At a time when communal tension is brewing across India, scores of Kashmiri Pandits along with local Muslim and Sikh brethren celebrated Dussehra with religious fervor and enthusiasm Thursday at Polo Ground Srinagar.
After missing the celebrations last year due to flood, Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti organized a celebration which was attended by Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Syed, Minister of Finance Haseeb Drabu, Minister of Education Naeem Akhtar and many other bureaucrats and police officials.
Kashmiri Pandits and Hindus burnt giant effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnath installed at Polo Ground here, which became a major attraction for devotees and onlookers.
Hundreds of people including women and children braved evening chill and thronged the ground to witness the fireworks and the ritual of burning the effigies this evening.
“We invited CM sahab also and he has also come. This is a show of communal harmony after we missed the last year event due to flood. But this year we did it in grand manner,” member of KPSS, Ratan Pandit said.
Kashmiri Pandits restarted celebrating the festival in Kashmir after the gap of 20 years in 2007.
One Muslim family who has been visiting here for last eight years said, “I have come here along with my little daughter (Arbah) and son.” The family resides in Barbarshah.
Sarabjeet Singh, a Sikh, who lives in Karan Nagar said, he has been visiting here before 1990s.
“Earlier we would celebrate it in TRC ground and that was more soothing as all people from all religions would come,” he said.
Dussehra is the festival signifying the victory of good over evil.
Dussehra is celebrated on the culmination of nine days of Navratras. It is the second most important Hindu festival after Shivratri.