Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat (EBSB) and School of Philosophy & Culture (SoPC) at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU) Katra, in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) New Delhi, organized an International Webinar on the Shakti Cults of the Jammu Region on October 26, 2021, the accession day of the State of Jammu & Kashmir to the Indian union. This webinar attempted to deliberate on the sacred geography of places associated with Shakti worship. Shri Sumanta S. Sharma (I/C Head, SoPC and Faculty Coordinator, EBSB), the Coordinator, welcomed speakers and participants. Shri Nagendra Singh Jamwal (KAS and the Registrar of SMVDU), also the Guest of Honor, introduced the eebinar’s theme and stressed on organizing more such events in regular offline mode.
The Chief Guest of the webinar, Dr. Lalit Gupta, a culture historian, delivered the plenary address, entitled, “Shakti Cult in Jammu – a Socio-cultural Study.” Shri Sumer Khajuria, a writer and an advocate from Udhampur, delivered his talk on “Shri Mata Vaishno Devi ka pradurbhav evam Itihas.” Ms. Manu Khajuria, a community worker and a freelance writer, from London UK presented on “Mountain Goddesses: Exploring Feminism through the Dharmic Lens”. Shri Kewal Krishan Sharma, a retired Principal, Author, and Poet from Kishtwar spoke on the abodes of Mother Goddess in the Kishtwar region. Shri Swaran Singh Kohistani, a teacher, poet, and writer, talked about “Duggar Lok Gathao mein Shakti Upasana ka Ullekh.” Dr. Neelam Sareen, a scholar of Dogri literature, elaborated on “Jammu ke pracheen Shakti Sthal evam un se jude parv aur tyohaar.”
Dr. Virendra Bangroo, Regional Director, IGNCA, Convener of the webinar gave an extensive summary of the proceedings of this academic and cultural discourse. Shri Sumanta S. Sharma (I/C Head, SoPC and Faculty Coordinator, EBSB) officially proposed the vote of thanks to all participants and guests who attended the Webinar across India and abroad. He also thanked Prof. (Dr.) R. K. Sinha, the Vice-Chancellor, SMVDU, for the support and cooperation for the smooth conduction of the event.