Do you know the real history of Kashmir ?

Even after the mutilation of the two Indian soldiers by Pakistan, there is a lot of misconception in people’s mind, both Indian and western, that Kashmir did not always belong to India, or that it is a “disputed area”. This is why FACT (Forum Against Continuing Terrorism) chose to do an exhibition, which was shown with a great success all over the world, including to the US Congress in 2006 (http://refugees-in-their-own-country.blogspot.in/). Here are some of the facts we highlighted.

For two thousand years, the Himalayan valley of Kashmir in Northern India has been the home of Learning and Wisdom. From this small valley have issued masterpieces of history, poetry, romance, fable, and philosophy and many of the greatest Sanskrit scholars and poets were born and wrote in the valley. Kashmir flourished under some of India’s greatest rulers, such as Mauryan emperor Ashoka, who reigned between 273 and 233 BC and is recorded to have founded the old city of Srinagar. Under his sovereignty, many Buddhist scholars, missionaries, and intellectuals permanently settled in the valley. Or  the great Hindu King Harsha  (1089 to 1101 A. D) who was versed in many languages, a good poet, lover of music and art, making his court a centre of luxury, learning  and splendour.

Unfortunately In the beginning of 14th century, a ferocious Mongol warlord, Dulucha, invaded the valley through its northern side Zojila Pass, with an army of 60,000 men. His savage attack ended for all purposes the Hindu rule in Kashmi and he is said to have destroyed many temples and killed thousands of Hindus. Muslim rule was further tightened in 1389, during the rule of Sultan-Sikandar. He banned all celebrations and would not even listen to music. He imposed Jizia (tax on Infidels) upon Hindus and stopped them to use tilak. Almost all the Muslim chroniclers of that time speak of the wholesale destruction of Hindu shrines including the famed ‘Martand’ Temple, and forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam. Thousands of Hindus fled to India to save their religion and holy books, and also to escape the wrath of the Sultan

Then, after a period of relative tolerance and peace, came the rule of Afghans warlords till 1819, roughly a period of 67 years. The very first Afghan governor Abdullah Khan Aquasi, immediately after assuming powers, started a reign of terror. People were looted and killed indiscriminately, and even soldiers began to amass wealth beyond any imagination. Fortunately, in 1819, 30,000 soldiers of Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh attacked Kashmir, defeated the Pathans, and the state became a part of Ranjit Singh’s empire for nearly forty years, providing some relief to Hindus in Kashmir. But the British defeated the Sikhs and became undisputed masters of India. Not interested by Kashmir, they sold it in perpetuity for 75 lakhs of rupees (appr 150.000 $) to Maharaja Gulab Singh of the Doghra dynasty (what wonderful merchants the British, who sell something which does not even belong to them!).

By treaty, conquest, or inter-marriages, the Doghras created a state comprised of five major units, which are fundamentally very different from each other in terms of geography and ethnicity and have further complicated the problems of Kashmir: the territory around Gilgit (today in Pakistan), which belongs basically to Central Asia; Ladhak, which is an extension of Tibet and is peopled at 55% by Buddhists and 45% by Muslims; the area around Muzarrafad which is today under Pakistan control, comprised mostly of Punjabi Muslims; Jammu, which in essence belongs to Himachal Pradesh and is Hindu in majority; and the valley of Kashmir, of course, which was Indian Muslim at 95 % in 1947.

Finally, India gained its independence from in 1947 and was disastrously divided by the British, against the advice of saints and seers, such as Sri Aurobindo, along religious lines into India and Pakistan. Although many Muslims chose to stay in India, knowing that they would be granted the freedom of practicing their own religion, most Hindus had to flee Pakistan as they were being slaughtered mercilessly. Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir decided to attach his state to free and secular India. Furious, the Pakistan Government invaded Kashmir, and encouraged the Muslim tribal people to carry loot, plunder, death and destruction into the hearths and homes of innocent Kashmiris in general and among Hindus in particular.

Since 1947, Pakistan, aided by China, which also claims parts of Indian territory, has initiated three wars to regain Indian Kashmir, four, if you include the Kargil war fought in the icy reaches of upper Kashmir. Worse, the proxy war which they are waging on India today, by arming, training and financing not only Kashmiri separatists, but also Islamic militants coming from Afghanistan, or even faraway Sudan, has cost the lives of nearly 60.000 innocent people, both Hindus and Muslims. It should be added that Pakistan decided in the late eighties that it would be easier to regain Kashmir if all the Hindus were pushed out by a campaign of terror, both in the valley, where they are a tiny minority and in Jammu where they still have a thin majority. Thus 450,000 Kashmiri Pandits, constituting 99% of the total population of Hindus living in the Kashmir Valley, have been forcibly pushed out of the Valley by terrorists. Since 1989, they have been forced to live the life of exiles in their own country.

 People should also be reminded that terrorism in Kashmir is not about separatism only, it is also an ideological struggle with specific fundamentalist and communal Agenda. Terrorist violence aims at the disengagement of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from India and its annexation to Pakistan. It is a continuation of the Islamic fundamentalist struggle.

 François Gautier

 FACT is building in Pune, amongst the 5 acres, of the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History (fact-india.com), a special building to permanently house our Kashmiri Pandits exhibition. If you wish to help contribute to this very important endeavor, you may contact me at francoisgautier26@gmail.com. FACT is a registered Trust, which has FCRA, Indian, US and UK tax exemption

 

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28 responses to “Do you know the real history of Kashmir ?

  1. Thank you for such important information

  2. Good article.

  3. Harsa of kashmir is notorious of plundering and destroying of hindu and buddhist temples.Kalhana’s rajtarangini mentions him as a turk(muslim),not as a hindu or buddhist.

  4. This does not answer the real dispute now. After all, Pakistan is also a part of undivided India and that does not mean India can just annex it and proclaim it as Akhanda Bharat. Similarly nobody questions the heritage of Kashmir and the fact that it was culturally at least tied to India for centuries. But which of the two successors to the undivided India has more justified claims to it or does this state by itself has to be granted independence and sovereignty, or if all Jammu and Kashmir is one and indivisible, or if Jammu now a definitely Hindu majority area is different and needs to be detached from Kashmir valley which is overwhelmingly Muslim majority area, are all serious problems which cannot just be answered by reference to its hoary past.

  5. Thanks for writing such an informative article.

  6. jinu karipara

    Nice

  7. Sir, what is outrageous is that there are many Muslims living in India and patronising Pakistan. I often wonder what kind of joy or satisfaction they derive from secretly lusting for Pakistan.

  8. deepti chacko bangera

    This is history of every place on dis earth….every land of any importance was conquered and ruling men were defeated in history….if u think like dat…may b d land dat i am standing now wud b layers above a civilization which was destroyed in d past. but today we r all aware of facts…past is past….y cant v b a civilized community and bring out solutions together…y kill more innocent people…y destroy young childres lives…y orphan children…y shud v loose our brave soldiers for such hatred…????

  9. A nice article indeed and yet you see the so-called Hindus (refer two comments above) get some kind of perverted pleasure by always taking a moral high ground which is completely impractical and is ignorant of the real issue. I would call it the success of 200 years of intellectual suppression of Hindu pride by colonial rule that you being a Christian coming from a far off land are able to understand the reality but this so-called Hindu intellectual class is coming up with clichéd arguments against it.
    Hindus need to understand that no human civilization can flourish without a sense of genuine pride in its history. We Hindus have the most glorious past than any other civilization in the world but still we have been brain washed into having an inferiority complex. Our education system gives a completely false and secular notion of history which is devoid of facts and is full of politically correct platitudes. Hence, 90% of Hindus have no interest in their own scriptures which offer highest form of knowledge. They never even read a page from any of our great scriptures (Bhagwad Gita, Shirmad Bhagwatam, Mahabharat etc…) and so they don’t realize what the world is going to miss out if Hindus succumb to intellectual threats they are facing. We have so much to offer to the world but we are ignorant like Hanuman was of his own strength.

  10. To Harsha;
    You need to study Rajtarangni in its original read its translations. And not vomit the concocted lies of the Marxist Historians of India.
    It was Ghazni’s Son who had attacked Kashmir during that period. And KAshmir King was under siege by this army. In fact Kalhana calls Harsha a Turkasha because of this siege. Under siege you do what what you are ordered. Here is link to an article by Koenraad Elst writes about this.

    http://koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com/articles/ayodhya/harshakashmir.html

    Harsha of Kashmir, a Hindu Iconoclast?
    Koenraad Elst
    Whenever the history of the many thousands of temple destructions by Muslims is discussed, the secularists invariably come up with the claim that Hindus have done much the same thing to Buddhists, Jains and “animists”. In particular, the disappearance of Buddhism from India is frequently explained as the result of “Brahminical onslaught”. Though extremely widespread by now, this allegation is very largely untrue.

    As for tribal “animists”, numerous tribes have been gradually “sanskritized”, acculturated into the Hindu mainstream, and this never required any break with their worship of local goddesses or sacred trees, which have found a place in Hinduism, if need be in what Indologists call the “little traditions” flourishing in the penumbra of the “great tradition”. The only break sometimes required was in actual customs, most notably the abjuring of cow-slaughter; but on the whole, there is an unmistakable continuity between Hinduism and the various “animisms” of India’s tribes. Hinduism itself is, after all, “animism transformed by metaphysics” (as aptly written in the introduction to the 1901 census report in a discussion of the unfeasibility of separating Hinduism from “animism”). … (you can read the rest at the above link.)

  11. Dear Francois;
    It is a myth that Ashoka Maurya ruled Kashmir. Rajtarangni clearly states that Ashoka the grand son of Shakuni of Gonanda dynasty (not Shakuni of Mahabharata), who became Buddhist and established Srinagar. But Maexist Historians of India, who donot know Samskrutam, have copied this from western narration of Indian History. It helps them establish certain myths about Ashoka, including the claim that he turned Buddhist.

  12. The Turkic Army that had put Harsha of Kashmir under siege may not have been Gahzni’s but Dulchas army who was of Turkick origin. The fact remain Harsha was under Siege by Muslim Army of Turkic soldiers.

  13. To deepti chacko bangera;
    You give classic false argument, by first speculating and then assuming the speculation to be correct followed by declaring you have proved the point. This is called “straw Man logic” in parlance of study of Logic.
    Your argument clearly does not stand in case, we assume that you are not standing on the ruins of past civilization, and that too the one destroyed by your ancestors.
    Second point of contention in your argument is that not to look at past, how much of past does one have to take in to account? Clearly China’s expansion is happening on the clams of their old old historical narrative. Even if I take your argument literally, then Pakistan or local Muslims can not ask for separation based on some past narration, since currently they are part of India.
    Think before you write.

  14. sukhmeet singh

    I am so much happy and enlightened by this article and debate. One thing is sure that the Muslims never accepted Hindus and sikh as Masters of India, They invaded India and settled here.They have plundered Indian wealth and destroyed invaluable granths.
    It is for Indian government to invade all Kashmir under pakistan’s rule and bring it back to India.
    The only time after Mughals invaded Kasmir was Raja Ranjeet Singhs rule.
    But Kasmiri Pundits failed to understand the sacrifice of Guru Teg Bahadur and let them be humiliated by the Muslims.
    Kasmir was and is India’s only

  15. Gud debate but still their is no solutions to Kashmiri pandits nor our govt taking any action to settel this pandits to their original home town.

  16. This is in reply to Deepi Chako Bangera
    You are making a serious mistake in comparing Islamic terrorism to ordinary conquests in the history.
    There have been many a clash between civilizations in the past to gain control over their land — however, Islamic terrorism is simply non-comparable. It doesn’t fight to gain access to territories — it fights to annihilate religions, cultures, the entire communities together with the history and culture. It doesn’t treat non-Muslim like humans and tortures them in the most inhuman and ‘ungodly’ ways. Worse, its not a bygone entity — its well and thriving in today’s world. All-in-all, its not a ‘historical’ fact — its repeating itself everyday … Hindus have already lost enormous part of their homeland, where they’ve been near completely exterminated. They’re being driven into a smaller and smaller corner. Today Muslims are breeding like dogs in order to outnumber the Hindus — an ordinary Muslim family has 10 offsprings, while Hindus have one or two. It’s people like you who ask us to close our eyes to history and let it repeat itself. Today, the history is being repeated in today’s India … with Muslim aggression growing day by day. It has no end — as long as Islam lives. Therefore, to close eyes to history would be suicidal for the Hindus, in fact, they must understand the threat that is Islam.

  17. very true, Hindus have been systematically thrown out of Kashmir and the Islamists wont stop at Kashmir, they want to conquer and convert the whole of Hindustan.

  18. I wonder , how our father of nation , including pt. jawaharlal nehru , imparted a secular colour ,to Indian union after 1947, when the very birth of pakistan was based on communal lines. There is no room or scope for any secular composition. Lack of political vision on their part , has cost over community heavily.
    Kashmir was a cradle of Hindu/Budhist civilisation. Kashmiri-pandits are the aboriginies of this land. With the advent of islam , kashmiri pandits were subjected to untold miseries and genocide. We have been suffering through centuries at the hands of fundamendalists.. We have been dancing to the tunes of all the rulers from time to time over the centuries. WestudiedArabic, persian , and taught the same to majority community also. We adopted ourselves to the changing winds , yet we were thrown out , with Indian and international community watching as mute spectators , how genocide of kashmiri aboriginies , was being carried out.

    It is paradox none of the socalled Indian secularists and intelluctals , or very vibrant media print or electronic , ever raised their concern, to this humanright tragedy, in this 21 st century. Was it a conspiracy hatched with their consent? i have yet to find any answer.

    . I have observed with great suprise, some prominent Indian electronic media anchors ,twisting the genuine concern of kashmiri pandits in pannel discussions. K.P speakers have been even denied to speak when they tried to focus the attention of miserable plight of kashmiri pandits , instead victimhood of majority community was played , with well thought design. Perpetrators of killings were potrayed as victims by some prominent media anchors, in INDIA , of course with some design ,not they were ignorant .

    I want to tell such people to equip themselves with the history of kashmir before engaging in discussions on kashmir,
    Kashmir question is no problem but a glaring example of intolerance which has surfaced again , with the blessings of Indian politicians for their very survival.. and political gains.

  19. This is really good site,and its looking so nice.its very helpful. kashmir

  20. correct Deepti Madam.. Rgds. S Chacko

  21. @francious gautier…….bloody ass*** why are u misguiding people. At the time of partition of india, kashmir should have a part of pakistan(as it was a muslim majority state) but Maharaja Hari singh(who was a hindu) wanted to remain independent……but people of kashmir wanted to join pakistan and in turn maharaja killed thousands of kashmiris and destroyed their houses………..

  22. This article is biased and clearly in the favour of hindus and india. there are some facts which are blended with loads of false information to make the whole thing truth. The world is not blind anymore Mr.

  23. Dear fellows. I jst studied ths Article n i ws laughing thatMr.francois hv nt even enough stdy n nt even sch impartial knwlgd to share it wth people. Infact he is turning evry thing around n the most laughable thing is that the more in-knwlegdeable hindus are appreciating his ignorance.so my advise for all of u even for all of india is to study n study impartial writer.so u wil knw tht why ths happend n wt ws the dfrnce in ur forefathers and our heros.n if u dont satisfy then discuss ur qstions wth some scholars the muslim scholars. U kbw thousands

  24. good one….but still you need to know more

  25. I appreciate ua Work But Let’s Be Fair As Most Part f ua work is according to History that have written by Indians
    n Let There is Not Terrorism it is only What Indians Made u see
    India Hasn’t’ Give Kashmiri’s there own right

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