ABANDONED: Legendary Kashmiri Pandits Malediction,Curse,Pain,Sorrow and Agony
By: Dr.Satish Ganjoo
The Telangana Movement is being revived at the initiative of K.Chandrasekhar Rao(KCR) and a separate state is being curved out of Andhra Pradesh simply to avoid
the political crisis for the Divine Rulers of India But What about Kashmiri Pandits who have inhabited the saffron Valley of Kashmir since times immemorial, last 12000 years. Today they are vacillating in other states of India. This cursed community has suffered the seven mass exoduses so far- the last one being in 1989, when its members were brutally killed, ladies molested and children harassed. The union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee,said on Dec 12,2009 “The demand of Telangana is 60 years old. This does not mean everywhere new states are to be created. The demand of Telangana could not be bracketed with demands for Gorkhaland, Kamatpur or other new states”. But Why…….? Legendary Kashmiri Pandits, who are living as REFUGEES in other states of India since last 20 yers need a HOMELAND to live honorably with their traditions, customs,rituals,values, language and literature . No one feels their pain,sorrow and agony.Union Home Minister , P Chidambaram is OPEN to separatist, terrorists ,
militants , killers , rapist and kidnappers – every Tom,Dick and Harry but CLOSED to Kashmiri Pandits.Why this hypocrisy…..? If Telangana can be created after 60 years of struggle and ii days of Fast, why not HOMELAND for Kashmiri Pandits after centuries of malediction,curse and sorrow , and , 20 years of struggle, pain and agony. Kashmiri Pandits living everywhere in India or abroad,can find his ROOTS and settle down peacefully , Kashmiri Pandits have suffered either at the hands of rulers, invaders or terrorist since long. It was Harsha ( AD an of extravagant habits and jumble of contraries,who robbed temple treasures and got the idols of gold and silver melted to tide over his financial crises .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 valley .during the reign of Suhadeva (AD 1301-1320) many Muslim adventurers came to Kashmir.The chief among them was 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 jagir in a village in the Lar Valley. These two adventurers were instrumental in the establishment of 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 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 ,Ramchandra, 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 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 rain of Udyanadeva, lying 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 strengthen his position by entering into matrimonial relations with 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 stratagem and procuring her death,Shahmir ascended the throne of Kashmir under the name of Sultan Shamas-ud-Din (The Light of 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,
Sayyeds 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 massage of Islam.Mir Sayyid Ali hamadani ( AD 1314-AD 1385) pronounced sixteen commandments for Non-Muslims in “ Zakhirat’ ul Mulak”
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 and Diamonds.
7. They shall not deal in or eat Bacon.
8. They shall not exhibit idolatrous images
9. They shall not Build horses 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 traveler shall be refused lodging in the Hindu temples and shrines where non-Muslims shall treat him as a guest for three days.
13. No non-Muslim shall act as a spy in the Muslim state.
14. No problem shall be created for 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 Shahab-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 maneuvered 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.
Sikander- the Butshikan was bigoted with fanatic religious zeal to spread Islam in the entire Valley. Mir Muhammad Hamadani stimulated this fanaticism. Both hatched deadly conspiracy to prosecute the Hindus and enforce the Nizam-i-Mustafa. Jonaraja says “ The Sultan forget his kingly duties 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 Turuksha left the temples of gods unbroken…
“ According to Hassan ( History of Kashmir), “ This country Possessed from the times of Hindu rajas many temples which were the wonders of the world. Their workmanship was so fine and dedicate that one found himself bewildered at their sight. Sikander goaded by feelings bigotry and destroyed them and leveled 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 Mttan Kareva.
For one year he tried to demolish it but failed. At last in sheer dismay he dug out stone 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 mind .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 o khanaqah,which is even now known as vijiveshwara Khanqah”. The stones and bricks which once configured 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 Hindus does not become the Muslim. He must leave the country or be killed. As a result some of the Hindus fled away, some accepted Islam and many Brahmins consented to be killed and gave their lives. It is said that Sikander collected by these methods ,six maunds of sacred thread form hindu convert and burnt them.
To be continued………….