Return of Pandits would be indicator of peace in Kashmir: Governor
17 March 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Governor. Lt Gen. (retd) S K Sinha today said that safe return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homes and hearths in Valley would be one of the indicators of peace in Kashmir. Inaugurating the third international seminar on Kashmir Shaivism, held in commemoration with birth centenary celebrations of Ishwarsaroop Swami Lakshmanjoo Mahraj at Hotel Sevoy this morning, the Governor made it clear that once peace returns to the Valley, the army will certainly go back to the barracks. The seminar was attended by the delegates from all over the country and abroad. Governor, who described Kashmir as the sole of India, reiterated it (Kashmir) is incomplete without Pandits and this is the common perception among the majority community in the Valley who too are yearning for return of their brethren. He however said that their return may not be possible as of now in view of prevailing situation but this does not mean that efforts should not be made in this regard. He said as a first step, the groups of Kashmiri Pandits could be taken for 'Wadi Ki Seir’ as children and elders from the Valley are going on ‘Watan ki Seir’to bridge the gap and promote the harmony and greater understanding between the two communities who are the core of shinning spirit of Kashmiriyat. Governor said he has also suggested for establishment of a chair on the name of Swami Lakshman Joo in Mata Vaishno Devi University. He said he would like to have a Sharda Peeth University in Srinagar with a chair dedicated to Swami Lakshman Joo, whose contribution to Kashmiri Shaivism has been immense. 'Kashmiri Shaivism sends message of unity to mankind', he said, while referring to his visit to Institute of Culture established by Ramakrishna Mission in Kolkatta where research is being carried out on its philosophy. He also said that he was touched to learn that Swami Lakshman Joo had delivered a discourse on Kundalani Yoga in response of Swami Shivanandji, the Guru of his family. He also referred to his visit to Vivekananda Kendra in South Kashmir where research is being conducted on Kashmir Shaivism and a library set up for scholars to benefit from the old treasure. Lauding the contribution of Kashmiri Pandits in nation building and various fields, he said despite being a small community in terms of numbers, their contribution has been great. He regretted that despitebeing the great achievers in every field, the Kashmiri Pandits were living as refugees in their own country. He however exuded confidence that those living in migrant camps in sub human conditions will now be shifted to modern two room tenements though as a temporary measure till they return to their homes. In his key note address , former Union Secretary, Human Resources Development , Mr M K Kaw said that India’s renaissance can be directly traced to Kashmir Shaivism. Sri Ramakrishna came under its influence and gave a totally different interpretation to Shankra’s doctrines, he added. The importance of Kashmiri Shaivism lies not only in what has already happened, but more so in the manner in which it is affecting all modern thought with the teachings of Swami Lakshman Joo, he added. The theories, practices and secrets of Kashmiri Shaivism are being exposed to the whole world’, he said ,adding that the indications are that this body of thought would have monumentous implications for the future of the humanity. In his welcome address George Barselaar said that Shaivism is the richest philosophy existing in the world today and the devotees get lost in this philosophy. Terming Swami Ji one of the doyen of Shaivism, Mr George said he (Swami Ji) is held in high esteem by the scholars in India as well as abroad. He said Ishwar Ashram proposes to establishes a study centre on Kashmiri Shaivism at Gupt Ganga (Ishbar) in Srinagar Kashmir. Swami Ji’s another devotee Andey Hayward from Australia also dwelt on the philosophy of Shaivism. The other scholars who read their papers included Prof. Markand Paranjape, Prof. A N Dhar, Dr Sangeeta Sharma, Dr Jagir Singh, M L Pandit, V N Jotshi, Shailender Gulati and Dr Mera Rastogi. This was followed by the question answer session also. While intervening during the debate Prof. M H Zafar a scholar of Shaivism from Kashmir said that Shaivism is precious heritage of all Kashmiris. He said, while Swami Lakshman Joo was a visible master of Shaivism but there was a great line of invisible masters in Kashmiri Shaivism also who kept this tradition alive. These include Such Kral, Samad Mir, Shamas Faqir, Ahad Zargar and Master Zind Kaul, he added. Besides Governor all the speakers who read their papers were felicitated on the occasion. The programme started with the Adhyatmic Swaranjali by Arohi Sangeet Vidyalya. On the occasion the Governor released audio CDs of Shiv Sutras and Video CDs on Parmarthsar. The programme was compered by Dr Farrah.