Pandits essential part of Kashmir’s unique civilization, culture: Dr Jitendra

Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh along with other dignitaries releasing Vijeshwar Jayantri For year 2024 -2025 at Jammu on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh along with other dignitaries releasing Vijeshwar Jayantri For year 2024 -2025 at Jammu on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

‘Community played great role in various fields’

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 1 : Maintaining that Kashmiri Pandit community has contributed immensely to the enrichment of academics, literature and art beyond the shores of Jammu & Kashmir and even before independence, Union Minister in PMO with Independent charge of Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh today urged the community not only to keep their traditions and ethos intact but also transfer them to younger generations.

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Dr Jitendra Singh, while speaking after releasing the Vijeshwar Jantrie (Almanac) for Saptarishi Samvat 5100 corresponding to the year 2024-25 at a solemn function here, said the then Princely States across the country, as far as the Princely States of Central India, engaged Kashmiri Pandit scholars in education and administration. Their role and contribution before and after independence in varied fields can’t be ignored, he added.
Suman a digital web was also launched by the Union Minister along with other dignitaries on the occasion.
The Union Minister said that the Kashmir Valley is incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits, who have been,  for centuries, an essential  part of the  unique civilisation, culture and tradition that Kashmir is known for all over the world.
Dr Jitendra Singh said after independence, the Kashmiri Pandit community contributed immensely in civil services, academics and in the setting up of several important institutions of learning across the country. It is unfortunate, he said, that they had been displaced from their homes and hearths under most inhumane circumstances but time has now come to involve them and facilitate their contribution in nation building as India marches ahead to achieve the goal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Viksit Bharat”.
The function was organized by Dr. Manmohan Jyotshi Research Foundation (a socio-religious and cultural organization) to mark the 242nd anniversary of the publication of Jantrie.
In his welcome address, Pt. Puneet Jyotshi delved deep into the services rendered meticulously by this Almanac for more than two decades. He emphasised the need to take full advantage of the Vijayeshwer Publications.
Dr Jitendra Singh, described it as a sacred religious document not only meant for Kashmiri Pandits but also the whole of Hindu community and indeed, the whole of society regardless of caste or creed. He further lauded the role of ‘Jantrie’ and even remarked that those who are steadfast in faith also take refuge in Almanac before embarking upon any venture.  Dr. Singh also highlighted contribution of the Vijayeshwer family.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Kashmiri Pandits can play a pivotal role along with the other communities of the UT in fulfilling the PM’s vision of developed India.
He said in the next 25 years of Amritkaal, the Himalyan states including Jammu and Kashmir and coastal areas can play a great role in development of the country as they have huge natural resources. He said Purple revolution in J&K will boost the economy of the UT and will open doors for employment generation of the youth.
A galaxy of prominent persons graced the occasion include Prof. Ashok Aima (former Vice Chancellor, Central University of Jammu), Swami Kumar Ji, Dr Sushil Wattal (Religious Scholars), Kiran Wattal (convenor, Vishva Kashmiri Samaj), and Pintoo Ji Pandita (Chairman, Global Solace).
Prof. Ashok Aima complimented Dr Jitendra Singh for starting North India’s first ISRO Space Teaching Centre in Central University Jammu.
Ramesh Maratha (All India Radio Broadcaster) was conferred with Jyotish Kashi Nath Lifetime Achievement Award by the Foundation for his contribution to Radio who despite being tortured by militants in captivity for several days after kidnapping and who had suffered bullet injuries in Valley in nineties did not yield and continued his service for the national cause.
Other awardees in their respective areas were Kuldeep Langoo, Prof. Virender Rawal, Avtar Bhat, Sanjay Dhar, Kanwal Peshin, Opinder Handoo, president, Brahman Maha Mandal, Rajni Sethi, Ghulam Nabi Tantray, Principal Doon Public School, Sanjay Raina, Sanjay Tickoo, president Vijeshwar Prabandhak Committee, Dr Roshan Lal Saraf, Sanjay Tickoo, Varad Sharma, Kamal Ganjoo, Kusum Tickoo, Rinku Koul, M.K Sharma, Chand Ji Razdan, Pankaj Handoo, Kuldeep Jyotshi, Badri Nath Jyotshi, and Pintoo Ji.
Kusum Tickoo moderated the event and kept the audience engaged.
Vote of thanks was given by P.L Hatash Sahitya Akademi awardee.
Earlier Kiran Wattal, convener Vishva Kashmiri Samaj highlighted the contribution of Dr Jitenra Singh and said he stood with the community during mass exodus days and highlighted their plight through his write ups.
He stressed that the younger generation should share the responsibility and take the legacy forward.
On the occasion homage was paid to Jyotshi Kant Sharma for his contribution to Vijeshwar Jayantri for 75 long years.