Category Archives: islamic jihad

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….

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…

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………..

Islamization of Kashmir through Media Manipulation

 On August 15, 2008, on India’s Independence Day, Kashmir valley witnessed an unprecedented event as Pakistani flag was hoisted in Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar while Indian security forces stood by as moot and passive spectators. Following this, on August 18, 2008, separatists organized a huge rally attended by over 100,000 Kashmiri Muslims denouncingIndiaand demanding Azadi and the imposition of Islamic rule inKashmir. The demonstration was led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani an ex-government school teacher and Congress supported former Member of J&K Legislative Assembly. He was accompanied by other Kashmiri Muslim leaders such as Mirwaiz Omar a religious leader, former terrorists Shabir Shah, Yasin Malik and invited guests such as leftist writer Arundhati Roy and other fellow travelers for maximum propaganda effect.

 

According to press reports (Guardian 8/22/08) “there were green flags on every lamp post, every roof, every bus stop, and on the roof of chinar trees. A big one fluttered outside the All India Radio building. Roadsides were painterd over.Rawalpindithey said or simplyPakistan”

 

Everywhere there were Pakistani flags, everywhere the cryPakistanse rishta kya? La illah illah (What is our bond withPakistan? There is no God but Allah.) Azadi ka matlab kya? La illah illah (What does freedom mean? There is no god but Allah). The crowd chanted “crushIndia”, “When Lashkar comesIndiawill be defeated”, “Kashmirki Mandi-Rawalpindi”.

 

Syed Ali Shah Geelani a leader of Pro-Pakistani faction of Hurriyet began his address with a recitation of Qur’an told the crowd that the only way for the struggle to succeed was to turn to Quran for guidance. He said “Pakistanwas created for Islam and must continue to safe guard interests of Islam. Likewise inKashmirnationalism will not work, the American world order will not work, only Islam unites us……….”

 

In an interview (Rediff.com) with Asha Khosa on August 25, 2008, Mr. Geelani expounded on his plans forKashmir. He said “I have a three point target, first to impose Islamic Nizam (jurisprudence) inKashmir. Islam should govern our political thought, socio economic plans, culture and the ongoing movement. The creed of socialism and secularism should not touch our lives and we must totally be governed by Koran and Sunnat (precedents from Prophet Muhammad’s life)”.

 

Watching this scenario unfold in theKashmirValleymust give the rulers inPakistan, the Pakistani Army and ISI great satisfaction. Having failed to annex Kashmir by force in 1947, 1965 and 1971 wars withIndia,Pakistanwas finally achieving Islamization of Kashmir through subversion, intrigue, media manipulation and terrorism.

 

ISLAMIZING KASHMIR VALLEY

 

To achieve the goal of Islamization, Pakistan ISI had been working hard for over 30 years to change the centuries old Kashmiri Muslim outlook of secularism and Kashmiriyet to the ideology of fundamentalist Islam. This was done by implanting seeds of subversion and terrorism in two stages:

 

Stage I began in 1965, with operation “Gibraltar” with heavy infiltration of Pakistani nationals as well as  military training of Kashmiri Muslim youth. These youths were recruited by Jamaat-i-Islami a theo –fascist outfit with connections to Rabita-ul-Islam the international headquarters of the Islamic fundamentalist movement based in Saudi Arabiaand Pakistani Jamat-i-Islami. This organization developed an elaborate infrastructure for propagating Wahabi style Islamic ideology through mosques, study groups and schools in Kashmiri towns and villages with the connivance of civil adminstartion funded by Indian tax payers. Study circles received money directly from Arab countries through the medium of Muslim Welfare Society, ostensibly for promoting Islamic culture. In mid seventies these Study Circles started operating openly in colleges and universities as well as in Government offices. Moulvis were recruited from UP and Bihar in Indiato whip up communal and secessionist passions. These Moulvis have played a critical role in subverting the Kashmiri Sufi-Islamic tradition and whip up passions against secular and liberal Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims. To expand its influence among women Shoba-i-Khowateen was launched. It advocates strict observance of Islamic codes for women. Its impact began to be noticed when Kashmiri women who for centuries never accepted veil now were using Arab style Burqa. Many members of this organization formed Dukhtarain-i-Millat with the goal of supporting Islamic terrorists by engaging in intelligence gathering, ferrying arms, keeping under custody the kidnapped victims as well as raking up false stories of human rights abuse and accuse Indian security forces of committing rapes in order to gain international media attention. Stage I produced Kashmiri leaders such as Yasin Malik of JKLF, Syed Ali Shah Geelani of Jamat, Dr. Ayub Thukar of World Kashmiri Movement, Ghulam Nabi Fai of Kashmir American Council as well as Syed Sallahudin of Hizbul Mujahdeen based in Pakistan. These people have been at the forefront of media manipulation to denigrate India and present Islamic movement in Kashmir as a movement for liberation and freedom to hoodwink Indian and foreign Journalists, Academics and Politicians.

 

 Stage II of Pakistani subversion and terrorism began with operation “TOPAC” in late 70’s after the defeat of Pakistan in 1971 war with India. It was designed as part of a proxy war byPakistanagainstIndiato wrest control ofKashmir. Having established a viable fundamentalist Islamic infrastructure through Jamat controlled schools, colleges and with thousands of trained sympathizers in the police and civilian government, Operation TOPAC aimed to bleedIndiaand make it powerless inKashmir. The goal was to providePakistancomplete deniability of its involvement as the conflict would appear as an indigenous uprising by Kashmiri Muslims fighting for Azadi against “oppressive Hindu Indians”. Operation TOPAC was conceived by Gen. Zia Ul Huq as an Action Plan for incorporation of Kashmir intoPakistanthrough Jihad and creating a grass roots movement of freedom fromIndiausing Islam as the uniting force.

 

 

 

OPERATION “TOPAC”

 

Operation TOPAC had four aims:

1. Train Kashmiri youths in handling of sophisticated arms

2. To destabilize and discourage the state administration

3. To makeKashmirvalley a Hindu-less Muslim area.

4. To prepare Kashmiri Muslims for Jehad.

 

This was to be accomplished in two phases:

 

Phase 1

1. The sentiments of students and farmers be aroused againstIndiaand their cooperation will be sought for anti-government demonstrations and riots.

2. Create chaos and spread terror

3. Impart military training to Mujahdeen for fighting Para-military forces and the army

4. Disrupt communication links between the valley,Jammuand Laddakh.

5. Help of Sikh militants be sought for insurgency activities inJammuregion in order to divert the attention of security forces in the valley and make the governments position awkward and disgraceful

6. Take control of the areas where security forces are camped.South Kashmiris suitable for this action.

 

Phase 2

 

1. Mount pressure on the Indian Army in Siachin, Kargil, Rajouri and Poonch areas in order to bring down the morale

2. Sudden and vigorous attacks be made on the Army depots and Army convoys atSrinagar, Pattan, Kupwara, Bandipoa and Chowkibal.

3. Afghan Mujahdeen would be infiltrated from Azad Kashmir (PakistanoccupiedKashmir) in order to intensify the freedom struggle of Kashmiri Mujahdeen.

4. Mistake in carrying out “Operation Gibraltar” of 1965 should not be repeated.

5. Special task force under the command of retired Pakistani Army Officers, mainly Afghans will be sent to blast the railway stations, Aerodrome, Jawahar Tunnel, Leh Sonamarg road and Army cantonments etc. After successful operations in the valley, parts ofJammuand Laddakh will also be brought under the full fledged armed insurgency operation.

 

OPERATION “TOPAC” IN ACTION

 

The very first evidence of the presence of arms and trained terrorists in the valley came in August 1988 during the riots that occurred inSrinagarafterPakistanPresident General Zia-ul-Huq’s death in an air crash. The entire town ofSrinagarwas in turmoil with wide spread looting and arson. Curfew had to be imposed on several areas of inner-citySrinagarstrong hold of Jamat-i- Islami. During curfew hours mobs attacked the paramilitary police with semi-automatic weapons, a phenomenon which was unknown before this time.

 

After a lull of one year violence started again in September 1989 with the murder of prominent Kashmiri Hindus such as a prominent Lawyer Mr. Tika Lal Taploo, Justice Neel Kanth Ganjoo, famous Kashmiri poet Sarwanand Premi along with thousands of Hindu teachers, engineers, doctors and civil servants.

 

Mosques became the hotbed of terrorist activity during the winter months of 1989-90 for the recruitment of Kashmiri Muslim boys for the cause of Jihad. Video shows describing terrorist tactics and guerilla warfare began running on a 24 hour basis in the mosques and other public places.Pakistantelevision and radio started creating a sense of hysteria by broadcasting vicious propaganda aimed at arousing the religious feelings among Kashmiri Muslims. Posters started appearing inSrinagarand other towns asking people to observe strict Islamic codes regarding dress, food and entertainment. Video shops and cinema theaters were forced to shut down, drinking of alcohol was banned. Pakistani currency started to appear in circulation and several attempts were made to ban Indian currency. By the end of 1989Kashmirvalley had become a de-facto Pakistani territory with each move of the terrorists legitimized and accepted by the public under duress. Young men wielding guns and pistols began to be accepted as a status symbol inKashmirand being called a Mujhdeen became a real honor for the Muslim boys and their families.

 

HINDU EXODUS

 

On January 4, 1990 Aftab an Urdu daily ofSrinagarpublished a press release from Hizbul Mujahdeen asking Kashmiri Hindus to leaveKashmiror face annihilation. Alsafa another Urdu newspaper repeated these warnings. On January 19, 1990 JKF, Hizbul-Mujahdeen and other terrorist outfits declared the introduction of Nizam-e-Mustafa (Islamic rule) inKashmir.

 

On the night of January 19, 1990 all mosques in the valley began to issue threats and warnings to Kashmiri Hindus with loudspeakers broadcasting taped messages, continuously for 24 hours for three consecutive days creating a psychosis of fear and doom.

 

“Kashmir mein agar rehna hai; Allah-o-Akbar Kehna hai” ( If you want to live inKashmiryou will have to convert and chant Allah-o-Akbar)

 

“Asi gachchiPakistan; Batao roas te Batni san” (We wantPakistanwith Kashmiri Hindu women but without their men folk)

 

“Yhan kya chalega; Nizame Mustafa” ( What kind of law will work here Islamic law)

 

These threats led to the exodus of 350,000 Kashmiri Hindus form the valley ensuring complete Islamization.

 

MANIPULATION OF MEDIA

 

1. Misguided Youths, Militants, Jehadis and Islamic Terrorists

 

The manipulation of Indian media by Kashmiri Muslims began in late sixties after 1965 Indo Pak war with the formation of Jamat-i-Islami affiliated Al-Fatah and Muslim Janbaz Force. These outfits were at the forefront of armed terrorists acts inKashmir.  Their cadres received training inPakistanand funding from Arab countries, eventually morphing into JKLF (Jammu and KashmirLiberation Front) and present day Hurriyet with the active backing ofPakistan. JKLF and Hurriyet touts itself as a secular even though its core ideology is to impose Islamic rule inKashmirand banish Kashmiri Hindus. No one in the media ever questioned why its leaders were only Muslims if it was indeed secular. When some of their activists were arrested and convicted for murder, loot and arson the sympathetic J&K Government Officials would release them by referring to them as Misguided Youths. As reported inIndiaToday, April 30, 1990 “Between July and December 1989, 70 hardcore terrorists were released by Farooq Abdullah government. All detentions had been confirmed by the Advisory Body headed by the Chief Justice of theJammu and KashmirHigh Court”. No one in the media took Farooq Abdullah to task for releasing convicted killers and thus encouraging more terrorism.

 

These misguided youths later became, Militants, Jehadis and now Islamic terrorists

 

2. Migrants, refugees or internally displaced people

 

Kashmiri Hindus forced to flee their homes were dubbed as Migrants by Kashmiri Muslim press. No one in Indian media challenged this terminology. Calling them refugees or internally displaced people would call into question the secular façade ofKashmirvalley and its Muslim Leadership who were in cahoots with the Congress Government.

 

3. Militant religious organizations operating under secular garb

 

InKashmirvalley many organizations espouse to be secular where as their core membership comprises of people with close association with Jamat-i-Islami such as People’s League, People’s Democratic Party, and Hurriyet etc. OutsideIndia, World Kashmir Movement (WKM) inLondonand Kashmir American Council (KAC) inWashingtonDCserve as mouthpiece of Islamists and pro Pakistani elements.  These organizations have hired western lobbyists to project Islamic terrorists as freedom fighters fighting for liberation of J&K fromIndia. These Lobbyists are paid byPakistanand Arab countries.

 

In order to keepIndiaand its security forces on the defensive these organizations employ leftist Indian Journalists, Academics and politicians to espouse and parrot the cause of the secessionist. Kashmir American Council has published pamphlets for distribution to journalists and members of the Congress and Senate in theUSA. These pamphlets have sympathetic reports from Ashok Mitra of Daily Telegraph 5/16/1990, Dr. N. Y. Dole of Rashtra Seva Dal, Syed Shahabudin President Insaf party, reports from All India Revolutionary Students Federation Karnatka, Dipankar Bhattacharya, Secretary General, India’s People Front, Minoo Masani of Dalit Voice and retired Justice V. M Tarkunde. In order to discredit Indian security apparatus inKashmir, Separatists falsely accused Indian Army of rape which was at first accepted at face value and reported as such by the leftist Indian media.

 

In the last 18 years new generations of anti- Indian Mao- Islamists have been recruited to be the mouthpiece of radical Islamists operating under the secular garb. Some of them are Dr. Angana Chaterjee,Arundhati Roy,ASAiyar etc. These pamphlets are used to give legitimacy to the point of view espoused byPakistanfunded secessionists outfits.

 

4. Worldwide Disinformation Campaign through Demonstrations, Symposiums andTours

 

Pakistani ISI and Arab countries have organized and funded the formation of various organizations in Kashmir and around the world to coordinate demonstrations, organize symposiums and lectures to promote disinformation regarding human rights abuses by Indian security forces and project humane face of Islamic insurgency fighting for the liberation ofKashmir. Some of these organizations are: Muslim Welfare Society, Falah-I Am Trust, Dukhtarain-e-Millat in Kashmir and Kashmir American Council in Washington D. C, World Kashmir Movement inLondon, International Institute of Kashmir Studies inLondon,Jammu and KashmirCouncil for Human Rights in London etc.  Amir of Jamat-i-IslamiPakistanQazi Hussein frequently toursSaudi Arabia,Egypt,Sudan,Qatar,Kuwait, UAE in support of Independence of Kashmir and fund raising.

 

One of the earliest examples of disinformation campaign undertaken by Kashmiri Muslims and their secular allies inIndiawas to deny that any atrocity or ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus had happened. All the blame for the exodus of 350,000 Hindus was laid on Governor Jag Mohan who according to them wanted Hindus out so that he could deal with the Islamic terrorists. Indo American Kashmir Forum has worked hard to debunk this canard through symposiums and workshops.

 

Another example of disinformation was the massacre of 35 Sikhs in Chittisingpora nearSrinagaron 3/20/1990 by armed Islamic terrorists dressed in official Indian Army uniforms. Islamists and its allies in Indian media initially blamed Indian Army for the massacre which was proven not to be the case after detailed investigation by Barry Bearak of New York Times.

 

5. Task Forces, Petitions and Letter Writing Campaigns.

 

Faroukh Kathwari a prominent U. S based Kashmiri Muslim businessman has financed Kashmir Study Group composed of University Professors and U. S Diplomats to examine the situation in Kashmirand propose solutions. The Islamist Separatists have taken politicians, journalists and diplomats from various countries to visit Kashmirvalley for propaganda purposes to show-case human rights abuses by Indian security forces. The cadres of Jamat-i-Islami along with Dukhtaran-i- Millat are used to spin horror stories with usual drama. Whenever there is a demonstration in the valley KAC, WKM get into action and activate their friends and sympathizers worldwide to write petitions and letters to the United Nations as well as various Government Agencies. Recent case of a petition to U.N by Dr. Angana Chaterjee againstJammu agitation in support of Amarnath Yatra is a good example.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Reacting to the demonstrations inSrinagar, a well known liberal   Indian Columnists Swaminathan A. Aiyar in Times of India dated 8/17/08 wrote: “We promised Kashmiris a plebiscite six decades ago. Let us hold one now and give them three choices: independence, union withPakistanand union withIndia. Almost certainly the Valley will opt for independence.Jammuwill opt to stay withIndiaand probably Laddhakh too. Let Kashmiris decide the outcome not the politicians and armies ofIndiaandPakistan.”

 

On 8/19/08 Arundhati Roy commented to Times of India “Indianeeds Azadi from Kashmir as much as Kashmir needs Azadi fromIndia”

 

It is surprising that these Indian columnists who claim to be liberal, secularist have no problem to propose the dismemberment of Indiato appease and satisfy Islamist demands. It seems after sixty years of partition we Indians have learned nothing from Muslim mechanization of deceit through Taki’ya to createPakistan which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of Hindus from West Punjab, Sindh andEast Bengal. If we do not wake up it is only a matter of time that India will be partitioned into hundreds of small Muslim enclaves governed by Qura’nic Sharia laws, virtually no-go zones for Hindus and Indian security forces from where Indian Mujahdeen will be free to engage in murder and arson to terrorize Indians and demand freedom from the “Oppressive Hindus”.  Recently Gen. (rtd.) S. K. Sinha, former Governor J&K gave an interview with Kallol Bhattacharjee, The Week 31/08/2008, which sums the challenge we face in Indian media. He said:

 

 “There is an environment of religious intolerance inKashmir. There was ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) from the state but no one talks about them.Kashmirhas been Talibanized by the Separatists. The Secular lobby never condemns the communal politics of Syed Ali Shah Geelani”.

 

 

 This article has been written by Mr. Hira Fotedar

Hira Fotedar is Co-Founder and past President of IAKF (Indo-American Kashmir Forum). This paper was presented at the Sixth Annual Human Empowerment Conference in Chicago in October 2008 as a Case Study in manipulation of Indian media.

 

 

kashmir blogs

Eighteen years have passed since Kashmiri pundits migrated to different parts of India and leaving Kashmir. Last year one of my friends went to hari parbat.While coming back he saw small children playing. He spoke to them in Kashmiri asking them their names but instead of answering their names they looked back to my friend with a surprise. They ran away and said to each other”yem hai koshur boolan” meaning they are speaking Kashmiri. Well eighteen years is a long time and the new generation (Muslims) who were born in Kashmir and kashmiris who were born outside Kashmir (Hindus) have no idea about each other. Religions have created a very deep rift among the Hindus and Muslims of Kashmir. When Muslims started jihad against India 18 years back, they were sure that they will get azadi(freedom) very soon and they also believed Pakistan will help them. On the other part kashmiris pundits were also very sure that in hour of crisis India will help them. Well today kashmiris-both Hindus and Muslims know India and Pakistan are not really interested in them. But they are interested in Kashmir-Both want Kashmir and nobody is bothered about kashmiri people. India and Pakistan have started talking about Kashmir under pressure from U.S.A. Interesting part is kashmiri Hindu and kashmiri Muslims leaders are not involved. I don’t know how are they going to resolve this problem without taking into confidence common kashmiri people-whether Hindus or Muslims!
India says It is secular! But the question is whether India is really secular?
I have earlier written in my blogs about the double standards of Indian Democracy. It is believed that Muslims constitute about 14% of the total population of India which means there are around 14-15 crore Muslims in India. Like kashmiri pundits Indian Muslims are also victims of democratic set up of India. Majority of Muslims feel alienated from India because of the drawback of democratic set up of India. Like Kashmiri Hindus It matters very little whether they vote or not not. And since they don’t form majority vote bank of any party, they get neglected. It is a high time when constitution and Judiciary system of India get updated. True democracy is where each and every citizen of India should have equal say in representing Member of parliament, Ministers, Prime minister and President.
From 60 years there has been very little amendment in constitution and judiciary system of India. Caste based politics is very harmful for the harmony among different castes and even states. Reservation based on caste is even more harmful. There should be reservation for economically weaker section but the criteria should not be caste based rather it should start from poorest of poor. But the present democratic system cannot allow this because of vote bank politics.
Poorest of poor in India don’t come under any vote bank. This section of society is illiterate and they struggle for the very basic needs like food and shelter. Every now and then I read in Newspapers India is shining! Rich are getting richer and poor are getting from bad to worse. but who cares! Middle class is also silently suffering. The boom in real estate is only for builders and estate promoters. Some 5-6 years back housing was in reach of middle class. One could think of buying land in Metros and cities and construct a house. But today it is impossible. India is not shining it is disintegrating. Division between rich and poor is getting wider and wider.
The basic needs of food and shelter have become more difficult and the present govt and India is Shining. India is shining only for politicians and economically higher class.
The primary teachings of all the religions are more or less same. Every Religion teaches love, harmony, peace, Kindness, non-voilence discipline and self control. But in present India and world religion is mixed with politics and the basic meaning has been deformed. Religion has not even spared even animals. A dog in Christian gets a Christian name, In a Muslim household gets a Muslim name and in Hindus he become Hindu and he is even applied tilk on forehead. nature is same for all and nature has same laws for everyone. Bodily functions of all humans irrespective of their religion, caste and race are same. The feelings are also same .Mother-child love is same for every religion, caste and race. Blood is red for every human being. Everything is same essentially. Nature does not favor or disfavor anyone. But everything changes for all when religion comes into picture.
Every religion says about heaven and hell, Swarg and nark, Jannat and jahanum ….basically different terminology for same thing i.eAfter death worlds! Muslim will go to jannat after death, Hindu will go to swarg and Christian will go to heaven. What will happen if a Christian accidentally goes to jannat after death? He will definitely feel a misfit. Similarly when a Muslim dies and accidentally he reaches heaven he will also feel misfit primarily because he does not know English!
Nature does not discriminate but religions do. If we speak to a priest, A moulvi or a Pundit one will definitely come to conclusion that there is a war between Allah, god and Bhagwan.Every one wants more and more devotees. But the question is what for? Different names such as Allah, god and bhagwan are same but names are different, but the basic element is same.

Writing above lines has only one motto-We are all same irrespective of our nationalities, religions, caste and race. Same laws apply to kashmiris also but again religion has divided them. Kashmir belongs to kashmiris whether Hindus or Muslims .But who will come forward to bridge the gap between the two communities as there is no communication between these two. We have same ancestors if we go back to may be eight hundred years. But see the present scenario! We hardly know each other. We look towards each other with suspicion. We don’t trust each other! Who is responsible for all this? Is it Religion or politics? Is it India or Pakistan or is it you and me——-common kashmiris?

mass exodus and my memories

Kashmir issue is something which every Indian and Pakistani is emotional about. Politicians from both Pakistan and India have used the Kashmir factor for their political goals. In Pakistan a true patriot is believed to be anyone who hates India and same is true with India also but in this case it is Pakistan to be hated.
I remember It was the month of January date was 20th and year 1990.I woke up at around 5.00a.m and so did my brother and my father. Our destination was tourist center, srinagar.We left our home at 5.30a.m and that was the last time I saw my home. I could see the burning tyres and the smoke coming from burning tyres at every chowk. These burning tyres and bonfire was lit by the majority population of the valley and all night they had been shouting anti India and anti Hindu slogans and throwing stones on Kashmiri pundit houses. Somehow we reached Tourist center. We took a taxi and reached Jammu city at around 4p.m.I stayed at my fathers friends house for around one month and then we booked a flat on rent.
I remember Kashmir pundits gathering at different places and protesting on streets and roads of Jammu .Geeta bhawan was the center point were everyone used to meet. Then government announced registration of Kashmiri pundits and said that they will give some relief in cash and some few kgs of rice, wheat and quilts to kashmiri hindus and this process started at geeta bhawan.It was month of april and april is hot in jammu.Sun stroke was unheard in Kashmir and we did’nt even know what is hot weather and everyone was unprepared of scorching heat at least in first year of migration.
I remember it was late April and I was standing in a queue for my registration at geeta bhawan. In the long Queue I could see the faces with sweat, frustration and anger and suddenly one person fell down on ground due to heat.He was shifted immediately in the shadow and he looked totally exauhsted.That was the first time when I saw someone collapsing due to heat.
I was staying at talab tillo area of jammu.There is a canal of river chenab which flows along with akhnoor highway.The cold water of the canal was a relief to many kashmiris in the summer months and many kashmiris who used to live near to canal used to bath in the canal.I particularly enjoyed swimming in the canal.
Well barsaat was unheard in Kashmir.I had never seen humid conditions of barsaat.most of the kashmiris had never experienced that type of humid conditions.As one sweat a lot in barsaat.Skin infections are very high in barsaat.especially itching.
Mass exodus of kashmiri panduts was not planned by any kashmiri pundit.90% of pundits had thought that they will come back to the valley as soon as the situation comes under control.But that never happened, and I don’t see that happen at least not in coming 5 years. Some say it was Jagmohan who was the brain behind the mass exodus.But that is not true.Common kashmiri pundit has lost any hope of returning back to valley.

.Common kashmiri hindu felt that Indian govt and people of India will react very strongly.But contrary govt. of India suppressed this news and mass exodus of Kashmiri pundits was a minor news in national newspapers.It was two column news in national newspapers and that too on 12th or 14 th page which was hardly noticeable.Majority population of India still don’t know what happened to kashmiri pundits?They don’t know we were forced by the Islamic thought and muslim terrorists to migrate to different parts of India!The population of kashmiri Pundits has been reduced to less than 9000 in Kashmir valley which was originally 4lakh..Still vast majority population of India may be up to 90% don’t know what has happened in Kashmir.Govt of India particularly congress said It is against the national interests of India to publisize the situation which forced us to migrate.But publicizing godra incident is in favour of India! I don’t know how can Kashmiri pundit be against National intrest of India.If kashmiri pundits had shouted “Pakistan zindabaad” instead of “bharat mata ki jai!”then we would be still living in Kashmir!