Friday, December 31, 2010

21st New Year Exile Wishes

My Prayer for you

May your homes, hearths & Places of Worship
Flourish with love and prosperity.
Protect thou from any wicked
From vice plans of your enemy.
Thou have none to harm &
All around you to charm !
May This year Keep you happy and warm

Please pray for us

21st Year  of exile
Pray to Lord for us
to Grant us Home
this year and to see
Our kids in our own land

This year from youth
I will grow to old
a step further to death
desperation to live there
what if Death carries my wish

Before Bones become fragile
Eyes start digging deeper
Ears stop listening
Thoughts start wandering
Memory starts losing meaning

Pray this year for me
May the wood from its woods
Burn my funeral pyre
its Rivers absorb my ashes
my soul rests in peace

Let in death be my Homeland
Let in death be my ancestral Abode
Let in death be my New Year Wish
Even if it is my ephermal Blemish

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brief History of Kashmir

Thanks to Satish Ganju for this informative article  and I couldn't stop myself from reproducing it on my Blog. 

Kashmiri Pandits have suffered either at the hands of rulers, invaders or terrorists since long. It was Harsha (AD 1089-1101), a man of extravagant habits and a jumble of contraries, who robbed temple treasures and got the idols of gold and silver melted to tide over his financial crisis. Before him two other kings, Jalauka and Kalasa, employed the same approach of plundering the temples 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. So Muslims as a class appeared in the political field and began to consolidate its roots. The rulers of Kashmir encouraged the influx of Muslims into the Valley. During the reign of Suhadeva (AD 1301-1320) many Muslim adventurers came to Kashmir. The chief among them was a Muslim missionary- Bulbul Shah. Two others were Shahmir from Swat and Rinchana from Tibet. Shahmir came in AD 1313 along with his numerous relations. Suhadeva granted him a jagir in a village near Baramulla. Ramachandra, the Prime Minister, employed Rinchana and granted him jagir in a village in the Lar Valley. These two adventurers were instrumental in the establishment of the Muslim rule in Kashmir.

Dulucha, a Tartar chief from Central Asia, invaded Kashmir with 60,000 strong horsemen. Suhadeva tried to induce him to retreat by paying him off a large sum of money, but the invader refused and struck terror. He stayed in the Valley for eight months and took about 50,000 Brahmans with him as slaves. However, all the troops and slaves perished while crossing the Devsar Pass. The cruel invader went away from the Valley but left it haunted. The cursed people had lost all faith in their ruler, Suhadeva. Taking the advantage of the chaos and confusion, Rinchana- the Buddhist refugee from Tibet, occupied the throne with the help of some chiefs . He killed his benefactor, Ramachandra, in the fort of Lar by treacherous means and married his daughter, Kota Rani. Shahmir and Bulbul Shah managed his conversion to Islam. Ramachandra’s son, Ravanachandra, and many others also embraced Islam. A Muslim ruling class came into existence. This newly established Muslim class slowly consolidated its position and employed various methods to propagate the new faith. After the death of Rinchana (AD 1326), Udyanadeva, the brother of Suhadeva, was installed on the throne of Kashmir and Shahmir was appointed as Commander-in-Chief.

Achala, a Turkish Chief, invaded Kashmir during the reign of Udyanadeva, laying waste the territories he passed through. The king fled to Tibet. Kota Rani - the queen, faced the invader, procured his death and saved the kingdom. In this operation , Shahmir played the dominant role. Shahmir’s influence increased tremendously and he further strengthened his position by entering into matrimonial relations with the powerful nobles in Kashmir. A subversive struggle was born between the tolerant Hinduism and the militant Islam. In AD 1339, after defeating Kota Rani by a foul strategem and procuring her death, Shahmir ascended the throne of Kashmir under the name of Sultan Shamas-ud-Din (The Light of the Religion - Islam). He got khutaba read and the coins struck to his name. Islam became the court religion. Shahmir became the legitimate author and architect of Muslim rule in Kashmir. With the establishment of the new regime Muslim missionaries, preachers, sayyids and saints penetrated into the Valley. Sayyid Jalal-ud-Din, Sayyid Taj-ud-Din, Sayyid Hussain Simnani, Sayyid Masud and Sayyid Yusuf came to Kashmir to avoid the intended massacre by Timur. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (Shah Hamadan) entered Kashmir with 700 sayyids; and, his son, Mir Muhammad Hamadani, with 300 more. They endured in the Valley under royal protection and disseminated the message of Islam. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (AD 1314-AD 1385) pronounced ‘sixteen commandments’ for Non-Muslims in “ Zakhirat’ul Maluk ”:

1. Muslim ruler shall not allow fresh constructions of Hindu temples and shrines for image worship.
2. No repair shall be executed to the existing Hindu temples and shrines.
3. They shall not proffer Muslim names.
4. They shall not ride a harnessed horse.
5. They shall not move about with arms.
6. They shall not wear rings with diamonds.
7. They shall not deal in or eat bacon.
8. They shall not exhibit idolatrous images.
9. They shall not built houses in the neighbourhood of Muslims.
10. They shall not dispose of their dead in the neighbourhood of Muslim graveyards, nor weep or wail over their dead.
11. They shall not deal in or buy Muslim slaves.
12. No Muslim traveller shall be refused lodging in the Hindu temples and shrines where he shall be treated as a guest for three days by non-Muslims.
13. No non-Muslim shall act as a spy in the Muslim state.
14. No problem shall be created for those non-Muslims who, of their own will, show their readiness for Islam.
15. Non-Muslims shall honour Muslims and shall leave their assembly whenever the Muslims enter the premises.
16. The dress of non-Muslims shall be different from that of Muslims to distinguish themselves.

This naturally caused animosity among the Brahmans and resulted in frail rebellion during the reign of Shihab-ud-Din (AD 1354-1373). In order to break the upheaval among the Hindus and to make them prostrate, the Sultan turned his attention towards their temples. All the temples in Srinagar, including the one at Bijbehara, were wrecked to terrorize the poor Kashmiri Pandits. It seems that by this time, the sultans of Kashmir were perfectly dogmatized as a result of their contacts, interactions and intercourses with the sayyids. These sayyids came here as absconders in search of safe harbours, but manoeuvered the events for their own cause and fanatic iconoclastic zeal. The Hindus began to feel deserted and alienated in their own land. To consolidate their rule, sultans institutionalized the “policy of extermination” to eradicate all traces of Hinduism in any form.

Sikandar- the Butshikan, was bigoted with fanatic religious zeal to spread Islam in the entire Valley. This fanaticism was stimulated by Mir Muhammad Hamadani. Both hatched a deadly conspiracy to prosecute the Hindus and enforce upon the Nizam-i-Mustaffa. Jonaraja says, “ The Sultan forgot his kingly duties and took delight day and night in breaking images … He broke images of Martanda, Vishaya, Ishana, Chakrabrit and Tripureshvara …… There was no city, no town, no village, no wood where Turushka left the temples of the gods unbroken.” According to Hassan (History of Kashmir), “ This country possessed from the times of Hindu rajas many temples which were like the wonders of the world. Their workmanship was so fine and delicate that one found himself bewildered at their sight. Sikandar, goaded by feelings of bigotry, destroyed them and levelled them with the earth and with the material built many mosques and khanqahs. In the first instance he turned his attention towards the great Martand temple built by Ramdev (the temple was rebuilt by King Lalitaditya, AD 724-760) on Mattan Kareva. For one year he tried to demolish it, but failed. At last in sheer dismay, he dug out stones from its base and having stored enough wood in their place, set fire to it. The gold gilt paintings on its walls were totally destroyed and the walls surrounding its premises were demolished. Its ruins even now strike wonder in men’s minds. At Bijbehara, three hundred temples including the famous Vijiveshwara temple, which was partly damaged by Shihab-ud-Din, were destroyed. With the material of Vijiveshwara temple, a mosque was built and on its site a khanqah, which is even now known as Vijiveshwara Khanqah.” The stones and bricks which once configurated a marvelous and splendid temple or monastery, now hold up mosques. Hassan further adds, “ Sikandar meted out greatest oppression to the Hindus. It was notified in the Valley that if a Hindu does not become a Muslim, he must leave the country or be killed. As a result some of the Hindus fled away, some accepted Islam and many Brahmans consented to be killed and gave their lives. It is said that Sikandar collected, by these methods, six maunds of sacred thread form Hindu converts and burnt them. Mir Muhammad Hamadani, who was a witness of all this vicious brutality, barbarism and vandalism, at last advised him to desist from the slaughter of Brahmans and told him to impose jazia (religious tax) instead of death upon them. All the Hindu books of learning were collected and thrown into Dal Lake or were buried beneath stones and earth.” Sikandar issued orders that no man should wear the tilak mark on his forehead and no woman be allowed to perform sati. He also insisted on breaking and melting of all the gold and silver idols of gods and coin the metal into money. An attempt was made to destroy the caste of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans by force and those who resisted were subject to heavy fines. Farishta says, “ Many of the Brahmans, rather than abandon their religion or their county, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Muhammedans”. To strictly enforce the Nizam-i-Mustaffa, Sikandar established the office of Shaikh-ul-Islam. According to W.R. Lawrence, the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir were given three choices- death, conversion or exile. “Many fled, many were converted and many were killed, and it is said that this thorough monarch (Sikandar) burnt seven maunds of sacred threads of the murdered Brahmans”. As for the statements of Hassan and Lawrence, six maunds of sacred threads of converts and seven maunds of murdered Pandits were burnt. The number of people, to whom these thirteen maunds of sacred threads belonged, might have been tremendously colossal. A mammoth number of the Saraswat Pandits also went into exile, causing the first disastrous mass exodus of the community. The unfortunate Pandits caught while crossing the border were awarded severe punishments. Even the converts were required to pay jazia as they were suspected of secretly clinging to their old religion.

Ali Shah - the tyrant (AD 1413-1430), son of Sikandar- the Butshikan, during his short rule of six years, carried on his father’s 24-year tyrant reign with homicides, conversions, tyranny and enforced jazia. The legendary Brahmans burnt themselves in the flaming fire through fear of conversion. Some Brahmans killed themselves by taking poison, some by the rope and others by drowning themselves. This caused the second miserable mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja calls it “ Chandh-Dandh” - violent, cruel, brutal and horrible punishment; for the abandoned and vulnerable Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. The brutal religious persecution of the Kashmiri Pandits has been borne testimony to by almost all the Muslim historians. Hassan, Fauq and Nizam – ud – Din have condemned these excesses in unscathing terms. It was the reign of terror and homicide. The majority of the Hindus were converted forcibly and a large number of them left the Valley. These enlightened intellectuals had to move from door to door for food, like dogs. One can’t imagine a higher level of mental torture! The Brahmans, even after paying jazia, could not openly declare themselves as Hindus nor could they apply tilak on their foreheads. Neither could they pray in their temples or perform any religious ceremony.

The son of Sultan Sikandar and the brother of Sultan Ali Shah, Zainul Abidin (AD1420 to 1460) followed the policy of tolerance, endurance, patience, sympathy and broad mindedness. But the conservative and dogmatic Muslims reacted very sharply to this policy of toleration and mutual coexistence . According to Mulla Bahauddin, “ The Sultan reimported practices of infidels which had once become extinct”. The honey-moon of the Kashmiri Pandits proved very brief. During the reign of Haider Shah (AD 1470-1472) - the prodigal son of the great Zainul Abidin, Kashmiri Pandits once again suffered tremendously. He adopted various corrupt and cruel practices against the Saraswat Brahmans. The repression was so terrible that the tolerant Pandits lost their cool. Hassan says, “ the patience of the Pandits having reached the breaking point, they rose in a body and set fire to some mosques which were built with the material of the Hindu temples once demolished by Sikandar. The rising was quelled by the sword; many more Pandits were drowned in rivers; and, loot and plunder was practiced with unbridled licence.” Srivara also illustrates the cruel and inhuman treatment given to the mythical Kashmiri Saraswat Brahmans, “… many Pandits struggled and threw themselves in river Vitasta to be drowned there. The arms and noses of many people were cut off, even of those Brahmans who were king’s servants.” Ravage and arson of the sacred places continued during the indifferent rule of Hassan Khan (AD 1476-1487), when the real authority was with the gang of three persons- Shams Chak, Shringhar Raina and Musa Raina.

Mir Shams-ud-Din Iraqi, who visited the Saffron Valley twice in AD 1477 and 1496, was the founder of Nurbakhshiya Order (Shia sect) in Kashmir. His mission was the vigorous propagation of his faith. Not contented with peaceful preachings, he employed the violent methods. Besides the poor vulnerable Brahmans, Sunni Muslims were also violently converted to Shia sect by murderous techniques. This dogmatic fanaticism even crippled the authority of Sunni ruler of Kashmir, Fateh Shah (AD 1510-1517). About 24,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forcibly converted to Shia sect of Islam. Iraqi had even issued orders that everyday about 1500 to 2000 Brahmans be brought to his doorsteps, remove their sacred threads, administer Kalima to them, circumcise them and make them eat beef. These decrees were ferociously and brutally carried out. The Hindu religious scriptures from 7th century AD onwards and about 18 magnificent temples were destroyed, property confiscated and ladies molested. Thousands of Brahmans killed themselves to evade this horrific barbarism and thousands migrated to other places, resulting in their third tragic mass exodus from the Valley. Those who stayed behind were not only forced to pay jazia, but their noses and ears were chopped off. To escape the tremendous pain and agony, they cried. “I am not a Hindu.”

Qazi Chak, the founder of Chak rule in Kashmir (AD 1553-1586), carried on ferocious religious policy and made conversion of many Hindus to Shia sect of Islam. According to Suka, one thousand cows were used to be killed everyday without any opposition under the orders of the Chak rulers, who were Shias, just to injure the religious sentiments of the Kashmiri Pandits. These celebrated and highly educated Aryan Saraswat Brahmans were made the objects of laughter and reproach. They were publically taunted, abused and humiliated. The last Chak ruler, Yaqub Chak, had a bigoted zeal for the propagation of Shia sect and planned mass conversion of the Hindus. However, he could not administer his criminal designs because of the Mughal annexation.

Akbar was tremendously influenced by the amazing moral supremacy of the Kashmiri Pandits. Abul Fazl records in Ain-i-Akbari, “ the most respectable class in this country (Kashmir) is that of the Pandits, who, notwithstanding their need for freedom from the bonds of tradition and custom, are the true worshippers of God. They do not loosen their tongue of calumny against those not of their faith, nor beg, nor importune. They employ themselves in planting fruit trees and are generally a source of inspiration for others”. The greatness of Akbar lies in his magnificent and fascinating policy of religious tolerance. Jahangir and Shah Jahan were not so tolerant. But their religious enthusiasm cannot be termed as fanatic. During this period, the Brahmans could perform their religious ceremonies after paying some tribute. But the whole scenario changed with the accession of Aurangzeb to the throne. With his bigoted fanatic and dogmatic approach, the Kashmiri Pandits were once again made vulnerable. Iftkar Khan, the Mughal governor of Kashmir during the reign of Aurangzeb, brutally tyrannized over the Brahmans to such an extent that they approached Guru Teg Bhahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, at Anandpur in Punjab and solicited his personal intervention with the Emperor. This ultimately led to the Guru’s martyrdom and made Guru Gobid Singh to create the Khalsa to fight the oppressors . Muzaffer Khan, Nassar Khan and Ibrahim Khan were other governors of Aurangzeb who ferociously terrorized the Kashmiri Pandits. These poor scapegoats were once again forced to migrate from the land of their origin. It was the fourth disastrous mass exodus of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans from Kashmir.

During the rule of later Mughals, Kashmir witnessed the outbreak of the worst kind of religious intolerance. In AD 1720, Mullah Abdul Nabi, also called Muhat Khan, a non-resident Kashmiri Muslim, was appointed as Shaikh-ul Islam . In order to assert his religious authority, he asked the Deputy Governor, Mir Ahmed Khan , to start a campaign of persecution of the Kafirs (infidels) - as the Kashmiri Pandits were called. In order to satisfy his satanic ego, the Mulla issued six commandments:

No Hindu should ride a horse, nor should a Hindu wear a shoe;
That they should not wear Jama (Mughal costume);
That they should move bare arms;
That they should not visit any garden;
That they should not have tilak mark on their foreheads;
That their children should not receive any education.

But Ahmed Khan refused to execute the mischievous decree. The Mullah then excited his followers against the Kashmiri Pandits. He established his seat in a mosque, assumed the duties of the administrator under the title of Dindar Khan and let loose the reign of terror. The Hindus were wickedly tormented, their houses burnt and property looted. Hundreds of Brahmans were killed, prostrated, maimed and humiliated. They began to run away in large numbers and hide themselves in mountainous terrain. This was the fifth dreadful mass exodus of the legendary Kashmiri Pandits from their mystic motherland. Those who remained behind lived in the most horrific and terrible conditions generated by the Mullah and his gang. But soon he was assassinated by his rivals and his son, Sharif-ud-Din, become the new Shaikh-ul Islam. The son improved upon the brutal methods of his father and inflicted most barbaric, cruel and inhuman tortures upon the vulnerable Brahmans. The plight of the Kashmiri Pandits during this period became tremendously miserable and tragic.

The Afghan rule in Kashmir (AD 1753-1819) was a period of cruelty, homicide and anarchy. W.R. Lawrence calls it the “reign of brutal tyranny.” The barbarous Afghans employed every wild, inhuman, primitive, ferocious, cruel and brutal method to suppress the Kashmiri Brahmans. A pitcher filled with ordure was placed on the head of a Pandit and stones were pelt on it, till it broke and the unfortunate Brahman become wet with filth. Their brutality and atrocity crossed the extreme limits when Hindus were tied up in grass sacks, two and two, and drowned in the Dal Lake. The victimized Hindu were forced to flee the country or were killed or converted to Islam. This was sixth horrible mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits, to far away places like Delhi, Lucknow, Allahabad, etc. Many covered the long distances on foot. Hindu parents destroyed the beauty of their daughters by shaving their heads or cutting their noses and ears to save them from degradation. Any Muslim could jump on the back of a Pandit and take a ride. Mir Hazar - an Afghan governor, used leather bags instead of grass sacks for the drowning of Brahmans. Turbans and shoes were forbidden for them. The Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir were also forced to grow beards and tilak was interdicted. The Afghans are now only remembered for their barbarity, brutality, ferocity, tyranny and cruelty. They thought no more of cutting of heads than of plucking a flower.

The Shahmirs, Chaks, Mughals and homicidal Afghans tore the fabric of society in Kashmir and left deep scars on it. When the Afghan oppression became intolerable, the Pandits turned with hope to the rising power of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Accordingly Birbal Dhar and his minor son, Raja Kak Dhar, secretly left for Lahore with a petition signed by the prominent Kashmiri Pandits through which an invitation was extended to Ranjit Singh to take over the Valley. When Azim Khan, the Afghan governor of Kashmir, came to know about these developments, he sent his soldiers to nab Birbal Dhar and teach him a lesson. But when these bandits met with no success, the cruel governor turned his guns towards the wife and daughter-in-law of Birbal Dhar . The poor ladies were captured . Birbal Dhar’s wife committed suicide by swallowing a piece of diamond. The younger lady was violently converted to Islam and handed over to an Afghan noble, who carried her to Kabul.

Nervous to the marrow of his bones and crazy with rage, Azim Khan tormented all those Kashmiri Brahmans whom he suspected to be in league with Birbal Dhar. But on learning about the Sikh advances towards Kashmir, he lost all nerve and ran away from the Valley, leaving the administration into the hands of his brother, Jabbar Khan. However, atrocious Afghans were crushed and the Sikhs annexed Kashmir. Some extremist Sikhs, including Phul Singh, endeavoured to knock down the mosque of Shah Hamadan. But celebrated Birbal Dhar, at a considerable risk to his own life, made them desist from this action. According to GMD Sufi, “ It is to the lasting credit of Birbal Dhar that when a deputation of Muslims headed by Sayyid Hasan Shah Qadiri Khanyari approached him to dissuade the Sikhs from the destruction of the Khanqah, he moved in the matter, used his influence and saved this historical structure from vandalism.” It reveals the true personality and character of a distinguished Kashmiri Pandit.

During the Sikh rule in Kashmir, AD 1819-1846, the celebrated Pandits reclaimed their past glory and magnificence. They claimed back the prominent places of trust and honour. Cow slaughter was banned, temples renovated and the earlier wrongs rectified. The legendary Kashmiri Pandits received a healing touch after centuries of barbarity, ferocity and tyranny. But by the time the Sikhs conquered Kashmir in AD 1819, about nine-tenths of the population had been converted to Islam. Out of the 10% Hindu population, a large number had migrated to the Punjab and other provinces. The Pandits in general belonged to the middle class while the upper and lower classes were dominated by the Muslims.

With the formation of Jammu and Kashmir State; and, establishment of the Dogra rule in 1846, Kashmiri Pandits were imperceptibly elbowed to the background. Administrators and officials were deputed from Jammu region. Though they enjoyed comprehensive religious freedom and social emancipation, political rights of the Kashmiri Brahmans were confined. On certain occasions, they even became victims of intrigue and suspicions. The vicious communal forces also turned their wrath against them. During the communal disturbances of July 1931, shops and houses belonging to the Kashmiri Brahmans were not only looted but also burnt. Three innocent Hindus lost their lives. This communalism in the state politics aggravated and magnified with the passage of time . It was fed for years with vicious communal propaganda and brainwashing.

After independence and accession of Jammu & Kashmir State to India, Kashmiri Pandits were pushed back to the barbarous Afghan era. Article 370 of Indian Constitution just reduced them to cipher and liquidated their population. Under the pretext of economic reforms, their jagirs were confiscated and distributed among the Muslim peasants. The administration of Shaikh Abdullah adopted malicious and pernicious approach towards the Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. They were taunted on one excuse or the other. Hindu temples were desecrated, looted and plundered. Minor girls of the community were forced to embrace Islam and marry the Muslim youth. Shaikh Abdullah tried to create “Shaikhdom” for his dynastic rule in Kashmir. He was arrested in 1953 for anti-national activities. In 1958, he was released but detained again after three months under the ‘Kashmir Conspiracy Case’. However, the case was withdrawn in 1964 because of political reasons. But he was arrested again in May 1965 for his subversive activities and released in January 1968. Again, in January 1971, a ban was imposed forbidding him to enter the Jammu and Kashmir state. This restriction was lifted in 1972.

During 1953-1974 Shaikh Abdullah characterized India as an imperialist power endeavouring to subjugate the people of Kashmir. He asserted that the accession of Kashmir with India was his greatest blunder for which history will never forgive him. He also demanded the right of self determination for the people of Muslim – dominated Kashmir, but ignored the Hindu- dominated Jammu and Buddhist- dominated Ladakh regions. The Shaikh advocated plebiscite and unconditional withdrawal of Indian army from the Saffron Valley. He made emotional solicitations that after death his body should not be buried in the subjugated Valley, but immersed into the sacred waters of Arabian Sea. However, today his magnificent tomb stands on the banks of beautiful Dal Lake in Srinagar and is guarded by the Indian security personnel. By such gratuitous and conflicting statements, his secular credentials evaporated into thin air. The prospect of disloyalty and sedition began to haunt the Saffron Valley. Kashmiriyat switched over to political vandalism and bigoted fundamentalism. Shaikh Abdullah desperately held Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, a Kashmiri Pandit, responsible for the shattering of his malevolent dreams in 1953. The Shaikh ambiguously decided to retaliate against the whole Pandit community in Kashmir. In vindictiveness, he instigated his associated that while making a choice between a Kashmiri Pandit and dreaded cobra, kill the Pandit first. A vicious campaign of terror was launched against the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. They were refused entry to government jobs and institutions of higher learning. Besides hurling strong statement against the Government of India and Kashmiri Pandits, the Shaikh derided that the whole lot of Indian army cannot save the Hindus in Kashmir against the malevolence of Muslims. The very existence of Kashmiri Pandits was ignored during their political adventurism. They were made to pay for every move on the political chessboard in Kashmir because they represented the pseudo-secularism, incognito- socialism and flowering- democracy of India.

But then the whole political scenario in Kashmir took a dramatic turn in 1974, when Indira-Shaikh accord was signed by virtue of which the Shaikh became the Chief Minister of the State after the lapse of 22 years. Ignoring the great expectations he had created among the people in Kashmir and his vigorous campaign for plebiscite, the sophist Shaikh began to speak the language of Indian nationalism, democracy, socialism and secularism. The slogans of plebiscite, self-determination and independent Kashmir melted away. However the Hate- India virus, infused by him into the blood of the Muslim youth in Kashmir, was exploited by other corrupt self-styled politicians for their own interests from time to time. A vacuum was created because the people were betrayed, cheated and left in wilderness. After the Shaikh, his son – Farooq Abdullah, ruled the Valley and now his grandson, Omar Abdullah, is enjoying the authority. This is the virtual reward for the satanic crimes against the Kashmiri Pandits.

. From 1947-1986 about four lac Kashmiri Pandits silently migrated from the Valley. Hypocritical atrocities and criminal ignorances of political leaders were responsible for these developments. Pakistan, to avenge the defeat of Bangladesh, blatantly sponsored the violence and terrorism in the Valley, resulting in the turmoil of 1989-90. The final assault on the Kashmiri Pandits started with these slogans.

“Aay Zalimu, Aay Kafiroo,
Kashmir Hamara Choudh Dou”

“Bharat Kay Aiwanu Ko,
Aag Lagado, Aag Lagado”

Barbarous terrorists from neighbouring countries penetrated into the Saffron Valley. Brutal, wild and barbarous techniques were employed to hound and kill the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. Even wicked Afghans will be feeling sorry in their graves for the brutal holocaust of the legendary Kashmiri Pandits. The brutal murder of hundreds of innocent Brahmans of Kashmir caused their seventh and final agonizing mass exodus from the Valley. This was the final knock down of ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits. The mass massacres at Sangrampora (1997), Udhampore (1997), Prankot (1998), Wandhama (1998) and Nadimarg (2003) were the follow up operations. Pandits in Kashmir dwindled from 10% in 1947 to fewer than 5% in 1989 and to less than 1% today. In the barbarous turmoil about 60,000 persons including the Kashmiri Pandits, nationalistic Muslims and Sikhs have been killed; besides, thousands of security personnel massacred. Wailing shadows are haunting the Valley. The pretended world bodies, contaminated human rights organizations, pseudo-secularists, self-styled leaders, so-called policy makers, tainted political parties and slack bureaucracy have failed to express serious concern at this great human tragedy. If the creation of Telangana is possible, why not a HOMELAND for Kashmiri Pandits who are suffering since centuries. Even after twenty years of ‘seventh mass exodus’, Kashmiri Pandits are still vacillating with pain, sorrow and agony. They need a piece of land to live a respectable and peaceful life – HOMELAND.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Homeward Extrabound : Plain English

When longing in desert becomes too long, one does see mirages and what appears as an Oasis is actually a phenomenon of total internal refraction. Just read an article on HOMEWARD INWARD which looked like one such Mirage.

It made everyone to forget in a second the hounding of 1 million minorities , It made us to forget the 6000 temples and Hindu institutions whose identity has been grinded into the unsetteld dust of worst ever home grown militancy.It made Nelson Mandella out of Hurriyat like a recent movie named INVICTED.

Most of my Kashmiri Muslim friends who are still in kashmir or out of valley are so nice to me that one can just blindfold the eyes and set forth tomorrow morning back to valley from these vast dry and hot plains of North India. But that would be completing the optical dimensions of my thoughts through a reflecting prism which one would use in 9th standard Science practical’s. After graduating one needs to take Optics beyond 9th standard experiments.

I wish to take out this Mirage and want to look over the wall for reality bites badly but it is important that rather than misleading the hoards of KP refugees into another hell in Kashmir,we must do some analysis before we welcome any conclusion of a 'happy come luck go' media savvy personalities.

In December 2009 , I spent my entire Christmas vacation in Jammu and met many people. Some filthy rich , some downtrodden and some like me ,fighting fit for survival. Among the odd mass of folks , that I met : was a family of Late Sh Poshkar Nath ( Name and Identity Changed ) . He died of an accident and JK govt was more than willing to give his only young daughter some Govt Job. Although he was a Class 2 officer but as per rules his daughter was given an another clerical post in his department. Condition laid by JK Govt was that she should work in Srinagar. Both Widow and destitute Daughter thought it more than appropriate to go over to Srinagar and start working there.

Mother was more or less a caretaker and with a zeal to Guard her daughter in troubled waters of Kashmir. First few days saw an amazing bonhomie and communal unity. But soon reality dawned and they saw the other side of wicked communal world raking up under the carpets.. Although she was a clerical grade but her seat was provided next to peon who happened to be the known ruffian in the department. When this sister of ours went to officers cabin , He quickly proposed a night out in Gulmarg for pretext of Official trip.

Outside, from Peon and the local people started making visits to her office with lewd remarks.Some asking for her hand and some asking her to convert. Some guaranteeing Bungalow and some seeking her affection by threat , perception or purchase. She soon realized that it was a time to give a call. One day she broke down in office and started shouting on all the male members of the office. Other female members from majority community rather than helping her , called her RSS agent and an Indian Bitch. It was now or never..

Peon of the said office often tried to molest her but got a nice kick from our brave sister. After lot of follow up with Ministers and other heads of department , she ultimately realized that it was the end of her innings in Kashmir. Both Mother and daughter returned back from Islamic Junta Republic saving their honour. How they are making their ends meet , I wont comprehend further but it is indeed a tip of the iceberg which should give us a signal that PARMESHWARI episodes are still not over in Kashmir. Of the 800 KP girls selected by JK govt, I can bet that 50% will be converted to Islam in next 2 yrs if we let them work in Kashmir. By threat , by manipulation , by motivation : they will make sure that our numbers dwindle.

On Shivratri, a good Muslim friend of mine got me a nice gift from Srinagar and requested me to come over to kashmir. I had no doubts over his honest request and hugged him.. Tears came down because after long long time,someone had invited me to visit my own home.. It sounds bad but that is the reality. I was also very honest to tell him that since my ideology is against Hurriyat and been an active member in exile to oppose their theory and methodology as such , it wont take them much time to annihilate me. He replied that they know that I would be his guest as his own brothers have been Ex terrorists and none will ever dare to touch me. I asked him a question " What if your brother kills me ? " His blank face was a reply to my question and doubts that did cast their evil shadow in 1990.

Kashmiri Muslims made a blanket statement that we wont harm you since we are good neighbours but we cant assure your safety, if outsiders from other villages would come to destroy to. This is a typical Insurance guarantee based on solicitation attitude.

Being in IT,It is always good in maintaining client management and having learnt these skills from our Shawl wallahs who travel from kashmir and are our angels from Kashmir in Winter seasons. They are like our Kabulliwalas who let us know about the state of affairs in Kashmir. In 1979 my grandfather had made a land settlement with Tillers of his ancestral village and I must have been sucking thumb that time. As per the new land reforms,the muslim tillers got a good share of land and left most of the Hindus landless. Well , personally I am in favour of land reforms , thanks to my communist ideology which I studied for sometime.

After 25 years , a Shawl walla visited us and he turned out to be the son in law of same KASHTKAR ( LAND TILLER ). In 25 yrs , they had become very rich and bountiful crops assured thay they ride high of econoical ladder facilitated by GOI economic policies. I was happy to reconnect to the roots from where my ancestors descended.

Majid ( Shawl wala ) told me about the good old days that his father in law had spent with my Grand father. How they studied together and helped one another overlooking the communal divide. 3 years on and we would exchange telephone calls and greetings. My love and affection for their family till date is something which one cant express in words. Selected Swiss Chocolates and toffees from my overseas trip would get rotten in Freezer but Mom would preserve them for Majids Kids.

Last year Father in Law Mohd Gufaar Bhatt ( Named Changed ) had a spiritual vision after tasting one such chocolate. Being a good Namazi and spiritually aligned person , he called on his progeny and announced to pay us some money in return of a land embezzlement that he had done in 1979 against my Grand Father. He wanted to wash off his sins before proceeding to grave.

Since he was to Hajj recently and associated with DEEN a lot , he decided to make the payment. Majid agreed but other sons objected. Finally as per my sources, amount was reduced to half and finally Majid with one of the sons of Mohd Gufaar decided to call me with the offer. For sake of God , It looked to me that they have personally risen so high and esteemed that I would never ever even think of in any part of the world.But I just thought to test them.

Amount wasnt too handsome but I considered it as a token of love and something to which I couldnt say no. I requested them not to pay me but keep equivalent value of land holding in my name ( wouldnt have been a 100 Sq yard as per current market rates ). Dud came the reply from Majid with whom I had endless discussion on Kehwa . "batan Haenz kabri sund tyen adhaah rozne bapat " meaning "Not even for grave of Kashmiri Pandit , forget to get a land for your habitat"

These few incidents were an eye opener for me and hope that those who beleive that HOMEWARD INWARD has started , they should realise that all that glitters isnt gold. please scratch a bit and realty will be very bad.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

यह बीस वर्ष का वनवास

यह बीस वर्ष का वनवास ,

नहीं जीवन भर का कारावास !
अदृश्य अछूता मेरा विश्वास,
मृत्यु से आगे रहे मेरी श्वास !

मोक्ष की नहीं अब मुझे है आस
रक्त बूँद बूँद करे एहसास:
विजय पथ मेरा हो: जीवित रहे प्रयास,
स्वर्णभूमि, मातृभूमि मेरी प्यास!

अडिग अमर अजय स्वर्णिम यह एहसास
उज्जवल सारस्वत वंदना की सांस
विरह मन करे वितस्ता का आभास
पूर्ण करूँ प्रतिज्ञा, संपूर्ण तब इतिहास !

शूर हूँ वीर हूँ बलिदान मेरा समास,
वीरगति शय्या मेरी: जैसे जलता कपास!
श्रद्धा मन ऐसी: जैसे रघु पर तुलसीदास,
समय अवसर हो: पूरण करूँ अपनी प्यास ...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mere BHees Varsh

Yeh Bhees varsh ka vanvaas,

Nahi jeevan bar ka karavas !
Ahdrish achootah mera vishwas ,
Mrityu sehh ageh rahe meri shwaas !

Moksha ki nahi hai abh mujhe aas !
Rakt bhoond bhoond kareh ehsaas ,
vijay paatth mera ho : jevit rahe prayas,
Swaranbhumi Matrabhumi meri pyaas !

Adig Amar Ajay swarnim yeh ehsaas,
Ujwal saraswat vandana ki saans !
Virah mann kareh vitasta ka abhaas ,
Puran karu pratigya: sampuran tab ithas !

Shoor hoon Veer hoon : balidan mera samas,
Veergati shayaah meri: jaise jalta kapas!
Shradah mann aisee:ragu par tulsidas,
Samay Awsar ho : puran karun apni pyaas !

Thursday, January 21, 2010

And Handoo Saabh Expired in Exile ?? Adios @ Exile

Chilling Morning with Fog decomposed into Smog on my Veranda , I woke up to the sudden escalation of an yet another bitter morning. Having slept for few hrs and waiting for this good night ( EST ) call from my colleague in US would have sounded normal. That is the way how we handover before I sip morning Bed tea and he hits bed. I had a sullen feeling of things being not that ok today.

Just day before yesterday , we completed 20 years in exile and I was still feeling that I have been jailed in exile with this tiresome job and sarcastic metro lifestyle. By afternoon , I was all set to pack for another hectic day to office and sudden call from my good friend changed the lull into storm of nostalgia. But I controlled it for sometime.

I called up elderly neighborhood uncle Tiku Uncle while driving to office and confirmed if the news about Mr Handoo sabh was true and he confirmed about his sad departure. I asked for his details , so that as usual I can send the details in email and SMS to all around. It read Sh Hriday Nath Handoo ( Original Resident of Anantnag ) presently at 370 IP colony passed away today. My eyes got suddenly moist and it was in fact 2nd death in our locality of elderly KP person.

I felt as if the umbrella that I still carry from kashmir has started getting eaten up by moth and slowly one after the other spikes are breaking. I felt it might be raining soon and I would be wet one day.

2nd SMS from another friend read with a sarcasm .. get ready to retire by 45 and I thought what it would mean to me in next few years. Will I pass through this highway like Handoo Saabh did or will someone really have time to blog my death ?

Why Handoo Saabh was so important to me. Perhaps story goes few years back when I saw this tall smart and well suited old gentleman in a small function. He was unique in character and affirmation of grand past with legacy untouched like featherful cap of Maharajas. As usual I hunt for characters in faces and this face was no doubt a distinction in the crowd.

By that evening, I came to know that he is suffering from Alzheimer and he has been getting treatment for memory loss which he soon after migration. He was still thinking to be in kashmir and often would quote things as if he is living in present state of kashmir. One fine late evening of that cold winter , a call from neighborhood came for help. We rushed to Handoo sabhs place only to find that he is missing from afternoon.

We were surprised that from last many days he has been repeatedly nostalgic about kashmir and dreaming to go there. He was looked very well by his siblings and they were in state of shock. I got a copy of his photograph and many of my friends started hectic search for him. It came to be known that he has got Rs 75 which he has taken along with him and told gate keeper that he is going to kashmir.

We visited many police stations along with his son and many more relatives. For 3 days of hectic search and advertisements in local channels and Cable yielded no result. He must have forgot the place , his name , his identity and what not. We were all worried about his safety in that chilling winter of Delhi. Finally after 3 days he had lost even his clothes and was reportedly found with 1 onion which he thought to be apple from Kashmir.

He was bought home and every now and then we would see him occasionally. His picture was in my drawer till last week. He would forget his name, his meals , his daily routine but dreams of Kashmir and his return always would come out. In unfazzed talks he would assume himself in kashmir and in memory lane still in same grand state of kashmir. He might in his death find his lost kashmir and I pray that he rests not in heaven but in kashmir after death. We found him last time alive but alas I lost him this time in death. But may be in his death lies my resolve to find what he lost and in his photograph another character of lost motherland.

His death comes at a time when things are changing , new generation settling in new cultures ,Older kissing death in nostalgia , some lost in bloging this change and some not even finding to write obituary and yet others trying to skip my sms and save their half day leave on his death.. I am very sure even 20th year of exile will be bitter than before and with every death ,bonding with "Jan 1990" becomes further weak.

Adios @ Exile

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Design, Build and Operate: Islamic Umah Greater Kashmir

What Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah couldn't accomplish in 1953 , his apostle is carried by his third generation in more intelligent manner.First it was rejuvenating Doda route through my ancestral place of south west Kashmir and driving in his 4 * 4 to create a good tempo.

Now with the ambitious project of integrating Kashtiwar with valley at the cost of Rs 400 Cr in 1.5 yrs, I feel the sinister design is bigger now. Although 1500 crore announced by PM for Kashmiri refugees must have been consumed by moth or diverted to creating Makdoom Shah University in Doda or Islamic University in Anantnag ( sorry Islamabad ).

Design, Build and Operate must be the key but the real turn key project would be the Islamic incursions into these Hindu minority areas which have somehow resisted the onslaught of militancy.

1. There would be tremendous influx of Muslim Majority Kashmiris in Kashtiwar and Doda.
2. Easy movement for militants across Pir Panchal.
3. Reducing the hindus in hilly districts of Jammu to further minority status.
4. Have more Pro Pakistan Elements available in jammu Areas when referrendum or plebsite happens.
5. Create more extremist elements who are in minority as of now in Kishtiwar.
6. Create alternative routes for connectivity of Kashmir and save them from situations which occured during Amarnath turmoil.
7. Reduce Non Kashmiri speaking population in Doda and Kishtwar with Kashmiri Muslims.
8. From Jammu Narwal Mandi Bypass through Shivalik mountains across Pir Panchal to Valley and contiguous stretch of domination of wahabi culture will be created.

I felt heroism has lost its meaning or I must have forgot his speech in Parliament of India when he declared that as a Kashmiri and as a Muslim " not even an Inch of land will be given to fascists".

Offcourse, we Hindus of kashmir were fascists as we were the ones who were instrumental in ethnic cleansing of 1 crore Muslims of Kashmir ( he should have refreshed his thoughts or pressed F5 )

What has happened over time is the systematic erosion of Indian secular ethos and a continual step wise expansion of wahabi Islamic cult in jammu region. I saw Jammu after 15 good years last week and
everywhere from Railway station till Bohri , I was only welcomed by Sufi Shrines , Some kind of Green Flag holdings on top of unnamed graves which later become small mosques then seminaries and finally muslim dominated areas. I wonder if it was still CITY OF TEMPLES.

We lost kashmir in 40 yrs of independence and now I am sure in next 5 yrs another mass exodus is coming from Jammu and its surrounding towns.. Wave after wave of aggression is planned by those who drink kehwa with us and those cheer up in name of humanity at Delhi Podiums after killing innocent hindus with warm bullets of enemy.

It is just a matter of time and we saw it happening in recent lok sabha elections that even after a successful Amarnath Agitation how it  becomes Hindu V/S Muslim, Gita V/S Quran in elections. Ultimately BJP lost Jammu because majority of Hindu bases in upper reaches of Jammu have eroded and replaced by Muslims from kashmir.

Same results should be expected if and if plebiscite happens. It is the time Jammu people should wake up and oppose the concept of greater kashmir else they will be wiped faster than their Hindu brothers of kashmir.

What is a surprise for me was in store on returm journey.I had almost missed my train but two young Kashmiri Muslim biys who were studying in Jamia ( Delhi ) and were abusing Jehadis like anything.They actually helped me port my luggage into the compartment only to find TABLIKI JAMAAT ( 48 fellows ) having booked the compartment. What followed was another narrative for which Umar Farooq needs not to build any Tunnel across Kishtiwar for islamic Umah Integration.

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