Relating Kashmir’s devastating floods with the long duration a Amarnath Yatra, social activist and Hindu religious scholar Swami Agnivesh Saturday said that floods hit Kashmir Valley due to the effect of global warming. He held Amarnath Yatra responsible for global warming in Kashmir and said that floods hit Valley as the fragile environment got badly affected due to pollution arising out the long duration of Amarnath Yatra.
Talking to CNS, Swami Agnivesh said that nobody can deny this fact that Amarnath Yatra has been disturbing the fragile environment of Kashmir and this disruption is one of the reasons for recent floods that ravaged valley and hit its economy badly. “Nobody will dare to tell you this, but I am telling you and you must admit this fact that the Amarnath Yatra whose duration was stretched in a planned way is the source of catastrophy for the people of Kashmir,” he said.
Agnivesh said that, “this Yatra has no essence and it has been given importance just to ensure that Hindu presence in Kashmir remains intact.” He said that, “Amarnath yatra is a cocktail. It is the combination of religion and tourism and both the Hindu zealot groups and tourism department want to reap maximum benefits out of it.”
He elaborated that if the duration and the number of pilgrims are not curtailed, then surely in future it will prove disastrous for Kashmir.
He said that lakhs of people are visiting the cave. “The increased human traffic is threatening the environment in this fragile ecosystem, a major source of water for the Indus River. Scientists are now grappling with how to protect the headwaters of Valley,” he said.
He said that with lax restrictions on pilgrims, their numbers continue to rise a d as the number of people increases, so do trash and contamination. “The snowcapped mountains along the trail are now black with the pollution generated from hundreds of thousands of people. To reach the cave, pilgrims walk through piles of garbage, water bottles, gas cylinders, human feces, and occasional horse carcasses. The increased traffic should worry the conscious citizens of India. Thousands of pilgrims emit radiation at 37 degrees Celsius, whether it is yatri or anybody. All this encourages the melting of snow and glacier resources in the region,” Agnivesh told CNS.
Responding to a question, Swami Agnivesh told CNS that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not allowing international aid for the flood affected people as he feels that India can manage itself everything. “It is the question of self-respect that bars Modi to disallow international agencies to aid people of Kashmir. I think that international aid should be allowed to Kashmir so that this beautiful valley could be re-build. We must shun politics of hatred and should come forward to extend helping hand to our Kashmir brothers and sisters who need help at this critical juncture,” he said.