The Kashmir

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

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

March 20, 2010

No Secularism , Only Islam in Kashmir : Hurriyat Leader Announces


The so called “liberals” and “Marxists” continue to live in denial , while as time and again it has been very evident that “Kashmiriat” as is is projected is an eye wash.

Two decades after 7 million Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave by islamic fanatics , the issue remains the same. No tolerance of any other religion in Kashmir other than Islam.

On 17th March , for the sake of eye wash and deception, Syed Ali Shah Geelani , leader of Hurriyat appeals to Kashmiri Pandits to return back to the valley . Though unannounced this time is the obvious rider 1. Dont expect to get justice 2. Follow our fight against Indian Govt . 3 Live like minority at ‘our’ mercy.

The statement also quotes Geelani saying :

“No solution under the Indian constitution will be acceptable to Kashmiris.”

Immediately , almost the next day , Syed Ali Shah Geelani issues a statement in a public meeting which exposes the dual standard of Kashmiri leadership and how the agenda is pan -Islamic.

Addressing a public meeting in Anantnag , Geelani says :

“Not secularism but only Islam brings peace and justice to people and nation. But some of our leaders on one hand claim to be champions of Azadi and Islam but on the other hand believe in secularism.”

It must be noted that AnantNag witnessed anti Hindu riots in 1986 , in which hundred of Hindu houses were looted and temples destroyed. AnantNag is also strong hold of PDP , Party of Mehbooba Mufti .

Having rejected secularism , Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in another statement demands reduction of time period for AmarNath Yatra.  AmarNath , not only is one of the Shakti peeth , but a place of prime importance to billions of Hindus across the globe.

Addressing a Fridaycongregation , Hurriyat leader demanded that Amarnath yatra should be reduced to 15 days as against 2 months.

The statement has generated anger among the Hindus . Brigadier  Suchet Singh [ retd ] , issues a statement which says

Geelani is trying to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the yatra. The dates for the two-month pilgrimage have been fixed and there is no reason for reducing the duration. Geelani should focus on Haj rather than interfering in the religious affairs of Hindus,”

“The government should stop Geelani from making provocative statements,” Brigadier Singh said.”

Also , in another expose , The Govt while as have not provided to educated Kashmiri Pandit youth , despite many public announcement and promises , the very same Govt has gone ahead and announced Govt Job to those muslim youth who have been arrested for stone pelting.

Meanwhile Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also confirmed that such a policy was in the offing when he told the state assembly late Wednesday that stone pelters were “our boys” and they would be rehabilitated.

November 7, 2009

Ruined Temples of Rainawari , Kashmir !


Shiv Temple [ Bod Mandir ], Near VB College, Rainawari, Srinagar,Kashmir

Shiv Temple Naidyar,Rainawari ,Srinagar,Kashmir

Shiv Temple, Jogilankar, Rainawari, Srinagar,Kashmir

Shiv Temple, Near Bridge, Naidyar, Rainawari, Srinagar,Kashmir

Shiv Temple, Near Mishan Sahib, Naidyar, Rainawari, Srinagar,Kashmir

Shri Vaital Bhairav, Mal Mohalla, Jogilankar, Rainawari, Srinagar,Kashmir

Shri Vaital Bhairav, Motiyar, Rainawari, Srinagar,Kashmir 

Shri Gopantar Ashram, Bagh-i-Jogilankar, Rainawari, Srinagar,Kashmir 

Also Check THIS

Video Courtsey : Mr Vijay S

September 25, 2008

500000 Kashmiri Pandits Fled From Kashmir :Beersmans Paul [ President Belgian Association..]


 

REPORT ON THE STUDY TOUR OF BEERSMANS PAUL, PRESIDENT OF THE BELGIAN ASSOCIATION FOR SOLIDARITY WITH J&K TO INDIA AND THE INDIAN J&K STATE FROM 02 TO 30 AUGUST 2008

Syed Ali Shah Geelani started agitation against the land transfer to the Amarnath Shrine Board because he feared Hindus would settle permanently and thus change the demographic composition of the population.  This fear is completely without ground as it is impossible to settle permanently in that area: more than six months of the year this area is covered with snow, there are blizzards and it is so cold that nobody can survive there.  On the other hand, it is surprising that the same concern regarding the demographic composition of the population was not there in 1990.  In that year, the Kashmiri Pandits were hounded out of the Valley by militancy in 1990.  The Kashmiri Pandits are the original Kashmiri speaking inhabitants of the Valley.  Some 500.000 of them fled from the Valley to safer places.  This exodus changed drastically the demographic composition of the population in the Valley.  At that time, nobody cared about this: no agitation, no demonstrations, no harthals, no bandhs, no strikes, nothing.  After more than eighteen years, the return of the Kashmiri Pandits is more and more blurred.  Nevertheless, they have their emotional attachment with their birth ground, their roots.  They only can return when peace is there and when the rule of law, not the rule of majority is re-installed.

 

Pakistan has no stand in J&K.  Pakistan invaded J&K and is at the origin of the de facto partitioning of the State.  As early as 13 August 1948 the UN Commission for India and Pakistan requested Pakistan to withdraw its troops from the State as a pre-condition for organising the plebiscite.  The same Commission in its resolution of 5 January 1949 repeated this request.  Until this date, Pakistan has not withdrawn its armed forces and consequently the plebiscite has not been held. 

 

This conclusion is confirmed by the ‘Report on Kashmir: present situation and future prospects’ of Rapporteur Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Union, and almost unanimously adopted by the Committee on Foreign Affairs (March 2007) and by the European Parliament. 

September 7, 2008

Amarnath Accord – What A.G.Noorani did not tell you !

Filed under: Accords, Amarnath, History Of Kashmir, Human Rights, Injustice, Jammu, Kashmir — Tags: , , , , — TheKashmir @ 7:28 am

Much has been discussed and propagated by Pseudo Secularists and “Jhola Chaaps” about an article by right wing writer A.G.Noorani .

AG Noorani

AG Noorani

 

Here I would like to share the points with the readers of how biased A.G.Noorani is when it comes to sharing the right facts.

 

The accord ignores completely Kashmir where the land is to be given. Jammu alone was represented. – A.G.Noorani

What Noorani has forgotten that Jammu & Kashmir is a one complete state and anyone in Jammu & Ladakh has an equal right over every single inch of land in the whole state. Also Noorani has completely ignored that Kashmiri Hindus who have been in the forefront of the agitation led by Sangarsh Samiti also represent Kashmir in particular. The authors seems to have probably bowed to the wishes of Kashmiri terrorists by erasing the thought of Kashmiri Hindus from even the memory.

Even the controversial order nowhere used the word “exclusive”

What Noorani does not either know or does not want to be known is that there is a order of High Court dated 15.04.2005 [ OWP No 732/2004 Rampal Bathonia Vs State ] in which the Hon Court Ordered ” Since the Board intends to upgrade the infrastructure across the tracks and at different places, the state shall,immediately permit the use of Forest Land by the board,if not already allowed,to enable it to carry out the development activities for the benefit of the Yatris. I am informed that the Forest Department has already granted permisssion to the board for the purpose.”

The state Govt went in to appeal to the Division Bench of High Court. The division bench vide its interim directions on 17.5.2005 ordered as follows ” The land to be allotted by the board would be only for the purpose of the user and would remain limited for the duration of Yatra.

I wonder if Noorani has ever read the court orders, which I am sure he may not have , as it did not suit his own support to the fundamentalists in Kashmir and elsewhere.I wonder if Noorani understand the meaning of these judgements and the least he could is to understand the meaning of “only” in the above order.

The Baltal route is a recent demand. It was regarded by the Army and Nitish Sengupta Report as dangerous.- A.G.Noorani

Again,Noorani misses the finer points. Noorani does not care to share with his readers that out of 20 odd recommendations by Nitish Sen Gupta committee on Amaranth.,the prominent was activation of shorter Baltal route to reduce the hardships via Chandanwari & SheshNaag route.

This violates the citizen’s fundamental right under Art. 19 (1) D to move freely throughout India.–A.G.Noorani

Alas Noorani uses the fundamental rights to his own requirements. Wonder why Noorani does not support abrogation of Article 370 of Indian constitution. Of all the fundamental rights listed in our constitution the first one is “Right To Equality”…..”The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.” Does Noorani not feel that 100 crore citizens of India are denied these rights as they do not equal the pampered state subject of Jammu & Kashmir. Why deny the right to buy land in Jammu & Kashmir to 100 crore Indians? Why is Noorani silent on this fundamental right ?

 namely “undertaking measures relating to … preservation of ecology” etc. Breach entails no fine… A.G.Noorani

Even though the Amarnath Shrine Board has insisted that they would be taking measures to reduce any harm to ecology the concerns were largely raised when someone said that the “Thajiwaas” glacier is endangered. Again what Noorani does either not know or does not want to share with his reader is that in a report  submitted by Chief Wild Life Warden , WLP/Tech/1971/07 dated 11.06.2007, after on spot inspection, the following information was shared “It was noticed that the proposed site for construction of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board Complex,falling in the compartment 63(s)/ Sindh/Kullan is located on the right side of Sindh rivulet.The proposed complex does not seems to have any significant impact on the ecology of “Thajwaas” Wild Life sanctuary. ……It is also given to underastand that the board is using pre-fabricated structures as such likely pollution due to discharge of muck and garbage should not be significant.

The order of 26 May was rescinded on 1 July. The accord will require a fresh order to implement it. By itself the accord has no legal force. Section 2(a) of the J&K Forest (Conservation) Act 1997 says “the Government shall not, except on a resolution of the Council of Ministers based on the advice of the Advisory Committee” constituted under the Act “make any order directing that any forest land or any portion thereof may be used for any non-forest purpose…..A.G.Noorani

The recommendations of the Forest department has already been heard by council of Ministers and a decision taken. The whole idea was to understand the feasibility of land for the board. Since the land was approved by Forest Committe and under order No 108-FST dated 17.03.2008 , it clarifies that the camping site and Thajiwaas wild life sanctuary are divided by Sindh river.The Forest committee recommended that SASB should take Safeguards for pollution control.It also agreed that land be used for pre-fabricated structures for camping of pilgrims . It was basis of the report of the committee constituted vide Govt. Order no 108/FST dated 17.03.2008 the Forest Minister cleared the file for diversion of file to the Shrine Board.The cabinet followed vide its decision No 94/7.

One can understand the total partisan article coming from A.G.Noorani who always find anything related to Hindu rights as communal.

He talks of Amarnath accord as “Gunah” , and that makes me believe that when it comes to even justice….a Muslim lawyer is a Muslim first and the “real” justice” comes as a second priority. And for me that is a real “Gunah”

August 31, 2008

Jammu – Victory Against Islamic Fanaticism


‘The shrine board will now exclusively use the land during the pilgrimage period’

The resilient and tolerant Jammu region won the first phase of its battle for assertion late tonight after Government agreed to set aside 800 kanals of land exclusively for the Shri Amarnath Yatra Shrine Board to be used for raising facilities for the pilgrims three months every year. The two month long agitation, spearheaded by Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti and supported by more than 70 other organizations is all set to be called off on Sunday afternoon after rally being organized by the Samiti.

Details of pact between Amarnath Samiti and govt panel

 

 

Following is the text read out by Governor’s adviser S S Bloeria and Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti convener Leela Karan Sharma during a joint press conference soon after the forth round of talks concluded during the wee hours here. 

1. The Shri Amarnathji Yatra, which has been going on for many centuries, is a shining symbol of communal harmony and brotherhood in Jammu & Kashmir and reflective of the state’s composite heritage. The yatris have been welcomed with open arms by the people of both Jammu and Kashmir divisions and all required facilities have been made available for them. 

Sadly, certain decisions of the state government relating to the yatra created misunderstandings which led to controversy and agitation and loss of many precious lives. Apart from the damage to property, there has been a colossal loss to the state’s economy in different sectors like transport, trade, industry, horticulture and tourism. 

2. The yatra to Shri Amarnathji Shrine has traditionally benefited a large number of local residents, many of whom have crucial dependence on this annual pilgrimage for their livelihood. 

3. There has been no occasion in the past on which the state government has failed to provide the required support for the conduct of the Amarnathji Yatra. On the contrary, the extent and nature of governmental support to the yatra has been progressively enhancing, from year to year. 

4. In view of the need to seek a peaceful resolution of the fundamental issues, to settle all existing doubts and clarify the continuing responsibility of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir had constituted, on 6 August, 2008, a four-member Committee comprising: Dr. S. S. Bloeria, Advisor to Governor Justice (Retd) Shri G. D. Sharma Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu Shri B. B. Vyas, Principal Secretary to Governor and Chief Executive Officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board. 

5. The Committee held three rounds of discussions with the four-member Committee nominated by the Shri Amarnathji Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS) which comprised:- 

Shri Tilak Raj Sharma Brif (Retd) Suchet Singh Prof. Narinder Singh Shri Pawan Kohli 

6. The Governor has also held discussions with the leaders of political, social, religious, academic and other organizations in the Kashmir Valley. The predominant view, emerging out of the consultations, is that the Amarnathji Yatra, which is a centuries old tradition of J&K’s rich composite heritage, will continue to be welcomed and supported by the people of Kashmir, in every possible way. 

It was also felt that while the Shrine Board could continue to use the land, as in the past, for yatra purposes, nothing should be done to alienate or transfer the land. While an assuring convergence of views has emerged, the Governor is committed to continuing the consultative process to ensure against any remaining misunderstanding whatsoever on an issue which has earlier led to serious misperceptions and human and economic loss. 


Based on detailed discussions and deliberations held in the recent weeks, the following framework of action for resolving the issue relating to the use of land for the period of yatra by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, at Baltal and Domail, has been agreed to:- 

A. The State Government shall set aside for the use by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, exclusively, the land in Baltal and Domail (Compartment No. 63/S, Sindh Forest Division) comprising an area of 800 kanals, traditionally under use for the annual yatra purposes. 

B. The proprietary status/ownership/title of the land shall not undergo any change. 

C. The Board shall use the aforesaid land for the duration of the yatra (including the period of making the required arrangements and winding up of the same) for the purpose of user by various service providers according to its needs and priorities. 

The aforesaid land shall be used according to the Board’s requirements, from time to time, including for the following:- 

i) Raising of temporary pre-fabricated accommodation and toilet facilities by the Board; 

ii) Establishment of tented accommodation by private camping agencies (locals, permanent residents of the state); 

iii) Setting up of the shops by shopkeepers (locals, permanent residents of the state); 

iv) Facilities for Pony Wallas and Pithu Wallas; 

v) Provision of healthcare and medical facilities; 

vi) Setting up of free Langars by private persons and groups which are licensed by the Board; 

vii) Facilities for helicopter operations/ parking of vehicles; 

viii) Arrangements of security by local police/para-military forces and other security agencies as per the arrangements in place here-to-fore; and 

ix) Undertaking measures relating to soil conservation, land protection and preservation of ecology.

The authorities have imposed curfew in Jammu as terrorists have again been sighted in Chinore Area of Jammu . A proposed “Victory Rally” of Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti too seemed to be under threat of terrorists.

And finally i wanted to give a final one to likes of Sajjad Lone , Mehbooba Mufti , Syed Ali Shah Geelani , Bilal Lone , Yasin Malik, Javed Nalka ( Mir ) , etc …..all these who were opposing the facilities to Amarnath pilgrims and who got the Govt to reverse its earlier decision to reverse the land transfer. These fanatics  thought that they can always dominate the hindus and other secular peace loving people of Jammu & Kashmir state for ever. They never imagined that the strike would finally be successful after 62 days. This picture below is for each one of them individually.And all these times they used to taunt us with words like ” if you have the guts…take an inch of land” ………. they stand defeated.

Related Posts

August 17, 2008

‘Amarnath Land’ -Protests in USA


Chicago : Demand for Amarnath Land & Justice was witnessed on Chicago roads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To check the complete album , please click HERE

And in NEW JERSEY :

 

To view the complete album : pls click HERE & HERE

And in BOSTON too :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 15, 2008

Jammu ‘Amanrnath’ agitation to intensify !


I had been trying to understand from people based in Jammu about the future of this agitation. It seems that the patience of Jammuites seems to be running out and youths now revolting against the elders for holding them back.

According to my sources the agitation in Jammu is likely to intensify in coming days. Should that be the case,it would be a bigger concern to the Govt. both in Jammu & Kashmir as well as the Congress = UPA government in New Delhi. The effect of this agitation may even spill over to states across India.

As the Prime Minister has been non committal about the return of Amarnath land to SASB, and even after 40 days of complete shutdown in Jammu , the anger seems to be getting more and more justified.

Another development which may take place is a a demand for re-organization of the complete state, which i would share with you as soon as I would get more inputs.

While I wish the Jammuites that may they be successful in their just agitation , i have this beautiful poster to share with them.

Demystified Myths -Jammu Agitation


It was a friend from UK who wrote a mail to me and suggesting that “violence against Muslims in Jammu” should be stopped as it would further alienate the Muslims. It made me wonder of of how successful the separatists , politicians of Kashmir and the pseudo seculars of India have been to spread a disinformation campaign which would only hurt the genuine sentiments of people of Jammu. This disinformation campaign is a result of centuries of slavery syndrome the Hindu Indians have , having been slaves of Moguls and Afghans for many centuries,and till today the appeasement is carried on.

Myth-1 : Jammu Agitation for transfer of Amarnath land  is communal 

The fact remains that Muslim’s of Jammu are supporting the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti in the agitation and in last 40 days of the agitation not a single Muslim has either been attacked or hurt in Jammu. 

All Muslim Jammu Federation issued a statement in which Mr.Abdul Majid their leader stated ““We want to make it clear that Hindus in Jammu have not targeted Muslims.”, while as his colleague and district vice president Chaudhary Bahddrudin Bhatti said,” there are no reports of any Muslims being killed in the ongoing agitation.” [ Indian Express ]

Tahir Nadir,Imam of Jama Masjid at Khatikan Talab,Said: “I got calls from various places, including Kashmir, asking about attacks on Muslims. I told them that all these are rumours and we are safe here.

Meanwhile Jammu Shia federation leader Aashiq Hussain has congratulated people of Jammu for maintaining peace and harmony.

“There is no question of leaving Jammu. Nobody has attacked us. These are rumours being spread by some vested interests. Jammu has been a perfect example of communal harmony. We were offered refuge when our own people in Kashmir disowned us”, Abdul Hameed, a Kashmir migrant, said. [ The Tribune ]

Abdul said: “All Kashmiri Muslims who migrated to Jammu were against armed insurgency in the valley. We protested against the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. However, the extremists started targeting us”. [ The Tribune ]

As Jammuwalla puts it “People of Jammu are not against the Kashmiris or Muslims or Kashmiriyat, but they are dead against the politics of imperialism practiced by Muftis, Abdullahs and the ilk

It is a well known fact that terrorists and their supporter separatists leaders which happen to be from even many main stream political parties have spread this disinformation campaign of communal violence to justify the continued violence against Hindu minorities in Kashmir region.

 

Myth – 2 : There is/was a economic blockade for Kashmir by Jammuites

It was interesting to see insignificant leaders like Sajjad Lone suddenly get prominence on National TV and he used every opportunity to give ,what comes natural for a Kashmiri separatist, a false sob sob story to the world that there is a economic blockade in Kashmir. The same was followed by other separatist leaders like Mehbooba Mufti and Mirwaiz Omar Farroq and they went on to narrate of how baby milk and medicines are in great shortage in Kashmir.

The fact remains that there was a traffic disruption for few days right there at Lakhinpur /Madhovpur border of Jammu/Punjab because of which the supplies were delayed by few days . Now this Lakhinpur is an entry for Jammu region through which the supplies travel to Kashmir and Ladakh by road. If the supplies were stranded at Lakhnipur border , the people of jammu and Ladakh were as much affected by it as were the cry babies from Kashmir region. However as ever the separatists and their pseudo secular friends friends from India chose to debate the word called “economic blockade to valley.”

As on today the separatist leaders continue to tell the world that there is a economic blockade for the valley while the fact remains that there is no economic blockade.

“…..The home ministry on Wednesday released figures countering the claim of agitationists in the Valley about the economic blockade and arguing that truckers and unions of fruit growers openly aligned with Hurriyat were also engaged in myth-making about the blockade……
 
Referring to the stranded trucks in the Valley, an official said a fleet of them actually belonged to one individual known for his close affiliation with Hurriyat. The transporter refused to move his vehicles towards Jammu despite the promise of full security cover along the route…………….. [ Times Of India ]
This myth about so called economic blocakde has already been covered by “thekashmir” earlier . Also check  All Politics, No Blockade
According to official reports till 14th August in last 12 days, 9000 trucks carrying fruits, vegetables ,medicines etc have reached the valley.As Kulwant Singh a truck driver states “There is no blockade,everything is just fine” Read the complete report HERE 

Liar Media 

Media, i wonder if they know the facts about topography of Jammu & Kashmir and if they know,they still do not care to educcate the people about the facts. The fact remains that ,contrary to most reports in the media,  Jammu & Kashmir (J&K)  is not a state where only Kashmiri Muslims live. It is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious state with 64% Muslims, 33% Hindus, and 3% Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians and others. There are three distinct geographical regions – Ladakh  (with 58% of the area, and 3% of the population), Jammu  (26% area, 45% population) and Kashmir  (16% area, 52% population: of which over 90 % of the region’s minorities, i.e. 3% of the state’s total population have been driven out). The primary languages of Ladakh  are Ladakhi and Balti, of Jammu: Dogri, and of Kashmir: Kashmiri. In addition, Gujari, Pahari, Punjabi, Shina and various dialects and mixed languages are also spoken by different ethnic groups within the state.[a]

While as the puedo secular and appeasement of the separatist continues ,certain section of media do not wish to be left behind to defame the Jammu agitation and labeling it as communal and anti muslim . An interesting example is a picture which has appeared in Indian Express with the tag line written as “A gujjar Muslim lady sitting before her burnt house in Jourian, Akhnoor.” Now have a look at the picture to which the tag line was attributed and pls make me figure out the burnt house !!!!

August 10, 2008

The secular Kashmiri Muslims !


Here is the real face of Kashmiriat for all of you:

“I will advise Kashmiri Pandits not to take a foolish step to return to the Valley. And those leaders who have sympathy with the Pandits’ return, leave Kashmir and stay with them in Jammu,” Ahsan Dar – Founder Hizbul Mujahideen [ Aug’03-2008 ]

And the pusedo seculars of India still call Kashmir as a role model secular state of India….I pity them.

Let them go to Pakistan ; Good for Indians


“We are all one and insha Allah (God willing) there would be complete unity among all pro-freedom groups on all issues. Stand of all the pro-freedom groups is that Kashmir is disputed and India should fulfill its promise of giving the right to self-determination to the people of J&K,” – Syed Ali Shah Jeelani Of Hurriyat Conference

In a joint statement of all separatist groups in Kashmir , it was said that Hurriyat along with the traders would march towards Muzaffarabad , which is occupied by Pakistan.

While as it exposes yet again the desire of Islamic fundamentalism and anti India movement in Kashmir ,the Govt of India continues to pamper these people instead of acting tough.Last 60 years of pampering has turned large number of Kashmiri muslim a spoilt brat with no tolerance towards any other religion.

I would suggest that Govt. Of India makes all out arrangement to facilitate the Hurriyat march towards Pakistan occupied Muzaffarabad and also ensure that these leaders leave for that place along with their people ,bag and baggages …once for all.

August 9, 2008

Jammu Uprising – A battle for nationalism


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



SUPPORT SHRI AMARNATH SANGARSH SAMITI

“APPEAL FOR DONATION”

Sangarsh Samiti calls all countrymen for their fullest support and contributions for this cause & appeals for generous donations for the financial support towards the security & welfare of the bereaved families of the Martyrs.

The donations can be made in the form of Cheque/Demand Drafts favoring:
1. Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS) – Shaheed Fund in A/C no. 
3965000100147291 
2. Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS) – Ongoing Agitation in A/C no. 3965000100147282

with the Punjab National Bank Ltd. in all branches of the country.

For any clarifications, please contact at Mob.Nos. 94191-88057, 94191-41408.

– (Sh. Leela Karan Sharma), Convener

All politics, no blockade


The mainstream and separatist Kashmiri leaders may be crying themselves hoarse over the issue of ‘economic blockade’, but the ground reality is totally different.

While helicopters are hovering over the Pathankote-Jammu-Srinagar highway, the army has effectively sealed all the roads leading to this lifeline of supplies to Jammu & Kashmir. Meanwhile, hundreds of trucks laden with sheep, poultry, medicines and foodgrains are running smoothly toward their destinations, uninterrupted by protesters.

“It is our single-minded focus to keep the highway through and ensure supplies to Kashmir,” Chief Secretary S.S. Kapur said.

After some incidents of violence in the Jammu region — as also in Anantnag in the Valley — there were protests and blockade for a few hours in Punjab. These incidents — not entirely targeted against Kashmiris — were played up in the Valley as “economic blockade” even after the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarash Samiti leading the Jammu agitation categorically denied any such move.

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was the first to do so; thereafter, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Yasin Malik, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Farooq Abdullah followed the suit, threatening they would look at the option of trading through the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road. They were exploiting the loose statement of state BJP president Ashok Khajuria, who had used the terms like “blocking supplies” and “quit Jammu”.

Meanwhile, Governor N N Vohra declared that whatever had happened on the roads leading to Kashmir were “traffic disruptions” and “not the economic blockade”. He made it clear that there was “no planned economic blockade”.

“They are apparently trying to out do each other in the similar fashion as they first did on the land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, for they view electoral gains in it,” said Mohammad Aslam Khan, a retired employee.   

The column had appeared in Hindustan Times.

Meanwhile a defence spokesman said :

The 300-km Pathankot-Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, has been completely reopened to traffic and over 900 vehicles, including trucks and tankers, have ferried essential supplies in and out of the valley.”The highway is totally restored for vehicular traffic between Kashmir and the rest of the country. There is no economic blockade and traffic is plying as normal today,” defence spokesman said.

 

While the main shortage of medicine and essential supplies is in Jammu, where the officials have clamped curfew, the valley as ever have been able to portray themselves as “cry baby”. When one of my colleague called up his muslim friend in the valley and enquired about the situation , pat came the reply ” Koker Ha vaty”……..Meaning the “chickens have arrived”.

Meanwhile Jammu continues to suffer, with no let up in curfew.

 

Gujarat Muslims supporting Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti

Filed under: Amarnath, History Of Kashmir, Jihad, Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits — Tags: , , — TheKashmir @ 6:21 am

“Muslim from Gujarat demands that Congress government to give land to Amaranth Shrine Board”. 

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