JAMMU: “Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas men bair rakhna” these lines sum up recent example of communal harmony in Jammu during ongoing Amarnath Yatra.
To ensure that their Hindu brethren can undertake annual Amarnath Yatra with ease, a local Muslim community in Jammu has organised a ‘langar’ (community kitchen) for pilgrims.
A Muslim man named Parvez Waffa, who runs an NGO named Waffa foundation, felicitated Amarnath pilgrims and organised langar for them. As part of this, Muslims served ‘kheer’ (a sweet dish made with milk and rice) to pilgrims headed towards the shrine of Amarnath in Kashmir.
After serving them kheer, the Muslims garlanded the pilgrims and wished them success for their safe and successful journey to the shrine of ‘Baba Barfani’.
Quoting the couplet of Urdu poet Allama Iqbal, “mazhab nahi sikhata aapas mein bair karna, hindi hain ham vatan hai hindostan hamara”, Waffa appealed to people from all communities to not fall prey to those who were trying to mislead public and hamper peace in the country.
Speaking to ANI, Waffa opined that by organising langar, he, on behalf of his community, wants to spread the message of brotherhood in the country.
“We should not fall into the trap of mob lynching and talks of those who are trying to destroy the situation. Through this langar programme, we are trying to send a message of peace and love across the country. We welcome all pilgrims of Amarnath and we pray that all their wishes come true, fulfilled by God,” he said.
“All the conspiracy to spoil the situation is hatched by our neighbouring country as it wants to get benefit out of it. Hence, I appeal to everyone in our country to maintain brotherhood among ourselves,” he added, making a veiled reference to Pakistan.
Overwhelmed by the heartfelt welcome, Chintu Tomar, one of the pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal, said, “Honestly speaking, I was not expecting such a gesture but I was happy to see this. We should live together and maintain brotherhood.”
Another pilgrim named Neeraj Sharma said, “I am very happy as this langar has been organised to carry forward the unity and maintain unity across the country.”
The 46-day-long yatra began on July 1, the day of Masik Shivratri, and will conclude on August 15, the day of Shravan Purnima.
Situated at an altitude of 3,888 metres, the Amarnath cave is considered as one of the holiest shrines for Hindus.
The Yatra takes place from the traditional 36-km Pahalgam track in Anantnag district and 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district.