While people are busy debating about whether intolerance exists in India or not, Dr. Sandeep Mawa, a Kashmiri Pandit, decided to do something unique to make a point.
He stood blindfolded at Press Colony in Srinagar, with a message inviting people to hug him in order to demonstrate brotherhood among different communities.
Sandeep is a doctor by profession and is the chairman of the newly formulated civil society group, Jammu and Kashmir Reconciliation Front.
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His aim behind this ‘Hug Campaign’ is to promote universal brotherhood, interfaith dialogue, tolerance, and also to bring people of different communities together. He was inspired to take this step by a Muslim man who decided to stand blindfolded in Paris after the November 13 attack, asking people to hug him if they trusted him.
He stood with a sign that said – “I’m Muslim, but I’m told that I’m a terrorist. I trust you, do you trust me? If yes, hug me.”
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“We, all humans, are alike. When God has not differentiated between us, why should there be any division? There should not be any intolerance. This is the message we want to send across,” he said. He added that politics of religion is not good and politicians should leave the people of Kashmir alone.
Dr. Sandeep was accompanied by about a dozen members of J&K Reconciliation Front, including people of Sikh and Muslim communities as well. They stood in front of banners which read – “I am a Kashmiri Pandit/Muslim/Sikh. I trust you and I respect you. It is very cold. Hug me.”