Kakriyal (Reasi): Terming the gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua as “alarming”, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday expressed anguish that “a living form of the Mata” had been treated so cruelly in the land where girls are worshipped as incarnations of Goddess Durga.
Addressing the Sixth Convocation of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University here, the Chief Minister said the heinous act of the perpetrators “has shocked us as a society” and showed that the value system was facing a crisis.
She batted for the inclusion of value education in the curriculum, saying “our material growth becomes meaningless if we are not able to become good human beings”.
“The entire set of rituals are practiced in this part of the state (Jammu) as Kanya Puja, where minor girls have been worshipped as the incarnation of Goddess Durga. How could anybody do such a heinous act against one such living form of ‘Mata’ in her own land,” the Chief Minister said, referring to the Kathua rape victim.
She said that Trikuta hills are known as the abode of Goddess Mata Vaishno Devi and are the best testimony of this society and how it treats women.
“When we talk of value system, I feel it is under crisis. The recent happening against a weaker, underprivileged individual, especially a girl child, was alarming and has shocked us as a society,” she said, adding “there is something seriously wrong in our changing life system”.
“Our material growth becomes meaningless if we are not able to become a good human being with compassion and humanity, inclusive sense and set of values, which can distinguish us as a civilised society,” she added.
An eight-year-old girl was kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17 in Kathua district. During investigation, the state police’s Crime Branch alleged she was drugged and repeatedly raped before being killed. Eight persons, including a juvenile and the custodian of a temple, were arrested in Jammu for gangrape and murder.
The Chief Minister said that apart from imparting scientific and technological knowledge, a university has to inculcate a value system among students.
“Historically we have been known the world over as a creative society, but that recognition is lost now,” she lamented, adding that the endeavour of her government is to change the situation and “create a knowledge-based society”.
“We must also make value education as integral part of our curriculum. Jammu and Kashmir has been a world of spiritualism and a knowledge-driven society.
“Spirituality has always been a key aspect of our love for knowledge from Sharda Peet (PaK University and temple) to Shadara Sharief (university and shrine in Rajouri) since ancient period. We have been committed to a spiritual and knowledge-based society,” she said.
Referring to the university, she said, “I see this university as a mutual legacy and repository of composite culture, ushering us into a new world of peace and prosperity.”