Sometimes, there are a few things in life, some initiatives which leave us with a lump in the throat and wet eyes; yet bringing in a sense of goodness and reiterating the belief in humanity.
That is the feeling which came in when we came across this app, Raabta, which means a connection.
This is an app which aims to unite neighbours and friends, Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims who lived alongside each other, shared joys and happiness, celebrated Eid and Diwali together but are now estranged since 1990s when many had to leave the state.
Jaibeer Ahmed, an advertising professional based in New Delhi, who’s one of the curators of Raabta, said the idea was born when he heard his grandmother talk about Dina Nath, a Kashmiri Pandit, who was like her son. “She is 82 years old and hopes to see him once,” he said. The online forum, which was opened on Facebook earlier this year, has over 21,000 likes.
Jaibeer wants the online forum to bring together people from both the communities so that they can also later meet in person. Imagine two neighbours finding each other after 28 years; there can be a million stories like that.
Till now, three sets of people (Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits) have reconnected through the forum and many more were in the process of doing so.
Years of mistrust and suspicion between the two communities have crept in but despite such deep polarization, what could bond them once again is the sweet memories of the past, the food shared, the culture, their music and poetry.
Kudos to Raabta and hope many more unite and bring about some peace; at least in the minds and hearts of a few.