A loud bowing request to our deaf authorities,
Shrine rested in ashes once again! Why just can't we actually wake up with eyes open? How many more years will it take us to realise the beauty and heritage we are blessed with?? We lost old historic and revered sufi shrine of Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani, 'Gosul Azam', (Dastageer Sahab).
On 'Monday Morning' like me many of us must have 'woke up' to this heart aching news. But god knows how many more 'Mournings' are needed for awakening of our souls, especially our government and administration that have been sleeping since ages. After Hazratbal, Charari sharief and Baba-Reshi gutted in fire in last two decades, can't understand why the administration and authorities failed to provide protection to our heritage shrines.
The devastating damage to such a 300 year old serene beautiful shrine feels more personal, the loss is irreparable as the shrine homed into millions of hearts. The antique architecture, old timber, the wood carvings and the serenity is lost. No doubt the government will spend crores and manage to build a new magnificent one but the old wood was sacred itself.
My appeal is to the Waqf Board , who is supposed to take care of these shrines: Please wake up and take some sensible serious action and preserve the remaining ones. Trust me guys we have already lost a lot during turmoil, and in shadow of these shrines one could actually mediate, pray and feel some peace. I doubt will we be able to tell to our future generations about our old existing heritage, I really doubt! I just pray that the rest remain safe, otherwise 'shrines' too will become a fairy tale.
Our appeal is to Omar Abdullah, who heads the Waqf board, will he be able to explain, why hasn’t he hired any electricians and planted extinguishers inside the shrines. In India and rest of the world every shrine, temple, church has a proper management system. Accidents do happen, but one after other hints to our sheer carelessness....Please Wake up, it’s a high time now!!
Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) should also look into the matter and do some speedy meetings in action in order to protect other living heritages. Friends, if Himalayas, Chinars gives the bountiful physical beauty to Valley, Jhelum; the flowing one and these old centuries old shrines make Kashmir full of undying soulful serenity.
Our Requests to the authorities:
1. Conserve the remaining and living old shrines of Kashmir.
2. Start deploying protection teams.
3. Plant as many as fire extinguishers inside the mosques and dargah (Shrines).
4. Make a working committee to look after the wear and tear at proper times.
5. Investigate the real cause of the fire, just dig out the facts and try to fix the problems.
6. Proper security should be deployed, (now security doesn't mean armed forces, a proper trained gaurd or as we have bouncers in the clubs will serve the purpose).
7. To devotees: Maintain peace, pray, kneel, wail, do everything, what ever you want, but please no stone pelting again, rather observe a peaceful protests, abide by the Sufi teachings.
8. Start the new construction as soon as possible, and yes make it less ornate, (avoid the use of marble and cement ), it it be wood once again … young wood !!
Guys sign the petition, share it .... its the high time now ... devote your precious few seconds and make it wide and visible in front of the authorities. Its our virtual effort to preserve old shrines in Kashmir (living heritage)
--Tabeenah Anjum Qureshi
( Research scholar)