Published On: Mon, Aug 7th, 2006

They Assembled on the Banks of Holy Chenab

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Farooq Ganai.

Away from their happy nests in the Valley displaced Kashmiri Pandits gathered on the banks of Chenab to demonstrate their continued love and affection for those they lost at the hands of another human person turned inhuman and savage on them. They remembered the souls of all their departed loved ones during the Shradha Paksha.In the memory of their loved ones, they ate their favourite foods and remembered the good times they had with them. This was their way of saying, “We love you and still have fond memories of you. Be at peace, where ever you are!” Farooq Ganai writes about the Maha Shradah organised by Panun Kashmir today on Sunday 6 August on the banks of Chenab. Gaashonline Team joins Kashmiri Pandit Community in the offer of their prayers for the departed souls.

The eyes of Kahsmiri pandits were seen full of tears today, when they assembled on the banks of holy Chenab river, to pay homage to their departed relatives and friends who died during sixteen years of turmoil. Taking part in ‘Maha Shradah’ in memory of thirty thousand Kahsmiri Pandits, who died during 16 years of exile? The sentiments of participants particularly youngsters were painful as there eyes were full of tears.

The Maha Shradah which was organized by the Panun Kashmir in consultation with the high priest and religious heads of the exiled community witnessed the participation of more than 800 members of pandit community including youngsters who perhaps are not aware of the term Maha Shradah, offered special prayers for the their departed community members, including those who were brutally killed in a decade long insurgency in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The day which was earlier planned to be organized at holy town Martand (Mattan) in south Kashmir, was postponed due to threat from militant outfit ‘HUJI’. “We have come here to offer our tribute to all those who left for holy abode in exile, away from their homeland. It is an opportunity to pay them a proper homage”, said Veer Saraf adding that the community lost every thing during this decade long turmoil.

Despite heavy rains, large number of people from almost all refugees’ camps and non-camps of Jammu, Udhampur and other parts of the country took part in the Maha Shradah.

“I was ten year old when I left Kashmir due to the threats of Mujahideen of ‘Muslim community’ and still remember the gun shorts I heard in my village of Tral in Pulwama”, said a young engineer who had come to pay homage to his uncle, adding, I feel it is best way to remember the mass departure of Kahsmiri pandits from Kashmir.

Dr. Agnishekhar, Panun Kashmir Convener and organizer of the day, says that the event was to pay homage to 30000 community members who died in last 15 years and also to those who scarified their life for peace in the state, irrespective of religion or region”.

“The event was organized in every part of the country and around the world including in USA and UK, where homage was paid to the departed community members”.

This is for the first time in more than a decade long migration of Kahsmiri Pandit community from valley that such an event was organized by the community which was arranged by “The Marg Darshak Mandal of Maha Shradah” which supervised all the arrangements for the event.

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