Heart to heart

There is something unique that binds Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits

HARMONY

ADARSH AJIT

Peak season of Kashmiri Pandit marriages is over. Almost no mehandiraat passed when there was no Kashmiri Muslim music group singing the whole night. Let’s recall something. Twenty-two years ago, there was acute hatred between Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits, whatever the reasons. In those days Kashmiri Muslims were most rarely seen participating in the marriage ceremonies of Kashmiri Pandits. Not to speak of the presence of Kashmiri Muslim musical groups performing here, hard-line Kashmiri Pandits would get irritated even to see any common Kashmiri Muslim in the marriages of Pandits here. But twenty two years down the line, Kashmiri Muslim Music groups are performing in almost every marriage function of Kashmiri Pandits. Even presently, who boast of being radicals or hard core Pandits, they themselves are engaging the Muslim singers in their marriage functions. Surprisingly, the typical Kashmiri Pandit wanwun (Traditional Kashmiri Pandit music and singing) is nowhere seen today. The questions arise why such a change?  Are the two communities coming together? Is the Kashmiri culture common? Are there no separate cultural identities of Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits? Are the Muslim singers unavoidable? Or, is it only the business trend of Muslim singers? If, it is business trend only but why Pandits prefer Kashmiri Muslim singers. Why common Kashmiri Muslims are invited in the marriage ceremonies of Kashmiri Pandits nowadays? To be frank enough, there is only one question. And that is, are Pandits incomplete without Kashmiri Muslims and are Kashmiri Muslims incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits? The question simply is are Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits inseparable?
Again, very amazing and interesting observation is that Kashmiri Pandits, being mostly non-vegetarians prefer to purchase the meat from the Kashmiri Muslim meat shops. There is no dearth of Dogra businessmen selling the meat but why Pandits go and prefer Kashmiri Muslim meat sellers. Even leaders who propagate for separate land are seen buying the meat from Muslim shops. The reason is not only that Pandits prefer halal to jhatka meat but it is something else.
Recently Radio Sharda, a Kashmiri Pandit community FM Radio has been launched due to laborious efforts of Shri Ramesh Hangloo. Some Pandit leaders are critical of it. Perhaps the only reason to their unhappiness is that Radio Sharda runs the musical pieces and musical songs of Kashmiri Muslims also. But the plain query is that if you could not afford to neglect the Kashmiri Muslim musical groups in the marriage ceremonies how can one think of a radio station wholesomely playing only music and songs of Kashmiri Pandits. There are various Kashmiri Muslim sufi poets who can never be omitted. Their and theirs inclusion on the radio station works like decorative style.  
Various Muslim friends are seen coming to Pandit friends here with nadru (lotus-stalk) and Kashmiri hakh (greens). Pandits eagerly wait for them. Why?
It is not that only Kashmiri Muslims come here to see the Pandits. Pandits also go to Kashmir. Meet their Muslim friends. Pass some days and share with each other many past memories. And it is not long way back when a pillar of Kashmiri music Shri Vijay Malla passed away. Kashmiri Muslims offered tributes to the departed soul. The newspapers of Kashmir valley carried the news on front-pages. Full page articles were published in his memory. Even if late Shri Vijay Malla was a Kashmiri Pandit yet he belonged to all. Kashmiri Pandits and as well as to Kashmiri Muslims. Music is itself a religion beyond the man made religions which create walls between men and men.
Now there arise many more questions. Is the gap between Pandits and the Muslims narrowing? Can Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits afford to live in separation in modern globalised and liberalized world? Is there only one culture i.e. Kashmiri Culture and not the separate cultures? Whatever the answers may be but certain things are clear. Boundaries may affect the brains but cannot separate the hearts. Politics may set us apart, music binds us together.
According to Byron:
‘There is music in the sighing of a reed,
There is music in the gushing of a rill,
There is music in all things if men had ears;
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres’.

‘Vesiye gulan aamai bahaar, az saal antan baal-e-yaar’

Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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