Men and women converged on Srinagar’s Lal Chowk and took out a religious procession
Kashmiri Pandits celebrated ‘Janmashtami’, birthday of Lord Krishna, with religious fervour in Srinagar on Monday and took out ‘rath yatras’ for the first time in north Kashmir’s Handwara district.
Kashmiri Pandits, a majority of whom migrated outside J&K in the 1990s in the face of raging militancy, converged on Srinagar’s Lal Chowk and took out a religious procession. Men and women were seen dancing and showering flowers. Pandits also participated in a procession in Kupwara’s Handwara market.
“I want to thank the majority community and the administration for making it a success. We were able to celebrate the occasion like in the past,” M.Y. Yogi, a Kashmiri Pandit, said in Lal Chowk. “We prayed for peace in J&K on the occasion.”
All the top regional leaders — including National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah; Peoples Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti; Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari and Peoples Conference’s Sajad Lone — greeted the community on the occasion.
“The festival reinforces the belief that a life of morality and righteousness can be achieved amidst all difficulties through devotion, selfless service, commitment and compassion. We should renew our commitment to Lord Krishna’s ideals on this occasion,” Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said in a message.
Such religious processions of Kashmiri Pandits were organised in the past too, especially during the regimes of Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Omar Abdullah. However, all such processions were barred last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pandits celebrate Janmashtami, take out rath yatras in Kashmir – The Hindu