Withholding the age-old communal harmony in Kashmir, local Muslims in Lar village of Ganderbal district participated in the marriage ceremony of a Kashmiri Pandit girl whose family lives in the village.
Kashmiri Muslims participated in the marriage ceremony of Meenakshi Kumari, daughter of late Pandit Mohan Lal in Lar, and celebrated the function like they were the real hosts.
The Pandit family has been living in the Lar village for years and sharing an emotional bond with local Muslim neighbours.
In a heartwarming gesture at the residence of the bride, local Muslims helped the family with all the preparations. From arranging firewood to setting up tents, cleaning the premises to surroundings, decorating the house to offering tea to guests, the local Muslim community did everything happily.
While men were busy in preparations, local Kashmiri women were seen singing local Kashmiri songs and doing the ‘Rouf’ (dance) with the Pandit women who had come to participate in the marriage ceremony.
Muslim women welcomed the groom and his family with the traditional Wanwun while young girls showered flower plates over the guests.
Talking to us, a former legislator and a resident of Lar, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar said, “We don’t feel that Kashmiri Pandits are a different community. They are our people. We have lived together for centuries. We will continue to help them as it is our moral duty.”
Sanatham Dharam Sabha District President Ganderbal, Badrinath Bhat said that the Muslim neighbours including men and women participated in every ritual during the last four days.
The Pandit guests, some of them displaced community members, were elated to witness the scenes of brotherhood come alive in Lar.
“I was amazed to see Muslim women sing along to us while men made most of the arrangements for the guests,” said a Pandit guest from Jammu.