So? How is conducting Ram Leela in Katra unique?


When BJP created history in 2014 by forming the government in Jammu and Kashmir, even though as a minor partner, many were skeptical of the possible results. However,  3 years later, it looks as if forming a government with PDP was a good step, because even though Mehbooba Mufti is the CM, the real power lies in the hands of BJP, and they’re using their powers effectively and tactically.

If you think this is a joke, let me clear your doubts. This year’s Ashwin Navratram [the Navaratra observed in the Shukla paksha [fortnight] of Ashwin Mass, according to the Vikram Samvat calendar of 2074] is quite unique, especially in the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, who resides in the holy abode of Trikuta Hills, in Katra, some 45 kilometers away from Jammu Tawi, the winter capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Why so? Because this time, a mega Navaratra festival  is being conducted for a period of nine days, as announced of late by the Minister of Tourism for the state, Priya Sethi, at the Sidhra Golf Course in Jammu & Kashmir. This festival includes various religious, cultural, folk and sporting events across the town of Katra, of which the prime attraction would be the ever popular Ram Leela.

This Ram Leela is going to be conducted at this holy shrine after more than two decades, i.e. after approximately 20-25 years. Yes, the once famous Ram Leela is making a comeback at the holy shrine after more than two decades, approximately the same when the state was captured by the muck and grime of anarchy, insurgency and Salafi Islamism.

was the year when India’s image plummeted to the nadir, both internally and externally. Innocent folks like Sarbjit Singh were captured and tortured for more than two decades, millions of Kashmiri Sanatanis and Sikhs were murdered, abducted, raped and robbed, and millions of them had to leave their homes in the Kashmir Valley. Apart from this, the economy was nosediving, all thanks to the fallacious ideals of Gandhian and Nehruvian socialism, and caste discrimination was at its zenith, especially with the introduction of Mandal Commission, which proposed to raise the bar of reservation to almost 51%. The only bright spot was the largest evacuation of Indian citizens from the nation of Kuwait, which was conducted jointly by Air India, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs, later filmed in a memorable classic, ‘Airlift’, starring Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Kumud Mishra, Purab Kohli among others.

Cut to 2017 : the menace of Islamic terrorism, which was once a living horror for the denizens of the state, is now pushed towards the wall. In desperation, they’re resorting to all sorts of barbarism, not even hesitating to killing people of their own backyard, like DSP Muhammad Ayub Pandit suffered, even though he was the security incharge of separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Young officers like Lieutenant Umar Fayyaz were abducted and brutally tortured before being murdered. Even the pilgrims of the Amarnath Yatra weren’t spared. But thanks to Indian Army, and the resurgent paramilitary forces, they have no place to hide. Their top brass is being snuffed out and exterminated at will, the masterminds of the brutal murders are being brought to justice, and every cross border attack in support of the terrorists is being successfully repulsed by the Indian armed forces, led primarily by the brave soldiers of the Indian Army.

Now that terrorism is being crushed by our brave men in the uniform, the cultural punarnirman [resurgence] of Jammu & Kashmir is on the rise now. It is quite strange to see a politician, known for her earlier soft leanings towards the Islamic separatists and terrorists. But during the annual Kheer Bhavani festival, it was the CM Mehbooba Mufti who surprised one and all by paying obeisance to the deity, also pouring water on the holy Shivalingam. Even if it was a political gimmick, the change has come. The sentiments of the majority can’t be taken for granted now, and now that even the regions of Jammu & Leh Ladakh are increasing their significance in the narrative of the state, the Ram Leela at Vaishno Devi becomes all the more important.

Are there any political repercussions as well? No doubt about that. Even though PM Modi is no God, some of his followers consider him to be, and expect him to deliver almost always without a glitch. If he falters, even once, they take no time in denouncing him and his ideologies, forgetting all the reforms and the noble initiatives the Honb. PM has taken up in the interest of every Bharatiya [INDIAN]. With the festival of Ram Leela returning after a long gap to a shrine as devout and serene as Mata Vaishno Devi, such keyboard warriors will be left with no ammunition to waste. After all, how will the bomb explode if the detonator is already detached and defused?

With such a resurgence, that too in the holy period of Navaratri, I now doubt if Indian government or the armed forces will fail to liberate Kashmir of Islamic terrorism before 2019. If this is the change they wish to bring, nothing, I repeat, nothing can stop Modi sarkaar from restoring the essence of Bharatiyata [Indianess] in the holy land of Jammu & Kashmir.