Tuesday, March 18, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Shankarachrya Hill Name Change Issue

Roots in Kashmir the frontline organization of the exiled Kashmiri Pandits, wants to bring to the notice of the media that the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mr.Omar Abdullah is clearly misleading not only the media but the general populace of this country when he says that there is no plan to change the name of Shankarachya Hill to Takhte-Sulaiman. With reference to the press reports quoting the Hon’ble CM that NO name change has happened, Either Mr.Abdullah does not know the facts or is making deliberate attempt to hide them. The websites of J&K Tourism Development Corporation (http://jktdc.in/component/content/article/43-srinagar/99-shankaracharya-temple.html) as well as the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (http://smcsite.org/index.php?link=ShankracharyaTemple) clearly state the Shankarachrya Temple is on the hill called Takhte-Sulaiman.If indeed there is no plan to change the name how come the websites do not mention that name as Shankaracharya Hill is something we want to ask the Hon’ble CM.

It isn’t just about the Shankaracharya Hill.The changing of names of Hindu symbols of faith has been a gradual and systematic process in Kashmir. Attempts are being made to change name of Hari Parvat(the seat of Goddess Sharika) to Kohi Maran(meaning the mountain of snakes) officially. The recent example of this is the cable car service run started by Govt of Jammu and Kashmir. The Cable Car service itself is called the Kohi-Maran Cable Car Corp. If this isn’t a deliberate attempt by the government to efface the symbols of Hindus then one wonders what is?

Hundreds of temples have been desecrated, completely destroyed or partially damaged by unruly miscreants, while government has stood mute. Many of the properties of these temples have been encroached upon and houses have been built on them. The deliberate blindness that the Govt of J&K has exhibited when it comes to restoring the temples says a lot not just about the inaptness but also the intentions of letting the Hindu symbols of faith perish.

If the Hon’ble CM wants the Pandits to come back to their homes the least that we expect his government to do is not to use government machinery to wipe out the memory of Pandits from Kashmir. We expect the government to restore the original names of our revered shrines and the symbols connected with them. The first step would be to make corrections in the websites run by the Government.

Issued on 18th March,2014



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