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Nanak Nagar abides by Guru Nanak


Satwant Singh Rissam

This time region from the state of J&K was in news all over for very wrong reasons. It all started few days back in a Shiv temple of Roopnagar area of Jammu as a Muslim youth desecrated temple with certain acts which are always unacceptable to humanity. As soon as this news spread people came on roads in Roopnagar and Janipur areas. The chants of BHAM-BHAM BOLE were in air once again. Many political parties and their cadre too came on roads. Local people started causing damage to public property but gladly no life was lost. The result of it was that Jammu was set on social fire as hatred suddenly grew against Muslim community. Shiver went to people of Jammu as they thought that it may now take a shape of agitation which has happened in Jammu in 2008. It took several hours to settle the heat over this issue as administration as well as civil society came in eye to eye over this matter. Curfew was imposed and internet services were blocked as social media propagated the idea of negativity in very rapid speed during this time. Some social and political bodies condemned this happening and appealed government to punish the culprit who was arrested.

This was not all that was to happen in Jammu. Suddenly, again news came in next few hours that Roopnagar act has been repeated in Jammu. But this time it was a Sikh guy in Guru Nanak Nagar area who desecrated a Shiv temple. This second act raised many eyebrows and questions were raised as to how an act with many things common in between has happened in Jammu at such a short duration. I myself was a witness to post desecration activities which happened in Nanak Nagar. I witnessed many inspiring brotherhood & harmony scenes which may remain in my memory in life to come. There was hue and cry all over and markets got closed in few minutes. With every passing minutes number of people grew on road outside the local Shiv temple. However, all local residents from both communities gathered and stood in unity. The Sikh society immediately condemned the act and wanted that a man who has brought stigma to community should not be spared. It was a scene to witness as none from the Sikh community defended the act with any excuse. Instead they told Hindu community brethren that they won't leave the Shiv temple until they get the Sikh guy punished. It was because of the harmonious efforts of both communities that the culprit was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) within 4 hours.

The residents of Guru Nanak Nagar proved the teachings of Guru Nanak as they maintained communal harmony, peace and brotherhood. Many outsiders came there to aggravate prevailing things as they all even belonged to various social and political groups but the local people from Hindu community told them to leave as they can handle this matter on their own. Such was the stand of local Shiv temple committee that they even didn't let outsiders enter the Shiv temple initially, as they knew their real intentions. Police and administration got a sigh of relief as they noticed that the people are united and are doing what wasn't expected at all. The internal unity and strength of both communities and at such a sensitive situation in turn gave strength to the official machinery which was on its toes. This resulted in ending this tense wave within few hours and roads in the area once again turned peaceful. The next morning it was as normal as any other day but yes, temple since then is seeing many new guests which are coming to visit the temple which witnessed the testing times.

We won't be wrong if we believe, that it was first time in history of Jammu that religiously hurt people controlled their emotions. Moreover what prevailed over their emotions were their brains as they made a difference between fair play and foul play. It should be quoted as an example in the whole state and we should understand that we need not flow with the emotions instantly. The starting note of both situations in Roopnagar and Guru Nanak Nagar was quite similar but ending note was totally opposite. In Guru Nanak Nagar, issue settled down without much application of official machinery tools. Guru Nanak Nagar has become talk of town, as people from all walks of life are praising this area for this show of internal unity which our whole country lacks. As we all know that no religion preaches such acts, its only few who set things on fire and make all others burn in that fire. Let's hope that we all see some better days ahead and won't ever make our Jammu a place where any eye has something against other eye.

The author is a law scholar.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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