Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Mr Manoj Kumar Sinha Thursday addressed academics and scholars during a national-level seminar at the University of Kashmir, even as he inaugurated a new state-of-the-art administration and multipurpose gymnasium blocks at the varsity. The LG, during his maiden visit to the University, also laid the foundation for an international-level athletic track.
Mr Sinha was the Chief Guest at the national-level seminar titled ‘Reshi-Sufi Traditions of Kashmir’, organised by Markaz-i-Noor Centre for Shaikh-ul-Alam Studies (CSAS).
Addressing the inaugural session, Mr Sinha dwelt at length on the essence of the rich Sufi-Reshi culture in Kashmir, asserting that it is based on the guiding principles of peaceful coexistence, harmony and love.
“I am happy to be a part of this august seminar, which, in essence, should lead us to infuse a fresh lease of life into the rich Sufi-Reshi traditions that this great place is known for,” he said, adding that the great culture of Reshi-Sufi traditions is “wonderfully nurtured in love, oneness and mutual coexistence.”
“I believe Kashmir is not only a place with beautiful lakes and meadows, but of people with beautiful hearts too. It’s about Kashmiriyat. It is about that rich age-old tradition which teaches unity and love,” Mr Sinha, the Chancellor of the University, said, calling for revival of Sufi-Reshi traditions and upholding the principles of love, peace and harmony.
Mr Sinha said it was his ardent wish to see peace and happiness in every home in Jammu and Kashmir.
“It’s equally my wish to see that in our journey towards our nation’s progress, J&K’s contribution is not only appreciable, but amongst the top,” he said, urging academics, scholars and religious preachers to take the message from this seminar to the general masses.
Mr KK Sharma, IAS, Advisor to LG, who was the Guest of Honour, said: “Kashmir has often aroused a sense of adventure to kings, scholars and academicians for its rich repository of natural wealth and high intellectual capacities of its people. The region has had its rich tradition of coexistence and harmonious living among different sections of the society.”
“The foundation for such a tradition was strengthened and laid due to the strong backing of the rich Sufi-Reshi traditions which are the subject of today’s seminar,” he said.
Mr Sharma said the New Education Policy-2020 lays emphasis on teaching students about the knowledge of India, including Ancient India and its contribution to Modern India, besides developing curriculum about values of tolerance, diversity, pluralism, righteous conduct, patience, empathy and compassion which are also the core messages of Sufi-Reshi order.
He said there was a need to further look at ways for “reviving and strengthening Kashmir’s unique Sufi-Reshi order and its central message that has acted as a beacon of light for the people for ages together.”
Vice-Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad, who presided over the seminar, said it was important for people to practically follow the rich Reshi-Sufi traditions for peace and harmony all around.
“The University of Kashmir in collaboration with Tourism Department intends to not only promote Eco-Tourism and Geo-Tourism, but Religious Tourism as well wherein we create information pamphlets about Kashmir’s rich culture and heritage, its revered shrines, and distribute these among people who visit here from time to time,” he said, thanking the Lieutenant Governor for visiting the University.
Prof Talat said the CSAS plans to hold an international seminar on interfaith dialogue wherein philosophers, teachers and researchers can find ways and means to spread the messages of peace and harmony which are essential for the welfare of people.
KU Registrar Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir presented a vote of thanks and highlighted recent achievements of the University, including its ranking among the top universities in the country.
Prof GN Khaki, Director CSAS, delineated the aims and objectives of the seminar, while Prof Bashar Bashir, former chairman CSAS, delivered a keynote address and threw light on various perspectives of Sufi-Reshi traditions in Kashmir, including its historical perspective, the philosophy behind it, and how the Reshi-Sufi thought influenced the lives of common people.
He also called for promotion of Kashmiri language and literature, and recognition of Kashmir language as a classical language.
The inaugural function, among others, was attended by several dignitaries including Vice-Chancellor Central University of Kashmir Prof Mehraj-ud-Din Mir; Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Mr Pandurang Pole; Secretary Youth Services and Sports Mr Sarmad Hafeez; Director NIT Srinagar Prof Rakesh Sehgal; Dean Academic Affairs, KU, Prof Akbar Masood; Dean Research Prof Shakeel A Romshoo, Dean Colleges Prof GM Sangmi, deans of various faculties; officers of the university and heads of various shrines in Kashmir and members of civil society.