At a time when negative news dominates the headlines around the world, there’s something very positive about this story that’ll brighten up your day.
“Happiness is meeting an old friend after a long time.”
Let’s start with this optimistic note. ‘Raabta’, a small endeavor to re-establish broken links between Kashmiri families, friends, classmates and neighbours divided by decades of insurgency and social bitterness is surely the need of the hour.
Raabta, which translates into “connection”, is a Facebook page helping search and reconnect people we grew up with. The ones we haven’t heard from each other in the last 28 years.
Our concept of ‘Kashmiriyat‘ is incomplete without Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits. We were/are one society, one family.
Better late than never, almost a month since the page with over 21,000 followers was created; Raabta has already been able to connect five Kashmiri Hindu Pandit and Muslim families who live far away from each other, reviving our composite culture, our ‘Kashmiriyat‘.
Behind the initiative is a Kashmiri advertising professional based in Gurugram named Jaibeer Ahmad.
“Despite polarisation, we continue to share bond as individuals. Bound together by our common heritage, culture, music, poetry, food and the pheran (the Kashmiri traditional overcoat),” Ahmad, 43, told IANS
Raabta, the name itself brings forth an explosion of emotions. A friend-to-friend, people-to-people connect.
“To that extent, Raabta is completely driven by organic search,”
Jaibeer hopes that the initiative he runs along with other Kashmiri friends — both Muslims and Hindus —will bridge the gap between the divided communities that together made “Kashmiriyat”, Kashmir’s unique composite culture.
As Ahmad puts it, “(Before 1990) there were no acronyms of KP (Kashmiri Pandit) and KM (Kashmiri Muslim). We were all Kashmiris.”
If you’re on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll be lucky enough to find Raabta there as well. But it is mainly the FB page that is driving the platform.
This amazing initiative has been generously supported by some major newspapers.
We are not Kashmiri. We are not Hindu. We are not Muslim. Our only identity is that we are Indian.
We at Kashmiri Life would request everyone to join ‘Raabta’ and spread the word to fill the gaps and bring the Kashmiriyat back.
Let souls reconnect and reclaim their friendships that had gotten trapped under the debris of time.