Srinagar, Oct 22 : Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha Thursday said that October 22 will always remain a black day, however, at the same time it is also a moment of history for us to make both the elderly and the younger generation aware that Pakistan did not only shed the blood of the people and Kashmiriyat, it tried to divide us, which we have failed with our unity and goodwill.
Sinha made these remarks during his inaugural address of the National Symposium and Exhibition on “Memories of 22 October 1947” at SKICC, Srinagar.
During his address, the Lt Governor observed that the two-day Symposium and Exhibition is a medium to expose the atrocities inflicted by the Pakistani government and its army upon innocent women, children, and men of Jammu & Kashmir on October 22, 1947.
The day reminds us of all the atrocities meted out by Pakistan and its army on innocent civilians including young kids and women. Even after 73 years, the pain and terrors of Operation Gulmarg of Pakistan are fresh in our memories, he added.
The two-day event being held on 22nd and 23rd October is organized by the National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology at SKICC, Srinagar. A publication on “Memories of 22 October 1947” was also launched on the occasion.
Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Sh. Prahlad Singh Patel graced the occasion through virtual mode.
The Lt Governor thanked the Union MoS for Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel, and Raghvendra Singh of the National Museum for placing the truth of the black day of October 22, not just before the people of J&K, but the entire country and the whole world by organizing two-day National Symposium and Exhibition on “Memories of 22 October 1947”.
Terming terrorism as a collective enemy of humanity, the Lt Governor said that the entire world knows about the actual perpetrators of terrorism and it is high time we joined to defeat their evil designs by spreading communal harmony and love for humanity.
We have decided to educate our new generations how this land, that preaches universal brotherhood, was trampled by Pakistan, its army, and its government on October 22, 1947. It was their mission to plant the seeds of communal hatred among the peace-loving people. Pakistan has been blatantly claiming that the raids were made by tribal Pashtuns, while the truth is that it was Pakistan Army dressed as tribals. It is necessary to break the misconceptions that have been spread over the years. It is necessary to unmask Pakistan and its Sympathizers, he added.
On this day, we remember Mahavir Chakra Awardee Brigadier Rajinder Singh and his troops, who, despite being heavily outnumbered, defended our borders, and laid down their lives while successfully keeping the enemy at bay.
It is documented that the Pakistani army and its proxies crossed Garhi Habibullah and attacked Muzaffarabad, and just as they ruthlessly killed civilians, they also murdered some of our soldiers. The ruthless Pakistan army killed Hindus and Sikhs and forcibly sold their young women in Rawalpindi and Peshawar. Even Sister Maria, a nun at a Baramulla Church was killed. Maqbool Sherwani, a Kashmiri who resisted them, was also shot down mercilessly by the Pakistani marauders, he added.
Calling upon the people, the Lt Governor observed that both, the young and the old, need to know about these dark hours of our history and how Pakistan has tried to create a divide between our nation as well as our communal harmony and unity.
Speaking on the representations received from more than 100 prominent persons across J&K regarding protection and restoration of places with heritage significance like Mubarak Mandi, Jammu, and Shergarhi, Srinagar, the Lt Governor reiterated the government’s commitment towards conservation and protection of rich culture and heritage of J&K.
The Lt Governor said that the issue has been taken up with the concerned authorities and after discussions with Chief Secretary of J&K and Secretary, Ministry of Culture; protection and restoration of Shergarhi, Srinagar, and Mubarak Mandi, Jammu has been assured.
Speaking on the occasion, Baseer Ahmad Khan, Advisor to the Lt Governor threw light on the genocide, loot and plunder inflicted by militia backed by Pakistan army and administration. He also spoke on how groups of Kashmiri people courageously faced and pushed back Pakistan militia.
Raghvendra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, CEO, DMCS; DG, National Museum and VC, National Museum Institute, delivered the welcome address. Prof. (Dr.) Manvi Seth, Dean, National Museum Institute presented the Vote of Thanks.
BVR Subrahmanyan Chief Secretary; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, and Information Department; Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to the Government, Youth Services and Sports, Tourism and Culture Departments ; Munir Ul Islam, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL) and other senior officers, besides large number of people were present on the occasion.
The National symposium was attended by prominent scholars and experts on the subject. The speakers on the occasion were – Prof. Raghuvendra Tanwar, Lt. General Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd), Dr. Mukulita Vijaywargiya, Maroof Raza, Ajay Jugran, Lt General Gurmeet Singh (Retd), Prof. Kapil Kumar, Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Iqbal Chand Malhotra, Ashutosh, Major General S. V. Thapliyal (Retd), AVM Arjun Subramaniam (Retd), Dr Ramesh Tamiri, Maj. General Devesh Agnihotri(Retd), Prof. Deepankar Sengupta, Sushant Sareen, Lt General PJS Pannu.
The Exhibition on the ‘Memories of 22 Oct 1947’ was also inaugurated comprising of graphic panels and videos showcasing a chronology of events as well as prominent narratives of the invasion on 22 Oct 1947 and the subsequent unfolding of actions.
The exhibition panels depicted – The Treaty of Lahore, The Treaty of Amritsar, The Popular Will of 1947, Economic Blockade of Kashmir, 1947- Towards Accession, The Invaders Backed by Pakistan, Pakistani Militia Leaders, Plunder in Muzaffarabad, Baramulla, The Church Attack, Maqbool Sherwani, the Hero of Baramulla, Instrument of Accession, Key Dates, The Gilgit Game, People’s Militia.