Srinagar, 19 August: National Conference (NC) on Friday denounced the government's decision of banning tradition of donations at Muslim shrines across Kashmir, calling it an undue interference in the religious, traditional practices of people.
Lamenting the move, the state spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar Friday said that the justification provided by the government to ban donations sans logic. “There is nothing like ‘forced donations’ happening at the shrines as the order claims. Everyone who comes to these shrines donate either in cash or kind out of their own free will. The move to ban this age old practice is not only prejudiced towards the spiritual and religious practices of people but puts a big question mark on the real intentions of the government,” he said adding, “It tars every caretaker at our revered shrines with the same brush and shows our Sufi syncretic traditions in bad light. The government should apologise to people for denigrating their spiritual beliefs.”
Altaf Bukhari expresses concern, calls decision ‘hasty’
Apni Party (AP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Friday expressed his concern over Waqf Board’s decision to remove the caretakers (Muttawalis) and impose a ban on donation collection in J&K shrines. He termed the Waqf Board’s decision as “an initiative taken in haste.”
In a statement, Altaf Bukhari said, “I am surprised over the Waqf Board’s decision to impose a ban on the traditional system of donation collections at the shrines and put an end to the institution of Sajjada Nashin in these revered places.”
“Apparently, the board has taken such a big decision without having consultations and deliberations with the stakeholders.” he added.
Apni Party President urged the Waqf Board to hold its decision to pave a way for extensive consultation on it. He said, “No one must have any objection if reforms are needed. But, given the religious and cultural sensitivity of the issue, initiatives must be taken after deliberations and consultations with the concerned stakeholders.”