial of services to Amarnathji pilgrims must open our eyes to the reality of Kashmir today and shake us from lethargy. In the least, we should make our cause to be as espoused as the Tibetan cause.
Even while the world opens up to hear our voice, Shehjar ( http://shehjar.com ) magazine is fine to articulate the position of Kashmiri Hindus and in fact several earlier articles in its various issues have been concerned about the role of Mufti Sayeed and his brand of politics.
Please send in your researched and thoughtful contributions on Kashmir for publication to this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org . It will take a huge effort - together but such an effort is required of us by Maej Kashir.
Arun Koul has been volunteering with several social services organizations and forums. He is on the editorial board of Shehjar E-Magazine - Kashmirgroup.com Portal and also manages their IT infrastructure needs and Software Application platforms.
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