On Basant Panchami, marking the beginning of the spring and end of the bitter cold, this year ushered a new opening. After 31 years of remaining closed the Shital Nath Temple located in the Habba Kadal area of Srinagar reopened on Tuesday (16 February).
Unbridled dance of jihadi terror targeting the miniscule minorities in Kashmir forced the closure of the ancient temple 31 years ago in the Kashmir valley as reported by the Hindustan Times. On Basant Panchami, a pious occasion for Hindus, the temple was re-opened after a small pooja.
“We used to do this pooja every year. Baba Sheetal Nath Bhairao’s birth anniversary falls on Basant Panchami and that is why we celebrate this day with fervour,” said Santosh Razadan, a devotee who came to offer prayers at the temple.
Notably, the original inhabitants of Kashmir, the Kashmiri Hindus who have lived there for more than 5000 years, have been persecuted in Kashmir since the advent of the Shah Mir Dynasty in the14th Century. They suffered seven exoduses from then till the last one in 1989-90 that happened in independent India right under the nose of a duly elected central and state government and a very powerful army.
Hindus have been persecuted by Islamists by forcible conversions, brutal massacres and demolition of several ancient temples. The scarred Martand Surya Temple is a symbol of the Kashmiri Hindu resistance who have been tortured to the hilt, yet they exist though scarred, the Islamists could not wipe out their spirit.
The Sharada Peeth, seated in the Kashmir Valley where the holiest of gurus, Adi Shankaracharya completed his quest for true knowledge and authored his eternal Advaita philosophy, is completely destroyed and desolate and lies in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It is time for Kashmiri Pandits to reclaim their holy land, home and hearth as Maa Sharda Devi is waiting for her children to come back to her.
The scourge of Islamic militantancy saw a mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pundit community from the Valley as they were threatened from the local mosques, notices to Hindus to vacate or convert were pasted outside their homes. Many prominent leaders were publicly killed by raining AK 47 bullets on them. Many Hindu women were raped and killed, the most famous of them being Sarla Bhat and Girija Tikoo. Girija was gang-raped, tortures murdered and her body was cut in to pieces in a saw mill and thrown in the Jhelum river.
The most shocking part was their own Muslim neighbours who enjoyed savouries and sweets with them, ganged up with the terrorists and aided them in brutalizing the Hindus.
Notably, a week back the brutal lynching of a young Hindu activist, Rinku Sharma in the national capital by his own neighbours for chanting Jai Shri Ram and collecting money for the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya was just a reminder to the Hindu community to the dangers of Islamic jihad.
Notably in an answer to a question raised by BJP MLA in 2012, the Jammu and Kashmir government stated in a written reply that, “Of the 438 temples in the Valley, 208 had been damaged over the years.”
Srinagar was the epicentre of Islamic iconoclasm and even after 1990 carnage, 170 temples have been destroyed in Kashmir.
So, it is a long wait for the true children of Kashmir to go back to the bosom of Sharada Devi till we fight the devils and clear them out of our pious land. It is time the Kashmiri Hindus find their own Tuvia Bielski, rather than keep endlessly looking to the Indian government to rehabilitate them in Kashmir!
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