President Ram Nath Kovind, who is on a four-day tour of Jammu and Kashmir, on Tuesday said Kashmir had turned a new leaf. He stressed that democracy had the capacity to reconcile all differences and bring out the best of the citizens’ potential. “Kashmir is happily realising this vision,” he noted.
“As Kashmir has turned a new leaf, exciting new possibilities are opening up. The whole of India is watching you with admiration and pride. Kashmiri youth are scaling new heights in a variety of sectors, from civil service exams to sports and entrepreneurial ventures,” he stated.
Mr. Kovind was addressing the 19th Annual Convocation of the University of Kashmir in Srinagar amid tight security.
He called upon the younger generation of Kashmir to learn from J&K’s rich legacy. “Kashmir has always been a beacon of hope for the rest of India. Violence, which was never part of ‘Kashmiriyat’, became the daily reality. It is alien to Kashmiri culture and an aberration, that too a temporary one like a virus that attacks the body and needs to be purged,” he observed.
J&K was witnessing a new beginning and making determined efforts to regain its lost glory, he asserted.
‘Land of saints’
Describing Kashmir ‘Rishi Vaer’ (the land of saints), he said he was delighted to be among students in this land of great historical and cultural significance. “Kashmir has always attracted spiritual seekers from far and wide. It’s not only a reservoir of wisdom but also endowed with unparalleled natural beauty,” he pointed out.
Referring to three lakh students enrolled in the varsity, including 1,000 doctorates over the past eight years, he said, “The university has made remarkable progress. Two centres of excellence and the laboratory will help Kashmir and also show the way to the world in combating climate challenges and nurturing nature”.
It was impossible to write a history of Indian philosophy without referring to Kashmir’s contributions to it. “One of the oldest manuscripts of the Rigveda was written in Kashmir. This is the most conducive region for the philosophies to prosper,” he emphasised.
Kashmir was the meeting point of various cultures. “[Poetess and mystic] Lal Ded showed the way to bring together various spiritual traditions. In the works of Lalleshwari, you can see how Kashmir provides the template of communal harmony and peaceful coexistence,” he added.