Historicity of Jammu and Kashmir; Fake Narratives that Continue to Haunt
The antiquity of Kashmir, the Paradise on earth, dates back to thousands of years. The region draws its name from Rishi Kashyap of Kashmir – one of the Saptarishis. He finds mention in the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, and other ancient Hindu scriptures. A number of Sanskrit treatises are attributed to the Rishi. Artefacts from the Neolitihic and Megalithic era have been discovered in this region. Trace of ancient brain surgery was noticed in a Neolithic skull from Burzahom in the Kashmir Valley; the skull had multiple trepanations. It dates back to 4300 years. Scientists also unearthed a supernova marked on stone from Burzahama in Kashmir. The marking, dating back to at least 5000 years, shows two bright objects in the sky and a hunting scene. Kalhana, 12th century Kashmiri historian, has given a detailed account of the history of Kashmir in his book Rajatarangini (River of Kings). Kings of Kashmir find mention in the Mahabharata, which dates back between 5000 to 7000 years.
Kashmiri Pandits in particular and Kashmiri Hindus in general have been living in Kashmir since 5000 plus years. Sharada (of Sharada Peeth, now located in Pakistan), the goddess of learning, is their Kuldevi. Sharada Peeth, hosted one of India’s most ancient universities where students from across the world came and studied. The temple, renovated over time, is believed to be over 5000 years old. It is one of the 18 Maha Shaktipeeths. Texts written by Panini and other ancient Indian Grammarians were stored in the library of this temple university. It was at Sharada Peeth that Adi Sankaracharya received the right to sit on the the throne of wisdom (Sarvajna peetha). The saint has devoted the first verse of ‘Prapanchsar‘ to Goddess Sharada of Sharada Peeth. This site was destroyed by Sikandar Butshikan.
Do you know Kashmiri Pandit women were held in high regard since time immemorial? But the scenario changed altogether ever since the partition of Hindustan and Pakistan. Had Nehru dealt with the issue with an iron hand, Kashmir problems would have never cropped up.
5 August 2019! This was a historic day for India. At around 11.30 AM, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the proposal to revoke Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in the Rajya Sabha. And then President Ram Nath Kovind issued a constitutional order, thereby making all the provisions of the Constitution of India applicable to J&K. The region’s map was redrawn, bifurcating the state into two Union Territories: Ladakh and J&K. To ensure that the region remained peaceful, the Modi govt. deployed enough security besides putting top political leaders under house arrest.
Since then, there have been mixed reactions from the Indian as well as the global community. While majority of Indians including Kashmiris and opposition leaders welcomed the move, international media including a few anti-national forces started spreading fake narratives about atrocities on the Muslim population in the region. A Washington Post article reports thus, “The reports that have emerged from Kashmir since the blackout are frightening. Thousands of Kashmiris, including human rights advocates, elected officials and even young students, have reportedly been arrested in raids. The local prisons are full, according to a local magistrate, and many detainees have been flown out of the region. Family members wait in anguish, fearing that their loved ones may be forcibly disappeared, as an estimated 8,000 Kashmiris were before them. There have been reports of torture and police violence. Compounding this is a humanitarian crisis, as patients in Kashmir can’t access medicine and life-saving treatment.” The same report also has published thus, “The human tragedies in Kashmir and Assam are consistent with Modi’s human rights record dating back to his time as the chief minister of Gujarat, when Hindu mobs across the state slaughtered 2,000 Muslims, destroyed and looted their homes and property and displaced tens of thousands. Modi failed to protect those who were attacked — and reports suggest that he might have even been complicit.” Why has Washington Post published a fake narrative? Why Washington Post and even many media houses in India never speak about the real ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus?
According to a report by The Hindu, after the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K, only 10 of 199 police districts have prohibitory orders (as of September 7, 2019). To quote the newspaper, “In an interaction with a select group of Indian and foreign journalists, Mr. Doval said restrictions had anyway been eased progressively, and only 10 of the 199 police districts in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh still had prohibitory orders, while landlines had been restored fully in all the three areas.” The Hindu also quoted National Security Adviser Ajit Doval saying in the same news report that “majority of Kashmiris support removal of Article 370.” and that “they see more opportunities, jobs and a better future.”
How has Jammu and Kashmir been acceded to India in 1947? Jawaharlal Nehru became the 1st Prime Minister of independent India with whole-hearted support and endorsement by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi! Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister. The British never wanted India to be united. ‘Divide and rule’ was their policy; they advised Nehru that states and kingdoms not willing to accede to the Indian union should not be forced to do so. Sardar Patel did not pay heed to what the British said. Neither did he listen to Nehru’s orders nor sought his opinion in many a matter. While Nehru was more concerned about foreign visits, taking advice of the UN and British officers, and connecting only with the urban elite, Patel, using his exemplary skills, forced all the 550 small princes and zamindars to surrender and accede to Independent India. He even went to the extent of using military force. The united India we witness today from the east to west and north to south are all because of the efforts by Patel.
Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler J&K legally agreed to accede to the Indian Union on 27 Oct. 1947. Soon, problems cropped up. Jawaharlal Nehru kept Sardar Patel away from the Kashmir issue. He made N Gopalaswamy Iyengar a minister without portfolio, to handle Kashmir. Patel did not know about this. Iyengar reported to Nehru directly. Because Nehru wanted all of his ministers to report to him, listen to him, and say ‘yes’ to whatever he said. Jinnah from Pakistan constantly interfered on the Kashmir issue. Mountbatten advised Nehru to refer the Kashmir problem to the UN. Sardar Patel opposed the move of taking Kashmir to UN as it was purely an internal matter and no foreign body like the UN should interfere. Sardar Patel met Maharaja Hari Singh and even obtained his signature that the matter may not be referred to UN. The Maharaja’s only concern was Sheikh Abdullah, who wanted the king to quit the valley. Abdullah’s protest with a group of Kashmiri Muslims led to the former’s arrest and confinement in jail. Nehru wanted Sheikh Abdullah to be freed and to be installed as prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Ultimately, Nehru referred the Kashmir issue to the UN, following Mountbatten’s advice and ignoring Patel’s repeat counsel and requests. And since then the Kashmir issue has not yet been resolved.
Islamic attacks in Kashmir started in the 8th century. Lalitaditya Muktapida was the ruler of Kashmir when Junaid, the Arab governor of Sindh, attacked Kashmir following the orders of Caliph Hisham in the 8th century. The Kashmir king defeated Junaid and thus the Arab attempt of plundering Kashmir failed. Lalitaditya Muktapida also subjugated the Turks by attacking their territories. Raja Samgramaraja of Kashmir in the 11th century repulsed several attacks of Mahmud of Ghazni. Plunderer Mahmud could never defeat the Kashmiri king! Besides, Raja Samgramaraja also helped Trilochanpala, the Hindu Sahi ruler of Kabul, with an army against Mahmud of Ghazni. The combined army defeated Sultan Mahmud.
Till 1320 CE, Kashmir remained unaffected from Islamic invasions. Islamic settlements started in the region after the kingdom was conquered by Zulju, a Mongol chieftain. He entered Kashmir via the Jehlum Valley route. This marked the end of the Lohara dynasty after the then Lohara king of Kashmir Suhadeva fled to Kistwar after failing to offer a stiff resistance. Amid the chaos after Zulju left, Rinchana, a Buddhist and son of a Ladakhi chief, got Ramchandra, the Prime Minister turned Raja murdered and ascended the throne. He married Ramchandra’s daughter Kota Rani to gain sympathy of the Kashmiris. Later Rinchana converted to Islam under the influence of Bulbul Shah (also called Sayyid Sharfudin), a Sufi preacher and attained a new name – Sultan Sardarudin Shah. He in turn converted Ramchandra’s son, the commander of the Kashmiri army and many other ministers of the court and subjects to Islam. And thus started a Muslim rule in Kashmir under the first Muslim ruler Sultan Sardarudin Shah, a convert. Today Islam is the major religion practiced in Kashmir with 97.16% of the region’s population being Muslims as per the latest Census. Who isn’t familiar about the Kashmiri Pundits Exodus in 1990, wherein the Hindu Kashmiri Brahmins were forced to leave the Valley. They are still living as refugees in their own motherland. Justice has not been delivered yet.
Who isn’t familiar with the Kashmiri Pandit Exodus? They are refugees in their own homeland today. There can be no sadder plight than this! Not a word is spoken in favor of the Kashmiri Pandits by the so called media or secular folks! It is but an irony that even international human rights organizations are not standing up for Kashmiri Pandits rendered homeless in their own motherland? Yes, they all have been indeed raising their voices for the settlement of illegal Rohingya Muslims in India with even PIL filed being in the Supreme Court so that they are not displaced from India!
According to an Indian Express report, “The killings of Kashmiri Pandits include the massacres at Sangrampora, Wandhama and Nadimarg — seven were killed during the night of March 21-22, 1997 at Sangrampora village in Budgam, 23 were killed in Wandhama on January 25, 1998 and 24 died in Nadimarg on March 24, 2003…perpetrators of the Wandhama massacre are still untraced. But the police has identified Pakistani militants Abu Haris and Abu Khalid as those who carried out the Sangrampora killings. Both militants were killed in an encounter at Hewader on March 24, 1997. The police has challaned the Nadimarg massacre case, identifying Zai Mustafa alias Abdullah of Rawalakot, Pakistan as the perpetrator.”
But the above figures aren’t true. The real figure is different – many times more than the officially reported ones, numbering several lakhs. According to official figures, over 62,000 Kashmiri migrant families have registered with the government. 40,000 of them are registered in Jammu, 20,000 in Delhi, and 2,000 in the rest of India. The death of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley during their Exodus in 1990 is uncountable. The perpetrators haven’t been punished yet.
Past stone pelting incidents have been witness to majority of the media sympathizing with the stone pelters! They even visited them in hospitals and created news, disseminating info about their cause on their behalf! The secular mass, presstitudes, and anti-India hooligans tried to bring the nation under their sway, turning the situation chaotic. Instead of joining hands with the government, this anti-India gang supported the perpetrators, projecting them as victims and thus creating a fake narrative. This fake propaganda invited sympathy from international quarters including international media!
Where were the human rights activists and the media when the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus happened. Where were they when thousands of Kashmiri Hindus were brutally massacred by the peaceful community of Kashmir in the name of religion in between 1989 to 1992. A fake narrative has been created that there was no exodus or massacre or genocide of Kashmiri Hindus. A Kashmiri Muslim tweeted when asked about the Kashmiri Hindu genocide in Kashmir, “Initially, few were killed of their active affiliation with Intelligence. Rest were forced by state. No one was forced to flee by common person!” Why a fake narrative blaming the Intelligence and the State? One Janaud Azim Mattu had tweeted, “There was no massacre of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir. Stop spreading lies and canards.” To quote Dimple Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit on Mattu’s tweet, “He is fabricating an atrocious lie to somehow make the world overlook, and plain forget, the Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus through genocide by Islamofascists who have been peddling Separatism in Kashmir. If he can lie about this and the seventh Kashmiri Pandit Exodus which occurred just 30 years ago, one shudders to imagine what he and those like him can do and could have been doing to History!”
It is time academic history books are rewritten. And it is high time, those who spread fake narratives are dealt with by the govt. with an iron hand.
Featured image courtesy: Wikipedia (image of Martand temple sourced from post by Varun Shiv Kapur in Wikipedia).
1. Culture and Political History of Kashmir, Volume 1, P.N.K. Bamzai
2. Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅgiṇī: A Chronicle of the Kings of Kaśmīr, M. A. Stein
3. History of the Rise of the Mohammedan Power in India, Firishta; translated by John Briggs
4. India – Early History, Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting