Despite a past marred in conflicts, communal harmony prevails in Jammu and Kashmir, owing to its lineage of peace and brotherhood. Speaking to ANI, Bhimla Pandita, a Kashmiri Pandit who lives in Pulwama district said her family never faced any problems living in the state. ‘We don’t have any problem here. All the communities treat each other with respect here, and there is a lot of brotherhood among people. If anybody needs help, people help them irrespective of religion,’ she said. As per Tanvir Ahmad, who lives in the same locality, he has celebrated all the Hindu festivals with the same enthusiasm as the Islamic festivals. ‘In our locality people of all religions live in harmony. I have always celebrated Holi and Diwali with as much enthusiasm as Eid,’ he said. Fazal Ilahi Matoo, a Kashmiri scholar told ANI that there might have been a difference of opinions among people of different religions, but the people of Kashmir know that in the end, they all come from the same land. ‘I remember in my childhood there used to be ‘Majlishes’ where people of both communities participated with enthusiasm. Probably it was the communal harmony of the place that brought Mahatma Gandhi to Kashmir during the partition of the county,’ he said. He accepted that post-independence, followers of Islam grew in the state, as most people converted to the religion, but that never lead to disagreement among communities. ‘After partition, Islam became strong here and many Pundits converted to the religion, but that has not led to Hinduism practicing Pandits to hate their converted brothers,’ said Matoo.