SRINAGAR: Stating that the Jammu & Kashmir has been isolated because of mutual distrust and suspicion, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday hailed Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for organizing a peace-initiative as a “beginning in the process of truth & reconciliation”.
Aiming to send a healing touch to the people of the valley and bring about reconciliation among people who have suffered during the on-going conflict, Shankar’s organisation, the Art of Living on Friday hosted an event in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Art Of living, however, has its overall objective on Kashmir to, “wean away youth from violence” in Kashmir through a number of programmes, including a leadership initiative. The organisation has maintained a low profile while working closely with the government.
“We have more than 3,000 people connected to us directly from across Kashmir. We have young boys and girls, school teachers, business people, government servants, etc, who go to their mohallas and villages and rope in more people. But we have stayed low-key to avoid unnecessary attention,” Shama Sondhi, who has been a part of AOL’s Kashmir operations since 1994, told an Indian daily in 2016.
In 2011, Sri Sri had also held meetings with resistance leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, to discuss ways to establish peace in the valley.
Hailing the initiative, ‘Paigam-e-Mohabbat’ (Message of Love), Mehbooba tweeted it was a positive and hopeful step towards the “beginning in the process of truth & reconciliation”.
“A positive initiative by @SriSri (Ravi Shankar). I earnestly hope that this marks a beginning in the process of truth & reconciliation,” she wrote on her twitter handle.
Appealing the civil society groups in India to step-up to dismantle the walls of “distrust and suspicion”, she further tweeted that such events were important to understand the pain endured by people in J&K.
“Such programmes are imperative to understand the agonising pain endured by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The civil society in the rest of the country must do more to dismantle the walls of mutual distrust and suspicion that have isolated J&K,” she said.
Sri Sri while responding to the tweets of Mehbooba, thanked her for “encouraging words” and stated that he and his NGO “needs to do much more in this direction”.
The initiative is expected to bring together family members of slain militants, and families of victims of cross-firing, from all parts of Kashmir and families of those soldiers killed in J&K.