SRINAGAR: Governor NN Vohra on Sunday called for reviving the centuries-old Reshi-Sufi traditions in Jammu and Kashmir particularly among youth.
Addressing an international seminar on ‘Rishi-Sufi traditions of Kashmir’ at the University of Kashmir, Vohra said that the symposium is being held at a time when, in the name of religion, the world is being torn apart by radical and fundamental ideologies.
“Conflicts are taking place in many parts of the world. Terrorist violence has emerged as an international phenomenon; the values of tolerance, communal harmony and brotherhood have been severely eroded and the world at large appears disinclined to resolve disagreements through peaceful means, civilised debates and discussions,” a government spokesman quoted Vohra saying.
The governor observed that the damage done to the “heritage of coexistence and to the Rishi-Sufi traditions has severely fractured the fabric of our society and, today, we witness repeated incidents of terrorist violence in which dozens of innocent persons are getting killed”.
He said that if peace and normalcy is to be restored and humanity is to remain civilized, “radical ideologies shall have to be denounced” and collective efforts shall need to be made to revive the centuries old traditions of tolerance and brotherhood which transcend the barriers of religion, language, caste, colour and creed.
He said that Reshi-Sufi traditions need to be revived and enabled to play a vital role in promoting inter-faith dialogue and discussions.
He called upon the University of Kashmir and J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages to “seriously consider making an effort to revive, rejuvenate and propagate the philosophical and spiritual traditions for which Kashmir is known for centuries past, and also make efforts to resurrect respect for secular values which encourage plurality of faith and belief”.
“It would be fruitful indeed if our universities were to take appropriate initiatives for present day generation of students to get acquainted with fundamentals of Reshi-Sufi thought which has a universal message,” Vohra said.
The 3-day international seminar has been organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in collaboration with KU’s Centre for Central Asian Studies and J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.
KU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi, who presided over the function, presented his views on the theme of the seminar. “Traditions evolve out of past practices that ultimately find acceptability in larger sections of the society, sometimes so powerful that they become the symbol of societal identity,” he said while welcoming the participants to the seminar.
Director General ICCR, C. Rajesekhar, welcomed the participants and gave an overview of the activities of ICCR.
Kamna Prasad, Academic Co-ordinator, ICCR, New Delhi, gave introduction about the Symposium while Prof. G.N Khaki, Director, Centre of Central Asian Studies, KU presented the welcome address. Dr. Tareak A. Rather, Associate Professor CCAS presented vote of thanks.