August 30, 2013
Shravan Krushna Dashami, Kaliyug Varsha 5115
JAMMU: Kashmiri Pandits today demanded that the bill to protect temples in Jammu and Kashmir should describe the places of worship in the Valley as Hindu shrines instead of religious places of Kashmiri Hindus.
“We strongly demand that Jammu and Kashmir Shrines and Religious Places of Kashmiri Hindus Bill should describe our places of worship and reverence in the Valley as Hindu shrines and religious places of Kashmir instead of shrines and religious places of Kashmiri Hindus,” Panun Kashmir president Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo told reporters here.
“Temples, shrines and all other places of reverence in the Valley are common heritage of the Hindu society. They are, for all practical purposes, a single unit of our cultural and religious spectrum. Any attempt to break their cohesiveness will be resisted and defeated,” he said.
These places are symbols of religious and cultural beliefs of the indigenous people of the Valley. They also represent over 5,000 years of the cultural ethos of Kashmir, Chrungoo said.
However, he said, “Today this whole heritage is at a brink. Temples are being razed down, their lands are being taken over and land mafia is grabbing the symbols of our religion and ethos…many ancient shrines are suffering due to lack of care and maintenance.”