Highlighting the richness of Jammu and Kashmir, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said that J&K represents a great civilization that nurtured pluralistic ethos, cultural diversity, brotherhood, universal d?tente and mutual love.
“The captivating natural beauty, cultural diversity in unity and rich heritage of Jammu and Kashmir has been unique brand and blend of this state”, he said adding that artists, writers, poets and artisans with magical skills have made their mark internationally.
Omar was addressing inaugural function of 3rd annual Goa arts and literary festival at Kala Academy.
Speaking about the diversity of state, Omar said that J&K has been land of art, culture, literature, folk, music and handicrafts. He said this specialty of the state has added colour to its bio-diversity and natural beauty.
Omar said that Kashmir globally known as ‘Heaven on Earth’ is on path to restore the tourism sheen which received heavy setback during the period of disturbance and the highest degree of hospitality inherent in the people of this place has also earned name and fame to this place.
“Peace is rooting fast and this year state received about 12 lakh visitors, over 6 lakh Amarnath Yatris and lakhs of pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi”, he said the perception about the law and order situation and travelling to this part of the country is undergoing paradigm shift towards positivity.
“We have underlined the visit of lakhs of tourists here an economic activity and is being promoted in this perspective”, he said adding that the efforts of the state government to change the perception of people in their minds regarding visiting Jammu and Kashmir have yielded good results. “After Japan and Germany, Britain has also modified its negative advisory for the citizens regarding visiting Jammu and Kashmir. “We hope other countries will also follow the suit”, he added.
Omar Abdullah congratulated the organizers of the festival and said that the participation of artists and literary persons besides a group of folk artists from Jammu and Kashmir in Goa festival gives him great pleasure. “I hope their participation will not only add flavor to the festival but attract attention towards Jammu and Kashmir in terms of its culture and literary richness”, he said and added that history and culture of Kashmir have always fascinated people all across the world.
Omar also referred to the great sufi-saints, historians, travellers and scholars of high eminence adding that their preaching and teachings have had great impact in the development of a tolerant society in the state. He said the secular characteristic and amity between various sections of the society has been trait of the people in this part of the country. He said that this trait has sustained all challenges and defeated onslaughts and attempts aimed at disturbing it. He expressed the hope that this characteristic of the State will get further strengthened with the passage of time.
The Goa Arts and Literary Festival is a regular gathering of writers, poets, literature experts, painters, artists, readers, etc at the International Centre Goa. It features a variety of presentations and readings by various authors as well as other events of cultural significance. The primary objective of the festival is to promote works of authors and artists, handicrafts, and foster love for art, culture, literature and languages.
A folk dance group of Jammu and Kashmir is also performing in the Festival besides participation by 12 literary persons.