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Indian Muslim boys recite the Koran at the Madrasatur-Rashaad religious school in Hyderabad on June 19, 2017, during the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to pray and read the Koran during Islam's holiest month. / AFP PHOTO / NOAH SEELAM

A need of a new theology of Peace, Pluralism and Gender justice

Sufi ideology, based on ‘oneness of God/Tauheed’ and spiritual connect between creator and the creation may be utilized as an apt tool to counter and defeat radical ideologies, emanating Jihadism, violence, conflicts etc. In case of Kashmir, suffering from the politics of separatism, militancy, terrorism etc., the Sufi tradition is more relevant as it is linked to history, social fabric and mindset of people in general. Vested interest, often on the behest of outside forces have been making attempts post independence to dismantle the structures of Sufism, syncretic culture and spiritual tradition of Kashmir and cause disintegration of its inherent and inclusive culture.

The teachings of Saints like Lal Ded, Zain-ul-Abedeen, Sheikh-ul-alam Nund Rishi, in the valley since hundreds of years could still be used to defeat the forces of terrorism which is a temporary phase. The teachings of the Kashmiri Sufi Saints will help the stakeholders in sustaining their interests in order to restore the traditional interfaith bonhomie and spiritual aura of the valley. People of the mainland must empathize and embrace them and reassure by stating ‘we stand with you in the hour of crisis’ as well as ‘we commit to special rights of the Kashmiris due to their specific geographical/demographic identity’. The Kashmiris should restore their faith in democracy, committing themselves to the national interest by uttering lines of Nund Rishi, ‘O God, give me the same spiritual status as you grant to Lalleshwari (Lal Ded)’.

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