Says Kashmir Has Turned New Leaf, Democracy Has Capacity To Reconcile All Differences
Srinagar, July 27 : President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said that Kashmir has turned a new leaf even as he called violence as aberration to ‘Kashmiriyat’.
Kovind, who arrived here on Sunday on a four-day tour of J&K, also termed Kashmir as meeting point of various cultures, saying almost all religions that came to this land embraced a unique feature of “Kashmiriyat that shunned orthodoxy and encouraged tolerance and mutual acceptance among communities.”
“I take this opportunity to urge upon the younger generation of Kashmir to learn from their rich legacy. They have every reason to know that Kashmir has always been a beacon of hope for the rest of India. It’s spiritual and cultural influence has its imprint all across India,” Kovind said addressing a convocation of the University of Kashmir at Sheri Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) here.
“It was most unfortunate that this outstanding tradition of peaceful coexistence was broken. Violence, which was never part of ‘Kashmiriyat’, became the daily reality. It is alien to Kashmiri culture, and it can only be termed as an aberration – a temporary one, much like a virus that attacks the body and needs to be purged. Now there is a new beginning and determined efforts to regain this land’s lost glory.”
Kovind said that he firmly believes that democracy has within it a capacity to reconcile all differences and also a capacity to bring out the best of citizens’ potential.
“Kashmir, happily, is already realizing this vision. Democracy lets you build your own future, a peaceful and prosperous tomorrow. The youth and women especially have high stakes in it, and I am sure they will not let go of this opportunity to rebuild lives and rebuild Kashmir,” he said, adding, “As Kashmir has turned a new leaf, exciting new possibilities are opening up.
The whole of India is watching you with admiration and pride. Kashmiri youth are scaling new heights in a variety of sectors, from civil service exams to sports and entrepreneurial ventures”.
In September last year, Kovind said, during a consultation on the new National Education Policy, he had spoken of his dream. “I wish to see Kashmir as paradise on earth. I am squarely banking on the younger generation of Jammu and Kashmir to realise this dream which I am sure will come true sooner than later. Kashmir is bound to acquire its rightful place as the crowning glory of India.”
He said Kashmir is a place that defies descriptions.
“Many poets have tried to capture its beauty, calling it paradise on earth, but it is ultimately beyond words. It must be this bounty of nature that has also made this place a hub of ideas,” Kovind said as per GNS.
“This valley surrounded by snow-clad mountains provided an ideal setting for sages and seers a couple of millennia ago,” he said, adding, “It is impossible to write a history of Indian philosophy without referring to Kashmir’s contributions to it. One of the oldest manuscripts of the Rigveda was written in Kashmir. This is the most conducive region for the philosophies to prosper. This is where great philosopher Abhinavagupta wrote his expositions on aesthetics and methods for realisation of God. Hinduism and Buddhism flourished here, as did Islam and Sikhism after it arrived here in later centuries.”
He said Kashmir is also the meeting point of various cultures. “In medieval times, it was, of course, Lal Ded who showed the way to bring together various spiritual traditions. In the works of Lalleshwari, you can see how Kashmir provides the very template itself of communal harmony and peaceful coexistence, he said, adding, “This is also reflected in all aspects of life here, in folk arts and festivals, in food and dress.
The core nature of the place has always been inclusive. Almost all religions that came to this land embraced a unique feature of Kashmiriyat that shunned orthodoxy and encouraged tolerance and mutual acceptance among communities.”
He congratulated all students, who were conferred with their respective degrees, and also their teachers, and wished all of them a successful journey ahead.
“I am delighted to be among you all today in this land of great historical and cultural significance. It has been called ‘Rishi Vaer’, or the land of saints, and has always attracted spiritual seekers from far and wide. I feel blessed in standing on this land, which is not only reservoir of wisdom but also endowed with unparalleled natural beauty,” he said, adding, “I have been told that close to 3 lakh students are receiving degrees today.
I am impressed by the numbers. With more than 2.5 lakh bachelors and more than 1,000 doctorates over the past eight years, the University has made remarkable progress. I would like to tell each of you that your quest for learning and your faith in knowledge as an agent of change are really inspiring.” (GNS)