Kakriyal: Terming the Kathua rape incident as “alarming”, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today expressed anguish that “a living form of the Mata” has been treated so cruelly in the land where girls are worshipped as incarnation of Goddess Durga. Addressing the 6th convocation at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University here today, the chief minister said the heinous act of the perpetrators “has shocked us as a society” and showed that the value system was facing a crisis.
She batted for inclusion of value education in curriculum, saying “our material growth becomes meaningless, if we are not able to become a good human beings”. “The entire set of rituals are practised in this part of the state (Jammu) as Kanya Puja, where minor girls have been worshipped as incarnation of Goddess Durga. How could anybody do such a heinous act against one such living form of ‘Mata’ in her own land”, the chief minister said referring to the Kathua rape victim.
She said that Trikuta hills are known as the abode of Goddess Mata Vaishno Devi and are the best testimony of this society and how they are treating the females. “When we talk of value system, I feel it is under crisis. The recent happening against a weaker underprivileged individual, especially a girl child, was alarming and has shocked us as a society,” she said, adding ” there is something seriously wrong in our changing life system”.
“Our material growth becomes meaningless, if we are not able to become a good human being with compassion and humanity, inclusive sense and set of values, which can distinguish us as a civilized society,” she added.
An eight-year-old girl was kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17 in the Kathua district. During investigation, the state police’s crime branch alleged she was drugged and repeatedly raped before being killed. Eight persons, including a juvenile, were arrested in connection with the crime and their trial began yesterday in a court, where they pleaded not guilty. The incident has sparked outrage in the country.
Mufti said apart from imparting scientific and technological knowledge, a university has to inculcate a value system among students. “Historically we have been known the world over as a creative society but that recognition is lost now,” she lamented, adding the endeavour of her government is to change the situation and “create a knowledge-based society”.
“We must also make value education as integral part of our curriculum. Jammu and Kashmir has been a world of spiritualism and a knowledge-driven society. “Spirituality has always been a key aspect of our love for knowledge from Sharda Peet (PoK University and temple) to Shadara Sharief (university and shrine in Rajouri) since ancient period. We have been committed to a spiritual and knowledge based society”, she said.
Referring to the university, she said, “I see this university has a mutual legacy and repository of composite culture ushering us into a new world of peace and prosperity”.