Tuesday October 22, 2019

After 75 long years, Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Dashar Maha Kumbh in their Homeland Kashmir

The local Pandits in Kashmir were delighted to celebrate the Kumbh mela in their homeland

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Ujjain: Ascetics during Simhastha Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of Hindus in Ujjain on April 22, 2016. Image: IANS
  • Kashmiri pandits celebrate Kumbh mela at the junction of Jhelum and Sindh river
  • After 75 years, they witnessed the religious celebration in their homeland
  • People were also scared of the aftermath of being targeted at the vulnerable areas 

Kashmiri pandits celebrated the auspicious Kumbh mela after a long wait of 75 years in their homeland on Tuesday, June 14. The point of convergence of river Jhelum and Sindh in the Shadi Pora district of north Kashmir and 30 kilometres away from the capital Srinagar, witnessed the holy festival celebration.

As the Kumbh mela is a day of washing off one’s sins by taking a dip into holy rivers, the pundits observed the same at the Mela Kheer Bhawani. Where some were praying to get themselves rid of the sins, others prayed for their happy home returning.

kashmiri pandits
The Kashmiri pandits at the convergence point of Jhelum and Sindh. Image source: navbharattimes.indiatimes.com

However, it was crucial to see how the J&K government took appropriate measures to ensure safety and security of all the devotees. The sanitation was too well maintained. BJP was seen as with a helping desk at the bank of river Jhelum.

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It was also interesting to see a cultural mix where the Muslim population, on fast in the month of Ramadan, was seen putting up stalls to sell flowers, fruits, vegetables, juices and other consumables adhering to the needs of all the devotees came to attend the fest. The locals also looked after the need of the devotees by providing them with facilities of boats to cross the river.

The politically charged atmosphere of Kashmir “ where on one hand government last week disallowed Abhinav Gupta Yatra in Budgam district, while on other hand their decision to bring back pandits to exclusive settlements has been widely criticized”,  however did not affect the peaceful offerings at the Kumbh.

kashmiri pandits
women offering prayers to the river. Image source: shehjar.com

Dr. Bansi Lal, who left the place in 1990, told The Economic Times that “This yug has come after 75 years. I hope, pray and wait that I will also come back one day to my homeland.”

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Another local who attended the mela also said “They should set up settlements within the local population in every tehsil, so that we can mingle and not be an eyesore.”

Since 1941, it was in this year that the festival was observed and even now the Kashmiri pandits were frightened of the aftermath of this Hindu festival being celebrated at this level. There is always a hidden fear of being targeted at the vulnerable areas. Whatever the after-thoughts are, they were seen happy to witness the mela after a long time in their homelands.

-Megha is a freelance contributor at NewsGram.Twitter: @meghash06510344

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    This is truly amazing. India is known for its unity in diversity and that is what is the true essence of India. Reading about how Kashmiri muslims put up stalls near the mela, was a delight. People should appreciate this.

  • AJ Krish

    Celebration is a prayer. A day of washing off one’s sins by taking a dip into holy rivers in the politically charged atmosphere of Kashmir could not have been thought before.

SHARE
  • Vrushali Mahajan

    This is truly amazing. India is known for its unity in diversity and that is what is the true essence of India. Reading about how Kashmiri muslims put up stalls near the mela, was a delight. People should appreciate this.

  • AJ Krish

    Celebration is a prayer. A day of washing off one’s sins by taking a dip into holy rivers in the politically charged atmosphere of Kashmir could not have been thought before.

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State Power Development, J&K Dispelled Any Privatisation Of Power Sector

Authorities of the State Power Development department have dispelled rumours of any privatisation of the power sector in J&K

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India, J&K, Power, Sector, Development
The government proposes to unbundle the department to break it into four profit-oriented companies. Pixabay

Authorities of the State Power Development department have dispelled rumours of any privatisation of the power sector in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

For the last fortnight, employees of the state power development department have been agitating against privatisation. The agitation is fuelled by fear that once privatised, service benefits and service protection of the serving employees would be compromised.

Speaking to IANS, Qazi Hashmat, Chief Engineer, Maintenance and Rural Electrification, said: “The rumours of privatisation are completely unfounded. There is no plan to privatise the department.

“The government proposes to unbundle the department to break it into four profit-oriented companies.

“These would include electric power generation (Genco), power distribution Jammu (Discom Jammu), power distribution valley (Discom Valley) and the power buying and selling company (Trade Co). All these would be completely state-owned companies.

“Ofcourse these companies would be profit-oriented while they will protect the service benefits of the present employees that includes the chief engineer down to the level of our lineman.

“All the presently serving employees/officers would continue to be government servants while they serve these state owned companies on deputation,” the Chief Engineer said.

Squashing fears of the employees losing their service benefits, the Chief Engineer said, “Instead of losing any of their present benefits the profit-oriented companies would work out better working conditions and benefits for their staffs”.

India, J&K, Power, Sector, Development
The agitation is fuelled by fear that once privatised, service benefits and service protection of the serving employees would be compromised. Pixabay

He said after these four state-owned companies come into existence after the complete unbundling of the power development department, future employments would be made by the companies and those engaged thereafter would be employees of these companies.

“It will take many years before these companies can employ their own staff. Till that time, all of us serving the department presently would continue to be government servants on deputation.

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“A big advantage after these companies come into existence is that we can check power pilferage, fix tariffs and supply uninterrupted power without any political interference. The Trade Co can decide buy power at peak hours without any official red-tapism involved”, the Chief Engineer said. (IANS)