Monday, December 5, 2011

Protect cultural heritage in all regions of JK: Karan Singh

New Delhi: Former Sadar-e-Riyast of Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Karan Singh, has said that awareness should be created among students and youth for the protection of the state’s rich heritage which was on the verge of destruction. All the five regions of the state including Gilgit-Baltistan and Mirpur-Muzzafarabad are culturally rich and every plan to protect heritage should not lose sight of these areas also, he said.

Speaking at a seminar on Cultural Heritage of Kashmir on the concluding day of the three-day J&K Festival on Sunday, Dr Singh said that during his tenure as member of the UNESCO he would like to see the Mughal Gardens of Kashmir figuring in its heritage list.

Offering to send UNESCO guidelines to the authorities concerned, he said that most of the proposals are rejected as these are not adequately prepared. Referring to the crumbling heritage of the state particularly Kashmir, he said it has happened as heritage protection had never been part of education in the state. The younger generations should be acquainted properly about this aspect of the state and once they evince interest the heritage protection will become easier, he felt.

Union Minister for Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah was the chief guest in the concluding function. He expressed hope that the composite culture of Kashmir, Kashmiriyat, should be restored to its full glory soon. "All of us will be able to go to Kashmir together," he said while referring to the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community, saying Kashmir is incomplete without the presence of the Kashmiri Pandits.

Former Vice-Chancellor of Kashmir University, Dr Riyaz Punjabi, rued that while hue and cry was being raised on irrelevant issues in the state, but unfortunately protection of heritage was not being paid any attention. Lauding Government’s efforts in this direction, he said there was need to create public awareness to protect cultural and historical aspects of the state’s heritage. He gave a clarion call to the younger generation to respond and come forward to protect heritage.

The grand finale came in the form of a rich cultural show showcasing various aspects of Kashmiri and Ladakhi culture. The Kashmiri cultural programme “Mouj Kashmir” and Ladakhi mask brought the curtains down on the festival. Earlier, Dogri play ‘Baba Jito’ presented by Natrang and directed by Balwant Thakur was also enacted.

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