The Kashmir

August 5, 2011

Kashmiri Pandits, Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian hypocrisy – Reply to Mr Aditya Sinha | #Kashmir

Filed under: Kashmir — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 12:10 pm

Different versions of Kashmir in political, social and religious context are nothing new. Mr. Aditya Sinha’s article “Kashmiri Pandits, Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian hypocrisy” that appeared in Daily News & Analysis (DNA) on 31st July 2011 prompted me to write back. I disagree with Mr. Sinha’s view regarding Kashmiri Pandits.

It was surprising to see equation between Kashmiri Pandits and Sri Lankan Tamils. Although we are sympathetic towards Sri Lankan Tamils, one cannot equate the two as unlike the Sri Lankan Tamils, Kashmiri Pandits are citizens of India. Our main concern should be first for the citizens of our own country and then others.

The onset of turmoil in Kashmir valley in 1989-1990 was marked with the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Kashmiri Pandits. Ethnic cleansing is an attempt to create ethnically homogeneous geographic areas through the deportation or forcible displacement of persons belonging to particular ethnic groups. United Nations defines ethnic cleansing as rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group. Many Kashmiri Muslims (and not all) joined the so called freedom movement and chose to be part of armed struggle. The objective of militancy in Kashmir was to create a valley homogenous in its religious (read Islamic) character. To create such homogeneity, Kashmiri Hindu minority was forced to leave the valley.

Ethnic cleansing sometimes involves the removal of all physical vestiges of the targeted group through the destruction of monuments, cemeteries, and houses of worship. Ethnic cleansing may involve death or displacement where a population is identified for removal from an area. In Kashmir, houses of minority Hindu Pandits were burned; temples were destroyed. Notices were pasted on the walls of Pandit houses mentioning them to leave the valley or to perish.

Genocide may be used as means to carry out ethnic cleansing. Genocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. 

Article 2 of 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: 

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in a ruling on 11 June 1999 stated that “Against the stern definition of the Genocide Convention, the Commission is constrained to observe that while acts akin to genocide have occurred with respect to Kashmiri Pandits and that, indeed, in the minds and utterances of some of the militants a genocide-type design may exist, the crimes against the Kashmiri Pandits are near-Genocide and not Genocide.”

In the speech on 7 April 2004 the UN Secretary General said, “Wherever civilians are deliberately targeted because they belong to a particular community, we are in the presence of potential, if not actual, genocide.”

1990s were painted with genocide of Kashmiri Hindus. Many Kashmiri Hindus were murdered. Kashmiri Hindus were targeted by the militants in 1989 and afterwards until they didn’t left the valley. The official figure of Kashmir Pandit killings is 219. Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), a valley based NGO, disputes the government figure. In its first list of asurvey, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) suggests that 399 Pandits were killed and the list of KP killings is still incomplete. KPSS did the survey in 2008 and 2009 to find the exact number of Pandits killed, which revealed that 302 members of the community were killed in 1990 alone. Selective killing of minority Hindus amounts to genocide.

In exile, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits have died due to change in environmental conditions. Kashmiri Pandits were forced to live in hostile conditions in make-shift camps in Jammu/Delhi. During summers, the average temperature of Kashmir would generally be in thirties while in Jammu/Delhi, it is in forties. Think of 45ºC and 6-8 people living in a tent. The habitat changed resulted in sun-strokes, anaemia etc. which caused many deaths. Moreover, deaths happened due to snake bites as slum-like conditions of camps became the breeding ground for snakes. Even after 21 years, some are still living in camps.

Those Kashmiris who chose/supported the gun are responsible for the grievances of all Kashmiris whether Kashmiri Muslims or Kashmiri Hindus. It is amusing when the separatists (some of them were terrorists in 1990s) state that they are in favour of return and rehabilitation of Kashmir Pandits. Because they are the same people who were responsible for the exodus of minority Hindus from the valley.

Kashmiri Pandits have been denied justice from past 21 years. The human rights violation of Kashmiri Pandits ought to be addressed now. Kashmiri Pandits haven’t suffered physically only but culturally and psychologically also. Kashmiri Pandits have been suffering in a political-religious war in which they don’t form any part.

Author : Varad Varenya [ Twitter Handle : @VaradVarenya  ]

June 27, 2011

Are we ready to let Kashmir be? Yes , we already do . Only facts have to be told.

Filed under: Kashmir — Tags: , , , — TheKashmir @ 11:40 am

In the age of information , nationalists have failed to build up relationship .  It is no surprise that people with  ‘separatist ‘  ideology on regular interval find it very easy to find space in leading national newspapers , especially Hindustan Times .

Hindustan Times has quite a ‘flexible’ editorial policy . It goes into a full page online request to Rahul Gandhi to shave his beard  [ 1]  and when he does , it is again followed by announcement that Rahul has shaved [2].

The flexibility and access is quite accessible and more to ideas where separatism seems to be either ‘justified or encouraged.’

It was a chance that I was directed to an article by Ms Sabah Haji in HT , dated September 11th .  Since the article may appeal to many so called ‘liberals’  , I wanted to share few thoughts about this article .

Sabah Haji starts with why does it justify to be called a Kashmiri for those living in the state of Jammu & Kashmir . She writes

We call ourselves Kashmiris because we can’t say ‘Jammu and Kashmiris’ without sounding silly. Also, we speak Kashmiri. So that’s our identity.

Now one must know that the culture , language , food etc of many region in the state are different . How can a person from say Ladakh , who may not even be able to say “hello” in Kashmiri call himself a Kashmiri ?  How can a Dogra from Udhampur , Jammu , Kathu , Samba call himself a Kashmiri when he hardly knows the language or doesn’t even live in . How can a a Gujjar Muslim from Poonch or a Shia from Kargil call himself a Kashmiri , when they speak a different language  ?

The fact remains that the state is of diversified culture , language and imposing of a name or a brand does not serve any good.  Respecting each region is a must and ignoring it in choice of words is not a job done well.

Sabah , further writes

No one in Kashmir drills their children with ‘Azaadi’ mantras and anti-establishment behaviour

In all fairness , I would be delighted to know how does a 5 or a 6 year old child know what different nations are ?  What “Azaadi” means ? Why  India should be hated ?  Does this not get picked up while watching how the elders behave or act .  This is purely a behavior a child from any community in Kashmir or elsewhere is likely to pick up from the parents or elders he/she witnesses each day .

Sabah Ji has very intelligently tried to balance and clear the issue of exodus and atrocities upon Kashmiri Pandits . She writes

And the Kashmiri Pandit exodus — what a shameful tragedy. India and Pakistan played a huge, unforgivable part in this horrific episode as did those Kashmiris (Muslims and Pandits) who supported communalising the movement, either actively or under threat or coercion.

Now isn’t that interesting , nowhere a courage to call spade a spade ! She doesnt mention or write that Kashmiri Pandits have been victims of Islamist agenda . Instead she goes to extent of even blaming , yes you have read it right , she has ‘blamed’ some Kashmiri pandits of ‘communalising’ the ‘movement’ as well.  A community which was trying hard to save themselves from marauders is being blamed .

Sabah Ji further writes

What irks us is that while your Bhagat Singh is a ‘shaheed’ (martyr), while Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is a fierce nationalist, Kashmiris are to be typecast as violent troublemakers and written off for the same ideals and aspiration.

While as this argument may be appreciated by ‘ liberals’ or those who hold limited knowledge of history , but can Sabah Ji pls let us know if Subhas Chander had killed innocents and raped women ? Did Bhagat Singh go out and plunder places of worship of others ?  Subhas Chander and Bhagar Singh were nationalists who fought for independence of India from foreign occupation . Kashmir is different . Kashmir has been part of India since time immemorial . It is mentioned in MahaBharata and Raj Tarngini. One needs to read history with an open mind to clear whatsoever doubts are there .

I agree with Sabah Ji that no one can make her think of an Indian. And I am sure no one but she herself can help her to think like one .  As for someone asking “Aap Hindustan se hai ” to people in Kashmir , all I can say is that the argument is a bit to stretched by Sabah Ji . Unlike her, I am from the valley while she is from Doda district . I have interacted with many tourists and all I can say is that most of people in valley are extremely intelligent , and too while dealing with tourists. Most of them would be able to make a distinction between a Tamil , Kannadiga or a Telgu by just havinga look at the face and they even speak ” broken ” south Indian Language” .

Sabah Ji ends with a request for plebiscite  ,  and I could not help but smile . She should know that conditions for a plebiscite were not fulfilled by Pakistan to start with .  By it’s invasion of state , Pakistan lost out the reason to further the ’cause ‘ of plebiscite . If there is anyone to be blamed for this , it has to be Pakistan . Now plebiscite issue has become obsolete .  Ex UN Sec Gen , Kofi Anan , during his stint in Pakistan itself said….. “ UN resolutions on Kashmir did not come under Chapter 7 of the UN charter and were, therefore, not self-enforcing. Unlike the resolutions on East Timor and Iraq, which come under that particular chapter, the Kashmir resolutions require the cooperation of both parties for implementation……[ March 2001  During his brief interaction with the media at Pakistan’s Chakala military ].

I personally admire Sabah Ji for being a thoughtful person . I would wish Sabah Ji works for other issues , including finding out reasons why her home region of ‘Doda’ has such a different male / female sex ration . In Doda male to female  population is 63:37. I am sure for that cause , she would find many ” Hindustanis” chipping in their support , as I see many ” Hindustani” already extending support to her charity schools up in hills of Doda.

Also Read This article by @primary_red

May 16, 2011

The Amarnath Pilgrimage – History & Facts


Historically, the worship of Shivalingam has been a very popular religious practice in Kashmir. The same stands corroborated by Kalhan Pandit who in his monumental work, Rajtarangini, makes a mention of ‘vateshwar’, an ancient Shiva-lingam worshipped even in his lifetime. A king of Kashmir, Ravana, (1000 B.C)worshipped it as it was believed to predict future occurrences & events through the light emanating from the Sri-cakra engraved on it.1 The king was so devout in his worship of the Shiva-lingam that he consecrated the entire valley of Kashmir to the Math where-in he worshipped the Shiva-lingam.2 The Mahadev Peak, Dyaneshwar lingam &Sureshwar lingam, known as svayambhu lingams, have been objects of worship for the Hindus of Kashmir. In fact, the interiors of Himalayas possess numerous such lingams & Hindus reverently call them Shiva-dhams. Pilgrimages to the Shiva-dhams have been a regular feature without interruptions.

 

            The ancient cave of Amarnath known for its icy-lingam that is naturally formed has been a venerable spot of pilgrimage for thousands of years. The icy-lingam waxes & wanes with the waxing &waning of the Moon. It attains its full length form on the night of shravanPurnima. As per the written records the icy-lingam has been nomenclatured as’amresh’, ‘amreshwar’, ‘rasa-lingam’, ‘siddhi-lingam,’ ‘buddhi lingam,’ ‘shuddhilingam,’ ‘puratan buddhi lingam’ & ‘pumsavan lingam.3 The nomenclature of ‘amarnath’ as is in voguehas been drawn from & owes its genesis to the ‘Amarnath Mahatamya’, anauthentic work on the Amarnath as a holy place of worship.

 

            As per the ‘Amarnath Mahatamya’ Shiva in the form of  icy-lingam bestowed immortality on gods,devatas & thus he is known as ‘amresh’ or ‘amreshwar’. He delivers hisdevotees from the pains & pangs of old age & disease soon after they have his ‘darshan’ & ‘Satksatkar’ in the formation of icy -lingam. As per the Tantric erudites, He is Amarnath because He commences His ascent from’ama-kla’ to ‘purna-kala’ & a mere drop from it liberates a pilgrim, adevotee, from age & death & grants him the state of oneness with Supreme consciousness, the same as Shiva. A pilgrim, who in his extreme joyfulness& ecstasy, dances inside the cave, is considered a veritable rudra. 

Historical records

 

            The references to the holy cave of Amarnathare available in Bringesh Samhita, Nilmat Puran, Amarnath Mahatmaya & Rajtaranginis of Kalhan Pandit, Rajanak Jonraj & Shuk Pandit & othertravelogues by foreign travellers.

 

            Bringesh Samhita is a compendium of the Mahatamayas of all the prominent & well known tirthas (holy places) of Kashmir compiled by Bringesh, a scholar of eminence. In Kashmir, we have a galaxy of three persons bearing the same name of Brigesh. One was agana, an attendant of Shiva, the other was a sage & the third a scholar of eminence. Bringesh, the gana, being an unworldly recluse could not have any cultivated interest in writing & compiling the Mahatamayas. The research scholars hold that initial task of compiling Mahatmayas was taken up by Bringesh who was a known sage & the date for it is supposed to be 5thcentury A.D. The third Brignesh given to scholarship & scholarly pursuits is supposed to have aptly culminated the work as begun by the second Bringeseh in 12th century A.D.4. The entire work is unfortunately lost & the manuscript  available in the Ranbir Library, Jammu, is a truncated version &hence falls short of providing multi-dimensional & authentic informationabout the culture & mores of ancient Kashmir including  the topography of the region.

 

Mythology

             The Bringesh Samhita relates that Mahakala threatened the gods (devas) with death &destruction & they in all trepidation called on Lord Shiva & humblyentreated Him to protect them from Mahakala’s menacing threat of decimation. Shiva in all mercifulness freed them from Mahakala’s threat by showering uponthem the boon of immortality. Again to seek Shiva’s support & protectiongods (devas) could not see Him as He was deeply immersed in His devotional& meditative practices. In absolute distress the gods (devas) lifted theirhands to supplicate Him to appear before them. Shiva, the merciful, appeared inthe formation of an icy-lingam & this is the genesis of the Holy Lingam& subsequent pilgrimage to the holy cave of ‘amresh’ or ‘Amarnath’.

 

            Bringesh Samhita also relates that Kashmir was a vast expanse of water & the sageKashyap drained the lake for the land to appear. Bringesh, the sage, was scouring the swathes of the valley & discovered the cave wherein an icy-lingam in full length form was standing. Lord Shiva gave him a sceptre for protection of pilgrims which has now taken the form of Chhari Maharaj, the holymace leading the annual pilgrimage.

 

            As per Amarnath Mahatamya, Parvati, the consort of Shiva, was ultra-keen to know in full details the mysteries of life & immortality .Entreating the lord to reveal the mysteries to her, Shiva traversing the tops& ridges of the Himalayas took rest in a cave & disclosed to her all the secrets about life & immortality. Finally Lord transmuted Himself into an icy-lingam.

 

Nilmatpuran

             Vital to the history of Kashmir Nilmatpuran as a fascinating store-house of socio-cultural materials is the earliest work of 6th century A.D. which carries a reference to the Holy cave of ‘Amreshwar.6 It authentically establishes that the cave known for its icy-lingam was well within the active consciousness of general populace in Kashmir. The people of Kashmir in particular & the vast masses of people in India in general believe Shiva as the god of mountains laden with layers of white snow. Shiva’s consort, Parvati, is the daughter of the Himalayas who got wedded to Shiva who has His abode in the snow-capped mountains. Pilgrimages to the mountains as a home to gods have been an ancient practice of the Hindus. The Hindus of Kashmir as part & parcel of the Indian cultural mosaic shared the same cultural spirit & ethos & made pilgrimages to the mountain peaks & mountainous caves in search of spiritual upliftment & spiritual bliss of peace and ananda.

 

Amarnath Mahatamaya

             Amarnath Mahatamya gives a full & elaborate account of the pilgrimage to the Holy Cave of Amarnath. It details out all the holy spots enroute to the Holy cave. It does not only mention the religious merit that a pilgrim earns by bathing & cleansing praxes at various holy spots, but also gives an authentic & credible account of their topography & geographical position. Amarnath Mahatamya has its essential base in the Adi-Purana establishing its original position as a Purana. It was regarded  as a standard Mahatamya giving lucid details & exact descriptions in concordance with well recognised literary  practices. The Amarnath Mahatamya certainly has a religious & legendary complexion, yet it is a mine of information on the cultural ethos of Kashmir in those hoary days of yore & also the socially-oriented behavioural indices of aboriginal Hindus of Kashmir.

 

Kalhan’s Rajtarangini (1148-50 A.D.)

             Kalhan Pandit, the Herodotus of Kashmir history, has made definitive & categorical references to the Holy cave of Amarnath. In Tarang I of his work, Rajtarangini, he makes a mention of a legend of Naga Sushravas, who had given his daughter in wed-lock  to a Brahmin youth for the help he had rendered him in harvesting the crops. But king Nara, the ruler of Chakradhar (Chakdar) near vijyeshwar (vegibror), tried to abduct the young Brahman’s youthful Naga wife. This aroused the wrath of Naga Sushruvas, who in all blood & fury, arsoned & destroyed Nara’s entire kingdom & put him to death. It was done in all bitter revenge & Naga Sushruvas, perhaps fearing fearful reprisals, carried his son-in-law & his spouse to his own abode, Sushram Naga, now known as Shesh Naga. Kalhan writes, “This place is now located en route pilgrimage to ‘Amreshwar’.

 

            Kalhan Pandit describes the Shesh Naga lake as ‘the lake of dazzling whiteness resembling a sea of milk’ This authentic account available in Rajtarangini unambiguously buttresses the assertion that the pilgrimage to the Holy Cave of Amreshwar must have been much in vogue in Kalhan Pandit’s time.

 

            The above-mentioned reference to ‘Amreshwar’ is not the solitary one that Kalhan Pandit has provided the succeeding generations about Amarnath. He as a historian possessed of an observant eye conveys more credible materials about the cave shrine.

 

            In Tarang II of Rajtarangini Kalhan Pandit conveys that “King Sandimat Aryaraj (34 BC) used to spend the most delightful summer in worshipping linga formed by snow in the regions above the forests.”7

 

            It is a clear cut reference to the icy-lingam at Amarnath cave.

 

            In another  reference to Amarnath Kalhan Pandit in his Rajtarangini, Tarang VII conveys that Queen suryamati, the spouse of king Ananta “submitted trishuls, banalingas and other sacred emblems in the name of her husband at Amershwar”.8

 

Jonraja’s Rajtrangini 

            In his second Rajtarangini, Jonraj, a fearless historian of Kashmir, writes, ‘Sultan Zain-ul-abidin (1420-1470) paid a visit to the sacred tirth of Amarnath while constructing a canal on the left bank of the river Lidder (lambodari)’. 9

 

Shuka Pandit’s Rajtarangini 

            In his fourth Rajtarangini, also known as Rajavalipataka, Shuka, the disciple of Prajya Bhatt, whose Rajtarangini is lost, gives full length detail of the pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath. Shuka informs that Akbar who as per history had annexed Kashmir at the pleadings & prodding’s of two political advisors of Makhdoom Sahib, a Naqshbandi sufi of indigenous origins, anti-shia to his bone-marrow, had made some queries from his governor Yusuf Khan about some political-cum-administrative affairs regarding Kashmir. In his reply to the query made by the emperor he mentions among other things the Amarnath pilgrimage in broad & incisive details. It establishes that the Amarnath pilgrimage was surely in vogue even in the times of Akbar who annexed Kashmir in 1586 A.D.

 

Asif Vilas by Pt Raj Jagannath 

            As reinforced by historical evidences Shah Jehan vandalised temples & other places of worship of Hindus in Kashmir & a shocked foreign traveller, Francios Bernier, writes, ‘The doors & pillars were found in some of the idol temples demolished by Shah Jehan & it is impossible to estimate their value.’11

 

            But the Amarnath pilgrimage continued un-interrupted despite the emperor’s vile iconoclastic activities. In his well-known eulogy of Asif Khan, Shah Jehan’s father-in-law, a reputed aesthete, Panditraj Jagannath, makes a categoric mention of Amareshwar while giving a poetic description of Nishat garden as laid out by Asif Khan. In his flight of imagination jagannath writes in the ‘Asif vilas’ that ‘ Indira, king of the galaxy of gods, comes here to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva.’12

 

Francois Bernier, The french physician  

            Francois Bernier, the French physician, accompanied Aurangzeb, the Bigot, when he was on a visit to Kashmir in 1663 A.D. Driven by curiosity & wander-lust he visited Trisandya, Verinag, Achabal, wular-lake & Sangsafed facing Harmukh & therefrom he pursued ‘Journey to a grotto full of wonderful congellations’. 13 It had taken him two days to reach the grotto, which surely is no place other than that of the Holy cave of  Amarnath.

 

            In the second reprint of Bernier’s Travelogue titled ‘Travels  in Mughal Empire,’ a noted historian, Vincent A. Smith, writes in his introduction, ‘ the grotto full of wonderful congellations is the Amarnath cave, where blocks of ice, stalagmites formed by dripping water from the roof, are worshipped by many Hindus, who resort here, as images of Shiva, glaciers surround the………………….’14

 

Kirpa Ram dutt & holy cave of amarnath (1675 A.D.) 

            At the behest of Auranzeb his governor in Kashmir, Iftikhar Khan, cruel & theo-fascist, subjected the Kashmiri Pandits to the worst ever persecution & torture for their conversion to Islam. Kashmiri Pandits, five hundred in number, under the astute leadership of Kirpa Ram Dutt, a known Shaivite Scholar, met at the Holy cave of Amarnath to devise a workable strategy to meet the challenge. One of the pandits at the Holy cave saw Lord Shiva in a dream directing him to call on Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-75A.D) at the village of Anandpur Sahib in the Punjab. It was from the Holy cave of Amaranth that kirpa Ram Dutta in obedience to the direction of Lord Shiva led the delegation of five hundred Pundits to Guru Tegh Bahadur & rest is history.15

 

Vigne, a foreign traveller 

            Vigne, another foreign traveller, paid a visit to Ladakh and Tibet during the times of Maharaja Sher Singh of the Punjab. He made an attempt to visit the Holy cave of Amarnath via the traditional route, but was forced to return from vayuvarjan (vavjan) because of inclement weather. Out of sheer curiosity he met various shades of people, mostly the natives and thus gleaned a lot of relevant material about the pilgrimage to the cave and put it to writing in 1842 A.D. In his reputed travelogue titled as ‘Travels in Kashmir, Ladakh and Iskardu’, vigne conveys, ‘The ceremony at the cave of Amarnath takes place on the 15th of the Hindu month of Sawan, 28th July…………… not only Hindus of Kashmir but those from Hindustan of every rank and caste can be seen, collecting together and travelling up the valley of Liddar (Lambodari) towards the celebrated cave, which from his description must have been the place which Bernier tried to visit but was prevented.’16

 

            What we get  from vigne’s travel account is that pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath was not only a local affair, but would draw a crowd of pilgrims from far and near in the country.

 

Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj (1563-1606 A.d.)

             It is a known fact that Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj granted land in Amritsar for the ceremonial depature of Chharhi, the holy mace of lord Shiva, marking the commencement of the pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath. This gracious act of the Guru Maharaj lends unimpeachable credibility to the fact that pilgrimage to the holy cave was not confined to the natives of Kashmir, but would draw enthusiastic pilgrims from across the country. To earn religious merit many devout Hindus would donate lands and moneys to the religious  groups and institutions to provide facilities to the pilgrims bound for the Holy cave of Lord Shiva.

 Pt Sansar Chand Koul, a naturalist of Kashmir

             In his booklet ‘The  Mysterious cave of Amarnath’, Pandit Sansar Chand Koul, the first ever geographer of Kashmir, author and scholar, informs that ‘in 1819 A.D. Pandit Hardas Tiku founded the Chhawni Amarnath at Ram Bagh in Srinagar where saddhus (renunciates) from the  plains assembled and where he gave free rations for the journey, both ways from his own private resources”.17 The year 1817A.D. as mentioned by Pandit Sansar Chand Koul marks the end of the brutal and tyrannical rule of the Afghans who persecuted Kashmiri Pandits to incredible limits, out-smarting the pains and wounds inflicted on them by the sayyid-sufis from Central-Asian countries.

W. Lawrence’s Valley of Kashmir  

            In his celebrated work ‘Valley of Kashmir‘ walter Lawrence, the Settlement Commisioner of Kashmir, has not missed to make a mention of the pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath.

             He writes, ‘Puranmashi the full moon of the month of Sawan is the day when pilgrims must reach the distant cave of Amarnath and worship the snow-lingam which gradually melts away  after the puranmashi. Strict Hindus both male and female discard their clothes and put on shirts of birch-bark before they enter this cave……………………………’ 18.

 Routes to the holy cave of Amarnath

             The traditional route to the Holy cave of Amarnath has been via Lidder Valley despite the fact that the cave is situated in the geographical environs of the Sind Valley. The prominent holy spots enroute the traditional path have been elaborately mentioned in the Amarnath Mahatamya. The holy spots other than Anantnag as elaborated in the Mahatamya are :-

Balihar (Baliyar), Vaghashram (Vagahom), Hastikaran (Hasikhan), Chakresh (Chakdhar), Devak (Divakiyar), Harish Chander (Chandanyar), Surya-guha-vat (Sirigofwar), Sakhras (Sakhras), Badoras (Badur), Hyashashishram (Kamalnag), Uttarnag (Wotarnag), Sarlak (Salar), Khilyayan (Balkhyalan), Narayan-Maha-Khetra (Kolar), Mamlak (Mamleeshwar), Bragupati (Pahalgam), Sthanu-ashram (Chandanwor), Giripesh (Pishbal), Sushrumnag (Shishirnag), Vayuvarjan (Vavjan), Pancha-tarni (Panchtarni), Garbagar (Garabyatra), and Amravati (Ombravati).19

 

            After having ritual baths and performing other ritual practices at these holy spots the pilgrim’s progress blissfully climaxes at the Holy Cave where the icy-lingam, the transmuted form of Lord Shiva, is standing either in suyambhu form or in full-length form only to bless the pilgrims and grant them deliverance from sickness of the world caused by meshy layers of duality.

 

The Baltal Route

 

            The Baltal route to the Holy cave of Amarnath is the Sind valley route which has not been popular with the pilgrims, either natives or from various parts of India. The route lies in inhospitable terrain, arduous and difficult, risky and menacing. Thanks to the Border Roads Organisation a negotiable path has been carved out and constructed and in view of the facility a multitude of pilgrims is seen ambling on the path for ‘darshan’ of the Holy icy-lingam. The path remains open for all months of the summer. Distance wise, the Baltal roiute is shorter than the traditional Pahalgam route.

 

Route from Zojilla Pass

 

            The Zojilla route to the Holy Cave of Amarnath has been a known route and comparatively the shortest route to the sacred shrine of Shiva. It is just a track that can be trekked on foot and descends near the cave from the Amarnath peak.

 

Kishtwar – Seru Route  

            Kishtwar -Seru route has equally been a known route to the Hindus of Kishtwar and other belts of the mountainous region. Kashmiri Pandits, who doggedly refused conversion to Islam during the tyrannical days of Sultan Sikander (1387-1407AD) fled to Kishtwar for shelter and safety, trek the same route to pay obeisance to Shiva in the Holy Cave. For them, it is a popular route, though it was already popular with the indigenous population of the region.

 Sacki- Pantsal route

             The geographical studies of the region reveal that Sacki-Pantsal route is also a route leading to the Holy Cave. But it has not been much in vogue because of its difficult terrain and weather disasters.

 

Pigeons in the holy cave

             A pair of pigeons, present and flying in the cave, drench its chill-cold and weird environs in mystery and mystique. The pilgrims consider it extremely auspicious and feel blessed, thrilled and transported to mystical realms when they catch a mere glimpse of them. The pair of pigeons in the Holy  Cave has been reverentially depicted in the Amarnath Mahatamya as the two messengers of Lord Shiva disseminating  His revealed verities and truths to the world of humans for their spiritual upliftment and emancipation.

 

            As per the legend Lord Shiva revealed to His ever-eager consort, Parvati, the mysteries of creation, life and immortality in the Holy Cave of Amarnath. The pair of pigeons, quietly perched in some niche of the cave, overheard the secrets in full details as were revealed to Parvati by Lord Shiva. Having learnt of their presence in the cave, Lord Shiva granted them the boon of immortality and hence their eternal abode in the Lord’s cave.

 

            Foreign travellers having found their way into the purlieux of Kashmir have not missed to make a mention of the pair of pigeons in the cave-temple.

 

            Anchored in speculation, waxing eloquent on the topic of pigeons, vigne, a foreign traveller, writes, ‘The dove (pigeon) has always been an emblem of peace, the sublime and preter-natural     have always been concomitants of wildness; solitude accompanied by an extra-ordinary degree of remoteness has often been a cause of sanctification. And the wild and gloomy the locality, the better has it been thought qualified to become the peculiar residence of God.’ 20

 

Swami Vivekanand on Amarnath cave (1897 A.D.)

 

            Swami Vivekanand, an eloquent and eminent spiritualist of India, paid a visit to the Holy cave and was mystified by the icy-lingam in the Holy cave where Lord Shiva had dwelt upon perennial subjects of creation, life and immortality that have ever been intriguing humankind from the days of its creation. As per his well known biography Swami Vivekanand is reported to have conjectured about how the Holy Cave could have been discovered. The author writes ;-

 

            ‘I can well imagine how this cave was first discovered. A party of shepherds, one summer day, must have lost their flocks and wandered here in search of them. What must have been their feeling as they found themselves unexpectedly before this unmelting ice-lingam of white camphor, with the wall itself dripping offerings of water over it for centuries unseen of mortal eyes ? When they came home they whispered to other shepherds in the Valleys how they had suddenly come upon Mahadeva.’ 21

 

            On having entered the cave Swami Vivekananda was overwhelmed with a mystical experience. He had a darshan of Shiva. He called the place religious, inspiring and extremely beautiful. He wove meticulously beautiful poetry about the icy-lingam and its impact on his total psyche.

 

The tyrannical Rule of Sultan Sikander 

            Sultan Sikander, who had pawned his soul to a Sayyid-Sufi from Central Asia, Mir Mohammad Hamadani, was not only an iconoclast, but a misanthrope, hater of books, enemy of aesthetics and worst form of Islamist. He issued an atrocious and contemptuous government decree ordering the Kashmiri Hindus to get converted to Islam or flee the native land or get perished. As a result, thousands of Hindus were brutally massacred, thousands got converted and thousands fled the land for shelter.

 

            The Sultan’s numerous crimes against humanity are :-

 

1.       He did not permit the Hindus to go to temples to pray and worship.22

 

2.       He did not permit them to blow a conch or tolll a bell.23

 

3.       He stopped Hindus from performing their religious practices and celebrating their festivals. 24

 

4.       He killed them if they put a tilak-mark on their foreheads.25

 

5.       At the apperance of the new moon, the Hindus were not allowed to worship or take out processions.26

 

6.       He burnt six mounds (1 mound = 37 kilos) of sacred threads worn by Hindus as a mark of their religious initation only after putting them to cruel death.27

 

7.       He stopped Hindus from undertaking pilgrimages to all Shivadhams (Amarnath, Sureshwar, Harsheshwar, Dyaneshwar, Mahadev Peak).28

 

8.       He stopped Hindus from burning their dead.29

 

9.       He demolished and destroyed the marvellous temples of Martand, Vijyeshwar, Chakrabrat, Tripureshwar, Sureshwari, Varah and many others.30

 

10.     He imposed the hated Jazia (poll-tax) on the Hindus, thus declaring them dhimmis.31

 

11.     He waged war on the Hindus when Mir Mohammad Hamadani declared them ‘Kafirs at war’.32

 

12.     He burnt books on Hindu knowledge, science, astronomy, astrology, music, dance, poetics and medicine.33

 

          The worst ever hurricane fury of genocide of the Kashmiri Hindus 34 unleashed by Sultan Sikander and vigorously pursued by Ali Shah and their armies 35 forced Hindus to burn, hang and drown themselves in rivers and wells and jump over steep precipices to protect their religion. The genocide of Hindus acquired a renewed speed and impetus when another wave of Sayyid Sufis led by Sayyid Jalal-ud-din Bukhari 36 entered the borders of Kashmir. The Hindus and their cultural signs and symbols were ruthlessly destroyed the same manner as locusts destroy and devour the lush green paddy fields.

 

Q-factor in the History of Kashmiri Hindus

             Zain-ul-abidin came to the throne of Kashmir in 1420 A.D. In his treatment of and attitude unto the remaining small number of Hindus, not more than proverbial eleven families, the Sultan slavishly followed the marked foot-prints of his predecessors and felt no reason to swerve away from the state policy chalked out by the foreign Sayyid-sufis in choke-hold of state apparatus. The Sultan at the behest of Sayyid-suifs in his court repalced Sanskrit as the official language of court by Persian37. He showered lavish and unprecedented patronage on the foreign musicians from Khurasan and other Central Asian belts thereby discouraging and disparaging the indigenous trends and shades of music38. His court was under the total siege of foreign Muslim ulema and Sayyid-sufis whose inflow into Kashmir had gained tremendous volume and speed. As he was in the line of foreign unsurpers Zain-ul-abidin failed to architect a state that would transcend religious hue and complexion. Encouraging foreign craftsmen to pursue their crafts in Kashmir he dealt a massive blow to indigneous crafts and craftsmen, their jobs being practically stolen by foreign Muslims from distant countries. Sharia-bound the Sultan did not order the execution of a foreign Sayyid-sufi when he murdered a saffron-clad recluse in cold blood. The reason cited was that he was a Sayyid-sufi and hence above law and immune to severe punishment. The state that Zain-ul-abidin assiduously built was an all-round affair of the Muslims from distant lands and people in general though forcible converts to Islam remained deeply mired in despondency and alienation. As social and moral cohesion and bonding had ruptured and shredded the individuals as units in the social fabric were reduced to a state of sheer lawlessness and chaos.

 

            No historian of Kashmir has been precise in citing the date and time when the Sultan developed a fatal boil on his body. All sorts of treatment by a host of foreign physicians was administered to the ailing and wailing Sultan. In all desperation the Sultan was informed of a Hindu physician, Shirya Bhatt by name, who had somehow survived the holocaust and was living in obscurity away from the prying eyes of Muslim maruders.

 

            The Hindu physician was called in. In all Jitters and a chill going down his spine Shriya Bhatt examined the awe-inspiring patient, Zain-ul-abidin, the son of Sikander, the iconoclast and commenced his indigenous treatment. Some days elapsed and lo! the high profile patient showed encouraging signs of turning the corner. He recovered and came to live a normal life. Happy and elated the Sultan sent for the Hindu physician, a native under duress in a gulag and in all generosity asked him to name the beneficence or bountiful reward he would like to have from the Sultan.

 

            What the Hindu physician, Shirya Bhatt, in all humility and supplication asked for as the beneficence or bountiful reward  from the Sultan worked as Q-factor in the history of Kashmiri Pandits. A pious and noble soul, altruistic in his world view and harassed to his bone-marrow, Shirya Bhatt shell shocked the Sultan when he asked for naught for himself, but prayed for the return and rehabilitation of multitudes of his compatriots who had fled their native land to avert the Muslim persecution, allowing them to pursue their indigenous form of education and have jobs in government. The Sultan, more or less, chastened by the fatal boil and under a debt of gratitude to the Hindu physician ungrudgingly conceded all what the Hindu physician had supplicated for.

 

            The Sultan to the absolute  disapprobation and annoyance of Muslim Ulema and Sayyid-sufis despatched messengers to various parts of the country to spot out exiled Hindus and earnestly urged them to return to their native place. He reduced the quantity of Silver (4 tolas in weight) to be paid as Jazia (poll-tax) by half, but was not gracious enough to withdraw the hateful imposition in full thereby granting them total exemption from the punitive tax.

 

            As the Hindus could not cremate their dead under a despotic decree from the Muslim Sultan called Sikander, they were left with no option but to cremate their dead inside their dwellings and kept the ashes in an urn placed in a space created by removing mud and stone from the main doors of their dwellings. Srivar, a historian of Kashmir, writes that when the Sultan Zain-ul-abidin permitted the severely persecuted Hindus to immerse the ashes of their dead in the Gangabal Lake, ten thousand of them miserably perished in a horrific snow-storm that cruelly hit the upland regions the time they were on a return journey after performing rites and rituals connected with the immersion of ashes40.

 

            Srivar also informs that he as a faithful courtier had to pay tax-money, a monstrosity, for the cremation of his father. When he cheekily brought it to the personal notice of his Sultan in the court, he condescended to reduce the tax money, but was again not magnanimous enough to remit the levey in toto that was punitively imposed on the Hindus by Sultan Sikander41.

 

            The Muslim Sultan, Zain-ul-abidin, as a result of fundamental shift in his attitude permitted the exterminated Hindus to celebrate their religious fairs and festivals, circumambulate around the Sharika Parbat and chant hyms and mantras in high decibel and undertake pilgrimages to their holy spots and Shivadhams42.

 

            It becomes stark clear that pilgrimage to the Holy Cave of Amarnath was cruelly stopped by the Muslim ruler Sultan Sikander, from the day he launched a Muslim crusade against the natives and could not be resumed till Zain-ul-abidin suffered a change of heart after the fatal boil that was treated and cured by Shirya Bhatt, who was later included in his court and put in charge of health facilities for the people.

 

            As per the historical archives, Ibrahim Shah II (1552-54 A.D.) granted religious freedom to all. The Hindus were granted freedom of worship only on payment of Jazia (poll-tax). The Hindus made a request for the remittance of the oppressive tax. The Sultan in all hostility replied, ‘How can I who is a Muslim cease to levy tax from the Hindus?’43

 

            The chak fanatics (1554-85 A.D) who were Shias by faith re-imposed Jazia in full on the Hindus of Kashmir. Any Hindu wearing a sacred thread had to pay an annual tax to the chak rulers. Shuka Pandit, a contemporary historian, makes a comment, ‘The Hindus were overpowered by religious intolerance the same way as the sun is overpowered by the grey sable clouds.’44

 

            By implication what is conveyed by Shuka Pandit is that Hindus performing any religious act including a pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath had to pay a tax to the Muslim rulers.

 

            The Afghans as per all available versions of Kashmir history were barbarous, crude, cruel, ignorant and inhuman. They chopped off every twig from the tree of mercy. The atrocities inflicted on the Hindus of Kashmir by Afghans were unheard of and  beat all previous records. They plundered their houses, looted all what they had by way of material possessions, and anybody complaining or resisting was straight-away put to axe or sword. Persecuting and massacring Hindus was designed to exterminate their entire race or achieve their conversion to Islam. The Hindus fled their land of ancestors to the tropical plains of India to save themselves from the barbarous Afghans. When Hindus were existentially in peril, how could they  have thought of living a pious life of religiosity and performing pilgrimages to the holy spots (tiraths) that they reverred and worshipped for spiritual attainments ? The brutal Afghans stopped them from undertaking pilgrimages to well-known Shiva-dhams or even celebrating their auspicious fairs and festivals. They condemned them as manifestations of infidelity and heresy violative of Sunna and Sharia 45.

 

            The people of Kashmir in general heaved a great sigh of relief when the Sikh army from the Punjab expelled the brutal Afghans from the territory of Kashmir. The soothing relief to the Kashmiri Hindus was that all vexatious and oppressive taxes levied on them were mercifully withdrawn in toto and pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath was resumed. It was during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh that the Holy Mace symbolic of Shiva’s Mace was stored at Amritsar and pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amaranath would kick-start right from Amritsar.

 

            With the Dogra takeover of Kashmir in 1846 A.D. the pilgrimage to the Holy cave assumed a new scale and dimension. The number of pilgrims increased manifold and proper arrangements for safe conduct of yatra were meticulously made. The Dogras managed the shifting of the Holy Mace from Amritsar to Srinagar where it was stored at Dashnami Akhara where from it is traditionally taken to the Holy cave in a massive procession of devotees, pilgrims, sadhus, sanyasis and general mass of Hindus.

 

Malikhs of Batakoot

 

            Before discussing the role and status of Maliks of Batakoot it becomes quite imperative to place the Maliks as a generic term in proper historical perspective. It can be gleaned from the pages of Hindu history of Kashmir that the Hindu rulers were extremely vigilant in guarding the frontiers of their kingdom. There were routes and passes that were vulnerable and militarily sensitive and could be used for incursions, surprise raids or full-scale aggressions by the invading hordes. To guard their territories the rulers had set up military-cum watch stations put under the charge of officials designated as dwarpals or dwarpatis. They were also tagged as ‘margeshes’ meaning those who mastered the routes or pathways. These military-cum-watch stations were so fortified  in terms of men and materials that the marauding armies of Mahmud Ghaznavi failed twice to invade Kashmir and conquer it.

 

Records Alberuni —   

            ‘They (Hindus) are particularly anxious about the natural strength of their country and therefore take much care to keep a strong-hold upon the entrances and roads leading to it. In consequence it is very difficult to have any commerce with them…….’ 46

 

            It broadly explains how Kashmir resisted going the Islamic way for full six hundred years after the advent of Islam in India.

             In the wake of the launch of Muslim crusade against the natives of Kashmir by Sultan Sikander and his Sayyid-sufi mentor from Central Asia, Mir Mohammad Hamadani, the dwarpals, dwarpatis and margeshes like all other hapless segments of Kashmiri Society were coerced, tortured and brutalized to change their indigenous faith. After they got converted merely as statistical Muslims they were renamed as maliks and were allowed to retain their profession or else they were to be de-mobilised. When army was used for whole-sale conversions by Muslim rulers, all the exit routes were totally closed for the fleeing Hindus so that they would not escape the orgy of conversion47. The same converted Maliks guarding the passes and other exit-points faithfully executed the atrocious writ of the tyrannical rulers.

             Maliks as a vital cog in the Muslim state apparatus were tortured, hounded out and made to flee in the aftermath of chaks getting defeated by the mighty Mughal forces. Most of them perished and some survived by hiding themselves in secluded mountainous regions. The surviving ones had no option but to make a truce with the Mughals to earn reprieve. They were permitted to pursue their profession of guarding the routes and ingress-points on mountains girting the valley.

 

            With the advent of Dogras the Maliks lost their professional moorings and utility as they established the same improvised policing methods and techniques that were largely prevalent in the Punjab, perhaps introduced by the Britishers.

  Myth of Discovery of the holy cave of Amarnath by a Malik

             It is a mere myth, a fib, a lie and a fabrication that the Holy cave of Amarnath was discovered by a Malik in1845 A.D. The litany of references and allusions to the Holy Cave are so profusely splashed in the historical works and theological literature of Kashmir that in no uncertain terms establish its enormous antiquity. Most of the Muslims rulers as borne out by historical records banned the pilgrimage to the Holy cave or created insurmountable hurdles and difficulties for the pilgrims to undertake the pilgrimage. Sultan Sikander banned everything that had a Hindu flavour. Ibrahim Hussain Shah imposed Jazia (poll-tax) on a Hindu to practise his religion including undertaking pilgrimages. Chaks were crude and intolerant fanatics. They used all wild and cruel methods in their armory to exterminate Hinduism from Kashmir. Afghans were the cruellest of the cruel. Their persecution of Hindus is bone-chilling and beggars description. The pilgrimage to any and all Shiva-dhams became impossible during the barbaric period. The pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath was a continuous affair. All written records amply bear it out and fully buttress it. It got interrupted during the time-periods when indigenous religion, medicine, theology and architecture were decimated. The unrelenting natives under constant on-slaught during the Sultanate chunk of history and even during post-Sultanate period resisted and rejected conversion and fled the land of their birth six times48. In the history of Kashmiri Pandits the stark resemblances to the Jewish history of the exoduses and persecution are writ large. The small numbers that survived the Muslim genocide or those who found it wise or expedient to return to their native land from the plains never severed and abandoned their linkages with the hall-marks of their religion and culture. Steely and resilient they continued to pay obeisance to the Holy cave of Icy-Lingam for spiritual fulfilment and ascendance. This fact is amply reinforced by the calender of the native Hindus, nearly five thousand year old in which the pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath is included as a day of fasting on account of ‘Shrawan Purnima’, the culminating day of the pilgrimage to the Holy cave.

 

Association of Maliks with the Amarnath Pilgrimage

             As per my personal findings the Maliks of Batakoot are those who proved stubborn beyond limits and failed to reconcile to the Mughal conquest of Kashmir and to avoid annihilation hid themselves at a distant place in the mountainous region away from the gaze of the Mughal soldiers. As they lost their ancestral occupation and had become rudderless and vagrant the Dogra rulers in view of their history harnessed their services as guides to the pilgrim’s enroute the Holy cave of Amarnath. Over the years they were assigned the additional jobs of maintenance of the rough track, raising of small sheds on the routes and physical safety of the pilgrims. In lieu of their services they were paid a sufficient part of the offerings that the devotees offered to the Icy-Lingam in the Holy cave.

 

            To reinforce my stand-point I refer to W.Lawrence who lucidly mentions that pilgrims on way to Holy cave were joined by Brahmins at Mattan and further up at Batakoot Maliks used to take charge of the pilgrimage. He also adds that Maliks were supposed to keep the track in order, guide or escort  the pilgrims and carry sick pilgrims and ensure that nothing was stolen and received one-third of the offerings at the Holy Shrine of Amarnath.

 

            My probe into the affair has led me to an alternate theory that the Malik clan after their conversion to Islam would collect tax money or Jazia (poll-tax) from the native Hindus and the devout pilgrims across the country on a pilgrimage to the holy cave of Amarnath. For most of the Sultanate period barring a short-lived interlude the native Hindus, their religion and its prominent signatures littered over the entire region were under a determined onslaught and decimation. If Hindus were allowed some sort of vague religious freedom, anathema to Islam, they had to pay tax-money or Jazia (Poll-tax) for their religious observances and pilgrimages. As Maliks were stationed at all vulnerable spots, if Amarnath route was one and I believe, it was, they could have been assigned the authority of collecting the hated tax from any Hindu pilgrim, a dhimmi as per Islamic practices.

 

Who is Secular?

 

            With the eruption of mass frenzy over the diversion of some chunks of forest land at Baltal to Amarnath Shrine Board, some half-baked Muslim leaders, immature and ill-informed media men and ultra-liberals have claimed that the association of Muslims with the pilgrimage is something uniquely secular. Let these worthies be told that it is the Hindus who are ultra-secular for having allowed the Muslims to be a part of the pilgrimage and have a share from the offerings. Do Muslims allow the Hindus or for that matter Christians or Jews to be a part of their annual pilgrimage? It is an established fact that the Hindus have a catholic and tolerant view of the world and are accommodative and assimilative and view God’s essence in all men of all faiths. Their tolerant world-view gets established by the vedic dictum – Reality is one, interpretations vary.

 

            If some chunks of people involve themselves in economic activities during the period of pilgrimage to the Holy cave it is absolutely an absurd position to highlight it as basis for orchestration of the secular credentials of that chunk of population. The fact of the matter is that pilgrims on way to the Holy cave duly purchase the services of a chunk of people who happen to be Muslims. It is no charity, it is no benevolence, it is a simple position of purchasing the services of a labourer, a courier, a pony wallah willing to sell his muscle or bodily strength or any other means of assistance to a pilgrim. To color the pilgrimage as an expression of syncretic culture of Kashmir and to project it as a shining precedent of secularism are mere absurd constructions and far-fetched and irrelevant stipulations. The Kashmiri Pandits who have been hounded out of their native place sufficiently know the worth of syncretic culture of Kashmir and its facade of secular credentials.

 —- The Beginning —-

Author : Prof. Mohan Lal Koul

April 23, 2011

Peace-Process- Hidden Agenda

Filed under: Accords, Kashmir, Nationalism — Tags: , , , , — TheKashmir @ 4:40 am

 By Dr. M.K. Teng

Now that the Government of India has repeated its Sharam-ul-Sheikh performance at Thimpu and offered to resume the composite dialogue with Pakistan, virtually jumping over the stand it had taken in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Mumbai, there is much more that the Indian Government has to explain about what it intends to do in Jammuand Kashmir. Evidently the climb-dam by the Government of India on crucial issues involved in its policy in respect of Jammu and Kashmir, reflects a willful surrender. This perhaps eminates from its inability to face political blackmail and pressure brought to bear on the Indian leaders in the name of economic development and under the cover of peace and security of the region.

The Indian policy reflects a strange sense of helplessness, which pervades the outlook of the Indian political class and which acts as an impelling force to drive those in power to invite Pakistan to the conference table again and again, after every small and major misdemeanor Pakistan has committed. Every time, Pakistan has returned to the conference table, grumbling and growling at the inability of the Indian Government to make the composite dialogue purposeful and result oriented. The cause of concern is not the abrasive attitude of Pakistan, but the uneasiness with which the Indian political class reacts to it.

The Indian Government has rather, with deliberate intent, tried to play down the way Pakistan has expressed its dissatisfaction with the purpose and the pace of the peace-process. It is mainly because the Indian leadership has shown reluctance to face the prospect of laying down a baseline of its policy on the Kashmir issued In fact, the Indian political class has so far evaded the crucial decision of fixing the “irreducible minimum”, beyond which it would not go to reach a settlement with Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir. Its exhortations to urge upon the Indian Government” to walk an extra-mile” from its “stated positions” in order to be able to reach an “out of the box” solution of the Kashmir problem and its extravagant eagerness to nudge the Indian Government “to go far enough in its engagement with Pakistan, to reach, a settlement on Kashmir”, are idle expressions used to camouflage the subterfuge it has indulged in so far. The truth is that the Indian political class has never mustered courage to stand upto its neighbors. In fact, the Indian political class has never shared with the Indian people the import of defending their borders.

 

Muslim outlook

The Government of Pakistan, its military establishment as well as the civil society in Pakistan, are, all agreed upon the baseline of their stand on Jammu and Kashmir. The civil society in Pakistan has, on no occasion, found it necessary to urge upon the Government of Pakistan, “to walk an extra-mile” in order to reach an “out of the box settlement” on Kashmir. Pakistan has stuck to its stated position that : (a) the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir are apart of the Muslim nation of Pakistan (b) the Muslims of the state of Jammu and Kashmir acquired the right to unite the State with the Muslim homeland of Pakistan from the partition of India, (c) the Muslims of the State were denied their right to unite the state with Pakistan in 1947, when the ruler of State Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India, against their wishes and (d) India, which pledged itself to implement the United Nations resolutions, envisaging a plebiscites to enable the Muslims of the State exercise their choice to determine the final disposition of the State in respect of accession, has not redeemed its promise.

From the very inception of the peace-process, which was primarily an Indian initiative, Pakistan has unflinchingly stuck to its self-righteous commitment that its claim to Jammu and Kashmir, based upon the Muslim majority composition of the population, is non-negotiable. Pakistan has stressed time and again that its claim to Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of the Muslim majority composition its population underlines the principle on the basis of which India was divided in 1947 and the Muslim homeland of Pakistan was created. Pakistan has repeatedly stated that the partition of India marked the culmination of a historical process which underlined the Muslim struggle for a separate Muslim homeland in India, comprising the provinces and the regions of the British India populated by the majority of Muslims and Muslim princely states. Pakistan has consistently held that the partition of Indian recognized the Muslim majority composition of the population of the British India and the princely States as the basis on which the territorial jurisdiction of the Muslim homeland was determined. The Kashmir dispute, Pakistan has claimed in unequivocal terms, is a manifestation of the unfinished agenda of the partition of India.

 

The Muslim League laid claim to the Muslim ruled princely states as well, on the basis of prescription and conquest because it could nor bring itself round to accept the exclusion of the Muslim ruled states from the Muslim homeland of Pakistan. The Muslim League leaders considered the Muslim ruled princely states to be the citadels of the Muslim power in India, which had survived the establishment of the British rule inIndia. The insistence of the Muslim League on the lapse of the Paramountcy was used by it to isolate the Muslim ruled states. Except that the lapse of the Paramountcy caused the Muslim League some tactical disadvantage in the Jammuand Kashmir, its acceptance by the Congress brought India to the verge of disintegration. Were it not for the people of the Muslim ruled States, who defeated the designs of the Muslim League and the Muslim rulers, India would have been divided further. The ideological commitment of the Muslim struggle for a separate Muslim homeland in India to secure the Muslims in India, a separate freedom which ensured them the realization of their Islamic destiny was fundamentally Muslim in outlook. The territorial claim to a Muslim India, comprising the Muslim majority provinces of the British India and the Muslim ruled States the Pakistan Resolution envisaged, was also Muslim in outlook. The claim that the unification of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan is the unfinished agenda of the partition of India is also Muslim in outlook.

 

Irreducible Minimum

Pakistan has not allowed its stand on Jammu and Kashmir to be wrapped in any ambiguity. In fact it has spelt out the baseline of its stand on Jammu and Kashmir in unmistakable terms. It has refused to deviate from its stated position that the Muslim majority composition of the population  of the State is basic to any settlement on Jammu and Kashmir. It has refused to delink the Muslim majority composition of the state from the right of self-determination, which it has consistently maintained, flowed from the partition of India. Exactly, as the Muslim League agreed to divide the Muslim  majority provinces of the Punjab and Bengal and the Hindu majority provinces of Assam, on the basis of population, Pakistan has offered to accept the division of the State on the basis of population, as a basis for a settlement on Jammu and Kashmir. It has proposed the separation of the Muslim majority regions of the State, comprising the Muslim provinces of Kashmir, the Muslim majority districts of the Jammu province and the Muslim majority district of Kargil in the frontier division of Ladakh and their unification with the Muslim homeland of Pakistan, as the irreducible minimum which it is ready to accept as the basis of a solution of the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir. The participation of Pakistan in the peace-process, in the ultimate analysis, is aimed to persuade  the Indian people to accept the application of the principle which underlined the partition of India, as a basis of a settlement on Kashmir.

 

Interestingly the peace-process carried on between the Vajpai Government and the Government headed by NawazSherrif; followed by negotiations between the Bajpai Government and themilitary regime headed by General Musharraf; the long and atrocious talk held at the Track Two level, largely a framework of conflict resolution, fabricated by the American diplomacy and the Manmohan Singh-Musharraf parleys leading to the so-called “non-territorial settlement” on Kashmir; reveal a continuity in the stand taken by Pakistan. The stand taken by Pakistan has underlined; the separation of the Muslim majority regions of the State, on the Indian side of the Line of Control with their eventual disengagement from the Indian Union and their re-integration within a framework of political imperatives evolved by the two countries India and Pakistan, with the consent of the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

The Musharraf plan lay bare theperfidy. It recognized the separation of the Muslim majority regions of the State and their reorganization into a new political entity on the territories of India which was governed by Pakistan. The Musharraf plan envisaged the division of the State into six geographical zones of which five were Muslim majority zones, the transfer of power in the state to the Muslim separatist regimes under the garb of self-rule; withdrawal of the Indian armed forces from the State in the name of demilitarization; the unification of the Muslim majority zones situated on the Indian side of the Line of Control with theoccupation territories of Azad Kashmir under the cover of “irrelevant borders” and the placement of the State under the joint-control of India and Pakistan. Manmohan Singh cried aloud, undoubtedly to attract the attention of the Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir and perhaps, the Muslims in India, to the historical task, he had accomplished by putting Jammu and Kashmir on a ten year long journey tojoin Pakistan. The Musharraf plan provided for the revaluation of the arrangements made in accordance with its provisions after ten years a stipulation which the Indian Government tried to underplay.

 

 

Greatest Betrayal

 Pakistan appears to have convinced itself that India has finally accepted the principle of the partition of India as the basis of a settlement of Jammu and Kashmir. Evidently the impatience and the urgency, the Foreign office of Pakistan has exhibited about the progress of the peace-process, arises out of  its eagerness to evolve a procedure for the separation of the Muslim majority regions of the State, their disengagement from the Union of India and the eventual integration with the Islamic power-structure of Pakistan.

The territorial boundaries of Pakistan, laid down by the partition of India in 1947, were confined to the territories of the British India. The Indian princely states were not brought within the scope of the partition of India. The claim Pakistan has laid to Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of the Muslim majority composition of its population did not from a part of the process of the partition and the transfer of power in India. The right of the self-determination of the colonial peoples was an expression of the historic process of decolonization, the Second World War set into motion. The right of self-determination was never conceived as an instrument of any religious war. India was not divided to ensure the Indian people their right of self-determination.

 

Jammu and Kashmir forms the most crucial part of the northern frontier of India. It continues to be central to the security of the Indian borders in the north. Any prescription for a second partition of India, to disengage the State from the Indian Union will not usher in a State of peace between India and Pakistan. Peace  between the two countries  will always depend upon the mutual respect they have for each other’s strike capabilities. The Indian political class, whatever, the nature of its commitment to the Indian unity, cannot ignore the hard fact that Pakistan has a stock pile of nearly two hundred nuclear weapons in its basement. Pakistan is an ideological state-a fact, which the Indian people can overlook at their own peril.

 

*(The writer heads Panun Kashmir advisory).

Source: Kashmir Sentinel, April 2011 issue

September 3, 2010

Kashmir is not an economic problem

Filed under: Jihad, Kashmir — Tags: , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 8:31 am

It is fashionable for bleeding heart liberals (BHL) to offer unsubstantiated arguments on behalf of the militants of Kashmir Valley. Lumpen liberals like that one book wonder Arundhati Roy (who proudly proclaimed in the US two years ago that she had seceded from India since India was not a democracy) need not bother us here. But when other BHLs talk about hurt aspirations of the people of Kashmir, we need to sit back and wonder what is happening.

Why are Kashmiris hurt? According to the BHLs, the first reason is that polls were often rigged in J&K (not just in K). This argument is specious because in that case the first candidate to secede from India should be Bihar where polls have been rigged from time immemorial. Or Bengal, for that matter. Jyoti Basu could not have lost his Baranagar seat but for rigging by Siddhartha Shankar Ray’s Juba Congress boys. Now, in every poll, the CPM repays that compliment.

The Dalits of western UP can tell horror stories of rigging by Jats till the arrival of AN Seshan and the BSP in that order. But none of these states want to secede from India. The stone-throwers of Kashmir should realise that even though some polls may have been rigged, our general elections are different from those in Pakistan where the generals get always “elected”.

The second grievance is the socio-economic condition of Kashmiris. The government of India has recently constituted yet another committee to suggest ways to improve the state’s economy and employment. However, J&K is near the top in almost all economic parameters. Consider:

The per capita net state domestic product at factor cost (at 1999-2000 prices) was Rs17,590 for J&K in 2007-08, which is higher than that of the Bimaru states (Bihar, UP, MP, etc). It also figures in the top quarter of Indian states (CSO figures). The state received more money from the Centre than anyone else.

In 2008-09, out of a total revenue of Rs19,362 crore, more than 70% came as grant from the Centre. All the Central assistance came as grant, and not loan (state budget documents & RBI), unlike other states.

On the other hand, the urban property tax generated by the state in 2008-2009 was — hold your breath — a measly Rs1 lakh (state budget documents). Despite such poor tax collections, the state is not at the bottom in terms of development indicators.

Among the 1.6 million households in the state, 37% are covered by banking services, 65% have radios or transistors and 41 % possess TV sets — one of the highest in the country. Per capita consumption of electricity, at 759 kwh (2006-2007), is much higher than in UP, MP, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal (Rajya Sabha Question No 2908, April 21, 2008). Some 81% of households get electricity (rural 75 % and urban 98%) and only 15% are dependent on kerosene. This level of electricity usage is highest among states.

Kashmir’s per capita availability of milk (2005-2006), at 353gm per day, is much higher than most of the states with an all-India average of 241gm a day. The per capita spending on health (at Rs363) is much higher than most states, with Tamil Nadu at Rs170, Andhra at Rs146, UP at Rs83 and West Bengal at Rs206 and a national average of Rs167.

The percentage of children under age three who are undernourished on Anthropometric Indices (stunted, wasted or underweight) is lower for J&K than many other states: 28 for stunted (too short for age), 15 for wasted (too thin for height) and 29.4 for underweight (too thin for age) against the national averages of 38, 19 and 46 respectively.

It goes on. Any socio-economic indicator one looks at one finds that the state is in the top quartile or among the top 10 percentile. If Jammu feels neglected, it could only be because the people there don’t know how to blackmail the country. They are foolish enough to carry the national flag in their agitations!

The Valley is imitating Pakistan on two counts. Pakistan begs globally by threatening to self-destruct even while the elites of Pakistan send their children to study abroad and the poor Abduls and Kasabs are made to die for the cause. The same hypocrisy is practiced in the Valley by its leaders.

The stone-throwing youngsters shouting azadi on the streets of Kashmir should ask themselves whether they would like to be a part of India that is democratic and becoming a world power or want to be ruled by the ISI of Pakistan. If it is the later, the road to Muzzafarabad can be opened for those willing to leave their land of honey and milk! As far as India is concerned, it should hold an all-India referendum about the timing to scrap Article 370. That is the only referendum we should think of.

Source : DNA

Author : R Vaidyanathan

July 12, 2010

Kashmir Violence -Media Instigators from Pakistan

Filed under: Kashmir, UN — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 12:12 pm

In my last post I had proved of how LeT, JuD and Hurriyat activists are actively promoting hatred and anti India activities through facebook.

Today I am again presenting to my readers some interesting facts promoted by Pakistan based media , the intent remains the same. Here is one of them which operates under the domain http://www.kmsnews.org

KMSNEWS provides some statistics of killings which have happened in Kashmir since 1989.  Here is a screen shot of same.

Exaggerated figures of KMS lack commonsense

If one goes by the above figures , which are often quoted by separatists in the valley , we need to believe that

  • 13 people have been killed in Kashmir everyday without a fail for last 20 years , not even a moron would believe it.
  • It claims over One lac seven thousand have been orphaned in the valley , but the total killed are less than that figure. That means more than 10 thousand siblings lost a parent , and rest 90,000 or more also lost a parent. I guess the KMS editorial havent studied mathematics.
  • The mathematics of KMS proves that of those who were killed around 22,728 were married and rest of 70,547 bachelors….
  • And the data ends with statistics of around 1 women raped/ molested each day since last 20 years.
  • Considering 107,351 children orphaned and 22,728 widows , makes out that each married person who dies had average 5 children.

Many of my friends who have different ideologies would believe these statistics. It is people like these , who receive huge some of money from certain quarters, and whose main job is to keep the valley burning and ensuring that peace doesn’t return.

On further check up , I found out that the website is run by one Mr Tajammul Islam from Islamabad, Pakistan. It doesnt surprise me to see a ‘foreign hand in this’. Check below the registration details ..

Registration details of Anti India website KMSmedia.org

June 30, 2010

Kashmir : Are the policemen not supposed to act ?

Filed under: Human Rights, Kashmir — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 5:21 am

Zara mulk ke rehbaron ko bulao
Ye kooche ye galiyaan ye manzar dikhao
Jinhe naaz hai hind par unko lao
Jinhe naaz hai Hind par wo kahan hai
Kahan hai, kahan hai, kahan hai

June 24, 2010

The Kashmiri Pandits: Dispossessed and Discouraged


“Gairon ke sitam pe kya sikwa karein

Hume toh apno ne hi patthar maare hain”

These two lines in Hindi by Dines Naidu fits that bleak pitch in which the Kashmiri Pandits are today so repulsively forced to express themselves and their unrelenting plight after years and years of life living as a refugee at the doorstep of their own home.

And while India commemorate its ‘kaagzee taraqqee-ae-nation’ (Paper Progress of a Nation) and whatever it wants to, the Kashmiri Pandits, being dispossessed and discouraged in the hands of their own country, have got nothing else to do beside indulging themselves in the song of lamenting. And Ehsan Amir’s these two lines seems to be giving voice to their unheard sighs-

“Humse mat poochhiye hum kidhar jaayenge

Thak gaye hain bahut, apne ghar jaayenge”

Reading the huge online archives of sites dedicated to Kashmiri Pandits and going through the word-by-word description of the atrocities that was ‘showered’ upon them, my brain along with the raising impact of migraine tells me to stop reading any further but my heart, who himself is living the life of a forced rambler after being thrown out from his own house, pleads me to read on, so to grasp even a little bit of that inhumane treatments that Kashmiri Pandits had gone through, I read on.

It was the unfaithful year of 1989-90 which made nearly 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits ‘migrants’ (as Indian Government ‘fondly’ addresses them) inside their own nation, when Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front backed by the country on the other side of the border, indulged their selves in the ruthless genocide of tens of thousands of Kashmiri Hindus, they, the Hindus, then ran away, forced to leave their land, their home, their past, their present and into an uncertain future where today, they find themselves just like I find myself – unaccepted, unwelcomed and uncared – among the very people who happen to be our own.

It was the month of scorching summer in the year 2004, when just after performing the last rituals of my murdered father; I was driven out from my very own house. Tears of loss of my father had not even dried from my eyes when my very own blood-relatives stabbed into my chest.

A long quota of years has passed since then but the pain and the wound is still fresh – fresh enough to fill my eyes with tears and heart with pain of betrayal. And there is not a single day goes by when I, looking at myself in the mirror, don’t see the longing in those red eyes which have been barred to soak themselves from the beauty of their birthplace. It’s a longing for that home, which now belongs to the killers of my parents and which I know just like the ‘Pandits’, that what was snatched away from them will never be given back to them – Their home, their land.

This gruesome tale of Sarwanand Koul “Premi” – a Kashmiri Pandit, who was born in Kashmir’s Sofshalli, Anantnag village, depicts the misery that the thousands like him had to go through.

Premi was a poet and a teacher and when terrorism was at its extreme in the valley (though it is no less today, too) he refused to leave his village. He thought that he would withstand the Islamic hurricane as he had taught every Muslim man, women and dog in and around the periphery of his village and so they cannot as ungrateful as to kick him to dust along with his teachings and then bite him to death.

But his faith or whatever that he had in his heart for them, taught him the lesson which took away his life.

The ‘Patrons-of-Dearth’ entered in his house on the night of 28th April, 1990 and ordered all the members of his family to assemble into one room along with all the valuables. Whatever existed of any monetary value in the house of ‘Premi’ was offered to those ‘guardians of Jihad’ who, as they put it, were fighting for their freedom – freedom for an ‘Azaad Kashmir.’

After taking away whatever material Premi had in his house, the ‘terror-mongers’ then demanded that ‘Premi’ step out of the house for few words to be exchanged in private away from his family. And when the members of Premi’s family howled and whined the ‘Gods-of-Mercy’ gave them their words that, ‘Premi’ would return and return ‘safe and in one piece.’

But Premi’s only son requested to be allowed to accompany his old father. So the ‘kind’ and ‘good-hearted’ as those ‘unmasked-men’ were, agreed to the plight of a son, saying-

‘If you wish you may also accompany him…’

And once they stepped out of the house, they never returned. The cold-blooded torture that was carried out at the old teacher’s body and his young son’s can put to shame even the worst tyrant of the three worlds put together.

The spot in the forehead where ‘Premi’ would put his Tilak mark was brutally nailed. His body had the burnt dots of cigarette butts. The limbs of his body were broken and bones from his shattered ribcage poked out. His eye-balls lay crushed on the dust and he was hanged from a tree upside-down and bullets were fired on him. And the same orgy was bestowed upon his son.

The women inside the house ‘wailed and waited’ but feared to go out – feared that they too, might get raped just like the other day the wife of their neighbour was raped by these same ‘kind-hearted’ men.

Shame on us that we call ourselves human!

20th June marks the day of world refugees and their plight. And on this day the entire world comes together to give their bit to the refugees from all around the world, but at the same time the Kashmiri Pandits who are in there 20th year of being the refugees in their own nation – where you and I live – are still waiting to be remembered and addressed in that proper way which any countryman deserves to be addressed – as Citizens.

The many thousand Kashmiri Pandits since then have been living in the Indian Government’s “semi-permanent camps for the displaced” in Jammu and New Delhi.

But if you go visit these camps, then you will see that, not only they are disgustingly stuffed but also lack sufficient facilities and basic necessities.

Like there is no regular supply of drinking water, always there’s a shortage of medicines, plus the sanitation facility are in the worst conditions imaginable. And on top of all this, the education and employment opportunities are severely lacking.

And so not surprisingly, as the result of all this below level of living conditions, the Kashmiri Pandits, after 20 years of their disarticulation, have faced serious health issues like high incidence of several kinds of diseases, depressions, stress-related problems and high death rate.

People might wonder why isn’t the government doing something concrete for them than? But the silence which marks the being of Kashmiri Pandits as refugees is actually an awkward truth that our politicians, our media and our secular parties are unable to come to terms with, so they push this matter under that dark carpet which happens to be the outcome of culpable silence and deliberate ignorance.

I can only hope – hope that someday these silent Kashmiri Pandits will be heard by those who can make a concrete difference in their life and with this – I pray (though I hardly pray) that all those who have died in this massacre may Rest In Peace (Although I feel that it ain’t going to happen).

Author :SadhoGopal Ram    ; Source : Chowk.Com

(more…)

June 3, 2010

Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra 2010 – Registration details

Filed under: Amarnath, India, Kashmir, Temples — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 9:48 am

Circular No.92

Reg:Registration of Yatris for Shri Amarnathji Yatra-2010

Dear Sir/Madam,

As usual Bank has undertaken registration of Yatris for Shri Amarnathji Yatra-2010. The registration shall be taken through 121 designated branches of the Bank as per the list annexed.

2.) Shri Amranathji Yatra-2010 is scheduled to commence on 1st July 2010 and will culminate on the 24th August 2010. The advance registration of Yatris will commence from 5th June 2010 and shall continue till 22nd August 2010 for the Chandanwari (Pahalgam) route and 23rd August 2010 for Baltal (Sonamarg) route by each of the designated business units of our Bank. The number of Yatris to be registered on each route to proceed on each day to the holy cave from 1st July 2010 onwards shall be as per the branch-wise allocation of Yatra permits as per the list annexed (Annexure-I). It needs to be ensured that Yatra permits are to be issued on FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS.

3.) The procedure for registration of yatris for Shri Amarnathji Yatra -2010 is detailed out as follows:-

I.      The intending Yatris are required to apply for the issue of Yatra Permit Forms (YPF) on the prescribed application form (Form “A”), copy whereof is annexed (Annexure-II). The said application form indicates the Yatri’s name, address, contact details, name of the nominee for the accidental insurance cover, one photograph and the intended date of Yatra. The Form “A” has to be signed by the intending Yatris himself/herself. Adequate number of forms has been consigned to each designated business unit along with the YPFs. The yatra application form is also available on the website of SASB (www.shriamarnathjishrine.com) and on Bank’s website www.jkbank.net.

II.      On being satisfied that the Application Form “A” has been submitted after being duly filled-in and signed by the intending Yatri, the relative designated business unit will issue one YPF for each form received. The machine printed number of the YPF so issued along with the date and route needs to be recorded at the bottom of the relative Application Form under the signatures of the concerned officer of Bank. The YPF should be issued after receiving full registration fee @Rs.15/- per YPF.

III.      Yatra Permit Form (YPF) contains day & date details and as such care should be taken to issue the particular YPF for the date & day as marked thereon.

IV. The YPF have been printed in seven distinct colours for different weekdays for each of the two routes as under:-

Day Chandanwari route Baltal route
Monday White Craft Paper
Tuesday Red White
Wednesday Ground Orange Red
Thursday Yellow Ground Orange
Friday Green Yellow
Saturday Blue Green
Sunday Craft Paper Blue

To determine the day of travel for the purpose of selecting the prescribed colour for a particular weekday travel document, it needs to be noted, that Yatra shall start from 1st July 2010 & will continue till 22nd August 2010 from the Pahalgam route & till 23rd August 2010 from Baltal route, For example 1st July 2010 ,when the Yatra is scheduled to commence falls on Thursday & the Yatris traveling from Pahalgam route shall have to be issued Yatra permit printed in Yellow colour and for those traveling from Baltal route, the colour of the permit will be Ground Orange as indicated above.

It may be noted that YPFs meant for Baltal route are marked as “B” on the top and the YPFs meant for Pahalgam route are marked as “P”.

V.      Running serial numbers are machine printed on the blank permit forms. The designated business unit shall maintain a separate register to record the serial Nos of YPFs, names & contact/mobile no’s of intending Yatris to whom blank YPFs have been issued. The number of blank YPFs issued must not exceed the number of YPFs allotted to a given business unit for any particular day & date. Day-wise colour coding shall be carefully adhered to while issuing blank YPFs

VI. The intending Yatris shall fill up the YPF on spot after affixing the passport size photographs on it. The duly filled- in and signed YPF shall be endorsed by our business unit after duly checking the particulars, sign etc and affix the  Bank’s round (yatra) seal on it before giving  back to the Yatri. Bank’s yatra seal must partially stamp the photograph of the Yatris as well cover the requisite portion of YPF. The registration & issuance of YPFs will be done on first come first serve basis. The chronology of the issuance of blank YPFs will have no bearing on the chronology of the actual registration and issuance of Yatra permits.

VII. The registration will be done between 3.00 P.M to 6 .00 P.M on every working day except Saturdays, when the same will be available from 1.00 P.M to 4.00 P.M.

4). The designated business units shall maintain a MIS for the registration tickets issued per day through   their Intranet Users.  Each of  these B/U’s  shall  be able  to  access the link  “SHRI AMARNATHJI YATRA 2010” after login on the Intranet and shall enter at EOD the number of YPFs sold per Yatra date per route. The information, as desired, should be uploaded on the system invariably on each day to enable the Bank to furnish information to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board on daily basis.

5).A substantial portion of Yatra Permit Forms (YPF) have been made available for being booked online. The prospective yatris can access http://yatra.jkbank.net for online booking of YPF. The detailed guidelines thereof are available on the main page of the said URL domain. The said domain shall also be live for booking from 5th June 2010.

6).Once the registration process is over, the designated Business Units shall forward all the application forms against which YPFs have been issued to the General Department, CHQ for our onward submission to SASB. In addition the designated Business Units Shall forward copies of all the registers in which data has been entered by them to this office for being delivered to SASB.

7). In Case of any difficulty in handling registration of Yatris as per the procedure laid down hereinabove, BUs must approach the undersigned on email- Id syedhamid@jkbmail.com or Contact No.0194-2450925.

Application Form (Form A)
List of Branches of J & K Bank having Registration Counters

May 30, 2010

A pregnant “Kashmiri Pandit” woman in exile

Filed under: Pakistan, Terrorism In Kashmir — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 5:01 pm

poem by Maharaj Krishen Santoshi…Translated by Arvind Giggoo

You grew
in me
like the moon
in the snowy winter nights.

In my moistened self
this was the first knock
of the blooming flower.

My child
I pleaded
to the snow for your beauty
to the Chinar for your height
to the lake for your depth
to the apples for your juicy sweet sweetness.

Ignorance was mine
when
the place where I beautified you
was
grabbed from me.

But
you are
inside me
throbbing
even in the loss of the land.

Praised be the Lord!
You will come
one day
my child,
smelling the fragrance
of the lost land in me.

I will not
rest you in the cradle
I will
keep you
on the hard rock of history
I won’t sing
lullabies to you.
I will cut the wings of
your sleep
and
keep you awake.

I want you to walk fearlessly on this earth.
My child,
I will pour
the droplets of the lake Satisar
into your innocent eyes
so that,
you don’t forget your climate.

May 26, 2010

Panun Kashmir disappointed with Amnesty International

Filed under: India, Jihad, Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 9:47 am

PANUN KASHMIR

H.No-172, Sec. 3,  E.W.S Colony, Lower Roop Nagar, Jammu-13

Tele: 0191-2593166

Ref:…. PS/37-2010                                                                   Dated: 24/5/2010

Brief of the statement issued on 24 . 5 . 2010 during the  press conference addressed by Dr. Ajay Chrungoo Chairman Panun Kashmir,  Sh. O.N. Trisal President (ASKPSC)  & Sh. Kuldeep Raina General Secretary Panun Kashmir at Jammu.

Panun Kashmir states emphatically that the first visit of Amnesty International has been a totally disappointing experience for the Hindu Community of Kashmir.

The way the Amnesty International has conducted itself during their recent visit to Kashmir Valley has given an ample demonstration that their visit to Kashmir Valley has been guided more by political considerations than any concern for Human Rights.

Amnesty International for a long time has been having only a state specific agenda and has cared little for assessing, evaluating and commenting on the role of non-state actors in committing human rights violations and unleashing genocidal wars in the territories of their influence and control. By deliberately choosing to ignore the involvement of non-state actors Amnesty International has eventually served only the cause of those who are leading relentless campaigns of religious and ethnic cleansing and are destroying the plural texture of societies.

By persisting with its state specific agenda Amnesty International has not been able to dispel the doubts about it being essentially an instrument of foreign policy of those who want to subvert the independence of India and destroy its national unity.

Amnesty international during its maiden visit conveniently chose to side track the issue of religious cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus, as it has over the years chosen to ignore the genocide of Hindus living in Pakistan and Bangladesh and Hindus of Pak Occupied Kashmir. The first priority for any human rights organization would have been to visit the state and meet these people. For Amnesty International despicably it has never been a priority.

Outraging the sensitivities of victims of religious cleansing Amnesty International sought the audience and cooperation of such leaders of Islamist Jihad and political terrorism like Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik who stand in the same dock in which the fascist war criminals of Germany and the perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Eastern Europe are placed.

We want to clearly state that the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir , which the representatives of Amnesty international came to assess, are mainly the violations committed by Jihadi terrorist groups against the whole community of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir who were subjected to genocide and extermination.

We also want to state without mincing words that the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir are a whole process of excesses and oppression for which the religious wars, ideological states and war groups waging Jihad are responsible. If the Amnesty International refuses to recognize the real content and character of the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and seeks to politicize resistance against the Jihad and international terrorism, it is actually trying to put the human rights movement upside down.

Panun Kashmir recognizes that human rights violations are clearly defined by universal Declaration of human rights and the international covenants on Human Rights. Amnesty international, by its actions, is trying to redefine human rights, primarily to play international politics. Amnesty International has no right to camaflouge the genocide and the ethnic extermination of Kashmiri Hindus by the Jihadi groups and terrorist regimes operating in Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir.

Panun Kashmir also strongly disapproves the action of government of India to allow the Amnesty International to visit Kashmir after having rightly denied it the permission to do so far last two decades.

S.K. Handoo

Press Secretary

May 25, 2010

‘Amnesty International’ a Jihadi Collaborator: Kashmiri Pandits


ROOTS IN KASHMIR

Webwww.kashmiris-in-exile.blogspot.com

E-mailkashmiris.huamanrights@gmail.com

ATTENTION – Press Release

‘Amnesty International’ a Jihadi Collaborator: Kashmiri Pandits

May 25th 2010

New Delhi: Roots in Kashmir, a frontline initiative of Kashmiri Pandits in exile came down heavily upon the Government of India today to allow a tainted organization and a known Jihadi collaborator for ignoring the plight of half a million Kashmiri Pandits living in forced exile due to their human rights violation at the hands of the very people who Amnesty International met on their six-day visit to Kashmir.

The recent visit of a two member team of Amnesty International to “assess human rights situation” in Kashmir comes in the wake of its already maligned image of having collaborating with the Jihadis. As if Gita Seghal’s revelations were not enough proof already of what Amnesty stands for its meetings with killers and mobsters like Yasin Malik and Syed Ali Shah Geelani left nothing to imagination.

While there is definitely a need to assess human rights situation in Kashmir one must ask is Amnesty the right organization to do so? Could Jihadi collaborators be human right assessors too? “We at Roots in Kashmir strongly condemn the Government of India which allowed a tainted organization to send its members to “assess human rights situation” in Kashmir. We ask what could these people whose motives are already known, assess but collect data to make reports that are pre-conceived and biased.” said Mr. Sanjay Peshin-the coordinator of the group.

“And if they really did want to know about human rights of Kashmiris why did they not meet Kashmiri Pandit leadership or for that matter visit camps of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu. Does Amnesty not believe that a forced exodus of a million people is a reason enough to “assess human rights situation”? Does it not believe that the ethnic cleansing of Pandits too deserves its attention?” asked Mr. Amal Magazine, an activist of the group.

“Such attitude where only Pak backed Muslim separatist leadership is attended to simply goes on to show which side of Amnesty International’s bread is buttered” said an angry Mr. Piyush Kaul of the group. To escape persecution, more than 500,000 Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their home and hearths back in the Valley of which more than 50,000 refugees are still languishing in uninhabitable refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi.

It simply doesn’t matter what report they give because as an organization its credibility is already eroded but the very fact that government allows such kite flying missions makes light of what is a very important matter.

For further information contact on above mentioned E-Mail ID

November 7, 2009

Fatwa Against Vande Mataram


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Vande Mataram. Welcome, minorities. The helpless, disadvantaged, poor, famished, persecuted, religious minorities of India. Population-wise constituting nearly one-fifth of India, they qualify to be a minority in a country which, because of their sheer numerical strength, earns the solemn distinction of being the world’s second-largest home, after Indonesia, to a faith which knows no boundaries. And those belonging to, rather longing for, the faith zealously claim — or proclaim by firman or fatwa — to abjure violence that they perceive inherent in the Bankim Chandra Chatterjee-composed national song “Vande Mataram”. The logic: if they simply mutter it, it is tantamount to apostasy.

No wonder, the country is thankfully indebted to them for their humility not to reject the national anthem “Jana Gana Mana” as perfidious to their creed. Who knows, they may jettison it, tomorrow.

Probably, it is a matter of time before they so choose. A few years ago the same “minority clan” of India raised a hue and cry over the recitation of “Saraswati vandana” as a prologue to school prayers. And, the country’s “liberal class”, cutting across the barrier of colour and creed, lent its unqualified support to them, justifying the inclusion of such a religious intonation as repugnant to the secular spirit of the Constitution.    

The volte-face by Union home minister P Chidambaram that “he was not present” when the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind adopted a resolution at its 30th general session at Deoband a couple of days ago, asking Muslims not to recite “Vande Mataram”, betrays a sense of vacillation, nervousness and indecision on the part of the country’s talking-tough-and-acting-firm home minister.

As a party person — Congressman — his stance of “not being present that moment” may be politically correct but as India’s “internal security” minister it simply does not hold water. More so, it comes at a time when such “Jamaats” hold the world to ransom by the insidious propagation of their bigotry in belief of the divine sort and a violently virulent streak of such an extremist school of thought has been wreaking unprecedented havoc on Indian society and nationhood.

If religious belief is in conflict, even remotely, with what defines nationhood, the latter expressly supersedes the former. Any edict by a religious minority — or for that matter any religion-based dispensation — if it generates or has the potential to generate a conflict of interest between what is mandated by the state or the statute and what the edict seeks to attain has to be treated as null and void.

Such “commands” do not carry the sanction of law and no immunity can be sought under the exclusivity of a “separate” personal law. Any personal law guaranteed by the Constitution for the protection of socio-religious rights of a section of the population is by no means a carte blanche for sowing the seeds of separatism. If it brooks disaffection, which in turn may lead to the fragmentation of a secular society, it ought to be dispensed with before it runs riot with the quasi-federal notion of the Indian state.       

What assumes seriousness in the context of the turmoil the country is facing at present owing to the deviant nature and deviousness of a particular faith needs no reiteration. The flip to the fissiparous tendency by such edicts — emanating from the extremist Islamic school of thought as represented by institutions like Deoband — is of far-reaching consequences and seditious in nature.

Such tendencies, and actions that follow from them, if allowed to go unchecked by the state, will eventually reverberate — on religious fault lines — into a call for separatism from the Union of India.

Such an eventuality may seem to be far-fetched at the moment and dismissed as a figment of imagination but the Khalistan movement and Kashmiri separatism, too, germinated in a similar fashion until they near-consumed the whole nation. Better nip the evil in the bud. It is better late than never. The state must show it has the will to exercise the hard option in a similar vein as it has now woken up to the twin challenges of Naxalism and militancy

Written By : Ramesh Khazanchi

Original Source : Times Of India

Also Visit an earlier Post HERE

October 6, 2009

CONSTITUTION & POSSIBILTY OF CREATION OF PANUN KASHMIR


CONSTITUTION & POSSIBILTY OF CREATION OF PANUN KASHMIR 

Continuing with the discussion of what the constitution says about creation of a separate state /union territory , I would touch the few specific points available in constitution of India , J&K and under article 370.

What does the Constitution of India say ?

According to the constitution of India and its first schedule,the The territory of India shall comprise:

The territories of the States The Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and such other territories as may be acquired. In the article 2 , it states that Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

In the article 3 it states that Parliament by law may form a new State by separation of territory from any State .

In the above context the law is clear that a new state formation is possible by a law passed by the parliament.

Possibilities according to constitution of J&K and the role of SADAR -E-RIYASAT

Under Article 370 , any changes to be bought should be passed by the J&K assembly. Where does that lead us ?

The answer does not stop just here.Firstly we must understand that Article 370 is a temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover there have been many contradictions itself within the constitution, according to my understanding, unless i am being made to understand otherwise.

The constitution of J&K recognise the heading officials as “Sadar-E-Riyasat “( President) & “Wazir-E-Azam” (Prime Minister),the terms which have now been abolished but may still be reflecting in the constitution.

The Constitution of J&K says the qualification of the “Sadar -e _riyasat ” has to be following :-

The Sadar-i-Riyasat shall be the person who for the time being is recognised by the President as such:

Provided that no person shall be so recognised unless he:

(a) is a permanent resident of the state;

(b) is not less than twenty-five years of age; and

(c) has been elected as Sadar-i-Riyasat by a majority of the total membership of the Legislative Assembly in the manner set out in the First Schedule.

In the present case I do not feel that the Governor (Sadar-E-Riyasat ) is any longer required to be a resident of the state ,and no longer requires an approval from legislative assembly. The reason I am discussing the role of the Governor is because the Governor of J&K has many powers which can alter the future of J&K state.

The constitution states that the Governor ,except in few matters can not bring in a rule unless approved by the legislative assemble of J&K by 2/3rd majority. However at the same time the constitution states that the constitution make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the Sadar-i–Riyasat to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Procla-mation, including provisions for suspen-ding in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution rela-ting to any body or authority in the State :

The rule can easily be surpassed by will of the central Government by invoking Article 356 and 357 of the Indian Constitution which was extended J&K in 1964, giving emergency powers to the President in the event of the failure of the Constitutional machinery .

The authority of the Governor or Sadar -E Riyasat can not be challenged in court as the law states in act 143 that :

143. (1) The Sadar-i-Riyasat shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise of performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act done or purposing to be done by him in the exercise and performance of those -powers and duties , and in part 2 it states that

2) No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the Sadar-I–Riyasat in any court during his term of office. No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the Sadar-i-Riyasat shall issue from any court during his term of office.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR PANUN KASHMIR

We all should understand that a strong Government is required at Centre ,capable of taking strong decision in national interest.

The Public awareness has to be created to make the nation understand the necessity of a separate Union Territory.

Good Friends have to be made across all Political Parties.

WOULD CONSENT FROM ALL NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTIES MAKE PANUN KASHMIR POSSICBLE.

Not necessarily. Considering the case of Telangana case of right for statehood, all Political parties with the exception of Congress(I),have given their formal support.

Even in last election the Congress promised the separate Telangana state and its ally was TRRS.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

According to my understanding the Supreme court can play a BIG BIG role in affairs of J&K. Maybe as I said the political will is needed.

Any legislation can be stuck down by Supreme court and that may include article 370 as well.

The example being In 1974, the Supreme Court of India in the landmark case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala enunciated the Basic Structure Doctrine, which expanded the scope of judicial review to include the power to review Constitutional Amendments passed by the Legislature. Using this doctrine, the Supreme Court has struck down the 39th Amendment and parts of the 42nd Amendment as being violative of the Basic Structure of the Constitution. The doors of Supreme Court are also open for us to alter the consitution.

WHAT DOES ALL THE ABOVE TELL

1. Panun Kashmir is possible constitutionally.

2. Achieving Panun Kashmir is certainly not an easy job,neither is it easy for anyone else as well. It would be a long sustained campaign and can be achieved through our collective effort.

3.The idea of Panun Kashmir has to be sold to all Indians and each Kashmiri pandit would have a role to play.

4. Panun Kashmir has to present themselve as nationalistic rather than a Hindu right wing organisation.

Changing strategies as needed is important. We should have  more thoughtful people to be part of the Team to help us achieve the goal. Would we have a fellow soldier in you ?

September 30, 2009

What happened to our Homeland ?

Filed under: Kashmiri Pandits — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 11:37 am

An elderly Kashmiri Hindu lady shares her experience of how she and her pregnant daughter in law fled Kashmir in the middle of night to escape being killed by Jehadis

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