Easing Tensions in
a Disputed Land

Amarnath Land Dispute (2008)

Gurudev helped resolve religious tensions and violence that had escalated over the Amarnath land dispute in Kashmir, Northern India. Amarnath Shrine, in Muslim dominated Kashmir, is an important Hindu pilgrimage site. Yet it lacks basic facilities, including medical and sanitary, for travellers. The government attempted to improve this situation by providing land for facilities, triggering protests by Muslim separatist groups. The issue quickly assumed dangerous political dimensions when the government revoked the land grant, followed by protests in Hindu-dominated Jammu.

While facilitating dialogue between the opposing factions, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar took his appeal for peace to representatives of both factions, including the 32 organizations that make up the Amarnath Pilgrimage Association and the Muslim Jammu Front, and to religious and political stake holders. He visited the Amarnath temple, met the pilgrims and directed relief measures. He repeatedly called for peace and communal harmony in the region and patiently listened to all parties. With Gurudev’s involvement and the peaceful settlement initiated by the government, the demonstrations that erupted in the streets of Jammu and Kashmir dwindled to a halt, warding off more violence.

Following the agreement, Gurudev was appointed to the Amarnath Shrine Board by Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra.