Callosity and Insularity
For Hundreds of thousands of devotees all over Kashmir valley, it was a distressing and shocking day. It was another example of callosity of the government and the Jammu and Kashmir Waqaf Board towards historical places of worship when a shrine dedicated to one of the most revered eleventh century Muslim saints Shaikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani (RA) at Khanyar, Srinagar was destroyed in devastating fire during daytime. The shrine of Ghaus-e-Azam Dastgir Sahib, as popularly known for about three centuries has been a place of pilgrimage for people of all faiths. It was constructed by Syed Ghulam Shah Azad in 1182 H 1768 AD, a well know Qadiriyya Sufi saint of his times who passed away in 1202 H, 1788 AD. He was a Kashmiri born saint who according to Hassan went to Peshwar during childhood and returned to Kashmir during the governorship of Afrasiyab Khan. About ten thousand people attended his funeral. He and couple of other saints are buried inside the shrine. In 1294 H (1877 AD), the shrine was renovated by a noble Khawaja Sanullah Shawal. It was not only an exemplary piece of architecture and artisanship but also an important landmark and symbol of Kashmir heritage.
The raging flames consuming this place of pilgrimages and reducing it to ashes within an hour is yet another example of failure of the state government and the Jammu and Kashmir Waqaf Board in protecting monumental and historical religious place. Neither the government nor the Waqaf Board has learnt any lessons from the destruction of Shrine of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din (RA) at Char-I-Sharif, Tral and Makdoom Sahib. No historical religious places including Jamia Masjid, Khanqah of Mir Syed Ali Hamadani, Shrine of Hazrat Sultan and scores of other historical religious places under the supervision of the Waqaf Board have been fitted with automatic fire alarm systems. No fire fighting systems are in place in any of the shrines and historical mosques in the state. Except at a few places, no fire stations are nearer to important religious places and hydrants that were used by fire fighters have been removed from most of the places.
An independent investigation should be conducted in the fire at the shrine and while calling for preventing people from lightning incense sticks and candles inside the shrines, government and the Waqaf Board should immediately ensure installation of fire alarms and other equipment in historical religious places.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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