Kashmiri Pandits welcome back Hajis from Macca

A video of Kashmiri Pandits welcoming Hajis at the Srinagar airport went viral on social media. The Pandits were singing traditional Na’at to welcome people returning from Hajj, the holy pilgrimage to Macca.  Na’at is poetry praising Prophet Mohammed. The Hindus also offered their Muslim neighbours roses, handshakes and hugs.

This incident comes just days after local Muslims set aside Eid festivities to help the Indian Army’s disaster relief teams with rescue operations involving Amarnath yatra pilgrims who had been affected by the cloudburst and flash-floods in the region. The Muslim vendors including pony service providers and shopkeepers did not go back to their village to celebrate Eid with their families, and instead stayed back to help the Army with the rescue operations.

This welcome gesture by Kashmiris Pundits to welcome back the Hajis from Macca is perhaps now just to show gratitude for the Muslims assistance during the Amarnath yatra pilgrims, but also how the Muslims welcomes the Kashmiri Pundits when a vast majority of the community had been forced to flee in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s from Pakistan.

The Kashmiri Muslims and Pundits have always shared a deep bond of friendship. This sense of friendship has become to be known as Kashmiriyat which strong and alive to this day, as 808 non-migrant Kashmiri Pandit families still live in over 200 refugee camps across the Valley.

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