Category Archives: JAMMU & KASHMIR

Kashmir Police Radicalized!

It was 9.00 p. m.

The phone was ringing, yet Yasir was not picking up the phone.

Well, he was my neighbour and we had spent our childhood together , like many Kashmiri children of our genre did. As part of our tacit understanding, we talked to each other occasionally, and in our discussions, we covered almost all the subjects pertaining to us and to Kashmir.

He is working in the Police department in J&K Government.

I tried again after 10 minutes, just after two rings, he picked up the phone. “Jenab Aadab! How are you doing Brother?” said he warmly. “I am fine. How is your family?”, I asked him routinely. We inquired about the general well being of our family and friends for some time-like we always do-and then our conversation veered towards the more sensitive and somewhat uncomfortable issues.

Yes . it was Kashmir.

“Hurriyat won’t let the peace prevail in Kashmir”, I ingeminated .” They get huge kickbacks from Pakistan”, I further stated. “You are right” said he without inflection. “ In fact, they are funding  the stone-pelters too”, I emphasized. “The militants too get paid for the attacks they carry out on the Indian soldiers”. I further elaborated. He was listening very patiently, without interrupting me. “what do you think?”, I wanted to get his reaction-which always starts with a neutral judgement about India and ends with an inexplicit yet pro-pakistan stance.

“These militants are doing, what they are paid for. They are not bothered about kashmiris or Kashmir. They are like us-policemen. They too are doing their duty. So is Hurriyat. And in this whole process, we- common kashmiris- are getting crushed physically, mentally and emotionally”, said he in a rather angry intonation.

“we are living in a Big Jail. An open-big-jail” His tone was Sullen. “Though, I am a policeman, yet, I try my best to come home by 7 p.m. We  have to go through so many security checks. And sometimes the questions asked by the security personnel is rather annoying and filled with implicit chagrin towards us”. He said in a dreary voice.

I had heard this earlier too. Phrase like “Open Jail” have been often used by Pak-Backed-Hurriyar as a part of their usual propaganda against the Administration. I could have protested, But, I choose not to chime in while he was talking to me.

He was saying something, but I was not listening. His statements had put me in a reverie . I was thinking about our previous interactions on Social Media.

Based on my previous conversations with him, I knew, when we talked about our families and friends, he would be sincere. so was I. But, when we talked about Kashmir, our perspectives would not match at all. Somehow, till date we have managed to put a balance between sincerity and our mutually unctuous narration of our feelings for Kashmir or rather Kashmir imbroglio.  We know for sure that there is a divide between our perspective and the way, we look at Kashmir.

All these facts were flashing in my mind.

There is a Hindu version of Kashmiri Pandits and there is a Kashmiri Muslim version. And they never match.

I was thinking that often, Yasir sends me Face book messenger messages and Whatsup messages. Most of the messages sent to me are forwards pertaining to Kashmir-imbroglio. Much of the content of the forwarded messages consist of the greatness of Islam or in other words the Hegemony of Muslims and their great personalities. The messages also included Zakir Naik’s disparaging videos about Hindus or how ridiculous Hindus and Hinduism is. He had also sent me a link on Godara, or what Arundati Roy said, or Osho’s message on Beef Eating( can you believe it!). On Dalits, Maoists and what not. I could not condone the fact that, till date, he has never once sent me a message which shows the glory of India or the tolerance of Hindus or Hinduism.

I was also thinking that If anyone reads the messages, he sends me, it would definitely look like as if the messages are being sent from the Hurriyat headquarters and not from a JK policeman.

I also wondered if my friend knew or he deliberately ignored the fact that After all, India is the 2nd most Muslim populous country. They have the right to follow Shariah. Being minorities, they have reservations and even a Hajj-Subsidy. On Fridays, they convert highways, busy market places, offices, Government buildings etc. into the praying Ground-that too without impunity.

I was tempted to think that just a day before yesterday, as I was going through the whatsup messages, I had seen a couple of message from Yasir.He had sent a message that showcased-how great Islam is.The other message read-Hindu terrorists did the blast.

It came to my mind that during all these years, I never reacted to his posts. I would like or comment on only those videos, that were more balanced or funny and that were apolitical. I had never emphasized on my being a proud Indian – which I am, or sent any message or video that belittled his faith. But, he on the other hand had made his desires and intentions clear, by sending anti-India and anti-Hindu messages. His innate desires and his tilting towards Pakistan and Hurriyat was too conspicuous. Just because, I tolerated his messages, didn’t mean that I didn’t understood the purpose and his intentions.

I was forced to think, if JK Police personnel, are indoctrinated so radically as his messages suggest. What will be the condition of othe Govt. employees-who don’t have the responsibility to impose law and order. No wonder, there is a rise in the number of incidents wherein not only the quisling-policemen of JK have snatched the rifles of their own elected Government, but they have become active terrorists.

” Isn’t it the responsibility of the JK Government to check such personnel and make it sure that at least the mindset of the policemen is Nationalistic and pro-India. With such policemen, how can the administration deal with the Pakistan sponsored terrorism? “, I was thinking loud.

I was also forced to think, if 70000 more police men are recruited from Kashmir, whom will it benefit? How can I forget that in 1947, the role of the renegade armed forces of poonch/Rajauri played a very important role in snatching POK from Maharaja Hari Singh!
“Are you listening, Sandeep!, hello! Hello!, are you there”, Yasir’s voice woke me from dwam. “Yes”, I cleared my throat, and feigned to be attentive. Our discussion lasted for some more minutes and we bade good bye and Good night to each other.

I was trying to sleep, but I could not stop thinking that Whenever, I had a long discussion with Yasir over phone, I many a times wondered whether GOI, has any plans to tackle this issue?

Because
if they don’t have or if they still are in a deep slumber, Time has come to wake up and tackle this unpleasant reality.

And act fast.

I was reminded of what once John. F. Kennedy said
“We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.”

And then, Sleep came from somewhere and put a haitus to the medley of thoughts and feelings, I was encountering…..

(Sandeep Raj koul)

Beauty of Kashmir

 

On the way to Aprawat.Pic taken from the Cable car.
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A view of Tangmarg…

 

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Gulmarg..
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Vishnu-The protector

Sri Vishnu is an aspect of supreme consciousness who dwells within animate and inanimate beings of creation and controls our inner recesses of our being by constant source of motivation, judgement and perception. Vishnu literally means “the one who encompasses the world” who controls processes of creation and as an interdweller or Antaryaami and yet is unaccomplished by myriad souls and thus is referred as Para Vasudeva.
Among various names extensively used for Vishnu are Narayana, Hari, Govinda, Madhava, Vasudeva, Janardana, Rama, Krishna, Srinivasa, Narsimha etc.
Vishnu is also referred as Peetambara and his common form famous among devotees is the one where Lord is standing in equipoise and is called as “Samabhangi”. In this form Lords color is of rain bearing clouds which signifies all pervasiveness and having four hands. The upper hand holds conch which symbolizes that he is the eternal communicator and thus his word is the source of creation, discus reveals that Lord annihilates the worlds, whereas lower left hand hold mace implying that he always upholds rule of law and suitably punishes those who create havoc whereas his lower right hand is in Varada Mudra which is shown as holding lotus that bestows boons. He sports garland of attractive flowers strewn with wild flowers and Tulasi. Vishnu has a mark on his chest which is called as “Srivatsa” and is representation of Lakshmi as both of them cannot be separated hence this mark. He is donning a necklace of rare gems called as “Kaustabha” and his head has a towering diadem studded with precious gems.
Vishnu is commonly famous through his Dashaavtaras most venerated among them being Rama, Krishna, Buddha. Subsequently there is a complete school of Vaishnavism who consider Lord as Para Brahama with multitude of other gods and deities as attributes of Vishnu. The Lord has various avtars such as poorna avtars, ansha avtars , avesha avtars , leela avtars and jnana avtars which are acts of Lord to communicate with the worldly beings and impart meaningful lessons to humans. All these forms have different attributes, weapons, appearance’s which extended from time to time.
Vaishnavism is the important cult of followers of Lord and are widely spread in Indian Sub continent. It is important to mention that all the Agamas pertaining to Vishnavism were written in Kashmiri at a place called as Predhuman Peetha which is now known as Hari Parvat. The litanies’ written are Panchratra Agamas totaling around 200 in numbers. All the rituals of Vaishnavism are as per these agamas.
According to Vishnu Puran, Vaikuntha is the abode of Vishnu and is most sacrosanct place which is final refuge to the liberated souls. In Vaikuntha Lord is said to be residing on multi headed serpent also known as Adi Sesha. All other chief deities are in full attendance singing hymns and eulogizing lord through their prayers. The Lord is represented with six qualities of Wisdom (jnana), Sovereignty (Aishwarya), energy (Shakti), strength (Bala), valour (veerya) and luster (Tejas).
The Tulsi plant worship is an important ritualistic aspect of Vaishnavism and is offered to Vishnu besides recitation of Vishnu Saahsranaam. Vishnu is said to reside in a pot where tulsi is grown and is offered daily to Lord.
The important places of veneration in Jammu and Kashmir are Naubandhana Teertha also known as Vishnu Pad or Kaunser Nag in Pulwama, Kashmir besides Varahamulha now known as Baramula associated with varaha avtar of Lord and Anant Nag associated with Sesha nag who is also known as Anant nag.
The Vishnu has been the most venerated God among the rulers and hence various temples were dedicated to Him especially by Lalitaditya and Avantivarman. The official patronage for building of Vishnu temples was given during the reign of Avantiverman of Lohara dynasty and a famous temple of Avantiswamin was built near Avantipora.
Later Sikh rulers and most importantly by Dogra rulers the temples dedicated to different forms of Vishnu were built and murthis consecrated in them. The notable among them which stands tall on architectural grandeur are Ragunath temple of Jammu and Srinagar.
All the iconographic orientations of Vishnu in these temples are ornate, aesthetically beautiful and highly impressive.

 

By-Sunil Raina Rajanak
(The author is a founder member Himalayan Heritage Foundation.)

Sun temple of Mattan

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Genealogical Tables of Kasmir Dynasties according to Kalhan

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Source-Rajatarangini by M.A.Stein

peace and Humanity-A Kp’s view…

 

Humanity and violence  though antonyms, are at the extreme sides of the pendulum called History. The pendulum swings from violence to Humanity and back from Humanity and violence.

Before commencing further, I would like you to go back into History of Kashmir, when King Sikander Butshikan (1389-1413) was ruling over Kashmir. He broke almost all the Hindu-temples that existed at that time. 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.

His Son King Zain-ul-abidin, reversed the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.He restored all the rights of Kashmiri Pandits, rebuilt many desecrated and broken temples and gave full freedom of religion to the Pandits. That is why, even today, he is referred as ‘BadaShah”-The great  generous King.

The former was an example of violence and the latter an example of Humanity.

In modern times, I am reminded today, how in 1990, my community of 5lakh Hindu minorities were forced to flee their hearth and homes in the dead of night. Hundreds of Hindu-temples were broken or desecrated . Many properties of the Hindus are still occupied illegally by the miscreants.

 

The mass agitation and the organized violence of 1990 was not impromptu. It was rather the effect of decades of hatred sown meticulously by the so-called-mainstream political parties of Kashmir. It will be pertinent to mention here the role of plebiscite front- the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah. Under the guise of Plebiscite, communal hatred was sown in the minds of the Kashmiris. An impression was given to the majority Muslim population, that they are being discriminated upon, because of being Muslims. The remedy that was suggested by the activists of this front was rather diabolical in nature. Hindu-subjugation was projected as the justice and hegemony of the majority-Muslims. During the two decades of existence of Plebiscite Front, communal hatred was successfully planted in the minds and in the polity of J&K.

1990 was the culmination of the hatred, mistrust and communal abyss. And violence was rather used as an expression of religiosity and freedom of expression.

The role of Pakistan in fomenting violence in Kashmir can not be condoned. In fact, they are the sponsors of the violence in J&K. They have overtly and covertly tried in 1947, 1965 and 1999 to capture Kashmir rather unsuccessfully. But, they have successfully projected their image as a savior of Muslims-at least among the Kashmiri Muslims. Since 1990, they have engaged India in a  low intensity warfare  by creating Terrorists and molding the minds of terrorists on the name of ‘Jihad’.

 

It becomes extremely dangerous, when violence against any community is being justified, particularly on the name of Religion. Mass-Rejoicement over the killings on the name of religion is  extremely sickening,  But, that is what happened with the Kashmiri Hindu minorities in 1990.

The local Mosques-that are supposed to give religious sermons-acted as mouthpieces of the perpetrators, who evoked hatred against the minority Hindus of Kashmir. The loudspeakers resounded with threats against Kps and Hindus. It acted as a tool to instill fear among the Hindus, At the same time, it also made it evident that they have complete control over the administration.

The local Government headed by Faroq Abdullah had totally collapsed. There was chaos all around. Democracy was replaced by mobocracy. And Kashmiri-Hindus were killed in the most grotesque and inhuman ways.

In 1990,Tej Krishan Razdan, came back from Punjab to his native village in Budgam District, as he had heard from the TV, and read in the Newspapers about the deteriorating situation in the Kashmir valley. The Target-Killing of Kashmiri Pandits had started. He wanted to make sure that his family is safe and was thinking of shifting his family to a safer place. Little did he knew , what was in store for Him.

On 12th Feb. 1990,in Budgam, He was accosted by one of his Muslim friends. He persuaded Tej Krishan, to accompany him to Srinagar and both boarded the Matador from Budgam to Srinagar. When the Matador reached Gaw-Kadal, Suddenly, his Friend, pulled out a Revolver and Shot him several Times in the chest. He was dragged to the Local Masjid and his Dead Body was put on display there. It was only in the evening, with Police intervention, his body could be secured.

He was killed mercilessly. He was labeled as an informer. So were hundreds of KP’s. It had become a normal practice to kill any KP and then label him as an informer. Before Killing an KP , the militant in many cases would subject the Body to dismemberment, and incidents , like gouging out of eyes, Multiple Fractures, Skinning of KP Victims took place. The inhuman way of Killing was a part of the Planned Strategy, that was carried out by the Militants backed by Pakistan. The message was clear to the KP’s that,

“Don’t you dare to stay here “.

Apart from the target individual killings of the Pandits; to keep away KP’s from coming back into the valley, the Pakistani Backed Militants also carried out Massacres’ of Kashmiri Pandits from Time to Time. On 21 Mar. 1997, in Sangrampra, 7 KP’s were led away in the dark and shot dead. On 25 jan. 1998, in Wandhama, 23 KP’s were massacred and the local Temple damaged. On 23 March 2003, at Nadimarg, 24 KP’s were massacred.

Not only that, to dissuade the KP’s from coming back, and instill a fear psychosis, the Militants confronted KP’s in Jammu region too.3 KP’s were Killed in Garhat Gool village, Ramban by the Militants impersonated as Army men. They identified and separated 5 KP’s amongst the passengers that were travelling in the Bus. There were Muslims as well as Hindu Dogras too travelling in the same Bus, but they were not touched at all by the Militants. The 5 KP’s were ordered to alight from the Bus. Sensing danger, 2 KP’s escaped from the clutches of their captors as one jumped down into the ravine and the other one ran up towards the Hill. The rest of the3 KP’s were Shot Dead. There was a 6th KP in the Bus, who escaped Death , as he did not revealed his real identity. Instead, he had introduced himself as a Muslim and was thus saved.

The message was again Loud and Clear to KP’s-“Don’t you dare to return, back to the valley”.

Having said so, It will again be pertinent to mention here that, for the normal human beings- who for the most of the time remain as just pure, simple ‘Human beings’, the above incidents will melt down their hearts. But, for the strategists and jingoist politicians of Pakistan and their kashmiri corroborators, It was all a part of well-planned strategy.

Pakistan is using Kashmir as a shield to its existential threat as a Nation. It has somehow galvanized its public on the name of Kashmir, by using phrases likes, “We the Muslims”, “Jihad” etc. It has unctuously projected itself as a messiah of Kashmiris. The fact however remains that, Pakistan has illegally donated part of J&K, i.e the Aksai-Chin to China-its partner in crime.

China, on the other hand is exploiting the natural resources of Baluchistan, and are using the sea  surrounding the Pakistan to further their regional hegemony and project itself as a superpower.

We know this fact that Pakistan is at the brink of inevitable balkanization. We all know, how the rights of Baluchis or Baluchistanis have been blatantly trampled upon by the Pakistan, irrespective of their common faith. We must remember that erstwhile East Pakistan too was a Muslim-Majority area, But they opted to be a separate Nation . This makes it clear that Religion alone can not be a binding factor. The local indigenous culture too is important.

But in case of Kashmiri Hindus-who shared the common culture with the majority community; Religious fanaticism  weighed down the centuries old Kashmiriyat-The kashmiri word for communal harmony.

The seeds of hatred sown by the selfish polity of Kashmiri politicians , Pakistan and its Kashmiri corroborators  have grown up to become the trees laden with the fruits of violence. And this violence has taken thousands of lives over the last 28 years. This violence has uprooted a whole community. And this violence has prevented the Kashmiri Hindu community to come back to Kashmir.

Before sheikh Mohammed Abdullah made the Plebiscite front, he had made another political Party – The National Conference-which still exists. It was Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and his National conference who came to the rescue of Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs in 1947, when Pakistan had attacked Kashmir and were selectively killing only Hindus and Sikhs. The comrades of National conference laid down their lives to protect the lives of  Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs.

It is rather strange, that when most of India and Pakistan was burning in religious-Violence, Kashmir remained untouched and the Hindu-minorities of Kashmir felt safe there. However, the peace was blown into pieces by the violence unleashed by the Pakistani terrorists and everything changed.

Terrorism and violence are synonyms and they both are destructive for the mankind. To protect the mankind, the evil of terrorism must be completely rooted out. Any group or Nation, that is manufacturing terrorists must be dealt with Iron Hands.

Pakistan, we all know expertise in manufacturing terrorists. In fact, that is their only expertise. The world must unite together to fight this evil. We should not wait for another 9/11 attack, or London Bombings, or Mumbai attack, or for that matter, another Taliban or another Kashmir. These all are directly connected to Pakistan.

For the best interest of the world, Baluchistan and Sindh area should be taken away from the present Pakistan and announced as separate countries.

For the Kashmiri Hindus, The elusive symbol of peace-The Dove is still caged somewhere and so is the Humanity. It has been almost 27 years now, since Kp’s were ousted by the Violence unleashed on the name of Jihad. There is still a hope, that peace will prevail once again in the valley.

 

Time has come when the World must come together and wipe out the terrorism completely from the face of Earth, so that,  the pendulum will sway again towards the Humanity,  the peace prevail and the Doves free once again..

 

 

 

 

The I-I (philosophy)

In Yog vashist, an allegorical anecdote is repeated ‘N’ times…
A witness witnesses a crow sitting on a coconut tree.As soon as the crow flew , a coconut fell down on the earth.The witness wrongfully co-relates that because the crow flew from the tree; a coconut fell down.
In reality, if the crow hadn’t flew, the coconut would have still dropped down.

It has been mentioned that it is the wrongful identification with this body(or mind) that is the root cause of all ignorance.

Sage vashist reveals to Rama that the greatest virtue is the renunciation of mind-the ephemeral ‘l’.

This ‘I’ is the reflection of the real unversal ‘I’-the Shiva. Shiva is the supreme ‘I’, the consciousness of the consciousness. The transitory ‘I’, that is according to KS-the contracted form the universal ‘I’- embodies itself or limits itself or creates an feeling of a separate ‘I'(duality or maya)

Out of play, the shiva(consciousness)(experient)who has the nature of Ananda(bliss)-wants to experience ‘Ananda’ in knowledge(pramana) as well as object of knowledge(prameya).But to have these both attributes, there should be time, space and ‘I’.

The supreme ‘I’ because of ‘Bliss’ creates maya, and the only one I.e ‘I’-the shiva-gets contracted , the attributes of universal ‘I’ gets contracted too once it comes In contact(or enters) Maya.

According to KS..following contractions happen to the universal ‘I’- who is originally full of
Chaitanya(consciousness)
Anand(bliss)
Iecha(will)
Gyan(knowledge)
Kriya(action)…

Chaitanya gets contracted and becomes Kala(कला)-limited creativity
Vidya(limited knowledge)
*Raga(attachment)*
Kaal(time)
And Niyati(…this is space)

Because ‘I’ the Shiva(consciousness of consciouness) is the universal first person, it always remains the first person, ‘I'(though limited, once it comes In maya) and the knowledge and object of knowledge remains the 2nd/3rd person. Because ‘I’ loose the unlimited creativity(because of contraction and becomes Kala) , the unlimited knowledge associated with it too gets contracted(vidya)….Then arises Raga(attachment)…..the ‘I’ is in the process of attaching itself to the objects of all the duality or differentiated consciousness. It becomes this whole universe full of sentient(in the form of knowledge and object of knowledge) and insentient beings(in the form of knowledge of insentient)….The universal ‘I’ becomes the ‘I’ of you and me and all beings.

Kaal and niyati…in other words denote the time and space. Space is internal too i.e ChidAkash…it denotes the space inside our mind, where thoughts and feelings rise and fall…

A child remains in the stage of non-duality(and bliss) , till he/she ignorantly superimpose their consciousness on their bodies and entrap themselves as , ‘I am this body ( in time and space)

If we meditate on the transitory ‘I’, and try to find out the source ‘ME’, we realise that we or ‘ME’ is a witness to all the physical and mental activities.We can negate anything and everything that we are witness of, because that is the 2nd/3rd person and the witness (of witness) always remains the first person.

If we delibrate further, we can go up to the void, out of which the mind and its thinking faculity arise. It is not possible to go beyond that void, through the means of mind -which is a synonym of duality.

Vedantis say when we are not aware of ourselves, mind comes into effect instantly; and when we concentrate on mind, it ceases to exist and we remain just as an awareness.But to maintain that awareness is difficult.

‘I’ of supreme consciousness  is non dual in nature so is the transitory (dual) consciousness as long as we maintain/center our awareness on it.

It too is pure awareness as long as we maintain that one-pointednesss. And it becomes truly dual ‘I’ when that awareness is broken, and that ‘I’ becomes the source of all duality…

However….it like shiva-The universal first person always remain the first person.

Abhinavgupta has mentioned Shiva as the ever present ‘NOW’, Shakti as ‘Future’ and past as ‘Pashu’ or ephemeral being.He also mentions that future and past have their origin in ‘NOW’-which is ever present.

This ‘NOW’ is again the synonym of ‘I’ or awareness.

In our lives too, everything is centered around ‘I’. Thinking of past or future is possible only because of ‘NOW’-the ‘I’.without this ‘I’ nothing exists not even ‘NOTHING’ or ‘VOID’.

The ephemeral being as written above denotes himself as ‘I’ and almost everyone belives or has experienced that ‘HE’ has never really changed, though his body has grown old. Somehow the witness(I) of the changes never change.

Subconsciously and linguistically, we have firm faith that the witness(I) is eternal.if someone dies, we say , May he go to heaven’ or VBAJ. What does that mean!

Who will go to heaven or Vaikunth? For example, if I imagine of my death, I immediately picture myself in Heaven/Hell or Vaikunth. Who is it that I am imagining myself to be! I will have no physical body but that does not deter me.Isn’t it that the ‘I’ that I imagine to go to heaven is the witness-whom I know by ‘I’.

It is for that ‘I’ we perform ‘Shraddh’ or other religious practices as we (all human race) have firm belief that the witness will remain, though somewhere else.

The ‘I’ is the first thought that arises when we wake up in the morning and it remains the last when we fall sleep.The dreams too are centered around the ‘I’ and so is the deep sleep.

Shiva- the ‘I’ is sarv-vyapak(ever pervading). He is the awareness of awareness.Revealing and concealing his own self is his play.

But nonetheless , he remains in us as the ever present witness whom we call ‘I’ .

 

(based on the philosophies of Vedant and Kashmir shaivism)

Yaarbal..

As a teenager and -that too in Kashmir- The Mountains, valleys, lakes , streams and rivers just looked so familiar,natural, perennial and Ubiquitous .Even in my imagination and dreams, I would see myself somewhere surrounded by these elements.

Swimming was my all time favorite activity. Being a Rainawarian, I used to swim in Dal Lake very often . And whenever I used to stay put for night/s at my ‘Matamaal’ in HabbaKadal during summers, I used to make it sure to go for a swin along with my friend Sanjay to River Jhelum near the bridge of Habba-Kadal .

We had chosen the ‘Yarbal’ (Bathing Ghat with steps)of ‘Purushyar Temple’ as a base for our swims.We used to  swim across the River and reach The opposite bank of Yarbal , then swim back. Because of the drift of river, we were flown down and while coming back towards the purushyar, we were further drifted away downwards. We used to run barefoot in the bylanes and reach back to The Yaarbal. The River was deep and many a times , we would hear about the incidents of drowning. But we were expert swimmers and that hardly bothered us.

Sometimes, we along with other teenagers and children would jump from the Bridge of HabbaKadal straight into the Vitasta.The exhilarating feeling of jumping and hanging in the air for some seconds was awesome.So was the feel of the adrenaline rush ,  when our feet touched the Sandy bed of the Jhelum.

I re-visited Kashmir last year in the month of August.I had hired a taxi and directed the Driver-Ajaz to take me to Habba Kadal.Once we reached the Bridge, I told him to stop.I looked around but could not identify most of the New Habba Kadal locality.I alighted the door and stepped down.

The  KP’s once formed the majority population of this area.Their conspicuous absence added to the feeling of being at an unknown, yet familiar place.

A new Bridge has been constructed just adjacent to the Old bridge. When I looked down from the bridge to River Vitasta, she looked emaciated. I tried to compare her with the images of Jhelum,that were imprinted in my memories. She looked as if someone had drained out all her water and her vigour.The shallowed-Vitasta, looked as if   she was ashamed of her present condition.

I ambled further the bridge and turned right towards a by-lane.I was told that it will lead me towards the famous ‘Purushyar Temple’.I walked ahead in the claustrophobic , stinking , narrow bylane and within a couple of minutes ; I had another glimpse of the temple. It was already late evening.I stood for some time at the mouth of the wider staired lane ,that lead to the temple . Few steps further downwards , I could see the barren Yarbal.

I could recall vividly , how the ‘Yaarbal’ abuzzed with activity.In the mornings, KPs  from the adjoining locality visited the Purushyar temple, some even used to take a dip in the waters of Vitasta before entering the temple.Other’s  used to come in the Late morning and take a bath with the River-water.They rubbed and covered their bodies with the thick froth of the Soap. The bubbles of the froth would many a times float in the air for a short distance and then  blow off silently. Some people would be seen washing their clothes. A few people would just sit on the stairs and watch the River passing by.

I turned my sight towards the Temple.It looked as if somebody had turned on a Bulb.I peered through the late evening light , but could not see any figure. Nonetheless, it was evident that , some KPs are coming to the temple and are offering their prayers.However, I could not see a single soul around the temple.The so familiar waft of the incense sticks and ‘Dhoop’ too was absent.So was the resounding peal of the temple bell.

Few Passerby’s looked astonished at my behaviour. After all ,how many people would stand at that junction and look at the Yaarbal and Temple in that late evening ! For them , my behavior was suspicious.A group of men gathered at some distance from where I was standing and started murmuring something.

Finally a man from that group came forwad and  asked me in Kashmiri, “Are you looking for someone?”. I smiled and in a friendly way, I answered, “Oh Nothing”. I gestulated. “Well, I have spent some of my early days in this area.I just wanted to see the places where I had lived”. “Are you a Kashmiri Pandit?” he asked exitedly. “Yes, I am.” I replied. “I am looking for a KP friend’s house, who too lived in this locality, but can’t locate it”. I added.

“Most of the people who live here now, have come from other localities. But, there is this fruit-vendor at the start of HabbaKadal.He knows about all the Pandits of this area.I will lead you to him”. He said warmly. “Yes, I saw that Vendor.I will speak to him just now.” I feigned.”I think I should go now.” I informed him. He shook my hand firmly and went away in the lane and disappeared from my sight.It was dark now.I decided to go back and in no time, I reached the bridge, where the driver of the cab was waiting for me.

Ajaz-the cab driver was waiting for me anxiously. As soon as I approached him, he said impatiently, “Should we go now Jenab?” Without looking at him, I answered , “Just give me two more minutes.”

I walked a few steps further on the HabbaKadal bridge.I again looked down at the Vitasta.I could just see the reflection of the shimmering lights on it. I looked at the Purushyar temple once again for the last time. It was dimly lit.The Windows were still closed.

And the Yaarbal still barren……

Dilapidated temples of kashmir

 

 

 


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Selective targetting of KPs?

What is wrong in showing concern for our brethren in Kashmir?

Just a few days back, when Burhan wani was shot dead in an encounter with the Armed forces, whole of Kashmir valley shut down.They have right to protest but so does the KPs.

Isn’t it true that some transit camps of KPs were stoned by the angry protesters-most of whom happened to be Muslims-and it took hours before they were rescued by the Indian armed forces.May I ask , why were they stoned? May I ask why are they holed up in transit camp?

They are living in transit camps for the same reason due to which 4 lakh(approximately) KPs had to fled in the dead of the night.Should we forget that in 1989-90, KPs were killed in the most gruesome manner, for absolutely no fault of theirs except one.

We were Hindus and represented India…

The KPs in the transit camps were targeted by the so-called-miscreants for exactly the same reason.while, they were targeted by the frenzied mobsters, few KP had sent an S.O.S to their friends and relatives outside the camps.There was complete chaos all around.

The memories of 1990 haunted back to KPs once again.

Many rumours were also spread by the rumour-mongers; and it was very difficult to sieve out the truth from falsehood.Most of the KPs were concerned about the welfare of their friends and relatives back in Kashmir.Different platforms as well as social media was used to apprise the community about the latest situations in Kashmir.And many KPs were doing their bit to spread the information pertaining to KPs in Kashmir.

One such KP was SH.Ashok Koul-a journalist and a senior citizen.He was informed by one of his acquaintance in Kashmir that 2 KPs are reported to be killed.He posted the information on his FB.Later on the news proved to be false.Ashokji apologised publicly as soon as he came to know that the news was a canard.

However, as it proved to be, Ashokji was booked by the Cyber cell for creating rumours and creating ill-will between the two communities of Kashmir.

C’mon, you must be joking! A KP booked for showing concern for his Brethren ! But unfortunately yes! This is what has happened.

Is false-reporting the parameter for booking someone.If yes, why is this exercise implemented only on a KP? Isn’t it true that BJP’s unsucessful contestant from AmiraKadal constituency-Ms.Henna Bhat just a few days claimed on a National News channel that 1 lakh Kashmiri youths have lost their lives during the 27 year long insurgency.Where did she get those figures?

Officially approximately 55 thousands people have lost their lives. The figure includes all civilians, Militants, and Armed forces.Doesn’t that exaggerated figure fuel the communal tension and malign the image of India!

Hurriyat conference and its coitere puts the figure to somewhat 5 lakhs. Has the Cyber cell booked them too? If we look at the Pakistani supporters and their puppets, many of whom are very active on the social media; and the inflated figures provided by them about the so-called atrocities committed on Kashmiris; One will be bewildered. They in fact should be booked on the charges of sedition.But have they?

No.

For such elements, the govt has the policy of healing touch.

What about the wrong-reporting of the Kashmir newspaper ‘Greaterkashmir’. Isn’t it true that in 2014, they had mislead the entire valley, when they claimed 4000 KPs are undertaking the ‘Kaunsarnag-Yatra’. However the fact was that only 28 KPs were going for the Yatra.

I challenge the Cyber cell to book them first.If one goes through the content they have been publishing over the years; it might look as if ‘ISI’ is directly owing it.

If no step has been taking against all these people and organisations; then why only a KP? At least he immediately apologised when he realised the news was fake, unlike Hurriyat and its coitere.

Kashmiri Pandits demand the harassment of SH.Ashok Koul should be stopped immediately or else book all those people who are / have been indulging in the same acts.

If not, take back the case against SH.Ashokji.Concerning about the welfare of our brethren is not a crime.Don’t choke the voice of a KP.

Let there be equilaty of justice for all….