The Kashmir

May 23, 2011

There is a liberal bias. It’s demonstrable !


Though NDTV is believed to have largely been shy to highlight the trauma , pain and anger of Hindus of Kashmir , also commonly called Kashmiri Pandits , for a change yesterday they did a discussion about ‘possibility’ of return of Hindus back to valley .

I would not like to give any personal opinion on the discussion , which was hosted by Ms Barkha Dutt , however I would like to share some tweets which I saw after the program .

These tweets are largely from :-

  1. Muslim Group :- Who largely want Kashmir not to be part of India
  2. Kashmiri Hindu [ Pandit ] / Nationalist group : – Who are staunch nationalist , however forced into exile by Islamists .

Kashmiri Muslim Group

When translated , its a message to Aditya Raj kaul , It says … I spit on your face Aditya Kaul

Nationalist / Kashmiri Hindu group

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

July 1, 2010

Stone Pelting – A lucrative business in Kashmir

Filed under: India, Kashmir — Tags: , — TheKashmir @ 9:35 am

Over the past few years, militancy in Kashmir has been on a dwindle. Top police sources reveal that this has caused considerable unease among separatist leaders, who find it hard to justify the flow of funds that comes their way through various channels including hawala. The diversion of funds to troublemakers who instigate the youth to confront security personnel has been a convenient way out for them. – Open Magazine

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 31, 2010

Holocaust of Kashmiri Pandits

Filed under: History Of Kashmir, India — Tags: , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 4:51 am

Satanic Holocaust of Kashmiri Pandits – by Dr. Satish Ganjoo

Myth and reality move together in the Saffron Valley of mystic splendor. The reclamation of land from Satisar created certain complications. The Saraswati River that flowed into the eastern Punjab, Rajasthan, Sind and other parts of Indian subcontinent suddenly got dried up. Geologists are of the opinion that all those streams, which fed Satisar and form the source of water for the Saraswati river, mostly ran underground. Once the cleft materialized at Baramulla, the water of the Satisar flowed out in an opposite direction, leaving the Saraswati basin dry. The Aryan Saraswat Brahmans, who used to live on the banks of Saraswati river, migrated to the Kashmir Valley to continue their austerities. With the passage of time these people came to be known as ‘Bhattas’ in Kashmir. The word is derivative of Brahman. Now they are called the Kashmiri Pandits or the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir, who believe in the mystic combination of Shaivism, Kali Bhakti, Shakta worship and Tantra.

History of the Kashmiri Pandits is the history of Kashmir since last more than 5000 years. They are associated with its society, culture, civilization, customs, traditions, myths and realities. The rise of Buddhism and reactions by Brahmans gave rise to a long struggle between the two rival ideologies. The Naga (Snake) worship was also the dominant religion in the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. However, Buddhism flourished in the Valley during the reign of Durnadeo, Simhadeo, Sundersen, Ashoka and Kanishka. The great Buddhist council was held at Kanishpur in Kashmir during the rule of Kanishka and it was presided over by two eminent scholars — Asvaghosha and Vasumitra. About 500 monks from different parts of the subcontinent attended the same. Nagarjuna , a Bodhisattva and the greatest philosopher of Buddhism, lived in Kashmir. During the reign of Abhimanu, a number of people were converted to Buddhism. It was first struggle of the Kashmiri Brahmans for their survival. A number of Kashmiri scholars – Kumarajiva (AD 384-417), Shakyashri Badhra (AD 405), Ratnavera, Shama Bhatta (5th Cen AD) and others went to China and Tibet to preach Buddhism. However, the Brahmans regained their supremacy during the reign of Nara I . The struggle between Buddhism and Brahmanism came to an end with the emergence of modern Hinduism. A period of comparative historical validity began with the establishment of the Karkuta rule in AD 627. Avantivarman (AD 855-833) is believed to be the first Vaishnavite ruler of Kashmir. During his rule there was a tremendous cultural development in the Valley. The great Shaiva philosophers of this period were Kayyatacharya, Somananda, Muktakantha Swamin, Shiva Swamin, Ananda Vardhana and Kallata.

The struggle between the Brahmans and other castes, such as Kayasthas, began during the reign of Shankara Varman. The authority of the Brahmans was broken and the sacred character of their citadels was violated. However, the Shaivite thought and philosophy flourished. Pradyumana Bhatta, Utpalacharya, Rama Kantha, Prajnarjuna, Lachaman Gupta and Mahadeva Bhatta have made a tremendous contribution to this philosophy. During the regime of Lohara dynasty, Kashmir came into contact with the Muslim invaders who attacked India. When Mahmud Ghazni annexed the Punjab, most of the tribes on the borders of Kashmir embraced Islam. At that time, the Valley was ruled by Sangram Raja (AD 1003-1028). Even after their conversion to Islam, these people continued to visit Kashmir – as traders, wanderers and even missionaries. There are historical evidences that some of these tribals settled in the Valley and made some venture into propagating their new religion.

Harsha (AD 1089-1101), was a man of extravagant habits and a jumble of contraries. He robbed the temple treasures and melt idols of gold and silver to tide over his financial crisis. Before him two other kings, Jalauka and Kalasa, employed the same approach of plundering the temples and melting the images of gold and silver to augment their depleted treasuries. Harsha also employed Muslim generals, who are called Turushkas by Kalhana, for the first time in the history of Kashmir. Now Muslims as a class appeared in the political field and began to consolidate its roots. Bhikshachara, a descendant of Harsha, organized a cavalry force mainly consisting of the Muslims. During the reign of Gopadeva (AD 1171-1180), the Brahmans consolidated their position. But the Lavanya tribe shattered their roots once again. The Damaras, Lavanyas and other tribes never allowed the Brahmans to monopolize. In the reign of Jassaka (AD 1180-1198), two Brahmans – Kshuksa and Bhima, endeavored to capture
the throne. But it was the fear of Damaras or feudal lords that prevented them. Ramadeva (AD 1252-1273) humiliated those Brahmans who had helped him in his coronation. They conspired against him but could not succeed. A reign of terror, loot and plunder was let loose against them. Many Brahmans were killed and others crushed barbarously. This was the first direct assault against them in the history of Kashmir. To save themselves they cried ” Na Batoham” (I am not a Bhatta). The Kashmiri Pandits are even now taunted as Bhattas and Dalli Bhattas.

(more…)

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

January 21, 2010

Indian Media ignores plight of Kashmiri Pandits


January 19th., 1990 that announcement was made across all mosques in Kashmir through loudspeakers ,asking Kashmiri Pandits to leave the valley. They shouted “Asyi Gassyi Pakistan .. Batav Roch te Batnyav Saan” [ We want Pakistan ..Without Hindus but with their womenfolk ]. “Yahan Kya Chalega – Nizam E-Mustafa” [ Islamic rule would prevail ] , etc etc

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were subsequently killed and almost the entire  Kashmiri Pandit population of 7,00,000 fled from valley,almost overnight.

A genocide followed by exodus of one of the most patriotic community happened.

January 19th., 2010 marked the 20th anniversary of that event. Kashmiri Pandits are living as refugees in their own country ,where they stand ignored and neglected. Read the article at REDIFF, click HERE

On this 20th anniversary of exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir , the Indian media completely ignored them as well. Indian media is well known for their Psuedo secular policies as most of the people in media are known leftist supporters . For them it has been a fashion to speak about Gujarat and problems to Kashmiri muslims , however give prompt them to speak about Kashmiri Pandits and they would fume.

They have a dead conscience.

Here I take an opportunity to show what all they preferred to discuss on that particular day  , and at the same time not even a word was discussed about Kashmiri Pandits.

What else to prove of how biased the Indian media is against Kashmiri Hindus . These screen shots have been taken from the twitter account of respective media channels and the celebrity journalists  whom you see everyday on your idiot box.

Times Now had “much important” thing to discuss . They cried for Ustad Amjad Ali Khans ‘Sarod’. Not a word for Kashmiri Pandits.

(more…)

November 7, 2009

Fatwa Against Vande Mataram


Flag

               

untitled

 

 

 

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

July 30, 2009

Hindu Temples in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir


Mirpur has a special place in sub-continent’s history. The famous battle between Alexandar and Porus was fought here in 323 BC.  A large number of Hindus lived in Mirpur once . Today Mirpur doesnt have any hindus living in there.

Please find below the state of Hindu temples in Mirpur …

Shiva Temple - Mirpur [Pakistan Occupied Kashmir ]

Shiva Temple - Mirpur [Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

 

RaghuNath (Ram ) Temple in Old Mirpur [ Pakistan Occupied Kashmir ]

RaghuNath (Ram ) Temple in Old Mirpur [ Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

 

Raghunath Temple in Evening – Mirpur Pakistan Occupied KashmirRaghunath [ Ram ] Temple in Evening [ Mirpur - Pakistan Occupied Kashmir ]

Raghunath [ Ram

Pictures Courtsey : Mohsin

July 27, 2009

Panun Kashmir Resolution by various state Goverments ?

Filed under: History Of Kashmir, India, Panun Kashmir, Politics, Protests/Events — Tags: , , — TheKashmir @ 12:47 pm

MP Assembly passes historic resolution on ‘Panun Kashmir’


The Madhya Pradesh Assembly passed a resolution unanimously today expressing support to the demand of Union Territory for Kashmiri Pandits in the valley of Kashmir. The resolution was moved by Mr. Umashankar (MLA) and supported by Mr. Deshraj Singh (MLA) and state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr. Kailash Vijay Wargi. The resolution was passed at 6:15pm today after an hour long discussion on the subject. The resolution besides other things demanded that the Government of India should in the meanwhile establish a commission of enquiry to find reasons for the plight of Kashmiri Pandits which includes their exodus from Kashmir. It also demanded that Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) including an economic package be announced for the community. It also demands that a bill to protect temples and shrines of Kashmiri Pandits be introduced with the concurrence of Kashmiri Pandit representatives for which a dialogue should be initiated with ‘Panun Kashmir’ the representative body of the community. The resolution further demanded that the Government of the country should take all necessary measures to ameliorate the sufferings for the community.

Panun Kashmir

When the bill was introduced, discussed and passed in the Madhya Pradesh Assemby; a team of community members was present in the Speaker’s Gallery of the Assembly, besides others who were present included Dr. Agnishekhar, Convener, Panun Kashmir and Shri Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, President, Panun Kashmir.

Source : PTI , Yahoo , Hindustan Times , Zillr ,

Pls download the day actvity of Madhya Pradesh assembly MP – PK Resolution  HERE

July 18, 2009

Why Kashmir has no case for self-determination – Vivek Gumaste


Self-determination is a lyrical, mesmerising phrase that sparks the fire in a revolutionary and excites the cerebral neurons of a libertarian, galvanising both into frenzied activity. But self-determination shorn of its prerequisites and mindless of its implications can prove to be a toxic, self-mutilating instrument with deleterious consequences for its protagonists and antagonists. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of Kashmir where it holds an uncertain future for its proponents in the Valley and can be the axiom that seriously erodes the basic fabric of India’s Constitution.

Self-determination in quest of a new nation-State cannot be a whim but must be a proposition grounded in solid reason. There must be justifiable cause to advocate separation. Do Kashmiri Muslim aspirations qualify for legitimate independence or is this brouhaha nothing more than a devious design by a majority to establish its hegemony?

The recent events in Kashmir are a microcosm of the movement itself: much ado about nothing. Acutely conscious of its waning influence and sensing a general apathy towards separatist fervour, as evidenced by the successful conduct of the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the Hurriyat is in a tizzy, resorting to obfuscatory tactics to remain relevant. How else can you explain its tendency to impart an anti-Indian hue to each and every untoward incident that occurs in the Valley?

COURTSEY-ap

Courtesy - AP

The immediate trigger for the latest spate of protests in Srinagar  appears to be the alleged murder of Asrar Mushtaq Dar, a 20-year-old student who went missing on July 3 and whose mutilated body was found in a city graveyard on July 8. Details of the murder are still sketchy and the identity of the culprits is yet to be ascertained. But that really doesn’t matter.

“Asrar was later found to be murdered by his friends . The cause was a love traingle ..Ref : Indian Express

For in the charged and biased atmosphere of the Valley, any unnatural death becomes a cause celebre to whip up anti-India sentiments and implicate the security forces, ethics being an expendable appendage in the process.

Prior to this was the Shopian incident in which two young women, Neelofar Jan and her sister-in-law Asiya Jan, were found raped and murdered on May 30. While a judicial inquiry called for an ‘in-depth investigation’ and stated that ‘there is material on file to hold that the involvement of some agency of the J&K police cannot be completely ruled out’, it went on to give details of a possible family angle to the twin murders as the following news excerpt with verbatim quotes from the commission’s report indicates (Shopian panel even suspects victim. Majid Jahangir. Kashmir Live, July 11):

The police isn’t the only target. The report calls for a probe into the “rift” between the family of Neelofar and her in-laws. The fact that Neelofar, a woman from the upper-caste Peer family, eloped with Shakeel Ahmad Ahangar — who belongs to a family of blacksmiths — is also cited as a subject for further probe.

The report calls for a detailed investigation into the possible role of Neelofar’s estranged brother, Zeerak Shah, a police constable. “It is required that sustained questioning/interrogation of Zeerak Shah, his associates and relatives, be carried out so as to work out the possibility of their involvement in rape and murder of Neelofar and Asiya Jan”.

The commission also puts a question mark on the conduct of Shakeel Ahmad Ahangar, Neelofar’s husband and Asiya’s brother. Claiming that he is ‘known for his immoral activities’, the report says: ‘His assets are quite disproportionate to his known source of income, thus requiring in-depth investigation to work out the possibility of Shakeel and his friends/associates in the present incident’.

Then the report goes on to even suspect the victims themselves. ‘Spot inspection of the orchard reveals that the orchard is fenced with CGI sheets from three sides and there is no proper gate for entry into the orchard. There are about 35 small and big fruit trees, without any pruning/cutting and ground is full of weeds. The purpose of their regular and frequent visit to the orchard could not be established so far… It is quite possible that during these frequent visits to the orchard in last six/seven months, they (but more particularly Neelofar Jan) might have developed some relation with other persons.’

(more…)

April 13, 2009

Dr.Agnishekhar – Convenor Panun Kashmir


agni3

February 22, 2009

Vir Sanghvi finally speaks up against ‘Islamic blackmailers’


August 16th, a day after india celebrated yet another Independance day,while as Kashmiri Pandits continued to live as refugees in this great country, Vir Sanghvi in his editorial, Think The Unthinkable’, for Hindustan times wrote the following in his controversial article

………The exception to this trend has been Kashmir. Contrary to what many Kashmiris claim, we have tried everything. Even today, the state enjoys a special status. Under Article 370 of our Constitution, with the exception of defence, foreign policy, and communication, no law enacted by parliament has any legitimacy in Kashmir unless the state government gives its consent. The state is the only one in India to have its own Constitution and the President of India cannot issue directions to the state government in exercise of the executive power of the Union as he can in every other state. Kashmiri are Indian citizens but Indians are not necessarily Kashmiri citizens.  We cannot vote for elections to their assembly or own any property in Kashmir. ……..

In the above para Vir Sanghvi writes what every other Indian thinks,but is hesitant to demand a change to overcome this. Vir Sanghvi as a ‘sickular’ writer is also from the same bloc, which is no surprise. He continues with statements and writes further..

Then, there is the money. Bihar gets per capita central assistance of Rs 876 per year. Kashmir gets over ten times more: Rs 9,754 per year. While in Bihar and other states, this assistance is mainly in the forms of loans to the state, in Kashmir 90 per cent is an outright grant. Kashmir’s entire Five Year Plan expenditure is met by the Indian taxpayer. In addition, New Delhi keeps throwing more and more money at the state: in 2004, the Prime Minister gave Kashmir another $ 5 billion for development. ……

Given that Kashmir has the best deal of any Indian state, is there anything more we can do? Kashmiris talk about more autonomy.  But I don’t see a) what more we can give them and b) how much difference it will make. …..

The write up of Vir Sanghvi was almost a surrender to the people who have a nonsense value. People who use violence to make a state surrender to their idiotic demands which are backed by Islamic fanatics . Vir Sanghvi seemed to be saying, lets give up Kashmir and buy peace.

It discouraged me and many like me who eagerly wait every Sunday to read Virs editorial. I hated Vir & Hindustan times, i hated it for indirectly supporting those people who made me homeless.

And then i read todays Hindustan times ,six months later,and reluctantly opened the editorial . It reads “Stand up to the Mullahs“……It was a strange heading coming from a ‘sickular’ editor who are not supposed to write against Islamic might and mullahism , else they risk being called ‘hindu communalist’.

As i read the artcile i wondered where the hell is Vir going to run ? Is he going to be another Salman Rushdie or Tasleema Nasreen ? How has he dared to take on mullahs ? How has he rebuked even the moderate muslims ?

Just read the following excerpts from the article by Vir Sanghvi

The rioters said they were offended by a passage in the article where Hari referred to the Prophet’s marriage to a much younger woman and his directive to burn Jewish villages. (In all fairness, he was as critical of other religions and of the Israeli assault on the West Bank.)

The rioters say that nobody can criticise any aspect of the Prophet’s life.

Why?

There’s no shortage of books and articles criticising Jesus, suggesting that he might have been secretly married (as in The DaVinci Code), arguing that the resurrection was a hoax or that Mary was never a virgin.

Vir Sanghvi questions the might of fanatics and gets even bolder and writes

 And yet, it is an article of faith with Muslims — even moderate ones — that the Prophet’s life is beyond reproach.

Does this make any sense?

Vir continues with much more reasonable arguments and makes a quick comparison of how tolerant Islami fanatics and moderates are , he writes

It is now clear that the liberal society has been suckered into relaxing its standards for free speech by militant Islamists.

Let’s take the most obvious example. Every liberal I know is outraged by the attacks on MF Husain. Why shouldn’t he paint nude Saraswatis? That’s his right. If people are offended by the paintings, they shouldn’t see them.

So far, so good. But now imagine that Husain had painted an extremely reverential portrait of the Prophet. (Never mind cartoons, nude pictures etc.)

There would have been riots. And even secular liberals would not have supported him.

We would have said: Islam prohibits any visual representation of the Prophet so Husain has committed a great crime.

But so what if Muslims cannot visually represent their Prophet? Why should non-Muslims be bound by their religious edicts? Why should non-believing Muslims be forced by liberal society to obey the restrictions of their religion?

Believers should follow what the Holy Book and the mullahs say. But why should the rest of us? Why should we abandon our right to free expression?

Nobody I know has ever explained why the double standards are justified.

In his concluding argument Vir Sanghvi accepts that we surrender to islamic fanatics …just read what he writes…

The real reason we give in to Islamic fanatics is the desire for a peaceful life or, to put it another way, cowardice.

Every one of their objections is always framed in terms of violence. Ban The Satanic Verses or we will kill Salman Rushdie. Apologise for the Danish cartoons or we will offer a reward for the head of the cartoonist. Arrest the editor of the Statesman or we will shut Calcutta down by rioting in the streets.

Faced with these threats, we abandon our principles and say things like, “Come on, is a single article worth the death of so many people?” or “Let’s just ban the book, otherwise these guys will keep rioting.”

The fanatics know this. They have identified the cowardice at the heart of our liberalism. So every demand is a) pitched in terms of protecting the religious sentiments of the Muslim community or b) facing murder, mayhem and more.

Almost every single time, we cave in.

Either we say that Islam is a peaceful religion

Or we get death threats.

…. Isn’t it time to finally stand up to these thugs and blackmailers?

It is good that Vir Sanghvi has finally spoken what is truth, spoken about being blacmailed by Islamic hardliners.

It wont be late when taliban , which are already knocking our doors, would be trying to rule us. Making our life miserable.

Today is it only the Kashmiri Hindus which have suffered and non speaks about them . Tommorow rest of Indians are likely to suffer from the same fate and that would perhaps make some ‘sickulars’ speak….

Perhaps it would be late then……..Its time Pronoy Roy, Barkha , Karan Thapar, Rajdeep , Sagarika and the rest wake up.

Wake up , speak the truth to save our India.

Older Posts »

The Silver is the New Black Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,650 other followers

%d bloggers like this: