NEW DELHI, Apr 29 : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh released here today “Sharda Peeth” Pictorial Book-cum-Calendar prepared by “Save Sharda Committee Kashmir” headed by Ravinder Pandita and comprising several prominent members of the Kashmiri Pandit community.
Pertinent to mention that Sharda Peeth or the Sharda temple in Pak occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK) is considered to be an ancient seat of learning for Hindus in whole of Asia. The dialect of Sharda, often referred to as Sharda Lipi, is said to have been the fundamental dialect of Brahman scholars for a long time before the Devnagri Hindi script took over. Historic references indicate that near the shrine, there used to be a Buddhist University which was established by Emperor Ashoka. The Sharda Shrine is about 207 kms north of Muzaffarabad and is linked by a motorable road.
Before independence, the annual Yatra to Sharda temple was conducted regularly every year and this tradition had been going on for centuries together. The Yatra , as per the religious faith, used to start during the month of August, precisely on 4th Bhadon as per the Hindu calender and would culminate on 8th Bhadon after the devotees take a dig in the Sharda Kund on the banks of river Madhumati.
“Save Sharda Committee Kashmir”, led by Ravinder Pandita and others, has been, for quite some time, carrying on a campaign for resumption of the Yatra which got suddenly interrupted and stopped following the partition in 1947.
Speaking to media persons after releasing the “Sharda Peeth” Pictorial Book-cum-Calendar, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Sharda Peeth shrine is a holy pilgrim spot, held in deep reverence by all sections of society. He said, there is, on-principal, unanimity about the view that the Yatra deserves to be resumed in reverence to the faith of millions of devotees.
Dr Jitendra Singh also disclosed that the issue of resumption of Yatra has been taken by the NDA Government at different levels but there are several aspects involved, since it is linked to multiple Ministries and agencies. However, he hoped that it would be possible to find a suitable way out.
Briefing the media about the campaign by “Save Sharda Committee”, Ravinder Pandita appreciated Dr Jitendra Singh for his constant support and patronage to the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community, right from the beginning. He said, the members of “Save Sharda Committee Kashmir” are in constant touch with the local citizens of Muzaffarabad and are encouraged by the fact that the Muslim scholars and writers in Muzaffarabad have offered their support to Kashmiri Hindus’ demand for resumption of Sharda Peeth Yatra.