Random Pictures(Kashmir)

A man rowing a Boat in Dal Lake

A man rowing a Boat in Dal Lake

A distant view of Hari Parbhat

A distant view of Hari Parbhat

Two vegetable vendors rowing in the back waters of Dal Lake.

Two vegetable vendors rowing in the back waters of Dal Lake.

The famed clock tower of Srinagar.

The famed clock tower of Srinagar.

SPS Musuem

SPS Musuem

Confluence of a brook into a Bigger Stream.

Confluence of a brook into a Bigger Stream.

The Ordeal-Tale of a Kashmir flood Survivor

Last evening, I called on my friend Charanjeet. After a few rings, I heard his voice on the other side as he said, “Hello!” I quickly asked him , “Where are you Friend?”, He answered loudly, “ I am at the stream by my village .I have come here along with my family members, with the 8 bales of clothes, that I managed to get from my rubbled- house at Jawahar Nagar, a couple of days back. I will talk to you in the evening.” and he cut the Mobile.

He is one of the victims of the Floods, that submerged almost whole of Srinagar. Charanjeet singh hails from village Tral in Kashmir valley and was putting up at Jawahar Nagar on rent along with his wife and two Kids.

Before retiring for the bed; I could not forget what he had told me just a few days back. His experience of going through the worst floods of Kashmir is/was still engraved on his psyche. He was narrating his poignant ordeal. And I was all ears.

He bagan like this:

6th sep 2014(Sat), time 10.00a.m, Mehjoor Nagar.I had come to meet a relative of mine, as well as pay my obeisance at the Gurdwara. To my surprise, Half of the Gurdwara was under the flooded waters of river Doodhganga-that flows nearby. When I enquired about the reasons for such a large volume of water, a local shopkeeper told me, that the waters are coming from Kandgam.

Mehjoor Nagar was slowly and gradually sinking under the waters. I ran away towards my house in Jawahar Nagar for the safety. While I was rushing towards my house, a friend called me on my Mobile and informed that Padshahi bagh too is under the flood-waters.

Whole day, I was anxious and phoned several friends and relatives about their welfare as well as ,to know ,the latest status of the floods. By 7.00p.m, My relative from Mehjoor nagar, whom I had visited in the morning, came to my house for shelter as his house had come under the waters.

I was apprehensive that may be Jawahar Nagar will too get submerged.I discussed with my wife about the possibilities of leaving for “Zeethyar” as that place was at a higher level.My wife rejected my suggestion out rightly as she said, “How much water will come! May a foot or two! If we have to leave, we will leave tomorrow morning.”The logic behind the decision was acceptable as we had never heard that Jawahar Nagar has been flooded ever. Also, I have two young children, and it would have been cruel on our part to drag them with us in the late evening.

By 10.00 p.m, we all retired to our beds. I was awakened by shrilled voices in the middle of the night.I checked on my mobile. It was 12.30 a.m.I rushed towards the street. Many young men were running haphazardly in the night and were knocking at the doors of the houses in the neighborhood. I confronted one of the youngster and asked him, “what is the matter?”. In a gushed tone, he answered stentorianly, “We have been told that the flood-waters may come from the Hotel Hatrick. Be alert.” And he ran away, Screaming aloud, “jaggo, Hoshiyar(be alert)”.

I was worried. I awakened my family-members from the slumber and told them what transpired .At 1.30 a.m, I strolled towards the main road. A couple was running towards me .As they approached nearer,The man held my hand and said shockingly, “The waters have come in the town-square. There is a breach in the embankments of Jhelum. Run for your life. Alert others too.” Without wasting a second, I ran towards my double- storied-house. I knew the inevitable is going to happen now. I didn’t want to take any risk. Once upon reaching my house, I took some of our essential belongings with me and shifted along my family to the first floor.

By sunday, 6.00 a.m, waters had started entering the front yard of my house. The level remained the same till 8.00a.m. After that, the waters started to rise sharply. I shifted my family and some of the belongings to the top storey of the house.

At around 9.00a.m, one storey was completely submerged under water. The waters were coming from Rajbagh and Kursu Rajbagh. The waters were gushing and swallowing everything that came in its way. The rising waters forced me to shift to my neighbor-Abid’s house. He helped me to shift my family to his house. We entered his house through the windows .His house was a 3-storied one and mine was only 2 storied.

We were 13 people in all(4 ladies,5 gents and 4 children).Between 11.00 a.m and 12.00 noon,5 houses fell down in front of my eyes. In one of the crumbling houses, I could see at least 10 people falling down and getting Buried under the Debris. I could hear their screams but I could do nothing. Their voices were silenced forever by the might of nature. My wife and children screamed each time, they saw or heard, the houses collapsing all around us. Dr. Sushil Razdan’s house too crumbled down and at least 3 people went down with that house..

Some civil boats came and rescued their relatives. We cried and screamed for help. We were assured by them ,that they will come back for our rescue. But nobody came the whole day. As the day passed by, we could hear the sounds of the crumbling houses all around us. All the children and women were visibly terrified. The men, though were equally terrified, but they acted like bravados.

The noises, screams and sounds of falling houses finally stopped by Sunday night. We did not eat anything that Sunday. My children were hungry and thirsty. By Sunday night, the family of Dr.Tickoo-who live 20 feet away from the house where I was marooned along with my family-threw 4 chapptis towards us. I fed those rotis to my Children. The adults did not eat anything at all.

I could not sleep that night out of anxiety and fear.

On Monday morning, when others woke up, they were all visibly happy. Happy, because we had survived the night. As the day progressed, we could see some Army,NDRF and civil boats. Each time we saw a boat, we cried for Help. But It seemed as if we are nobody and nobody’s responsibility.

In the meanwhile, the family members of Dr. Tickoo sent 30-40 chapptis to us both in the morning and the evening. A rope was thrown from their house to ours. A polythene bag, filled with “rotis” , was slided across the rope, directed towards us.

Monday night too passed, though I did not wink even for a second that night, But I do remember looking up to the skies and saying these words, “God, I know Death is inevitable. But don’t kill us this way.” I was praying to God for our safety.

Tuesday morning, I was thinking that the house, where we are putting up, might also collapse. The fear of death was keeping us on our toes both physically and mentally. The frequency of boats had increased that day. I knew the boats are giving preference to the sick, old and children. I hit upon an idea .I started crying aloud as I screamed, “Help me, my daughter is sick. kindly help me.” . I had lied(God forgive me) that my elder daughter, aged 9 years is sick. But the trick worked .A civil boat came to my rescue. It was around 11.00a.m. I wanted to go with my daughter, arrange a boat and come back to the rescue of others. By my Neighbor Abid opined that he should go, as he has more connections than me, since he has lived in srinager throughout his life and I was sort of an outsider as I am from village tral.

Finally, I gave in to his pestering and logic and he went away in the Boat along with my elder daughter. He promised that he will come back by 3-4p.m. We waited and waited for his return till 10.00p.m. But he did not come.

I and my wife were apprehensive that something bad might have happened. It came to my mind that, may be, the boat has capsized. My wife was inconsolable and she fainted. It was a very tough situation for me. After lots of efforts, I revived the consciousness of my wife.

How could I sleep that night! I was aghast with fear and my helplessness. At around 12.30 a.m, the wife of Abid started screaming . She was yelling loudly , “This house is going to fall. Help me Allah!” It took some time for all of us to control and console her.

By 1.00 a.m, Finally Abid came with a Boat. And we all had a sigh of relief. I enquired about my Daughter. He told us that she is safe at her Maternal uncles’s place, who stays near the embankments of the River at Mehjoor nagar. The news was relieving for us too. The boat that Abid had brought along with him could house nearly 20 people. The boat was arranged from Rainawari. The Boatman told us that the Gurudwara at Chatti-Padshahi is safe and that we should go there for our safety. The Boat dropped us at lal-Mandi near the banks of Jhelum river.

We were told by a passerby to go to the Hotel of the politician Altaf Bukhari(PDP) across the river. we crossed over the foot-bridge(near SPS muesuem)and reached his hotel. It was jam-packed as 1500 people had already taken shelter there. Many of the people were visibly sick and needed medical attention. Childen were crying.Anyways, We slept there for some hours.

Next morning (Wed)8.00 a.m, we left that place and decided to take shelter at Zeethyar. We walked through the Bundh(embankment) and reached Jaan Bakery via Zero Bridge. We took the hilly path to reach Durganaag Mandir. Enroute, I met few acquaintances. They told me that many sikh families had taken shelter at Woodland House school and that Zeethyar is jam-packed with 3000 people. We decided to take shelter at Woodland House school as I knew some local families there.

While, we were walking towards the School, The scenes reminded me of the 1947 partition as I saw many people walking or wading with their belongings on their heads. Finally, I reached Woodland School. It too was overcrowded. Later that day, the traditional Kashmiri- “Tehar”. Was served to all. We stayed there for the Night.
woodland
Next Morning(thrusday), I set on foot for Mehjoor Nagar, to get my daughter Back. The gory scenes all around the route was horrifying and heart-wrenching. Somehow, I reached Kursu Rambagh. At least 3-4 thousand people were still stranded in that area. The river waters had cut the road connection between Kursu Rajbagh and Mehjoor Nagar. Some of the local volunteers had cut the poplar tress and made a temporary bridge between the two areas. I too crossed the newly-made poplar bridge to reach Mehjoor Nagar and soon I was at my relatives House. My relative told me that my Daughter was with her Aunt(Massi) at chanapura, and that she was healthy and safe. I was relieved. I decided to get my daughter Back once the water level recedes and returned back to the Woodland School.

I stayed that night and Friday night with a friend of mine, who has a house near Woodland School.

On Saturday morning, I and my family were given a lift by an army truck. We had to reach our village in Tral. The truck dropped us at Habbakhatun. From there we walked 3 kms and reached Panthachowk. 5-6 thousand people were waiting there or were stranded. We walked further until we got a lift from a Truck Driver from Jammu. We alighted from the Truck at Awantipura . I managed to get a taxi from Awantipura and reached my Home at Tral.

It was only after 4-5 days stay at Tral, I could manage to get back my Daughter from her Massi’s(Aunt’s) house.

I had gone to my House at Jawahar Nagar, day before yesterday. It is still filled with a lot of Mud and silt. Everything has been destroyed by the waters. Somehow, I could bundle some of the clothes for washing . The place is still far for any immediate inhabitation. But I will go back, clean up the mess and try to return to a normal life, as I used to live there, before the Deluge.

During those tough 6 days, I witnessed the fury of Nature. The “thud” and “splash” of the crumbling houses. Thrist. Hunger .Anger. The fear of losing near and dear ones, and above all, the power of Humanity. I am thankful to all those, who helped me and my family to Survive. And I thank God, who gave me the courage to start afresh with optimism and Empathy. I have learnt, Nothings matters except being Humane and Kind.

Kashmir Flood sep 2014-some images

Few Pictures were taken on 4-5th sep 2014(mentioned in those pics).Rest of the photos were taken on 13sep 2104.

zero bridge(4th sep)

zero bridge(4th sep)

Taken from the bridge near SPS Musuem on 4th sep.

Taken from the bridge near SPS Musuem on 4th sep.

hanuman mandir(sth sep)

hanuman mandir(sth sep)

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lal ded(13 th sep)

lal ded(13 th sep)

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gangabal yatra 2014(kashmir)-some photos

_MG_5279 _MG_5422 _MG_5431 _MG_5433 _MG_5471 _MG_5515 _MG_5581 _MG_5584 _MG_5590 _MG_5646 IMG_5329 IMG_5345 IMG_5349 IMG_5370 IMG_5387 IMG_5390 IMG_5398 IMG_5403 IMG_5405 IMG_5442 IMG_5448 IMG_5468gang

Kausar Nag History and the controversy

The Protest headed by the separatists of Kashmir against Kausar nag yatra was not an impromptu agitation. It was rather deliberated upon astutely by the Separatists.And a leading Kashmir-based-English-newspaper was roped in . For example, This leading newspaper of Kashmir, few weeks back had published deliberately that instead of some 40 odd KP’s, 4000 Kashmiri hindus(more than 99% of hindus in Kashmir are Pandits) are going for the yatra. This was enough for the separatists to convey the majority population, that this yatra is a precursor for the return of KP’s into the valley.And thus an era of Hindu-Hegemony has started .( 4000 Hindus are/were going for the yatra, that too from the Reasi side of Jammu according to newspaper reports.)

30-40 odd Kashmiri Pandits(KP’s) wanted to undertake the Kausarnag yatra from Kulgam, as did their predecessors till 1989.But to their dismay, they were stopped by the local administration, even though they had taken the permission to undertake this yatra many days back. It is an irony that the DC of Kulgam backtracked from his original stand and feigned that he had not given any such order.


DC

The main and only reason for the cancellation of the yatra, was the appeasement policy of pak-sponsored-separatists and their cahoots. They alleged that KP’s never undertook this yatra and opined that the yatra will disturb the fragile ecology of the Mountain lake-Kausrnag. But strangely, they have turned a blind eye on other equally important ecological aspects of Kashmir.

The fact however has a different story to tell:

Fact is that 10,000 trees were cut and 30,000 wild lives destroyed to construct Mughal Road. Is that not destruction of ecology! Why didn’t the separatists raised their voice against that road! Or was it that, the road was connecting them to another Muslim dominated area, hence they remained silent! Why haven’t The so called Islamic zealots- turned- environmentalists ever raised their voice against the molestation of water bodies of Kashmir viz Dal Lake, Nagin Lake, Wullar Lake, Manasbal Lake and now extinct Anchaar lake.
What about the environmental hazards which other tourist places like Gulmarg, tangmarg and many other such tourist destinations have to face due to the influx of tourists both Indian and foreign. Has these bigot leaders guts to raise their voices against the influx of tourists to these places? The answer is a big No!!! Fact remains that tourism is the single largest segment which gives livelihood to lakhs of Kashmiris. Every year lakhs of Kashmiris pray to Almighty that more and more tourists should come to Kashmir. Tourists who come to Kashmir spend money like wastrels and don’t mind to loosen their wallets.

The tourists unlike the KP’s don’t call Kashmir their Homeland. But KP’s do. Since, many Kashmiri Muslims have illegally occupied the houses and properties of Kashmir, They fear that if KP’s will come back, they may have to handover those properties back to the Hindus. They are the ones who protest stridently against the coming of KP’s back into the valley. And they are the biggest supporters of the separatists.

B.T.W, Kausarnag is also known as Vishnupad or Kramasaras or kramasara.

The Separatists who are ignorant about the legend and History of Kashmir, particularly Kausarnag should read the write-up, by DR. R.K.Tamiri, that shows the significance of “Vishnupad”..

 

 Visnu Pad Legend:By Dr. R.K. Tamiri

It was in summer (July) of 1982 that I visited the enchanting high altitude lake of Konsarnag. A decade and a half later when I drifted into the field of folkloristics and history I ‘discovered’ that in my trek to this beautiful lake I had accomplished the pilgrimage to the historic Naubandhana Tirtha. Konsarnag, over 2 miles long  and located at an altitude of 12,000 ft, has been worshipped since times immemorial as Visnupad (foot of Visnu). In Nilmat Times it was called by its Sanskrit name Kramasaras or Kramsara (Kramafootstep, Saras lake). Since it is supposed to mark the footstep of Visnu, it is the main objective of the Naubandhana pilgrimage.

VisnuPad Legend: Konsarnag lake is one of the two places in Kashmir Valley that is associated with worship of ‘Visnupad’. The other shrine of ‘Visupad’ is located in the foothills of Pir Panjal at Fatehpur, in Dooru-Shahbad tehsil, not much away from Verinag (Nilkunda) Spring. Fatehpur shrine houses as per local folklore, footprints of Visnu on a stone. In the Vedic literature (Rigvedic verse I22.17) mentions three steps of Visnu. According to Sakapuni, Visnu placed his steps in a 3-fold manner, on the earth (as fire) in the atmosphere (as the lightening) and in the sky as the sun. Visnu is chiefly extolled for his three strides with which he traversed the world. The Mahabharata speaks of him as the presiding deity of motion. The Natyashastra of Bharata applies to him the epithet amitagata, one with unrestrained movement and the earth is often described as having been trodden by Visnu in the past. In the epic-purana period a few holy spots were supposed to bear the markings of the feet of Visnu, whose main attribute  is his power of striding. Scholar BM Baru explains Visnupada as an astronomical term, when the sun is on the rising point (Samarohana) and setting (Gayasiras). Stories about a hill bearing the footprints of Visnu were current in the days of Yaska. Visnusmriti mentions Visnupada alongwith Godavari, Gomati, Vipasa etc. besides Gaya. An important aspect of Gaya pilgrimage (where a person can perform his own sraddha), is visit to Visnupada temple (bearing foot-prints of Visnu). This temple existed in 4th Century AD, but the temple in its present condition belongs to Gupta period. However, Buchanan draws our attention to an inscription that says the temple was constructed by King Jayasimha (1128-49 AD) of Kashmir in honour of the footprints of deity Dattatreya (a form of Visnu). The epics refer to a Visnupada situated in the north. Mahabharat a carries as many as six references to it, three of which speak of it as a spot on the top of a northern hill. Historian Suvira Jaiswal says, “At present we cannot determine its exact location, it appears to have been in the north”. Popularity of worship of Visnupada in Kashmir is certainly due to sway of Buddhism in the region. Jaiswal argues,” the practice of dedicating the footprints of Visnu and of erecting shrines over them became popular certainly due to the Buddhist influence. It was later adopted by Vaisnavism in which Visnu’s foot was already much exalted. But it was not popular among Vaisnavas, as dearth of available evidence indicates”.

Dessication of Satisar Legend: Kashmir’s religious tradition locates on the peaks in the vicinity of Konsarnag lake the seat from which Visnu, Siva and Brahma fought the water demon Jalodbhave and dessicated Satisaras. The western most and the highest peak (15523 ft) is said to have been the site of Naubandhana tirtha. In the Kashmir version of the deluge Visnu in his Matsya (fish) avtara had bound to this peak the  Nau (ship into which Parvati/Sati had converted herself) to save the seeds of beings from destruction. Konsarnag lake lies at the foot of this peak and to the northwest of it.

Nilmat Story: As per the legend narrated by Nilmat Mahatmya, at the end of Manvantra (one of the 71 Caturyugas) all the movable/immovable creations of the earth were destroyed completely, sparing of course the mountains. The whole of Jambudvipa was effaced, the earth turned into a sea. After the destruction Lord Mahadeva stayed all around the world in the form of water. At that time, the Goddess Sati assumed the form of a boat. The future Manu, through magical power, placed all the seeds in that boat. Visnu in Matsya form dragged off that boat by means of his horn, fastened it to the top of a mountain and left for an unknown place. This mountain peak came to be called Naubandhana peak-holy and destroyer of all sins and fears. The goddess Sati in boat form becomes the earth and on that earth comes into being a lake of clear water, Satidesa, 6 Yojanas long and half of that in breadth, enjoyable, heart-enrapturing and the sporting place of the gods. Indra was sporting once on the bank of Konsarnag, accompanied and his wife Saci. Daitya Chief Sangrha, who was exceedingly difficult of being conquered came there while Indra was sporting. He was aroused by Saci and wanted to carry her away. This angered Indra. In the fight between Indra and Sangraha that lasted a year, the Daitya Chief was killed and Indra ascended to heaven. However, just before his death, Sangraha discharged his semen into the lake. A child was born in the waters out of the semen of the evil-minded Daitya Chief.As he was born in the water, the child came to be called Jalodbhava (demon-child). Due to compassion, the Nagas led by their chief Nila brought up that child in the waters. Having propitiated the God Pitamaha with penance, Jalodbhava obtained from him a triple boon, viz. immortality in the water, magical power and unparalled prowess. The Daitya chief devoured all the human beings who lived in various regions near the lake. The people fled away from Kashmir due to fear. At that time Kashyapa was on a pilgrimage of Kashmir to visit the holy spots. Nila went to meet Kashypa at a place called Kanakhala. On his visit to holy Visnupada, Nila pleaded before Kashypa,” Now that imprudent fellow (Jalodbhava) who obtained boons from Brahma of imperceptible birth, ignores me like anything and I am incapable of keeping him under control due to the boon of the lord of three worlds.” Kashypa accompanied by Nila, the Lord of Nagas reached the abode of Brahma and complain to Vasudeva, Isvara, Ananta about the activities of Jalodbhava. The God Pitamaha tells Nila, the sage of unparalleled valour, “we shall go to Naubandhan a to subdue him. Then the God Kesava (Visnu) will undoubtedly kill him”. Gods mounted their respective Vahans (vehicles), Hari on Tarksya, Hara along with his wife on bull, Brahma on Swan and the two Nagas on the cloud. They went after Jalodbhava. Kashypa went by his supernatural power. Indra heard that and, in the company of the hosts of gods, went to that place where Kesava had gone. Other smaller gods also came on their respective mounts to witness the fight. Having reached Nauban-dhana, Visnu adopted a firm position. As Jalodbhava heard the sound of the retinue of the gods, knowing himself to be imperishable in the water he did not come out. The pleased Madhusudana, having learnt that the water-demon would not come out, entered Naubhandna in the company of Gods. Rudra took position on Naubhandna peak, Hari on the southern peak, Brahma on the northern peak and the gods and the asuras following them. With gods having taken up the positions, God Janardana implored Ananta to kill the demon,” Breaking forth Himalaya today with the plough,make soon this lake devoid of water”. Ananta broke forth Himalaya with the plough.When the water of the lake was disappearnig, Jalodbhava practised magic to create darkness all around. Then the God Siva, holding the sun and the moon in his hands, brought the world to light.With the vanishing of darkness, Hari through yogic powers assumed another body and fought with the demon. There was a terrible fight between Visnu and the demon with trees and peaks of mountains.Hari cut of forcibly the head of the demon and Brahma felt pleased. Brahma, Visnu and Sambhu gave their own names to the peaks of which they had taken their positions. So the peaks came to be called Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara. That which is Naubandhana peak is Sankara. The one on its right side is celebrated as Hari and the left one as Brahma. The Gods declared, “whoever shall see you after taking bath in the lake Kramasara shall see three of us on the mountain and will go to heaven.” As per tradition even the evil-doers are freed by seeing these peaks. Different places on the peaks are worshipped as hermitages erected by Brahma, Kashypa, Mahadeva, Ananta, the sun and the moon and Hari. Mahadeva’s hermitage is located on the spot where Visnu stood and obtained victory at that time. Hari’s hermitage is celebrated as Narsimha. After the slaying of the demon, the Sudarsana wheel, intoxicated with the blood of Jalodbhava, wandered in the deserted land and was caught by Sankara. The latter handed over the discuss to Jnarndana. The latter made his abode on the head of Jalodbhava. He erected a divine image, on which both Kesava and Siva-the destroyer of all sins-are represented. Kashyapa then declared land as habitable, holy and charming. He asked Nagas to live in the company of Pisachas. When Nila, the Naga Lord reminded sage Kasypa about war-like nature and evil-doings of Pisachas, Sage Kasypa explained to him the role of Nkumbha, the noble lord of Pischas appointed by Kubera to keep Pisachas in check. The Sage Kasyapa discussed with Nila the compromise, whereby Pischas would live for six months in the Valley. Nilmat assigns two explanations for the Valley being named as Kashmir. Kasyapa played an instrumental role in reclaiming Valley land, while Balarama took out the water through the plough-wielder. Kasypa is also called Prajapati. Both Prajapati as well as water are called Ka. Source of Vyeth (Vitasta, Jehlum, Hydspes): Veshau, the ancient Visoka, which later on turns into Vitasta, receives streams coming from the northern slope of the Pir Panjal range between Sedau and Banihal passes. Its traditional source is placed in the Kramasaras or Konsarnag. This is the third aspect of veneration for this lake. Visoka, means griefless (free from pain). Traveller GT Vigne crudely describes it as meaning as river of Visnu. Nilmat describes Visoka as Uma. Later, after worshipping Lakshmi to purify Kashmir Veshan was glorified as Visoka. The fine waterfall which is formed by the stream of Konsarnag, not far from the village of Sedau, is known as Ahrbal. In Nilmat times it was called Akhor bila, ‘the mouse-hole’. Aharbal is its present name. Abul Fazl, a minister at Emperor Akbar’s court,in his ‘The AINI Akbari’ describes Veshau as “the name of a stream which issues picturesquely from an orifice in a mountain and at the same place is a declivity down which the waters tumble from a height of 20 yards with a thundering roar”. Abul Fazl (16th century) and GT vigne (1834) have documented sanctity of Aharbal. Abul Fazl writes,” Hindu devotees throw themselves down from its summit and with utmost fortitude sacrifice their lives, in the belief that it is a means of securing their spiritual welfare”. GT Vigne says, “Arabul (Aharbal) is a place of peculiar sanctity with the Hindus and as such, is frequently visited by them, though perhaps less now than formerly, before the prosperity of the Valley was on the wane, and the precipice overhanging its flood has been upon several occasions the last resting place for the feet of the Hindu suicide.” Little is known about how Kramasaras lake came to be called Konsarnag. Since this lake is also the abode of the Naga Kaundinya, the place became famous by the name Kaundinyasara. There is strong probability that Kaun(dinya)sara over a period of time came to be called as Kons’rNag. GT vigne, however, attributes the change of nomenclature to Islamic influence. He says,” As…it is pronounced Kauser Nag it may be inferred that the Musalmans have, on account of its extent and height, given it the name of Kaunser, or Kautser, one of the rivers of paradise, whose waters, whiter than milk or more odoriferous than musk, roll into the fish-pool, a month’s journey in circumference, and by which the righteous are refreshed after passing the bridge of Al Sirat”. Interestingly, Vigne describes the lake as Kosah Nag. There is also a village named Konsarbal below  Nandimarg. The spring in this village is also called Konsarbal. Kashmiri Pandits and Gujar/Bakarwals hold the lake in great veneration. As per folklore of Kashmiris Pandits of village Avil, which forms one of the base camps for trek to Konsarnag, the lake Visnupad has its four toes (signifying 4 rivers) towards Punjab and heel towards Kashmir (one river). How such an important pilgrimage was abandoned by Kashmiri Pandits over the past few centuries remains unclear. Gujar/Bakarwals of Rajouri usually come with their flock of cattle in the last week of May, when the entire region is covered with a thick blanket of snow. They camp on the banks of the lake in stone shelters and usually slaughter a sheep. Its head is thrown into the lake and the roasted meats on stone plates is served to people. If the head sinks, only then they move ahead. There are three versions of Naubandhana Mahatmya (43, 85, 86, Stein Collection). As per Naubandhana Mahatmya, the pilgrimage used to take place on Bhadon Shuklapaksha Ekadashi. It asks the pilgrims to do Tarpan in the lake to get rid of sins. On the day of Dadshi one has to take bath at Sangam and conduct tarpan for Saints/Pityrs and offer gifts. Then pilgrims have darsana of peaks, which as per belief assure a place in heaven. Performing sraddha is considered quite good because as per mahatmya, God is present here. Journey: Naubhandana Tirtha is located in Kulgam tehsil. One can reach Konsarnag lake by either of the two routes-Avil or via Aharbal. Avil (old name, Awal) was in olden times ruled by a Kotraj (local chief), who controlled the territory from Damhal Hanjipora to Aharbal. Discovery of ancient pottery, pitchers, pestels etc in the area indicates that the region had human settlement from very early times. As per local lore, the flourishing town of Awal vanished following a devastating earthquake. An old Persian inscription on a grave reveals that Shah Behram ruled Awal during late medieval period. Prior to migration, the village had 25 Pandit families. Except for one family all are Rainas. The grandfather of Mansa Ram Raina, who hailed from Rainawari, had come to Avil during later half of Afghan rule. Sahaz Ram Raina, who lived in 19th century was a an ascetic of great merit. There is a small spring named Thaal Nagin in Avil’s Pandit mohalla. During old times, as per a legendary account, plates (Thalis) would come out of spring whenever any request was made. The water of Thalnagin is ice-cold in summer and warm in winter. Avil to Konsarnag: A gradual ascent through a forest for over an hour leads to Naribal, the last inhabited village, where Gujjars live. The village is also called Naribal Nagin due to the presence of a small spring. Water collected here is then resupplied to Avil village by PHE department. After climbing some distance one reaches AalascharMar. Pilgrims/Trekkers do not take rest here. It is said if a person stops here he won’t be able to go ahead then. People while passing through this place usually deposit a stick or a wooden piece for safe journey onwards. While descending down from Alachmar to the other side there are two tracks. The track on the right side leads to Chirun Bul. The elevated plain is called Astan Marg. The encounter between Sikhs and Pathans took place here in 1819. The Chirunbul meadow is one km. long. Kashmiri shepherds are seen here. After walking some distance, Chirunbul nullah  (Vigne’s Shurji-Murg river) is crossed on a seasonal log bridge. Gradual ascent for 3 kms through forests leads to Manzipal (Henna stone). There used to be a seasonal watermill and a shop, run by a Pandit family. There are two big memorial stones here-Danyagon (Paddy heap) and Makaigon (Maize heap). Locals as usual attribute these stones to Pandavs. There is also a small spring here named Pari Nagin, the fairy spring. Locals do not venture to visit this area in late evenings and claim that fairies descend to sing in late hours. It is an uphill journey for another two hours through the forest to reach an alpine sloppy meadow called Lahanpathri. Lot of Kashmiri shepherds are seen here in summer months. One can stay for the night at Lahanpathri and avail the hospitality of shepherds or return to Manzipal base camp. Indersar : Indersar lake is 2 kms  from Lahanpathri. God Indra who figures in Konsarnag mythology is associated with this lake. Unlike Ksirsar and Brahmsar, this lake finds no mention in Nilmat or Naubandhana mahatmya. Lake is circular in shape, about 1 km in circumference. Since the mountain peaks are little away, pilgrims can easily do circumambulation of the lake. Lake water is warm as sunlight falls regularly on this lake. How the water from Indersar escapes is not known. Apparently there is no outlet. From Indersar one has to come back to Lahanpathri and then gradually descend through a tree-less area. Chittinadi, coming from Ksirsar lake is crossed over a logbridge and at times one can simply wade through the gushing stream. After crossing Chittinadi, there is gradual ascent along the base of the peaks to Ksirsar. The distance is over 4 kms.

Ksirsar: Ksirsar is spread over thirty kanals. Though circular in shape, it has numerous podia-like elongations. The lake has a clear outlet for water. Its water is milky-white. Since the peaks are too close, no circumambulation of the lake is possible. It is said that there is a big memorial stone of cow. Water oozing out from the glaciers on the peaks falls on the cow and then comes out through teats into the lake. The lake has a clear outlet for its waters. Ksirsar finds mention in Nilmat and Naubhandana mahatmya. The latter describes Ksirsar as resembling a full-moon of Purnima, with its water looking like Ksir. It refers to Upmanu’s asrama here. As per Naubhandna Mahatmya, the lake was created by Sankara himself and one reaches Shivlok by taking bath in it. Nilmat says,” one attains heaven and saves one’s family by seeing the sacrificial place of Brahma there. By seeing there the beautiful Ksirsara, one is released from sins. By bathing on the dark 14th after reaching the source of the Samara (? Chittinadi), one is freed from all the sins and is honoured in the world of Rudra”. Naubhandana Mahtmaya says Upmanu’s asrama is situated in the forest around Ksirsar. Bath in Brahmsar lake, as per Naubhandna mahatmya, has the merit of getting access to Brahmlok. For Brahmsar lake base camp is Hakwas. It can be approached from Lahanpather, Manzipal or Chiryun Bal. The route to Hakwas from Lahanpather and Manzipal is through a dense forest called Hapatnar. It is 4 hours easy journey from Lahanpathri to Hakwas.Frmo Avil to Hakwas it is 17 kms. Hakwas is a big meadow, almost equalling lovely meadow of Kongwattan.  Above Hakwas is another meadow, known to the people of the area as Gokul Marg, the meadow of Lord Krishna. A nullah hakwas nullah’ flows around Hakwas.

Brahmsar: While going from Chiryunbal to Hakwas, a bridge is crossed near Hera (upper) Chiryun bal. Then one has to climb gradually a distance of 8 kms (3 hrs), at places over old snow, to reach Brahmsar Lake. Kashmiri shepherds have their camps here in summer. Peaks are quite close to the lake. with little sunshine falling on it. Lake is covered on three sides and its water looks black due to the shadow of the peaks falling on it. Ice-flakes are also seen floating on the lake. The lake has a fearful look. Since the peaks are too close, there is strong echo. People get a feel of hearing ‘heavenly’ sounds. These sounds are attributed to aboriginal prehistoric people-Nagas, Pisachas and Kinnaras. The water of the lake comes out through a regular outlet. Pilgrims desirous of taking bath do not venture to go into the lake. They take out water for bath from the lake at its outlet. Brahmsar lake is spread over 15 kanals. The path from Brahmsar to Konsarnag is via Ksirsar and Indersar and is quite tough. It takes two hours. Only shepherds and Bakarwals take this route. Brahmsar stream is the first to join Hakwas nullah. At this spot is a bridge. Then the latter is joined first by Ksirsar nullah and later Indersar stream near Hera Chiryunbal. Subsequently, the Kaundinya stream (Konsarnag stream) joins it at Sangam. After this, a small stream coming from Ramkansan (opposite to Kongwattan, joins it and it becomes Veshav (ancient Visoka). Near Ramkansan is a sandy meadow, Sekijan , where Galwans are seen camping. The place where Kaundinya stream is joined by other streams is called Dhaumysrama. As per Nilmat taking bath here is equal to performing Rajasuya, and Vajpeya, the merit of giving one thousand cows. Just below the sangam, as per Naubhandna mahatmya is a fearful spring called Gambhir spring, right in the middle of the stream. To propaliate it, ‘Prasad’ of stream water is prepared. Kaundinya stream is formed by the confluence of two streams, one coming from the lake (though no visible outlet is seen) and the second as per Naubhandana Mahtmaya, Kumaradara Mool Waters. It is a sacred stream and the merit of taking bath here is equal to performing Pundarika. Bath in Chittinadi of Ksirsar gives the merit (gift of) a hundred cows. Mandakini stream mentioned in Nilmat in the vicinity of Konsarnag Lake has not been identified. Veshav means devoid of pain or griefless. Nilmat (versa 1329) says, “A man becomes devoid of grief and possessed of wealth, by taking bath in the Visoka and obtains the holy mefit of (performing) Devasattra”. Aharbal to Konsarnag: It is 48 kms by road from Srinagar to Shopian and then another 13 kms to Aharbal. The latter is 28 kms  from Kulgam. Avil, Damhal Hanjipora, and Manzgam are better-known villages on Shopian-Aharbal route. As already described Avil forms base camp for trek to Brahmsar, Indersar and Ksirsar lakes. There is a well-known Ganesh asthapan, named Mahabal on right bank where Danavkandi Marg nullah joins Veshau. Kashmiri Pandits of the neighbouring villages used to take turmeric-laced rice on Navreh the new year day of Kashmiri Pandits. Archeological remains seen here point towards the antiquity of the place. At Ahrabal, the river Veshau falls some 25 ft over a precipice. Vigne who visited the place in December 1834 while on way to Konsarnag writes, “In spring the rush of the water is tremendous; but the beauty of the place is not owing to its volume or the height of its fall, which does not exceed 25 feet, but to its dark, deep and precipitous sides, the thick pine forest that surrounds it and the relief that is afforded by the snows of the Pir Panjal, that rise majestically behind it.” CMs school teacher Nand Lal Bakaya, who became a legend in his lifetime for extraordinary skills in adventourous trekking, writes about Aharbal fall: “(it) is a wonderful sight, especially in the morning or at noon when the rays of the sun breaking on the spray form rainbows. The fall is best seen from the right bank”. Ahrabal to Kongawatan: The path to Kongwatan passes through forests on the right bank of river Veshau. Guruatan is 1 km away from Aharbal Galwans are seen roaming around. A bridge has to be crossed at Guruwatan for onward journey. A track here leads to Hurapur, Sedau. On the right bank of Veshau is seen a huge stone, named Pandav dul. It looks as if a big pestel has been turned upside down. Its inner side is polished. After another 4 kms we reach Sangam, where Hakwas nullah alongwith streams from other lakes joins Kaundinya stream. At Sangam the left track leads to Kongwatan, while the right road goes to Ramakansan/Sekijan. A minihydroelectric station is coming up near Sangam at a place called Chori Kholu.  A wooden bridge has to be crossed at Sangam on way to Kongwatan. A leisurely walk for another 4 kms (1« hr) takes one to Kongwatan.

Kongwatan to Konsarnag :Kongwatan is one of the finest meadows surrounded by pines and firs. Mr Ghulam Nabi Gohar has immortalized this meadow, in his Kashmiri novel. There is a small Forest Rest House here. From Kongwatan we come to a place called Adangi while walking along the right bank of Veshau. A 4-km leisurely walk takes to Mahinag. There is a small spring here. It is believed that water of Konsarnag oozes out at Mahinag.  Mahinag spring, spread over half a kanal, is circular in outline and has no old masonary. There used to be an old forest hut here. It was damaged by heavy snowfall and does not exist any longer. A dangerous glacier bridge has to be crossed some distance away. After crossing the bouldered bed of a river one reaches Satpukhrin. Seven small nullahas are seen here. Then there is ascent of 1000 ft to reach the pass overlooking the Konsarnag lake. Similar height is to be descended down to reach the lake. The journey takes 5 to 6 hours. Across the lake is a beautiful pass, called by Bakarwals as Konsargali. In Vigne’s time it was known by the name of Futi Panjal or the Ridge of victory. On the left the pass leads to Rajouri and Budhal via Ropri pass, while the right track goes to Gool and Riasi via Nalla Shergadi. It is just 4 hurs trek to Gool from Konsarnag. This pass remains snow bound even as late as early August.

Vigne’s account:

Vigue visited Konsarnag in the beginning of December.Snow which had fallen a month before the usual time had disappeared under the rays of sun. About the exit of lake waters Vigne writes,”…on its left bank…its full strong torrent is suddenly seen gushing out from the foot of the last and lofty eminence that forms the dam on the western end of the lake, whose waters thus find an exit, not over but through the rocky barrier with which it is surrounded”. Locals believe Konsarnag to be the origin of Thanna and Rajawur river also. Height of the lake is 12,000 ft. When the water in lake is low (as in December) it does not exceed 3/4ths of a mile, while its breadth is 500 to 600 yards. The position of the lake is same as that of the Valley, north-west and south-east. The peaks which are on the eastern side care called the Koserin Kutur and are the highest in the Pir Panjal. The peaks are remarkably pointed, sides are bare and scarped. About the formation of the lake Valley, Vigne says,”…to all appearance the Valley of the lake has been formed by the forcible separation of the mountain-top. Judging from the angle at which they enter the lake, the bottom must originally have been about 200 feet in depth below the present level of water”. As per Vigne Bernier’s description of the great lake ejecting fine sands possibly refers to Konsarnag. Bernier says that icebergs are driven by the wind in the spring. When vigne visited it a thin sheet of ice had covered the lake in particular places. He says that the mountain-gusts may sometimes be rushing through the gully at the southern end of the lake, and sweep across its surface with terrific violence. Vigne also recounts the local lore about this mountain tarn. At the western end the trap-rock descends to the water in a succession of steps or benches. The three steps are claimed to be those of Raja, Vizier and his Sardars. About the veneration of local Hindus for this lake, vigne says that they occasionally pay a visit for the purpose of ablution. A local Pandit who accompanied him used to visit the lake annually for performing his ablutions. Vigne refers to an incident in which a young man was confronted by a demon/deyu while he was standing on a rock, a short distance from the rock. The demon was not allowing the young man to move. As the latter was encouraged to move, the demon “seized” and drowned him.

Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin’s visit: Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin, the benevolent monarch of Kashmir visited Konsarnag lake in 1463 AD. He was so fascinated by the lake that he constructed its replica ‘Zainasara’ within Pampore, so that every Kashmiri could have a feel of what great wonder was Konsarnag lake. Budshah (the Great King), as Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin was called by Kashmiris, visited the lake in the company of Srivara, the chronicler and Sinha bhatta and was accompanied by his two sons, Haji and Behram. In Budshah’s time Naubandhana pilgrimage was quite popular. Srivara has given graphic description of King’s visit. It took them three days to reach the lake. First he went to Vijayeswara (Bijbehara) and watched enthralling dramatic performance, to which neigthbouring chieftains too had been invited. From Vijayeswara the Sultan went on foot. Srivara recorded the visit of Budshah for posterity in these words: The Sultan possessing charming devotion on seeing the Konsarnag stamped with the image of the foot of Lord Visnu derived untold bliss by making an obeisance at the foot of Naubandhana mountain (verse 96). Having observed non-stop and plentiful streams coming down the mountain with a darkish hue of musk coloured flowers afforded immense pleasure to the tallest Sultan (likening it) to the body of Hari (Visnu) dressed as a Yogi (verse 98). The Sultan boarded a boat, lined by five boatmen and taking me (Srivara) and Sinha Bhatta, roamed in the deeps of the lake. I (Srivara) recited songs from Gita-Govinda to him and Sultan derived great aesthetic pleasure from it. While roaming in the lake, it began to snow. The Sultan made three rounds around the lake. Sultan after strolls in the lake tied his boat there true to old tradition. King kept remembering the ‘ever-young’ Konsarnag lake upto Kumara. (The author is well known researcher on Kashmir Culture and history. He has authorred painting and  theatre in Kashmir Suraj Tickoo’s Journey)

 

 

 

please check the video for details of Kausarnag/vishnupad

From Kalhans Rajatarangini, The Translator M.A.Stein, in the chapter-Ancient Geography of Kashmir-section-2(the pir panjal range) has written as follows about Kausarnag:

Proceeding westward from Banhal we come to a group of three snowy peaks reaching above 15000 feet.With their bold Pyramidal summits they form conspicuous objects in the panorama of the range as seen from the valley.Kashmir tradition locates on them the seats from which Vishnu, Siva and Brahman according to the legend already related, fought jalodbhava and desiccated the satisaras.The westernmost and the highest of these peaks(15523 feet) forms the famous NAUBANDHA Tirtha.According to the legend related in the Nilmata and other texts and connected with the Indian deluge story, Vishnu in his fish Avatara had bound to this peak the ship(nau) into which Durga had converted herself to save the seeds of the beings from destruction.At the foot of this peak and to the north-west of it, lies a mountain lake over two miles long, known now as kausarnag, the Kramasaras or Kramasara of the Nilmat and Mahatmayas.It is supposed to mark a footstep(krama) of Vishnu and is the proper object of Naubandhana pilgrimage..

Amarnath And The Unctuous Muslim

Time and again, the religious fanatics-who oppose the presence of Hindus in Kashmir-are ingeniously devising new ways to create ruckus and stall Amarnath Yatra on one pretext or the other. It is these fanatics and their supporters who give a religious colour to everything and incite hatred among the majority of the population. The Amarnath agitation of 2008 and 2010 were the results of such devious- conspiracy.

These fanatics and their supporters were responsible for the commotion at Baltal ,just a couple of days back, that resulted in communal conflagration literally and practically. Their sinister planning paid-off and the Yatra was suspended from Baltal-The hotspot where all this action took place-for a day or so.

The real reason, it seems is the control of Business both at Baltal as well as well as Domail. Many Langars(community kitchens, that serve free food to the yatris) are operated upon by the people, who live outside the valley. These volunteers come every year from different parts of the country to serve the devotees free of cost.

The locals (ponywalla, tentwallah etc.) earn at least 80% of their yearly income from this yatra, but still, Some local businessmen, with a certain anti-India ideology, envy them, as they think that can make ten times the money, that they usually earn during the yatra, if somehow the free-langars are not allowed to operate.

It has been a diabolical plan of Pakistani-backed-separatists since 1990 to stall the yatra . Often they give this yatra an anti-Islam colour and incite the majority to oppose this yatra both tacitly as well as blatantly, on the name of Islam. Every year the separatists claim that India is secretly building a township at Baltal and that they are following the policy of Israel. On the contrary, It is these very Pakistan-backed-separatists, who changed the demography of Kashmir by ousting the indigenous Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir. Their bigotry and double standard is condemnable beyond words.

This dichotomous-sadistic-selective-self-portraying by the religious fanatics is both deplorable as well as sympathizing. Deplorable-because of their double standards and their role in selective projecting of Islam viz-a-viz different countries. Sympathizing-because on their part of acting like Philistines.

Did I say Philistine.( Or should I have said Palestine.)

These days ,Kashmiri Muslims are protesting against Israel too and are supporting Palestine, since majority of Palestine’s are Muslims. And thus they feel a sense of oneness with them. It is not that they always support their co-religionists. Their are few examples that has time and again exposed their moral- duplicity and selective portraying of being a Victim.
Here are few examples:

On Bangladesh
The Muslims of India, particularly Kashmiri Muslims never protested against Pakistan’s role in 1971 Bangladesh liberation war, when at least 2 million Bangladeshis were murdered by the Pakistani army and thousands of Bangla-women were raped(at least 80% of the victims were Muslims). They have maintained a conspicuous silence over the persecution and killings of Shia’s in Pakistan as well.

on Syria
The Muslim world has turned a blind eye towards Syria. Tens of thousands of Syrians are languishing in tents and are waiting to return to their roots with dignity. The jordanese and other Arab nationals are exploiting them to the hilt and have lecherous intentions towards their womenfolk. Why are the Muslims of India, Particularly Kashmiri Muslims(KM’s) silent over this issue!

On Darfur
What about Darfur? Shouldn’t the violence be condemned even though the atrocities are committed by the co-religionists. Isn’t it a shame that in Darfur(sudan), the apartheid has invoked the demons among the two different communities of the same religion. And that religion happens to be Islam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Darfur

On Iraq
The deafening silence over the cold-blooded murder of Shia’s is deplorable. But since the perpetrators happen to be from the sunni-community, Hence the Indian Muslims particularly K.M’s have turned a blind eye towards the atrocities of ISIS ,  and look at Iraq-issue  through their religious Bifocals. Not only the religious atrocities on shia’s hasn’t been criticized by the Muslims of India, They are in fact supporting the rise of Sunni-hegemony. The demonstrations in support of ISIS in Kashmir is a proof of such decadent mentality.

On china’s part
Though many a times, I have come across KM’s on facebook who openly support China(as it happens to be Pakistan’s biggest ally).Some of them(KM’s) prefer to accede to China over India, if given a chance. In India, Muslims have the full right to practice their religion and observe fasts(roza).But these self-styled-zealots have maintained a stoic silence , knowing well that Chinese government has ordered a ban on Roza(fasts).Any Uyghurs-the muslims of China-found observing Roza will be persecuted. Had it happened in India, the whole of Muslim community would have come on the streets to protest. But since China happens to be the biggest supporter of Pakistan, Hence they act as if Uyghurs don’t exist at all.

It is not surprising, the way , the Muslim-fundamentalists have been acting during the Amarnath Yatra since 1990. Though the demagogues backed by Pakistan have been showing a rosy picture of Caliphate(united Muslim world) to K.M’s, but they deliberately withhold the information from the Gullible public about the duplicity of the countries whom they adore like Pakistan or Saudi-Arabia. Pakistan has never ever condemned the atrocities of the uygur -Muslims by communist china. And should I have to remind the Muslims of India and Pakistan that they can only be the helots in Saudi Arabia, but never will they get the citizenship, however much, They may act or dress like the saudi’s.

What ever is happening between Palestine and Israel is sad and the acts of violence should be condemned. But it should not be selective as in the case of Palestine. The incidents in Iraq, Darfur, China, Afghanistan, Syria or Bangladesh should also be condemned. I have doubts that these unctuous- Pakistani-puppets will never shun Bigotry and double-standards. And they will find excuses to stall Amarnath yatra yet again, not only this year but, also, through the years to come….

When the trouble-makers of Kashmir remind the general public about the arbitrary-intentions of India to replicate the Israel model, They should have the guts to face their own conscience and tell the same public about reasons of the conspicuous-absence of Kashmiri pundits from the valley as well….

Re-settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir

With- Narendra bhai Modi-becoming the Prime Minister of India, suddenly Kashmiri Pandit’s hopes to re-claim their Homeland has risen sharply. The optimism shown by the BJP’s leadership to rehabilitate KP’s in the valley with full honor and dignity, has opened a new chapter for the exiled community. The possible return to their land looks realistic for the first time. KP’s unanimously welcome this decision. After almost 25 years, suddenly the smell of their land has intensified their urge to go back to their roots. The tall Mountains of the valley, it seems are beckoning the KP’s to come back. The echoes of their vibrant past are still resonating in the womb of the valley. So are the memories of the gory incidents that made way for their forced-exodus.

Kashmiri Pandits did not left the valley because of better future viz-a-viz professional career or better Business opportunities, but out of the fear of Death that came in the form of the bullets from the guns of Terrorists. They left the valley to safeguard the honor and dignity of their women-folk. They left because the then Chief-Minister of J&k- Mr.Farooq Abdullah abdicated his duties and gave a free hand to the Pakistani-backed Militants. And most of the KP’s who left in early 1990 had never thought that they won’t be able to come back even after 24 years!

It has been a total failure on the part of congress(i), National conference and PDP to rehabilitate KP’s back to the land of their ancestors. Because KP’s don’t form a substantial vote-bank does not mean that the Kashmir-centric political parties keep on exploiting KP’s just to keep their vote bank happy.

It is an irony that in spite of a population of more than 4 lakh(estimate population of KP’s is between 4-7lakh) their vote-power can not assure even a single Legislative assembly seat. Such is the deliberate design of the assembly and lok sabha constituencies in J&K. The population of the Ladakh region is less than the population of KP’s but still one M.P(Member of parliament) seat is assured from that area.

Few days back , a news appeared in some newspapers that the GOI is mulling of settling KP’s in three townships (in Anantnag, Srinagar and baramullah). The intended tri-colonies will only trifurcate the community. The infamous 7 exoduses of Kashmir should be taken into consideration before any decision on the return and rehabilitation is considered. The leaders of the community should be heard. The leaders who have any affiliation to the valley-centric political parties should be ignored as they will only push the agenda of their respective parties. Even the leaders affiliated to congress(i) should be given a cold-shoulder as none of the kashmiri pundits support them, and a majority of the KP’s feel cheated by this party.

If the news of the return is true, then May I ask with all the humility that Why should KP’s be settled in 3 townships instead of a single concentrated township. The strength and confidence of KP’s will increase tremendously if they are re-settled in a single township, instead of three. Only those who oppose covertly  the return of KP’s into the valley are suggesting with the quixotic plans, and using flowery phrases like Kashmiriyat.

With the so-called-kashmiriyat becoming a cliché, a bedizen, KP no longer believe in this adjective/synonym for secularism. The demagogues of Kashmir know it too well that the actions of 1990 by terrorists and an eerie silence by the majority at that time, will not let KP’s return and live in the valley, as they once used to. Hence the trite Kashmiriyat is repeated by the politicians of Kashmir just to discourage the pundits to re-claim their lost lands and usurp their lands and properties. To counter this, Again, there is one solution. Rehabilitate all KP’s in one area.

Time has proved that the valley based political parties have used “Religion” as a tool to polarize the Kashmiri-Society. With Muslims forming the majority of the population, they will repeat the time-tested policy of marginalizing the pundits in every possible way. This invidious distinction between the two communities have been executed by the Political parties/Monarchs of Kashmir both tacitly as well as blatantly, depending upon the time since last 8-9 hundred years. The 7 exoduses of the kashmiri pundits are the result of such policies that were followed by the ruling class of Kashmir, as KP’s were bereft of any political power. Political empowerment of KP’s is the solution to arrest such happenings in future.

The last exodus(1990-till date) should hopefully be the last one for the KP’s. Just to be sure, that history of their exodus is not repeated, they need to be re-settled at one place and given political power as well. Let GOI too follow an old adage – “united we stand, divided we fall”. Let them make KP’s united forever in the land of their ancestors-Kashmir. Instead of dividing KP’s, Let GOI give our community a collective voice. And a secured future.

Kashmiri Pandits protest at Srinagar(04/06/2014)

 

 

Kashmiri Pandits protested at Srinagar after a gap of more than 24 years.The event was organised jointly by APMCC and KPSS. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The Modi-fans…..

Prakash-The chaiwala from jhunjhunu-delivers tea at my office at sharp 10.30 a.m and 3.30 p.m. All the offices in our compound prefer to drink the tea made by Praksh. He is an ardent “Modi”-fan. Since last 2 months or so, he has been ostentatiously wearing a T-shirst, that has a photo of “Modi” and it reads “Ab ki Bar, Modi Sarkaar”. He has even changed the name of his shop to “Namo Tea stall”. Some days back I asked him, “doesn’t your open support to Modi, offend some of your customers, who support some other political parties?” His replied back zealously, “Hum to aise hi hain, jisko peena hoga wo peeyaga, jisko mera Modi-samarthak hona aacha nahi lagta, wo kahi aur piye.Deena wala to Bagwaan hai.(I am like this, if somebody is offended by my Modi-love, let him drink somewhere else. It is the God who is the universal giver.)”

Vikas-my friend from Varanasi told me over phone that Ajay rai-the congress candidate and Arvind Kejriwal-The AAP convener are actually fighting for the 2nd and 3rd position. He also emphasized that “Modi” will win by at least a margin of 2lakh votes. ”The crowds are absolutely loving Modiji, we(locals) have taken the Modi-elections very personally. The Benarasis are identifying themselves with Modiji. Modi’s win will be Varanasi’s win. It will be our win” said he in a confident tone.

His statement can be ascertained by the fact that colossal crowds, unheard before , followed “Modiji” everywhere in Varanasi. His opponents are left wonder-struck and they are gaping in surprise since “Modiji’s” first road-show on 24th April 14.His opponents have lost the elections mentally whilst the voting will be held after a few days on 12 May 14.

“The support given to Arvind Kejriwal by JD(U) and its ally CPI has once again exposed the communist support towards their co-ideologue AAP. The metamorphosis of Arvind Kejriwal from a known atheist to a Theist was just a tactics to garner Hindu-votes” said my friend vikas irritatingly. He further said, ”On Modi’s Yesterday(8/05/14) Road show, Kejriwal tweeted that , “No one needs any permission from the EC to perform rituals. Permission is required only for political activities. It seems Modi was aiming for electoral gains through aarti,”-what a joke!!! These words sound so funny, considering that Kejriwal is the official “Dramabaaz” of Indian politics. It is a well known fact that in the past, he even managed “self-attacks” and “self-slaps”, just to get Public sympathy.  said infuriated vikas.

I do call up my friends and acquaintances, in Varanasi since the day I heard that Modiji is contesting from Varanasi. The mood there is ebullientally “Modi-fied”. It seems that he will get more votes in Varanasi than in Vadodra. In vadodra the main opposition is congress and the main contestant fighting against Modi there is/was “Madhusudan Mistry”. However the results in both Varanasi and Vadodra will go in favour of Modi-for sure, irrespective of the fact that congress tried every trick in their sleeve to halt the Modi-juggernaut .

In Varanasi,The support given by the known inveterate criminal-Mukhtar Ansari-to Congress candidate is perfidious. It is more than foible on the part of congress to actually accept the support. This treacherous liaising speaks volumes about the decadent politics, congress has indulged into, just to stop “Modi. But the wishes of billions of Indians will make it sure that “Modiji” wins against all odds.

Prakash-our chaiwala-has announced that on 16th May, he will be offering free tea to everyone, as he is sure, like most of us that BJP will achieve an over-whelming victory over its rivals. In our office-compound, everyone has voted for “Modi”. So confident are my colleagues of “Modi’s” win, that they have already stocked crackers worth ten thousand rupees for the celebrations to be held on 16th may 2014. “This time we will celebrate Diwali on 16 may , that too in a broad daylight. we will express our joy with bursting crackers, and exchanging sweets.” said Sachin, my friend , who has a office in the same compound.

Though 16 may is a working day, but I am sure that most of the Indians will be glued to T.V. Everyone is anxiously waiting for that red letter day when the aspirations of billion Indias will come true. The day when “Narendra bhai Modi” will be officially declared, the prime minister of India. I have my fingers crossed….

A kashmiri-Pandits view on BJP,Congress, AAP and MODI

ON BJP AND CONGRESS

“Narendra Bhai Modi”, or simply “Modi”-as he is referred all over India- has captivated the attention of entire India, in a way that many of us had never seen before. And Kashmiri-Pandits are no exception. KP’s have been known to support “BJP”, since their forced exodus from the valley of Kashmir. KP’s unanimously (except some anomalous groups-who follow their own personal agenda) are of this view that it was “BJP” and its allies, that stood behind them, at that time when they were at the nadir of their existence as a community. Also most of the KP’s believe that the “Gandhi’s” ditched them. “AAP” does not even exist for the community of KP’s.

The KP community were the staunch supporters of the “Congress-I”. Prior to 1990, The “Jan-sangh” and other “Hindu-centric” political parties could not make much impact on the “KP” community as a whole, because KP’s considered “Nehru-Gandhi” family as their own, an extension of their families. When Sh. Jawahar lal Nehru” died, many KP men and women were seen mourning his death. En-Masse, many women came on the streets of Kashmir , many of them were seen beating their chests in grief and mourning loudly in Kashmiri, “Kothiy gav sone Jawahar-lal( where has our own jawahar lal gone!) amidst tears.

Indira Gandhi too was adored by the KP-Community. I know for sure that She was in touch with many Kashmiri pundits through letters, and was abreast with the actual-happenings of Kashmir. Her death too was condoled deeply by the community of Kashmiri-Pandits.

In 1990, Kashmiri Pandits soon realized after their exodus that the “congress party”, whom they had supported all along, was no-where to be seen. It was at that time , “BJP” and its allies came forward to the help of the beleaguered community. Reservations were given to the students of “KP” community in various professional collages across India. The voice , concern and views of the KP’s were put forward vociferously by the “BJP”.

Sh. Rajiv Gandhi’s death in May 1991 was too grieved upon by a large section of KP’s even though congress had remained merely a mute-spectator of their forced exodus. Even though it had been over a year, since they were uprooted from Kashmir and that a large section of KP’s were still living in Make-shift tents or they were given a temporary -refugee in deserted Govt. buildings. The congress party’s cold response to KP Community in early nineties accentuated the dirty vote-bank-politics of congress. But in spite of everything, they felt the loss of Sh. Rajiv Gandhi.

A large section of people of India perceive “Gandhis” as “Brahmins” or “Pandits”. Their lineage is traced to Moti lal Nehru and Jawahar lal Nehru-The known faces of Indian independence struggle and Kashmiri pundits by birth. All these years, the Nehru-Gandhi family have projected their KP connection but I am sorry to say that they have done little for the upliftment of the KP community- towards which they owe their allegiance.

The BJP, on the other hand did exactly the opposite. Even though, KP’s are not a vote-bank, still the services rendered to KP’s by BJP is commendable.

ON AAP

To begin with most of the KP’s (as was with most of the Indians), thought that Anna and his team are being supported by the BJP. To a large extent, it was true. The majority of the people(80%) present at their protests were from the RSS and the BJP.

The main bone of contention with AAP is that one of their ace leader- Prashant Bhushan, has in the past obnoxiously supported the redundant theory of Plebiscite of Kashmir. Knowing well, that the plebiscite is a gate-way for Pakistan to usurp Kashmir. Prashant Bhushan’s stand on Kashmir is more or less the same even today as no unequivocal statement on Kashmir and plebiscite has been presented by him, though he has given some feeble dilatory ambiguous remarks on plebiscite on Kashmir. AAP’s soft approach towards him has made it evident that they too tacitly support his theory.

AAP’s known support to Moaists is also questionable? In the recent elections they have given tickets to the known sympathizers of Moaists. It is a known fact that Moasists and Jihadis have been/are working hand in glove, and are getting all the funding from the enemies of India. And that their only aim is to de-stabilize India.The recent vitriolic remarks of Shazia Ilmi- wherein she is exhorting Muslims to be communal-is invidious as well as disgusting. The anti-corruption masquerade of the AAP has become too transparent for a common man not to see through their intentions . Their servile attitude towards the known jihadis and Moaists is awful. The Balkanization tactics of India by the AAP on the name of anti-corruption or secularism will not be allowed in India, come what May…

ON MODI

No doubt, Narendra Bhai Modi is the most beloved leader of the Kashmiri Pandits as of today. Kashmiri pandit community has pinned a lot of hopes on Modiji. KP’s were thrilled to see that not only the abrogation of article 370 was included in the BJP manifesto, but the return of KP’s into the valley with dignity and Honour was also mentioned. KP’s believe that the Narendra Bhai Modi’s coronation as the Prime Minister of India is inevitable and that he will prove to be a force to reckon with. KP’s believe that India as a Nation will emerge stronger under the prime Ministership of Modiji.

And, as is with the rest of Indians, for KP’s as well,” BJP is Modi” and “Modi is the BJP”…..”AB KI BAAR, MODI SARKAR”.

Kashmiri Pandit Gotras and their Surnames

 

Listed below are the Kashmiri Pandit Gotras(in Bold and underline) and their respective surnames:

1.       Dattatreya  

Koul, nagari ,jinsi, jalali, watal, sultan, ogra, aima, moza, daunat, tota, basih, kissu, mandhal, sangari, rafiz, balav, drabi, bamzai, sharga,2

2.Upma

Revu

3.Doha

Razdan

4.Kanth Daumya

Razdan, Wangni, muju,sher

5.Swamin mudgli

Zabeh, Razdan, Mushran, channa, kanth, Khazanchi, hast, valav, monga, devani, jattu, zotan, pout, shora, lala(razdan)

6.Swamin gautam

Gurutu, Razdan, Thaplu, naqeb, tehlachar,kak, labru, parman, zarmi, padura, langar, changru,khosa, kakapori, badam, raina, qazi, challu, pyala

7.Swamin gautam logaksh

Jokhu,razdan

8.Swamani Bhardawaj

Tikku, munshi, kahar, miskeen, ghadiyali, bazari, khan

9.Paldev vaas gargyey

Shivpuri, pandit, malla, pattu, mirkhor, kadalbujju, kokru, hangru, pandit(thuthu), Bhavnu, bakaya, khushu, Kitchu, Misri, Khar, Mam

10.Pat saas Kaushik

Ganju, Kuchru, Solu, Jattu, Ambardar, Kuli, Vaishnavi, Brabu, Musalman, Kapan, Wanchu, Miya, Jawansher, Jalla, Panju, Mattu, Fotedar

11.Devpat Samin

Upmanyu, Kaushik, Shivpuri

12.Devpat Upmanyu

Khosu, Mewa, Pandit

13.Bhav Kapishthal upmanyu

Wani, Khan

14.Samin Vaas Upmanyu

Dullu

15.Rajparashar

Razdan

16.Swamin vaaas upmanyu

Bhat, Wali

17.Swamin Upmanyu

Giggu

18.Kash Upmanyu

Bhat

19.Bhootvas upmanyu logaksh

Peshin, Zalpuri, Thakur

20.Rajbhoot Logaksh Deval

Bhan

21.Ratri Bhargava

Zithshu

22.Bhoot Logaksh Dhomya Gautam

Handu

23.Devsamin Gautam Kaushik Mudgalya Bhardawaj

Pandit, cukil

24.Swamin Mudhgaliya Parashar

Geeru

25.Swamin Vaas

Tufchi

26.Warivas

Sahni

27.Vashisth Gargeya

Pandita

28.Swamin Kaushik

Thakar, Watal

29.Swamin Bhargava

Bali, Batav

30.Swamin Kaushik Bhardawaj

Bhat, Kokru

31.Swamin shandelya

Pandit, Vaas

32.Swamin Vaas Atreya

Thussu, Ghazi, Waza

33.Swamin Gautam Atreya shalan Kotass

Raina

34.Swamin Gautam Atreya

Cholu

35.Swamin Kanth Kashyap

Labru

36.Swamin Gargeya

Machama

37.Swamin Gan Bhoshak

Paveh

38.Swamin Gautam Bhardawaj

Kamdha

39.Swamin Vaas Logaksh

Taav

40.Dharbhardawaj

Dhar trisal,Misri, jawansher, Kandhari, Thalchur, Othu, Turki, Waguzari, Bangi

41.Vashisht Bhardawaj

Bhat, Hakhu, Handoo

42.Dev Bhardawaj

Bhat, Mhad, Kallu

43.Sharman Bhardawaj

Bhat

44.Dev Baraj Kaushik

Deva

45.Shandilya Bhardawaj

Bhat

46.Nand Kaushik Bhardawaj

Bhat

47.Kaushik Bhardawaj

Bhat

48.Shandli

Kar

49.Chand Shandli

Sadhu

50.Varshandli

Jogi

51.Varvasak Shandli

Safaya

52.Vardev Shelan Kapi

Mota

53.Mitr Shandli

Sayd

54.Dev Shandli

Batphool

55.Raj Shandli

Vakh

56.Sam Shandli

Bhat

57.Swamin Rishi Kani Gargeya

Kaul, Kamzhat

58.Shelan Kautas

Telvan, Kaul, Mukku

59.Kauts Atreya

Bhat, Razdan

60.Rajdhatt Atreya Shalan Kautas

Bhat

61.Sharman Atreya

Gadhu

62.Bhav Atreya

Wariku

63.Swamin Warshikran

Katju, Kaw, Chouthai

64.Bhav Kapishithl

Kaw

65.Ratr Vishwamitr Agasth

Trakru, Mattu

66.Dhar Keshtal

Ladav, Bhat

67.Kanth Kashyap

Wasav, Razdan, Bhat

68.Mitr Kashyap

Bhat  Kheda

69.Dhatsharman Kanth Kashyap

Bradu, Raina

70.Dev Kashyap Mudhgalya Kashyap

Bradu

71.Dev Kashyap Mudhgalya Gautam

Aakhan

72.Swamin Bhargava Bhardawaj Aus Atri

Kallu

73.Dev Gargi

Bahan

74.Dev Vashisht

Akbhalu

75.Dev Kauts Atreya

Badgami

76.Dev Vishwamitr Varshigan

Wangoo

77.Dev Gautam

Bhat

78.Dev Kath Kashyap

Kar

79.Dev Logaksh

Pandit, Santapori

80.Dev Kaushik

Bhat

81.Arth Varishan Shandalya

Chaudhari

82.Kaushik

Bhat

83.Pat samin Kaushik dev ratr parvar

Pandit, Vayil

84.Vashisht

Bhat, Rangateng

85.Ratr Vishwamitr Agasth

Pandit

86.Kar Chand Shandliya

Chaudhari, Kar

87.Mitra Kaushik

Pandit

88.Sharmatakauts

Bhat, Sas

89.Dhatvas

Kahaar

90.Vashisht Swamin Mudhgalya

Bhandari

91.Ishwar Shandilya Kaushik

Rawal, Nakhasi

92.Dhat Dhat Shelan Kauts

Bhat, Sathu, Kasba, Malik, Kahkashu

93.Ratr Varshgan

Kotar

94.Parashar

Pachih

95.Aatr Bhargav

Happa

96.Bhoot Logaksh

Pandit

97. Raj Vashisht

Shanglu

98.Dhat Varshiman

Sanar

99.Rishi Kaushik

Kashkari

100.Rishi Kavigarg

Zaroo

101.Samvas Gargh

Bhat, Sam

102.Nand Kaushik

Bhat

103.Swamin Mudhgaliya

Madan

104.Swamin Haswasi

Khan, Katu

105.Bhav Kapishthal

Radu,Kalla, Sapan, Lattu, Kattu, Wantu, Chur, Chudhar,Geeru, Hakin, Wangnu,Shav

106.Bhav Kapishthal Upmanyu

Katharu

107.Swamin Vas Logaksh

Chathu

108.Dharbhardawaj

Zangam

109.Dev Bhardawaj

Tu

110.Bhoot Upmanya

Khi rabri, Braru, Saidha, uppal

111.Swamin Atreya

Shaal, Handu, jadwaali, sik, chak

112.Shandaliya

Shayir

113.Swaminvaas Gargi

Sum,Nand, Gadhwa, Datt, Halmat, Langoo

114.Swamin Ghosh Vas Upmanyu

Chaku

115.Sharman Kauts Atreya

Ragu, Nand, Gadhwa, Datt

116.Dev Parashar

Yachh

117.Kanth Daumya

Kaw, Bredh,

118.Dhar Varshiman

Safaya, Bakshi, Kuchru, Shali

119.Dhar Kapishthal Upmanyu

Meech

120.Mitra Swamin Kaushik Atreya

Pandit, Handu

121.Vasudev Palgargya

Patwari

122.Pat swamin Kaushik

Kanna, Kitru, Darbari,Wali, Ganhar,Saraf,

123.Rishikany Gargeya

Goja

124.DevBhardwaj

Mawa, Gadru

125.Vashisht Vishwamitr

Trakru

126.Swamin Gautam

Taimini

127.Upmanyu Kaushik

Sapru

128.Nand Gautam Kashyap

Bhat

129.Raz Kaushik

Bhat

130.Upmanyo Logakshi

Dhobi, Karihaloo

131.Ghosh Vachya Upmanyu

Pandita

132.Devdat Gautam Kaushik Bhardawaj

Pandit

133.Shalakayan

Pathwari

134.Ratn Kawach

Raina

135.Raj Parashar

Razdan

136.Karshandalya

Shishu

137.Devkashyap

Chatta

138.Ratr Vishwamitr Vasishth

Trakru

139.Dhar Shalkya

Dhar

140.Kaal

Maatu, Bhindru(mattu)

141.Devshandilya

Jaan, Teenglu

142.Swamin Vashisht

Kothedar

143.Dhar Kapishthal Manav

Bhootnath, Jyotshi

144.Vishnu Atreya

Bhan

145.Vishwa mitr Agasthya

Razdan

146.Samanth

Hakhu

 

source:Kashmiri vijeyeshwar Panchang

 

 

The three Malas(impurities/limitations) according to Kashmir Shaivism.

According to Kashmir Shaivism, there are 36 elements(from shiv tatva to prithvi tatva).By the pure will(icchca) of Shiva, The param shiva descends/ascends/emerges from the highest tattva i.e Chaitanya-(the supreme consciousness present in everything-be it living, dead, be it mind or matter, desires, actions, perceivable or unfathomable, be it a tiniest single cell or this whole of universe)-to the grossest element i.e prithvi(earth).In fact chaitanya cannot be expressed or written about.Yogis have stated that it is the state of being.

Chaitanya is an element synonym to shiva, whereas the next element i.e Ananda(Bliss)-is also known as Shakti. Shiva and Shakti are inseparable, hence Chaitanya and Ananda are also inseparable. The next three elements i.e sadashiva, ishwara and Shuddh vidya are synonyms to Iccha(will), Jnana(unlimited knowledge) and kriya(unlimited action).These five elements form shuddh tatvas(pure elements)
To this point, it is the undifferiated self of shiva. There is no maya element present there. From the shuddh tattvas to the six kanchukas(six coverings of maya), Swami lakshmanjoo has described another tattva(though technically not an element) as Mahamaya tattva or vijnankala.

The anavamala comes into effect in the sphere of the six kanchukas. Shiva due to his own will starts to experience the world of differentiation and becomes limited, owning to non-contemplation of his essential nature. Jnanshakti(the power of knowledge) gets polluted by the kanchukas or the coverings of maya and he becomes reduced to the limited knowledge. At last, it acquires utmost limitation in the formation of the psychic apparatus((antahkarana, i.e mann(mind), buddhi(intellect),ahamkar(ego), prakrati(nature) and purush(one that reacts to prakrati)) and the organs of sense(Bhuddindriya).This is mayayi mala(limitation brought about by maya) which brings about consciousness of difference among objects. This mayayi mala is the second impurity.

Kriya sakti(action) gets limited gradually in the sphere of difference when omnipotence is reduced to limited activity till at last by the formation of the organs of action, the empirical individual gets limited to the utmost extent. He thus performs good and bad deeds. This is the Karma mala or the limitation due to action.

source:books on Kashmir shaivism.

Are Kashmiri Politicians shielding the land-Grabbers?

-by sunil shangloo

When my Friend Raju told me that Kashmiri Pandits are not wanted in Kashmir, I was not surprised. He fled from Kashmir like lakhs of KP’s back in 1990.His Father and Uncles had bought good quality “Deodaar wood” and had stored it on the first floor of their house. They had planned to raise two more stories on their existing House. But when Raju visited his house after 17-18 years, not a twig was left from those deodar’s. Not a wooden door was left intact. And all the wooden-windows were missing.

The plunderers of the KP’s are known to the Government. Merely saying that –“it was a phase”-is simply not enough. The protruding nexus between the property-grabbers of KP’s and politicians (both separatists and Mainstream) is more than conspicuous. Yet, not a brow is raised. Instead, the Political system remains a mute spectator. And a Kashmiri pandit suffers.

My name is Sunil Shangloo. I live in Jammu/Ghaziabad.

From last seven years, I am in a dilemma. Unlike many other Kashmiri Pandits, I did not sell my land in Ganderbal or my house at Ali Kadal, Srinagar,Kashmir.But, in spite of having a house and land in Kashmir, I am bereft of both.

Some 7-8 years back, a broker from Ganderbal by the name “Noor mohammed sheikh”, Kashmir , came to our house in Jammu.A KP acquaintance of my Father had given him our reference. He inveigled my father like a true salesman and convinced him, that he can sell our agricultural land(63 kanal, 9 marla) at a good price. My father- a simple man-promptly believed him. Noor Mohammed even handed over one lakh rupees to my father as advance. He told my father that he needs the Xerox of the documents of the land and a signature on the photocopied documents. My father, in good faith, abided to his suggestion.

After a month or so, my father tried to contact him at his Kashmir Mobile/telephone number. Initially he used to receive my father’s call and behaved well. But after two months or so, he stopped taking the calls of my father completely. My father thought that maybe he was just another “Braggadocio.”And that he will come back for the money(1 lakh) given as advance.

After many months, one of my father’s Muslim friend from Ganderbal phoned . He spoke to my father for almost half an hour. After he hang-up the phone, my father, who was visibly-shaken and perspiring called upon my mother, who was in the Kitchen. “ what happened, you look disturbed, is everything O.K?”, My mother, who was holding a glass in her hand, asked him. “I just came to know that Noor Mohammed is a charlatan. Haji saab-my friend informed me that he has somehow forged the documents of the land and is claiming to be the lawful owner of the land.” My father said exasperatedly. In shock, the glass fell down from the hand of my mother and tears rolled down from her eyes.

I and my Father decided to visit Ganderbal and take stock of the situation. And one fine day we reached Srinagar after 17 years. We booked a hotel room in Srinager. Since, we have/had a house in down-town, “Alikadal”, we could not stop ourselves visiting our house-that is home to us even today.

Another shock was waiting for us.

The house, where my father, I and my sister were born was in a wretched state. Somehow, We entered inside. The house looked in a dilapidated condition. The walls were dirty. The wooden-windows were snatched away by an unknown plunderer/s. The tin-sheets of the ceiling were scrapped by probably an so-called-Azadi-lover. The left-over belongings were missing, probably embellishing someone’s home in our neighborhood. The alcove/s of the “Thakur-kuth”(pooja room), that once housed the images of our deities was/were broken. All idols and photos missing. And the stinking smell of the urine pinpointed towards the attitude of those, who probably will never want to see us back. And I was not wrong.

We had built two houses in our 1 kanal(620 sq. yards) compound .One house adjacent to the main street had six shops and six rooms. Another part of the house had total of eight rooms. We had rented-out 3 shops. But our absence had emboldened the muslim-tenants so much that they had illegally occupied the rest of three shops as well, without our information/consent.

I confronted our tenants-the shopkeepers. I asked them, “ don’t you think, you should have had informed us at least once, before breaking –into the vacant shops”? One of the Shopkeeper retorted back, “Azad ahmed mir has rented out these shops to us”. I and my father were puzzled. My father asked them in a humble tone,” Who is Azad ahmed Mir?”. One of the shopkeepers said caustically, “ He is/was a militant. He has told everyone here that he has purchased your property. He even showed us the documents .Go and find him. Don’t bother us again.”

We went to Alikadal police station to lodge a complaint. But instead of co-operating with us, they began eulogizing the culprit and used vituperative language against us making it evident that they were hand-in-glove with Azad ahmed mir. It was on the intervention of IG crime, an F.I.R was finally registered. We had to fight it legally in the court. The matter is still in the court and the property is now under the jurisdiction of the court.

Coming back to “our-Ganderbal –land”, We came to know that Noor Mohammed had forged the signatures of my father in order to take the possession of the land. Also, instead of I lakh rupees, he had shown that he paid my father 12 lakh rupees in advance. We registered a case against him as well. The papers presented by him as original were sent to the forensic lab, where it was established that he had indeed forged the papers in order to usurp our property. However, the case is still sub judice.

I am fighting two cases in J&K, just to prove that-I am the legal owner of my own property. Like me, Hundreds of KP’s are fighting in the courts to prove that they are the lawful owners. It should have had been the responsibility of the state govt. to help us, but their political aspirations are holding them back and they continue to condone the shenanigans of the plunderers and Property- Grabbers of the KP’s.

But, This time, I am determined. And I will get back my property.

photos of protest(19/01/14) by Kashmiri pandits

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Aftermath of 19 jan 1990-How and why I fled Kashmir

1990, jan 19, invoked the demons within the people of a large section of the majority community to commit the heinous acts blatantly. Kashmiri Pandits’s(KP’s) still dread that cold night of January. Most the KP’s felt that they will be attacked by the colossal Islamic-mobs meandering the lanes and sub-lanes of the valley with an anti-India mission that night. The cacophonous slogans by the mobs instilled a fear among the KP’s. And the bullets from the A.K 47’s of the militants that killed hundreds of KP’s made sure that the Hindus flee Kashmir.

19 Jan 1990 triggered the subsequent events that cleansed the KP’s as a community from the valley. While many quixotic flowery dreams of the KM’s were soon shattered, when the Army took over, the wounds left by that bestial night left a gangrene in the minds of KP’s as a community .It will be 24 years now, since KP’s left the frenzied valley of the 1990.Not a single KP had thought that their return to their motherland will take such a long time. The forced departure was gruesome but quick .However their return to the valley is still elusive. And with passing time, they are slowly but surely getting erased from the Tapestry of Kashmir.

My encounter with two friends Dalip Bhat and Sanjay Bhat, who left the valley in 1990; their experience, and what made them exit from Kashmir after that cold night of 19 Jan 1990!

Few days back ,I asked Dalip, “what does 19 jan 1990 mean to you?”He said, ”Nothing ! I don’t think of Kashmir anymore.” I asked surprisingly, “why is it so?”. He looked straight into my eyes and said, “Do you remember when you visited me while I was posted as a casual worker with Govt. department at Pulwama, Kashmir.” I said calmly, “Yes! But what has it to do with Kashmir!” He said , “I was working on ad-hoc basis with the Forest department .I was just 19 years old in 1989.But I was happy. My village in Murran, pulwama was everything to me. We had rice-fields and orchards. And cows. My family was self-sufficient. I or my family had never- ever thought of moving out of the valley . But then the militancy erupted and the militants backed by Pakistan started killing us. Everything changed after that”. He paused, as if thinking something. “In the midst of a spring night of 1990, I fled Kashmir along with mine and Sanjay’s family . Sanjay’s father was on the hit-list of militants. We were moving stealthily from karfal mohalla to fateh Kadal with our belongings. Karfal mohalla was more sensitive at that time.” He said. His mobile phone rang .He saw the number and excused himself to attend the call.

When Dileep came back after 5 minutes or so, I requested to him to continue. He thought for a while and said, “After many physical, mental and verbal abuses from the majority community, who were clearly on a mission to free Kashmir from the Indians-including us, We somehow managed to reach Jammu.” I interrupted him and asked him, “ Tell me something about your early experiences of Jammu?”.He yawned , stretched his body for a moment, smiled and said, “I lived in Misriwala camp for three years. I was running a grocery shop there. For another one and a half years, I became a trader. I was a sort of stockist of polythene bags. Then I went to Delhi and worked there for 2 years. I came back to Jammu after my mother fell ill in 1998. Thereafter, I opened a Hardware shop in lower Roop-Nagar and I am still in the same Business since then.” There was a sense of pride in what he was saying. “How is your Business now?” I asked him.

“It is good.I have nine shops in a row. Business is excellent. In spite of everything, I feel, I need some more space to stock things like sanitary ware, tiles etc.” “how do you got the idea of opening this shop?”, I asked him. He said, “when, I came here back in 1998, I sensed that lot of KP’s are constructing new houses. Hence, I too opened a shop. And as it proved, It was really a very good decision.” I quipped “But, you didn’t really answered my question, which I asked in the beginning i.e Jan 19 1990?”.

He deliberated for a while and said, “ the memories of Jan 19-20 and the aftermath will ever remain engraved in the minds all those KP’s who were present in the valley. Never before had we witnessed anything wicked- like that of 1990 . Even in my village Murran, the majority community indirectly facilitated our exodus. They had told us categorically that, in case of any militant attack on us, they will side with the militants. Some people say, the mass-madness of the majority community in early 90 was an instantaneous impromptu reaction of the Muslims towards an oppressed rule. OK, I agree for a moment. But will they, who have occupied KP properties or sold illegally KP properties ever wish for their return? Aren’t those people getting patronage from all the political parties? And what is the Guarantee that 1990 will not be repeated if KP’s opt to return back? Majority community en-masse created an environment that forced us to flee. Will there be ever any mass rally that will call for the returns of the KP’s back to the valley?” He fired questions at me. I had no answers. “I have struggled a lot to reach, where I am today. That is why I don’t want to think about Kashmir.” He said with a sigh. His phone rang again, he looked at his Mobile, then at me, I sensed that it was an urgent call. “Attend your call.I will wait”, said I. He went outside the room again. I started thinking about my last encounter with Sanjay.

I knew Sanjay since we were children. Dileep was his relative. In early April 1990, Sanjay was persuaded by his mother to leave for Jammu. He was told by his mother to attend a wedding at Jammu. Underneath the persuasion of his mother was the concern of his safety . Kashmir was a cauldron in 1990. Hindus were branded as infidels or informers and then hunted dead by the militants with impunity. Like every other Kashmiri Hindu, Sanjay’s mother too wanted to keep away her children from the trouble. Sanjay went to the Jammu in the first week of April 1990 on the behest of his mother.

When I had met Sanjay 3-4 months back, I asked him about his ordeal.“I was in Jammu in early April 1990, to attend a wedding. Though Jammu was calm, I knew Kashmir was not. I used to wait eagerly for the news from any source. Be it newspapers in the morning or radio or T.V. in the evenings. The news was disappointing and disheartening. Everyday, I used to listen that a K.P was killed in one locality or other. And then one late evening I got a call from my mother. She told me that my father is on the hit list of the Militants for being a “Mukhbir”(informer).I boarded the Bus to Srinagar early next day morning to help my family,. I reached my home in karfaol mohalla by night. My father was visibly shaken by the threat. He had not ventured outside his home for a week, not even to buy his cigarette. Instead, my younger brother used to buy tobacco and father used an old Hubble-Bubble to smoke.” I was listening to him with attention. “The killing of Satish Tickoo was still fresh in our mind. After all, he was the son of our landlord. Hence, we had taken the threat with seriousness. we were living like frightened pigeons” He asserted.

“We wanted to leave Kashmir ASAP. Every other day, a Kashmiri pandit was gunned down mercilessly by the militants. KP’s were framed by the militants and no-one would dare to challenge their Jihadi-gag-order. My father was a School master. He was a simple and a non-political man. Yet he was framed. I knew dozens of KP’s who were framed as informers. In fact each and every KP family had a member that was framed for being an informer. What was the message they were trying to convey?” he asked me. He took a deep puff of cigarette, inhaled it, rounded his mouth and blew the smoke in rings. Instead of answering, I was just looking at him . And then he said in a choking voice, “the message was clear that they don’t want a KP there- simple”

“How did you fled from Kashmir?” I asked him. He said, “Immediately, after I reached back to Kashmir, I starting looking for a truck to carry us and our belongings to jammu. After a couple of days, with the help of my KP neighbors, I arranged a Truck. My sister and his family were staying in Fateh-Kadal those days. The night , when we were fleeing Kashmir, I, Daleep and his cousin carried our belongings on our backs and travelled on foot from karfal mohalla to Fateh-Kadal in the midst of night. The Muslim ladies who saw us leaving en-route with our belongings, hurled philippics at us. The invectives and their curses are still fresh in my mind. A couple of ladies, out of hatred for our community, even spitted on us from their first-floor-windows. But, we did not stop. There were five more KP families with us in the truck. we had a sigh of relief upon reaching Jammu”. His face was visibly angry as he was recalling the incident.

“Jan 1990 invokes fear, anarchy ,mobocracy, A.K 47’s, shrilled tones of the loudspeakers of the neighborhood mosques. cold-blooded murders of KP’s. Burning schools. Burning houses .Burning bridges. Burning tyres. Stoning of tin-rooftops of our houses in the middle of night. And an idiosyncratic resentment and hate towards my community” said infuriated Sanjay .I too had experienced the same. Every KP had experienced the same.

By now Dileep came back. After discussing some personal issues, I asked for his permission to leave. I stood up and moved towards the door. As I was leaving, he said, “ It was 28 April 1990, 2.00a.m in the morning, when I fled from Kashmir. I want to forget it all. But Somehow, I can’t”

I know for sure, not a single KP has forgotten Kashmir. The aftermath of the clear, cold night of 19 jan 1990 still haunts the community of KP’s. The slogans raised by a large section of Kashmiri Muslims like “Asa gach Pakistan, Batao ros te batnav saan”(we want Pakistan with KP women and without KP men) clearly reflected their state of mind, and the ghouls reigning their mind and conscience in the 90’s. The prolonged time away from their homeland has in fact made KP’s return to Kashmir difficult. If The aftermath of 1990 intensified the anti-India emotion among the Kashmiri Muslim youth, It also created an abyss between the valley of Kashmir and the Kashmiri Pandits, depriving them to return, to the land of their ancestors even after 24 years.

Year after Year, more and more people like Dalip opine that they will not return to Kashmir now, because for them, professionally, there is nothing they can do in Kashmir. Still, there are many who wish for their return everyday. But, I fear that nothing will change if the State Gov. and GOI doesn’t make a roadmap for the return of KP’s exactly the same way, as desired by the KP’s as a community.

But will they?

A day at jantar-Mantar delhi

I strolled through Jantar-Mantar on Saturday(11/1/14).There were many people protesting for different causes.I visited every stall.But what attracted me was the stall where a Pakistani-shia-muslim-refugees were protesting.

This Pakistani Muslim couple are seeking an Asylum in India.Zulfikar Shah and his wife Fatima Shah spoke to me about the condition of minorities in Pakistan including Christians and Hindus. “we protested for the Bhils. we supported them and openly castigated a maulvi who wanted to illegally occupy the land of a Bhil Lady.” said fatima to me.I asked her, “Who are Bhils?” She said quickly, “The Hindus are known as Bhils in Pakistan.”. Zulfikar told me that they came to Nepal and got themselves registered as “Refugees” in the U.N.

“We were poisoned by the people of ISI in Nepal.We came to India 10 months back.Pakistan’s embassy interfered with our medical-treatment.But, we are officially now refugees.” he emphasized. “In Sindh, we have/had syncretism.I am a believer of sufi philosophy.I believe in all the Religions including Buddhism and Hinduism. The hegemony of Punjabis is obnoxious in Pakistan.They are promoting Salafis as maulvis in the mosques of Sindh.They sponser state-terrorism and abet in the violence.They aim to destabilize Sindh and takeover our natural resources.”said Zulfikar irritatingly.

“The contribution of Sindh to Pakistan’s GDP is more than 70%.” said Fatima with a whiff of pride.Before leaving their place at Jantar-Mantar, Zulfikar zealously said, “Balochis are fed-up with the Punjabis, so are we. Balochistan is asking for their own country like Bangladesh.It(Balochistan) is a vast area, constituting 60% of the land mass of Pakistan.In Balochistan as well as in Sindh, there are state-sponsored-forced-disappearances and target killings.we are fed-up with it. Though, we are the second largest ethenic group in pakistan with 60 million people, But we are treated invidiously.The so called-fundamentalists are fit to be termed as demons-That are brainwashed to plunder and kill the indigenous Sindhis”.

Let Pakistan solve its own problems first and then Poke its nose in Kashmir affairs.

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tragedy and humour of being a KP

March 2003.It was a sunny bright day. My Enfield-Bullet bike was in a dire need of a proper service. I took my bike to the local mechanic-Akram in Ghaziabad. As he was inspecting my Bike, an Ambassador car halted in front of me. The glass windows of the car rolled down. I saw an elderly Sikh in an orange dress. He called on me , “ where is this Agarsen Chowk?”.I came closer to the car, gesticulated, and said, “ turn straight and then turn right from the first crossing.” “What is your name?” The turbaned old man asked me abruptly. “My name is sandeep Koul” said I. “Oh! You are a Kashmiri Pandit! Come in my car.” He said excitedly. I was irked by what he said. I hardly knew him and here he was, urging me to accompany him. It looked as if he read my face. He pulled the wallet from his coat, opened it, looked for something and finally picked a card which he handed over to me. “Here! Take my card. My name is B.L.Sharma- “prem”. I am a former MP from BJP.”I looked at the card in my hand. It was white and green in colour and had an emblem of four lions(as seen in Indian currency coins) at the top. The name written on it was indeed B.L.Sharma “prem”(Member of parliament).

I was exited now. For the first time, I was face-to-face speaking to an M.P. with alacrity, I sat besides him in his ambassador. “We have a rally today at Ghaziabad. It seems our local team of Ghaziabad and I are talking on different tracks. There is some miscommunication and we are not able to track each other. Though, they are somewhere nearby. You please talk to them, since you know this place”, he said to me. He dialed some number from his mobile and handed over the phone to me. The voice from the other side in a gushed tone said, “ Sharmaji, where are you?” I answered back, “I am sandeep. We are on NH-24, Near Rahul Vihar. The person on the other side said, “You wait there. we will reach there within 5 minutes.”

Sharmaji told me briefly about his life, his family and his mission. The 1947 partition. He told me that to protect the Hindus, he has embraced Sikhism. At that time, the chief-minister of J&K was Mr.Gulam nabi Azad. He also expressed his views on Him, Hindus of Jammu and as well as Kashmiri Pandits. Soon, his local team traced us.

The local-team were all motor-cyclists. There were at least 20 motor bikes. Each bike carrying two persons. Many of them had Swords in their hands, which they waved at us and at each other with enthusiasm .A person came close to the window of our car. He said to Sharmaji, “Please follow us. we are nearby to the venue of the program. Sharmaji nodded his head in approval and said, “Alright. By the way he is Sandeep koulji. He is an uprooted hindu from Kashmir”, as he pointed towards me. The person’s faced beamed with glee as he said, “ Sandeeji, welcome. you please attend our program.”I did not wanted to attend, as politics was not my cup of tea. But on the behest of Sharmaji, I agreed.

Soon, we reached “Agarsen-chowk”-our venue. Hundreds of supporters had already gathered there. As the crowd saw us, they raised their hands in the air and chanted loud, “Jai shri Ram”, “Bharat Mata ki jai”.I alighted from the car. Sharmaji too followed me. With folded hands(namaskar), he greeted the crowd. Many people rushed towards him and touched his feet in reverence. Many people mistook me for some leader and touched my feet too. Sharmaji was used to this treatment but I was not. I was blushing, feeling embarrassed. I tried to gently push away the crowd, touching my feet.

Sharmaji went up to the podium. I sat down on a chair. But the associates of Sharmaji insisted me to sit on the podium alongside Sharmaji. Before the actual program started, An announcer announced about the program. He spoke about many issues pertaining to Hindus. At last he said, “Today, a special guest has come with Sharmaji .A kashmiri pandit refugee from Kashmir.I request my colleagues to felicitate both of them.”A line of his associates garlanded Sharmaji and me. Though, I had started enjoying the attention, But, Clearly I was not prepared for this impromptu.

Soon, Many speakers spoke in length about the infiltration on the Hindu culture. Examples were cited from the history. Many tales of the 1947 genocide were told poignantly. The mass-exodus of Kashmiri pundits was also cited. “See, how pathetic, the lives of Kashmiri Pandits have become. You can ask our Kashmiri pandit brother here. ”a speaker said. And everybody spoke about Kashmiri Hindus .Each time, Kashmiri Hindus were spoken of, a finger was pointed towards me. Frankly speaking, I was feeling as if I am a culprit.

A member of the organizing team came up to me and said in a low-voice, “you too say something. It will have a very good impact on the listeners.” Their- pointing- fingers –at- me had already made me feel guilty. An object that is loathsome-yet important(this holds true even today). So, I humbly turned down his offer. I went up to Sharmaji and took his permission to leave. He told me to be in touch with him and gave me his mobile number.

I was in touch with him for some time. He even introduced me to some people. Out of those people, I am still in touch with few , even today. I somehow lost the number of Sharmaji some years back. But, whenever, I recall that incident, I end up with a Grin. And I am reminded that indeed, “Tragedy is the biggest comedy.”

The tenants and the landlords(exodus of KP’s)

Naveen-my friend had shifted to a new rented house at shakti nagar, jammu. His mother while making tea for us in the make-shift kitchen said one day to me in presence of Naveen, “see how, we are living here in this one room. Our cow-shed was four times the size of this room. May the curse of Gods befell on all those terrorists who pushed us to this state of wretchedness. May the pall of gloom befell upon them.”I had heard it before, from many of our elders. This reflected the state of helplessness of the whole community during the 90’s.The exodus of Kashmiri pundits though trampled their identity and pushed them to the brink of extinction , On the other side, the miseries and the compromise with their fate made them adept in the art of survival.

My friend Naveen shifted to Jammu in the last week of jan 1990.His family stayed with their relative for some days/weeks and later on they shifted to a migrant camp at talab tiloo. There were at least four families staying in one hall which was roughly 500 sq. feet. Each family had made some arrangements to guard their privacy. He and his neighbors had drawn boundaries ingeniously cost-effective. A rope was tied from one end to another of the hall both lengthwise and breadth wise. An Indian saree or a blanket or a bed-sheet was tied or folded over to those ropes, thus each family making an own private compartment. Each family had a tin-trunk. The trunk housed their meager belongings and clothes. This trunk was also used as a study table by the students such as my friend Naveen.

When Naveen’s father saved/arranged some money, he decided to take a rented room at Shakti nagar, Jammu. Naveen volunteered to find a room. After some days of search, he finally found a room that fitted their budget. His father was a Govt. School teacher back at Kashmir . Naveen’s family consisted of his parents, a younger brother and an elder sister whom they had married off just a year back in Kashmir. And then a day came, when they shifted to their new house or should I say that newly-rented-room. His friends including me helped him to shift to his new room. It did not take us long to unwind their belongings and keep them at their proper places as directed by his mother. His family insisted us all to have a lunch with them at their new house.

In Kashmir, Very few families used a fridge as a household appliance. It was a luxury item rather than a necessity. On the contrary, a fridge was an absolute must in jammu. Naveen’s mother used to heat-up the left-over dishes at least three or four times a day in order to keep the dishes hygienically edible. A fridge was out of their reach.

The new weather conditions were alien to most of the KP’s. By mid-april, temperature began to rise drastically .KP’s had no experience in dealing with the heat of that magnitude . By early May,To beat the heat, Naveen, his younger brother and their parents bathed at least thrice a day. This created a bad blood between them and their landlord Jagdish.

Jagdish was an Auto-Driver. He had somehow built a 2BHK house on roughly a 4 marla land(roughly 100 sq. yards), The washrooms(a bathroom and a latrine) were built separately outside the main building(but inside the main compound wall).His family consisted of his wife and two children. Though, he did not interact much with Naveen’s family, except, when he had to take the rent from them, But His frequent brawls with his wife almost every night had made Naveen and his family believe that he was a dipsomaniac rogue.

In a way, Jagdish was right. The 500 litre overhead water tank was too small to last the whole day keeping in view the usage of water by the two families especially Naveen’s. So one day, when jagdish threatened them to leave his house over the water-issue, Naveen’s family thought of an alternative.

After the incident, The next day, Naveen, his younger brother and their father headed towards the famous “Nehar”(the canal of Chenab with ice-cold water).That day they took a bath in the morning, at evening and at night in the same “nehar” with alacrity. Naveen was looking out for a rented room again, and I was helping him in his endeavor, as I lived close by at Talab-tiloo, just across the canal.

By early july, Naveen shortlisted another house, just 50 meters from the “Nehar”. The house owner, Mr.Gupta, was a Govt. employee. This time they rented one room but with a separate kitchen. The room was bigger than the previous one, and it had two water-tanks. One underground and one over-head tank. This time also I and a couple of my friends volunteered to help them in their shifting. Mr. Gupta’s son “Rinku” was as old as Naveen and hence he befriended Naveen and his younger brother quickly.

During the monsoons, with the rise of Humidity, skin rashes and infections were rampant. Almost all KP’s including me and the family of Naveen had no clue how to deal with it. Satish, the elder cousin of Naveen during that monsoon season one fine day said to us “Take a bath in the canal with a “lifebuoy” soap .All skin rashes will go away. I have tried it on myself and it worked like a charm”. We all tried it at once. In fact I too spread this secret advice with my friends. The effectiveness of that remedy is a matter of research to this day.

Naveen stayed in Mr. Gupta’s house for a year or so. It so happened that Mr. Gupta raised their rent by a couple of hundred rupees, which Naveen’s father thought was unfairly steep. when He protested, Mr. Gupta said to him,” I don’t have any enmity with you. In fact I have raised the rent of Mr.Bhat also. It is because you are living here from past one year, and you are a good man, I am only raising the rent by Rs200.Otherwise the room-set you are occupying is worth more.” In the evening their co-tenant Mr.Bhat confirmed Mr. Gupta’s statement as true, and was quick to say,” It is a cumbersome job to hunt for a house again, During my one and a half years stay in jammu as a migrant, this is my third house, I have become familiar to this area, It will be a mental and emotional challenge to settle at a new house in a new area”.Naveen was a witness to the dialogue between his father and their co-tenant. Before retiring for the bed, Mr. Bhat said to his father, “Give him what he wants, you never know , how your new landlord will be, in case you opt to shift.”After a lot of deliberation, Naveen’s father decided to stay put at the Gupta’s house.

I am not sure, whether this move made Naveen’s Dad to take up tuitions or was it pre-meditated before the “rent-rise incident”. Anyways, Tuitions helped the family monetarily to an extent. Naveen’s family purchased a fridge as well as a colour TV after some months. As it happened, Naveen and his family stayed cordially with the Gupta’s for 5 long years. Naveen once said to me years later, “Guptajee knows almost all of our relatives, In fact, sometimes he visits our relatives on his own without informing us”.

I don’t know what happened to Naveen and his family in between 1997 till 2012 as I lost touch with him. Somewhere in 2012, I got a call from Naveen. He told me that he is working in Mumbai.His younger brother is working as a Govt. employee in Jammu with department of agriculture. And that he has purchased a Flat in Mumbai and his brother has built a two and a half storied house in Mutthi,Jammu. After he hung up the phone, for strange reasons, some lingering thoughts took me back to 1990, when they were living in Talab-tiloo migrant camp hall of 500sq feet area, with three other families.And I must confess that The sarees, blankets and bed-sheets as their boundaries to safeguard their privacy will have an everlasting impression on my mind….

Sharda script-the old language of Kashmir

sharda-script
Sharda is an old, now, almost distinct language that was once, used by the intelligentsia of Kashmir.Today, only a handful of people are left who know this language.Listed in the photograph,are the alphabets of this old script.This script was shared by a Friend on facebook, hence I am not sure about the source/author.

Kashmir Minorities conversation

It just happened that a few days Back, I met my childhood friend Aashiq at cannaught place, New Delhi. Ashiq is the son of a “shia pir”(sort of Oracle) and lives in the Dal-Lake area of Kashmir. Even though, he came from a poor family, he has managed to do well for himself and is presently working as a Govt. employee in J&K. He was being accompanied by another friend of his “Harmeet”-a Kashmiri Sikh. We headed towards the coffee shop nearby.

We talked about our childhood and that fun. We talked about our boat rides.swimming. Our hiking expeditions and Zabarwan. Our discussions veered towards the present situation in Kashmir viz-a-viz the socio-economic life of the minorities of Kashmir. Harjeet said, “Sikhs of kashmiri were mostly well-off. We are a peaceful community just as pundits and are generally seen as innocuous and gentle humans.”He added, “With the advent of so-called-jihad, we are tacitly subjugated by the majority sunni community. Many of the sikh girls had been lured by the Sunnis on the pretext of love and marriage. And their religion changed after wedding.” Harjeet paused for a moment and said, ”Many of our youths are side-tracked in govt. jobs in spite of good education and capabilities. We know we are being treated as second-hand citizens. we are ready for the impending doom for being a minority of Kashmir. Most of us have brought houses and lands outside Kashmir. We know, our fate can be that of Kashmiri Pandits- who were forced to flee.”

Shahid was quietly listening. I asked him about his opinion on the plight of Shias in Kashmir. He said, “Whatever is happening in Pakistan is bound to be repeated in Kashmir.” His statement reminded of his cousin Shabbir. It was in late-eighties when a sectarian clash broke between shias and sunnis. Shabbir was one such victim of Sunni hegemony. That fateful day, he was at the wrong place at wrong time. Somebody in the crowd had pointed finger towards him and shouted, “He is a Khudd(a derogatory word used for shia-muslims in Kashmir).” He was stripped of his clothes by the crowd that constituted the majority community of sunnis. He was forced to run stark-naked towards his home in the Dal-Lake area. While he was being humiliated, many people in the crowd were cheering and galvanizing the mob to do more such shameful acts.

“We do not support Pakistan. The support to Azadi is because of our compulsion. Even though shia militant-groups were formed by our community, but they hardly participated. It was a gesture to show that we support them. We did not wanted to be conspicuous by not supporting them. Even though we did not really supported them.”said Shahid as he further added, “You can ask any Kashmiri Pandit, who are living in shia-dominated areas in Kashmir. They are the safest in our areas.” I knew it already, Many Kashmiri pundits stay put in their villages that were shia-dominated even when militancy was at its peak.

Harjeet intercepted Jokingly, “ Sunnis consider them as untouchables and untrustworthy”. Shahid nodded his head in approval and said, “we are ready to fight with them with our fists or with bullets.” With a whiff of anger. He said further, “we will fight back” with a determined tone. “when a sunni is killed by armed forced for whatever reason, they come on streets to protest. And if a shia is killed, not a brow is raised.” said shahid.

I was getting late as I had an appointment. But before that, I asked them about Kashmiri Pandits. Harjeet said , “Had you stayed back in Kashmir, you would have faced more ignominy and collateral damage in terms of life and the honour of KP ladies.” Shahid also approved as he said, “The general feeling is that you will never come back again”. He gesticulated as he said, “ And they will make sure that you don’t come back again.”

I took their permission and left them alone in the cafeteria. The last lines of Shahid were reverberating in my mind, “And they will make sure that you don’t come back again”. But I have pinned hope against hope that I will return someday, sometime. But I will return for sure….

Saving my Rakhi Brother-2nd and last part

Soon after Ashok and his family left for Jammu, many more Kashmiri Pandits followed their footsteps. By the Mid-spring most of my KP neighbors had left for an alien land. “Raina’s” and “Dhar’s” had gone, so had “Saproo’s” , “Tickoo’s” and “Bhat’s”.My family and the “saraf’s” were the only KP family left in our neighborhood. Most of the time I and my family members were confined indoors because of the activities of the militants and also because Army was patrolling our area almost 24*7. The peal of the neighborhood temple Bell too was silent.

Hamida was still visiting me, though not that frequently. Her wits were still alive, but I could feel something amiss in her normal behavior. One fine day, I asked her , “Hamida, from last few days, I am feeling as if you are not your usual self. Is everything O.k?” She nodded her head in disapproval and said, “Nothing! I am just fine.”, and looked straight in my eyes. Then something happened. She held my hand and pulled me up from the Sofa. “come to the next room, I want to tell you something” she said. Ever since she had told me about the incidence of Ashok; I took every word of her seriously. And then she whispered, “Everything is not fine Didda, things are becoming worse and I doubt It will get only worst. Shabbir, my brother, has advised me not to meet you or any other KP for that matter.” I asked, “But why?”. “Read between the lines, Didda. You are my dear friend and I don’t want anybody to harm you or your family. I think you too should move out of the valley for the time being” said she in a pensive mood. And she left immediately after that. I never saw her after that.

I had to get curd from the “Ismail goor”(Ismail-the milkman).His shop was hardly 100 meters away from my house. I was thinking about my last interaction with Hamida. It was around noon. Ismail’s son Khalid was rolling down the shutters of his shop. I said to him, “ Don’t roll down the shutters, first give me half a Kg of curd.”He said in a rude tone, “Didda, go back to your home quickly.”And looked at me. His looks were threatening. I almost ran back to my house.I was angry at Khalid. My late father had taught him to read and write. He had given him free tuitions and helped him to secure a Govt. Job. He was like a family member to us all. During all these years he had never ever misbehaved with me.

As, I was thinking about the incidence, I heard a loud deafening explosion outside. I ran out to see what happened! I could only see dust and smoke at a distance .My younger brother Ramesh was running from the opposite direction. He held my hand firmly and almost dragged me back to our house. Without my asking, he said, “A bomb exploded just near “Ismail Goor’s” Shop. I was bewildered and scared.

By the evening, everything was normal. I still hadn’t bought curd. I was someone, who would not eat a meal without curd. I went again to the shop of Ismail. The shutters were still down. I decided to go to Ismail’s house and get the curd. His house was just 50 meters away from my house and I had gone there “N” number of times. He had a cowshed at the ground floor of his house and I directly went inside the shed. I shouted “Khalid, Ismailsaab, are you there?”. Khalid quickly came from nowhere. Anger was written all over his face. He pushed me back as he said, “ you mad girl ! what are you doing here. Get out of here.” Even during this commotion, I clearly saw at least 6 strange faces, ducked in between the bovines. It looked as if they were in a hiding. I came back disappointed. During night, I could not sleep for a long time. I was thinking about Hamida, Khalid and the bomb blast.

It was a moonlit night. And Sleep was still miles away. I opened the window of my room .My room was on the first floor and the windows opened towards the compound. The compound was flanked on two sides by our neighbor’s houses . There was an eight foot high by two feet wide wall securing our compound just opposite my room. The roof of compound wall was covered with slanting tin sheets, so that the snow will not accumulate on the top and will fall down smoothly. A cool breeze was blowing outside. The moon looked stunning. I was about to close the window when an image appeared behind the compound wall. I was scared. I hid myself, but I was still peeping outside the window. He was standing on the wall. I could see him clearly. He was a tall guy about 6 feet. He looked more like an Afgani than a Kashmiri. He was talking to someone on the other side of the wall, whom I could not see. I could hear him clearly . He was speaking Afgani or pushto or any other language but Kashmiri. I was scared to death and was sure that they had come to kidnap me.

Suddenly, someone started stoning my house as well as the compound wall. The sound was piercing the silence of the night and was enough to jolt the whole neighborhood and wake them up from their deep sleep. The stoning also alerted the army men outside the street. I could hear the trample of the boots of the armymen. The intruder too got confused and jumped back to the street. I had a sigh of relief.

Next morning, as I was passing by the shop of “Ismail Goor”, I spotted Khalid sitting in his shop. I was angry at him and tried to ignore him. “Didda, come here”, he said. Though I wanted to avoid him, but I still went up to him. He spoke to me in a cautious low voice. “I have been trying to caution you and your family. I cautioned you before the bomb explosion. I wanted you to go out of the cow-shed yesterday as they(militants) were hiding there and could have harmed you. And It was I Didda who stoned your house yesterday to raise an alarm against those Afganis. I am sorry, I could not inform you earlier as I too fear for my and my family’s life. I beg you to leave this place as soon as possible, for your safety and honor. Now leave this place and act as if nothing has happened. You too are under the surveillance of Militants.”I composed my calm, bought my last curd in Kashmir and went back to my house.

I narrated everything to my Brothers and my mother. We all decided to leave ASAP and come back once the things settle. A taxi was arranged by my Brothers. We only took some clothes and some important papers with us. By 7.00p.m we were at Jammu. We went to our Uncle’s place in Talab tiloo, jammu.

23 years have passed by. The return is still elusive. Who would have thought that KP’s as a community will be scattered emotionally and physically all over the Globe. Who would have thought, the alien land will become so familiar that our own motherland Kashmir will look like an stranger to us. But It has happened.

somebody has rightly said “Truth is stranger than fiction”….

Narrated by-Mrs. Seema Kaul(Didda)

Saving my Rakhi Brother(1990)

1990, when jihadi hooliganism was at its peak, My childhood friend and next-door neighbor, Hamida, came to my home late evening. She looked happy and cheerful as always. There was only one discussion that people were interested in, during those turbulent times-Militancy and Militants. Hamida was no exception. She was in privy of the sources/ militants that were carrying the execution orders of the Hindu minorities on the behest of their Pakistani masters sitting across the border. She was in fact proud of her association with the Militants.

“I want to share something with you!” she said to me eagerly. “OK, Tell me”, I said casually.”No, not here, let us go upstairs or into the next room. It is very confidential”. Now, my curiosity was aroused. I said “OK, Let us go upstairs”. We both went upstairs to “Kainee”(parapet/ top most floor of the house). She was bubbling with energy as she said,” Tomorrow morning, It is the turn of Ashok. He will be shot dead by the militants tomorrow. Don’t tell this to anybody ever. I am sharing this with you as you are my friend”. My heart sank, but I composed myself quickly and said, “Let them kill him. He deserves it.” She said, “ Wow! I love militants. Let the pundits who are leaving every day for jammu leave, but you stay here. Don’t you worry. Nothing will ever happen to you or your family.” I smiled back at her.” Militants are only killing Indian agents and informers” she said. I nodded my head.

I wanted to tell her, “No! militants are killing Kashmiri Pandits for no reason. I wanted to tell her that militants are killing for the sake of jihad. For fame. For money. For power. For self-importance. For their desires and lust”. But, I could not muster courage. I wanted to tell her that it is the anti-Hindu sentiment that is being fanned by the maulvis of the Mosques by using Islamic terminologies to galvanize the common Muslims, and kill the hindus with impunity and without compunction. I wanted to tell her,” No, There is no bravery and holiness in killing hapless, unarmed innocent Pandits”. But I remained quite. After all, I too wanted to live.

Hamida would not leave me alone that evening for a moment, Though I wanted her to go back, so that I could run into Ashok’s house and inform him about his assassination plans by militants. Ashok was a neighbor and a friend of my brother. He was like my elder brother and I used to tie a “Rakhi” to him every year. Even the thought of getting him killed was suffocating me. But that day Hamida was in no hurry to go back to her home. I wanted to get rid of her so desperately that day. But It looked as if she had other plans. She was chattering incessantly and I was nodding my head in approval cursorily, I was in fact thinking hard, to somehow convey the insidious killing plot of militants to Ashok.

Finally, I came up with a plan. I said to her, “ Hamida, I just realized that I had to call up my relatives in Jammu.” She asked, “ which ones? “. I said, “My maternal uncle. They too fled for Jammu few days back.” “Oh! I see. OK, by the time you will call your uncle, I will buy curd from Ismail Goor”. Ismail Goor, The milkman’s shop was located just opposite to Ashok’s house. I could not go to his house in front of Hamida as that could raise suspicion. My mind was over-working, but I still said,” OK, Let us go”.

During those days, Telephone was a status-symbol and not everybody had the privilege of having a Phone at home. Ashok was a Govt. employee working with the telecom department and was thus in possession of a telephone connection. Adjacent to the Ashok’s house were “Dhar’s” and next to “Dhars” were “Raina’s”. “Raina’s” too had a telephone connection at their home.

We reached too quickly at “Ismail Goor’s” shop.I said to Hamida, “ I will go to Rainas and make a call. You wait for me here.” She said,” alright”. I went towards “Raina’s” house. Before stepping into their house, I turned back. Hamida was staring at me from the milkman’s shop. I quickly went inside the compound of the “Raina’s” and scaled the wall to reach into the compound of “Dhar’s”. I scaled the wall flanking Dhar’s and Ashok’s house and jumped with a “thud” into the compound of Ashok. My knees were aching because of the impact of the jump. But I had no time for small physical pains. The back door of Ashok’s house was ajar.I went inside. Ashok was sitting right there in his Drawing-room. I hugged him and tears rolled down from my cheeks. He was perplexed.”What happened Didda?”he jerked me. I said, “ Leave this place as soon as possible. Militants are planning to kill you.”I told him briefly about my encounter with Hamida and her confidential report. By that time, his wife and brother Satish also came. His wife Dolly too began to cry upon knowing the incident. Ashok and Satish consoled us both and they both thanked me for the information. “I need to go back quickly as Hamida is waiting for me and can suspect something fishy if I take too long.”I said to them. Both Ashok and Satish helped me to scale the compound wall and Very soon I landed in “Dhar’s” compound and finally into the compound of the “Raina’s”. As, I opened the main compound door, that opened into the main street, I was shocked to see Hamida standing in front of the door.”Why did you take so long?” said she. “Line was coming busy. I had to try 50 times, before I could connect to my Uncle.”I said. “Oh! I see” she said casually and quickly added, “I have bought video movie cassettes from Shabbir, We will watch them at your home, since you have a VCP”. I said with a sigh of relief, “ OK. Fine.”That night, we watched couple of movies. She stayed overnight at my home.

Next morning, she went back to her home. I thought, let me check whether Ashok had left or not. As, I was about to leave, Hamida came back. she was panting. I gave her a puzzled look. She said incoherently, “ Ashok has fled”. I said “What! I couldn’t get you”. She put her hand on her chest and said slowly and clearly,” Ashok too has left like other pundits “. I said ,” Oh! I see”. She said, “Lucky guy! The militants fired at the locks also suspecting him to be hiding inside. But they found all his family had fled. Not even their neighbors knew, when they fled,”. I gave her a lugubrious look. I was happy inside and thanked God for saving the life of Ashok-My Rakhi Brother.
narrated by-Mrs. Seema kaul

Kashmiri Pandits: VICTIMS of TERROR ‘n HATE CRIME

CRIME against HUMANITY: For the attention of pretended world bodies, contaminated human rights organisations, pseudo-secularists, self-styled leaders, so-called policy makers, tainted political parties and slack bureaucracy…..!

Kashmir can claim the distinction of being the only region of India which possesses an uninterrupted series of written records of its history. The earlier known kings of the Valley are Gonanda I and Damodara I. According to Kalhana, Gonanda I was the contemporary of Kauravas and Pandavas (later Vedic period). Hasan Khuihami claims to have traced the thirty-five kings, which were missing in Kalhana’s chronicle. Of the early kings who ruled over Kashmir at the beginning of Christian era, Ashoka followed Buddhism; while his son, Jaloka, reverted to the worship of Lord Shiva. The Buddhists, however, regained their strength under the patronage of the Turushka kings-Hushka, Jushka and Kanishka.

History of the Kashmiri Pandits is the history of Kashmir since unknown millennia. They are associated with its very existence – society, culture, civilization, customs, traditions, myths and realities. A period of comparative historical validity in the region began with the establishment of the Karkuta rule in AD 627. During the regime of Lohara dynasty, Kashmir came into direct contact with the Muslim invaders who attacked India. When Mahmud Ghazni annexed the Punjab, most of the tribes on the borders of Kashmir embraced Islam. At that time, the Valley was ruled by Sangram Raja (AD 1003-1028). Even after their conversion to Islam, these people continued to visit Kashmir – as traders, wanderers and even missionaries. There are historical evidences that some of these tribals settled in a locality called “Malichmar” near Alikadal (Srinagar) and made some venture into propagating their new religion.

Harsha (AD 1089-1101), was a man of extravagant habits and a jumble of contraries. He robbed temple treasures and got the idols of gold and silver melted to tide over his financial crisis. Before him two other kings, Jalauka and Kalasa, employed the same approach of plundering the temples to augment their depleted treasuries. Harsha also employed Muslim generals, who are called Turushkas by Kalhana, for the first time in the history of Kashmir. Now Muslims as a class appeared in the political field and began to consolidate its roots. Bhikshachara, a descendant of Harsha, organized a cavalry force mainly consisting of the Muslims. During the reign of Gopadeva (AD 1171-1180), the Brahmans once again consolidated their position. But Ramadeva (AD 1252-1273) humiliated those Brahmans who had helped him in his coronation. A reign of terror, loot and plunder was let loose against them. Many Brahmans were killed and others crushed barbarously. This was the first direct assault against them in the history of Kashmir. To save themselves they concealed their identity and cried “ Na Batoham” (I am not a Hindu).

To counter the supremacy of the Brahmans, the rulers of Kashmir encouraged the influx of Muslims into the Valley. During the reign of Suhadeva (AD 1301-1320) many Muslim adventurers came to Kashmir. The chief among them was a Muslim missionary- Bulbul Shah. Two others were Shahmir from Swat and Rinchana from Tibet. Shahmir came in AD 1313 along with his numerous relations. Suhadeva granted him a jagir in a village near Baramulla. Ramachandra, the Prime Minister, employed Rinchana and granted him jagir in a village in the Lar Valley. These two adventurers were instrumental in the establishment of the Muslim rule in Kashmir. Another adventurer who received Suhadeva’s patronage was Lankar Chak.

Dulucha, a Tartar chief from Central Asia, invaded Kashmir with 60,000 strong horsemen. Suhadeva tried to induce him to retreat by paying him off a large sum of money. For this purpose he imposed heavy taxes even upon the Brahmans who had never before been taxed. But Dulucha refused to retreat and struck terror. He ravaged the Valley with fire and sword. Terrible miseries were inflicted upon the people including the Brahmans. According to Baharistan – i -Shahi, “Dulucha and his soldiers killed everyone they could find . People who had fled to the hills and forests were pursued and captured. Men were killed, women and children were reduced to slavery and sold to the merchants of Khita (Turkistan), whom the invaders had brought with them. All the houses in the cities and the villages were burnt. The invaders ate as much of the corn and rice as they could . Whatever was left, they burnt and destroyed. In this way the whole of the Kashmir Valley was trampled under foot”. Suhadeva fled to Kishtwar, leaving the Kingdom to the cruel aggressors. Dulucha stayed here for eight months and took about 50,000 Brahmans with him as slaves. But all the troops and slaves perished while crossing the Devsar Pass. It was a terrible experience for the legendary Kashmiri Pandits. The cruel invader went away from the Valley but left it haunted. The cursed people had lost all faith in their ruler- Suhadeva. Taking the advantage of the chaos and confusion, Rinchana- the refugee from Tibet, occupied the throne with the help of some chiefs . He killed his benefactor, Ramachandra, in the fort of Lar by treacherous means and married his daughter, Kota Rani.

Rinchana, a Buddhist, wanted to get initiated into the Brahmanical fold to strengthen his political position. At that time, Shaivism was the most extensively practised religion in the Valley. So he called Sri Devaswami, the religious head of the Shaivas, to indoctrinate himself into the Hindu religion. Devaswami called a meeting of the prominent Pandits, who refused to accept Rinchana into Hinduism because of his low birth. Jonaraja says,” The King asked Devaswami to initiate him in the mantras of Shiva, but as he was Bhautta (Tibetian), Devaswami feared that the King was unworthy of such initiation and did not favour him”. This was a tremendous blunder on the part of Pandits, which turned the course of history. In fact, the Brahmans were not ready to share their privileges with an outsider. Thus deflected, Rinchana wanted to establish a uniform faith of warring sects and creeds in Kashmir with himself as its head. But Shahmir and Bulbul Shah managed his conversion to Islam. Ramachandra’s son, Ravanachandra, and many others also embraced Islam. A Muslim ruling class came into existence. In this way the Kashmiri Pandits were responsible for the destruction of their own ascendency and the ruin of their very existence. They are tremendously paying for it even now. People of inferior origin and subordinate castes were attracted to Islam by gradual methods. This newly established Muslim class slowly consolidated its position and employed various methods to propagate the new faith. However, the Brahmans put a brave front and resisted the tide. After the death of Rinchana (AD 1326), Udyanadeva, the brother of Suhadeva, was installed on the throne of Kashmir and Shahmir was appointed as Commander-in-Chief.

Achala, a Turkish Chief, invaded Kashmir during the reign of Udyanadeva, laying waste the territories he passed through. The king fled to Tibet. Kota Rani – the queen, faced the invader, procured his death and saved the kingdom. In this operation , Shahmir played the dominant role. Jonaraja says, “Strange that this Believer in Allah became the saviour of the people. As a dried up river allows men to cross it and gives them shelter on its banks, even so this believer in Allah, calm and active, protected the terrified subjects.” Shahmir’s influence increased tremendously and he further strengthened his position by entering into matrimonial relations with the powerful nobles in Kashmir. A subversive struggle was born between the tolerant Hinduism and the militant Islam.

In AD 1339, after defeating Kota Rani by a foul strategem and procuring her death, Shahmir ascended the throne of Kashmir under the name of Sultan Shamas-ud-Din (The Light of the Religion – Islam). He got khutaba read and the coins struck to his name. Islam became the court religion. Shahmir became the legitimate author and architect of Muslim rule in Kashmir. With the establishment of the new regime Muslim missionaries, preachers, sayyids and saints penetrated into the Valley. Sayyid Jalal-ud-Din, Sayyid Taj-ud-Din, Sayyid Hussain Simnani, Sayyid Masud and Sayyid Yusuf came to Kashmir to avoid the intended massacre by Timur. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (Shah Hamadan) entered Kashmir with 700 sayyids; and, his son, Mir Muhammad Hamadani, with 300 more. They endured in the Valley under royal protection and disseminated the message of Islam. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (AD 1314-AD 1385) wrote in “ Zakhirat’ul Maluk ” :

1. Muslim ruler shall not allow fresh constructions of Hindu temples and shrines for image worship.
2. No repair shall be executed to the existing Hindu temples and shrines.
3. They shall not proffer Muslim names.
4. They shall not ride a harnessed horse.
5. They shall not move about with arms.
6. They shall not wear rings with diamonds.
7. They shall not deal in or eat bacon.
8. They shall not exhibit idolatrous images.
9. They shall not built houses in the neighbourhood of Muslims.
10. They shall not dispose of their dead in the neighbourhood of Muslim graveyards, nor weep or wail over their dead.
11. They shall not deal in or buy Muslim slaves.
12. No Muslim traveller shall be refused lodging in the Hindu temples and shrines where he shall be treated as a guest for three days by non-Muslims.
13. No non-Muslim shall act as a spy in the Muslim state.
14. No problem shall be created for those non-Muslims who, of their own will, show their readiness for Islam.
15. Non-Muslims shall honour Muslims and shall leave their assembly whenever the Muslims enter the premises.
16. The dress of non-Muslims shall be different from that of Muslims to distinguish themselves.
This naturally caused animosity among the Brahmans and resulted in frail rebellion during the reign of Shihab-ud-Din (AD 1354-1373). In order to break the upheaval among the Hindus and to make them prostrate, the Sultan turned his attention towards their temples. All the temples in Srinagar, including the one at Bijbehara, were wrecked to terrorize the poor Kashmiri Pandits. It seems that by this time, the sultans of Kashmir were perfectly islamized as a result of their contacts, interactions and intercourses with the sayyids. These sayyids came here as absconders in search of safe harbours, but manoeuvered the events for their own cause and fanatic iconoclastic zeal. The Hindus began to feel deserted and alienated in their own land. To consolidate their rule, sultans institutionalized the “policy of extermination” to eradicate all traces of Hinduism in any form. However, the Kashmiri Pandits stuck to their own religion and traditions, ignoring the atrocities, barbarism and cruelties of the privileged ruling class. But there were many from other castes who, either by conviction or in order to gain royal favour, embraced Islam. These new converts were looked down upon by the Kashmiri Pandits as traitorous and treacherous, with no loyalty for time-honored values. This gave rise to a new class rivalry. Suha Bhatt, who after embracing Islam took the name of Saif-ud-Din, became the leader of the fresh converts during the reign of Sikandar (AD 1389-1413).

Sikandar- the Butshikan, was bigoted with fanatic religious zeal to spread Islam in the entire Valley. This fanaticism was stimulated by Mir Muhammad Hamadani. Suha Bhatt – the convert, was appointed Prime Minister by Sikandar and both hatched a deadly conspiracy to prosecute the Hindus and enforce upon the Nizam-i-Mustaffa. Jonaraja says, “ The Sultan forgot his kingly duties and took delight day and night in breaking images … He broke images of Martanda, Vishaya, Ishana, Chakrabrit and Tripureshvara …… There was no city, no town, no village, no wood where Turushka left the temples of the gods unbroken.” According to Hassan (History of Kashmir), “ This country possessed from the times of Hindu rajas many temples which were like the wonders of the world. Their workmanship was so fine and delicate that one found himself bewildered at their sight. Sikandar, goaded by feelings of bigotry, destroyed them and levelled them with the earth and with the material built many mosques and khanqahs. In the first instance he turned his attention towards the great Martand temple built by Ramdev (the temple was rebuilt by King Lalitaditya, AD 724-760) on Mattan Kareva. For one year he tried to demolish it, but failed. At last in sheer dismay, he dug out stones from its base and having stored enough wood in their place, set fire to it. The gold gilt paintings on its walls were totally destroyed and the walls surrounding its premises were demolished. Its ruins even now strike wonder in men’s minds. At Bijbehara, three hundred temples including the famous Vijiveshwara temple, which was partly damaged by Shihab-ud-Din, were destroyed. With the material of Vijiveshwara temple, a mosque was built and on its site a khanqah, which is even now known as Vijiveshwara Khanqah.” The stones and bricks which once configurated a marvelous and splendid temple or monastery, now hold up mosques. Hassan further adds, “ Sikandar meted out greatest oppression to the Hindus. It was notified in the Valley that if a Hindu does not become a Muslim, he must leave the country or be killed. As a result some of the Hindus fled away, some accepted Islam and many Brahmans consented to be killed and gave their lives. It is said that Sikandar collected, by these methods, six maunds of sacred thread form Hindu converts and burnt them. Mir Muhammad Hamadani, who was a witness of all this vicious brutality, barbarism and vandalism, at last advised him to desist from the slaughter of Brahmans and told him to impose jazia (religious tax) instead of death upon them. All the Hindu books of learning were collected and thrown into Dal Lake and were buried beneath stones and earth.” Sikandar issued orders that no man should wear the tilak mark on his forehead and no woman be allowed to perform sati. He also insisted on breaking and melting of all the gold and silver idols of gods and coin the metal into money. An attempt was made to destroy the caste of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans by force and those who resisted were subject to heavy fines. Farishta says, “ Many of the Brahmans, rather than abandon their religion or their county, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Muhammedans”. To strictly enforce the Nizam-i-Mustaffa, Sikandar established the office of Shaikh-ul-Islam.

According to W.R. Lawrence, the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir were given three choices-death, conversion or exile. “Many fled, many were converted and many were killed, and it is said that this thorough monarch (Sikandar) burnt seven maunds of sacred threads of the murdered Brahmans”. As for the statements of Hassan and Lawrence, six maunds of sacred threads of converts and seven maunds of murdered Pandits were burnt. The number of people, to whom these thirteen maunds of sacred threads belonged, might have been tremendously colossal. A mammoth number of the Saraswat Pandits also went into exile, causing the first disastrous mass exodus of the community. When Suha Bhatt- the convert, came to know that many Brahmans were leaving Kashmir, he tried to check their exodus and ordered the frontier guards not to allow any one to cross the borders. The unfortunate Pandits caught while crossing the border were awarded severe punishments. Even the converts were required to pay jazia as they were suspected of secretly clinging to their old religion.

Not only Sikandar- the Butshikan, but Suha Bhatta – the convert, also was responsible for this barbarous, murderous and cruel approach towards the mythical Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja says, “ Suha Bhatta- the convert, after demolishing the temples felt the satisfaction, and with the help of sayyids, ulema and newly converts tried to destroy the caste of the people… the illustrious Brahmans declared that they would die rather than lose their caste and religion, and Suha Bhatta – the convert, subjected them to a heavy fine, jazia, because they held to their caste and religion.” There is no parallel of this religious persecution in the history of mankind.

Ali Shah – the tyrant (AD 1413-1430), son of Sikandar- the Butshikan, during his short rule of six years, carried on his father’s 24-year tyrant reign with homicides, conversions, tyranny and enforced jazia. Suha Bhatta – the convert, who retained the prime ministership continued his earlier crimes and atrocities against the Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja gives a graphic account of the plight of the illustrious Kashmiri Pandits in the draconian reign of Ali Shah. He says,” Suha Bhatta- the convert, passed the limit by levying fine, jazia, on the twice – born. This evil-minded man forbade ceremonies and processions on the new moon. He became envious that the Brahmans who had become fearless would keep up their caste by going over to foreign countries, he therefore ordered posting of squads on the roads, not to allow passage to any one without a passport. Then as the fisherman torments fish, so this low born man tormented the twice-born in this country. The legendary Brahmans burnt themselves in the flaming fire through fear of conversion. Some Brahmans killed themselves by taking poison, some by the rope and others by drowning themselves. Others again by falling from a precipice. The country was contaminated by hatred and the king’s favourites could not prevent one in a thousand from committing suicide …. A multitude of celebrated Brahmans, who prided in their caste, fled from the country through bye-roads as the main roads were closed. Even as men depart from this world, so did the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir flee to foreign countries. The difficult countries through which they passed, the scanty food, painful illness and the torments of hell during life time removed from the minds of the Kashmiri Pandits the fears of hell. Oppressed by various calamities such as encounter with the enemy, fear of snakes, fierce heat and scanty food; many Brahmans perished on the way and thus obtained salvation.” This was the second miserable mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja calls it “ Chandh-Dandh” – violent, cruel, brutal and horrible punishment, for the abandoned and vulnerable Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. History repeated itself again in AD 1989-1990.

The brutal religious persecution of the Kashmiri Pandits has been borne testimony to by almost all the Muslim historians. Hassan, Fauq and Nizam – ud – Din have condemned these excesses in unscathing terms. It was the reign of terror and homicide. The majority of the Hindus were converted forcibly and a large number of them left the Valley. Yet many more were passing their days in the most deplorable conditions only on payment of jazia. The allowance of the Brahman academicians was stopped to destroy the ancient learning, literature, education, art and culture. These enlightened intellectuals had to move from door to door for food, like dogs. One can’t imagine a higher level of mental torture!

The Brahmans, even after paying jazia, could not openly declare themselves as Hindus nor could they apply tilak on their foreheads. Neither could they pray in their temples or perform any religious ceremony. Even then they did not forget their past and rich tradition. As the custodians of their extraordinary cultural heritage, they wrote the illuminating treatises on the stupendous Kashmir Shaivism, colossal literature, splendid art, marvelous music, grammar and medicine.

Sultan Zainul Abidin – the Budshah (Great Monarch), ruled Kashmir from AD 1420 to 1460. The son of Sultan Sikandar – the Butshikan, and the brother of Sultan Ali Shah- the tyrant, Zainul Abidin followed the policy of tolerance, endurance, patience, sympathy and broad mindedness. He recalled the Kashmiri Pandits who had left the Valley during the rule of Sikandar and Ali Shah. Jazia was abolished and the Brahmans were given their earlier positions in administration. Demolished temples were rebuilt and new ones constructed. Two temples were built by Zainul Abidin at Ishbar, Srinagar. The Sultan also participated in the Hindu festivals. A large number of houses were built for the widows of the Brahmans who had suffered during the reign of terror. Zainul Abidin stopped the killing of cows, restricted the eating of beef and catching of fish in the sacred springs of the Hindus. Even the personal law as laid down in the Shastras was adopted for the Hindus. The legenday Kashmiri Pandits were resurrected and resuscitated. Ferguson observes that indeed history has very few examples where the policy of a father was so completely reversed by the son. Even the Mughal monarch, Akbar – the great , capitalized on the religious policy of Zainul Abidin. But the conservative and dogmatic Muslims reacted very sharply to this policy of toleration and mutual coexistence . According to Mulla Bahauddin, “ The Sultan reimported practices of infidels which had once become extinct”.

But the honey-moon of the Kashmiri Pandits proved very brief. During the reign of Haider Shah (AD 1470-1472) – the prodigal son of the great Zainul Abidin, Kashmiri Pandits once again suffered tremendously. Under the evil influence of Purni- the Hindu barber, Haider Shah adopted various corrupt and cruel practices against the Saraswat Brahmans. The repression was so terrible that the tolerant Pandits lost their cool. Hassan says, “ the patience of the Pandits having reached the breaking point, they rose in a body and set fire to some mosques which were built with the material of the Hindu temples once demolished by Sikandar. The rising was quelled by the sword; many more Pandits were drowned in rivers; and, loot and plunder was practiced with unbridled licence.” Srivara also illustrates the cruel and inhuman treatment given to the mythical Kashmiri Saraswat Brahmans, “… many Pandits struggled and threw themselves in river Vitasta to be drowned there. The arms and noses of many people were cut off, even of those Brahmans who were king’s servants.” Ravage and arson of the sacred places continued during the indifferent rule of Hassan Khan (AD 1476-1487), when the real authority was with the gang of three persons- Shams Chak, Shringhar Raina and Musa Raina. The pressure exerted on the illustrious Kashmiri Pandits was so barbarous that, in order to save themselves from merciless brutality, some of them gave up their caste and screamed – “ I am not a Bhatta……… I am not a Bhatta” ( I am not a Hindu). They went in strict seclusion to avoid any argument or controversy.

Mir Shams-ud-Din Iraqi, who visited the Saffron Valley twice in AD 1477 and 1496, was the founder of Nurbakhshiya Order (Shia sect) in Kashmir. His mission was the vigorous propagation of his faith. So, not contented with peaceful preachings, violent methods were employed. In this adventure , Iraqi was helped by the most dreaded tyrant- Malik Musa Raina, a convertee, whose original name was Soma Chandra. Not only the poor vulnerable Brahmans, but the Sunni Muslims were also violently converted to Shia sect by murderous techniques. This dogmatic fanaticism even crippled the Sunni ruler of Kashmir, Fateh Shah (AD 1510-1517). A khanqah was built at Zadibal (Srinagar) by Iraqi, which became the nucleus of Shia concentration.

Kashmiri Pandits suffered ferociously under the instructions of Shams-ud-Din Iraqi and Musa Raina. About 24,000 of them were forcibly converted to Shia sect of Islam. Iraqi had even issued orders that everyday about 1500 to 2000 Brahmans be brought to his doorsteps, remove their sacred threads, administer Kalima to them, circumcise them and make them eat beef. These decrees were ferociously and brutally carried out. The Hindu religious scriptures from 7th century AD onwards and about 18 magnificent temples were destroyed, property confiscated and ladies abused. Thousands of Brahmans killed themselves to evade this horrific barbarism and thousands migrated to other places, resulting in their third tragic mass exodus from the Valley. Those who stayed behind were not only forced to pay jazia, but their noses and ears were chopped off. To escape the tremendous pain and agony, they cried. “I am not a Hindu.” After Kashmir , the next destination of Iraqi for war against so-called infidelity was Kargil. It is now a Shia –dominated area and there are frequent sectarian clashes between them and the Buddhists.

In AD 1519, about ten thousand Kashmiri Pandits died during pilgrimage to Harmukh Ganga, where they had gone to immerse the ashes of those eight hundred Hindus who had been massacred during Ashura a year before. Poet-historian Suka says about this cataclysm, “ Ganga was oppressed with hunger, as it was after a long time that she had devoured bones; she surely devoured the men also who carried the bones.” It was after a gap of many years that the people were allowed to go on a pilgrimage to Harmukh lake, which ended in the most devastating tragedy.

Qazi Chak, the founder of Chak rule in Kashmir (AD 1553-1586), carried on ferocious religious policy and made conversion of many Hindus to Shia sect of Islam. According to Suka, one thousand cows were used to be killed everyday without any opposition under the orders of the Chak rulers, who were Shias, just to injure the religious sentiments of the Kashmiri Pandits. These celebrated and highly educated Aryan Saraswat Brahmans were made the objects of laughter and reproach. They were publically taunted, abused and humiliated. The last Chak ruler, Yaqub Chak, had a bigoted zeal for the propagation of Shia sect and planned mass conversion of the Hindus. However, he could not administer his criminal designs because of the Mughal annexation.

Akbar was tremendously influenced by the amazing moral supremacy of the Kashmiri Pandits. Abul Fazl records in Ain-i-Akbari, “ the most respectable class in this country (Kashmir) is that of the Pandits, who, notwithstanding their need for freedom from the bonds of tradition and custom, are the true worshippers of God. They do not loosen their tongue of calumny against those not of their faith, nor beg, nor importune. They employ themselves in planting fruit trees and are generally a source of inspiration for others”. The great Mughal Emperor abolished jazia and other unjust taxes imposed upon the Hindus. He also evinced great interest in the rehabilitation of the Pandits. Suka says, “ The Emperor announced that he would without delay reward those who would respect the Brahmans in Kashmir and that he would instantly pull down the houses of those who would demand the annual tribute from them.” The greatness of Akbar lies in his magnificent and fascinating policy of religious tolerance. Jahangir and Shah Jahan were not so tolerant. But their religious enthusiasm cannot be termed as fanatic. During this period, the Brahmans could perform their religious ceremonies after paying some tribute. But the whole scenario changed with the accession of Aurangzeb to the throne. With his bigoted fanatic and dogmatic approach, the Kashmiri Pandits were once again made vulnerable. Iftkar Khan, the Mughal governor of Kashmir during the reign of Aurangzeb, brutally tyrannized over the Brahmans to such an extent that they approached Guru Teg Bhahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, at Anandpur in Punjab and solicited his personal intervention with the Emperor. This ultimately led to the Guru’s martyrdom and made Guru Gobid Singh to create the Khalsa to fight the oppressors . Muzaffer Khan, Nassar Khan and Ibrahim Khan were other governors of Aurangzeb who ferociously terrorized the Kashmiri Pandits. These celebrated scapegoats were once again forced to migrate from the land of their origin. It was the fourth disastrous mass exodus of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans from Kashmir.

During the rule of later Mughals, Kashmir witnessed the outbreak of the worst kind of religious intolerance. In AD 1720, Mullah Abdul Nabi, also called Muhat Khan, a non-resident Kashmiri Muslim, was appointed as Shaikhul Islam . In order to assert his religious authority, he asked the Deputy Governor, Mir Ahmed Khan , to start a campaign of persecution of the Kafirs (infidels) – as the Kashmiri Pandits were called. In order to satisfy his satanic ego, the Mulla issued six commandments:

No Hindu should ride a horse, nor should a Hindu wear a shoe;
That they should not wear Jama (Mughal costume);
That they should move bare arms;
That they should not visit any garden;
That they should not have tilak mark on their foreheads;
That their children should not receive any education.

But Ahmed Khan refused to execute the mischievous decree. The Mullah then excited his followers against the Kashmiri Pandits. He established his seat in a mosque, assumed the duties of the administrator under the title of Dindar Khan and let loose the reign of terror. The Hindus were wickedly tormented, their houses burnt and property looted. Hundreds of Brahmans were killed, prostrated, maimed and humiliated. They began to run away in large numbers and hide themselves in mountainous terrain. This was the fifth dreadful mass exodus of the legendary Kashmiri Pandits from their mystic motherland. Those who remained behind lived in the most horrific and terrible conditions generated by the Mullah and his gang. But soon he was assassinated by his rivals and his son, Sharif-ud-Din, become the new Shaikhul-Islam. The son improved upon the brutal methods of his father and inflicted most barbaric, cruel and inhuman tortures upon the vulnerable Brahmans. The plight of the Kashmiri Pandits during this period became tremendously miserable and tragic.

The Afghan rule in Kashmir (AD 1753-1819) was a period of cruelty, homicide and anarchy. W.R. Lawrence calls it the “reign of brutal tyranny.” The barbarous Afghans employed every wild, inhuman, primitive, ferocious, cruel and brutal method to suppress the Kashmiri Brahmans. A pitcher filled with ordure was placed on the head of a Pandit and stones were pelt on it, till it broke and the unfortunate Brahman become wet with filth. Their brutality and atrocity crossed the extreme limits when Hindus were tied up in grass sacks, two and two, and drowned in the Dal Lake. The victimized Hindu were forced to flee the country or were killed or converted to Islam. There was sixth horrible mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits, to far away places like Delhi, Allahabad, etc. Many covered the long distances on foot.

Hindu parents destroyed the beauty of their daughters by shaving their heads or cutting their noses and ears to save them from degradation. Any Muslim could jump on the back of a Pandit and take a ride. Mir Hazar – an Afghan governor, used leather bags instead of grass sacks for the drowning of Brahmans. Turbans and shoes were forbidden for them. The Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir were also forced to grow beards and tilak was interdicted. The Afghans are now only remembered for their barbarity, brutality, ferocity, tyranny and cruelty. They thought no more of cutting of heads than of plucking a flower.

The Shahmirs, Chaks, Mughals and homicidal Afghans tore the fabric of society in Kashmir and left deep scars on it. When the Afghan oppression became intolerable, the Pandits turned with hope to the rising power of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. But they were suspected. The Afghan governor, Azim Khan, confiscated their jagirs and imposed jazia on them. Eminent Pandits were brutally killed, humiliated and their authority was snatched. Nur Shah Diwani – a cruel Muslim official who was in charge of revenue collection, hatched a conspiracy in league with Azim Khan to eliminate the distinguished Kashmiri Brahmans. But this evil manoeuvre was exposed and a galaxy of Pandits saved. Pandit Sahajram, the Diwan, played a prominent role in the rescue operation.

Azim Khan had appointed Sukhram Safaya, Mirza Pandit and Birbal Dhar as revenue collectors. Birbal Dhar could not collect the required amount due to failure of crops. The atrocious Afghan governor browbeated Pandit Birbal to make the payment of one lac rupees. Rowdy and boisterous soldiers were send to threaten him and other Pandits. Sensing the Afghan tsunami, distinguished Kashmiri Pandits called a backstairs meeting in which it was resolved to invite Ranjit Singh for the conquest of Kashmir and salvation of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans. Accordingly Birbal Dhar and his minor son, Raja Kak Dhar, secretly left for Lahore with a petition signed by the prominent Kashmiri Pandits through which an invitation was extended to Ranjit Singh to take over the Valley. When Azim Khan came to know about these developments, he sent his soldiers to nab Birbal Dhar and teach him a lesson. But when these bandits met with no success, the cruel governor turned his guns towards the wife and daughter-in-law of Birbal Dhar . Both the ladies had taken shelter in the house of a trustworthy Muslim, Qadus Gojwari. Azim Khan asked Pandit Basa Kak to hunt down the innocent ladies. Basa Kak knew about the retreat of ladies but did not disclose it even after monstrous tortures and oppressive penalties. At last his abdomen was ripped open in the most barbarous manner and the dead body discredited – the most unfortunate and brutal crime against humanity in the civilized world. The poor ladies were also captured . Birbal Dhar’s wife committed suicide by swallowing a piece of diamond. The younger lady was violently converted to Islam and handed over to an Afghan noble, who carried her to Kabul.

Nervous to the marrow of his bones and crazy with rage, Azim Khan tormented all those Kashmiri Brahmans whom he suspected to be in league with Birbal Dhar. Prominent Pandits were detained in a concentration camp at Nishat Garden and ferociously tortured. But on learning about the Sikh advances towards Kashmir, he lost all nerve and solicited instruction from Pandit Sahajram Dhar. The illustrious Pandit advised him to sent off his ladies folk to Kabul. It was the only way to save them from the ignominious treatment. Sahajram himself escorted the ladies to Kabul and saved them from disastrous shame. Azim Khan himself ran away from the Valley, leaving the administration into the hands of his brother, Jabbar Khan. However, atrocious Afghans were crushed and the Sikhs annexed Kashmir. Some extremist Sikhs, including Phul Singh, endeavoured to knock down the mosque of Shah Hamadan. But celebrated Birbal Dhar, at a considerable risk to his own life, made them desist from this action. According to GMD Sufi, “ It is to the lasting credit of Birbal Dhar that when a deputation of Muslims headed by Sayyid Hasan Shah Qadiri Khanyari approached him to dissuade the Sikhs from the destruction of the Khanqah, he moved in the matter, used his influence and saved this historical structure from vandalism.” It reveals the true personality and character of a distinguished Kashmiri Pandit.

During the Sikh rule in Kashmir, AD 1819-1846, the celebrated Pandits reclaimed their past glory and magnificence. They claimed back the prominent places of trust and honour. Cow slaughter was banned, temples renovated and the earlier wrongs rectified. The legendary Kashmiri Pandits received a healing touch after centuries of barbarity, ferocity and tyranny. But by the time the Sikhs conquered Kashmir in AD 1819, about nine-tenths of the population had been converted to Islam. Out of the 10% Hindu population, a large number had migrated to the Punjab and other provinces. The Pandits in general belonged to the middle class while the upper and lower classes were dominated by the Muslims.

The Valley of Kashmir had been ceded by the Sikhs to the British in lieu of indemnity imposed on the Lahore Durbar. The British made it over to Maharaja Gulab Singh on March 16, 1846, for a sum of seventy-five lacs of rupees. In this way, the territory and people of Kashmir were virtually sold to Gulab Singh by the British. Thus began the Dogra rule in Kashmir. The present Jammu & Kashmir State was born.The creation of the Jammu and Kashmir State in 1846, through the Treaty of Amritsar, was a master-stroke of British diplomacy in Asia. No doubt, Kashmir never became a past of the British Indian domain, but the British allowed only minimum operational freedom to the Dogra rulers. In fact, the British created a buffer state of Jammu and Kashmir under the title of a “Sovereign State”, to keep Russia at a distance from British India and to counter the Czarist “menance” in Central Asia.In the middle of the 19th century, the growing menace of Russian expansion in Central Asia posed a direct threat to the security of British domain in India. So there was need to create a buffer between the two rivals in Asia. Kashmir, like Afghanistan, served the purpose. Installation of a British Commissioner in Ladakh in 1847-48 was a prelude to the forceful perpetuation of British imperialist policy in Kashmir. The British managed their Kashmir policy with extraordinary caution and subtle diplomacy.History of Kashmir in the second half of the 19th century should be studied in the backdrop of Anglo-Russian rivalry in Central Asia. Any move on the Central Asian chessboard had its direct impact on Kashmir. The policies of the British in Kashmir were designed to fit in the scheme of their “frontier policy” in Central Asia.In 1885, the first British Resident was appointed in Kashmir. With this statrted the active British intervention in Jammu and Kashmir State. Creation of Gilgit Agency, subjugation of Chitral, establishment of a Council and finally partial deposition of Maharaja Partap Singh in 1889 was the completion of British imperialist strange-hold over Kashmir. This was managed by the British through their successive Residents in Kashmir.

With the formation of Jammu and Kashmir State; and, establishment of the Dogra rule, Kashmiri Pandits were imperceptibly elbowed to the background. Administrators and officials were deputed from Jammu region. Though they enjoyed comprehensive.

This article has been written by Dr Satish Ganjoo

“Let us kill them”-My recent visit to Kashmir

Since 2006, I have visited Kashmir number of times. When I first went to Kashmir after 16 years, I was impressed by the hospitality of the Kashmiri Muslims. I recall vividly, my first visit to Nehru Park in 2006.I was sporting a “Tilak” on my forehead. There was a man selling “ Makai wat”( Maize/ corn).He was saying,” 5 rupaiy ka Ek, 5 rupaiye ka ek”(one corn for 5 rupees).I too approached him, and said in Kashmiri,” Kya se lala, yutah drogh kyazi chuk kinaan?”(why are you selling it so costly?).His face suddenly beamed with glee, He said, “ Oh ! you are a Kashmiri Pandit!, you are my brother, For you it is just 3 Rupees”. I was really touched.

I again visited in 2007, 2008.In 2009, I stayed in a rented room at Rajbagh for 2 months. I was repeatedly getting a feeling that Kashmir will return to pre-1990.I even purchased a plot of land near Avantipura from a Sardarjee. I made new Kashmiri muslim friends in Kashmir. I even used to joke with them about their favorite separatist Politian or Pakistan. Many times I used derogatory words for their chosen leaders or for Pakistan. I even had a religious discussion with them. They did not mind at all on the choice of words that I used in these discussions.

But my recent visit belied my faith, I had developed in my previous visits, forcing me to believe once again that Kashmir is not safe. At least not for Hindus.

Just a week back,I drove to Kashmir with my Dogra friend-Amit and my Business partner Atul from Haryana. The forced exile to jammu has made me learn to speak Dogri and Punjabi fluently. During most of our journey, we spoke in Punjabi. We reached to Jawahar tunnel at around 5p.m.We were stopped by two policemen. The name plate on their uniform suggested that they were Muslims. They asked us to come out of the car. We obliged. They asked us our names. Their faces suddenly hardened upon hearing our names. “Show the documents of this car” said one policeman in an authoritative tone. I promptly did as he desired. All the documents were up-to-date. Then suddenly, the other policeman hurled philippics on Atul accusing us all of smuggling opium. We all protested. In the meanwhile, many local taxis passed-by and the Drivers of the taxis waved their hands to the two policemen saying loud, “Asalaam-walikaum”. The policemen waved back while they said “Salaam”. The two policemen checked our vehicle in detail. The footmats, carpet, Bonet, seats, Dashboard, everything was checked. The whole operation took at least an hour. We were allowed to go later on. We were all feeling humiliated by their invidious behavior. Atul said repeatedly that we were targeted because of being Hindus.

Somehow, we reached Srinagar. I took my friends to a lodge at Rajbagh. Atul always wanted to stay in a Houseboat and I had assured him that we will sure stay at Houseboat at least for a night after a couple of days. we were at Kashmir in connection with a business deal.

I could visibly feel a difference in the attitude of the local KM’s. They seem to have a visible resentment and hatred towards us, whenever they came to know about our names. The bonhomie, it seems has again got lost somewhere. I could again feel from the eyes of the KM’s, what I had felt in 1989-90.I was scared this time. And I was not wrong.

As, I had promised Atul,I took him to a Houseboat near Nehru Park, Dal-gate. We took a “Shikara”(boat) to reach the other side , where there are number of Houseboats. Atul started a conversation with the Manager/owner of the Houseboat. The Manager agreed for Rs 1200/night/room for all three of us. In order to re-confirm with me, Atul said in Punjabi ,” Is this rate OK” .I too answered in Punjabi, “yes”. As we were talking to the manager, a person came into the Houseboat and started speaking to the Manager in Kashmiri, “Are they tourists?”, the manager said,”yes”, “Are they Hindus ”asked he. The manager said, “yes, they are”. Suddenly he raised his tone and said loudly in Kashmiri to the Manager, “ Let us kill them all tonight”. The manager didn’t answer.

They didn’t knew that I too was a Kashmiri. My friends didn’t knew what had transpired. I calmly intercepted the two Kashmiri muslims, as I said in Punjabi,” We will go and fetch our luggage”. The manager nodded his head in agreement, While the other man used scurrilous language for our group in Kashmiri. I asked deliberately to the Manager,” What did he say?” The Manager said,” he is saying OK, Let them stay here”, I smiled at the Manager. He smiled back. I asked my friends to leave that place. When we reached the other side of the lake near the Road, I narrated them the whole episode. They were shocked and scared. We decided to return to our previous lodge at Rajbagh and leave the valley early morning.

These incidents, I believe are a pre-cursor to the incidents that are going to follow. I sometimes used to think that KP’s shouldn’t have left the valley, even in 1990.But looking at the recent events that took place with me, Kashmiri pandits did the right thing. I don’t know why, but my Kashmiri Muslim friends have again got into the mould of 1990.The emerging trend is dangerous. Many more lives will be lost before the peace will dawn again in the valley which Sage Kashyap drained thousands of years back. I have my fingers crossed.
Narrated byRavinder Koul

The dilemma of an old KP-A short story

March 1990, Jammu, Pandit Janki nath alighted from the truck, along with his tenants at Rehari Chungi. The 75 year old Kashmiri pandit had nowhere to go. His Kp tenants, the brothers, Ramesh and Rakesh urged him to accompany them. He did not protest .They were not carrying much luggage. He was carrying a Bag containing some clothes and some important documents pertaining to his property in Kashmir. The brothers were carrying a couple of suitcases. Ramesh and his younger brother Rakesh took him to their relative’s place at Govt. Quarters, Subash nagar. There was a visible sign of relief on their faces for they had cheated the Death that was preying Kashmiri pandits in the valley of Kashmir.

Though, tired, Janki nath could not sleep. He recalled his home, back at Habba Kadal. It was just 6 months back that Ramesh and Rakesh had shifted their base to Srinagar and had rented a couple of rooms in his house. The two brothers had recently joined the Govt. services. The elder brother Ramesh was married recently while Rakesh was a bachelor. Originally they were from Anantnag. Ramesh was working with the irrigation department while Rakesh was a Govt. teacher.Apart from the Brothers, there was another KP family from Badgam who had rented three rooms.

He also recalled how his wife had left for the heaven after a brief illness, couple of years back. His daughter-his only child, Lalita, had proved to be his support during those tough times. His wife Prabhawati and he had spent 50 years together. She was a good wife and a wonderful mother. She was the daughter of a landlord from Baramullah. A lively person who loved kashmiri songs. He recalled how she sang some of the verses of Lal-Ded. In the pitch black night, He also remembered his wife’s favorite song and he whispered that song with a sigh, ”Kathyu chuk Nund bane, waloo mashooq mayne”(where are you my beloved!come my beloved.).

Jankinath was the son of a wealthy landlord. He had spent his childhood in opulence. He was the only male-child among six siblings. He could not read beyond class 1 or 2. Nobody knew for sure whether he could read hindi or urdu, But he had memorized many of the Bhajans(devotional songs).He also knew how to use a jantrii(hindu calendar).

His days of opulence did not last long as a couple of reforms by the state government were announced that affected Kashmiri pundits the most.Most of the lands were taken away from KP’s under the scheme. From many years now, his only source of income was from the rent he obtained from his two houses in Habba Kadal area.

The life of Janki nath was flashing before his eyes. He was sure that he will return to his home in Kashmir, once the violence subsides.

But that proved to a Dream. He was never to return his home ever.

Janki nath was a man of honour. He did not lived with his daughter Lalitha deliberately, as it was considered unethical in Kashmir to live with one’s daughter’s family. He along with Ramesh and Rakesh shifted to Geeta Bhavan for a brief period. They got themselves registered as migrants with the govt. agencies. He visited his daughter once a week, but never stayed overnight. His son-in-law and granddaughters Neetu and Nidhi pleaded many times to stay with them forever, but he always declined.

Life was tough for Jankinath. He could not follow a word that was spoken to him by the Dogras-the people of jammu. And His hindi/Urdu was almost impossible to be understood by the Dogras. So he would gesticulate and use Single words to express himself or reach from one place to another. It was a tough task and sometimes it was humiliating. In fact he was subjected to chagrin many a times by the locals.

After a month or so, he was allocated a tent at Misriwala, Jammu. It was a small tent may be 10feet by 10 feet. He was also promised by the govt. relief agencies, that he will be paid a dole of 800Rs/month till his return to Kashmir. His only consolation was that he was not alone as hundreds of KP’s were with him in that refugee camp. The other consolation was a canal with ice cold water from river Chenab, that was running just across the road.In fact, he cherished taking a bath in the canal in the hot summers of Jammu.

His immediate neighbour Rattan lal from pulwama, too was a victim of terrorism. He had a big family for a relatively small tent that consisted of his wife ,two daughters ,a son and daughter-in-law. Jankinath during the course of time became very fond of him and his family.

His first night in the Tent was horrible. It was like a bad dream. Though he had bought a fan, but it was not enough. He could get a little relief intermittently, when the hot blow from the fan hit his sweat -drenched body. It would take another fifteen or twenty minutes before he would sweat again. And the fan cool-off his body again.

He would often imagine to be at his home in Habba Kadal in company with his late wife. He would imagine talking to Prabha. He would recall the good old times spent with her. And many a times he would sing in a low whisper the song,”Katyu chuk nund bane,waloo mashooq maine”(where are you my beloved, come my beloved).It used to give him a feeling that will be associated with a thirsty traveler who has suddenly found an oasis.

He brazenly faced the horrid summer , the sultry monsoon and the bone-chilling winters in his dwelling-the tent. He would visit his daughter at Bakshni Nagar once a week. He had also started visiting swami Mastram at paloura. Initially, he would visit once a week, later on he would stay put at the ashram for days or even weeks leaving his tent in the care of his new neighbors. His neighbors always obliged him.

This schedule continued for 6 years.

Janki nath was 81 years now. Ramesh, his erstwhile tenant had died of a cardiac arrest at a young age of 38 years. The tragedy of living as a refugee with little or no social life, and the penury had taken a toll on the health of Janki nath as well. His shining face had turned cadaverous. His back and shoulders had arched downwards. The sun burn had left many dark brown patches on his face. And the thick lenses of his spectacles accentuated his already big eyes.

Both his Grand daughters were studying professional degree courses outside the state of J&K. He used to long for them and loved them more than anything. They used to visit him after every semester exam, each semester lasting for six months. As a man of pride, he used to give them some pocket money. Though, every time they used to decline the money , but finally they had to give up as he insisted with authority. They knew in their hearts that by accepting the money, which used to be a 500 rupee note each, they are in fact respecting his honour.

He used to get some ration and money under the relief scheme that Government of India was running for the migrants of Kashmir. To give the pocket money to his grand-daughters and to give customary gifts to his daughter on the occasions like shiv ratri, jankinath had become a miser or an ascetic .He neglected many of his desires in order to save some money. This austerity was debilitating him physically also.

After a couple of years, His both grand-daughters started working with a company at Delhi. To assist them, his daughter and son-in-law also moved to Delhi. They requested many times to Janaki nath to come with them. But as usual, he declined their offer.

His heart always wanted to go with them. In fact in 1990, when the circumstances forced him to leave his home and come to jammu, He wanted to remain with his daughter and grand-daughters. But his pride always stopped him. All his life, he had lived with pride. He had lived 83 years of his life with honor. Even in depilated tents, his flag of self-respect furled high.

But something changed, when his daughter moved to Delhi.

His daily routine was not the same as before. The pain of separation from his only family in old age was hard to bear. For the first time, he was in such a dilemma. Should he go to Delhi or should he stay at Jammu? for whom should he stay in jammu? He could not decide. He knew the inner feelings of his heart, but decided,not to heed to his heart. It was not as easy as he had thought.

After a few weeks of emotional confusion, one day ,Supinely, in his tent, he started conversing with Prabha in whispers.”Tell me Prabha, should I go?” Prabha said,” Yes, you should go”, “what will the society say?”he asked. She said,” which society, you are talking about! There is no-one dear. Most of your friends are dead. Those who are alive are staying with their children. Why shouldn’t you too stay with Lalita ? Go to Delhi tomorrow. You have the address of her. Give her a surprise” .

He thought for some time, long time, very long time and then He said,” yes, you are right Prabha. I too must go”.

Early morning, He was seen by Rattanlal with a bag. He looked happy. He was humming a song . He crossed the road and waited at the Bus stop. Suddenly his neighbour saw him mowed down by a Bus. Rattanlal raised an alarm and rushed to his rescue. All his neighbours reached to the spot in a moment. He was laying there motionless in a puddle of blood. He was shifted to SMGS hospital immediately by his neighbours.

Some people say, he deliberately jumped in front of the bus, Others say it was an accident.But whatever said and done, He alone knew the answers.

Next day, early morning Rattan lal bought the local 8 Paged newspaper. There was a news of jankinath in page no-6.It read that an 83 year old migrant died of a Road accident. Rattanlal’s eyes became moist. He recalled the last time when he saw Jankinath. He tried hard to recall, the song that jankinath was humming. And instantly Rattanlal whispered the last words he had heard from him. On his last day, Jankinath was heard ,singing ,”Kathyu chuk nundbaane, walo mashooq maine”(where are you my beloved? Come my beloved).

Our Martyr’s live forever………….

14 sep 1989-I was going towards Sureteng from Kraylar,Rainawari. It was a bright sunny Autumn day. There was a gentle ascend from Kralyar to Sureteng that I was ambling. I was lost in my own world of thoughts .Suddenly I was nudged by someone on my back. I looked back. It was Aslam. He looked jubilant. He was bubbling with excitement and Glee. Without my asking , He said emphatically, ”Tikalal taploo has been shot by militants”. In disbelief my first reaction was,”What!!!”

I have asked so many of my Muslim friends about the reason for killing Kashmiri Pandits .Instead of a logical answer, I have heard “n” number of times that it was a Phase and that every Muslim wanted to take up an AK-47 and wage a war with anyone, whom they considered agents of India.

Basharat Mir’s “curfewed nights” also reiterate what I had heard many times. He has written in his book that the Militants were idolized, worshipped and copied in every sense. However he has bowdlerized that killing of innocents like Kashmiri pundits was also copied by many. I have yet to come across a Kashmiri Muslim who has the remotest compunction of killing Kashmiri Pandits and driving them out of the valley .

When the Pakistani army in the disguise of “Kabailis” raided Kashmir in Oct 1947.They left a trail of blood. Muslims were pardoned except a few like “Sherwani”, who was an activist and a staunch supporter of Shiekh Mohammed Abdullah. But mostly “Kabailis” were after the Blood of Hindus and Sikhs and they killed them mercilessly.

I knew a lady who became a senile person, because of the gory killings she witnessed in Baramullah, while she was a young girl of 10 years or so. She saw her father axed to death in front of her eyes. She along with her family choose “Habba Kadal” as their new area of dwelling. In her early twenties she got married and had two sons and a loving and caring Husband. The macabre incident had not stopped haunting her and eventually she succumbed to her childhood memories and lost her mind. We know hundreds of such incidents. Everyone of us.

History repeated itself in 1989-90, the messengers of death in the garb of jihadis unleashed such a terror that an entire culture and mark of KP’s was wiped out from the valley of Kashmir. As before, muslims were condoned and Hindus were targeted.
In 1947, POK was annexed by Pakistan because the Muslims insidiously sided with Pakistan army just because they happened to follow a common religion. The same strategy was repeated in Kashmir in 1989-90.

When Aslam broke the news to me, I retracted my steps and rushed back to my home. My family already knew about the incident as someone had telephoned them. Many of my family members rushed to Chinkral Mohalla in Habba Kadal.I too went to pay my homage to the martyr in the evening. Hundreds of people had gathered there. I could see many lugubrious faces around me. There was anguish ,grief and anger in the eyes of mourners. The Pakistan backed militants could not break his spirit so they had annihilated him physically. But has the enemy of KP’s and India succeeded in annihilating him and our other martyrs?

The answer is a big “NO”

Though the incidents if 1989-90, killed tens of hundreds of KP’s,burnt down and damaged houses and religious places, raped KP women and virtually obliterated Hinduism from the valley, But it could not kill the spirit of the KP’s.

Martyrs like Sh. Tikalal taploo ,Ashok Kumar qazi,B.K.Ganjoo, P.N.Bhat ,Sarvanand premi and others , laid down their lives for all of us. Though they are not physically present but they are still alive and are fighting with our perpetrators in the form of our inspiration. And no defeat is final until we keep trying.

The battle is still on.

Today on 14th sep. we all pay our tributes to our martyrs who shall live forever in our spirits……

Upayas(means) in Trikha Philosophy(Kashmir Shaivism)

There are three upayas(means to get Grace/state of shiva) given in Kashmir Shaivism. They are:
1.Sambhavopaya (supreme means)
2.Saktopaya(medium means)
3.Anavopaya(inferior means)

There is another upaya known as Anupaya(no-means)-which is only meant for self-realized masters.

The concept of Moksha in Kashmir Shaivism is different from Advaith vendantis. For vedantis,the state of Shiva is sat, chit and Anand(All-truth,all consciousness,Bliss).Kashmir Shaivism argues that Shiva is already sat(truth) and there is no doubt in it. Instead, for Kashmir shaivism followers, The state of Shiva is Chit(all-consciousness),Ananad(Bliss),Iccha(rise of desire due to Shiv-Iccha),Gyan(knowledge) and Kriya(action).Sambhavopaya is Iccha(shiv-Iccha),Saktopaya is Gyan(Knowledge or means) and Anavopaya is Kriya(action).Iccha,Gyan and Kriya has been explained in detail in Kashmir Shaivism.

1.Sambhavopaya:
The state where thoughtlessness is maintained by the grace of master. A transcendental state of consciousness wherein the highly realized soul finds that whole universe has come out from sentences, sentences from words, words from letters and letters from that real “I” which is param shiva. The yogi finds that this whole universe is reflected in his own consciousness and that it is reflected from within rather than from without.
In sambhavopaya there are no means to travel upon. It is the meant. There is no where to go. The masters grace is of utmost importance in this upaya. Sambhavopaya functions in Matrikachakra(the world of alphabets,words and sentences),Pratyahara(withdraw of senses) and pratibimbavada (theory of reflection of shiva in 36 elements from shiva tattva to prithvi tatva).It is said that a Yogi in the Sambhavopaya state shines like the midday sun for the whole universe. Sambhavopaya is also called icchopaya.

2.Saktopaya:
Saktopaya is also called Gyanopaya. It is functioned by the means of energies as it is the means which originates from Gyan Sakti(energy of knowledge).In this upaya, the yogi does not have to recite mantras or be aware using his breath or concentrate on any particular spot. He has only to see and concentrate on that supreme being that is found in two actions without action. This is called centering in “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra”.
In Saktopaya centering can be practiced between any and all actions and or thoughts. In centering, the yogi must develop great velocity of awareness(firmness of awareness).There must be continuity in the cycle of yogi’s awareness. The yogi can center between any two thoughts or any two movements, between one thought and another thought, between waking and dreaming, between one step and the next step, between one breath and next breath. The saktopaya yogi must simply insert beakless awareness in the center of any two actions or thoughts. If this awareness is faulty and is not beakless then he falls and enters into the lowest upaya i.e anavopaya.
In this upaya the yogi must make himself capable of receiving Master’s grace.

3.Anavopaya:
Anavopaya is concerned with anu(individual soul).It is that upaya(means) which is functioned by the process of concentrating on uccara(breathing),Karana(organs of sensation),Dhyana(contemplation), and sthana pralkalpana(concentrating on some particular place).Anavopaya is also known as Kriyopaya.
Concentration on the breath is the essential element of the practice of cakrodaya. In practicing cakrodaya, one has to continue breathing deeply and find out the point, the center between the two breaths, the incoming and the outgoing breath. In cakrodaya the beginning points and ending points of the span of the breath are predominant. This is uccara , concentration on the breath .It can either be with sound or without sound.
Concentration on karana means having and maintaining one pointedness through vision or through any sense organ. It can be through vision or sound or any other sense organ.
Dhyana(contemplation ) is another mode of anavopaya. Dhyava is contemplation on some point. There are different forms of dhyana, like contemplating on heart, or on the meaning of some mantra(such as soham,aham or siva).contemplating on object is lower form of this upaya and concentrating on mantra is higher form as it is contemplation without any shape or form.
Sthana Prakalpana means concentration on some particular place. The higher form of sthana prakalpana, which is a practice of higher anavopaya,is that practice where one has to find out where each aspect of reality is found in the span of the breath. One has to see where the Devas and Lokpalas are residing, where is the location of Dawn and morning, the location of midday, sunset and midnight. Location and time when the Sun moves towards northern side and southern side. These are all Sthana Prakalpana, and these are the particular points, one has to concentrate on, to discover in the course of ones breath. The practice of Sthana Prakalpana is to see the vastness of this universe in one breath. The second and the lower from of Sthana Prakalpana, which is lower from of anavopaya is where one concentrate on different points in the body. These particular places for concentration are divided into three. One particular place for concentration is between the two eyebrows(bhrumadhya).The second place for concentration is the pit of the throat(Kantha kupa), and the third place of concentration is the heart(Hridaya).

In avavopaya the strength of one’s awareness is such that one has to take the support of everything as an aid to maintain and strengthen one’s awareness. In Saktopaya one begin with the center and then become established in that center. In sambhavopaya the strength of awareness is such that no support is needed, One is already residing in the meant.
It is important to realize that though there are different upayas, yet all these upayas lead one to the state of one’s transcendental consciousness. The difference in these upayas is that anavopaya will carry one in a long way, Saktopaya in a shorter way and Sambhavopaya in the shortest way. Although the ways are different, the point to be achieved is one…

source:Kashmir Shaivism-the secret supreme(by Swami Laksman joo)
siva-sutras-the supreme awakening(By swami lakshmanjoo)

My days of Detention…

My father-A freedom fighter- used to tell me the tales of legendary Kashmiri pundits when I was a child. He had told me that during the reign of Sikander Butshikan, 7 mounds of Janau(sacred thread) were burnt that belonged to those pundits whom Sikander got killed. The mayhem had left only 11 families in Kashmir. Rest of the pundits had migrated out of Kashmir to escape the mindless-prosecution by the fascist-tyrannical Ruler. A self-proclaimed enemy of Hindus.

In 2008,When Amarnath Agitation was at its peak. I and a group of my friends had decided to protest against the atrocities on Hindus of J&K at Ghaziabad. I don’t remember the exact dates. But it the month of July.

The preceding night, even at 1 a.m, I was awake. The memories of my detention were flashing before my eyes. It was in 2000, when I was arrested for the first time and sent to Central Jail, Ambphalla. That time also, I had voiced my support for the Hindus of my state. I was an activist of Shiv Sena. Kalki swami was the president of the Shiv sena(J&K).I was incarcerated for 9 days with my fellow activists. We were bailed out by Sanjay Nirupam. He was at that time working with Shiv sena. Later on he shifted to Congress(i).The treatment meted to us in the jail was purely political .It took us years to exculpate ourselves.

But Dasna Jail(Ghaziabad) was different.

I with my fellow-activists had gathered at the Hindon Bridge. I remember Manish Zijoo, Sandeep Koul and Sunil Shangloo were also protesting. The heat and the sweat was not a deterrent to vent my anger and feelings. The members of Hindu Mahasabha were also protesting alongside us for the same cause . Things became unpleasant when we were caned by the police. But even that could not stop us .Finally I and nine of my colleagues were bundled in the police van. I was the lone Kashmiri among the nine detainees.

We were taken to the Ghaziabad Court. The judge ordered us to be sent to the Dasna Jail. we raised the pro-India and Pro-Hindu slogans in the court premises as well as in the Police van. The van zipped through the streets and roads of Ghaziabad and finally stopped at Dasna central jail-our destination.

Inside the jail, I could see prisoners with White, Blue and Sky Blue dress. The colours, I was told later on, signifies the nature/intensity of crime. We were given a cell that already housed 26 people. The cell/room was actually meant for only 10 people. Needless to say , the cell was cramped. There was a toilet inside the cell, that was stinking. There was no water to wash our hands. Bugs and mosquitoes had infested that cell. We could not sleep even for a moment.

The cell-mates after hearing that we are actually political prisoners cheered us. Some of the prisoners were car- thieves, some were petty-thieves, some were Supari Killers(contract-killers).There was also a Rapist in the same cell. But at least half of them were incriminated by the police on the false charges. The Temple-priest Balvinder was one such case. Other names that I remember are Rocky from Ghazibad. He was a thief. Then there was Jeetu-a vehicle thief. Jeetu told me that Mahinder singh Pander and Rajesh Talwar are also present in the same Jail, but in different cells.

At 5 a.m sharp, we were were given Bed-Tea inside our cell. At 7 a.m we were shifted to open cell. That was the time when one had the liberty to go to a Proper Toilet with running water. We were shifted back to the cell at around 8a.m.Then the counting of the prisoners begun. At 8.30 a.m, we were served a breakfast of Rusk, Daliya and Tea inside the cell. From 10.30a.m-12.00 noon, prisoners could take a Bath or wash their clothes. Our cell mates were Kind enough to us and had insisted on washing our clothes as well as our utensils. we were taken back to our cells at 12.00noon.Lunch time was from 1.00 p.m -1.30p.m.The lunch as well as the dinner consisted of two chapattis, one bowl of rice and Dal. The quality of the food was not even hygienic to be given to an animal. We hardly ate in the jail. From 1.30p.m till 5 p.m we were confined to our cells. At 5 p.m we were given a cup of tea. After that we could go out of the cell for Half an hour walk. From 5.30 p.m till 7 P.m we were again sent back to our cell. And finally a dinner was served to us at 7 p.m.

In our absentia, Some of our fellow activists had perused our case and presented professionally our side of the story to the Judge at the sessions court, Ghaziabad. The Judge after hearing the argument from our lawyer had exonerated us and all the charges were dropped. The court order came at the evening and the next day was decided for our release. It was only at 7p.m, when we came to know of the court’s decision.

And finally, the next day, we were released. Our fellow cell-mates came to see-off us. They had tears of joy and sorrow in their eyes even though we spent only two nights with them. Sorrow, because they were not free and Joy, because we were freed .Our fellow activists were waiting for us , outside the Jail. Manish, Sandeep and Sunil had also come. I was a free man again.

My elders had told me that the eleven families, who stayed in the valley at the time of Sikander Butshikan, were known as Malmaasis. The people who left at that time and came back to the valley at the time of Zianulabidin-the son of Sikander Butshikan-were known as Banamaasis. Together , the tribe of Kashmiri Pandits swelled to 7 lakhs. As of today, the population of Kashmiri Pandits left in the valley is not even 5000.But it is still better than 11 families, that were left at the time of Sikander Butshikan. The migrations have happened before and we came back each time though our numbers decreased with each migration.

Zainulabidin, Guru Teg Bahadur, Ranjit singh facilitated the return of KP’s back to the valley. I don’t see any such visionary leader as of today. But Who Knows future!

No one had anticipated the exodus of KP’s from the valley in 1989-90.But it happened. If it is true that History repeats itself, then the return of the KP’s into the valley is inevitable. I am an optimist and I believe that KP’s shall be back to he home of their ancestors and that optimism has given me a Hope. And that hope has given me courage to fight for my Right. And I choose to fight for my optimism and Hope….And I choose to fight enemies outside and within……
by-Ravinder Koul

Kishtwar’s communal clashes….

Kishtwar-The mountainous town of Jammu division is burning in violence. Officially two people-Arvind Kumar and Bashir ahmed sheikh have been declared dead. Hundreds have been reportedly injured in these communal clashes. Allegations and recriminations are being hurled by the mainstream political parties and the Pakistan-sponsored separatists on each other as well on Nationalist -Indian –political- parties.

I remember it vividly how my Muslim friends were galvanized to revolt against their own brethren on the name of Jihad. A Muslim friend who had later on became a terrorist had once confessed to me that He was told by his seniors that all the Kashmiri Pandits have magazines in their Houses and the pundits have acquired huge arms and ammunition, which they will eventually use to kill the Muslims .
.
In 1989-90, The mosques across the Kashmir valley were ranting against India. The loudspeakers in shrilled tones were inciting the Muslim mobs to act against India and Hindus. The houses of Kashmiri Pandits were stoned. Kashmiri Pandits were killed selectively that finally led to the mass-exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.

Using the mosques as a base to incite the mobs was successfully carried out in Kashmir to cleanse the ethnic minorities. Usually the Maulvi acted as a Bellwether.Same strategy is/was used to flare up the communal conflagration in Kishtwar too. First it was at Gool, when a Maulvi incited a mob to attack the BSF Camp. Now it is Kishtwar. This time on the eve of Eid, the Muslim-fundamentalists aroused the feelings of Muslims to attack the minorities and burn down their shops and properties.

The role of Minister of state for Home-Sajjad Kitchloo is also under the lens. It has been alleged that he turned a blind eye on the whole incident, in spite of being present in Kishtwar on the eve of Eid. The minorities also blame him for masterminding the whole act. The policy of using the minorities as scapegoats has in the past given desired result to the Ruling political party. The policy has been in vogue since last many decades. National conference has many-a-times used the support of Religion to garner some more votes. In the past they had even approached the Muslim-voters with a book of Holy Quran, just to show themselves as core-religionists. The tweets by J&k chief minister is yet another proof of polarization based on Religion. When leader of opposition Smt. Sushma swaraj asked J&K C.M about the Kishtwar communal clashes, Omar responded divisively. The content is reproduced below:
Twitter user with the handle @A_Ashish14 tweeted to the BJP leader alleging atrocities during clashes in the eastern side of Kashmir. The following exchange ensued:
@SushmaSwarajbjp (03:16 pm): @abdullah_omar This requires immediate attention. @A_Ashish14
@SushmaSwarajbjp (03:35 pm): I have checked up from Kishtwar. Many injured. Houses and shops burnt. Pl do something immediately. @abdullah_omar
@abdullah_omar (03:38 pm): @SushmaSwarajbjp injuries & damage has taken place on both sides. Situation is being rapidly brought under control. Adequate forces sent.
@SushmaSwarajbjp (03:45 pm): @abdullah_omar I am not referring to any side. Every person injured there is a Hindustani.
@abdullah_omar (03:46): @SushmaSwarajbjp exactly my point. But the lies on …Kishtwar are designed to inflame passions & polarize people
With such people at the helm, these incidents are bound to happen again and again.

The minorities of J&K are not safe at all. The two mainstream political parties have failed to give a sense of security to the Hindus of J&k. Omar Abdullah who was a critic of the armed forces was all praises for them after the communal clashes of Kishtwar .It was the armed forces that swiftly controlled the violence in Kishtwar.JK police yet again failed to deliver .

Even today the situation is not totally under control and 8 towns of jammu are under curfew. The internet has been snapped in Jammu fearing it may fuel up more tension(or to conceal the truth and causalities of the Hindu minorities of Kishtwar)

Kashmiri separatists are also cashing on the Kishtwar communal clashes. Syed Ali shah Geelani had been advocating for long to disband the VDC. He and his coterie want the minorities of Kishtwar to be hapless and helpless. They want to repeat the sadist approach of violent deaths in Kishtwar, after their success in Kashmir-that forced the indigenous community of Kashmiri Pandits to leave their Hearths and Homes.They want to repeat Kashmir in Doda,Kishtwar and Bhaderwah.

KP’s were sitting ducks with no arms to defend themselves against the Pakistan-backed armed terrorists. Had KP’s been also provided arms and ammunition like the VDC’s, the situation would have been different. The step taken to arm a group of Indians in Kishtwar to defend honor and lives is applaudable.

I dare all the separatists to give a call to Pakistani to disarm the terrorists. Show us all that they genuinely believe in peace.How come, not a single call has been given by the separatists to the armed -youth known as militants, to follow peace, and give-up guns and violent ways. The dichotomous policy followed by separatists speaks their devious intentions in volumes.

Gaad Baat(Fish-Rice) and Dayatrazz

I celebrated “Gaad Baathe” with my Family last Saturday (6-12-09).It is Like an annual ritual which almost all “Battas”(Kashmiri Pandits) follow that includes me too…
I can vividly recall the excitement which used to be associated with “Gaad Batte” in Kashmir.I grew up hearing stories of “Dayatraaz”, the holy Deity who wears “ghungroo”(a musical anklet made of metallic bells) and is responsible for safeguarding our Home. My Grandmother’s favorite story was how her own mother had a rendezvous with the “Diety”, I used to listen with excitement and attention and believed in every story my Grandmother told me about “Ghardevtaa” or “Dayatraaz”

In Kashmir, my Grandmother used to buy the Fish one day in advance. I used to accompany her. Holding my hand and Strolling through the bye-lanes of Rainawari , my Grandmother exchanged pleasantries with every 2nd person and occasionally stopped at few points, when her friends met .The conversation between the ladies and my Grandma used to vary in topic and length, the discussions as varied as our present day T.V Channels. At times it used to last for few minutes and at times it used to be a real “Brain storming session” stretching to Half an hour, when all the ladies discussed on God-knows-what-topic! My Grandmother was considered not less than a “Doctorate in Social protocol” as far as “Batteneas”(Kashmiri Pandit ladies) are considered. My whole “Mohalla” used to consult her for “Kya Khasie”(social protocol for give and take between two families especially between the family of newly-wed Bride and Groom).

The distance from my home to main Market, also known as ” jogi lankar” was not more than half a Kilometer and would usually take 5 minutes for me to reach there.But with my Grandmother, Half an hour was the minimum time required to reach the main market.

Before buying a Fish/fishes, she used to minutely examine the Gills of the fish, As she examined the fishes, she used to teach me basics about Fish, “Always see the redness of Gills before buying a fish, The more Red the gill is, the more fresh is the fish” she told me several times. After Bargaining a lot with the Fisherwomen, She would finally pick up the fish(s) of her choice.

My Grandmother used to spend almost all day in the Kitchen and prepare delicious Fish with Radish. My Grandfather used to take care of “Ritual” part. Our “Kaenie”(top most floor/parapet) used to be the venue for inviting “Dayatraaz”. A portion of the “Kainie” was selected for the ritual. It was cleaned and mopped with a mixture of cow dung and special clay (gurut maecz in kashmiri), Dried yellow grass (not sure whether it was dried rice grass or wheat grass, looked more like dried fodder grass) was spread over the mopped portion of floor. A thali( consisting of rice, cooked fish with Raddish, small raw fish with a vermilion mark used to be placed over the Grass along with a glass of water. A lamp (diya) was also placed in front of Thali, but away from the Husk/fodder.

No one was allowed to venture that place before Dawn. My Grandfather used to lock the entire top-most floor lest anyone among us does “sacrilege”. The keys used to be in his custody till the next morning. While going to bed, I used to imagine “Dayatraaz” hovering in the top floor/parapet. I used to fantasize meeting him…

In the mornings, all our family members used to eagerly wait for my Grandfather to allow us, to accompany him and see whether “Dayatraaz” has eaten or not. With Grandfather leading, and all children following him with bubbling excitement, He would very carefully examine the place where we had placed the Thali for our “Diety”. After examining for couple of minutes, He would turn to us and announce confidently with a puff of pride “see this scattered rice, see the position of fish, it is tilted and has been partially eaten, This is all work of Dayatraaz, he had come and eaten a portion of Rice and fish” .the younger amongst us would clap out of Joy. The older ones too could not hide their happiness. The scattered rice used to be distributes as “Prasaad” later on…

Now after 20 years, here I am, feeling nostalgic after going through my memory lane..Lots of things have changed; My Grandfather left for his heavenly abode 9 years back, My Grandmother too has aged with time. Her “Doctorate in social protocol” is no longer relevant…
She has managed to learn some “Hindi” also..

Her Physical energy is far less, but she is still a very positive person and a motivating person.
“Dayatraaz” is one of my fond memories associated with my childhood and Kashmir.

“Gaed Batta” though is still celebrated, but that fervid is amiss……
I sometimes wonder what “Dayatraaz” must be doing back in Kashmir, in that deserted home.

Maybe
“Dayatraaz” is also lost somewhere,
in his own memories
He is pushed into a limbo,
His gungroo is quite,
He has waited for over two decades
But no-one has come
to serve him a fish
Nor a glass of water
Nor lit a lamp.

The “Ghardevta”
is Watching helplessly
the fall of flakes from
the walls
the cracks of the bricks
a blanket of Dust
the cobwebs
as the crumbling house
too is breathing heavily
for its last race..

And the Dayatraaz Prays
For the house to fall
So that his endless wait
Ends
With a wishful thinking
That
He will remain alive in a leaf
Of that history book,
That can preserve him there
And in the memories of those
Who loved him
And whom he loved……

(As of today even the protagonist of this write-up, my Grandmother too has left for Heaven)

Hindus and Hinduism in Kashmir: A Saga of CONVERSION, DEATH and EXILE

[ written by Dr Satish Ganjoo]

The reclamation of land from Satisar created certain complications. The Saraswati River that flowed into the eastern Punjab, Rajasthan, Sind and other parts of Indian subcontinent suddenly got dried up. Geologists are of the opinion that all those streams, which fed Satisar and form the source of water for the Saraswati river, mostly ran underground. Once the cleft materialized at Baramulla, the water of the Satisar flowed out in an opposite direction, leaving the Saraswati basin dry. The Aryan Saraswat Brahmans, who used to live on the banks of Saraswati river, migrated to the Kashmir Valley to continue their austerities. With the passage of time these people came to be known as ‘Bhattas’ in Kashmir. The word is derivative of Brahman. Now they are called the Kashmiri Pandits or the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir, who believe in the mystic combination of Shaivism, Kali Bhakti, Shakta worship and Tantra.
The history of Hindus and Hinduism in Kashmir is as old as the creation of land itself. They are associated with its society, culture, civilization, customs, traditions, myths and realities. The rise of Buddhism and reactions by Brahmans gave rise to a long struggle between the two rival ideologies. The Naga (Snake) worship was also the dominant religion in the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. However, Buddhism flourished in the Valley during the reign of Durnadeo, Simhadeo, Sundersen, Ashoka and Kanishka. The great Buddhist council was held at Kanishpur in Kashmir during the rule of Kanishka and it was presided over by two eminent scholars — Asvaghosha and Vasumitra. About 500 monks from different parts of the subcontinent attended the same. Nagarjuna , a Bodhisattva and the greatest philosopher of Buddhism, lived in Kashmir. During the reign of Abhimanu, a number of people were converted to Buddhism. It was first struggle of the Kashmiri Brahmans for their survival. A number of Kashmiri scholars – Kumarajiva (AD 384-417), Shakyashri Badhra (AD 405), Ratnavera, Shama Bhatta (5th Cen AD) and others went to China and Tibet to preach Buddhism. However, the Brahmans regained their supremacy during the reign of Nara I . The struggle between Buddhism and Brahmanism came to an end with the emergence of modern Hinduism. A period of comparative historical validity began with the establishment of the Karkuta rule in AD 627. Avantivarman (AD 855-833) is believed to be the first Vaishnavite ruler of Kashmir. During his rule there was a tremendous cultural development in the Valley. The great Shaiva philosophers of this period were Kayyatacharya, Somananda, Muktakantha Swamin, Shiva Swamin, Ananda Vardhana and Kallata. The struggle between the Brahmans and other castes, such as Kayasthas, began during the reign of Shankara Varman. The authority of the Brahmans was broken and the sacred character of their citadels was violated. However, the Shaivite thought and philosophy flourished. Pradyumana Bhatta, Utpalacharya, Rama Kantha, Prajnarjuna, Lachaman Gupta and Mahadeva Bhatta have made a tremendous contribution to this philosophy. During the regime of Lohara dynasty, Kashmir came into contact with the Muslim invaders who attacked India. When Mahmud Ghazni annexed the Punjab, most of the tribes on the borders of Kashmir embraced Islam. At that time, the Valley was ruled by Sangram Raja (AD 1003-1028). Even after their conversion to Islam, these people continued to visit Kashmir – as traders, wanderers and even missionaries. There are historical evidences that some of these tribals settled in the Valley and made some venture into propagating their new religion.
Harsha (AD 1089-1101), was a man of extravagant habits and a jumble of contraries. He robbed the temple treasures and melt idols of gold and silver to tide over his financial crisis. Before him two other kings, Jalauka and Kalasa, employed the same approach of plundering the temples and melting the images of gold and silver to augment their depleted treasuries. Harsha also employed Muslim generals, who are called Turushkas by Kalhana, for the first time in the history of Kashmir. Now Muslims as a class appeared in the political field and began to consolidate its roots. Bhikshachara, a descendant of Harsha, organized a cavalry force mainly consisting of the Muslims. During the reign of Gopadeva (AD 1171-1180), the Brahmans consolidated their position. But the Lavanya tribe shattered their roots once again. The Damaras, Lavanyas and other tribes never allowed the Brahmans to monopolize. In the reign of Jassaka (AD 1180-1198), two Brahmans – Kshuksa and Bhima, endeavored to capture the throne. But it was the fear of Damaras or feudal lords that prevented them. Ramadeva (AD 1252-1273) humiliated those Brahmans who had helped him in his coronation. They conspired against him but could not succeed. A reign of terror, loot and plunder was let loose against them. Many Brahmans were killed and others crushed barbarously. This was the first direct assault against them in the history of Kashmir. To save themselves they cried “ Na Batoham” (I am not a Bhatta). The Kashmiri Pandits are even now taunted as Bhattas and Dalli Bhattas.
To counter the supremacy of the Brahmans, the rulers of Kashmir encouraged the influx of Muslims into the Valley. During the reign of Suhadeva (AD 1301-1320) many Muslim adventurers came to Kashmir. The chief among them was a Muslim missionary- Bulbul Shah. Two others were Shahmir from Swat and Rinchana from Tibet. Shahmir came in AD 1313 along with his numerous relations. Suhadeva granted him a jagir in a village near Baramulla. Ramachandra, the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of Kashmir, employed Rinchana and granted him jagir in a village in the Lar Valley. These two adventurers were instrumental in the establishment of the Muslim rule in Kashmir. Another adventurer who received Suhadeva’s patronage was Lankar Chak.
Dulucha, a Tartar chief from Central Asia, invaded Kashmir with 60,000 strong horsemen. Suhadeva tried to induce him to retreat by paying him off a large sum of money. For this purpose he imposed heavy taxes even upon the Brahmans who had never before been taxed. But Dulucha refused to retreat and struck terror. He ravaged the Valley with fire and sword. Monstrous miseries were inflicted upon the people including the Brahmans. According to Baharistan – i -Shahi, “Dulucha and his soldiers killed everyone they could find . People who had fled to the hills and forests were pursued and captured. Men were killed, women and children were reduced to slavery and sold to the merchants of Khita (Turkistan), whom the invaders had brought with them. All the houses in the cities and the villages were burnt. The invaders ate as much of the corn and rice as they could . Whatever was left, they burnt and destroyed. In this way the whole of the Kashmir Valley was trampled under foot”. Suhadeva fled to Kishtwar, leaving the Kingdom to the cruel aggressors. Dulucha stayed here for eight months and took about 50,000 Brahmans with him as slaves. But all the troops and slaves perished while crossing the Devsar pass. It was a terrible experience for the legendary Kashmiri Pandits.
Dulucha went away from the Valley but left it haunted. The cursed people had lost all faith in their ruler- Suhadeva. Taking the advantage of the chaos and confusion, Rinchana- the refugee from Tibet, occupied the throne with the help of some chiefs . He killed his benefactor, Ramachandra, in the fort of Lar by treacherous means and married his daughter, Kota Rani.
Rinchana, a pseudo- Buddhist, wanted to get initiated into the Brahmanical fold to strengthen his political position. At that time, Shaivism was the most extensively practised religion in the Valley. So he called Sri Devaswami, the religious head of the Shaivas, to indoctrinate himself into the Hindu religion. Devaswami called a secret meeting of the prominent Pandits, who refused to accept Rinchana into Hinduism because of his low birth. Jonaraja says,” The King asked Devaswami to initiate him in the mantras of Shiva, but as he was Bhautta (Tibetian), Devaswami feared that the King was unworthy of such initiation and did not favour him”. This was a monstrous blunder on the part of Pandits, which turned the course of history. In fact, the Brahmans were not ready to share their privileges with an outsider. Thus deflected, Rinchana wanted to establish a uniform faith of warring sects and creeds in Kashmir with himself as its head. But Shahmir and Bulbul Shah manipulated his conversion to Islam. Ramachandra’s son, Ravanachandra, and many others also embraced Islam. A Muslim ruling class came into existence. In this way the Kashmiri Pandits were responsible for the destruction of their own ascendency and the ruin of their very existence. They are tremendously paying for it till today.
People of inferior origin and subordinate castes were attracted to Islam by gradual methods. This newly established Muslim class slowly consolidated its position and employed various methods to propagate the new faith. However, the Brahmans put a brave front and resisted the tide. After the death of Rinchana (AD 1326), Udyanadeva, the brother of Suhadeva, was installed on the throne of Kashmir and Shahmir was appointed as Commander-in-Chief.
Achala, a Turkish chief, invaded Kashmir during the reign of Udyanadeva, laying waste the territories he passed through. The king fled to Tibet. Kota Rani – the queen, faced the invader, procured his death and saved the kingdom. In this operation , Shahmir played the dominant role. Jonaraja says, “Strange that this believer in Allah became the saviour of the people. As a dried up river allows men to cross it and gives them shelter on its banks, even so this believer in Allah, calm and active, protected the terrified subjects.” Shahmir’s influence increased tremendously and he further strengthened his position by entering into matrimonial relations with the powerful nobles in Kashmir. A subversive struggle was born between the tolerant Hinduism and the militant Islam.
In AD 1339, after defeating Kota Rain by a foul strategem and procuring her death, Shahmir ascended the throne of Kashmir under the name of Sultan Shamas-ud-Din (The Light of the Religion – Islam). He got khutaba read and the coins struck to his name. Islam became the court religion. Shahmir became the legitimate author and architect of Muslim rule in Kashmir. With the establishment of the new regime Muslim missionaries, preachers, sayyids and saints penetrated into the Valley. Sayyid Jalal-ud-Din, Sayyid Taj-ud-Din, Sayyid Hussain Simnani, Sayyid Masud and Sayyid Yusuf came to Kashmir to avoid the intended massacre by Timur. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (Shah Hamadan) entered Kashmir with 700 sayyids; and, his son, Mir Muhammad Hamadani, with 300 more. They endured in the Valley under royal protection and disseminated the message of Islam. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (AD 1314-AD 1385) wrote in “ Zakhirat’ul Maluk ” :

1. Muslim ruler shall not allow fresh constructions of Hindu temples and shrines for image worship.
2. No repair shall be executed to the existing Hindu temples and shrines.
3. They shall not proffer Muslim names.
4. They shall not ride a harnessed horse.
5. They shall not move about with arms.
6. They shall not wear rings with diamonds.
7. They shall not deal in or eat bacon.
8. They shall not exhibit idolatrous images.
9. They shall not built houses in the neighbourhood of Muslims.
10. They shall not dispose of their dead in the neighbourhood of Muslim graveyards, nor weep or wail over their dead.
11. They shall not deal in or buy Muslim slaves.
12. No Muslim traveller shall be refused lodging in the Hindu temples and shrines where he shall be treated as a guest for three days by non-Muslims.
13. No non-Muslim shall act as a spy in the Muslim state.
14. No problem shall be created for those non-Muslims who, of their own will, show their readiness for Islam.
15. Non-Muslims shall honour Muslims and shall leave their assembly whenever the Muslims enter the premises.
16. The dress of non-Muslims shall be different from that of Muslims to distinguish themselves.
This naturally caused animosity among the Brahmans and resulted in frail rebellion during the reign of Shihab-ud-Din (AD 1354-1373). In order to break the upheaval among the Hindus and to make them prostrate, the Sultan turned his attention towards their temples. All the temples in Srinagar, including the one at Bijbehara, were wrecked to terrorize the poor Kashmiri Pandits. It seems that by this time, the sultans of Kashmir were perfectly islamized as a result of their contacts, interactions and intercourses with the sayyids. These sayyids came here as absconders in search of safe harbours, but manoeuvered the events for their own cause and fanatic iconoclastic zeal. The Hindus began to feel deserted and alienated in their own land. To consolidate their rule, sultans institutionalized the “policy of extermination” to eradicate all traces of Hinduism in any form. However, the Kashmiri Pandits stuck to their own religion and traditions, ignoring the atrocities, barbarism and cruelties of the privileged ruling class. But there were many from other castes who, either by conviction or in order to gain royal favour, embraced Islam. These new converts were looked down upon by the Kashmiri Pandits as traitorous and treacherous, with no loyalty for time-honored values. This gave rise to a new class rivalry. Suha Bhatt, who after embracing Islam took the name of Saif-ud-Din, became the leader of the fresh converts during the reign of Sikandar (AD 1389-1413).
Sikandar- the Butshikan, was bigoted with fanatic religious zeal to spread Islam in the entire Valley. This fanaticism was stimulated by Mir Muhammad Hamadani. Suha Bhatt – the convert, was appointed Prime Minister by Sikandar and both hatched a deadly conspiracy to persecute the Hindus and enforce upon the Nizam-i-Mustaffa. Jonaraja says, “ The Sultan forgot his kingly duties and took delight day and night in breaking images … He broke images of Martanda, Vishaya, Ishana, Chakrabrit and Tripureshvara …… There was no city, no town, no village, no wood where Turushka left the temples of the gods unbroken.” According to Hassan (History of Kashmir), “ This country possessed from the times of Hindu rajas many temples which were like the wonders of the world. Their workmanship was so fine and delicate that one found himself bewildered at their sight. Sikandar, goaded by feelings of bigotry, destroyed them and levelled them with the earth and with the material built many mosques and khanqahs. In the first instance he turned his attention towards the great Martand temple built by Ramdev (the temple was rebuilt by King Lalitaditya, AD 724-760) on Mattan Kareva. For one year he tried to demolish it, but failed. At last in sheer dismay, he dug out stones from its base and having stored enough wood in their place, set fire to it. The gold gilt paintings on its walls were totally destroyed and the walls surrounding its premises were demolished. Its ruins even now strike wonder in men’s minds. At Bijbehara, three hundred temples including the famous Vijiveshwara temple, which was partly damaged by Shihab-ud-Din, were destroyed. With the material of Vijiveshwara temple, a mosque was built and on its site a khanqah, which is even now known as Vijiveshwara Khanqah.” The stones and bricks which once configurated a marvelous and splendid temple or monastery, now hold up mosques. Hassan further adds, “ Sikandar meted out greatest oppression to the Hindus. It was notified in the Valley that if a Hindu does not become a Muslim, he must leave the country or be killed. As a result some of the Hindus fled away, some accepted Islam and many Brahmans consented to be killed and gave their lives. It is said that Sikandar collected, by these methods, six maunds of sacred thread form Hindu converts and burnt them. Mir Muhammad Hamadani, who was a witness of all this vicious brutality, barbarism and vandalism, at last advised him to desist from the slaughter of Brahmans and told him to impose jazia (religious tax) instead of death upon them. All the Hindu books of learning were collected and thrown into Dal Lake and were buried beneath stones and earth.” Sikandar issued orders that no man should wear the tilak mark on his forehead and no woman be allowed to perform sati. He also insisted on breaking and melting of all the gold and silver idols of gods and coin the metal into money. An attempt was made to destroy the caste of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans by force and those who resisted were subject to heavy fines. Farishta says, “ Many of the Brahmans, rather than abandon their religion or their county, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Muhammedans”. To strictly enforce the Nizam-i-Mustaffa, Sikandar established the office of Shaikh-ul-Islam.
According to W.R. Lawrence, the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir were given three choices-death, conversion or exile. “Many fled, many were converted and many were killed, and it is said that this thorough monarch (Sikandar) burnt seven maunds of sacred threads of the murdered Brahmans”. As for the statements of Hassan and Lawrence, six maunds of sacred threads of converts and seven maunds of murdered Pandits were burnt. The number of people, to whom these thirteen maunds of sacred threads belonged, might have been tremendously colossal. A mammoth number of the Saraswat Pandits also went into exile, causing the first disastrous mass exodus of the community. When Suha Bhatt- the convert, came to know that many Brahmans were leaving Kashmir, he tried to check their exodus and ordered the frontier guards not to allow any one to cross the borders. The unfortunate Pandits caught while crossing the border were awarded severe punishments. Even the converts were required to pay jazia as they were suspected of secretly clinging to their old religion.
Not only Sikandar- the Butshikan, but Suha Bhatta – the convert, also was responsible for this barbarous, murderous and cruel approach towards the mythical Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja says, “ Suha Bhatta- the convert, after demolishing the temples felt the satisfaction, and with the help of sayyids, ulema and newly converts tried to destroy the caste of the people… the illustrious Brahmans declared that they would die rather than lose their caste and religion, and Suha Bhatta – the convert, subjected them to a heavy fine, jazia, because they held to their caste and religion.” There is no parallel of this religious persecution in the history of the subcontinent.
Ali Shah – the tyrant (AD 1413-1430), son of Sikandar- the Butshikan, during his short rule of six years, carried on his father’s 24-year tyrant reign with homicides, conversions, tyranny and enforced jazia. Suha Bhatta – the convert, who retained the prime ministership continued his earlier crimes and atrocities against the Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja gives a graphic account of the plight of the illustrious Kashmiri Pandits in the draconian reign of Ali Shah. He says,” Suha Bhatta- the convert, passed the limit by levying fine, jazia, on the twice – born. This evil-minded man forbade ceremonies and processions on the new moon. He became envious that the Brahmans who had become fearless would keep up their caste by going over to foreign countries, he therefore ordered posting of squads on the roads, not to allow passage to any one without a passport. Then as the fisherman torments fish, so this low born man tormented the twice-born in this country. The legendary Brahmans burnt themselves in the flaming fire through fear of conversion. Some Brahmans killed themselves by taking poison, some by the rope and others by drowning themselves. Others again by falling from a precipice. The country was contaminated by hatred and the king’s favourites could not prevent one in a thousand from committing suicide …. A multitude of celebrated Brahmans, who prided in their caste, fled from the country through bye-roads as the main roads were closed. Even as men depart from this world, so did the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir flee to foreign countries. The difficult countries through which they passed, the scanty food, painful illness and the torments of hell during life time removed from the minds of the Kashmiri Pandits the fears of hell. Oppressed by various calamities such as encounter with the enemy, fear of snakes, fierce heat and scanty food; many Brahmans perished on the way and thus obtained salvation.” This was the second miserable mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja calls it “ Chandh-Dandh” – violent, cruel, brutal and horrible punishment, for the abandoned and vulnerable Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. History repeated itself again in AD 1989-1990.
The brutal religious persecution of the Kashmiri Pandits has been borne testimony to by almost all the Muslim historians. Hassan, Fauq and Nizam – ud – Din have condemned these excesses in unscathing terms. It was the reign of terror and homicide. The majority of the Hindus were converted forcibly and a large number had left the Valley. Yet many more were passing their days in the most deplorable conditions only on payment of jazia. The allowances of the Brahman academicians were stopped to destroy the ancient learning, literature, education, art and culture. These enlightened intellectuals had to move from door to door for food, like dogs. One can’t imagine a higher level of mental torture!
The Brahmans, even after paying jazia, could not openly declare themselves as Hindus nor could they apply tilak on their foreheads. Neither could they pray in their temples or perform any religious ceremony. Even then they did not forget their past and rich tradition. As the custodians of their extraordinary cultural heritage, they wrote the illuminating treatises on the stupendous Kashmir Shaivism, colossal literature, splendid art, marvelous music, grammar and medicine.
Sultan Zainul Abidin-the Budshah (Great Monarch), ruled Kashmir from AD 1420 to 1460. The son of Sultan Sikandar – the Butshikan, and the brother of Sultan Ali Shah- the tyrant, Zainul Abidin followed the policy of tolerance, endurance, patience, sympathy and broad mindedness. He recalled the Kashmiri Pandits who had left the Valley during the rule of Sikandar and Ali Shah. Jazia was abolished and the Brahmans were given their earlier positions in administration. Demolished temples were rebuilt and new ones constructed. Two temples were built by Zainul Abidin at Ishbar, Srinagar. The Sultan also participated in the Hindu festivals. A large number of houses were built for the widows of the Brahmans who had suffered during the reign of terror. Zainul Abidin stopped the killing of cows, restricted the eating of beef and catching of fish in the sacred springs of the Hindus. Even the personal law as laid down in the Shastras was adopted for the Hindus. The legenday Kashmiri Pandits were resurrected and resuscitated. Ferguson observes that indeed history has very few examples where the policy of a father was so completely reversed by the son. Even the Mughal monarch, Akbar – the great , capitalized on the religious policy of Zainul Abidin. But the conservative and dogmatic Muslims reacted very sharply to this policy of toleration and mutual coexistence . According to Mulla Bahauddin, “ The Sultan reimported practices of infidels which had once become extinct”.
But the honey-moon of the Kashmiri Pandits proved very brief. During the reign of Haider Shah (AD 1470-1472) – the prodigal son of the great Zainul Abidin, Kashmiri Pandits once again suffered tremendously. Under the evil influence of Purni- the Hindu barber, Haider Shah adopted various corrupt and cruel practices against the Saraswat Brahmans. The repression was so terrible that the tolerant Pandits lost their cool. Hassan says, “ the patience of the Pandits having reached the breaking point, they rose in a body and set fire to some mosques which were built with the material of the Hindu temples once demolished by Sikandar. The rising was quelled by the sword; many more Pandits were drowned in rivers; and, loot and plunder was practiced with unbridled licence.” Srivara also illustrates the cruel and inhuman treatment given to the mythical Kashmiri Saraswat Brahmans, “ many Pandits struggled and threw themselves in river Vitasta to be drowned there. The arms and noses of many people were cut off, even of those Brahmans who were king’s servants.” Ravage and arson of the sacred places continued during the indifferent rule of Hassan Khan (AD 1476-1487), when the real authority was with the gang of three persons- Shams Chak, Shringhar Raina and Musa Raina. The pressure exerted on the illustrious Kashmiri Pandits was so barbarous that, in order to save themselves from merciless brutality, some of them gave up their caste and screamed – “ I am not a Bhatta, I am not a Bhatta” ( I am not a Hindu). They went in strict seclusion to avoid any argument or controversy.
Mir Shams-ud-Din Iraqi, who visited the Saffron Valley twice in AD 1477 and 1496, was the founder of Nurbakhshiya order (Shia sect) in Kashmir. His mission was the vigorous propagation of his faith. So, not contented with peaceful preachings, violent methods were employed. In this adventure , Iraqi was helped by the homicidal creature and most dreaded tyrant- Malik Musa Raina, a convertee, whose original name was Soma Chandra. Not only the poor vulnerable Brahmans, but the Sunni Muslims were also violently converted to Shia sect by murderous techniques. This dogmatic fanaticism even crippled the Sunni ruler of Kashmir, Fateh Shah (AD 1510-1517). A khanqah was built at Zadibal (Srinagar) by Iraqi, which became the nucleus of Shia concentration.
Kashmiri Pandits suffered ferociously under the instructions of Shams-ud-Din Iraqi and Musa Raina. About 24,000 of them were forcibly converted to Shia sect of Islam. Iraqi had even issued orders that everyday about 1500 to 2000 Brahmans be brought to his doorsteps, remove their sacred threads, administer Kalima to them, circumcise them and make them eat beef. These decrees were ferociously and brutally carried out. The Hindu religious scriptures from 7th century AD onwards and about 18 magnificent temples were destroyed, property confiscated and ladies abused. Thousands of Brahmans killed themselves to evade this horrific barbarism and thousands migrated to other places, resulting in their third tragic mass exodus from the Saffron Valley of Kashmir. Those who stayed behind were not only forced to pay jazia, but their noses and ears were chopped off. To escape the tremendous pain and agony, they cried. “I am not a Hindu.” After Kashmir , the next destination of Iraqi for war against so-called infidelity was Kargil. It is now a Shia –dominated area and there are frequent sectarian clashes between them and the Buddhists.
In AD 1519, about ten thousand Kashmiri Pandits died during pilgrimage to Harmukh Ganga, where they had gone to immerse the ashes of those eight hundred Hindus who had been massacred during Ashura a year before. Poet-historian Suka says about this cataclysm, “ Ganga was oppressed with hunger, as it was after a long time that she had devoured bones; she surely devoured the men also who carried the bones.” It was after a gap of many years that the people were allowed to go on a pilgrimage to Harmukh lake, which ended in the most devastating tragedy.
Qazi Chak, the founder of Chak rule in Kashmir (AD 1553-1586), carried on ferocious religious policy and made conversion of many Hindus to Shia sect of Islam. According to Suka, one thousand cows were used to be killed everyday without any opposition under the orders of the Chak rulers, who were Shias, just to injure the religious sentiments of the Kashmiri Pandits. These celebrated and highly educated Aryan Saraswat Brahmans were made the objects of laughter and reproach. They were publically taunted, abused and humiliated. The last Chak ruler, Yaqub Chak, had a bigoted zeal for the propagation of Shia sect and planned mass conversion of the Hindus. However, he could not administer his criminal designs because of the Mughal annexation.
Akbar was tremendously influenced by the amazing moral supremacy of the Kashmiri Pandits. Abul Fazl records in Ain-i-Akbari, “ the most respectable class in this country (Kashmir) is that of the Pandits, who, notwithstanding their need for freedom from the bonds of tradition and custom, are the true worshippers of God. They do not loosen their tongue of calumny against those not of their faith, nor beg, nor importune. They employ themselves in planting fruit trees and are generally a source of inspiration for others”. The great Mughal Emperor abolished jazia and other unjust taxes imposed upon the Hindus. He also evinced great interest in the rehabilitation of the Pandits. Suka says, “ The Emperor announced that he would without delay reward those who would respect the Brahmans in Kashmir and that he would instantly pull down the houses of those who would demand the annual tribute from them.” The greatness of Akbar lies in his magnificent and fascinating policy of religious tolerance. Jahangir and Shah Jahan were not so tolerant. But their religious enthusiasm cannot be termed as fanatic. During this period, the Brahmans could perform their religious ceremonies after paying some tribute. But the whole scenario changed with the accession of Aurangzeb to the throne. With his bigoted fanatic and dogmatic approach, the Kashmiri Pandits were once again made vulnerable. Iftkar Khan, the Mughal governor of Kashmir during the reign of Aurangzeb, brutally tyrannized over the Brahmans to such an extent that they approached Guru Teg Bhahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, at Anandpur in Punjab and solicited his personal intervention with the Emperor. This ultimately led to the Guru’s martyrdom and made Guru Gobid Singh to create the Khalsa to fight the oppressors . Muzaffer Khan, Nassar Khan and Ibrahim Khan were other governors of Aurangzeb who ferociously terrorized the Kashmiri Pandits. These celebrated scapegoats were once again forced to migrate from the land of their origin. It was the fourth disastrous mass exodus of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans from Kashmir.
During the rule of later Mughals, Kashmir witnessed the outbreak of the worst kind of religious intolerance. In AD 1720, Mullah Abdul Nabi, also called Muhat Khan, a non-resident Kashmiri Muslim, was appointed as Shaikhul Islam . In order to assert his religious authority, he asked the Deputy Governor, Mir Ahmed Khan , to start a campaign of persecution of the Kafirs (infidels) – as the Kashmiri Pandits were called. In order to satisfy his satanic ego, the Mulla issued six commandments:

1. No Hindu should ride a horse, nor should a Hindu wear a shoe;
2. That they should not wear Jama (Mughal costume);
3. That they should move bare arms;
4. That they should not visit any garden;
5. That they should not have tilak mark on their foreheads;
6. That their children should not receive any education.

But Ahmed Khan refused to execute the mischievous decree. The Mullah then excited his followers against the Kashmiri Pandits. He established his seat in a mosque, assumed the duties of the administrator under the title of Dindar Khan and let loose the reign of terror. The Hindus were wickedly tormented, their houses burnt and property looted. Hundreds of Brahmans were killed, prostrated, maimed and humiliated. They began to run away in large numbers and hide themselves in mountainous terrain. This was the fifth dreadful mass exodus of the legendary Kashmiri Pandits from their mystic motherland. Those who remained behind lived in the most horrific and terrible conditions generated by the Mullah and his gang. But soon he was assassinated by his rivals and his son, Sharif-ud-Din, become the new Shaikhul-Islam. The son improved upon the brutal methods of his father and inflicted most barbaric, cruel and inhuman tortures upon the vulnerable Brahmans. The plight of the Kashmiri Pandits during this period became tremendously miserable and tragic.
The Afghan rule in Kashmir (AD 1753-1819) was a period of cruelty, homicide and anarchy. W.R. Lawrence calls it the “reign of brutal tyranny.” The barbarous Afghans employed every wild, inhuman, primitive, ferocious, cruel and brutal method to suppress the Kashmiri Brahmans. A pitcher filled with ordure was placed on the head of a Pandit and stones were pelt on it, till it broke and the unfortunate Brahman become wet with filth. Their brutality and atrocity crossed the extreme limits when Hindus were tied up in grass sacks, two and two, and drowned in the Dal Lake. The victimized Hindu were forced to flee the country or were killed or converted to Islam. There was horrible mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits, sixth one, to far away places like Delhi, Allahabad, etc. Many covered the long distances on foot.
Hindu parents destroyed the beauty of their daughters by shaving their heads or cutting their noses and ears to save them from degradation. Any Muslim could jump on the back of a Pandit and take a ride. Mir Hazar – an Afghan governor, used leather bags instead of grass sacks for the drowning of Brahmans. Turbans and shoes were forbidden for them. The Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir were also forced to grow beards and tilak was interdicted. The Afghans are now only remembered for their barbarity, brutality, ferocity, tyranny and cruelty. They thought no more of cutting of heads than of plucking a flower.
The Shahmirs, Chaks, Mughals and homicidal Afghans tore the fabric of society in Kashmir and left deep scars on it. When the Afghan oppression became intolerable, the Pandits turned with hope to the rising power of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. But they were suspected. The Afghan governor, Azim Khan, confiscated their jagirs and imposed jazia on them. Eminent Pandits were brutally killed, humiliated and their authority was snatched. Nur Shah Diwani – a cruel Muslim official who was in charge of revenue collection, hatched a conspiracy in league with Azim Khan to eliminate the distinguished Kashmiri Brahmans. But this evil manoeuvre was exposed and a galaxy of Pandits saved. Pandit Sahajram, the Diwan, played a prominent role in the rescue operation.
Azim Khan had appointed Sukhram Safaya, Mirza Pandit and Birbal Dhar as revenue collectors. Birbal Dhar could not collect the required amount due to failure of crops. The atrocious Afghan governor browbeated Pandit Birbal to make the payment of one lac rupees. Rowdy and boisterous soldiers were send to threaten him and other Pandits. Sensing the Afghan tsunami, distinguished Kashmiri Pandits called a backstairs meeting in which it was resolved to invite Ranjit Singh for the conquest of Kashmir and salvation of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans. Accordingly Birbal Dhar and his minor son, Raja Kak Dhar, secretly left for Lahore with a petition signed by the prominent Kashmiri Pandits through which as invitation was extended to Ranjit Singh to take over the Valley. When Azim Khan came to know about these developments, he sent his soldiers to nab Birbal Dhar and teach him a lesson. But when these bandits met with no success, the cruel governor turned his guns towards the wife and daughter-in-law of Birbal Dhar . Both the ladies had taken shelter in the house of a trustworthy Muslim, Qadus Gojwari. Azim Khan asked Pandit Basa Kak to hunt down the innocent ladies. Basa Kak knew about the retreat of ladies but did not disclose it even after monstrous tortures and oppressive penalties. At last his abdomen was ripped open in the most barbarous manner and the dead body discredited – the most unfortunate and brutal crime against humanity in the civilized world. The poor ladies were also captured . Birbal Dhar’s wife committed suicide by swallowing a piece of diamond. The younger lady was violently converted to Islam and handed over to an Afghan noble, who carried her to Kabul.
Nervous to the marrow of his bones and crazy with rage, Azim Khan tormented all those Kashmiri Brahmans whom he suspected to be in league with Birbal Dhar. Prominent Pandits were detained in a concentration camp at Nishat Garden and ferociously tortured. But on learning about the Sikh advances towards Kashmir, he lost all nerve and solicited instruction from Pandit Sahajram Dhar. The illustrious Pandit advised him to sent off his ladies folk to Kabul. It was the only way to save them from the ignominious treatment. Sahajram himself escorted the ladies to Kabul and saved them from disastrous shame. Azim Khan himself ran away from the Valley, leaving the administration into the hands of his brother, Jabbar Khan. However, atrocious Afghans were crushed and the Sikhs annexed Kashmir. Some extremist Sikhs, including Phul Singh, endeavoured to knock down the mosque of Shah Hamadan. But celebrated Birbal Dhar, at a considerable risk to his own life, made them desist from this action. According to GMD Sufi, “ It is to the lasting credit of Birbal Dhar that when a deputation of Muslims headed by Sayyid Hasan Shah Qadiri Khanyari approached him to dissuade the Sikhs from the destruction of the Khanqah, he moved in the matter, used his influence and saved this historical structure from vandalism.” It reveals the true personality and character of a distinguished Kashmiri Pandit.
During the Sikh rule in Kashmir, AD 1819-1846, the celebrated Pandits reclaimed their past glory and magnificence. They claimed back the prominent places of trust and honour. Cow slaughter was banned, temples renovated and the earlier wrongs rectified. The legendary Kashmiri Pandits received a healing touch after centuries of barbarity, ferocity and tyranny. But by the time, the Sikhs conquered Kashmir in AD 1819, about nine-tenths of the population had become the followers of Islam. Out of the 10% Hindu population, a large number had migrated to the Punjab and other provinces. The Pandits in general belonged to the middle class while the upper and lower classes were dominated by the Muslims.
With the formation of Jammu and Kashmir State; and, establishment of the Dogra rule in 1846, Kashmiri Pandits were imperceptibly elbowed to the background. Administrators and officials were deputed from Jammu region. Though they enjoyed comprehensive religious freedom and social emancipation, political rights of the Kashmiri Brahmans were confined. On certain occasions, they even became victims of intrigue and suspicions. The vicious communal forces also turned their wrath against them. During the communal disturbances of July 1931, shops and houses belonging to the Kashmiri Brahmans were not only looted but also burnt. Three innocent Hindus lost their lives. This communalism in the state politics aggravated and magnified with the passage of time . It was fed for years with vicious communal propaganda and brainwashing.
After independence and accession of Jammu & Kashmir state to India, Kashmiri Pandits were pushed back to the barbarous Afghan era. They were given the sugarcoated dozes of poisonous toxics. Article 370 of Indian constitution just reduced them to cipher and liquidated their population. Under the pretext of economic reforms, their jagirs were confiscated and distributed among the Muslim peasants. The administration of Shaikh Abdullah adopted malicious and pernicious approach towards the Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. They were taunted on one excuse or the other. Hindu temples were desecrated, looted and plundered. Minor girls of the community were forced to embrace Islam and marry the Muslim youth.
Shaikh Abdullah tried to create “ Shaikhdom” for his dynastic rule in Kashmir. But his dreams were shattered when he was arrested in 1953 for anti-national activities. In 1958, he was released but detained again after three months under the Kashmir conspiracy case. However, the case was withdrawn in 1964 because of political reasons. But he was arrested again in May 1965 for his subversive activities and released in January 1968. Again, in January 1971, a ban was imposed forbidding him to enter the Jammu Kashmir state. This restriction was lifted in 1972.
During 1953-1974 Shaikh Abdullah characterized India as an imperialist power endeavouring to subjugate the people of Kashmir. He asserted that the accession of Kashmir with India was his greatest blunder for which history will never forgive him. He also demanded the right of self determination for the people of Muslim – dominated Kashmir, but ignored the Hindu- dominated Jammu and Buddhist- dominated Ladakh regions. The sophist Shaikh advocated plebiscite and unconditional withdrawal of Indian army from the Saffron Valley. He also campaigned against the import of food grains from India and asked people to eat potatoes grown in Kashmir. For such arguments, Shaikh Abdullah was nick named as “Aaloo Bab” — Feeder of Potatoes. He made emotional solicitations that after death his body should not be buried in the subjugated Valley, but immersed into the sacred waters of Arabian sea. However, today his magnificent tomb stands on the banks of beautiful Dal Lake in Srinagar and is guarded by the Indian security personnel. By such gratuitous and conflicting statement, his secular credentials evaporated into thin air. The prospect of disloyalty and sedition began to haunt the Saffron Valley. Kashmiriyat switched over to political vandalism and bigoted fundamentalism. Shaikh Abdullah desperately held Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, a Kashmiri Pandit, responsible for the shattering of his malevolent dreams in 1953. The mortified Shaikh ambiguously decided to retaliate against the whole Pandit community in Kashmir. In vindictiveness, he instigated his associated that while making a choice between a Kashmiri Pandit and dreaded cobra, kill the Pandit first. A vicious campaign of terror was launched against the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. They were refused entry to government jobs and institutions of higher learning. Besides hurling strong statement against the Government of India and Kashmiri Pandits, the Shaikh derided that the whole lot of Indian army cannot save the Hindus in Kashmir against the malevolence of Muslims. Farooq Abdullah also employed the same approach towards the crumbled Pandits when his brother-in-law, Gulshah, seized the chief ministership in 1984.The reactionary leaders- Afzal Beg, Maulvi Farooq, Mohi-ud-Din Kara and Maulana Masoodi; ignored the very existence of Kashmiri Pandits during their political adventurism. The Kashmiri Pandits were made to pay for every move on the political chessboard in Kashmir because they represented the pseudo-secularism, incognito- socialism and flowering- democracy of India. They were scolded and emotionally hurt in the Afghan fashion.
But then the whole political scenario in Kashmir took a dramatic turn in 1974, when Indira-Shaikh accord was signed by virtue of which the Shaikh became the Chief Minister of the State after the lapse of 22 years. Ignoring the great expectations he had created among the people in Kashmir and his vigorous campaign for plebiscite, the sophist Shaikh began to speak the language of Indian nationalism, democracy, socialism and secularism. The slogans of plebiscite, self-determination and independent Kashmir melted away. But the Hate- India virus, infused by him into the blood of the Muslim youth in Kashmir, was exploited by other corrupt self-styled politicians for their own interests from time to time. A vacuum was created because the people were betrayed disillusioned, politically raped and left in wilderness by their own leaders.
Omkarnath Ganjoo, who established the Index Branch of the Jammu & Kashmir Criminal Investigation Department under the directions of Union Home Ministry in early 1960 and managed the same upto 1986, established a powerful network in the State. He collected detailed information about the seditious, subversive and treasonous persons and sent the detailed dispatches to the government from time to time . He also excavated the nefarious designs of ISI- the Pak Intelligence Agency, and informed the concerned authorities. But the state as well as the central administration lacked the determination and resolution to act.
The programmes and policies of Bakshi, Sadiq, Qasim, Farooq and Gulshah were also damaging for the Kashmiri Pandits. They were continuously haunted by antagonistic, hostile and rebellious elements. Mufti Syed is even believed to be responsible for the anti-Hindu communal riots of 1986, when cows were slaughtered and temples destroyed in Anantnag district. From 1947-1986 about four lac Kashmiri Pandits silently migrated from Kashmir. Hypocritical atrocities and criminal ignorances of political leaders were responsible for these development. Pakistan, to avenge the defeat of Bangladesh, blatantly sponsored the violence and terrorism in the Valley, resulting in the turmoil of 1989-90. The then celebrated governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Jagmohan, wrote a detailed letter to the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi , on April 21,1990, endorsing the alarming signals earliest transmitted by discerning Omkarnath Ganjoo. But cowardly Indian leadership was still unconcerned.

“Aay Zalimu, Aay Kafiroo,
Kashmir Hamara Choudh Dou”

“Bharat Kay Aiwanu Ko
Aag Lagado, Aag Lagado”

The final assault on the Kashmiri Pandits started with these slogans. Barbarous terrorists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Sudan and even Saudi Arabia penetrated into the Saffron Valley. Brutal, wild and barbarous techniques were employed to hound and kill the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. Even the helpless ladies were not spared. Sarla Bhat, a nurse in Soura Medical Institute, was abducted on 19th April, 1990, by JKLF militants who repeatedly gang-raped her and eventually killed her on 25th April. Girja Tikoo, a teacher from Bandipur, was kidnapped, raped and eventually shred to pieces by a saw mill on 4th June, 1990. Bimla Braroo from the Nai Sarak, Srinagar, who along with her daughter, Archana, was raped in the presence of her husband, Sohanlal, before all the three were killed on 31st March, 1992. There are dozens of such brutal instances. Even wicked Afghans will be feeling sorry in their graves for the sanatic holocaust of the legendary Kashmiri Pandits.
The barbarous murder of hundreds of innocent Brahmans of Kashmir caused their seventh and final agonizing mass exodus from the Valley. This was the final knock down of ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits. The mass massacres at Sangrampora (1997), Udhampore (1997), Prankot (1998), Wandhama (1998) and Nadimarg (2003) were the follow up cleansing operations. Pandits in Kashmir dwindled from 10% in 1947 to fewer than 5% in 1989 and to less than 1% today. The pretended world bodies, contaminated human rights organizations, pseudo-secularists, self-styled leaders, so-called policy makers, tainted political parties and slack bureaucracy have failed to express serious concern at this great human tragedy. Danse macabre is going on. During 1990-2010, the security forces seized around 35,000 assault rifles, over 25,000 pistols, more than 30,000 kg explosives, about 2500 UMGs and RPGs , from terrorists. In the barbarous turmoil about 47,000 persons have been killed. However the government is keen to provide a healing touch to militants, terrorists and self-styled seperatist leaders. But the Kashmiri Hindus, who were virtually exterminated from the Valley, have not even received the displaced status. They are living as ‘internally displaced persons’ in their own country.

The culprit-A Funny tale from Kashmir

Sometime back in 1987-88,I and my elder cousin boarded a bus from Dal Gate to Nishat Bagh. In front of our seat, a villager with a skull cap was sitting at the window seat. Besides him, a Young Kashmiri boy with moustaches had occupied the seat and besides the young man a beautiful and a vogue girl sat.

The girl had sprayed herself with a strong perfume , that accentuated her charm. The boy and the villager were looking at the window.The Dal lake was basking in the Autumn sun with colorful shikaras and equally colorful people. The Bus was not over-crowded. I and my cousin too were enjoying the scenery.

It seemed an uneventful journey. But it was not…

As soon as we crossed Nehru Pak,the girl suddenly stood up and slapped the boy hard on his face. Her eyes and face were red with anger as she shouted furiously at the boy. In a shaking voice filled with anger she said,” what do you think of me? I have seen and handled enough rogues like you. I warn you, if you will touch me again, I will get you arrested by the police”. The Boy was terrified as well as puzzled. He retorted back in anger,” Have you gone mad? When did I touch you? What do you think of yourself-Hema malaini or Sridevi?”

Their disputatious and acrid argument was heading no where. The Bus had to be stopped. After the interference of many co-passengers, Finally they were pacified. They occupied their seats and seating position as before.

After some time, the Boy stood up and slapped hard at the face of the girl. He said in a fit of anger, ”Lady, mind your hands and fingers. Is it your habit to arouse the men with your fingers. I knew you are a slut. Now tell me why were you rubbing your fingers against my legs?”.The already humiliated and angry Girl instead of answering him slapped him back twice. In a choked emotional voice, she said,” Haramzada,(Bastard) Don’t you have sisters and Mother at your home. Is this the way you treat women. By the way, I never touched or rubbed you anywhere. It is your dirty imagination.” They were rebuking and recriminating each other for the indecencies. They were throwing philippics at each other. Most of the co-passengers were trying to pacify them.

Among this squabble and discombobulation; one man was laughing wildly-The villager by the window seat. His loud laughter grabbed the attention of everyone including the quarreling couple. The Young Boy who was in the conflict with the girl asked him irritatingly,” why are you laughing?”.His question increased the volume of his laughter. Holding his abdomen with both his hands, between his giggling, he said incoherently,” neither you, nor the girl is guilty”,. The girl asked surprisingly,” then who is the guilty”?
The villager said, ”look under the seat!”,

Not only the girl, but I and my cousin along with some other passengers looked under the seat.
And there it was-the guilty was found.

It happened that the villager was carrying a Goose, he had tied its legs before putting it into a Cloth bag. The long neck of the Goose was still hanging outside the Bag. It was poking both the Boy and the Girl out of curiosity or boredom.
The Bus was stopped once again. All the passengers were laughing.This time the Boy and the Girl too laughed…

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Madhya Pradeshis and Kashmir History.

Matrigupta and Praversena-ii(from Rajatarangani)

Few days back, I was going through an English book of a boy studying in Delhi Public School. A story connected with Kashmir was there. It aroused my curiosity. It was the story of King Vikramaditya and the great poet Matrigupta. But it was bowdlerized to suit the interest and attention span of children. The full story goes like this:

Long time back, a generous king named Vikramaditya ruled Ujjain.A penurious poet by the name of “Matrigupta” also lived in his kingdom. He had heard a lot about the generous king. The king was known as a lover of fine arts and many musicians, writers and poets used to visit his palace. He used to give them suitable rewards .His munificence was well-known in his state.Matrigupta also wanted to try his luck in the court of the King.

After deliberating for months ,Matrigupta went into the court of King Vikramaditya.He was received warmly in the the court of the King. A day came, when he stood in front of the King and recited his poems. He was highly praised by the King. But the king didn’t bestow him with any reward. Matrigupta did not lose his heart and used to recite poems and get appreciated by the king. But the reward was still a dream.

Many days and months passed by, Matrigupta felt disheartened at times, but he didn’t give up. The King was testing the integrity of the poet. The courtiers tried to poison his ears against the King, but he rebuked them for speaking against the King.

During those times, Kashmir was a part of King Vikramaditya, who at that time was considered as the sole sovereign of the world(India).
During those days in Kashmir, Praversena-ii- was born to the Anjana(daughter of vajendra from iksvaku’s race) and yuvraj (prince)toramana. Toramana was sent to prison by his brother king Hiranya as the former had enraged the latter by putting in circulation coins(dinnarah) struck in his own name.

Anjana at that time was pregnant. She went to a Potter’s hut and gave birth to a son(PRAVERSENA-II).The potters wife and Anjana kept it a secret that he was the son of prince Toramana.Praversena-ii showed extraordinary skills right from his childhood in terms of knowledge, marital skills or courage. He was also an ardent devotee of lord shiva. Later on he came to know about his royal lineage.

Toramana died after having been set free from prison by his brother. soon after the death of his father, Praversena-ii left for the tirthas(holy places).He did severe austerities and lived as an ascetic doing yoga. Finally lord shiva granted him Boon(s).He was granted the boon of becoming the king of world(india) as well as attain Moksha(liberation) at the end.Later on, he became the king of Kashmir and world(india).

Meawhile king Vikramaditya was highly pleased with the sincerity of Matrigupta.One night he called his trusted informers and aides and told them that he is making Matrigupta the king of Kashmir.He told them to leave for Kashmir and arrange for the Poet’s coronation. Next morning he called Matrigupta into his court and told him to go to Kashmir with a royal decree. He didn’t told the poet about his plans. The poet left at once. During his travel, he thought ,”though the king didn’t reward me materialistically, but at least by sending me to Kashmir,I will benefit spiritually(showing the spiritual value of Kashmir even in those times).

Once upon reaching Kashmir, Matrigupta handed over the royal decree, to his surprise he was announced as the king of Kashmir. His joys knew no bounds. At the same time he became indebted to the magnanimity of King Vikramaditya. He ruled Kashmir till the death of King Vikramaditya.

Praversena-ii wanted to become the king of Kashmir at the earliest. He wanted to defeat King Vikramaditya in a war, but destiny had other plans. The news of King vikramaditya’s death reached Praversena too. He also heard that Matrigupta had deserted his crown. Apprehending that Matrigupta has been forced to flee, he came to the rescue of the Poet King with a small escort.
He saluted and bowed before Matrigupta and gently asked him the reason for leaving Kashmir.The poet king answered with a sigh,”that benefactor king has gone through whom I enjoyed the rule of the land” and that morally he felt that as a Brahmin he should spent the rest of his life as an ascetic in Varanasi. Praversena-ii was highly impressed by Matrigupta and offered him to become the King of Kashmir once again. Matrigupta declined the offer, arguing that will be an insult to the generosity of King vikramaditya.

Matrigupta went to Varanasi and lived as an ascetic for the rest of his life(10 years).King praversena-ii too kept firm on his resolve and sent the whole revenue of Kashmir to Matrigupta. The ascetic-poet living on alms handed over the wealth which he received against his will, to all who applied to him and lived until next ten years.

Atrigupta and Kashmir Shaivism(From Kashmir Shaivism-the secret supreme)

The King Lalitaditya traveled to India from Kashmir where in Antarvedi ,a track of land in Madhya Pradesh/U.P.(some opine it was Kannauj) which lies between the Yamuna and ganga rivers, he discovered the great saiva teacher Atrigupta. Lalitaditya was deeply impressed by the scholarship and practical way of Atrigupta and requested him to accompany him to the Kashmir valley. Atrigupta agreed and upon reaching Kashmir was given the old palace of Praversena to live in as this place was very near to the palace of the king Lalitaditya. After some centuries in the house of Atrigupta, Varahagupta was born. He is the father of Narsimhagupta and Narsimhagupta is the father of The Great –Abhinavgupta. Although Abhhinavgupta had many disciples, both men and women, His chief disciple was Kshemraja ,and the chief disciple of Kshemraja was Yogaraja. After many centuries in the Kashmir valley Swami Ram came into this physical body. His chief disciple was Swami Mahatabkak and Swami Lakshamjoo was the disciple was Swami Mahtabkak.

The Thirty Six Elements(Kashmir Shaivism)and 24 elements of Advaith vedanta

There are 36 elements according to Kashmir Shaivism unlike the 24 elements which the vedantis acknowledge.
1.Panch Maahaabutaas-five Gross elements
1.Prithvi(Earth)
2.Jaala(water)
3.Tejas/agni(fire)
4.Vaayu(air)
5.Akasha(ether)

2.Panch Tanmatras-Five Subtle elements
1.Gandha(smell)
2.Rasa(taste)
3.Roop(form)
4.sparsha(touch)
5.Shabda(sound)

3.Panch Karmendriyas-(five organs of action)
1.upastha(creation/reproduction)
2.paayu(excretion)
3.paada(foot)
4.pani(hand)
5.vaak(speech)

4.Panch jnanendriyas-(five organs of cognition)
1.Ghraana-(nose, organ of smelling)
2.Rasaana-(Tongue, organ of taste)
3.Chakshu-(eye, organ of seeing)
4.Tvak-(Skin, Organ of touching)
5.Srotra-(ear, organ of hearing)

5.Antahkarnas-(3+2 internal organs)
1.Manas-(mind)
2.Buddhi-(intellect)
3.Ahamkara-(ego connected with objectivity )
4.Prakriti-(nature/three Gunas i.e satvic,rajsic and tamsic)
5.Purusha-(ego connected with subjectivity-reacts to prakriti)

6.Sat Kancukas-(six coverings)
1.niyati-(limitation of place)
2.Kaala-(limitation of time)
3.raga-(limitation of attachment)
4.vidya-(limitation of knowledge)
5.Kala-(creativity)
6.maya-(illusion of individuality)

7.Suddha tatvas-(pure elements)
1.Suddha vidya-(iness in iness—–thisness in thisness)
2.isvara-(thisness in iness)
3.sadasiva-(iness in thisness)
4.shakti-(iness)
5.Shiva-(iness-being)

According to the Vedanta the 24 elements consists of
1.Five tanmatras(same as in Kashmir shaivism)
2.five jnanendriyas(same as in Kashmir shaivism)
3.five karmindreyas(same as in Kashmir shaivism)
4.the five pranas or vital forces (not included in Kashmir Shaivism)
5.fourfold Antahkarn, namely-manas(mind), budhi(intellect), chitta(memory or sub consciousness) and ahamkara(egoism)

The five vital breaths are:
1.Pran Vayu
2.Apaan vayu
3.Saman vayu
4.vyan vayu
5.udaan vayu.
There are also five subsdiary divisions known as upapranas or upvayus namely:
1.naga
2.kurma
3.kekara
4.devdatta
5.dhanamjaya

Pran vayu
Breathing in and out; regulation of breath in mouth and nose; segregating and digestion of food and fluids ;Converting the waste-material of food and fluids into stool, urine and sweat, and converting vital fluids into semen is executed by the “Pran vayu”. It resides in the heart and moves up to the upper part of nose. Regulates the sense organs from heart and above.

Apana Vayu
Responsible for the excretion of faeces, urine and semen .Its movement is from the navel to downwards( reproductive organ and Anus).It resides in guhadesh(Reproductive organ and Anus).

Saman vayu
It resides in the navel .Its movement is from the navel to the heart.It stokes the gastric fires, aiding digestion, and maintaining the harmonious functioning of the abdominal organs. It integrates the whole of the human gross body.

Vyan Vayu
It mostly resides above the reproductive organ.It pervades the entire body, distributing the energy derived from food and breath through the arteries, veins and nerves.

Udaan vayu
Working through the throat(the pharynx and the larynx), controls the vocal cords and the intake of air and food. It is because of the Udaan vayu that the subtle body detaches from the gross body at the time of death.

Naga
It relieves pressure on the abdomen by belching.

Kurma
It controls the movement of the eye-lids to prevent foreign matter entering the eyes; it also controls the size of the iris,thereby regulating the intensity of light for sight.

Krkara
It prevents substances passing up the nasal passage and down the throat by making one sneeze or cough.

Devdatta
It cause yawnings and induce sleep.

Dhanamjaya
It produces phlegm, nourishes and remains in the body even after death and sometimes inflates a corpse.

refrences:Kashmir Shaivism-the secret supreme(swami laxmanjoo)shivsutras(explained by swami laxmanjoo)Patanjalyogpradeep and Light on pranayama by BKS Iyengar

Pictures of Kashmiri Hindu protest(photographs-3rd may 2013)@ jantar Mantar & Press Club of India..

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Perverted Patriotism-A dangerous trend.

There are many people in India who idolize Mahatma Gandhi. He is regarded as the Father of India; and his photo is printed on the Indian currency. Some of the leaders around the Globe have openly attributed their non-violent struggle to the teachings of Mahtma Gandhi like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.

It is a well known fact that many people like to keep the photo of their loved ones, in their Wallets. The loved ones can vary from a girlfriend, a wife, parents, children, an actor or an actress, spiritual guru, God and Goddesses or revolutionary leaders like Bhagat singh or Mahtma Gandhi Etc. One thing is sure; the person whose photo has been kept in the Wallet, has to a large extent, influenced the psyche of that person, who is carrying the picture.

In the Kashmir valley, the Barber’s shop used to be a place where one could hear the wildest ,weirdest yet most interesting tales. And almost all the Barbers were gifted Raconteurs. They could spin the tales whether real or imaginary with eloquence. The customers after getting their hair trimmed by the Barber would open their wallet and give the money in lieu of his service. During such times, I had seen, many a times, these customers carrying the photos of their icons in their wallets ;while folding or unfolding their purses. The glimpses of the photo of Imran Khan , Wasim Akram or Javed Miandad are still fresh in my mind. It did not look odd to me, that many people in the valley were carrying the photos of Pakistani Criket players or Pakistani Politicians in their Wallets.

In 1988, when I was still in my School, our history Teacher-who also happened to be the son of the principal and owner of School-would try to Galvanize the students for a “Jihaad”. Our English teacher, a Sardarni from Punjab would narrate the horrendous tales of atrocities happening in Punjab. I did not say a thing to my History teacher, nor did I protested to my English teacher for fanning anti-India sentiments. No Kashmiri Hindu used to say anything. Hindus had made a tacit compromise. After all they had to live in that land. But destiny had different plans…..

In Pakistan, General Parvez Musharraf is trying hard to make a dent in the Pakistan’s Political Arena. The once lucky and Mighty General and former President is no more lucky or Mighty. He had constantly negated in the past , India’s allegations that, Pakistani soldiers were actively involved in Kargil war. But now ,in the changing times, he is openly claiming that the Pakistani Army was involved in the Kargil War, he is even taking credit for that. He was the one who killed the system of Democracy in Pakistan. But at the same time, He is alive unlike his previous military contemporaries who became the Presidents of Pakistan. It is a sort of an achievement. Having said that, he is still , definitely not the most popular leader of Pakistan.

Back in India, a section of Muslims are being exploited by their religious teachers and Religious Schools who are being funded by Oil-Rich nations like Saudi Arabia. Though these Oil-Rich nations propound their Faith all over the Globe, But in their own country, they invidiously discriminate the people of India, Pakistan as well as Bangladesh irrespective of common Religion. But that does not deter the Religious leaders as well as the Demagogues in India; using Indian Muslims for their own good .

Since 1947, the Muslims of India are feeling alienated, the feeling of alienation has increased manifolds with each decade passing by. The quality of education is easily the worst among the Indian Muslims. Though they have produced scientists like Homi jehangir Baba and A.P.J Abdul Kalam, but by and large they are still ,one of the largest segments of illiterates/semi-literates. Their Religious Leaders and many politicians want them this way-deprived, neglected and helpless. Many of these men often take refuge in their religion and are sometimes manipulated by their leaders as well as their Religious Teachers, in such a way, that they grow up hating India. For example; if there happens to be a Inda-Pakistan cricket Match; Majority of Muslim localities cheer for Pakistan-Though legally they are Indian Citizens. Majority of Muslims have a keen interest in Pakistan’s Politics. In Muslim-majority localities, they conspicuously display their emotions for Pakistan and Islamic Countries. In Places like Muradabad and Rampur in U.P, where there is a considerable population of Muslims, they clash with the Karvariyas(pilgrims who get the waters of Ganga from Haridwar in the month of Sawan[july-Aug]) each year.It has sort of become fashionable. And these trends are increasing alarmingly.

Already, there is a considerable presence of Maoists and Naxalites in places like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Orrisa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. They are also in war with India. It is a well-known fact that these groups are being supported by China. And terrorism is supported by Pakistan. And Pakistan-China forge a strong bond with each-other, That is why Aksai-Chin was gifted by Pakistan to China.

Some years back, I was in Nainital. I along with my two friends decided to go for a hike to Tiffin top. While we were walking slowly towards the tiffin-top, we were accosted by a group of horsemen. They offered us a ride to the top at a very reasonable price. To make sure, they are not con-men, they also showed us their photo I.d’s. We decided to complete the trek on the Horses. I asked them ,”What are the names of the Horses?”one of them said, ”He is Michael Jackson”, pointing to my friends Horse.”He is Hero”, pointing to my other friend’s horse and “he is Tyson”, pointing to the horse, I was riding. I asked them ”what are your names ?”. One of them said, ”My name is Akhtar , He is Imran and that is Khurshid”. He further said, ”we are from Rampur”.

We spent some time on the top and came back down pretty soon. After alighting from the horses, It was time to give them Money. I gave two five hundred notes to Akhtar, as he looked like an Alpha amongst them. He had to give me four hundred rupees back. He took the money from me. He took his Wallet from his Pocket. I could easily make it that his wallet was made of Mixed Leather. He unfolded his Wallet. And there it was! “Parvez Musharraf’s” Photo. He was carrying the photo of Pakistan’s President in his wallet. He gave me back four Hundred Rupees. And we parted our ways after exchanging our final pleasantries. We never met again.

Out of all the men on Earth, The Horseman was carrying the Photo of Musharaf. Had he carried the Ayaat’s of Holy Quaran, I would not have been surprised, Or for that matter a picture of Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan.I would not have been surprised. Had he been carrying a photo of Bollywood actress, or for that matter a photo of Khomeini, I would not have been surprised. But he choose to carry the photo of the Head of a country, that happens to be the enemy number one of India.

This trend may prove to be detrimental to the security of India in the long run. After all, wasn’t it the Pakistan who fanned the religious card in Kashmir and is waging successfully a low-cost war with India. Wasn’t it the Islam-card that helped the Pakistan to annex what is now known as Pakistan occupied Kashmir. And let us not forget Indian Mujahideen-who are responsible for many recent terrorist attacks in India. Aren’t they fighting with India on the name of Islam ?It is a known fact that they are being supported by the ISI and groups operating from Middle-east.

Arresting the culprits is not enough. The source that is giving them support, whether financially ,logistically or ideally, should also be attacked and wiped out completely.

Gandhiji may be an Ideal for those who are peaceful and non-violent by nature. He may be an ideal for those who believe in a peaceful struggle. But, In India there is a large section of people who are feeling neglected and are endorsing the views of Mao and extremism, Thanks to the rampant corruption ,nepotism and plutocracy prevailing in India. The hegemonic political parties whether at National or Regional scale are both culprits for pushing India into a state of disarray.

And then, there are some people like that horse-man whom I encountered in Nainital, who are holding the leaders of Pakistan very close to their skin, maybe imagining to prove their loyalty whenever the need arises; It is not difficult to comprehend whom they will support in case there is a war between India and Pakistan.

May be the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi has been superimposed by the teachings of jingoistic leaders. whatever may be the reason, the root-cause must be analyzed rationally in order to find a cure of the disease that is eating out the roots; on which India stands.

We have already seen the division of United-India in 1947.The partition was based on Religion.Another partition is not accepted.For that, the trend of perverted anti-India patriotism should be checked, reversed and stopped immediately…..

P.S-Gandhiji is loved of course by perverts also…..but only on Crisp new Currency Notes..

Anugraha(Grace)/Shaktipata-Kashmir Shaivism

According to Kashmir Shaivism Anugraha(grace and Shaktipata takes place in nine ways:

1.tivrativra Shaktipata(Super Supreme Grace)
One attains the true self, real and true nature completely. The Grace is too strong for the body to resist; one has to give up one’s body(Death).He becomes a Master and elevates the hearts of the deserving disciples invisibly. He uplifts the mankind secretly. Once he is satisfied with his work, he submerges with Shiva according to his will .One who attains this form of Grace becomes super supreme Master.

2Tivramadyha Shaktipatha( Supreme medium Grace)
One attains the true and real self; but one does not leave body in this type of grace. One is said to be “Pratiba Guru”-master who is not made by master, but by his self(shiva),by one’s own grace. These masters live in their physical form to uplift the humanity. They are self-initiated masters.
One who is bestowed with this grace enters completely in the trance of Shiva-Shakti(Energy of Shiva).There are five signs in him, that are observed by people;
1.intense love for lord shiva.
2.Whenever he recites any mantra; the devta of the mantra appears before him at once; The fruits of the mantra are realized promptly.
3.control over the five elements.
4.His works are without any defects.
5.He masters all Shastras.

3.Tivramandha Shaktipatha(Supreme low grace)
By this types of Grace one’s mind desires to be at the feet of master. He gets a master who is all-knowing and perfect. There is no difference between his master and lord shiva. The master does not initiate him; but merely put his hand on his head or by just by the mere gaze of his master;. He becomes perfect and enters into transcendental meditation effortlessly at once. He becomes enlightened by the mere touch or look of his master.

4.Madhya tivra Shaktipatha(medium supreme grace)
By this grace one reaches at the feet of Master who is absolutely a perfect master.The disciple is initiated by the master unlike the above cases. The master gives him mantra and the way to tread. One gets enlightened partially; the disciple is not satisfied completely in his physical body. He gets his complete satisfaction after he leaves his body and becomes one with shiva at the time of his death.

5.Madhya Madhya Shaktipata(medium middle grace)
When lord shiva bestows this grace; an intense desire of achieving lord shiva rises in the mind of the disciple. One wants Lord shiva as well as the worldly pleasures and enjoyments of the world. He is initiated by an able master.Though the intensity of his desire is more on attaining the state of shiva,he attains bliss, but he cannot completely overcome his worldy desires . After the death of such a disciple; he enters the kingdom of paradise and enjoys the pleasures to his satisfaction. He does not come back to this mortal world; but is again initiated by the master there and he becomes enlightened and realizes the shiva and merges in him.

6.Madhya mandha Shaktipata(medium low grace)
There is an intense desire for attaining lord shiva as well as the pleasures of the world. He does not attain self-realization completely.After his death he enters the kingdom of paradise and enjoys to his satisfaction. After that he is born again in this mortal world and lives a short life(15-30 yrs).He focuses on lord shiva and devotes his short life to shiva and becomes complete with Shiva.

7.Mandha tivra Shaktipata(inferior supreme grace)
8.Mandha Madya Shaktipata(inferioir medium grace)
9.Mandha Mandha shaktipata(inferior low grace)
For 7,8 and 9 types of grace,one has to take many births, before one attains the state of shiva……

A conversation on Kashmir with an ex-army man…

I and my friends Manish and Sunil were going to Garh-Mukhteshwar for a dip into the holy Ganges. As soon as we reached Garh-Mukhteshwar, we took a boat to go to other side of the river for a swim. The rays of the sun were shimmering in the waters of Ganga , intermittently blinding our eyes. The garland of flowers floating nearby shielded our eyes briefly, thus giving us some respite. That Garland may had embellished an idol of god or it may had been a final gesture of reverence to the dead by a family member. Who knows! Anyway, We reached the other side within minutes. A Panditji was offering prayers for his clients, who were repeating the hymns chanted by the Pandit.

I have always believed that the cool waters of the Ganges rejuvenates my body and mind and Manish could not disagree with me .After the Bath/Swim, we sat on the wooden planks nearby. And Manish started about his favorite topic-Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandits. An elderly Gentleman, who was sitting opposite,just a couple of meters away, on the other wooden plank approached us and asked, ”Are you Kashmiri Pandits?” I said, ”yes we are”. He said,” My name is Singh, I have served armed forces and I was Stationed at Kashmir in the nineties”.

Our conversation started…..

Manish-what is your present assessment of Kashmir?

Singh-It is better than nineties ,but it is still not Normal. When I was there, it was like a guerilla war, we never knew when, where , how and who will attack us. We had to be prepared at all times. Had we been given powers, we would have normalized the situation within a day. It is the politicians, who are doing the macabre dance on the cost of the lives of their soldiers, just to enhance their political career.

Manish- You must have heard the cacophony of pro-jihadi , anti-India, and anti-Hindu slogans, that was voiced from the loudspeakers of the Mosques across the valley?

Singh-Yes, I did and so did my colleagues.

Manish-Did you met Kashmiri Pandits there?

Singh-Only in the early 1990.You fled to jammu and other parts of India as the terrorists were killing you.

Manish-It was all pre-planned. The majority of the Muslims, in the valley, were privy of the plans and intentions of the Terrorists. But they maintained a sinister silence.

Sunil-In 1947, the army of the Maharaja sided with Pakistan and thus helped Pakistani army to annex POK. This all happened on the name of religion. The same happened at the time of Sukh Jiwan Mal, when his army deserted him. Yaqub shah, being a shia muslim was also deserted by his army. History repeated itself in 1989-90 and Kashmiri Pandits were rendered homeless.

Singh- The lack of political will is a deterrent for the return of Kashmiri Pandits. you are not a vote-bank and you did not even raise your armed unit to counter your hostile contemporaries in Kashmir .The political will is a must for the return of Kashmiri Hindus. Kashmiri muslims are being heard because they talk not only diplomatically masquerading peace, but when the need arises ,they restore to violent methods also. They know how to be heard.

Manish-We are a peaceful community. But that does not mean that we are naïve. At the same time, I have to agree with you. Our peaceful nature has become a hindrance. The govt. too knows this fact, that is why they have not been able to make inroads for the kashmiri pundits into Kashmir. Pakistan has a Plan for Kashmir and Kashmiri Muslims. National conference, PDP and congress has plan for Kashmiri Muslims .The plan for Kashmiri Hindus is to appease Kashmiri Muslims by marginalizing KP’s socially, financially, religiously and politically . As you said it is vote-bank politics.

Sunil-The valley-centric political parties are playing dirty politics. They have over years, successfully sown the seeds of hatred against India. The frequent outbursts of Mustafa Kamal against India is not new. The recent obnoxious statements of NC MP Ghulam Nabi Ratanpuri is also not new. Attaullah suhurwardy,a senior NC Leader, the former minister and Deputy speaker had said in a speech in State legislative council that he is first a Muslim then an India and that It is the fundamental duty of a Muslim to strive for conversion ,any muslim who forgets this duty is not a worthy Muslim. The Kashmiri Hindus were proving to be an impediment for the religious zealots and bigoted politicians.
PDP is also no saint. Their patron Mufti mohammed syed instigated riots and violence at Anantnag, which led to migration of many Kashmiri pundits in the mid 1980’s.It is a known fact that when he was the chief Minister of the state, he did not used to salute the National Flag of India on special occasions like 26th jan or 15th August. It was a clear indication to his vote-bank that he does not care about India. These gestures by the valley-based mainstream political over the years have poisoned the minds of majority of Muslim minds. This propaganda has lead a Kashmir Pandit to a point of no-return.

Manish-That is why we demand a separate homeland for Kashmiri Pandits. we have seen seven migrations. Enough is enough .We can not live anymore at the will and whim of Islamist fundamental jehadi mindset politicians, who use us whenever it suits them and discards us when it suits the emotions of their vote-bank.

Singh-The politicians should consider this option. As I said a political will of the government is a must to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandits.

Manish –If Govt. is not serious to facilitate our return on our conditions then, let them formally announce us as Refugees. There are many countries who have special laws for refugees. We will also find one such country. At least we-the kashmiri Pandits can live as a community and preserve our ancient heritage and culture.

Singh-Govt. should ponder over this point too. You see, Kashmir matters for me as well!

Sunil-How does it really matter to You or rest of Indians .Majority of Indians are still oblivious to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. Majority of them still believe that we live in Kashmir even today.

Singh-You may be right! But I too have given my blood for Kashmir. I was hit by the bullet in my right leg. My colleague was killed in the Gun battle with the terrorists, in front of my eyes. I too faced trauma-physically , emotionally as well as mentally.

He folded up his trousers to the thigh. There was a livid Scar above the right side of his right knee. I looked at the face of Singh. It was livid as well. The sweat drops on his forehead made me realize the conspicuousness of his Curled white moustaches that still had some shades of black. Just like his personality.
Calmness descended on his face as he curled down his trousers.. He was again composed .Manish was looking at him intensely.

Manish-Singh Saab, I appreciate your patriotism. You are also one of our many unsung heroes, who gave their blood for Kashmir.

Sunil-I agree with Manish. Where will you go from here singhji?

Singh-I live in Gajraula. I will reach there within half an hour .Where are you going?

Manish-Lucky you. You have a place to be called as Home. My home is illegally occupied by some Muslim men in Kashmir. By the way, we are going to NOIDA.

We exchanged our mobile numbers, with this hope that we will remain in touch with each other and share some more information and incidents on Kashmir. Before he left he said, ”you should ask Govt. for a place of your own in Kashmir”

Singh fared good bye to us. We watched his back as he walked with a limp towards the Boat. His family was already in the Boat. A man grabbed his hand and pulled him into the Boat. The boatman paddled the Boat away from us. we waved with our hands at Singh. He waved back. He alighted from the Boat, ascended the stairs , looked back at us and again waved. we waved back.
Singh Saab was gone but there are thousands of singh saab’s who have fought for Kashmir. Kashmiri Pandit’s fight for the restoration of their rights and justice is long, arduous with little support from the Government machinery. For some, it may look impossible to restore our basic fundamental rights in Kashmir. At times, it feels that a Kashmiri pandit is fighting a lone battle. But then we meet some people like singh, for whom Kashmir still matters. And hope floats. Just like that garland that floated in the Ganges and shielded our eyes from the blinding reflections of the Sun…..

The Old lady and her pain….

The old widow
though alone
Faced the tough life
with her brazen outlook
she lived in a 5 storey house
that stood tall
holding its head high
just like the old lady…..

Her fifteen room House
Was witness
How she raised all alone
her only child
A daughter
With love and care….

But then came jan 1990
She fled her home
In the middle of night
Amongst the rampage
Amongst the inferno
In the chilling night
When the jihadis were
On a killing spree..

The dignified old lady
Did’t wanted any help
From her Loving brother
Or from her beloved daughter
So she stayed in an ashram
And sang the hymns
In the praise of the lord
But the pain in her heart
Would force her thoughts
To roam around
her 15 roomed house
And she would then
pull herself back
Into the stark reality of today
Where she didn’t had
even one room
Not even a tent…..

The pain sucked out her vigour
her health
So thin she became
She became a living Skelton
Her health had failed now
But not her grit….

Then one day at the behest
Of her daughter
She moved with her
and her grandchildren

she would often mumble
She would talk to herself
And her tear drops would fall
From the corner of her eyes

And then one day she died
No one came on her funeral
Just her daughter’s family
And a handful of relatives
May be four or five
they paid their tributes
and then they said
“though brave she lived a life of pain”

And then after two days of her death
Her ashes were collected
from the shamshan
And then a relative said,
“see her atmaram
is distorted”….”
And then he said that,
“the atmaram of my parents was in a perfect shape”
“They will go to heaven”
“And see this poor lady”
“she lived a life full of strife and pain”
But it hardly mattered
she was no more…..

I had heard her many times
When she spoke
In sighs
And in whispers
that
“She had a house back in Kashmir
And that
In her house
she had 5 Pashmina shawls
And a samovar
And a lone poplar tree
And that she gets
Three thousand rupees in pension…”

She was my Grandmother….

An Open Letter to Mr.Omar Abdullah

To
The Honorable Chief Minister of J&k
Mr.Omar Abdullah
Respected Sir,
My name is Sandeep Kaul.I used to live in the valley before terrorism and armed militancy wrapped its Blanket on whole of the valley. The sufferings of my community in exile is well known to you. During the last 23 years, the valley of Kashmir witnessed many ups and downs. Violence, terrorism, bloodshed and what not!

Though the peace of the yore is still far, but it is gradually limping back into the hearts of people of Kashmir. I pray to almighty to restore the lost glory back to Kashmir and I pray for the prosperity of my motherland.

I and many of my likes welcome your announcement wherein you have wished to designate the summer capital to Jammu and winter Capital to Kashmir. I think this should had been done years back. Better late than never. The people of Jammu will feel some relief from the horrid summers as will the people of Kashmir who have to face the bone freezing cold.

I admire the way you handled the summer unrest of 2010 ,It must had been very tough to tackle the situation, But I must confess you thwarted the attempts of anti-nationals adroitly. The Job packages for Kashmiri Pandits was equally applaudable ,though it may not reverse the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. I also appreciate your efforts in recommending the center to raise the dole of Kashmiri Pandits from 5k Rupees to 10k rupees.

Sir, however there are a couple of points which need your immediate attention.

1.The process for getting a state-subject of J&k has become more cumbersome. I was told to submit at least 12 different documents for getting my state subject, including revenue record of my land in Kashmir as well as the voter list of 1988.I believe these steps to be deterrent in getting a State subject. I have been deprived by these draconian steps to call myself a legal subject of state. Empirically, believing the govt. machinery against me and my likes won’t be a misnomer.

May I request you to simplify this process.

2.Recently , it has been notified that Aadhar card is a must for any financial transaction including getting the monthly relief of Kashmiri Migrants. Though it might be a good decision but I beg to differ here being as a Kashmiri Pandit Refugee.

I and my likes still in the heart of our hearts feel the only Home for us is in Kashmir. Unfortunately, either our homes have been occupied illegally in Kashmir or we had been forced to sell our homes at throwaway prices under duress. Though there are some depilated vacant houses also. In either case, we are bereft to call our homes as our own.

I have a serious doubt that in the grab of Aadhar card, I may be permanently labeled as a non-state subject, I may be called as a Delihite, U.P Wallah,Haryanvi but a Kashmiri. I doubt in the grab of Aadhar card the journey to my motherland will not see its day.

May I request you to let all the displaced Kashmiri Pandits use their respective Kashmir addresses(prior to 1990) and thereby help them preserve their last identity in Kashmir or else exempt all the Kashmiri Pandits from using/recognizing Aadhar card as their residence of proof.

Your’s sincerely
Sandeep Kaul

Hang Afzal Guru!!!!

Today it marks yet another anniversary of Parliament attack.11 years back on this day, the temple of Indian constitution was attacked by the Lashkar-e-Toiba/Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists.12 people died including 5 terrorists in that Gun Battle. Investigations revealed the hand of Afzal Mohammed AKA Afzal Guru behind the attack and after a long trial, he was sentenced to death by the High court as well as Supreme court. His mercy petition is pending with the President of India.

Should he be hanged to death is a topic that has been discussed over and over again, with one section demanding vociferously his death, and other section opting for lifelong incarceration. There is a third section which alleged that the trial for Afzal guru has not been just. The politicians of Kashmir belong to the second section as Afzal Guru is a Kashmiri and kashmiri muslims empathize with Afzal. A large section of people in Kashmir believe that he has been framed.

Earlier it was Kasab, that needed to be hanged to death, now that Ajmal Kasab is dead, many politicians in the lok sabha, want the head of Guru.

Is there any guarantee that after the death of Kasab, there will be no terrorist attack on India?And suppose if Afzal Guru is Hanged to death, will it guarantee that the terrorist activities will cease to exist. The Politicians opine that the death of Guru will be a victory of justice especially the justice mentioned in the law of the land!

May I toss a question to all these intellectuals, law makers and politicians?

Why are the killers of Kashmiri Hindus roaming free and enjoying the security cover given to them by Government of India? why are the conspirators of killing and mass-exodus of Kashmiri Hindus sharing the dais of Indian politicians, law makers, Human Right activists as well as intelligentsia. Shouldn’t they be sentenced to death on the same lines as Afzal Guru?

I am sorry to say, this rhetoric is nothing short of melodramatic acts performed by maudlin stage actors. Remember Balwant singh Rajaona! His death sentence was not carried out by the Govt. of Punjab even though he openly confessed of conspiring to kill Beant singh-former Chief minister of Punjab.On the other hand the mass killer of Kashmiri Pandit-Bitta Karate is roaming free like a bird although he had also openly confessed of his crime, or for that matter Yasin malik.

The List is long , the message clear, the perpetrators of genocide of Kashmiri pundits will remain free and rule the land.

Is there some personal vendetta between the politicians and Afzal Guru!

Is the life of Indian politician more valuable than an ordinary man of India! definitely yes, that is why they want Afzal Guru to be dead. They want to send a clear message to terrorists-Don’t mess with politicians, because there are two tacit laws operating in our country-one for them and one for us….

Killing of Afzal will have livid repercussion in the Kashmir valley. Militancy will get the much needed impetus and there will be more damage to the lives of common kashmiri. The hurriyat, the mercenaries and the Pakistan will be praying for the death of Guru ,the macabre dance will give another bloodline to the precarious predators such as the Hurriyat and its coterie.

Personally, I don’t think hanging Afzal guru will serve any purpose, Afzal jailed for life will also give the message to the world, I hope that President Pranab Mukherjee will save the life of Guru although he may stay in jail for life for the crime.

Let the justice follow a chronological path …

visit to my Homeland…Kashmir

After so many years,23 years to be precise, I touched the land of my Birth- Kashmir with a bit of excitement and some trepidation .My Brother’s Facebook Friend Shahid was waiting for me at the Airport to receive me. He had made it unequivocally clear that I have to stay with him at his house in Nagin area .He and his family greeted me with open arms, though It was the first time they had ever met me. They made me feel so comfortable, I felt I was at home.

Next Day, My Father’s Friend Mr Sheikh greeted me with open arms at his residence at Khanyar. Mr. Khan’s son was killed in a Gun-battle with the Indian forces and is revered by all in his locality for his Son’s “Sacrifice”. I was in touch with him through phone for many months now and he had promised to accompany me to my former residence at Rainawari as well as Ganderbal.

Yesterday, As I visited Rainawari,I could not believe it is the same place that I and my family left 23 years ago .Though the lanes and sub-lanes are the same, yet something is amiss. The lanes and sub-lanes have been encroached by some people living there. My Father’s friend told me that many low-income people had purchased houses of Kashmiri Pandits in the Nineties and many affluent Muslim families migrated to the plush localities of Srinagar
.
As I was approaching my house in Kralyar, Rainawari,I got lost in the thoughts of my childhood and the memories flashed in front of my eyes. It was as if yesterday, I left this place amidst violence, But the depilated erstwhile Kashmiri Pandits houses quickly pulled me into the present reality. I recalled my neighbors who lived there. How could I forget Jallas, Bhandaris, Duranis, vakils and jallalis!!!

I stood for a while , looking at those houses and the members of those houses, for a while, seemed to come alive. My childhood came to life again ,After all ,it was in these lanes and by-lanes ,I had played games like chupan-chupayee(i-spy) and cricket .

I was shocked when I saw my ancestral home, It was in shambles but so was I.

Somehow, I reposed myself and entered my home. There was another surprise waiting for me. As I opened the door, a voice interrupted me ”who are you”? I looked around and saw an elderly man, I said, ”This is my home and I had come for a visit, who are you?” I could see his face had turned pale, but he feigned a bold reply, ”No! This is my Home. I can even show the papers of this house.”I maintained my calm , gave him a smile and said ”I have come to sell this property”. Before he could say anything, my fathers friend intervened and said to him,” He has not come to disturb you, he will have a look at this house and leave”. The occupant of my home agreed half-heartedly.
I knew this is a very common problem, which Kashmiri Pandits are facing in Kashmir. I recalled when I had met a senior politician of Kashmir, I was told that the people who oppose most, the return of Kashmiri Pandits into the valley ,are those who have illegally occupied their properties. Even my friend Sunil is also fighting a case in Kashmir as his property has also been occupied illegally.

I have made my mind to sell the house in Kashmir. I have changed in the last 23 years ,but so has my house in Kashmir. It is not the same place which I had left 23 years back. If my neighbors had been living there, like in the past, I would not have thought even for a second to come back and live there. The neighborhood temple Whom we called Bod-Mandir has also changed, no longer the temple bells remind the people in Rainawari, of the existence of Bhairava .Had I heard even one ringing of the temple bell, I would have stayed without a second thought, but that is not the case.

Will I be interested in coming back to Kashmir? My answers is “yes” I will, when my neighbors will be filled with that much love, which they showered me pre 1990.I will come that day when I will have freedom of choosing and practicing my religion without getting hounded again. Until then, I will choose to live separated from by beloved Homeland.

Yesterday, I had also visited Hari-Parbat and Vizarnaag. Though Hari-Parbhat is maintained to some extent, Vizaarnag is in a very bad state. It has turned into a archeological monument surrounded by marshy land. A virtual quagmire both physically and literally.

Overall, I am enjoying my stay in Kashmir, I will stay in Kashmir for some more days and hopefully untangle many knots both physically and emotionally…..

by-M.Zijoo

Of Frankenstein’s and Kashmir


I too watched today’s debate between U.S President Obama and Mitt Romney as both of the contenders put forth their views on foreign policy. There was nothing new and both of the contenders reiterated that they will support Israel who has been labeled as Enemy no.1 of Muslims. Both of them debated on how they will tackle the growing influence of China.

On Al-Qiada ‘s former supremo, President Bush said,” Bin Laden would have escaped If pakistan’s permission sought”. This shows the level of Trust, U.S.A had on its ally Pakistan. Mitt Romney reminded whole world about the presence of Taliban, Haqqani in unstable Pakistan and their 100 odd nuclear war heads fearing Pakistan may end up to be a failed state. He also reminded about their powerful Spy agency I.S.I and its role.

What if the fear of Mitt Romney turns out to be true? Who will be responsible if Taliban or Haqqani network or any other Islamic terrorist organization turns Pakistan into a failed state? What will happen to those 100 odd nuclear war heads?

We need not remind anyone about the mentality of so called jihadis. 14 year old Malala was shot at head because she was perceived as a threat to Islam by these fundamentalists. Is Islam so shallow that it needs gun, bombs and terrorists to keep itself alive as a Religion! Have sufis become a passé!, has spirituality been held hostage by the devils !

These terrorist organizations who operate from Pakistan’s soil is being fed by the I.S.I, In fact they are the creations of the ISI. Today these monsters have become the greatest factor that can make Pakistan a Failed State. But as of Today, they are like the tentacles of an octopus which has more than 8 tentacles in many of its neighboring countries and that includes India also.

The tentacles of ISI in India goes by may names ,
In Jammu & Kashmir only they had/have 1.J.K.L.F(Jammu Kashmir liberation front) 2.Hiz-ul-Mujahideen 3.Lashkar-e-toiba 4.Hurriyat conference 5.Allah Tigers 6.Jaish-eMohammed 7.Dukhteran-e-Milat 8.AL Badr 9.Harkat-ul-Ansar and many more…..The funding and logistics is being provided by the ISI to all these organizations. Some of these organizations change their faces and names from time to time, but their producer and Director remains the same.

Pakistan has used these organizations effectively from time to time depending upon the situation , they use the policy of carrot and stick in handling and motivating these groups to spread their ideologue. Among the groups mentioned above everyone including the Hurriyat have had their history stained with the blood of innocents. Hurriyat conference’s role has been to propagate Pakistan as a role savior of Islam. The communal leaders of Hurriyat conference have taken forward the ideology of Pakistan to oppose Hindus in every way.

Time and again they have targeted Amarnath Yatra as it is virtually the last remnant of erstwhile glorious past of hindus who once lived there. Let us not forget Kashmiri Pandits, who were driven out of their motherland. Today out of 4lakh Kashmiri Pandits that lived in Kashmir in 1989, only 4000 are left in the Kashmir Valley.

Hurriyat leaders are fanning the sentiments of common man on the name of of Religion. They had met with a tremendous success in 2008 and 2010 and now they are preparing their ground for 2013.Why are they opposing the construction of road to Amarnath cave? How many more people they want to die during the Amarnath yatra?

Their theory of environmental degradation is hard to swallow for me. Why don’t they shift their focus on the dying lakes of Kashmir? Why aren’t they worried about the receding forest line of Kashmir? Was it the love for environment that made these jihadi mindset people to oust Kashmiri Pandits from their Motherland!!!

Like hundreds of terrorist organizations that have been made in the factory of ISI, The kashmiri terrorist organizations too get their paycheck from Pakistan. It was written in the newspapers today that Pakistan has cut their Budget on the terror funding of Kashmir groups. This war on India has already costed Pakistan billions of Dollars and these Dollars have been paid to them by the USA.

In the Nineties there was not much difference between the Indian and Pakistani Rupee, But as of Today, one U.S Dollar=53 INR and One U.S. Dolar=95 PNR, This disparity is also adding to the woes of ISI. The indirect war of Pakistan on India is eating the economic base of Pakistan.

Coming back to today’s debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, If these two presidential candidates fear so much about the present situation of Afganistan and Pakistan, why don’t they stop funding billions of Dollars as an aid to Pakistan as Pakistan has been misusing this aid to fund terrorists that includes Taliban also.

If they fear China, as China has become a hub for manufacturing for whole world ,and it is eating the job of Americans ,USA should also fear Pakistan as it has become the hub for producing terrorists and those terrorists have become the greatest threat to whole world including the USA.

The jihadis are no longer in control of Pakistan. Pakistan is no longer in U.S.A’s control as was evident from president Obama’s Statement. If Taliban, Haqqani and other Jihadis are Pakistan’s Frankenstein ,Isn’t Pakistan itself a Frankenstein in the making for the U.S.A……A failed state in process…

Kashmir’s sarpanchs and amarnath

My Sikh friend, who happens to be a panch in his village at Kashmir had told me last year that he was sidelined to become a Sarpanch, when elections were held in Kashmir for panch’s and Sarpanch’s.The media had particularly highlighted those elections as a sigh of victory for minorities of Kashmir as two Kashmiri Pandits had also won their respective elections.

In 2008-09, a huge turnover of voters had put the militants and separatists of Kashmir on Backfoot. When confronted by the media , they had stated that people had come to vote, simply to redress their local grievances and had reiterated that the elections had nothing to do with their so called movement of right of self-determination.

It is a common known fact that the separatists are hand in glove with the jihadi-mindset-armed terrorists backed by Pakistan. Separatists are the mouth-piece of Pakistan, whereas the armed militants ,who have been killing people, are their action Robots, and their hands and bodies are drenched in the blood of minorities and those who oppose them.
After the elections of 2008-09, the mouth-piece of Pakistan(separatists) had stated that people had come in hoards to vote for development-their fundamental right. But why is this right being murdered and chocked by terrorists who have threatened and killed the sarpanchs?

The recent killing of Sarpanch Ghulam Mohammed yatoo of palhalan village has forced 40 more panchs and sarpanchs to resign from their respective jobs.Lashkar-e-toiba(LET) – a terrorist organization funded by pakistan’s I.S.I -are alleged to be the masterminds of these murders.

Panchayti system is the base for the development of villages in India, Development is the last thing that Pakistan and its stooges wish for Kashmir. They want bruised people, void of emotional and financial strengths, frustrated, neglected, in dark and without any ray of Hope, only then, they can manipulate their mind and Heart. A strong panchyati raj is anathema to their vicious plans.

It is not the first time the separatists have sealed their mouths on this grave issue, In the past also they have turned a blind eye on the murders by the terrorists. This dichotomous approach, on the killings of common Kashmiris, has made it evident the chameleonic heart of the separatists leaders.

The lives of Human beings are weighed on the basis of their religions and on the basis of their support .That is why the separatists have opposed the move to the proposed construction of Road to the Holy shrine of Amarnath.At least 1000 people have died during the annual yatra of Shri Amarnathji during last 2 decades ,out of these 90% of lives could have been saved as most of the victims died of high-altitude ,lack of infrastructure and lack of immediate help. All these problems could have been solved, had there been an all-weather road.

This Yatra brings prosperity to the locals of Kashmir, particularly those locals who reside in pahalgam, baltal and Sonamarg. During the yatra, Many kashmiri locals and Gurjars from other places work here as porters. Most of the Yatris also visit other places in Kashmir such as Srinagar ,Gulmarg, Sonmarg and many more places, thereby adding revenue to the tourism industry of Kashmir-the biggest economy of Kashmir.

The separatists have given an excuse of environmental degradation if a road is constructed up to the shrine. True, there will be some impact on the environment, but it will be far less than the impact it had on the construction of Moughal route. The route from Chandanwari to The holy shrine is virtually tree-less, with no permanent human settlement or population. The route from Baltal to the Holy cave is also without trees and permanent human population. Environment is not the only issue raised by the separatists, Their figment of imagination and xenophobiaism had forced them to allege in 2008 that India wants to settle down 10 lakh ex-army men in Baltal area and thereby manipulate the population ratio of Kashmir. On the Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits, they chose to ignore this fact and remain mum.

India has till date kept its promise of UN resolution, Outsiders can not become residents of J&k due to the article 370.On the other hand, Pakistan has mauled the UN resolution 1948,they have totally changed the demography of P.O.K by settling non-locals in POK,By doing such acts they have nullified the UN resolution 1948.

My sikh friend who is a Panch ,last evening told me over phone that he is mulling to give his resignation as he too is petrified by the threatening calls and Murders of Panchs and Surpanchs.The conflict on the subject of freedom continues-This time on the freedom and right of development of Villages……

Assam and Kashmir ethnic cleansing…

Assam
Assam –has notoriously and conspicuously grabbed the News Headlines for the ethnic( read religious) conflict between the Bodos and Bangla muslims(read Bangladeshis) which has taken more than 75 lives so far in the last month or so. The area of conflict was the Bodoland where Bodos constitute more than 90% Hindus .Bodos and majority of Hindus in Assam attribute this violence to the influx of Bangla Muslims(read illegal).The indigenous Assamese muslims have so far refrained from any provocative statement on this conflict.
The name coined for this Violence is ethnic violence(It is religious)

 
Kashmir
In Kashmir the indigenous Kashmiri Hindus(Kashmiri Pandits) were forced by the Muslim Jihadis to leave by selectively killing them .the cold blooded murders led to the mass exodus of kashmiri Hindus.

 
Assam
In the case of Assam violence, there has been reported a mass exodus of around 5lakh people. The displaced people constitute both Bodos as well as Bangla Muslims.

 
Kashmir
In the case of Kashmir,at least 4 lakh people got displaced from their homes .All the displaced people were Kashmiri Hindus.

 
Assam
The repercussions of Assam violence resonated in whole of India and the people of North-East particularly Assamese were targeted in Pune, Mumbai ,Bangalore, Hyderabad .People from Assam thronged to their nearest Railway stations and fled to Assam fearing more attacks from the Muslims.

 
Kashmir
No such repercussions as Hindus are peace loving .It has been thousand years since India attacked any country. In fact majority of Indians are still oblivious to the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus.

 
Assam
The Bangla Muslims constitute more than 30% of the total population and their votes are extremely important for political parties, they can bring into power at least two Lok sabha M.P’s(Member of parliament).There are rumors that certain political have given their tacit approval to the influx of illegal Bangladeshi Muslims.

 
Kashmir
It is believed that in early 20th century the numbers of Kashmiri Hindus were one million, which declined to 4-7lakh, as they have been migrating to other parts mainly because of the lack of religious freedom in Kashmir .However 1990 proved beyond doubt that those who had migrated in 40’s had taken the right decision, At least they didn’t suffer the ways their successors suffered in 90’s.
Kashmiri Hindus have no voice in the political arena of J&k. Even the central government have so far behaved invidiously with them.

 
Assam
The governments at the state and center have refrained to use the word communal in the case of Assam Violence and have blamed the repercussions and retaliatory action of Muslims on Pakistan and ISI.

 
Kashmir
In the case of Kashmir ethnic cleansing, It was said by the Government that Pakistan ,ISI ,Muslim terrorists brainwashed by Pakistan were responsible for the killings and mass exodus of Hindus. As a Kashmiri Hindu I know who are responsible for my exodus and I remain witness to the blatant lies and blatant injustice of my own successive governments.

 
Assam
There has been ethnic violence between the Bodos and the Bangla Muslims in the past also and once the violence subsided, the bodos and Muslims have moved back to their homes. This time also they will repeat the same.

 
Kashmir
Last year many Kashmiri Hindus came back to Kashmir, this year thousands of Kashmiri Pandits came back to Kashmir. But Alas, they came back as tourists to see their motherland, where they and their ancestors had lived from last 5000 years.
23 years have passed since Kashmiri Hindus left their homes….
Returning to their native land is still a dream……………………..a distant dream..

The pain has been expressed in the following lines..

In my Dreams
I saw my childhood
happily screaming
and running
up and down the stairs
of my erstwhile home
when I opened my eyes
I saw my Childhood
mauled and Chocked…

 
In my Dreams
I saw my Happiness
blooming in the flower
that embelleshed
the kitchen garden
of my erstwhile home
when I opened my eyes
I saw my happiness
withered and crumpled…

 
In my Dreams
I saw my Grandparents
playing with me
in my erstwhile home
When I opened my eyes
I looked sadly
at the photo of my
Late Grandparents…

 
In my dreams
I saw my freedom
roaming around the
chinars and in the brooks
i saw my freedom
riding the kite above
my erstwhile home
when I opened my eyes
I saw my freedom
incarcerated and in shackles…

 
In my Dreams
I saw my soul
in the erstwhile home
of my loved ones
drinking the nectar of love
at the feet of lord shiva
when I opened my eyes
I did not see my soul
for, I have not seen my soul
since that day
when I was forced to
leave the home where
I was born………..

Why Geelani realized late to call pundits back to their villages and towns”

It was news for Kashmir watchers who have an observant eye as well as to KP Community to see a Fundamental change in the mind set of Hurriyat leaders’ like Ali Shah Geelani and others. There was a necessity to understand the reason behind their utterances, calling and appealing Kashmiri pundits to return to their birth places located in villages and towns of Kashmir valley to live together with Muslim brethren. After slumber they have realized that they were in sleep. We Kashmiri pandits have been knowing since long the Hurriyat chief Ali Shah Geelani was an MLA of J&K Assembly for four consecutive terms wearing the semblance of loyalty towards the constitution of India. After a long time of twenty three years they broke their silence appealing Kashmiri Pandits to return their home valley. We understand that the talk of political parties, separatists, hardliners inviting them back is hogwash. We wonder at a change of their policy of shedding crocodile tears at the happening of brutal Killings, terrorizing Kashmiri pundits of which they were the architect. There surprising behavioral change is all temporary, moonshine, politically motivated and can also be temporary effect of magnanimity shown by some individuals of KP community and group of Kashmiri pundits who met, hand-shaked and embraced them at some religious and other occasions in the valley and also demonstrated their solidatory and sympathy towards the muslim victim families of shopian Kashmir who’s daughters were raped and killed, while fully knowing that not a single word of sympathy and condemnation was uttered as and when KP daughters like Shaheed Girja was raped and chopped for having no fault of her.

We K.Ps still remember their vitriolic speeches, intimidating the minorities, sowing seed of dissension in the otherwise peace loving society, starting campaign of vilification speak in volume of their negative tactics of destruction. We fully understand their duplicity which is the hallmark of their personality. Their lack luster policy of giving vent to their communal ideology and provocative incidents held during the times of Amar Nath land Issue, forcible vacation of non-Kashmiri and pro Indian workers, Laborers and Traders after branding Indian Mukhbirs and agents, were asked to leave the valley within 24 or to face the consequences is an open secrets. All sanner souls, policy maker, icons in the KP community cannot be fooled again and again. We KP’s still recount their provocating speeches which were loaded with hate india virus infused in the blood of Muslim youth, which culminated in the blood bath of innocents and destruction of Kashmir. The saner elements among Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs hold firm opinions that this massacre of humanity was engineered by their favourite country Pakistan on active support of these leaders and their gun yielding youths whose mission was looting, killing and terror. They levy a serious allegation of annihilation of humanity. They are trying to hide their malice mind, but this ostrich like state of denial is no longer sustainable. Kashmiri terrorists to whom they support, shield and proclaim hero’s and jihadis are infact enaged in a Fasaad” which is in Arabic language implies that they are saboteurs of peace. The actual Jihad has special significance and message in Holy “Quran” which finally terminates at the welfare and protection of humanity, and mankind.

In fact at present Kashmiri Muslim community lack recognized broad –visioned wise leadership, who could act as role model for their youth to follow and emulate. Those who are worth are discouraged by leveling false allegations. Those who deserve credit are being harassed and dubbed as Indian agents. Their Indoctrinated youth spread venoms and the moderates among Muslims bear with the offensive language silently. Their silence should not be considered confirmation to the ideology of these leaders. There are also trouble creators among their followers who are bent up on to keep Kashmir cauldron boiling for their vested interest and their acts and utterances have been instrumental in bringing devastation, destruction and bloodshed of innocent people. Their policy of Balkanisation, vivesect the state raising pre-posterous and unviable demands have brought discredit to the Muslim community and also made them doubtful and distanced from peace loving and progressive Indian nation. Therefore, their reputation is on the wane. The peacefull Muslim in general in valley have chosen the path of following silence as they do not digest their policy of poisoning the mind and follow double speak politicians and have also well understood the policy and patience of Kashmiri Pandits who are the main victim of the acts, preaching’s and propaganda of these leaders.

Before calling Pandits back to Kashmir, have Hurriyat Leadership given a thought to the facts whether they are in a commanding position to protect their (KPs) life and property, can they bring back the Hey days of peace, love and tranquility. Can they stop criminal acts of those youths to whom these leaders have infused hate India, hate Hindu virus in their blood. Can they return the land and property to KPs which has been either looted, burnt, encroached, occupied and snatched or sells out under distress sale. Can they restore the confidence, faith and trust of the community which has shattered at the time of mass exodus of KPs and none of their Muslim brethren asked them to stay back or came to their help and rescue. Can they allow KPs to live as per their own will and choice in the valley as free Indian nationalist? Perhaps not but it is sure they would be forced to join their ranks and files, anti Indian movement and other acts which would not be suitable and digestible to the said community.

Every individual has a right to love his country. If anyone dislikes India and prefer Pakistan or any other nation, then why do they suppress their conscious and it would
be to their advantage to shift lock, stock and barrel to their country of choice and not to disturb the peaceful life of common men and disintegrate the nation of peace loving citizens, A wishful thinking is best and a dangerous idea at worst. But at the same time they must also take into the consideration those Muslims who migrated to Pakistan in 1947 are not accepted as Pak citizens and given them Muhajreen status even today. While as Pak born personalities settled in India are running polity of Indian Nation at the top.

K.P’s understand their declaration of inviting Kashmiri pundits to their village and towns is fully loaded with malicious design. They need scape goats to be called as and when needed. They wanted Kashmiri pundits to be used as shield to execute their nefarious designs, the other viable reason for their utterances and invitation is that they have realized the importance of Kashmiri pundits after their mentors in Pakistan have made them understand that their demand for independence or anaxation with Pakistan or self rule or Autonomy can never mature without the participation of Kashmiri Pandits, who practically are a party to so called Kashmir issue. We have been hounded out of our birth land with disrespect and disgrace which is unforgettable, but we have to definitely return to our home valley with all constitutional guarantee and with safety on consolidated piece of “Kashyap land” and have to establish that what they could not achieve with so much loss of life and destruction during twenty three years for which they are themselves responsible.

Kashmiri pundits need not require any body’s sympathy or suggestion for return as they know where lies their interest safety and when is the appropriate time to return to their “Kashyap land”.

We suggest these leaders to apology to all Kashmiri masses for the atrocities inflected to the innocents by the gun yielded youths and goons on the back and support of these leaders, although some people have already shown the magnanimity to forgive and forget them, but majority have not. State and central government have stood behind them by providing concession and healing touches in different ways, forgetting how much nationalist forces suffered as well as destruction and devastation they made. This is an opportune time for them to join national main stream and to show the loyalty towards the nation they live and enjoy. The recent statement of Barrack Obama the president of USA regarding Kashmir is complete message for them.

(This article has been written by Mr. Kundan Kashmiri)

OOPS—Geelani does it again

OOPS—-Geelani does it again
Syed Ali shah-the octogenarian separatist leader (with a heavy tilt towards Pakistan) knows exactly how to remain in news. Time and again, It has been proved that his political ideology is based on heavy dose of communalism. Over the years, he has mastered the art of exploiting religious beliefs of the common kashmiri Muslims .His rantings like his character have changed from time to time, First he had passionately persued the idea of merger of Kashmir with Pakistan and when he saw that the majority of people found his idea repelling, he immediately retracted like a true demagogue.
All the separatists are having a lean period from last two seasons, 2011 as well as this year till today, the people of Kashmir have totally rejected them leading to frustration among the separatists. They are trying every trick in their sleeve to galvanize the public to create the state of chaos and uncertainty.
Amarnath Yatra began in the last week of June and suddenly,all the rabble rousers become active , they know that exploiting this yatra has in the past yielded desired results for them .In 2010, S.A.S. Geelani had blatantly accused the Government of India of conspiracy.he had told his followers that G.O.I is planning to settle the ex-army men at the 100 acre baltal base. He had also accused the govt. of changing the demography of Kashmir by stealthily settling the non-state subjects in Kashmir.
The unfortunate fire at the revered Dastgeer sahib was mourned by all irrespective of the Religions. There are rumors that the inferno at the Shrine was not accidental . The Govt. says that the fire was the result of electrical short circuit. The separatists saw this as their chance to “30 minutes of fame” and tried to exploit the feeling of people. They were successful but “Alas”, It only backfired. Shabir Shah’s face was blackened. Some said even SAS Geelani was also heckled.
All this has happened with the separatist leaders because of the huge tourist influx in Kashmir. Tourism Industry had never been better than this season ,the Taxi Driver, The shikara walla, the guide, The Hotel owners, The shopkeepers and a common Kashmiri are happy because tourists is a synonym of prosperity for a common man. The common Kashmiri ,this season opened the doors of their homes to the tourists as there was a severe dearth of accommodation. The common man knows that if this trend continues , he, his family and Kashmir will prosper by leaps and bounds. Hence a common Kashmiri has given a cold shoulder to the separatists.
To be in news is the bread and butter of the separatists and Kashmiri Pandits, the vulnerable ousted indigenous community could serve the purpose of the separatists especially for S.A.S Geelani.
From past 6-7 years, Govt. has been planning to re-locate the Kashmiri Pandits to Kashmir. The prime factor that has deterred the return of KP’s to Kashmir is their security. The GOI knows this fact and hence GOI and the successive govts. Of National conference and PDP had come up with the idea of making condominiums for the KP’s to instill the idea of security in them. Some flats were made at Budgam district and even some Pandits started living in these flats. But by and large this idea has so far proved to be a fiasco.
Since the inception of this project, SAS Geelani had opposed this move, But never did he uttered in the past that GOI is settling RSS agents in these camps .The fact is, he actually never wants the Pandits to come back to their homeland. His figment of imagination has not even left the MOSSAD-the Israeli intelligence .He has deliberately used the names of RSS and MOSSAD. He wants to convey to the common Kashmiri that RSS or the idea of Hindutva will weaken them ,and linking RSS with the return of Kashmiri Pandits is a way of suggesting that RSS and Kashmiri pundits are one and the same. Linking MOSSAD with the return of Kashmiri Pandits is his way of suggesting that Israel is also a part of this K.P project and hence it become the duty of every devout Muslim to oppose Israel-the known enemy of muslims .
It is very difficult to say whether he is having prophetic dreams, day dreaming because if insomnia, or whether ISI and his handlers across the border are giving him these suggestions, But one thing is sure-he has a phobia—doctors call it xenophobia —I call it KP Phobia….

Odyssey……..

As I began my Pilgrimage,
I said to my soul,
“The fog has cleared now
and the sun will shine
bright in the clear sky.
Let us go on an odyssey”
My Soul said,
“I was waiting for you
to get ready,
for my odyssey
began long time ago…”

I walked for some time
and then I said to my soul,
“It is too hot and sunny,
let us have siesta under
the shade for some time,
before we resume our
Pilgrimage”
My soul said,
“you take rest
I will watch you and
when you wake up
we shall resume our
pilgrimage”

I walked for some time
and then I said to my soul,
“let us watch the sunset
and the ochre at its backdrop
before we resume our
odyssey”
my soul said,
” You watch the dying daystar,
I will wait for you and we
shall resume our odyssey.”

I kept on walking until night
and then I said to my soul,
“Let us sleep this night
and listen to the songs
of the stars up above,
for we will resume our
pilgrimage with the first
ray of light”
My soul said,
“I too shall listen to the
souls who have become stars
in the solitude of night”
“I will wait for you
to open your eyes and
we shall resume our
Odyssey”…

As my eye lids became heavy
with sleep,I heard my soul
whispering these words,

“As the world sleeps
let me tread the path
alone as far as I can .”
“Let me taste the nectar
before someone else
tastes it.”
“let me drink the dew
drops before the thirsty
sun quenches its thirst.”
“let me become the Diamond
before the coal mines crumble”
“let me clean my Heart
before someone again wounds it”
“let me die once again
before I reincarnate”
and
resume my
odyssey.”

Random Photos

The role of Religion is a driving force for Indians.This picture is one such example.Bhim(in pics) is a classical example………Jai ho!!!

This picture was taken sometime back in J&k….

Petition to UN Secretary General..

DIVERSITY-USA
A National Democratic Think Tank on Minority Issues
3145 Gilbert Ave., Roseburg , OR , USA
Fax & Tel: 541-9578414

Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General
United Nations Organization Date: April 12, 2012
UN HQ NY , NY

Sub: United Nations betrayal of the people of Jammu & Kashmir , India

Ref: UN demand that India repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act
(AFSPA) from militant and terrorist infested areas.

Dear Secretary General,

In a recent public statement Mr. Christof Heyns, a U.N Special Rapporteur, has demanded that India repeal its security related law, “The Armed Forces Special Powers Act” (AFSPA), from militant and terrorist infested areas in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) State and in its other States in the North Eastern Region since such laws had no role in a democracy. Like scores of other UN officials who previously visited Kashmir from the West Mr. Heyns also ignored the existing ground realities and favored Jihadists and terrorists as against the people craving for peace and normalcy. Here we would like to deal with J&K since the UN has been debating and dealing with the Kashmir issue ever since the formation of India and Pakistan . To state briefly, the role of the world body relevant to this issue during the past 63 years has been disgustingly poor, irrational and hugely guided by the wishes and desires of the cold war antagonists. In its latest initiative asking India to repeal AFSPA, which in actuality means restoring the freedom of terrorists, Islamists and militants, the UN has betrayed the peace loving people of Kashmir who have waited for more than six decades for the removal of occupation of their territory by the external aggressors that include Pakistan and China and for unification of the State. The patriotic people of Kashmir have suffered enormous losses of lives and properties at the hands of terrorists yet the UN wants India to restore their freedom. It is clear from this policy that the UN does not hesitate to support terrorists, Islamists, murderers and plunderers if its manipulators ask it to do so. The history of UN betrayals in Kashmir runs deep but here we produce some noteworthy examples:

The UN betrayed Kashmiris by not recognizing the accession of J&K State to the Republic of India legally and constitutionally executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of the state, on Oct. 26, 1947. The accession enjoyed over whelming support of the people and their leader Sheikh Abdullah. The instrument of accession was executed in accordance with the provisions and processes of the Independence of India Act duly adopted by the British Parliament.

The UN betrayed Kashmiris by not removing the illegal occupation of J&K territories by Pakistan and China . Both of these countries in collusion like land grabbers and expansionists had committed unprovoked aggression against the J&K State and occupied nearly half of the State;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris by not acting against the aggressors for radically altering the status quo in the occupied territories. The maintenance of status quo was a binding requirement under the provisions of the Security Council Resolution passed on March 30, 1951;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris by not demanding Pakistan, the epicenter of Islamic Jihad, first demolish and destroy the terrorist training camps, Jihad factories and militant organs set up throughout the PoK and Pak frontiers for destroying peace and tranquility in J&K. Osama bin Laden who resided in Pakistan was the number one enemy of the United States and was one of the front line generals of this civilizational war;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris by not stopping and punishing Pakistan for merging Kashmir’s northern territories with Pakistan and placing that entire area directly under Islamabad administration. By doing so Pakistan had seriously violated the directive of the Security Council;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris by not wiping out Pakistan led Mujahideen, Taliban, Al Qaeda, locally built Huriyat and other Islamist organizations for infiltrating in to J&K, launching Islamic crusade, ethnic cleansing, genocide, expelling more than a million ethnic minorities, becoming instrumental for killing more 100,000 Kashmiris with terrorist, Jihadi and militant attacks;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris when it did not stop Pakistan led Islamists from taking forcible control of all movable and immovable properties, businesses, institutions, jobs and professions belonging to ethnic minorities in the Indian part of Kashmir . The world body did not give a damn when the Islamists destroyed and looted hundreds of temples and places of worship belonging to non-Muslim minorities and took control of their estates and institutions;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris when it did not recognize the ousted non-Muslim minorities of Kashmir as refugees and/or internally displaced persons. It did not provide them necessary aid and relief as it had done in other places nor did it take any action towards restoring their human rights, civil, property, religious and political rights. Even now a large number of them survive as homeless wanderers around India and the globe. Countless appeals, petitions and representations to various organs of the UN including your office and the Human Rights Commission brought no relief;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris when in 1998/99, Mr. Feodar Starcevic, Director UN Information Center stationed at New Delhi, India, declined to take action on an appeal by a delegation of the victims of terrorism and Islamic Jihad for UN Secretary General’s intervention and for recognizing them as IDPs on the pretext that such action would amount to meddling into the internal affairs of India. But now like a hypocrite Mr. Christof Heyns, the special UN Rapporteur, in asking India to repeal its security law did exactly the same.

The UN betrayed Kashmiris when it completely disregarded and violated the emphatic declaration of Mr. Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General, to the effect that UN resolutions on Kashmir had lost their force and that the issue of plebiscite was redundant. Clearly a junior official of the UN seriously violated and contradicted the public statement of the Ex-Secretary General yet he was neither disciplined nor was he corrected.

The UN betrayed Kashmiris when it did not direct Pakistan to stop ethnic cleansing in PoK where the population of non-Muslims (Pandits, Sikhs, Dogras, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and others) used to be 20 to 25%. Today there is not a single member of these communities left there. In characteristic Islamist method they were killed, driven out of the country or forcibly converted to Islam;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris by not taking stern action against Pakistan when in 1963 it concluded an illegal boundary agreement with China and bartered away more than 5180 square kilometers forming Kashmir territory to gain Chinese support against India . Islamabad ignored the fact that Kashmir, presently under its illegal occupation, was well within the sovereign domain of India and it had no right to hand over its control to yet another expansionist country. This act of Pakistan constituted a serious breach of the UNCIP resolutions of 13th August, 1948 and Jan. 5, 1949. These serious violations did not bother the lords of the Security Council who deliberately remained hibernating;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris when it did not punish and extract a heavy price from Pakistan nor clipped its wings after it launched one after the other unprovoked wars against India in1948, 1965, 1971, and 1999 to take forcible control of Kashmir . The single ground for Pakistan’s claim upon Kashmir is the Muslim religion of its people yet Islamabad showed no hesitation or reluctance in handing over to China more than 5180 square kilometers of Kashmir’s land without bothering to ascertaining the views of Kashmiris;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris when it did not condemn, intervene and punish
Pakistan for transferring de facto control of Gilgit, Baltistan, Hunza and Nagar regions, (72,971 Km) parts of J&K State within the Indian sovereignty but under the illegal occupation of Pakistan , to China for crushing a strong autonomy movement by Shiia Muslims. These non-Sunni Muslims had launched a popular rebellion against Pakistani iron fisted Sunni rule. To oblige its partner in crime, according to the available reports, China has detailed an estimated 20,000 members of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) not only to bring rebellious Shiias under control and through brutal means bring them to their knees but also to build a fast rail link, Old Silk Road and Karakoram Highway . These roads will enable China to extend its grip on the region and speed up its tankers from China to the Persian Gulf in 48 hours as against 25 days it takes now. Pakistan has condemned this portion of the Kashmiri Muslim population to be ruled by Chinese PLA (military rule) and democracy, freedom, government of the people and Islamic rule all have been bid good-bye. Furthermore, the Chinese are building some 22 huge tunnels on these roads without disclosing their dimensions and purpose. It is believed that they would be big enough to house missiles and other modern weaponry. For maintaining the occupation uninterruptedly the PLA personnel are building permanent enclaves for housing the occupation authority and administration;

The UN betrayed Kashmiris by tricking India in to accepting its nuclear disciplinary regime thus prohibiting New Delhi from producing and or deploying nuclear weapons for its defense. On the other hand China and Pakistan both possess nuclear weapons and are free from the nuclear disciplinary regime of the UN. Therefore, they can move their weapons freely on the newly built Old Silk Road and Karakoram Highway from Tibet to Baluchistan, very close to the boundaries of J&K State . The presence and close proximity of these deadly weapons to Kashmir and India ’s volatile region seriously jeopardizes the security of the rest of J&K state and India . Clearly the world body has acted absolutely irresponsibly by allowing the Sino-Pak partners to militarize and nuclearise this region.

The UN betrayed Kashmiris by ignoring these extremely important factors and asking India to repeal AFSPA without realizing its consequences in the region. The Islamists, separatists, Pak-agents and militants who welcomed and celebrated the UN announcement are already enjoying freedom to function without any restrictions as long as they remain peaceful and non-violent. Accepting the UN demand would mean allowing them to convert the Kashmir Valley into yet another Islamabad, Kabul and Kandahar. That should not be unacceptable to freedom loving and anti-terrorist people any where in the world.

The above stated instances establish that the UN has done nothing to render any type of support, assistance or action which could provide any kind of aid, relief or support to the peace loving Kashmiri and victims of Islamic Jihad. And in its initiative under discussion the UN has also disregarded and trampled upon its own aims and objectives and provided support and legitimacy to the very people who have set Kashmir on fire and who are committed to building an Islamic world order in a “world Caliphate”.

We demand that the UN should be supporting the victims of Jihad, militancy, terrorism and those who genuinely aspire for a durable peace and tranquility in the region. If the goal of the UN is to crush and defeat terrorism then despite the short sighted ideas of its keepers and the temptation of petro-dollars the world body’s present policy must be turned upside down.

One of the major steps forward in defeating terrorism in Kashmir would be to resettle the victims of Islamic Jihad back in their traditional habitat, in a territory carved out for their homeland under their own authority and away from militant Wahabi fundamentalism which has been the root cause of communal upheaval and genocide. The creation of such a territory among other things will most certainly serve as a front line fortress for combating Islamic Jihad and terrorism. For the realization of this noble goal the United Nations should stand by the patriotic Kashmiris who are determined to defeat and bury Wahabbism and its Jihadi arms.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours
Dr. Jagan N Kaul, Chair

BJP’S tactics and idealogy!

Without any doubt, the “Modi- juggernaut” marauded the opponents, and single-handedly catapulted “BJP” to numero-uno among all the political parties of India. For the first time it got absolute majority on its own.

But J&K is different. It has always been so.

With Muslims constituting around 70% of the total population of J&K, and keeping in mind that Islam and politics are intertwined in Muslim World, it is but obvious, that those political parties that will pitch the Islam-rhetoric, though subtly will garner maximum number of Muslim votes. And Kashmir-based mainstream political parties know this well, that is why PDP MLA Peerzada Mansoor, in a rally attended by Muslims, said that only a Muslim can become the chief minister of J&K.

It has always been a battle of Muslim hegemony against Hindu-minorities in the state of J&K. Even the mainstream political parties like NC and PDP have been playing the Muslim-card not only to woo Muslim voters but also tacitly show their supporters, their will and power to subdue Hindus Politically.

The J&k mainstream political parties have been like this since their inception, and it is unlikely that they will change in the future.

But what about BJP! Are they perusing what they had been projecting all along! The answer is a big “NO”. Though most Hindus in J&K are the ardent supporters of BJP and it looks like, they will get around 80% of the Jammu seats, But I fear they may not do so well in Kashmir Valley. Garnering more seats in Kashmir may be good for the party, but, at no cost, should they compromise on their ideology.

Abrogation of article 370 has always been projected by BJP to their supporters as a top most priority , It is a bit disappointing to see that they  have fielded candidates , who have vocally opposed the abrogation of this act, like Dr. Hina Bhat from Amira kadal constituency.She had brazenly spoken against the abrogation of article 370 by saying that she will  pick up a gun if Article 370 is abrogated. It is confusing for the voters to ascertain whether BJP is sticking to its plan to abrogate article 370 or not!! With one phase already over, it is intriguing to see that BJP has not yet come out with their election manifesto.

Also the inclusion of the known sympathizers of Separatists like Engineer Rashid and Sajjad lone has not given good vibes to their traditional vote bank.

Many intellectuals are of the view that it was BJP, that gave birth to PDP when they were in power in center. To end the supremacy of the NC, It is opined by some that BJP created another party(PDP), that was more communal than NC, just to split the muslim votes. These very intellectuals are of the view that the bonhomie between BJP and  Separatist-sympathizers like Engineer Rashid and Sajjad lone, is in continuation of their policy to scatter more conservative Muslim votes and thereby weaken all the Muslim-dependant political parties.

It is also opined that BJP is focusing more on Shias and theMuslim- Gurjars of J&K. The shias constitute  20% of the Muslim –world-Population. But in J&k they are not more than 10% of the total population of Kashmir valley, whereas, The Muslim-Gurjars constitute around 20% of the total population of J&K. Both Shias and the Gurjars have been marginalized by the Kashmir-Based-politicians and have been treated as second-hand citizens since many centuries.

These two groups will prove to be the Kingmakers of the J&K elections. Focusing on these two groups will give BJP their first ever legislative assembly seat in Kashmir. With more that 70% voting in the first phase of elections, the voting trend is a precursor that the voting %age will surpass that of 2008- statistics .It looks like that, BJP will benefit, as people have voted against the ruling coalition of NC-Congress(i). It will be the PDP and BJP that will benefit for the huge turnout of the voting.

With Election-pundits predicting more than 30 seats in J&K, BJP may this time emerge as the single largest party of J&K and may form its government for the first time, On their own or with the support of one of the mainstream Kashmir-based political party. Whatever they do, they must retain their core ideology…

By-vinod kaul

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