Mahant Deepinder Giri

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depandir-giriIt wasn’t one of those staggering revelations that instantly played to galleries. But still, the latest statement of Mahant Deepinder Giri, the custodian of the holy mace of lord Shiva became a talk for a while.

Before taking the holy mace to Pahalgam from Srinagar past Monday, Mahant said that annual Amarnath yatra is being started before its due date.

“As per the Hindu mythology, yatra should be started on the day of Ashand Purnima falling on July 22,” Deepinder Giri, Shri Mahant, Dakshani Akhara Srinagar, said. “But in spite of informing the same, the authorities are in no mood to heed to it.”

The Amarnath yatra began on June 29 this year and will end on August 21.

“To begin yatra early has its backlash,” Shri Mahant warned. “The Shivlingham has already melted and blame for this must be put on authorities who started yatra earlier.”

Mahant is known to pour his heart out. Every year, as per observers, he tries to stand out of his ilk. On one such occasion, when the fidayeen attacked the heavily-guarded Dashnami Akhara building on Oct 2006, he termed the attack unfortunate and said it should not have taken place in the holy month of Ramzan.

Seven security personnel and two fidayeen were among ten people killed in the 24-hour-long gun battle then after militants made an abortive bid to storm the Dashnami Akhara, housing the holy Mace of Lord Shiva in Srinagar.

Without mentioning the Kashmir issue, the Mahant then called for resolving the ‘’matter’’ permanently through a dialogue process in peaceful manner.

‘’Till the issue is resolved, these incidents (attacks) are bound to happen,’’ he had said.

“We welcome the statement as it justifies what we were advocating from last year,” Hameeda Nayeem, Chairperson Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS), said. “The yatra should took place for only 15 days and limited number of yatris should be allowed, which was the tradition of this yatra in the past as well but government is playing politics over the timing of yatra, which is unfortunate.”

Mahant said that Shivlingam at cave melts because of global warming. “Once you start Yatra before its due date, this thing is bound to happen. Everything has its own time and I appeal the government to review its decision and curtail the period of Amarnath Yatra,” Mahant said, adding that pilgrims return disappointed without having a glimpse of Shivlingam.

“Authorities should ponder over timing of yatra, as it might take toll on environment,” he said.

-Bilal Handoo

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