Kashmir’s religious harmony a lesson in troubled times

Photo credit: Al Jazeera News

In violence-prone Kashmir, groups band together regardless of religion, despite tensions in India.

By Aijaz Nazir | Al Jazeera News Online |

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – Unaware of the tragedy that happened to his family, five-year-old Rohit Koul played in the courtyard while his three elder siblings sat in a dimly lit room of their house in Lavdoora village, in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

The children have not spoken much after their mother, Baby Koul, died three months ago due to chest disease. Nearly a year ago, their father, Maharaj Krishan, also died a natural death.

Muslim neighbours gathered at the home to offer emotional support to the Hindu children.

At a time of strained Hindu-Muslim ties in India, this unity in a remote village in divided Kashmir is exemplary.

Polarisation between the two communities has hit the country as right-wing groups engage in violence against Muslims because of their food and other social habits.

In April 2017, a Pew Research Center’s study ranked India the fourth-worst country for religious intolerance out of 198 nations.

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Source: Al Jazeera News Online

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