Spiritual guru and Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday said 90 per cent of the people in Kashmir want peace and asserted that a solution to the Kashmir problem can only come from Kashmiris.
"Solution to Kashmir (issue) will only come from Kashmiris themselves. They have to bring out the solution themselves. We are creating this forum for such pragmatic thinking and progressive ideas to make the country stronger," he said after launch of South Asian Forum for Peace in Jammu.
Asserting that the conflict in Kashmir has become a cash cow for some and the people are suffering, he said, “In Kashmir, people are restraining themselves from opening their mouth due to threat of guns. 90 per cent of the people want peace and development but their voice is being silenced.”
Former militants, stone-pelters and victims of militancy, besides various stakeholders, took part in the conference organised by AOL in Jammu to promote peace in Kashmir.
“The forum has been formed for creation of new vibrant ideology by taking people of shades and opinion together by holding dialogues, debates and discussions for peace, progress and development. I hope that it will bring some good results,” he said.
“The people who were moving with stones are talking peace. They have come forward for the peace initiative. The people who were in militancy, the youth who were involved in stone pelting and in drug addiction have taking part in the conference,” the spiritual guru said.
“The media is not projecting these and others are ignoring them. They are the neglected population and there is a need for a platform for them to air their voices openly,” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said.
“The conflict has become the cash cow for some people. They don’t want to put an end to it. This has become a source of earning for them. But the common people are facing the brunt of it. They need to come forward and isolate those people,” he said.
The AOL chief said, “I am working for peace in Kashmir. We don't want to become prisoners of any ideology but create a new ideology so that we can move forward in the direction of peace.”
“There is a need for short term goal and a long term plan. We will hold such a conference in Kashmir,” he said.
“The biggest problem in Kashmir is drug addiction. The youths are trying to come out of this menace. The problem in Kashmir is the trust-deficit. We need to change this environment,” Sri Sri said.
On the mutilation of a jawan’s body and killing of three soldiers in an offensive by Pakistan, he said it is condemnable and sad that people are behaving like this by engineering human rights violation.
“Intellectuals should come forward to stop human rights violation or any type of brutalities wherever they are taking place,” Sri Sri added.
On demonetisation, he said it is a very important step to weed out corruption, black money, terrorism and drug addiction.
“The prime minister has taken the right step by finding out what is there in the hearts and minds of the people by launching the 10 question in his app,” the spiritual guru said.