Tag Archives: KASHMIR BLOG

The Gool Massacre of Kashmiri Pandits

My Father Mr. Ashok Kumar Raina S/o Shivji Raina, native from Sopore(Baramulla Distt) was a great educationist, superb human being and a very loving father. As a person, he was very simple, down to earth, honest, tolerant, brave and very caring, He was M.Sc Physics (Electronics Hons.) from Agra Unversity. At a very young age of 23yrs, he was appointed as a Physics lecturer in Jr.College. He was very happy, the way his career was shaping. Routine transfers and new academic approaches were keeping his life busy. He was a responsible family man and created a nice balance between his personal and professional life.

In 1988, militancy had sneaked in our beautiful Kashap Land “Kashir”. There was Islamic terror spreading at a very fast pace and their motive was to spread hate, horror and scare in minorities particularly Kashmiri Pandits. Militants wanted to establish Nizama Mustafa. They started harassing and killing Kashmiri Pandits and also targetting Army and Airforce officials. Our Pro India sentiment was always mocked and crushed. In 1989 -90 under the sinister plan of ethnic cleansing, lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits were driven out from there homeland Kashmir. I remember me and my sister was sleeping and my father came and told us to get ready as we are leaving Kashmir. We got few suitcases ready and with the help of some local friends my father arranged Minibus for our family (me, my sister, my grandparents, my mother and father) left for Udhampur. I was 11 yrs old and my sister was 14 yrs. On the way, we saw thousands of KPs in trucks, cars, buses heading towards Jammu. My father told us that we are moving out of Kashmir because it is not the safe place for our community now, once things normalise we will come back, right now it is better to stay away from Kashmir.

It was a mass exodus and it was very painful. This was the story of every Kashmiri Pandit. We became migrants in our own country. We took refuge in Udhampur. The life of hardship and struggle started but in my heart, I was sure that we will see a better life as I considered my parents as heroes and knew that they will make it better for us. Every day I used to see the pain and agony in my grandparents and my parent’s eyes. Our usual schools started and we started adapting to different culture and climate.

Finally a good news after a long time, in Aug 1991 my father got promoted to the post of principal Hr. Sec School. It was a great achievement and a sense of pride for all of us that at 42yrs, he was given such a huge responsibility. At this age, he already had 21yrs of lecturership experience and that itself was a big achievement. Being a young officer he was posted to Kargil(Ladakh), one of the toughest location in India. He served in Kargil from 1991 – 1994. We always used to wait for winters when my father used to come back home, those days used to be the best days. He used to bring a variety of dry fruits and the famous and best one was kubani ( apricot). We used to eat lot of them

Meanwhile, during this time we shifted from Udhampur to Jammu. In 1994 my father completed his serving tenure of 3 yrs in Kargil and he was transferred to Jammu.
Along with my father, 14 other people were transferred back to Jammu. Almost all of them were adjusted in Jammu ; except my father .

He was given the new appointment, he was transferred to Gool (Ramban). There is a norm in J&K Govt who so ever serves in Ladakh for 3 yrs is given an easy and posting of his choice option. My father has already served in Ladakh for 3 yrs and he was transferred to Gool which was also a very tough posting. My father personally met with then education minister and highlighted this issue, but he told my father you are a very young and dynamic officer and you have to go.
My father was denied the fundamental right of posting of choice by the Minister. By rules, he was not entitled to have back to back tough postings. The only fault of his was that he was young. A criminality happened there by flaunting the said norms. My Grandfather told him not to go but my father was very dedicated to his work and finally, he joined at Gool.
Gool was basically a hilly terrain and there were traces of militancy in and around that area. Gool as an area was influenced by Hizbul Mujaheedin Group. My father started his work and started spreading education in that area. There were young Kashmiri Pandit lectures working with him. I remember in some seasons ,all of them had to walk more than 30 km to reach Gool. I have seen bruises and burns on my father’s feet, he was a tough and strong man, he never bothered and moved on.

The darkest day of our lives was just around the corner. My father had come for summer holidays, it was 14th June 1997, the next day my father was leaving for Gool.
In the evening, I and he took my grandmother to an optician and then we went to Shiv Mandir in Jammu. I had chat with my father on loads of topics and we came back home. Ravinderji and Sushilji came to our place to discuss with my father, the travel schedule for tomorrow, as all 3 of them were going back to Gool.

Next Day morning on 15 June 1997 my father left for Gool, it was very early in the morning I was fast asleep. I told my mother why didn’t you wake me up as I wanted to say Goodbye to him. I never knew that I will never be able to say Goodbye to my father. Next day morning me, my mother and my grandmother were sleeping .At around 4 am , bell rang and my mom opened the door .There were few police officers who told us that the bus my father was travelling in was attacked by militants and several people are injured. Me and my mother rushed to my uncle and my uncle went with them. At around 7 am it was across all the newspapers that 3 Kps were killed by militants in Gool. I lost my senses and the day was a long walk of sorrow and grief. Our family was devasted and shattered. In the evening the dead body came, thousands of people were outside our house. we saw him for the last time, I kissed his forehead and finally said goodbye. My sister was holding me and crying. Everyone was crying and my mind had stopped working. I remember even after taking 11 bullets his face looked calm, his body felt soft. At around 10:30 pm all the 3 martyrs were laid to rest in the flames of celestial bliss, OM Shanti. It was the death of humanity.

According to some eyewitness
The bus in which they were travelling was stopped by men in army uniform, 7 Kms from Gool. All Hindus were asked to step down. By then it was clear that they were not security forces but Islamic terrorists. There was some resistance from Muslim passengers, seeing this, terrorist said they are not going to harm them, their commander only wants to talk to them, they even swear by their Prophet and Holy book. 6 Hindus ( 4 KP’s and 2 Jammuites) were taken out of which 2 people escaped one by jumping off the cliff and other by running up a hill. The remaining 4 were made to walk 30 metres near the nullah and 3 Kashmiri Pandits were fired upon by terrorists and martyred and the 4th ( Jammunite ) was allowed to go. The Message was clear. KP’s are the target.

– Shri. Ashok Kumar Raina – Principal
– Shri. Ravindra Kabu – Lecturer
– Shri. Sushil Pandita – Sr.Teacher

So it was a planned targeted killing. He was killed because he was a Kashmiri Pandit. He was killed because he was doing his duty with utmost sincerity and honesty. He was killed because he was the symbol of Kashmir Pandit growth. This heinous crime was executed by Billu Gujjar of Hizbul Mujahideen and Amanullah Gujjar Group. A couple of months later he was killed by Security Forces.

It took me longtime time to understand that my mentor, my hero, my inspiration, my father, was not there with me anymore. I am sure he is watching me from the skies and keeps on blessing us ..Luv you and miss you always ..

By- Vikas Raina

Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri pandits(newspaper clippings)

(From the Twitter handle of Rahul Pandita and Dr.Rajesh Bhat)

Facts on Article 370 and accession of Kashmir

Article 370 / autonomy was not in exchange of Accession.

In certain situations as a student of history, it is important to understand the sequence of events and decisions. If the sequence is lost, the essence of history is lost.Some people do it unknowingly others do it deliberately to further their agenda.

The history of Jammu Kashmir & Ladakh goes back to more than 5000 years of Sanatan Dharam, Kashmir Shaivism, Bhuddism and Islam. The aboriginal Kashmiri Hindus and Buddhists have been going through simmering #Genocide, induced displacement and migration since the religious fundamentalists have adopted violent ways of killing and converting people from other faiths. The language used in Kashmir till 1300’s was Sanskrit with Devnagri and Shaarda Script. It was changed to Persian because of the invading rulers. After the beginning of Dogra rule the official language was changed to Urdu.

Before Anglo Sikh war Raja Gulab Singh was heading Jammu region for Lahore Government. In this war, the Lahore government was defeated by britishers and was supposed to pay an indemnity of one and half crore to britishers. Since Lahore government was not in a position to pay full amount and britishers were not in a position to go for another war with Dogra ruler, an amount of 750000 Nanakshahis was paid by Raja Gulab Singh, where after britishers ceded the region of Jammu and Kashmir to Gulab Singh. Some people are hell bent to suggest Kashmir was sold to Maharaja where as fact of the matter is – The State of Jammu and Kashmir was ceded to Maharaja Gulab Singh by virtue of Treaty of Lahore in 1846.

Maharaja Hari Singh did not wish to join either pakistan or India, although he ultimately acceded with India; it was to protect his subjects and the state from invasion led by pakistan in violation of the Standstill Agreement signed between state of J&K and pakistan before 15thAugust 1947. As a consequence of his wish he probably wanted to have some kind of autonomy to govern his state Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 in some ways could have been a consequence of Maharaja’s wishes, but the governance after accession was rapidly moving out of his hands to National Conference. In 1932 Muslim Conference was established which was later renamed as National Conference and was led by Sheikh Abdullah. In 1953 Jawahar Lal Nehru realised his mistake of supporting and promoting Sheikh Abdullah and ultimately he detained Sheikh Abdullah for 11years.

Partition of British India happened on the basis of religion – two nation theory. As an extension of this concept, founders of pakistan desired to have as many pakistans within the geographical boundary of Indian Dominion, which for obvious reasons was not allowed by Sardar Patel / India. Every thing that pakistan has been trying since 15thAugust 1947, has been in pursuance of their desire to illegally annex Kashmir. As a consequence pakistan has always considered India / J&K as its enemy no.1.

Pakistan in violation of standstill agreement with J&K -a land locked state- stopped its trade routes, which were till then historically used for movement of essential commodities like fuel, wheat, cloth ammunition etc. to the state, it also blocked posts and telegraph links to J&K.
Over and above, pakistan attacked and killed thousands of kashmiri hindus, muslims, sikhs and christians to annex J&K .

Article 370 was a mechanism of allowing a separatist state by not allowing many fundamental rights to millions of people – Kashmiri Hindus, Dalits, Refugees from pakistan,Valmikis, Gorkhas, women who married outside the state of J&K and was also damaging India from within.

In a Secular Democratic Republic of India the constitution of India is very liberal towards minorities and hence there was no need to actually have a separate constitution for a state adjoining pakistan. But J&K was allowed to have a separate constitution which did not allow unconditional free flow of laws for the subjects of J&K, even though they were applicable for the remaining states of India. Over and above, the article 35A was inducted via presidential order without approval of Indian Parliament, which allowed government of J&K to define citizens of the state – effectively we had citizens of India who were not citizens of J&K and the constitution of J&K was biased against citizens of India.

In the mean time punjabes from west pakistan which dominated the military establishment of pakistan started discriminatory tactics with the people of east pakistan mostly bengali, who were culturally different. East pakistan revolted against west pakistan which culminated in formation of Bangladesh as a separate country after 1971 IndoPak war even though both parts of pakistan had been established on the policy of same religion.

After defeat in the war of 1971, former military head of pakistan Zia ul haq in 80s devised a strategy known as operation TOPAC.Basic objective of this strategy was to annex Kashmir with pakistan and to destabilise India. Even today this is the foundational strategy used in one or the other form. Due to lack of political will the parties heading J&K and Indian government till now were knowingly or unknowingly allowing pakistan to make deeper inroads in Kashmiri and Indian civil society. The effects of this prolonged self imposed servitude shown by then governments of J&K and India has now necessitated an unprecedented Government lock down in Jammu and Kashmir, even though unofficial continuous lock downs have lasted at least 13 days in past which were called as hartal or Civil Curfew; effectively making the paradise of Kashmir a living hell for common masses living across the province.

The fact that whole J&K including PoJ&K, Ladakh and Gilgit Baltistan acceded with India. The territory which is in control of countries other than India is the disputed territory not the area within the current geographical boundaries of India.

The misconception created by vested interests to suggest a freedom movement by the some people gets defeated by the fact that genocide and massacre of Hindus and Sikhs was being perpetrated in the name of religious fundamentalism as driven by pakistan agenda to annex J&K.

By:Ravin
Reference:My frozen turbulences in Kashmir- Sh.Jagmohan

A History of Kashmir-Sh.PNK Bamzai

PARMESHWARI AGITATION –1967

The HIGH & LOW OF KP AGITATION 1967

Parmeshwari Agitation of 1967 is 52 years old. During these 52 years much water has flown down the Jehlum, Changes in all spheres have taken place beyond imaginations. The men and women who took part or have an appreciable impression of the month long agitation and are alive are over 70 years old ——- leading a well earned retired life , looking after their grand children or nursing their old age health problems. 50 years is a very long period to remember vividly all that happened during the agitation. So it is natural they may have nearly forgotten or at best might be having some faded impressions.This write up is to revive the memories of that agitation among the elders and for the youngsters of the community to draw their own conclusions.

This writer was a college student during the agitation. I was born in a family where Politics and Journalism had already taken birth since 1939. A large family consisting of more than 30 members would sit together after the Dinner to discuss every thing under the Sun.This was the order of the day. Most of the time our immediate neighbours would also join the discussions .Such discussions had helped us to be rational thinkers.This writer shared what ever observed or seen during the day and get corrected after interaction with the family members. The month of JULY brings me back the month long memory of the agitation , hence this write up.

Many intellectuals & authors have written about this agitation . Almost all of them have blamed the majority community for having engineered and helped the handing over of Parmeshwari to her Muslim paramour . But we have turned blind eye how our own people helped her to be handed over to her paramour. The main purpose of this write up is to put the record STRAIGHT. Sitting in the glass houses and throwing stones at others is not the solution. While we have the liberty of putting the blame at the door of others , we should first clean our own house. Let the future generations and research scholars have both the views in front of them and make their own conclusions. I would request the readers to go through the write up and express their opinions freely with out any reservations. This writer will welcome both the brickbats and bouquets.

I have deliberately avoided the names in the write up. Most of them are dead and by naming them this writer does not want that their descendants should be visited by the sins of their elders . I have kept the month long happenings to the briefest lest reader looses the plot while going through it.

PARMESHWARI AGITATION —-1967

The Spring of 1967 had given way to the Summer. The days become large , sky clear and the temperature rising with humidity. The people of the valley were enjoying the last month of Summer —- August , and every thing looked hunky dory.Little did the people know that a volcano was brewing in the centre of Lal Chowk. The epicentre of the volcano was the ground floor of LALLA RUKH HOTEL, which was the retail centre of groceries of the Govt. Co -operative department ( a very poor cousin of present day Mall) along side the old city bus stand very near to the Tyndale Biscoe School. The store had many sales people ( both girls & men ) .
Among the Sales Staff, one of the sales girl was PARMESHWARI ( the daughter of a widow residing in Bagh Jogi Lanker , Rainawari ) , and the other other was GHULAM RASOOL KANT( resident of Wazapora , Ali kadal ).Working in the same place and under one roof they started liking each other. Incidentally , the Manager of the Co operative outlet was a burly mustached Kashmiri Pandit , resident of Bagh Jogi Lanker ,Rainawari(the writer does not want to name him ) living just 500 meters from the residence of Parmeshwari . The romance between the two was happening before his eyes but ,kept silent for reasons best known to him. It is a mere presumption now that had he spoken to her widow mother the situation could have been saved. The romance having reached a point of no return , the two decided to go for marriage. Parmeshwari eloped and started living with Gh. Rasool Kanth.

The widow mother lodged a missing report about her daughter. The widow also approached some KP Leaders who became active and got in touch with the police. Their contention was that the girl is minor and has been abducted, the girl should be restored to her mother. But the Birth record and the Municipality record showed that she is “MAJOR”. The news was leaked to the muslim controlled vernacular press who lapped it up and prominently published it. At the same time the news spread like wild fire among the KP community. The murmurs started getting louder and louder. Sensing the grave situation the State authorities instructed the DIG Police, Kashmir to get hold of the girl and hand her over to the mother. The DIG Police Kashmir range happened to be a tall handsome Kashmiri Pandit IPS officer who thought that he was the only honest and efficient police officer who knew the rules and regulations at the tip of his tongue ( the writer does not want to name the officer). Going through the birth records , he declared that the girl is major and can decide about her future. In fact a meeting between Mother and daughter ——- who by now had changed her name to PARVEEN AKHTAR, in presence of KP activists in the police station was arranged. She tersely told her mother that she knew about the whole affair because Gh. Rasool would come to our home quite often. The mild tremors started assuming the shape of earth quake high on the Richter scale. Two types of “PROTESTS” started . One was the day protest held on the streets and the other was the evening protest where fiery speeches were delivered on the lawns of the SHEETAL NATH —— Head quarters of the All India Kashmiri Pandit sabha. This writer would deal separately lest it causes confusion.

DAY PROTESTS

The news spread like wild fire not only in J&k but in all the principal cities of India where ever there was a sizable population of the community. Since Electronic media had not come up of the age ,the print media both local and National lapped it and splashed the news on their front pages.In the meantime “ACTION COMMITTEE ” was constituted by the community. The members of the Action committee were the much known faces of the community. The Action Committee had its HQ in Sheetal Nath premises where from programmes and press releases were being issued. The community had become quite restive and was hell bent upon for a show down with the state government.The community took to the streets in unprecedented large numbers spearheaded by the women and girls.The Kashmir watchers who had witnessed protests on the streets at different times were shocked to see the huge numbers of the community women and girls taking to the streets. Known for being mostly the home makers and keeping inside their homes , It shocked everybody including the majority community. Wearing their traditional dress the SAREES , tightened around their waistline, they raised the slogans against the government by raising their arms in fists, they faced and stood rock like in facing the tear gas shells and lathis of the state police. They never ran for shelter and showering of shells and lathis added to their zeal by making their protests more and more vociferous. With lowered jaws and shocked expectations the majority community would throng the places in huge numbers where the protest was going to be held. By and large they conceded that they never had expected such strong and unprecedented resentment.
This writer was witness to one protest held at BAJAJ TOWERS in front of Broca Press .The tall handsome KP DIG came in a jeep thinking that he will himself manage the protesters. Hardly had he stepped down from his jeep than he was attacked by the women protesters who encircled him like attacking bees , pulling at his starch pressed uniform and tearing it. His security staff could not reach him while he was being pushed and pulled. It was the timely intervention of Late Sh. T N Dhar, the then President of Valley JAN SANGH who threw himself around the DIG and pushed him inside his jeep. But for his intervention the handsome tall DIG would have been stripped naked.

Watching another such protest in the Regal Chowk , Late Shamim Ahmed Shamim , the sarcastic and sadistic pleasure loving , M.P. & Journalist wrote in his newspaper “AINA” .” He has watched many protests held at different times , by male protesters , who would run for the nearest shelter after being lathi charged and being showered by the tear gas shells. My shocking surprise came when I watched the protest of Kashmiri Pandit women. They faced the tear gas shells standing rock like and occasionally throwing these back to the police. salute to their bravery and firm conviction”.

Jammu division was also affected by the protests . Jammu city which had a sizable population of Kashmiris also took to the streets in order to show their solidarity with the brethren and sisters of Kashmir. The local people though did not take active part but gave moral support . Says Sh. Bushan Parimoo, Journalist & environmentalist , who was one of those who spearheaded the protest, the young men and women had formed a group who would perform underground activities in which girls became the “INFORMATION CARRIERS” hood winking the police.

Same type of protests were being carried out in the principal cities of the country where the community had a sizable presence. Funds were being collected in addition to medicines and other things. They were contacting the local media and giving them the exact details .
Back in the valley the protests were getting more and more intensified — the whole credit should go to the women and girls. This writer was witness to the huge number of women and girls coming all the way from Rainawari footing the distance to reach the specific places of protests.

By now the state government realised that they had under estimated the situation and they had been caught with their pants down. The unnerved administration did not know how to control the situation . In order to break the agitation they resorted to the mass arrests of the community. Night knocking of the doors by the police became the order of the day. The central Jail got filled with hundreds of arrested people.The busy body Principal of the Women’s College — a close friend of Mr. Sadiq tried to help the Government by closing the gates of the college so that the girls don’t come out for the protest. To compound the difficulties of the government differences between Sadiq and Mir Qasim ( President State Congress) surfaced. Central Government was also a mute spectator. They were caught in a situation of between the deep sea and the devil. They did not want to antagonise the majority population while having sympathy with the minority. The vote bank policy plays a vital role in a democratic set up. According to well informed sources Sadiq had offered to resign but was persuaded not to.

EVENING PROTEST

After the day long protest the people would Que to Shital Nath, the head quarters of the “ACTION COMMITTEE” where from the “FARMANS” were issued for the next day. The people would come in large numbers and make themselves where ever they could find space in the uneven lawn. An improvised platform had been made where the honorable members of the action committee would sit. The people would jostle for the front rows where from they could see the faces of the speakers.Fiery and tsunami like speeches were delivered . The speakers while delivering the speeches violently shook their bodies —— infact one of the senior action committee member used to wear turban —— he had to make efforts to keep it on the head lest it falls down. The crowd would lustily cheer and greet them with the slogan “PANJA NARA PANDVAN DA CHATTA NARA JAI HIND”.Most of the senior members of the action committee had JAN SANGH/ RSS leanings.As the days wore on the stage was slowly “CAPTURED” by young men who were mostly unemployed or had some personal grudge for the authorities for not considering them for the professional institutions. Slowly the agenda of “RETURN OF PARMESHWARI” went down the priority list or was “PUT ON THE BACK BURNER”. They would attack the government for not providing them jobs.The speakers who would start with Kashmiri shifted to Hindi/urdu and finally to English. They would use such words which were not found in Oxford dictionary. Says , Bushan Parimoo who was a prominent member of the Jammu agitation, was invited by the Action committee to speak from the dias.But the “Young Brigade” did not give them time even after waiting for 3 days. This made Dr. Karan Singh , who was a central cabinet minister , to tell the Jammu people that ” THE KPS DO NOT WANT “KUDI” ( GIRL) they want NAUKRI The senior leaders were watching this with mute silence and helplessly. The speeches became more personal , with individuals having their own agendas.

At this stage the writer wants to bring to the notice of the readers a view from an “old Kashmiri hand”. The person was none other than Pt. PREM NATH BAZAZ—— an experienced Kashmiri Pandit , having been a top community leader , journalist, political analyst and a reputed author. He was in Srinagar during the agitation period. He would quietly sit in the office of his old disciple, the veteran Journalist Sh. N L WATTAL, who by now had become the Chief Editor of the prestigious newspaper ” The Daily KHIDMAT” , dipping himself in newspapers /books/magazines. Said Sh Wattal —— quote” As the agitation was gathering momentum day after day, I also got emotionally involved. Bazaz Sahab never commented on it. When the agitation was at peak , he broke his silence. ” Nand Lal I can see that you too have been overtaken by the agitation. I nodded “Yes”. To which Bazaz replied :- Quote
” THERE NEVER HAS BEEN A MASSIVE AGITATION FROM OUR COMMUNITY LIKE THIS , NOR THERE WILL BE IN FUTURE. BUT ALL THIS MASSIVE ENERGY WILL END IN A SMOKE. THE LEADERS LACK VISION , THEY ARE INCAPABLE, THEY HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDAS, VESTED INTERESTS. THE “DISCIPLE” PROTESTED BUT THE “GURU” STUCK TO HIS WORDS. Little did the disciple know that the “GURU” was an old hand and had known these leaders much earlier. What happened to the agitation is now history. The “GURU” proved to be MICHEL de NOSTREDAME of Kashmir.

While the agitation was at peak , Jan Sangh wanted to cash in on it. They dispatched their senior leader Balraj Madhok to add fuel to the fire.While delivering his characteristic fiery speech he told the Muslims to go to Pakistan.This was the opportunity for which the State Government was waiting. The State government instigated the majority community with the local urdu media controlled mostly by Muslims to express their strong protest against the speech of Balraj Madhok. After setting the valley on fire Madhok left for Delhi next day leaving the KP community at the mercy of the God. The situation changed totally over night. The next morning dawned with the majority community observing total Bandh, huge processions, killings, physical assaults on the minority community, looting of their shops and burning of their houses.Says, Sh. P N PANDITA, ( Retd , Chief Conservator of Forests) , their family lived in a house in Karan Nagar. When the family members returned after the day work , they found the house in flames and the goons cheering. All they could salvage was the clothes they were wearing and the “LIFE”. The police had been instructed to look “other Way” while all this was taking place. The State Government was bent upon “TEACHING A LESSON’ to the minority community.They planted some of our community men as “SPIES” in the central Jail who would report to the state authorities. This continued for several days. The entire city was put under curfew.As if this was not enough , the state Government released the criminals from their barracks and asked them to attack the KP arrested people and beat them black and blue. All this was being carried out to please the majority community.The death toll of KP Community during this period of arson and looting rose to nearly 12.

MEDIA — A DIVIDED HOUSE.

The print media became a divided house. The local urdu press controlled mostly by the majority community publishing news palatable to the majority community. The National Press whose correspondents were mostly from the minority community maintained a balance by blaming the state government for their ineffective role in controlling the goons who went on rampage. Says Sh. J N Dhar, the then Special Correspondent AIR ( Now the Chief Editor of “KOSHUR SAMACHAR”) the state government complained against his reporting to his superiors but his superiors stood by him saying “there is no doubt about the balanced and unbiased reporting of Sh. JN Dhar”.

BURIAL OF THE DAY & EVENING PROTESTS

With the imposition of the curfew the day long protests came to a grinding halt. In the same way the “the fire spitting young hot heads disappeared from the Sheetal Nath dais taking refuge in their homes. While all this was happening some of the senior leaders of the action committee were busy establishing links with the state authorities. During the day they would spit fire and during the night they would sit with the state authorities to discuss their own “personal agendas”.This “CHANNEL TWO ” ( a word coined after 1990) diplomacy between the Scoundrels and scalawags ( the so called Netas) , the community brokers , was confirmed by the then Home Secretary ( Speaker turned IAS bureaucrat ) , during his post retirement days which he would spend at the office of the Daily “KHIDMAT” ( he would write centre page articles for the paper occasionally).

AWAKENING OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

The agitation had become a National News. The so called Secular parties like Congress, Leftists, in order to settle scores with Jan Sangh party jumped into the fray by advising the minority community of Kashmiri Pandits to maintain the age old fabric of brotherhood and secular values , carefully avoiding any comment on the majority community , solely because of vote bank policy. When enough water had flown down the Jehlum , Delhi woke up. They despatched the then Home Minister of GOI , Sh. Y B Chavan, to the valley. The State Government was represented by their Home Minister.

CREMATION OF AGITATION
Mr Chavan held parleys with different groups. While appealing for the end of agitation , he asked the “Action Committee” to submit memorandum. Dissensions had already started in the “Action Committee”. Fierce differences appeared on what should be included in the memorandum. The Netas who had established links with the state authorities were eager to present the memorandum to end the agitation because of their own personal agendas. A sort of agreement was reached between the Netas and the young hot heads . Ultimately the young hot heads had their way . They prepared the list of demands keeping their own demands such as employment, more seats in the professional colleges etc and the last demand was for the return of Parmeshwari. The Netas though not satisfied with the draft were in a hurry to call off the agitation for their own interests. The agitation was formally called off. Mud slinging started between the leaders blaming each other for the termination of the agitation for their own interests. The scoundrels and scalawags of the community in a shameless way trying to wriggle out of the mess they had created placed the blame at the door of the State Home Minister. Though this writer has never been a fan of that Minister belonging to our community , he never used the platform of the community to rise to such position.

CREMATION OF THE AGITATION

The month long agitation was put on the pyre and lit by the shameless, graceless, disgusting “leaders” of the community.
The supreme sacrifice of our women and girls who left their homes and hearths without caring for their siblings, walking long distances from their homes in the hot weather of Summer to reach the places of protests ended in a smoke.They bore the maximum brunt of the police LATHIS, Tear Gas shells,water canons.This writer has no hesitation in saluting their guts, determination and bravery. I would call them “JHANSI RANIS OF SRINAGAR”. The people who got killed, the people whose houses were set on fire, who were physically assaulted, those who were attacked by the hardened criminals inside the premises of the central jail. All this went up in a smoke within minutes.

GAJENDARGADKAR COMMISSION

The Government of India constituted a Single man commission headed by the Retired Chief Justice of India , Sh. Gajendargadkar to look into the grievances of the community based on the memorandum submitted by the “Action Committee”. How much seriously the community took this commission that only 3 affidavits were submitted before the commission. Commendable is the performance of one Smt. VEENA Dhar , who argued the case before the commission extempore without any papers. Said Late Sh. R K DULLOO, Retd District and Sessions Judge , that the community did not present their case properly.The so called “NETAS” were busy distributing loaves and fishes among themselves, they had no time for this waste ful exercise.

THE LAST LAUGH FOR THE MONTH LONG AGITATION WAS THE GAJENDARGADKAR COMMISSION.

Before I conclude , writer would ask some questions and request the readers to reply these :-

Q No 1 DID ANY MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY ASK THE TALL HANDSOME THE THEN KP DIG POLICE OFFICER WHY HE DID NOT HAND OVER PARMESHWARI TO HER MOTHER , DESPITE BEING TOLD BY THE AUTHORITIES. THIS GENTLEMAN LIVED IN DELHI , ATTENDED ALL THE MEETINGS/SEMINARS BY THE KP ORGANISATIONS. IN THE POST MIGRANT PERIOD?

Q. No :- 2. DID ANY MEMBER ASK THE BURLY MOUSTACHED KP MANAGER OF THE Govt. Co Opertive Store , WHY HE DID NOT INFORM THE MOTHER OF PARMESHWARI, WHO WAS LIVING JUST 500 Meters from his house?

Q. No :- 3. WHAT HAPPENED TO LAKHS OF RUPEES AND MEDICINES THAT WERE COLLECTED FROM VARIOUS PARTS BY KP ORGANISATIONS AND IN SOME CASES AIRLIFTED TO SRINAGAR. HAS ANY BODY ASKED THIS QUESTION ? NO, NONE. NOT A SINGLE PENNY WAS PAID TO THE DESCENDANTS WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES?

By-Mr. V.K. Wattal

The legend of Kapeteswara

The valley of the Arpath or Harsapatha, which opens to the east of Anantnag, is also known as Kuthar. The name is in all probability connected with that of the ancient Tirtha of KAPATESVARA, situated on the Southern side of the valley close to the village of Kother. The name of the latter is undoubtedly a derivative of Kapateshwara as the analogy of Jyether<Jyeshthesvara, Triphar<Tripuresvara, etc. clearly shows.

The place of pilgrimage is the sacred spring of PAPASUNDA(Sin removing), situated a short distance above Kother near Acchabal. In it Lord Shiva is believed to have shown himself in the disguise(Kapata) of pieces of wood floating on the water. The legend is related at length in the Nilmata, and the author of the Haracaritacintamani devotes to it a separate canto which has now become the Official Mahatmaya of the Tirtha.

According to Nilmata; Once many sages stood in great penance on the sacred bank of Drsadvati in Kurukshetra to have a sight of Rudra-the lord of the Gods. Impressed by their Devotion, Shiva told them in a Dream to go soon to Kasmira where there is a spacious and immaculate abode of the Naga. He told them that there he would be visible in Disguise. Having heard him in a dream they all reached the abode of the Naga. They could not see even a little water, for the water was all covered with pieces of wood. Moving the wooden logs with their hands, the best sages obtained Rudrahood with their bodies by merely taking bath.

However, one vasistha Brahman, named Graparasar neither took the bath nor touched the wooden logs. He went on prolonged fasting and made his body decay. Rudra then spoke to him in a dream and advised him to obtain Rudrahood quickly by taking bath and touching the wooden logs. Gauraparasara persisted, ‘that you can be visible after the attainment of Rudrahood is a fact, ‘O father of the world! But my mind is not satisfied without the sight of the lord of the Gods. You have said that you would be visible in disguise in the abode( of the Naga).

The Brahman refuses to leave and continues fasting, Sankara replies: I have already provided them, my manifestation in the form of the wooden log. Merely by seeing me, they attained Rudrahood, O twice-Born! Now, due to your penance which is greater, I give you the desired boon. Ask for what you desire and Obtain Rudrahood.

The Brahman demands that Mahesvara should manifest in the form of a wooden log, to all the human beings, as it did to the sages. Mahesvara agrees and remarks, ‘O best among the twice-born, all those people who will see(the god) standing in the form of wood, (will see the gods) not always but only occasionally. With a desire to do favor to them, my gana-the Nandi in the form of wooden log shall always be visible to the human beings. And having seen (him) they would attain Rudrahood with their bodies. As I shall appear before men, so I shall obtain the name, Kapatesvara.

Alberuni too had heard of the Kapateshvara tirtha and its legend. He writes ‘ a pond called Kudaishashr(Kapatesvar) to the left of the source of the vitasta, in the middle of the month of Vaisakha, Mahadeva appears annually.’

AB-L-FAZL, Ain-I Akb, ii, p.358, mentions “in the village of Kotihar, a deep spring surrounded by stone temples. When its water decreases, an image of Mahadeva in Sandalwood appears.”

The sacred spring rises in a large circular tank which is enclosed by an ancient stone-wall and steps leading into the water. According to Kalhana’s account this enclosure was constructed, about a century before his own time, at the expense of the well-known king Bhoja of Malava.The latter is said to have taken a vow always to wash his face in the water of the Papasundana spring.

(From Rajatarangini)

Regulation of Vitasta (Jhelum) by Suyya

Kalhana writes in ‘Rajatarangini’ about the illustrious visionary Suyya- The Engineer .He lived during the King Avantivarman’s Rule and was in fact whole heatedly supported by the king in his endeavor. Kalhana has given in detail about this great Engineering Operation, which was carried out in his reign(Avantivarman)for the drainage of the valley as well as for irrigation.
The topographically interesting details of these operations which are connected with the name of Avantivarman’s skillful Engineer Suyya. The systematic regulation of the course of the vitasta , down to the rock-bound gorge where it leaves the valley, largely reduced the extent of the water-locked tracts along the banks of the river and the damage to the crops caused by floods. The construction of the new beds for the river at points threatened by the inundation-breaches was among the measures designed to effect the same object.The change thus made in the confluence of the vitasta and its most important tributary , the Sindhu, can still be clearly traced, thanks to Kalhana’s accurate topographical Data. It shows alike the large scale and the systematic technical basis of Suyya’s regulation. The result of the latter was a great increase of land available for cultivation , and increased protection against disastrous floods which in Kashmir have ever been the main cause of famine.
According to the account of the chronicler, Suyya supplemented these measures by equally important improvements in the system of irrigation which indispensable for the cultivation of Rice, the staple produce of Kashmir. The facilities thus secured for cultivation produced a remarkable reduction in the orice of rice, the cost of a Khari being alleged to have fallen from 200 Dinnaras to 36 Dinnaras in consequence.

It is only natural that the story of this great change in the material condition of the country which so closely affected the welfare of its inhabitants should have exercised popular imagination , already at the time and still more thereafter.We accordingly find the account of Suyya’s origin and his initial proceedings embellished with details which are manifestly legendary. But though the anecdotes to which we are treated, can have no foundation in historical fact, yet they are just such as would readily be accepted by contemporary popular tradition. Suyya’s memory is preserved to this day by the town of Suyyapura, the present Sopore-which was founded by him at the point where the vitasta since his regulation leaves the basin of the volur lake.

Scenes from the 3 Decades of Kashmiri Pandits

(3 Decades of Kps)

Year1989-90

Dulari-The Seventy year old Matriarch , was standing in the middle of her Garden. Not a leaf of Grass was left in her frost-bitten-lawn. It was the peak of winter. She gave a cursory look around and strolled slowly , occasionally touching some of the dried up plants . She stopped near the Rose shrub and began to inspect the marigold plant, she has sown last summer just adjacent to it.

‘The marigold plant has dried up completely , so has this The Rose Bush’, She thought gloomily.

‘These winters eat up everything. I really wish the summers come soon.’ She looked upwards to the Post –Noon- Sun . Even though it was a bright shimmering sunny day, Nevertheless, The Sun too seemed to shiver.

After inspecting her Garden, she goes inside. It is around 1 Pm and time for Lunch. She washes her hands and sits in her Extended Kitchen- That basically serves as a Dining area for her family. She calls her daughter-in-law Phoolaji.

‘Hayayi Phoolaji, Battae sharei’ (Phoolaji serve the lunch)

It was the end of the year 1989.The Terrorists had become Blatantly Brazen after the kidnapping of Rubaiyya Syed. The Muslim neighbors too in hushed tones could be heard talking about, soon-to-get ‘Azadi’ . The Blanket curfew in the valley had forced all the family members of Dulari to stay indoors. Her family as well as Kashmiri Pandits neighbors too talked about the prevailing political circumstances that was filled with uncertainty. Yet, No one had imagined that a majority of Kashmiri Pandits will have to flee Kashmir within a month!

The Macabre dance of Death unleashed by the AK-47 laden Terrorists on KP’s had started and were targeting minority Hindus with impunity,

And then came the night of 19 Jan 1990-That changed forever the history of Kashmiri Pandits! The Kp’s were fleeing Kashmir in hordes. Dulari was no exception. She too left Kashmir as did her neighbors and relatives.
Future looks uncertain in Kashmir.

Year-2000-01

Dulari is now surrounded by new neighbors of Pan-India ethnicity in Faridabad . All these years, she has managed to speak her own version of Hindi. She uses a lot of Gesticulations in her conversations with neighbours as Kashmiri words pops up now and then unintentionally from her Mouth.

Dulari along with her Family had shifted to Faridabad in late 1995. Her elder Son has bought a House in Faridabad. It is built on a 100 sq yard plot. The front as well as the back yard is cemented . She is Old but still hard working and has lost no love for Gardening. She has secured and fenced a small patch of land may be 100 sq feet bordering the front side of her house. She religiously looks after that small garden. She has also sown with love the famous ‘Haak’ (collard greens) of Kashmiris in that lawn.

It is the month of March. She is inspecting her kitchen garden. Not much is there. Just one gaze is enough to tell about the health of her green friends. She opens the make-Shift gate of her garden. She squats near the marigold Plant and touches the flower.
‘Dear, If we would have been in Kashmir, I would have surrounded you with many more flowers and attended you better’. She was silently conveying her feelings to the flower.

‘Soon the marigold will be gone and so will be Haakh’ . These Harsh summers don’t spare anything’. She whispered .

‘Alas ! Kashmir was so beautiful!’ she sighed.

She does not have the same vigor, She once had in Kashmir. She feels the heat of the March Sun and slowly walks inside .

‘Hayyeyi Phoolaji Batta shaer’ (serve the lunch) – She orders her.

It has been 10 years now since KPs were forced into exile. Future in Kashmir still holds uncertain for them. She and her family are amongst the Lucky ones, who didn’t had to live in the dirty, unhygienic tattered tents of the refugee Camps-where still many of the community members were languishing .

Year-2018-19

Phoolaji-Her Daughter-in-law has become the new Matriarch since Dularis Death 12 years back.They now live in an apartment in Mumbai. After the death of her Mother-in-law; Phoolaji too has developed some love for Gardening.

In the balcony of her Flat, she has sown some saplings of Marigold as well as ‘Tulasi’ (Basil). Whenever, she waters or de-weeds the plants, The face of Dulari flashes in front of her mind. By planting and looking after the potted-Plants, she gets a strange sense of satisfaction. It is as if the soul of Dulari is watching her and is bestowing her with blessings.

She is standing in her Balcony. The Black clouds are moving fast as if they are on a mission! Needless to say, The infamous monsoons of the Mumbai have already arrived . Now and then the sky is roaring and it seems , it is going to pour too. To save the plants from being flooded by the downpours; Phoolaji shifts the pots to that area of the balcony, where they will be safe and Dry.

As soon as she had shifted the pots to a safer Dry place, The rains start.

‘Madamji, please come inside. The lunch is ready.’ Her maid shouts from the Kitchen.

She walks slowly towards the Dining area of her Flat and sits on the dining chair. She is served food by her maid. Today her maid has made ‘Haakh’. She is about to eat, when the familiar thought crosses her mind, yet once again.

‘The taste of Haakh was divine at Kashmir ! It would have been much more fun and happiness, had we been living at Kashmir !

But, Alas! Mahadev(God) had different plans. The medley of thoughts and emotions was disturbing somewhere in her Heart and Mind.

Soon after, the aroma of the food diverted her mind and brought her to her present at Mumbai. She takes the morsel of rice mixed with Haakh .

She can not forget that It has been 29 years and The situation for KPs in the valley has not changed a bit yet. To forget about the past, she switches on the TV , browses the channels to watch her favourite serial. While browsing, her eye catches the fleeting headline in one of the News channels. She stops at that Channel. The focus of the news is Kashmir again. The newsreader announces about the clashes between the protestors and the security forces. She again changes the channel and finally stops at a “Bhakti” (Devotional) channel.

Phoolaji is carrying forward the legacy,Customs and rituals left behind by her Late Mother-in-law.She has immortalised ‘Dulari’ by keeping her Photograph at the same pedestal as that of Devis and Devtaas in their small in-house temple.In the mornings and sometimes in the evenings too , incense sticks or Dhoop is gyrated reverentially around her photo too; along with the idols and photos of all major Devis and Devtaas to invoke their blessings!

The Show of life Continues …..

Open letter to Mr. Rahul Gandhi -from a Dattatreya-koul

Dear Rahul Gandhi Ji,
Greetings!
My name is Sandeep Koul and my Gotra is Dattatreya. It was heartening to see that you openly confessed your Gotra at Pushkar as Koul-Dattatreya .I saw the byte of the Priest on T.V, wherein he declared emphatically that you and your ancestors are ‘Kashmiri Brahmins’.

It is widely speculated or rather believed that you had to publically announce your caste and Gotra in order to look correct politically. However, your confession also portrays the polity of today’s India. Being just ‘secular’ is not enough today. Being Indian-without being framed as a Hindu or Muslim is just impossible today. And being Hindu, without divulging your caste is equally impossible.

Being a seasoned politician, I don’t need to tell you why?

B. T. W, Every time I fill a form, I am being asked my Religion as well as the caste.

Religion as well as caste based politics is the norm of today. We have plethora of politicians who exist today because of Religion, caste, region or all of them.
Sh.Mulayam singh Yadav , Sh.Lalu Yadav, Chautala’s, Khushwaha’s , Mayawati, Abdullah’s, Mufti’s etc are the names who have thrived on caste or Religion -based-politics.

However

They have done a lot to mitigate the problems of that section-whom they represent. Also, a section of the followers, who identify with them because of the same caste and religion- have this impression that they belong to them and have faith in them.

When Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru died, I was told by my Late Grandmother that Kashmiri Pandit men and women lamented on his bereavement and in an impromptu procession , Kashmiri Pandit women were beating their chest in grief. Kashmiri Pandits also grieved the Death of Lt. Indira Gandhi. It was as if someone from their own family had departed. The tragic Death of late Rajiv Gandhi too was condoled by your own community of Kashmiri Pandits.

But , everything changed after that.

The Kashmiri Pandit community felt cheated by the congress leadership after 1990. If you will go through the social media sites, you will come across scores of posts by Kashmiri Pandits denouncing and castigating you, because Kashmiri Pandits feel that Your party left them, when they needed you the most!

Sometimes looking ‘politically correct ‘ backfires too. Your party’s tacit policy of neglecting KP’s is so obvious.Just because, your Own-community of Kashmiri Pandit did not form a substantial vote bank; does not mean that justice should not be given to them!

Since, you have publically proclaimed of being a ‘Kashmiri Brahmin’, (either because of compulsion or to look politically correct in today’s political scenario; ) I want to share just 3 facts with you and ask some questions being a fellow Kashmiri Pandit of ‘Dattatreya’ Gotra.

1.Majority of the Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee Kashmir because of being ‘Hindu’ as well as for loving their country-India by the Jihadi-Islamists. They were assassinated brutally and till today, their Murderers are roaming free .

Question:-why are the murderers of the community-whom you belong to-roaming free? Why didn’t your Government formed an S.I.T to probe the killings and give justice to your own community!

2.The properties and temples of your own community-The Kashmiri Pandits-has been illegally encroached upon by a section of people, who are not from our community. The sad and the cumbersome part is that the onus goes on to the Kashmiri pundits to prove their claim on the encroached properties; which is very difficult in a hostile environment.Thanks again to the burgeoning of unchecked jihadi-Islamists coitere influence, that has made its way into the Government institutions too.

Question:-though, an attempt was made in NC-Congress regime to redress this grievance, However, why was the hostile environment against Kashmiri Pandits ignored? Why didn’t your Government made the process more easy and more friendly , so that justice without delay should have been delivered to your own beleaguered community!

3.A section of Kashmiri Pandits still live in penury and in unhygienic circumstances at places such as Jagati in Jammu.

Question:-why are your fellow community men living in such hostile conditions? What has your Government done for them?
Why didn’t you even once, visited your own community, when they were living in tattered tents with bruised hearts?

If your fellow contemporaries such as the Yadavs can deliver justice to their own communities, why cant you do the same?

Don’t you think, you too owe to that community-who has given you an identity of being a Kashmiri Brahman and has given you a Gotra- *Dattatreya*.

Think about it!

Regards
Sandeep Koul-Dattatreya.

(P. S:-It was not Sh.Jagmohan Malhotra who was responsible for our exodus. It may be a politically correct statement for you. But it is not true. )

Sancha Vidhya – A glorious gift of to Himachal Pradesh

In the times bygone, Kashmir excelled in many spheres of art, literature and culture, in which it achieved great heights. The cross cultural-religious strands that stretched between Kashmir and present day Himachal Pradesh successfully withstood the centuries old time-warp and refused to fade-away into oblivion. Apart from the natural brilliance of the landscapes, both the states share a deep rooted faith of the people in the time tested traditions, belief systems and ancient wisdom, which are enshrined in their holy scriptures. They form an integral part of our common heritage. The ancient Sancha scripture of Himachal Pradesh is an illustrious example of the same. It is a combination of Jyotish and Tantric knowledge. Even today, in the present scientific age, this ancient priceless knowledge is quite popular in Shimla, Sirmour and Solan areas of Himachal Pradesh. The ‘Sancha Granth’ is believed to have travelled to Himachal Pradesh from Kashmir hundreds of years back. The present day custodians of this ancient legacy, who are natives of Himachal Pradesh are believed to be the descendants of Kashmiri Panndits. The ‘Sancha’ treatise is a unique combination of ‘Mantra (sacred incantations), ‘Yantra’ (hallowed implements) and ‘Tantra’ (mystical hymns or invocations). The scripts of Sancha treatise are known by the names of ‘Bhatakshri’ or ‘Pabuchi’, which are Himachali variations of ‘Sharda’, the ancient script of Kashmir. In earlier times, the said script was also known as ‘Takri’.

In Himachal Pradesh, in addition to ‘Bhatakshri’ and ‘Pabuchi’, the ancient ‘Takri’ dialect has survived in many resembling forms like ‘Chambyali’, ‘Kalluvi’ Mandyali’ and ‘Sirmouri’ etc., which are the present day spoken dialects of Chamba, Kallu, Mandi and Sirmour areas of Himachal Pradesh. In earlier times, the scholarly and learned Himachali Brahmans were known as ‘Pabuch’ due to their demonstrative grip and hold over the ancient ‘Sancha’ knowledge. The ‘Sancha’ growth deals with a wide range of topics ranging from necromancy, black magic, witchcraft, occult effects and negative influences of evil spirits besides demonology. The ‘Sancha’ text offers solutions and remedies to the persons who are troubled by the negative influences of the above. In addition to it, all those persons, who are saddled by anxieties and worries arising out of afflictions by various ailments can find health assuring remedies by consulting ‘Sancha’ system. The ‘Sancha’ treatise also guarantees a triumph over one’s ‘hidden’ enemies by recitation of certain ‘mantras’ i.e. secret incantations.
Its help is also sought in adopting a religious recourse to the matters connected with almost all the Hindu Sanskars right from birth to death. In addition to it, ‘Sancha’ knowledge also aids in the recovery of stolen items by giving clues and hints about the identity of the thief, the time of the occurrence of the theft and number of persons involved in the act. An accurate and exact knowledge of the auspicious timing or ‘Hora’ is also possible by consulting ‘Sancha’ text. The word ‘Sancha’ owes it’s origin to the Sanskrit word ‘Sanch’ or ‘Sanchai’, which means a repository or a compilation. The Brahmans well-versed with the ‘Sancha’ knowledge are called ‘Pabuch’ or ‘Baat’. In addition to ‘Pabuchi’ or ‘Bhatakshri’ dialects, the ‘Sancha’ texts are also found in ‘Chandvani’, ‘Pandvani’ and ‘Butakhshri’ dialects. The script employed by the Brahmans of the ‘Panda’ sect is called ‘Pandvani’, while as the inscription used by the Brahmans of the ‘Bhat’ sect is known by the name of ‘Bhatakshri’. According to a legend, an ancient ruler of the erstwhile Sirmour Kingdom came under the spell of a curse by a female dancer. As a consequence, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sirmour was completely submerged under water and the royalty became kingless. Depressed by the loss of entire royal clan and to ensure a new heir to the Sirmour throne, two ministers of the Kingdom namely Roymoan and Roy Gopal are said to have travelled all the way from Sirmour to Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir in the eleventh century A.D. The two Sirmour ministers are believed to have requested the then Kashmir King to send a Kashmiri Prince, who could take charge of the Sirmour Kingdom.

According to the oral legend, out of the two queens of the then Kashmiri King, one had an adopted son, while the second one named Sumitra was in a family way at that time. In pursuance of the then prevalent bestowal of alms custom, the King of Kashmir agreed to send his pregnant queen in the form of ‘Shaya Daan’ to the princely state of Sirmour. In furtherance of it and to facilitate the subsequent coronation of the Kashmiri Prince as a King of Sirmour, the queen Sumitra of Kashmir went to Sirmour. She was accompanied by a host of Rishis, saints, learned Brahmans, bards, artists and ministrels, in addition to numerous footmen and domestics. The accompanying Kashmiri Pandits are said to have carried with them their prized possession the ‘Sancha’ knowledge system. In the historical documents of Himachal, this notable event is recorded in the following lines “Loia Aana Mangtoo, Purohit Sath Loia Aana Raoy Baat Loia Aana Vikram Samvat Saat thi todi 1152 Mahina Magh.” It fully affirms and supports the historical fact that the carriers of the ‘Sancha’ treatise or knowledge to Himachal Pradesh were none other than the Kashmiri Pandits. Corresponding to the above Vikram Samvat, the exact year of the said event can be said to be 1095 AD.

The Kashmiri origin of the ‘Sancha’ treatise is further collaborated by the fact that even today before consulting the ‘Sancha’ text, Himachali Brahmans pay obeisance to Kashmir in the following lines, “Vidhya Suri Kashmiri Lagan dekh Shodan Vichar”. The Sancha Granth has detailed information about astrology, planetary placements, interpretation of Zodiac and planetary movements. Based on the intricate knowledge of ‘Sancha Granth’, the ‘Pabuchi’ scholars prepare a local variation of almanac (Jantri) called ‘Chri’. The three important components of ‘Chri’ are ‘Var’ i.e. day of the week or an occasion, ‘Tithi’ i.e. a lunar day or date and the planetary movements and their positions. The ‘Chiri’ is based on the solar planetary system, which regards Baisakhi as the first day of the New Year. To get solutions, answers and remedies for the different paradoxes that rock the day to day life, the ‘Sancha’ text is always consulted for the required help. Resembling a gambling dice, the ‘pasha’ or ‘pasa’ is employed in deciphering the required information from the ‘Sancha’ text. The ‘pasha’ or ‘pasa’ has an inscription of four numerical digits marked as 0,00,000 and 0000, which have the corresponding numerical strength of 1,2,3 and 4 respectively. These numerical digits are marked on the individual pages separately. Each numerical digit with an individual value of sixteen ‘Horas’ make a sum total of sixty four ‘Horas’, with one ‘Hora’ being equal to one twenty fourth part of a day.

The ‘Pashas’ or ‘Pasa’ are specially prepared only on auspicious days and involve elaborate religious rituals. The different ‘Horas’ that are in-vogue in the ‘Sancha Granth’ are known as ‘Kaalgaymi Hora’, ‘Bhoot Prashan Hora’, ‘Lagan Ki Hora’ and ‘Tithi Ki Hora’ etc. The square shaped ‘pasha’ or ‘pasa’ is usually made up of an elephant tooth, being 1½ to 2 inches in length and with the width of a finger. According to a belief in Sirmour area, the ‘Yantra’ and ‘Lagans’ made from the soil brought from the village Chanan, give better results while consulting ‘Sancha’ text. The Brahmans engaged in the ‘Sancha’ profession take every care to maintain the knowledge secrecy and imparting of it’s knowledge is confined only within the family.

The Kashmiri origin of the ‘Sancha’ text has also been acknowledged by Sh. Sudershan Vashisht, who is a well known author and researcher of Himachal Pradesh and has done note-worthy research work in this direction. The ancient and precious Sancha texts are also found in tehsil Chopal, tehsil Shilayi and Chakrota area of Uttar Pradesh.Pandit Om Prakash and Pandit Devi Ram, the native Brahmans of the village Khadanka in Sirmour are experts in Sancha knowledge and it’s system. Another Brahman named Pandit Shivanand, a resident of the village Janloag in Sirmour has also thorough knowledge of ‘Sancha’ texts. He makes accurate predictions based on it’s knowledge. Pt. Mohan Lal, a native of the village Dehar in Sirmour is a well-known name due to his thorough and intimate Sancha knowledge. The present day experts of Sancha Vidhya acknowledge their Kashmiri origin and lineage.
Undoubtedly, ‘Sancha’ is an ancient and sacred knowledge of Kashmiri origin, which is an integral part of our historical cultural heritage. It is a glorious reminder of our rich past and the proud contribution of Kashmiri Pandits, who have left an indelible mark on the pages of history.

(By Upendar Ambardar)

QABALI ATTACK EYEWITNESS VERSION….

🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁
QABALI ATTACK
EYEWITNESS VERSION….

An Eyewitness Account of the 1947 raid by Tribals from Pakistan-by T.N.Bhan

My name is Triloki Nath Bhan and I was 18 years old young boy living in Sehyar, test Srinagar when Pakistani Army along with Kabailies from North West Frontier Province, launched a series of surprise attacks across Jammu and Kashmir on October 24, 1947. As is well known the Pakistani invaders quickly overwhelmed the the forces of Maharaja Hari Singh. Most of the Muslim units of J& K Army comprising of Mirpuri deserted and joined the invaders after killing their Hindu and Sikh Officers. Muzzafarabd fell within a few hours of the attack and the invaders proceeded towards Baramula, Sopore and Srinagar. At the Uri bridge Brigadier Rajinder Singh lost his life putting up a valiant fight .He held the invaders for two days which gave time to the Maharajah to flee the valley. and the Indian Army to intervene. 

The Pakistani invaders entered Baramula on October 26, 1947 and proceeded to indulge in Rape, murder, loot and arson, especially targeting Sikhs and Kashmiri Pandit community. By the morning of October 27th some raiders had reached the outskirts of Srinagar. Hari Singh’s exit had totally broken the morale of the government and security establishment. Police stations were empty. anything could happen at any time. Sheikh Abdullah and his National Conference organized a voluntary force of young men known as Salamati Fauj in the city with specific direction to maintain communal harmony at all costs. This worked, Halka Committees became the police station. I remember I also joined this force to patrol the streets to ensure nobody disturbed the communal harmony. Most of the Hindu leadership had left the valley for Jammu. As the Kashmiri Pandits trickled in from the countryside we began to hear the tales of atrocities, plunder, rape and murder of innocent Hindus and Sikhs by the Pakistani invaders.

Although Kashmir’s Pandits were leaderless as even our RSS leaders such as Bal Raj Madhok had left the city we the grassroot RSS Swyamsewaks began to organise ourselves to defend and protect Pandit honor. I belonged to Putli Dharamshalla Shakha. We decided to go out of Srinagar to visit other cities and villages and see for ourselves the condition of our Kashmiri Pandits brothers and sisters so that help could be arranged for the needy. I was accompanied by other Swyamsewaks such as Maharaj Krishan Mirza, Amar Nath Ganju, Manohar Nath Bhagati, Lakshmi Narain Kaul, Bhaska nath ganjoo, Durga Nath Dhar, Trilokinath Dhar, Prithvinath Dhar, Naranjan Kaul, Brijnath Moza and others. These volunteers hailed from Sehyar, Rehbaba Sahib and Rishipeer. We began our journey on 30th October 1947. Starting on foot in the early morning we first touched Shalteing about four miles down the road from Chhatabal Custom Post. Here we went inside the enclosed Chinar Grove and found two dead bodies of the Kabali-invaders who had been strafed by the Indian Air Force aircraft. Onward we reached Pooshbugg a village near Pattan where kabalies had executed 14 Kashmiri Pandits as they were performing fire veneration “Hawan”. The fire was still smoldering. Luckily all fourteen had already been cremated by the Pandits of the neighboring villages who had escaped the onslaught of these savages. All Pandit houses were looted. We tried to enter the town of Pattan but we were not allowed to enter. We could only guess the gruesome condition of Pandits in the town.

After Pattan we continued our journey to Sangarhama-detour to Sopore.There is a thick willow grove on the right side of the main road. A Muslim boy told us that we should go and see what had happened there. Visiting the Grove was most horrendous and traumatizing experience as we saw pieces of Indian currency notes and human skeletons scattered in the area. The boy told us that Sikh adults had killed their women and children here to ensure they did not fall in the hands of these heartless and treacherous Paksitani’s. Dazed we turned and left toward Sopore. We had walked about 200 yards we found a Kacha road to the left leading us to a Seer (Hindu Shrine). There we found a Mullah was teaching Quran to two Pandit women who were dressed in a Burka. As the Mullah saw us he took to his heels as we began chanting “Har Har Mahadev”, the women retracted and threw their Burkas. The shrine in Seer was reduced to heap of rubble and two Muslim men were pulling out the nails from the burnt wooden planks. The worse was still to come. We saw couple of KP’s men and women coming towards us all in tears, and crying. They told us that the local Muslims had invited two Pakistani Kabailies from Baramula and all our brethren had been asked to assemble in the ground near a mosque where a calf was slaughtered in their presence. Pieces of raw beef were forced down their throat and abuses were heaped. Their houses were looted-clean sweep, even the doors and window frames were pulled out. We spent the night with them, the bedding was the hay of rice. Of course we recited the bhajans the whole night. On the dawn of next day we began our journey towards Sopore. In this town not much damage was done. The leader of Kashmir pandits was Jat Kak Zutshi father of Jeevan Zutshi of California. Mr. Zutshi had worked with Muslim elders in the city to protect the KP’s. Unfortunately Jat Kak had become a target of the Kabaleys and he hid under the hay in the house of a Muslim friend on the condition that he convert to Islam. Jat Kak Zutshi’s family was my neighbor in Jamalatoo in Srinagar. 

The next day we proceeded to Bomai Village which is a couple of miles from Sopore on way to Handwara. Here the first assassination of a Batta had taken place a few days before the Pakistani invasion. The Martyre was Pandit Sarwanand Kaul an honest and diligent Intelligence Officer in the State Government. He was kidnapped and butchered a couple of kilometers from his house. We comforted the family. Buomay Battas were safe. No damage , except they were terribly shaken and fearful. We had lunch with them and assured them that the whole of Indian nation was with them.

On Reaching Handwara we witnessed six kucha earthen mounds burying six Kashmir Pandits belonging to one family. It was a mass suicide committed the family. Then we witnessed the same thing as we had seen earlier in Seer. Houses had been looted, KP residents were helter skelter seeking shelter to save their lives. We stayed in Handwara for the night sleeping on the bran (kuchh). In the morning we started to dig the bodies but the Commander of the area prevented us and said that Army would do it. It was a very tense night for us as firing from both sides was still going on. Taking the kuchha route to Baramula via Langet we continued our journey.

At Langet we found two dead bodies who were cremated by us. Langet had special significance for me as it is close to Trihagram where my maternal uncle Mr. Zindalal Raina of Rainawari residing near Hari Singh High School was assassinated in 1931 when Sheikh Abdullah as a Muslim Communalist had aroused the Hindu-Muslim strife in the valley.

We reached Baramula in the evening and came across a young Kashmiri Pandit who was a lecturer of English in the Govt. College there. He offered us to stay overnight which we did. His house was also looted as mentioned earlier. He told us how his beautiful wife and other young KP ladies had been locked in a house and gang raped by the Muslim invaders. Next day he showed us the house from which these women had jumped to death from the fourth story. During the talk he told us that one respectable couple in the town was dragged through the streets. We saw every KP house was looted-clean sweep even the doors and windows were removed. Streets were deserted Batta houses were like skeletons and the inhabitants had either gone into hiding or were killed. Many had committed suicide by jumping into the Jhelum river. Crossing the bridge to the other side where market and Govt. offices were housed, we were shown a spot in the middle of the bridge from where young Hindu-Pandit, Sikh and Khatri ladies plunged to their death by drowning into the river. Those who did not have a chance to kill themselves were herded into Tehsil compound and gang raped. All Hindu shops were looted in totality. We finally went to the Christian School and found that even the Nuns were not spared. Many had been raped before being murdered.

Out of respect we went to the spot where Maqbool Sherwani was hanged for misdirecting the invaders. At that point the Army Commander advised us to retrun to Srinagar as Baramula was still not safe for Hindus and Sikhs. It was clear that 30,000 Hindus men and women ( Pandit, Sikh and Kahtri) had either lost their lives or were taken as sex slaves by the Pakistani invaders.

Returning to Srinagar was a traumatic experience as if living hell was waiting for us. All of us were arrested and imprisoned in the Halqa Committee, denied food and beaten mercilessly for several days. By the skin of our teeth we managed our freedom with the condition that we would be under surveillance and roll called twice a day. It was clear to us that one way or the other these National Conference Halqa Committee Goons were going to get rid of us. We tried our best to find a way to get out of Srinagar. My quest to find someone who could get us out led me to Mr. Kashi Nath Fotedar who was an important Officer in the Indian Army in Badami Bagh. He was of immense help to many older Kashmir’s Pandits and children who he sent out in Army trucks. Another great Batta was Flt. Luit J. N. Dhar from Vicharnagh who was the only Kashmiri speaking Pilot at that time whom Nehru had deputed him to Srinagar. He too rendered great service to the community by flying out beleaguered KP’s in Airforce planes. I need to introduce Pandit Kashi Nath Fotedar first as he is the industrious father of Hira Fotedar and is the father of my wife Dulari Bhan as well. Mr. J. N. Dhar is the maternal uncle of Hira and paternal uncle of Vijay Dhar of Union City California.

My escape from Srinagar was possible only on April 6, 1948. I along with Manohar Bagati, Lakshmi Narain Kaul and Amar Nath Ganjoo walked all the way to Ptahankot on foot for 22 days. I finally settled at Saharanpur UP where I lived for 54 years.

Now I would like to pay my homage to all the KP Martyrs in 1931, 1947 and 1990. My compliments to those who by didn’t of their courage, resilience and focus rebuilt their lives from scratch without Government aid under very difficult circumstances. I wish to thank many old Kashmiri Pandits who offered all four of us help in Kanpur and helped us settle down. My companions Bagati, Kaul and Ganjoo sahib eventually returned to Srinagar where Mr. Amar Nath Ganjoo became an important RSS functionary. My thanks to Mr. B. K. Kaul ICS Iron and Steel Controller, Mr. H. N. Sapru Dy Director of Industries UP and S.n. Shivpuri , GM Cement Corporation. I am sure these great men have left us but I did want to recognise their help to many KP refugees in 1947.

Dear friends I am a proud Swayamsewak, and will be a Swyamsewak till my death.

Reagrds

Triloki Nath Bhan

Memphis Tennesee USA