Bengaluru, Nov 10: Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar said that the Art of Living has taken a baby step to bring peace in the trouble-torn Kashmir valley and he was open to meeting Hurriyat leaders in the coming days.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event Paigam-e-Mohabbat (Message of Love) to bring together the families of martyrs and the former militants who gave up arms to lead a normal life. "As mediators we would wish to meet Hurriyat leaders too.
Presently, they are not part of this programme. We will certainly meet them. We are open to all. Our objectives are very clear. We want to bring peace and happiness. Along with it we want to see India as a strong nation. If anybody in any part of the country is suffering then it is a blot for the nation," said Ravishankar. He, however, said that he would not get carried away by the divergent views.
The Art of Living founder said the initiative has reached a stage and his organisation wants to take it forward. He said his volunteers have been working since 2001 to bring peace in Kashmir and thanked the reformed militants for reposing faith in his initiative.
The event saw a convergence of two different streams at Sri Sri Ravishankars Art of Living International Centre in Bengaluru.
o On the one side were the families of martyrs and on the other were the reformed militants from Kashmir valley, who gave up violence.
Dr Priya Sankalp and Neha Tripathi, both from Ranchi represented the families of those who lost their lives while protecting the sovereignty of the nation while Munir Choudhary and Farooq Ahmed Dar from Kashmir have given up guns.
For Neha, who lost her husband commandant Pramod Kumar in 2016, the event was unexpected. "I never thought that I will be meeting those who were responsible for killing my husband. But once I met them, all my anger gradually subsided. I wont say that my anger would completely evaporate unless there is a realisation among the Kashmiris that they are integral part of India."
Dar said he took up arms in 1990 when his family was violated. By 1996, he gave up violence. He said the government should look why there is violence for the past 70 years.
"Everybody says Kashmir is a problem but no one speaks about solution. Kashmir has a legacy of Rishis and spiritual seers. We are hopeful that the initiative of Sri Sri Guruji would be successful," said Dar.
Choudhary had a grouse that the government speaks only to the mainstream people and not the common man of Kashmir about what they want.
Representatives from over 200 affected families,including 60 women, travelled all the way from remote places in Kashmir to attend the program, according The Art of Living.