'Kashmiriyat' exemplifies India's cultural-religious pluralism: Scholars deliberate at JKPJF seminar in SrinagarSrinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 5 (ANI): With the aim to spread awareness of India's rich history of cultural and religious pluralism, Jammu and Kashmir People's Justice Front (JKPJF) on Sunday held a seminar in Srinagar.
With the theme "Religious Pluralism in the Lap of Mother India", the seminar was organized at HMT Srinagar. It was attended by social activist Farooq Renzo Shah, political activist Shabir Hussain Rather, former president of Sikh Gurudwara Prabandak Committee, Budgam Sant Pal Singh, Vimal Singh, Mufti Syed Lateef Bukhari, Aejaz Mustafa Malik, Agha Syed Showket Madani, JKPJF chairman Agha Syed Abbas Rizvi and other social activists.
In the seminar, Farooq Shah Renzo deliberated that religious pluralism is a keynote of Indian culture and religious tolerance and called it the very foundation of Indian secularism.
Addressing the gathering in the seminar, Vimal Singh, a religious scholar said that the traditions of religious pluralism have deep roots in the history of the Kashmir Valley. "It is perhaps this rich heritage that led to the evolution of centuries-old indigenous traditions of communal and religious harmony, and syncretism in the region, which we know as the 'Kashmiriyat'," Singh said.
He further said Kashmiriyat exemplifies the religious pluralism in the form of joint Hindu-Muslim-Sikh culture, festivals, languages, cuisine and clothing practiced in the region. In the spirit of Kashmiriyat, festivals of Hinduism and Islam are celebrated by adherents of both faiths with due regard and reverence for each other.
Religious scholar Mufti Syed Lateef Bukhari said that Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam in Kashmir have blended together since times immemorial to reiterate the common goals contained in all religions.
Bukhari further said, "It is but a matter of time before the waning wave of violence in Kashmir shall surely give way to the age-old sense of harmony and love which portrays the true picture of Kashmir. It is for these reasons that Sufism flourished in the land of Sage Kashyap Rishi."Shabir Hussain Rather noted that in Kashmir, religious extremism has been used to annihilate the ideas like pluralism, secularism, freedom and tolerance during the past three decades. "The people of Kashmir do not need anybody's sympathy or solidarity, we Kashmiris are one and we will overcome all obstacles and march on the path of success and development," he said.
JKPJF chairman Agha Syed Abbas Rizvi said that the revival of 'Kashmiriyat' is a conscious effort by all segments in Kashmiri Society. Kashmiriyat is synonymous with the culture of Kashmir, which resonates with the rich religious and traditional heritage of the region.
Efforts are being made to revive 'Kashmiriyat' by both the communities of Hindus and Muslims, to oppose the ongoing violence in the state, Rizvi said adding that efforts to promote Kashmiriyat through cultural activities, social programmes and literature have to be increased throughout Jammu and Kashmir and is the need of the hour.
One important step in this regard, He said is the Kashmiri language. "I appeal to all the Kashmiris spread worldwide to show solidarity for saving our mother tongue. I am making a demand to the UT Administration to add Kashmiri language in the school curriculum. We Kashmiris need solidarity from all, for the development and spread of Kashmiri art, culture and language," the JKPJF chairman appealed.
Agha Rizvi also spoke about India's G20 Presidency stressing that Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is the philosophy of life which means the whole world is one family. "Similarly, Kashmiriyat stands for One Kashmir, irrespective of the fact we may be following different religions and faiths," he said.
Agha Syed Showket Madani highlighted the importance of the revival of the Kashmiriyat. He stressed upon that it is high time for the civil society and most importantly the political leaders to educate the youth of the Valley about the culture and essence of Sufism and Kashmiriyat.
Madani stresses that the revival of Kashmiriyat only would lead to the peace and prosperity of Kashmir, which will ultimately spread to the rest of the country and South Asia. (ANI)