On March 22, 2023, the Union Home Minister of India, Amit Shah virtually inaugurated the Mata Sharda Devi Temple near the Line of Control (LOC) in the Karnah sector (Kupwara) of Jammu and Kashmir saying that the abrogation of ‘Article 370’ is taking the Union Territory back to its old traditions, culture and especially “Ganga Yamuna Tehzeeb”.
According to Shah, the opening of the Temple was the beginning of a new dawn and quest for reviving the Sharda Culture.
In his speech, the minister said- “The Mata Sharda Mandir is being thrown open for devotees on the auspicious occasion of the new year. This is a good omen for devotees across the country. Mata Sharda ‘s blessings will now remain over the whole country for centuries to come.”
The Union Minister lamented that he could not be physically present at the place, but promised to visit the temple on his next tour of J&K.
“I convey my best wishes and gratitude to Save Sharda Committee president Ravinder Pandita for the struggle over so many years which has now borne fruit… This step is not just the renovation of the temple but the beginning of the quest for reviving Sharda Culture” he said.
Referring to Pandita’s demand for opening Sharda Peeth across the LOC on the lines of Kartarpur Corridor, the Union Home Minister said that the “centre will surely make efforts on this initiative and there is no doubt over it.”
“J&K has taken all initiatives in all sectors such as social and economic change under which renovation work is going on at 123 selected places of religious significance,” he said.
Many temples and Sufi places including Ziyarat Shareef Reshimala, Ram Mandir, Safakadal temple, Haloti Gompa Temple, and Jagannath Temple will be renovated and revived in the first phase.
Shah said that 75 religious places and Sufi Shrines were identified and 31 mega cultural events were organised and twenty cultural ‘Utsavs’ were held in every district.
In addition, he congratulated the Lieutenant Governor of J&K (Manoj Sinha) for implementing all of Modi’s schemes on the ground in the Union Territory and said that it was appreciable the way he worked with passion.
The Union ministry also expressed gratitude to all the people of the civil society under the leadership of Pandita on both sides-PoJK as well as Jammu and Kashmir for the opening of the temple in Kupwara District in North Kashmir.
Sharda Peeth was considered a centre of education in the Indian Subcontinent once; he added The ancient temple and its centre being rebuilt to revive centuries-old pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth in PoJK.
Sharda Peeth-the seat of Sharda-is the Kashmiri name for Goddess Saraswati. It was one of the foremost ancient universities of the Indian Subcontinent.