Since times immemorial, Baba Amarnath Yatra has been one of the most important pilgrimages (yatra) undertaken by the Hindus. The holy view of the ice-capped Baba instills in all Hindus a sense of spirituality. That is why the Hindus accept all the difficulties of the yatra as a ‘prasad’ from the Baba and also as a challenge. This yatra has been going on despite the attacks of the apostates. Foreign attackers have always understood that this yatra is not only religious in nature but also a symbol of national unity. That is why it has always been on their hit-list, but the resolve of the Hindus has always resulted in their failure.
Because of the intensity of the Muslim attacks in the 14th century, this yatra had to stop for a while. But, after that, it has never looked back. Even in modern times, the separatists have tried everything under the sun to put a stop to this yatra. They know that as long as the yatra continues, the Hindus will continue to come here and as long as the Hindus keep coming, Kashmir valley will remain an integral part of India. So, to stop the yatra, they first started threatening the pilgrims, later they attacked them. The pilgrims had to lay down their lives on so many occasions. But, neither the bombings nor the clatter of bullets could dampen the enthusiasm of the Hindus. Not only has the yatra continued to take place, the number of pilgrims undertaking the yatra too has kept swelling. In 2008, after an order of the judiciary, some land was allocated for the yatra on a temporary basis. The separatists launched a violent movement to counter this move. The erstwhile government succumbed to the separatists and the erstwhile governor ended up being a puppet in the hands of the terrorists. The Hindus of the country took this up as a challenge to the nation’s unity and made the government accede to its demands. This was independent India’s first movement in which the Hindu society compelled the government to accede to its demands for the sake of the nation’s unity.
Despite the potent display of Hindu unity, the secularists and the separatists continued with their conspiracy. Unfortunately, the governor is now playing into the hands of the separatists. Last year, the governor had reduced the number of days of the yatra by five. After a public outcry, he had assured that the yatra would again be restored to a two-month one. But, this year, he unilaterally decided to reduce the no. of days of the yatra by 15 without consulting anyone. Being the ex-officio head of the shrine board, he has been given the responsibility of organizing the yatra, not to make changes into the duration or format of the yatra. This part of the yatra’s decision will be taken by the sadhus and the saints. Starting from the full moon day of the Hindu calendar’s Jyeshta month, this yatra continues till the full moon day of the Shravan month. The Nitisen committee established by the Supreme Court had recommended that for the safe and well-arranged yatra, this yatra should be held for two months. But as soon as the yatra got going for the two-month duration, the separatists found it difficult to stomach. They are now protesting against it. Unfortunately, the governor has become a puppet in the hands of the separatists and is playing with the duration of the yatra arbitrarily. It must be mentioned here that this was the same governor who had succumbed to the separatists in the Amarnath land allotment case in 2008 and by carrying out the unconstitutional act of returning the land to the government challenged the unity of the nation. This year he has again reduced the duration of the yatra by 15 days and challenged the Hindus of the country. The yatra was earlier slated to be started on June 15, but has now been rescheduled by the Governor to June 29. The Hindus have taken up the challenge to start the yatra on June 15 itself. The insurance companies have assured that they will insure the pilgrims the way they have done in the past. The langars would arrange the food and the army will consider themselves to be fortunate to be of use to the pilgrims. Registrations of the yatra to begin on the June 15 have already started. The Parampujya Jagataguru Shankaracharya, Pujya Vasudevanand jee Maharaj has agreed to inaugurate the yatra. The level of enthusiasm is so high that K P S Gill, the man who ended terrorism in Punjab has agreed to start off the first day of the yatra by waving the flag. When the Hindu society is prepared, when the blessings of the Pujya Jagatguru is there and there is whole hearted support of people like K P S Gill, then can the separatists and their agents achieve their goals of disrupting the yatra? Never.
The conspiracies hatched by the governor are now in the open. The notorious, so-called Swami Agnivesh first called on the terrorists and then in the presence of the governor had the temerity to question the very essence of the yatra. He even abused the Baba. The Hindus will teach him the lesson but one thing is clear, he did all this only on the directions of the governor. Can such an anti-Hindu governor have the mandate to be the head of the shrine board? At times he talks about the environmental damage and sometimes about the security of the yatra. Has he ever given a thought to the damage that is caused to the environment when goats in their lakhs are beheaded on the occasion of the Muslim festival of bakrid? He fails to understand that the economy of Jammu and Kashmir is dependent on the yatra. By reducing the duration of the yatra, isn’t he destroying the means of livelihood of the people of Jammu and Kashmir? It is not that he only wants to reduce the duration of the yatra, it seems, he gradually wants to put an end to the yatra completely. It seems he wants to help the terrorists to accomplish their half-finished agenda. The Hindu society will not accept such an anti-Hindu, friend of the terrorists and his conspiracies. They will have to bend on their knees like they had to in 2008. The governor, his Excellency must review his decision in time or he will have to face the same backlash that he faced in 2008. If this happens, then the governor will be entirely responsible for it.