Srinagar: People to people contact between India and Pakistan must be strengthened which will help the Government to resolve the issues through dialogue. Within India there should be lot of exchange programs amongst various sections of people particularly student and youth to remove the stigma that Kashmir is a violent place.
These suggetions vis-a-vis Kashmir have been underscored in a Report released by a delegation of Gandhian fraternity that visited Kashmir Valley from 16 to 19 July, 2017 for initial dialogue and People to People contact, The main purpose of this delegation was to meet a wide corss section of people representing all streams and walks of life to seek Love, Compassion and Brotherhood.
The delegation comprising of Sankar Kumar Sanyal (Delhi), Leader of the Peace Mission, P. Maruthi (Tamil Nadu), Urmila Srivastava (Uttar Pradesh), Shikha Sanyal (West Bengal) and friends of Jammu & Kashmir, Shaukat Ashai, Sonaullah Tamiri, Abdul Majid Bichoo, Sabir Ahmed Bhatt, Yasir Ashai and others on behalf of Harijan Sevak Sangh (HSS), founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1932 which has been relentlessly working for the uplift of the downtrodden and weaker section of the society since its inception. The Sangh along with Akhil Bharat Rachnatmak Samaj (ABRS) and Association of People of Asia (APA), both founded by Padmabibhusan Didi Nirmala Deshpande, spiritual daughter of Acharye Vinoba Bhave have been working hard for restoration of Peace, Harmony and Universal Brotherhood in India as well as in abroad following the ideas and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinobaji.
Through the Report on Kashmir, all political parties have been urged to work for peace. Exchange Programs need to be conducted from Kashmir to other States and other states to Kashmir. Government Schemes need to be properly implemented with all the available resources in the state, it has been emphasised.
The State and Central Government have also been asked to work for the State’s development and there should be moe emphasis on providing railway connectivity, proper roads, medical, health and education facilities.
OTHER POINTS HIGHLIGHTED DURING THE DIALOGUE :
The children and youth are losing lives and education. If these vital sections of the society are lost then what else can the Society have? Alternative shelters are to be provided for border areas till tension is reduced.
Civil Society is to respond and take positive steps. For instance shops and establishments are to be kept open even during the times of hartal or bandh in the interest of the progress of the state and citizens.
95% of stone palters do not know the reason for the fight and do it just for fun, not knowing the consequences such as police case etc.
After continued violence, Children and youth have started knowing the history of Kashmir.
Minimum percentage of people are involved in violence, maximum number of people are for peace. If we work to unite the hearts of this maximum number of peace loving people through People to people contact, there will be a pressure on the other minimal percentage of people involved in violence. This mission of people to people contact will also enable the Government to resolve the issues through dialogue. They should be made to understand that violence is not a solution and building up pressure by
peace loving people will resolve the problem.
On the occasion of oncoming Gandhiji’s 150th Birth Anniversary, a solution may surface by organizing exchange programs where participants from other states would perform in J&K whereas participants of J&K would travel to other states to stage their performance.
People to people contact should be strengthened in India and neighbouring countries. The displaced and separated relatives of families staying in India and Pakistan should be rehabilitated as suggested by renowned social worker Nirmala Deshpande. She is the daughter of late Acharya Vinoba Bhave, the leader of the Bhoodan movement .
Government has been requested to provide free or maximum concessional facilities in Railways and Buses and also accommodation to take part in various and activities of universities, educational institutions and youth hostels.
The report goes on to point out that even during hartals, the tourists were taken care by the locals. For the attack on the pilgrimage bound bus of Gujarat the members of the peace delegation could see the ocean of humanity from the Kashmiris irrespective of religion. They not only shed their tears but also helped in all possible ways. They donated their blood and shared the grief and pain. The same was also seen when another pilgrimage bound bus fell off the mountains. It has also been noted that the
Muslim brothers have erected a Hindu temple and they take full care of it. These incidents clearly reflect the humane feelings of the people of Kashmir, which is repeatedly misinterpreted by various sections of the media.
The Kashmiris pointed out that they face difficulty in hiring rooms in hotels and other premises in different cities of the Country as there is a general view that all the Kashmiris are militants.
Another perception conveyed was that the Armed Forces should be more reasonable and use their powers in a better way and should not harass civil society. As otherwise the local youth would be hostile to the Armed Forces and are likely to take some retaliatory steps, which will obstruct the process of peace in the valley. According to them, the local Police should take over the charges as they understand the sentiment of the local people.
Media also has been showing a negative attitude without verifying the true situation which is an impediment for establishing Peace and Harmony.
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