In the wake of rising Indo-Pak tensions, this story of brotherhood will soothe your wounded hearts.
What makes this textile shop in Baramulla’s busy city market extraordinary? It may look like another ordinary shop located at the backdrop of the snow-covered Ghosal Tank hills but the people who run the shop are setting an extraordinary example of peace, love, and unity for all.
27-year-old Ishfaq Ahmad Malik takes care of the textile shop whenever his employer Hridyanath Ganjoo, a Kashmiri Pandit goes away for Shivratri celebrations in Jammu.
One of the 29 Kashmiri Pandits, Ganjoo is a resident of Baramulla and runs his shop with the help of Muslims.
Malik, who is a salesman at the shop finds himself in the company of the idols of several Hindu Goddesses- Lakshmi, Durga, Ganesha, which rests on a shelf near the cash counter.
While speaking to TOI, Malik mentions that he has been working at the shop for 11 years now and whenever there is a Hindu festival, Hridyanath leaves for his other home in Jammu. “He has been away for the last one month and will come back after Holi. They trust us and we look after their business during this season,” he says.
Mohammad Ashraf, 65, president, Baramulla Traders Association says, “We Muslims felt very bad about migration in 1989…We want that Hindus should come back. We will welcome them back.” Also, the residents of that area, be it local industry associations or shopkeepers reassure that the Pandits who decided to stay back in Baramulla are safe.