It is not possible to write a history of Indian philosophy without referring to Kashmir’s contributions. “One of the oldest manuscripts of the Rigveda was written in Kashmir. This is the most conducive region for the philosophies to prosper”…..[Also] Kashmir is the meeting point of various cultures. “[Poetess and mystic] Lal Ded showed the way to bring together various spiritual traditions. In the works of Lalleshwari, you can see how Kashmir provides the template of communal harmony and peaceful coexistence”.
These beautiful reflections on the Rishi-Sufi culture and syncretic legacy of Kashmir were expressed by President Ram Nath Kovind at the 19th annual convocation of University of Kashmir in Srinagar on Tuesday. He averred that Kashmir had turned a new leaf and emphasized that democracy had the capacity to reconcile all differences and bring out the best of the citizens’ potential. “Kashmir is happily realizing this vision,” he noted.
“As Kashmir has turned a new leaf, exciting new possibilities are opening up. The whole of India is watching you with admiration and pride. Kashmiri youth are scaling new heights in a variety of sectors, from civil service exams to sports and entrepreneurial ventures,” he said.
Most significantly, President Kovind urged the younger Kashmiri generation to learn from the valley’s rich historic legacy. He reiterated:
“Kashmir has always been a beacon of hope for the rest of India. Violence was never part of ‘Kashmiriyat’. It is alien to Kashmiri culture and an aberration, that too a temporary one like a virus that attacks the body and needs to be purged”
Recalling the Kashmir valley as ‘Rishi Vaer’ (the land of saints), President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his delight to be among students in this land of great historical and cultural significance. “Kashmir has always attracted spiritual seekers from far and wide. It’s not only a reservoir of wisdom but also endowed with unparalleled natural beauty,” he remarkably stated.
“I take this opportunity to urge upon the younger generation of Kashmir to learn from their rich legacy. They have every reason to know that Kashmir has always been a beacon of hope for the rest of India. Its spiritual and cultural influence has imprint all across India,” the President concluded.