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Sagar cautions govt against ‘policing’ people's religious beliefs at Muslim shrines

Post by on Sunday, August 21, 2022

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Srinagar, Aug 20: National Conference (NC) on Saturday denounced the government's decision to ban public donations at public shrines, saying it amounts to undue interference in religious, traditional practices of people.
The Party general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said this while addressing a press conference here at the party headquarters Nawa-e-Subha.
Lamenting the move to unseat traditional caretakers and banning them from taking public donations, Sagar said, “It is not for the government to decide the state of affairs in the shrines. Government must, albeit with great care and sensitivity, tread on this path to ensure people's beliefs aren't abridged,” he said.
"These shrines have been the focal points of our shared social cultural milieu, hence the government should have been very careful towards it. The Mujawirs, Caretakers, Gadidars, Mansabdars have been associated with the shrines since ages. The custom is deeply etched in local cultural ethos fashioned by the sufi teachings. It is highly reprehensible that the government is targeting the entire community with the same brush. Nobody denies the presence of black sheep in this field but there are ample laws to deal with such people. There was no need for this undue and harsh measure, which besides hurting the religious sentiments of people has also shown our shrines in bad light. We condemn it unreservedly and demand immediate roll back of the decisions,” he added.
PDP’s Laigaroo condemns ban on donations
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader ArifLaigaroo Saturday condemned the decision of the Waqf Board to ban the tradition of donations at Muslim Khanqahs across Kashmir.
In a statement, Laigaroo said due to the presence of Khanqahs, Kashmir is called ‘PirVar’ (Land of Sages) and for centuries, people are offering donations at will without being forced. This is called belief and faith and one has no right to dictate the terms.
He said that everywhere people offer donations. He said Hindus offer donations in temples and Sikhs in Gurudwaras and then why only Muslims are being targeted and a different narrative is being propagated to tarnish the image of respectable citizens.
PDP leader said that there is nothing like ‘forced donations’ happening at the Khanqahs as the order claims. Everyone who comes to these Khanqahs donates either in cash or kind out of their own free will, he said.

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