Bengaluru: In a rare spectacle, the Art of Living (AOL) International Centre on Friday played host to families of slain army personnel, militants and reformed militants in an attempt to share Paigam-e-Mohabbat (Message of Love) and initiate a transformation in trouble torn Kashmir valley. Those who hitherto hated each other, shared their pain and emotions and forgave each other with an emotional hug and dream of a better tomorrow.
“It was very difficult for me to respond in affirmative when I was contacted to participate in the event. I knew I would be meeting people who are responsible for the death of my husband. But once I reached the AOL campus I saw many Kashmiri families. The moment I saw them, I looked away thinking one of their sons may have killed my husband and broke down. But then a woman held my hand and hugged me. It was then I realised just like I have lost my husband, they too have lost their dear ones. Those families too are undergoing the same pain that I am going through,” said Neha Tirpathi, wife of Commandant Pramod Kumar, CRPF, who was martyred on August 15, 2016 at Nowhatta Chowk in Srinagar.
Dr Priya Sankalp, wife of Colonol Sankalp Kumar who died on December 5, 2015 in Uri, said that when people accept Kashmir as part of India and consider themselves Indian, things would turn for better.
“How long Kashmir will remain a land where our husbands and sons are sacrificed. Why we have to lose our dear ones every time and for how long. Why doesn't the violence stop,” she said.
More than 100 families from across the country including 60 families of slain militants took part in the event and vowed to build a better Kashmir and bring back the Kashmiri youth, who have gone astray.
Muneer Choudhry who hailed from Uri in Baramulla, said not all Kashmiris were trouble makers, but we are stereotyped that way.
“Every Kashmiri lives in a fear of being attacked. A father lives in a dilemma whether his son would return from school safely or his dead body will be recovered from a forest area. The police detain innocent youth and demands lakhs of rupees from his parents, if they don’t want their son to be declared a militant. This is how the Kashmiris have been living for years,” he said.
He also critised the media for highlighting negative news from Kashmir. “Media only shows stone pelters, but it is not interested in knowing why the youth are picking up the stone. It shows police and Army vehicles being attacked, but they don’t show why it is being done,” Muneer said.
He pointed that no government could solve the issue as the interlocutors only meet Kashmiris handpicked by the government. “They don’t interact with locals and people who were sufferers. If that would have been the case, things would have been sorted out long back,” he added.
Lack of communication led to unrest: Sri Sri Regarding Paigam-e-Mohabbat initiative AOL founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar pointed that miscommunication between the governments and people of Kashmir had led to the unrest, with no permanent solutions so far.
The spiritual leader was of the opinion that political interventions won't solve the issues in Kashmir. For things to get normal in Kashmir, one need to reach to the people who were suffering and understand their problems and address them.
“The Paigam-e-Mohabbat is an initiative towards starting a new chapter of Kashmir and a vision to ensure a non-violent society will emerge. Unless and until we put a balm to heal the hurt and give a new vision, the chain reaction of violence will continue,” he said.