While the country debates religious intolerance and communal hatred, a village in South Kashmir displayed what can be called as a wonderful example of brotherhood and harmony.
Members of the Muslim community from Malvan village performed the last rites of a Kashmiri Pandit as no family member turned up at his death.
Janki Nath was an 84-year-old Pandit who had retired from government services. He had refused to leave his home when his family members left the valley during the militancy. Since then he was living alone at his home in Malvan in the Kulgam district of South Kashmir.
After a prolonged illness, he died on Saturday. In the absence of any family member, his last rites were performed by the fellow villagers who were all Muslims.
Nath was the sole member of his community who was living with 5000 Muslims in his village. He was unwell for the past five years and his neighbours were taking care of him.
"We feel we have lost one of our own. He was just like my elder brother and I used to take suggestions from him before taking any step", Gull Mohammad Alai, a local, said.
Another local Ghulam Hassan said," To help our neighbors irrespective of their religion is our duty which we performed. We have lost a dear friend who stood with us in the best and the worst of the times."
However, it is not first instance in Kashmir where people bridged religious boundaries and showed amity and cooperation.
In December 2015, Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits jointly performed the funeral of a Pandit woman in Sirnoo village, South Kashmir, as her relatives couldn't reach her home due to road blockage caused by snow.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Feature image is representational | Source: PTI)