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‘Navreh Milan’: Kashmir Pandits invite Muslim clerics; RSS chief to virtually address migrants in Jammu

Srinagar: From meeting Muslim clerics to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s address to migrant Kashmiri pandits, the ‘Navreh’ festival will see contrasting functions in Jammu and Kashmir.

As part of efforts to pave the way for their return to the Valley, a group of KPs are holding pooja at Hari Paribat during Navreh celebrations. They will also be hosting ‘Navreh Milan’ at another temple in old Srinagar city where they have invited Muslim clerics and civil society members to ‘build bonds’.

In stark contrast, another three-day-long event in Jammu will conclude with the online address by Bhagwat to a section of KPs. 

Organized by the Sanjeevani Sharda Kendra (SSK), an affiliate of RSS, the event will include uploading selfies on social media while taking ‘pledge as per the Sankalp Patra’.

Reconciliation, Return & Rehabilitation of Migrants chairman Satish Mahaldar said they will be holding pooja at the Mata Chakreshwari temple, Hari Parbat that will be followed by ‘Navreh Milan’ at Sheetal Nath temple, Kral Khud in the old city on April 13.

“We are celebrating the day as ‘Partnership for Peace – Dignity for All’. We want to build bonds and that is why we have invited all to “Navreh Milan’. We have invited Muslim clerics, trade bodies, and civil society members so that we jointly pave the way for our return and rehabilitation,” Reconciliation, Return & Rehabilitation of Migrants chairman, Satish Mahaldar told The Kashmir Monitor.

Presently based in New Delhi, Mahaldar had led a delegation of Pandits to the Valley twice in 2019 and announced that 419 migrants were willing to return to Kashmir. Before the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, the Hurriyat and Pandits had also formed a joint committee that was supposed to talk to a cross-section of people in the Valley to decide on the ways and means for their return and rehabilitation.

On the other hand, the SSK event will have an essay writing competition on the life and works of 15th-century physician Shreya Bhat on April 12. As per his followers, Bhat had saved the then King Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin from a fatal disease and then sought the return of Brahmans ‘banished’ from Kashmir valley. The next day on April 13, there will be uploading of selfies on social media while taking ‘pledge as per the Sankalp Patra’ to bring together KPs across the globe.

Bhagwat will address the community virtually on April 14 amid hopes that the RSS would play a role in the return of KPs.

“I welcome the decision of Mohan Bhagwat to address Kashmiri Pandits on Navreh. The time has come for the central government and UT government in J&K to take joint steps for our return and rehabilitation. Mohan Bhagwat has a great role to play in this regard and we have no doubts that he will use his influence so that the centre takes steps to pave the way for our return,” said All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS) president Col. (Rtd) Tej Tickoo in a Facebook message.