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Understanding Kashmir as it was

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I am a law student with a keen interest in social issues which stem towards the true Bharatian civilisation history. I wish to invoke discussions in public forums through my writings and am ready to accept constructive criticisms.

Before discussing the events which occurred in Kashmir, it is important to understand what Kashmir is truly about. Kashmir as conceived by the Rishis, Sages and Rulers is a prime center of knowledge and beauty. It has derived its name from Kashyapa Rishi. Kashmir was initially a lake until Rishi Kashyapa cut a gap in the hills and channeled out this lake so that people could settle there. It was identified as an aesthetic valley of progress and natural beauty. More than 10,000 temples/knowledge centers were established by the emperors of that land, which was ruled by the Hindus, for the Hindus.

The presence of Kashmir is traced back to the Mahabharata where it was identified as a great republic. Kashmir was prospering until the 13th Century under benevolent Hindu rulers. One of the most significant evidence of Kashmir as a land of knowledge is the visit by King Ashoka in the 3rd Century and the great Sri Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th Century. It is truly remarkable that Sri Adi Shankaracharya visited this knowledge hub all the way from the southern part of Bharat. He was welcomed by the Kashmiri pandits and later a Shiva Temple was established which became an important part of the Kashmirian heritage. Ashoka established Buddhist monasteries which were all based on Hindu principles as it was the primary source of knowledge. Kashmir was hence a perpetual synonym for the jnana yogaguna of the Vedic symbolism. 

This period of everlasting beauty and knowledge-imparting was preyed upon by the tyrant and ruthless Mughalian invasion in the 14th Century. The entry of Mughals was a black day in the history of Bharat as it marked the brutal invasion of the Hindu/Indu Civilisation (this invasion was later used by the West to prejudice the Hindu/Indic traditions). The Mughals were stunned by the beauty of Kashmir and wanted to rule over it. Various authors and historians have identified seven (7) brutal events in Kashmir which stained this magnificent valley of snow and hills, red, as exoduses. Though they have termed it as an exodus, which, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means a mass departure of people, which is synonymous to Emigration, I feel that the word exodus would not comprehend the ruthless acts of the Mughals or the later perpetuators of the crimes in Kashmir and hence I would be referring to these events as genocides.

The first genocide of the Kashmiri Hindus was during 1389-1413. During this time the Mughal tyrant Syyid Mir Ali Hamadi entered Kashmir and laid wreckage upon the Hindu traditions by destroying temples and forcibly converting more than 37,000 Hindus to Islam. Many Hindus fled the territory and others were ruthlessly murdered by Syyid’s men.

The subsequent three genocides were also during the Mughal period which took place in the 16th Century (1506-1585), 17th and 18th Century (1595-1753). These 3 centuries were brutal for the Kashmiri Hindus as they were suppressed, converted, forced to leave their homes and killed. Mughal rulers such as Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb laid wreckage to the Kashmiri valley. They slaughtered thousands of cows so that Hindus could be converted to Islam. They imposed heavy taxes upon the Hindus and gave the condition of removing the taxes if they converted to Islam.

The main motive of the Mughals was to convert the Hindus. For the Islamists, Hindus were Khafirs (Infidels), who were not organized and were barbaric in nature. The Islamic rulers gave the solution to humanise Hindus all throughout Bharat including Kashmir through mass conversions and genocides, without having any basic understanding of what the Bharatian culture is all about and that the people in Bharat were symbolic to tolerance. Kashmir had suffered and lot and by the time the Mughals left Bharat, the Hindu population in Kashmir had reduced and the Muslim population was at rise, through conversion and reproduction. The conversion of Hindus all-throughout Bharat was led by Muslim institutions and preachers who were instilled with the ideologies of the Mughals.

Then came the era of the British Colonialisation, which set course for a subservient change in Bharat’s traditions and cultures. The West could not get over with their own failures during the French Revolution, the World War and the Industrial Revolution and started preaching the world with a colonial mentality. Their fundamental ideology in Bharat was to create a cultural war and forecast the Hindu tradition as illogical. They turned a black-eye to cultural disputes and as a result of this, they allowed the brutal attack on Kashmiri Hindus during 1931. This was the 5th Genocide in the history of Kashmir.

The Kashmiri Muslims resorted to mass loot and arson in Srinagar and surrounding areas. They targeted the homes of Kashmiri Hindus (majority of whom were Kashmiri Pandits), including wealthy merchants, workers, rulers, landlords etc., and many of them were brutally killed by the Kashmiri Muslims. Unlike the other genocides, during this brutal attack on Kashmiri Hindus, the Muslims did not give the Kashmiri Hindus a chance to leave their homes and seek refugee elsewhere. The British crown did not bother to assess the situation in Kashmir and hence left it at a state of plunger.

Bharat got its freedom from the colonial rule in 1947, however, the Indian leaders of this democratic nation which was (and still is) influenced by the colonial mentality and its institutions were also (sadly) influenced by the colonial notions of the West. After independence, the leaders of the country were at work in uniting various princely states with India. Sardar Vallabhai Patel put tremendous work in uniting 562 princely states with India. Kashmir was one state which did not want to join India or Pakistan and wanted to be an independent state. Right after independence, an armed attack was launched by Pakistan on Kashmir with the intent of occupying Kashmir. Hari Singh sought help from the Indian Government.

An agreement was enforced which was an instrument of accession between the Indian Government and Hari Singh on 26th October, 1947 whereby it was stated that the territory of Jammu and Kashmir would be an independent one for a temporary period, after which it would be an undivided and indisputable part of India. This led to the introduction of Article 370 in the Constitution which was a temporary provision for the state of Jammu & Kashmir and after the expiry of that period, Jammu & Kashmir would be an integral part of India. The basis of the instrument of accession was that Kashmir is an integral part of India irrespective of the temporary Article 370. Unfortunately, we are aware of how long the temporary Article 370 was in force in India, as a result of which there have been numerous militant activities in Jammu & Kashmir.

By this time, the population of Hindus in Kashmir had reduced by a large margin. They were however, hopeful that the persecution would be reduced and they could finally live in peace in their own land. They were proved wrong by two genocides which proved to be the most brutal genocide in the 20th Century. In the year of 1986, the Kashmiri pandits faced an attack by the people of their own land. The then chief minister Gul Shah had exited the ministerial post and incited an attack on Kashmiri Hindus and their properties. During this time, the migration of Muslim youths from Kashmir to Pakistan to get trained and join the Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) increased.

Then came the year 1990, which marked one of the darkest years in the modern history of Bharat. During this year the JKLF’s influence had grown significantly and they wanted true liberation of Kashmir and jihad. For them, this would be achieved only when the native Hindus were abolished from their land. The JKLF and radical islamic extremists gave the Kashmiri Hindus (and the Kashmiri Pandits in particular, who were a minority) three options: Ralive, Tsaliv ya Galive which translated to leave, convert or die. The JKLF marched the streets of Kashmir plundering the Kashmiri Hindus.

They put out notices and hit-lists, which contained the names of those who would be killed if they did not surrender their properties and leave Kashmir. It becomes important to note that this religious genocide of Kashmiri Pandits continued in the 21st century with a recorded event on 24th March, 2003 where the members of JKLF disguised as members of the Indian army entered Nandigram village and executed 24 Kashmiri pandits including children in cold blood.

The manner in which the members of JKLF and radical islamists conducted the killings are horrific and inhumane. They employed methods such as strangulation by using steel wires, hanging, impailing, branding with hot irons, burning alive, lynching, bleeding to death, gouging out of vital organs, dismemberment of human bodies, drowning alive. There are also incidents where the Hindu females were mercilessly raped and when the woman identified the rapist, she was cut alive in two parts by a mechanical saw. More than 5000 Kashmiri Hindus were killed and more than 3.5 lakh Hindus were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in Jammu and Delhi. This period between 1990-2004 marked the 7th genocide of the Kashmiri Hindus (and the Kashmiri pandits in particular).

The Government failed the Kashmiri Hindus, Human Rights organisations failed the Kashmiri Hindus, the media failed the Kashmiri Hindus (they stated that the Kashmiri pandits, even though they were a minority enjoyed all the privileges and left their land on their own) and most importantly, we as a secular society failed the Kashmiri Hindus for the past 30 years. Proper investigation was not conducted and the main promoters of this crime in Kashmir such as Yasin Malik and Bitta Karate still roam freely somewhere in Pakistan. It is the duty of the government and the judicial system to provide justice to the lost voices of the Kashmiri Pandits, if justice is still a concept.

The abrogation of Article 370 is a positive step for the Kashmiri pandits to return to their homeland and reside there. They can buy properties and establish business but they will never get back to the home they resided in before leaving Kashmir. 

Brutal Killing of Kashmiri Hindus
Brutal Killing of Kashmiri Hindus

I conclude this blog with the above pictures. There was a gush of different emotions when I wrote this blog. I have tried my best in understanding the plights of the Kashmiri Hindus to my best in what a blog is supposed to contain. Do forgive me if I have not been able to comprehend the events and emotions of Kashmir to the fullest. I extend my thanks and gratitude to my readers who took the time in reading this piece.

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I am a law student with a keen interest in social issues which stem towards the true Bharatian civilisation history. I wish to invoke discussions in public forums through my writings and am ready to accept constructive criticisms.
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