Adi Shankaracharya holds a special place in my heart. If the historical records are really true, he managed to accomplish several lifetimes worth of work and effort in a mere 32 years of his life. In this time, he not only reformed Hinduism, but established four temples across the length and breadth of India at that point of time.
During the time that he lived, Shankaracharya sought to unify all four branches of Hindu thought of that era and to also instill a sense of oneness with the supreme being. He not only managed to re-instill the emotional connection with Bhagwan (the almighty), but also managed to do so without really eradicating any of the four major Hindu thought processes of the time.
From Kanyakumari, he readily trekked to Kashmir all the way to Sharada Peeth, a knowledge resource and temple dedicated to Sharada Devi.
As fate would have it however, this great temple of learning was almost equal to Takshila, which fell to another pillaging Islamic jihadist Sikander Butshikan. He was notoriously known as the iconoclast for the number of idols that the managed to destroy.
Many of these titles seem to ring almost ad nauseum… For destroying places of learning and killing all of the most renowned teachers and professors of the time one would be conferred the title of destroyer of images.
Fast forward to 700 to 800 years , and unfortunately Sharada Peeth, this great center of knowledge and learning lies barely 10 km from the Line of Control, which exists between India and Pakistan.
Pakistan throughout its inception has always tried to revel in the idea of confusion. It may say one thing, but do something completely opposite to it. It is long-held that the history of taqiyya or lying to the international community can further progression of Islam.
Many of its foreign ministers quite fluent in their British accents, having spent a lot of their time under English institutions, seem to try and confuse the world’s media as to any confrontation regarding India and Pakistan.
Over the last few weeks, we have seen Pakistan continuing with its policy of terrorism but its Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi repeatedly giving confused and mixed messages to the international community.
While Pakistan has clearly fostered massive terrorist camps on its territory to attack India, its foreign ministers have repeatedly stated nothing happening within Pakistan despite an overwhelming evidence with regard to satellite imagery as well as intelligence.
With the recent opening of the corridor between Katarpur, the Pakistani government under Imran Khan has sought to continue with this form all of confusing diplomacy by opening up more tourist avenues to bolster their failing economy towards Indians.
For a long time, Pakistan tried to foment the Khalistani movement before failing miserably and now they have taken to doing the same in Kashmir with the varying degrees of success.
More recently we have heard that Pakistan is now playing to the hearts of the Hindu population by suggesting the same kind of corridor scheme to Sharada Peeth.
On one hand, Indian Hindus have to bear with the painful news sometimes coming out in the open out of Pakistan, be it about the Hindu abduction of girls or their forced conversions. On the other hand, Pakistan tries to placate them (the Hindu community) with promises of a corridor towards Sharda Peeth.
Many of us keep hearing of such news on a daily basis regarding the trauma that Pakistani Hindus have to face. Most recently over the last week we heard of Raveena and Reena, two sisters who were abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. In the same week we have also heard of another 16-year-old whose helpless father Gov Meghwar is still trying to fight with the local authorities regarding the whereabouts of his daughter who was abducted and converted as well.
These events are occurring almost daily in Pakistan, yet the government turns a blind eye to these events while creating a false premise of trying to offer an olive branch to open another corridor in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Indians should realize that such a corridor would only legitimize the claim that Pakistan has been trying to enforce over Pok (Pakistani occupied Kashmir).
As painful as it may sound, Sharda Peeth should truly be understood to be a loss to us unless another major confrontation takes place to shift the boundaries by a few kilometers on either side to include not just Katarpur, but also Sharda Peeth as well.
While there is an established border towards Katarpur, no such acceptable border exists with regard to the LoC. Any acceptance of pilgrims traveling to Sharda Peeth would only seek to legitimise the LoC.
Pakistan would do well to remember that villages such as Kargil and Turtuk were villages on the Pakistani side of control by a few kilometers until they were merged back into India during the 1971 War. India has shown yet again that it will finally not bow to terrorism under its new dynamic leader Narendra Modi.
More than any community over the last millennia, no greater community than the Hindus has suffered the tragedy under Islamic terrorism tantamounting to genocide.
Sharda Peeth lies barely a few kilometres from the line of control (LoC). India should reject wholeheartedly any effort to create a corridor door into occupied land, especially with the atrocious nature of ongoing terrorism against Hindus in Pakistan.
We should not only wake up to the plight of Hindus in Pakistan but really accord them citizenship through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
In recent events over Balakot, we can see that the decades-old policy of bleeding India via a thousand cuts should hold no more water. It is time that India took effective steps to not only protect minorities in Pakistan and offer them a haven here in India but seek to rewrite the wrongs of genocidal history by reclaiming such sites of spiritual teaching to all mankind.
Perhaps in the next two decades, with an effective ballistic missile shield protecting India under an “Iron dome” India would seek to reclaim some of its savage and brutal history of destruction and yet again try to make these institutions places of learning and spiritual growth.