The Religious Temperament
June 26, 2012 @ 17:00 pm
Facing the 'morning paper' is a habit that will, in its own gentle way, end for the modern age is known to elope with many of the customs of the past. And who knows? Grammar would allow this habit to be remembered as an idiom. But religion is th
The chief minister of Kashmir was mirroring similar thought when he gave he says “The burning down of the shrine is a tragedy that will take time to sink in”, on the issue of the burning Sufi shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Geelani.
The shrine can be landmarked at Srinagar’s Khanyar locality; built in memory of Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani, the 11th century Persian Islamic preacher whose tomb was erected in Baghdad, Iraq. A fire broke out, on Monday, leaving behind only ancient relics and handwritten copies of the holy Quran for they had been kept in a fireproof larder. Though as of now the state government has launched a safety audit system for all heritage shrines and further ordered the commissioner of the concerned division to prepare a fact file of the occurring. Although such meandering is only a harness for the public outcry but the protest itself in many ways is and is not justified.
Gandhi coloured our thoughts with ideas of non-violence that could not persist beyond the day of Independence but it did fight the British. Then again the mutiny of 1857 was a direct result of hurt religious sentiments but after that year the British only befriended the idea of religion, using it as a means of their “divide and rule” policy. In Kashmir a sample of similar events have taken place but take a careful look at the details, the people began protesting only because of the failure of the authorities to cope with the situation. Media reports have quoted witnesses who assert that most of the fire tenders came waterless and no safety arrangement was in place. Just a few days ago news came of the Mantralay catching fire and then this, so surely it seems the fire department takes a backseat during the monsoons.
The angry crowds stepped up their protest by attacking a visiting senior police officer, pushing around other officials. A member of the National Conference leader, Ali Muhammad Sagar and another senior minister’s convoy was stoned. But if you’re contemplating whether the entire event was a planned separatist initiative you would be relieved of your notion because Syed Shabir Ahmed, the prominent separatist leader, did not escape the wrath of the people of Kashmir. “The effort of some to create trouble from this (incident) is, however, reprehensible”, says the Chief Minister.
Looking beyond all this, we feel that there could have been a few quotes of those who did not take part in this chorus of disapproval and opine on whether it was necessary. If not the fact remains that we would be transported to another day simply believing that the flames, however, in the Sufi shrine ended up igniting Srinagar.
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