Peaceful Amarnath yatra, a feather in Kashmiris’ cap

The annual Baba Amarnathji Yatra ended recently in a pleasent manner. Before the turmoil this age-old practic that goes on for a fortnight was managed mainly by local Kashmiri Muslims. Though Kasgmiri Pandits too had been living here, their role  in the Yatra Had been passive. At the peak of millitancy the Yatra continued unhindered. Millitancy was never a problem for the Yatra.

For the last many years communalists have been cooking up stories about Kashmiris, who have been the main support for the Yatra. Some times the anti-Muslim elements tried their best to polarise the Yatra and link the Kashmir issue with  religion.

Some government-sponsored agencies are also patronising adverse propaganda which has led to decline in the number of Yatris.  There has not been a single unpleasant incident during that yatra over the years. There are some vested interests that spread rumours about imminent threats from militants. Such people are helped by the likes of sadhvi Prachi of BJP who threatens Indian Muslims right in the middle of national Parliament citing these rumours.

When yatris return home after darshan, they praise Kashmiris for their hospitality. Kashmiris are famous for their hospitality the world over. At the peak of militancy, due to sudden snowfall on Yatra route more than 200 Yatris died, but the life of more than 6000 Yatris was saved with the quick efforts of local Kashmiri Muslims. Shelter in Kashmiri Muslim homes food, warm woolen clothes and  money was arranged by local Muslims for the Yatris. Again, during the politically motivated Amarnath land row the  Yatra was not disturbed.

Over the decades the Yatra has been sustained through Kashmiri Muslim hope. Though the Yatra deeply affect two months of peak tourist season, local Muslims have never complained about it. It is their love for the guest Yatris who come from differnt areas of India.

 Besides all odds Kashmiri Muslims are supporting the Yatra, for which they need to be praised, not condemned by the likes of Prachi.

Mir Mukhtar Ahmad

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2015 on page no. 11

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