Srinagar: Blindfolded Kashmiri Pandit invites ‘hugs’ to promote brotherhood in Valley

Srinagar: Amid a raging debate on intolerance in the country, a Kashmiri Pandit stood blindfolded in the heart of the city inviting people to hug him to exhibit brotherhood between various communities in the Valley.

Inspired by a Muslim man who stood blindfolded in Paris asking people to embrace him if they trusted him after the November 13 attacks, Sandeep Mawa, a doctor by profession, stood at Press Colony in Srinagar asking people to hug him. He was accompanied by members from Sikh and majority Muslim community, who embraced people irrespective of their religion to send a message of tolerance.

“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,” Mawa, who is the chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Reconciliation Front, said.

He said the basic aim of the campaign is to promote universal brotherhood, interfaith dialogue, tolerance and also build bridges between people of different communities within the state.

“We do not want politicians and agencies to divide people on the basis of religion. We will not allow anyone to harm Kashmiriyat. We oppose the hate campaign. The politics of religion is not good,” he said.

Mawa said politicians should leave the people of Kashmir alone and desist from “dividing” the people.

“If they do not mend their ways, there will be a civil revolution in Kashmir,” he said. He also asked the Centre to talk to Pakistan for “addressing Kashmir issue” saying the neighbouring country was “a party to the dispute”.