Dear Indian citizen, I am writing this with very pain and grief. I’m left with no words of condemnation for this brutal act that was carried out to kill innocent Yatris devoted to their faith.
My purpose of writing to you is not to condemn the act alone, but to let you know that we, the people of Kashmir due to the act of a few are equally pained and our heads hang in shame. This act is against our ethos and composite culture and religion.
Terrorism has no religion. As we have been the worst sufferers of it. We are witnessing brutality, mental pain and helplessness day in and day out. Our lives are different from yours. They are full of compromises and not in our control.
We are mute spectators to the political turbulence and the senseless violence around, after a certain point. This terror attack doesn’t represent us.
We have lost our dear ones to terror. But today we stand in unison and out rightly condemn this act in unequivocal terms. The Amarnath Yatris are our beloved guests.
Local Kashmiris have been the traditional managers of this pilgrimage. During the protests that shook Kashmir in 2010 and 2016, they have always facilitated this. However, this singular acts, do not represent us. Our culture and our aspirations should in no way be taken as this.
A few weeks ago in the holy month of Ramzan, an innocent police officer who was a Muslim by religion, was lynched to death. It shows that terror has no religion. It knows no bound of humanity or justice.
Kashmir has a tradition of synthesis. Kashmir has been deeply engulfed in this war of politics and terror. There are elements who want to create a divide between communities. There might be a trust deficit after this incident. But let not the spirit of humanity die.
A mystic called Lal Ded, who was known as Lalla Arifa to Muslims and Lalleshwari to the Hindus, preached Kashmiri Shaivism. She went on to mentor Sufi saint Sheikh Noorudin Wali, the patron saint of Kashmir.
Yatris will continue to be our guests. We shall have to rise against this scourge together as a nation. We will defeat the terror with the spirit of humanity and brotherhood.
The shameful attack on Yatris must be an eye-opener for those who did it. For us, the Yatris are our guests and continue to be so.