Amarnath Yatra Terror Attack: The Question of Pilgrimage and Politics
The state of Jammu & Kashmir, along with being a subject of the muddled up politics between India and Pakistan, is much renowned for the 145-year old Hindu pilgrimage known as the Amarnath Yatra. This 48-day journey is not only a display of the massive collective devoutness of the Hindus, but also exhibits the beautiful practice of Kashmiriyat, the age-old secular oneness of the locals.
The Amarnath Yatra has experienced its share of terrorist activities in the past. For three consecutive years since 2000, many pilgrims, locals and security guards have become victims to such bloody acts of violence.
Yet again, in a reprehensible terrorist attack on a passenger bus going through the Anantnag district, the Amarnath Yatra was tainted with the blood of innocents for the fourth time in a period of almost two decades on the night of July 10, 2017. When the entire nation came together to condemn this incident as an atrocious act of barbarism and cowardice, the Indian polity took it to a whole different level of sullied blame game. From Rahul Gandhi to Asaduddin Owaisi, political leaders everywhere conferred heavy charges on the government in what came out to be a mad outrage against such a security breach. After all was said and written, this fatal attack on our country’s integrity became only a subject of dismal politics.
While the opposition targeted the government for the irresponsible security arrangements, it has been made clear that no political functionary is anywhere related to the security issues for the Yatra. All arrangements are handled and examined by the Indian Army. Opinions from the communists and those from the separatists added fuel to the fire sparked by the opposition leaders. The political divide between Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi could be heard and seen loud and clear. But, it comes as a matter of utter shame that a disturbing incident such as this has been subjected to the political play. The sentiments attached to the Amarnath Yatra and the loss of precious human lives has faced disregard at so many levels.
For the massive belief and tradition that is associated with the Amarnath Yatra, this attack is an onslaught on India’s religious concord and a fatal attempt to falter its social peace. In times like these, when external forces have succeeded in shaking our society, it is essential for us to take every possible action to stop the politicking of such events. We must use the resources at hand, platforms provided by the media and the internet, to bring down the baseless monopoly of such leaders.
Amidst the shameless politicization, it is crucial for the people to understand and empathize in the loss of the bereaved families, to stand united against such callous political behavior and to move forward with an undeterred faith in the nation’s moral fabric.
It must always be remembered that the power of our country lies in the power of its people.[Image Attribute: Nina Marie]