For the first time in 32 years, Kashmiri Pandits organised a Janmashtami procession to celebrate the birthday of Lord Krishna at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Monday. Amid tight security arrangements, the jhanki yatra started from the Ganpatyar temple in the Habba Kadal area of the city and passed through Kralkhud, Barbarshah before reaching the clock tower at the historic Lal Chowk, officials said.
Jhanki Yatra organised at Lal Chowk, Srinagar on the occasion of #SriKrishnaJanmashtami. The devotees also sang Krishna Bhajans. This is the first time in 32 years Janmashtami processions were taken out in #kashmir #KashmiriPandits #Hinduism pic.twitter.com/JsqspmLde5— Organiser Weekly (@eOrganiser) August 30, 2021
The procession crossed over the Amirakadal bridge, passed through the Jehangir chowk and returned to the temple. Devotees, including men, women and children, danced alongside the chariot and distributed sweets among people.
While people may have been celebrating Janmashtami in households, it was the first time in three decades that it was celebrated publicly in Lal Chowk.
Shaurya Doval, a BJP functionary, said in a tweet that the celebrations happened in the same place where even hoisting India’s national flag was a life-threatening act in 1992. “And today, people of the Hindu community are able to conduct their religious proceedings at the same location. It has only been possible under the able leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji," he said.
And today, people of the Hindu community are able to conduct their religious proceedings at the same location. It has only been possible under the able leadership of PM @narendramodi Ji.मेरा देश बदल रहा है, आगे बढ़ रहा है। जय हिन्द, जय भारत। 2/2
— Shaurya Doval (@shaurya_doval) August 30, 2021
There was no procession in 2020 due to Covid-19, while the lockdown imposed in the wake of abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August 2019 had led to the cancellation of the event.
(With PTI inputs)