SRINAGAR—For those who spread hate, this should serve as an eye-opener.
Kashmiryat (pluralistic culture) was in full flow when Muslims in Ganderbal district celebrated the wedding of an orphan Kashmiri Pandit girl.
Meenakshi Kumari, the late Pandit Mohan Lal’s daughter, got married in Lar village in Ganderbal. The family has not migrated from Kashmir and has been living with their Muslim neighbours for ages.
Muslim women joined the celebration and sang `wanwun’ (Kashmiri folklore sung during marriages). Young Muslim girls lined up along the road and showered flower petals on the guests.
“We don’t feel that Kashmiri Pandits are a different community. They belong to us. We’ve co-existed for ages. We shall keep assisting them because we have a moral obligation,” Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, former MLA, told a local newspaper.
According to Sanathan Dharam Sabha District President Ganderbal, Badrinath Bhat, both men, and women from the Muslim community participated in all of the rituals throughout the previous four days.
He said that Muslim men and women participated in ‘mehandiraat’. He said it has sent across a clear message that Muslims and Hindus are living in harmony.
“We have been living together for years. We have participated in each other’s functions. We have been together. Recently some of our Muslim brothers went for Haj pilgrimage, we also went to see them off as their Muslim relatives did,” he said.
Altaf Ahmad, a resident told a news agency that they have been living together and it was their duty to participate in the marriage ceremony.
He said the centuries-old bond between Hindus and Muslims cannot be broken by any mischievous element. “We have been living together and we will continue to do so,” he said.
This is not the first time that Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits have shared joy and sorrows. A few weeks before, Kashmiri Muslims performed the last rites of a Pandit in North Kashmir. They did all the rituals to give respect to the dead.
Official figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu, and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims, and 1,758 Sikhs.