Monday December 10, 2018

Paradise on Earth : The uncovered history of Kashmir

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photo source: http://www.tripshope.com/
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By Shriya Katoch

Kashmir, often called paradise on Earth, has a very rich and diverse history with rulers from different different religions ruling over the land and influencing its culture .

In the 1st half of the millennium Kashmir was the epicentre for the growth of Kashmiri Shaivism. In the latter half did Islam alter the course of Kashmiri culture. The rise of Islam in Kashmir took place between the 13th to 15th century.  From influence of Hindusim, and Islam making inroads, a new phenomenon emerged what is called Modern Kashmir Sufi Mysticism.
According to folklore the name Kashmir actually means ” desiccated land ” , and it is believed that the valley of Kashmir once was a deep lake. Legend has it that the lake was drained by great rishi Kashyapa , son of Brahma , by cutting a way between the hills . When Kashmir had been drained Kashyapa asked the Brahman’s to set base there.

On October 16, 1586, Mughal army invaded the kingdom of Kashmir and overthrew Kashmir’s last ruler Yaqub Shah Chak . Mughals ruled Kashmir for 167 long years, with the help of 35 governors under rulers ranging from Akbar through Aurangzeb up to Ahmad Shah independent ruler.

Maharaja Hari Singh was the last ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. He was a Hindu king ruling over a Muslim majority ( because of the forceful conversions that mughals before him had subjected the population too). He ascended over the throne in 1925 . He did not discriminate between his Muslim and Hindu subjects unlike his Mughal counterparts. He gave importance to meritocracy and appointed a lot of Muslims in his court.

The Muslim and Hindu population have coexisted in peace for centuries , however throughout history there has been some rulers that have subjected Hindu minorities to cruelties and carried out forceful conversions. The forceful dislocation in 1990 of the Kashmiri Pandit community draws from this secessionist behaviour. The Kashmiri Pandit community have been dislocated from their millennia old home .made refugees in their own homeland all because Islamic radicals wanted to make Kashmir an all Muslim state.

Due to this extremist agenda Kashmiri Pandits still live in refugee camps for the past 26 years in inhumane conditions.

The history of Kashmir has been splattered in bloodshed with people from different religions struggling to coexist. Ethnic cleansing has marred their past , but Kashmir still lives on.

You may also like to read another article published at NewsGarm on the similar theme: http://www.newsgram.com/plight-of-kashmiri-pandits/

Shriya Katoch multitasks as an Engineering student,an avid reader,a guitar player and a death note fan. Twitter: @katochshriya538

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    So do you suggest a mass reconversion of Kashmiri Muslims back into Hinduism ?

    • Shriya Katoch

      Of course not . All I’m saying is that Pakistan should quit badgering India on a prerogative that its majorly muslim populated. That’s all .

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  • a

    So do you suggest a mass reconversion of Kashmiri Muslims back into Hinduism ?

    • Shriya Katoch

      Of course not . All I’m saying is that Pakistan should quit badgering India on a prerogative that its majorly muslim populated. That’s all .

Next Story

The Plight Of Kashmir’s Pandits

The Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Kashmiri Pandits
Plight of Kashmiri Pandits continues: Community members. Flickr

Dozens of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday paid homage to civilians, Army men and their community members killed since 1989 and said the plight of Pandits still continues.

For 28 years, the Kashmiri Pandit community has been observing September 14 as ‘Martyrs’ Day-Balidan Diwas’ at B.K. Ganjoo memorial park in Central Delhi.

United Kingdom-based activist Shafalica Bhan Kotwal who has been fighting for the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits, said: “There is no major change in the lives of Kashmir Pandits, their plight still continues despite Bharatiya Janata Party being in power.

Kashmiri pandits
Kashmir. Pixabay

“Most of them were thrown out of their homes. They are living in pathetic conditions in shelter homes with no basic facilities.”

She said the community was once accustomed to living in minus 17 degrees Celsius. “Their families are now living in the hostile Jammu weather,” she added.

The son of Kasmiri Pandits’ leader Tika Lal Taploo, Ashutosh Taploo, was at the meeting. He said: “My father was killed not just because he was a Pandit..because he was looked as the Hindu community leader.”

Kashmiri Pandits
Kashmiri Hindus protest renaming of Shankaracharya Hill. Flickr

Taploo said his father was the first Pandit to have fallen to terrorist bullets in the Valley.

Also Read: Jammu And Kashmir’s Ad Film Wins Gold At IAA Awards

“Till today no government has brought any major change in Pandits’ lives, the atrocities we experienced and psychological trauma we suffered is fresh” he said.

In a statement calling for justice to “victims of terrorism,” the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted to Union Minister Hansraj Ahir. (IANS)