Art & Culture Current Affairs - 2019
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At the annual Chamliyal mela 2019, even as devotees thronged Chamliyal border shrine along International Border in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), there was no traditional exchange of ‘chadar’ or ‘shakkar’ (sacred clay) and ‘sharbat’ (water) between Pakistan rangers and Indian border guarding force for 2nd successive year (earlier in 2018).
Exchanging shakkar and sharbat is about 70-year-old practice betwenn India nad Pakistan. Since 1947 partition famous fair at Baba Chamliyal shrine was cancelled for first time in 2018 in wake of tension between India and Pakistan following snipping of four BSF soldiers including an Assistant Commandant by Pakistani Rangers in area a week before mela.
About Chamliyal Mela
It is a famous fair which takes place at shrine of Baba Dalip Singh Manhas, a saint popularly known as Baba Chamliyal, after whom the village on zero line in Samba district’s Ramgarh sector is named. He supposedly lived over 300 years ago and is revered by people of all faiths.
Mela is held for 3 days at shrine complex on Indian side and is also held for a week on opposite side of border in Saidanwali village of Sialkote district in Pakistan. This shrine is biggest example of communal harmony and people of both sides of international border offer their prayers together.
Fair has become popular since November 2003 after a ceasefire and parallel peace initiatives were undertaken by India and Pakistan.
Earlier till 1971, Pakistani nationals were allowed to come to Indian side of border to pay obeisance at shrine but after 1971 India-Pakistan war, this practice was stopped. Since then, only a delegation of Pakistan rangers comes to offer chadar at shrine and in return carries shakkar (sacred clay) and sharbat (water), from shrine for devotees in Pakistan. Many devotees claimed to have healed of their skin ailments after visiting Baba’s shrine.
The 23rd edition of Sindhu Darshan Utsav 2019 started at Sindhu Ghat Shey in Leh from 24 to 27 June. It was inaugurated by Skyabje Choskyong Palga Rinpoche.
The 4-day event is organised by Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti (SDYS) in collaboration with Ladakh Phanday Tsogspa.
About Sindhu Darshan Utsav
Background: The “Sindhu Darshan” or Sindhu festival was first started in month of October 1997, for celebration of unity, communal harmony along with national integration.
Objective: The festival aims at projecting Indus (or Sindhu) as a symbol of India’s unity, peaceful coexistence and communal harmony and is also a symbolic salute to brave soldiers of country.
Usually the festival begins on full moon day which is also called Guru Purnima.
On 1st day of festival participants from all religions, castes and regions are welcomed and there is a reception on banks of Sindhu at Shey (about14 km from Leh). Utsav begins with prayers being offered to River Indus in which large group of people take part in ritual on-board boats.
River Indus (or Sindhu): stands for peaceful coexistence and communal harmony and is a symbol of our India’s identity and civilization.
Sindhu Yatra: undertaken during the festival helps forge a bond of unity among people who live in India’s far-flung corners thus providing them an opportunity to visit beautiful region of Ladakh.
Being a truly National Integration Programme, the Ladakh Buddhist Association, Shia majlis, Sunni Anjuman, Christian Moravian Church, Hindu Trust and Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (GPC) jointly conducts the reception of all participants of festival.
The Sindhu Darshan festival conveys a strong message of uniting different religions and faiths, as it connects people from different faiths on one common platform to share love, compassion and respect for each other which is also the essence of every religion.
The festival helps to bring Ladakh on global map and provide a boost to its tourism industry thus helping Ladakh economically.
It also spread awareness about taking care of environment and its cleanliness is another purpose of the festival.
Tags: 23rd Sindhu festival • Guru Purnima • Ladakh • Ladakh Phanday Tsogspa • National Integration Programme • River Indus • Sindhu • Sindhu Darshan Utsav 2019 • Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti • Sindhu festival • Sindhu Ghat Shey • Sindhu Yatra