Terming clarification of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) over its controversial order on Shri Amarnathji pilgrimage on Kashmir Himalayas invasive on the religious affairs, National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Friday said commandments of any kind on the matters of faith were unacceptable.
“The directive about maintaining silence before the Holy Shivlingam in the Cave Sanctum- Sanctorum betrays logic as outpouring of religious hymns (Mantras) during the course of Darshan is natural manifestation of sentiments and therefore the mouths cannot be ordered to be shut or stitched,” Rana said in a statement, adding that a slew of measures have already been taken by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board in consonance with the spiritual and emotional aspects of the pilgrimage besides keeping in view the sentiments and emotions of devotees. He hoped that these issues would be left to the sane counselling of religious and spiritual scholars under the aegis of the Board.
Rana said the NGT directives would create uncalled for restrictions during the course of pilgrimage and give rise to avoidable apprehensions.
“The prudence demands that religious matters be left to the duly accredited bodies entrusted with the management of shrines and pilgrimages”, he added.
Expressing concern over continuous interference of NGT in religious matters, the Provincial President referred to its earlier order of limiting the number of pilgrims to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine on Trikuta Hills in Jammu, saying this amounts to infringement of the rights of lakhs of devotees thronging from the world over to pay obeisance 24X7 365. “Apart from being seen as unwarranted commandments, the NGT directive will jeopardy the economy of Jammu region with sharp fall in the pilgrimage that has sustained the livelihood of thousands of people, especially during the disturbed conditions when tourism to Kashmir witnessed nose-dive”, Rana said, adding that the people of the region would hugely lose their source of sustenance.
Rana made a passionate appeal to Governor N. N Vohra, who is also Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board and Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to take up the matter with the National Green Tribunal and take all necessary measures for insulating the most revered pilgrimages from outside interference. This is necessary for respecting the religious sentiments of the people of a particular faith, he maintained.