In the wake of the rising intolerance debate, recently a Kashmiri doctor named Sandeep Mawa
surprised the residents of Srinagar by standing blindfolded, inviting passersby to hug him, irrespective of their religion. Mawa, along with two other people from Sikh and Muslim community invited people to hug them. His inspiration was a similar initiative by a Muslim man in Paris post the city-wide terrorist attacks on November 13. They stood in front of hoardings
which said, “I am A Kashmiri Pandit (Muslim or Sikh), I trust you and respect you, It is very cold. Hug Me.” Mawa, who is also the chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Reconciliation Front, said:
“We, all humans, are alike. When God has not differentiated between us, why should there be any division? There should not be any intolerance. This is the message we want to send across.”
The Muslim man asked people to embrace him if they trust him.
Taking a jibe at the politicians, Mawa said, “Politicians should leave the people of Kashmir alone and desist from dividing the people.”
With the aim to promote universal brotherhood, interfaith dialogue, tolerance and building bridge between people of different communities within the state, the campaign was a success.
A local Kashmiri Pandit Kuldeep Koul said, “The love and bonding that we Kashmiris share with each other is very strong and let us all unite against those who want to break it.” Also, slogans like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh Itihaad, Zindabaad Zindabaad infused the atmosphere with the spirit of unity. Gurmeet Singh, a student said, “I salute the spirit of Kashmir and Kashmiris. God bless us all.”
Mawa further asked the Centre to talk to Pakistan for addressing Kashmir issue, saying the neighbouring country was a party to the dispute. Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.