Binoo Joshi

J K News Today Commentary

Jammu, July 24:

These are extraordinary times  caused by the novel corona virus  and the extraordinary decision had to be taken ; cancellation of the  annual Amarnath yatra . This announcement did not come as a surprise,   but when viewed against the backdrop of  daily rise  in the virus cases – now over 16,000 with nearly 290 deaths, it was the decision guided by wisdom .

The credit for this decision  goes to  Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu and his administration , because it was not a decision taken  to cancel the pilgrimage at a crucial time during the corona virus , but it reveals all the good intentions and sensitivity of the administration toward the people . Saving pilgrims could have been the one consideration, but what has not been realized that pilgrims had to be transported  to the base camp in buses and other vehicles , plus the arrangements for their boarding and lodging.

Though there is  an argument that it could have come much earlier to save the precious time that involved in mobilizing the  work force in clearing  snow and making arrangements for the security forces , yet what needs to be understood that in the kind of atmosphere in the country , where the foundation of the Lord Rama’s temple  at his birthplace  Ayodha is being laid, it would  have been a real difficult situation for the Jammu and Kashmir administration .

And, to be fair to the Murmu administration and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board  had taken a decision to cancel the yatra as early as April this year, almost three months before the final decision was taken . but then there were many other factors that came into play. Again, in all fairness, the Murmu administration , did not promise the yatra as per schedule that is from June 23 , instead it said that the whole thing was subject to review of the situation and the scale of the pandemic.

All the devotees having faith in the  shrine , and who, in the past, used to trek the Himalayan tracks , should realise the severity of the  situation of the pandemic and the burden that it has brought upon the administration in managing the daily rising count of patients , should appreciate this decision in the right and realistic perspective .

The faith is based on saving lives and not to be pushed  other way round .