SRINAGAR, INDIA, Junuary 21 2010: After 21 years, the occasion of historical temple at Kralkhud in the heart of Srinagar city was re-opened. In early 1990s, most of the temples were closed as Pandits migrated from the valley.
On the day of holy “month of Maagh” the re-opening of the temple was attended by a large number of pandit families including some families from Jammu had reached the temple to participate in special prayers. The Pandit families commented that they are feeling extremely happy over offering religious obligations in peaceful environment. “I returned to Kashmir after 19 years and everything has changed here. However, by the support of the Muslim community here, our property is preserved,” said Dr T.N.Ganjoo, chairman of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarash Samiti.
The Pandit families living here urged the migrant families residing in Jammu to return since Kashmir is safe for them and they can move everywhere here in Srinagar. “The occasion helps us to meet with our old Muslim friends here. We shared sorrow and happiness for 20 years, which cannot be shared with people at Jammu. We have common culture and tradition. In Jammu we are simply migrants. We are desperate to return,” said a Pandit youth Ravi Krishan.
Special prayers were held today for the peace and normalcy in Kashmir valley, in which devotees from all over the valley participated. The Samiti members said that around 600 temples in different parts of Kashmir valley are still closed and they are hopeful that these temples will also be opened with the cooperation of the Muslim community.
However, a political issue hang over the celebrations. Kashmiri Pandits pleaded to be in the prime minister’s special employment package for migrants.
“We have decided to go on hunger strike from February 15, to register our protest against the government decision for not including Kashmiri Pandits in the employment package of 6,000 migrants, announced by the prime minister recently” said Sanjay K. Tickoo, president of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti. “Both the state and central governments are penalizing the Kashmiri Pandits for not migrating from the Kashmir valley.”