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Muslims In Kashmir Celebrated Mahashivratri And Asked The Pandits To Return To Their Home

In Kashmir’s Bandipora district, an ancient Shiva temple in the small town of Sumbal, located on the banks of river Jhelum, hadn’t seen devotees in the last many years. After Kashmiri Pandits left the region in the early nineties due to riots and a rise in militancy, the temple was left deserted and Mahashivratri, the biggest festival of Kashmiri Pandits, became just another day in the Muslim-majority town.
However, on this year’s Mahashivratri on Friday, something different happened.

On Friday, Kashmiri Muslims living in the town of Sumbal set up an example of communal harmony by offering prayers at the Shiva temple. The locals flocked in large numbers with placards in their hands, asking the Kashmiri Pandits to return. 


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After dozens of young men scrubbed the floors and cleaned the temple, Imtiaz Ahmad, a local contractor, led the prayers. They also poured water on the Shivling and offered sweets and fruits to the deity. Imtiaz said that they did their best to keep the tradition alive.


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“THAT IS WHY WE ENTERED THE TEMPLE, CLEANED IT… (WE DID) WHATEVER WE COULD DO SINCE WE ARE MUSLIMS, NOT PANDITS. IN OUR HUMBLE WAY, WE PERFORMED PUJA HERE.”

Another local resident, Manzoor Ahmad urged the Kashmiri Pandits to return soon with a heartfelt message.

“THEY ARE PART OF OUR BODY AND SOUL WHICH HAS BEEN SNATCHED AND SEPARATED FROM US. TODAY WE ARE SENDING A MESSAGE TO THEM. PLEASE RETURN, WE ARE WITH YOU.”
If not a huge change, this is certainly a great start. Hindus and Muslims have lived together through thick and thin for many years. There may have been a rough patch that came between the two communities, politics and extremism may have separated them, but it is in the best interest of everyone to come together and live in harmony to make a better future for the generations to come.
News Source: NDTV

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