Friday, December 14, 2012

Goa Arts and Literary Festival Begins

Giving detailed introduction of Kashmiriyat, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today said that Jammu and Kashmir represents a great civilization that nurtured pluralistic ethos, cultural diversity, brotherhood, universal d├ętente and mutual love.

"The captivating natural beauty, cultural diversity in unity and rich heritage of Jammu and Kashmir has been unique brand and blend of this State", he said adding that artists, writers, poets and artisans with magical skills have made their mark internationally.

Addressing the inaugural function of 3rd Annual Goa Arts and Literary Festival at Kala Academy here, the Chief Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir has been land of art, culture, literature, folk, music and handicrafts. He said this speciality of the State has added colour to its bio-diversity and natural beauty. He said the highest degree of hospitality inherent in the people of this place has also earned name and fame to this place.

Highlighting the richness of Jammu and Kashmir in offering wide-ranging and diverse tourism attraction round the year to tourists, travellers, trekkers, skiers, golfers, adventure lovers and sportsperson, Omar Abdullah said that Kashmir globally known as 'Heaven on Earth' is on path to restore the tourism sheen which received heavy setback during the period of disturbance.

"Peace is rooting fast and this year State received about 12 lakh visitors, over 6 lakh Amarnath Yatris and lakhs of pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi", he said, adding the perception about the law and order situation and travelling to this part of the country is undergoing paradigm shift towards positivity.

"We have underlined the visit of lakhs of tourists here an economic activity and is being promoted in this perspective", he said adding that the efforts of the State Government to change the perception of people in their minds regarding visiting Jammu and Kashmir have yielded good results. "After Japan and Germany, Britain has also modified its negative advisory for the citizens regarding visiting Jammu and Kashmir. We hope other countries will also follow the suit", he added.

Omar Abdullah congratulated the organizers of the festival and said that the participation of artists and literary persons besides a group of folk artists from Jammu and Kashmir in Goa festival gives him great pleasure.

The Chief Minister also referred to the great sufi-saints, historians, travellers and scholars of high eminence, adding that their preaching and teachings have had great impact in the development of a tolerant society in the State. He said the secular characteristic and amity between various sections of the society has been trait of the people in this part of the country. He said that this trait has sustained all challenges and defeated onslaughts and attempts aimed at disturbing it.

He expressed the hope that this characteristic of the State will get further strengthened with the passage of time.

The Goa Arts and Literary Festival is a regular gathering of writers, poets, literature experts, painters, artists, readers, etc at the International Centre Goa.

A folk dance group of Jammu and Kashmir is also performing in the Festival besides participation by 12 literary persons.

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