Preserving cultural heritage
It is heartening to note that the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has acknowledged the fact that Jammu and Kashmir possesses an unparalleled wealth of cultural heritage and has admitted that the same wealth remains mostly unexplored and thus stressed that it needs to be showcased to the world. It goes without saying that the Union Territory is the land of Sufis and Saints but unfortunately no attention has ever been given towards the richness of cultural heritage. The heritage and culture are the identity of the people and those who don’t work towards preserving the same are undoubtedly doing disservice to their own existence. Be it the shrine of Nund Reshi or Kher Bhavani at Tulmul; be it Makhdoon Sahib Ziyarat or Shankaracharya temple – these are the sacred places that give Kashmir a distinct identity. There are abodes of great Reshis and Munnis spread all over and the need is to preserve these places, maintain and introduce such places to the outer world. The heritage tourism could not only give a boost to the economy of this place but will also introduce the richness of the culture to outer world.
Unfortunately the cultural heritage has got least attention by the respective governments here. However, now that the Lt Governor has shown keenness to develop heritage sites at the birthplaces of great Saints in order to make their life-history more accessible to the young generation, one may hope that gates to this priceless treasure are thrown open so that all get benefited. While laying special focus on promotion and development of shrines, monuments, and heritage sites to attract more tourist inflow to the UT, the Lt Governor has asked the concerned departments to integrate tourism and cultural promotion plans, besides holding traditional and cultural events in the backdrop of the historic significance of these important places so that the visiting tourists, as well as the locals, can get the first-hand experience of the rich cultural heritage of J&K. Kashmir is already a favourite tourist destination both in Summers as well as in Winters. The addition of heritage tourism will add to the footfall of tourists and would undoubtedly help the economy of the region grow. Besides, promoting such places will help the younger generation to get introduced to their rich history and culture and thus be a great moral booster for them. If the younger generation is not efficiently introduced to the cultural heritage of theirs and their place, they will grow up in a vacuum. Kashmir is very rich in literature, art and culture and this richness needs to be introduced not only to the outer world but the local younger generation too so that it remains strongly rooted to its glorious history and thus grows up as a proud generation.