Politics of religious hatred needs to be snuffed out: J&K Governor NN Vohra

Srinagar(PTI): Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra on said the “politics of religious hatred”, which is causing death and destruction across the globe, needs to be snuffed out. “The politics of religious hatred, which is causing death and destruction across the globe, needs to be snuffed out,” the Governor said addressing the inaugural function of three-day international symposium on Sufi-Rishi traditions of Kashmir at Kashmir University here. The Governor observed that the symposium is being held at a time when, in the name of religion, the world is being torn apart by radical and fundamental ideologies and conflicts are taking place in many parts of the world. “Terrorist violence has emerged as an international phenomenon, the values of tolerance, communal harmony and brotherhood have been severely eroded and the world at large appears disinclined to resolve disagreements through peaceful means, civilised debates and discussions,” he said.

The Governor said that the damage done to the heritage of coexistence and to the “rishi-sufi traditions” has severely fractured the fabric of the society. “Today, we witness repeated incidents of terrorist violence in which dozens of innocent persons are getting killed. If peace and normalcy is to be restored and humanity is to remain civilised, radical ideologies shall have to be denounced and collective efforts shall need to be made to revive the centuries old traditions of tolerance and brotherhood which transcend the barriers of religion, language, caste, colour and creed,” he added.

The Governor said that centuries ago Kashmir witnessed intensive spiritual and philosophic debates among eminent religious scholars, historians, travellers and other important personages from Iran, Turkey, Central Asia, China and other countries, making it a cradle which fostered the birth of invaluable spiritual philosophies and traditions. “The fact that the people of Kashmir are still devoted to the belief systems which emanate from the Rishi Sufi traditions is evidenced by the admirable existence of a very large number of shrines in the Valley and elsewhere in the State which attract devotees not only from among the Hindus and Muslims but from all other communities,” he said. “These shared traditions have proven to be crucial for promoting lasting connectivities and close understandings across the communities,” Vohra added.

The Governor called for efforts to revive the aesthetic orientation of the unique inter-religious debates and dialogues which laid the foundations of harmony and brotherhood in the past and for resurrecting respect for the secular values encouraging plurality of faith and belief.

He suggested that it would be fruitful if universities were to take appropriate initiatives for the students to get acquainted with the fundamentals of the Rishi-Sufi thought, the mystic love poetry of Rumi and the great Persian poet Hafiz and revive the great traditions of aesthetics, culture, literature, music, dance, calligraphy, architecture, costumes and languages for which Kashmir was known in the centuries past.

The Governor observed that the revival of the erstwhile philosophic traditions and values would be also relevant and productive from the point of view of combating the serious problems which are already being caused by the fast progressing phenomenon of global warming and climate change.