Kashmir Matters by Moin Ansari

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Kashmir and the subcontinent has a rich and tumultuous history. We can pick up the pieces in the nineteenth century, but the actual history of Kashmir begins much much much earlier, before Islam or Hinduism was present on the soil of our lands.

Long before the Crescent and Star flew atop Islamabad, long before Mohammed Bin Qasim invaded Sind, long before the Mughals spread prosperity in all the nooks and corners of the subcontinent, long before the Sikh dynasty got Kashmir from the British, long before the Chundra Gupta Vikramadatya ruled India, the people of Kashmir were tied to the people of Pakistan.

Kashmir has been in existence since 5000 years. Its history can be traced to time immemorial. Kashmir has always been a magnet to immigrants.

This is what Edward Desmond has to say about Kashmir in his book Himalyan Ulster:

On a map of the western Himalayas, the valley of Kashmir shows up as a smooth, oval-shaped patch amid a sea of surrounding peaks in what is today Indias Jammu and Kashmir state.

For thousands of years, travellers, freebooters, and empire builders have set down their breathless impressions of this valley the French writer Francois Bernier called it the paradise of the Indies with its towering pine forests, deep lakes, flower carpeted meadows, and fields of iridescent saffron. The seventeenth century Mughal emperor Jehangir sighed on his death-bed that his last wish was to visit Kashmir. Indians today revere the valley as the place they long to visit, and it serves as the setting for countless romantic Indian films.

Prior to Hinduism in the subcontinent, the Kashmir Valley (called Abhasrsa) traded with the Indus Valley Civilisation. In pre-Vedic times the people who lived in the Indus Valley lived in absolute harmony. There is some confusion as to who were the original inhabitants of the subcontinent. Many feel that there was a civilisation BEFORE the Dravidians landed in South Asia. Some have ventured to claim that based on the fact that all of Indias neighbours are Oriental, perhaps the original inhabitants of ancient India were Oriental in ethnic origin. The Dravidians either defeated the original peoples of India or totally assimilated with them. The Dravidians came to the subcontinent and made it their home. This is known: The Dravidians were not Hindu, the Dravidians preceded the Hindu era in the Subcontinent. The peaceful Dravidians were an enlightened and cultured peoples and they formed the Indus Valley Civilisation.

The Aryans came to the subcontinent in many waves, and caused havoc with the local inhabitants. These barbaric hordes came to the subcontinent and totally destroyed the earlier civilisations and formed their own caste systems. After many waves of Aryans had invaded the subcontinent, Hinduism as a later wave to the land now called Pakistan. Hundreds of years were spent in wars between the Dravidians and the Aryans. These wars are noted in pre-vedic literature as Ramayana. After the Aryan Hindus had settled in the land, they started fighting amongst themselves. The Inter-Aryan wars were called the Mahabharta wars. Hindus claim that 650 million soldiers died in the Mahabaharta wars (I didn't make up the numbers, I just reported them !).

The Arayans arrived in South Asia in waves. The Huns, the Rajputs and others were always in conflict. After the Hindu conflicts died down, around the 8th century B.C Buddhism took root in the subcontinent. Buddhist-Hindu wars claimed many lives.

The Kashmir valley was mostly inhabited by many people that included sun worshippers, Zorastarians, and Buddhists. Kashmir became an important centre of Brahman learning. Brahaman art, literature and philosophy flourished unhindered, on the backs of the untouchables, and the lower caste Hindus. After the 8th century the clear and loud message of Islam was heard in the Valley. It was the Sufis who carried the message of Mohamamd to Kashmir. The caste system of the Hindus, the Brahman cruelty, and the practices of Sati, and human sacrifices were fertile grounds for Islam in Kashmir. Slowly but surely, people converted to the message that accorded the Untouchables INSTANT equality among the Muslim brotherhood.

From 1326 to 1819, Muslims improved the lot of the Kashmiris and ruled the Kashmir valley with compassion and honour. The Mughals not only ruled Kashmir, they also brought it art, culture, music, paintings, and architecture that the people had never seen. Wherever the Moghuls lived they brought life with them. The Shalimar Gardens and the Mosques built in the Valley are a testament to the affluence of India in the 16th century. Jahangir was the wealthiest man on the planet and he spent his money to create luxury for his people. Kashmir benefited too. Hindu temples built in the sixteenth century were subsidised, and today they remain in the valley.

Hindus thrived in the Valley. The forefathers of the Nehrus lived and prospered in Kashmir during the Muslim rule. During the regimes of chaos during the Afghan rule (1752-1819) many Muslims lost their lives due to Patel persecution.

Kashmir was sold to the Sikhs following the defeat of Sikhs at the hands of the British in 1846, Gulab Singh, the cruel and dim-witted Dogra ruler of Jammu, acquired Kashmir from the British and ruthlessly tired to rule the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

The period of the Dogra rulers was the darkest in the history of the state. Gulab Singh was a ruthless ruler. He ruled by edict only, the edict of the Kirpan. Thus Jammu & Kashmir became a Princely State and remained so till 1947 until India occupied it.

ABHISARA

Contrary to popular belief, Kashmir is not a monolith. It has been called many names throughout history. The recorded history of Kashmir is more than five thousand years. On the eve of Alexander's invasion, Kashmir was called Abhisara. The great Kashmiri historians, Kalhan and Ratnakar have written beautiful stories about the valley, but the story of Kashmir begins much before that and Rajatarangini of Kalhana records some of it. Ibn-e-Batuta, Al-Beruni and Fa-hien mention Kashmir in their travelogues. Many Mughals, including Akbar mentions Kashmir in their many diaries. Muslim Kashmiri poets have eulogised the beauty of the Valley of Kashmir for centuries. Lalitaditya Avantivarman, Sikander Butshikan, Shamas-u-din Iraqi, Mirza Hyder Dughlat, Faquirullah Kanta, Mir Hazar Khan Zainul-Abedin, Duralabhavardhana, Jiyapida are only a few of the famous kings of the Valley.

Some Indian revisionists have tried to portray the picture that Kashmiri history begins with Maharaja Ghulab Singh. Kashmiri history began a long time before partition, a very long time before Ghulab Singh. It surely began before the very brief Sikha-Shahi of Lahore. To start the history of Kashmir in the nineteenth century is like beginning the history of the subcontinent after the war of independence of 1857 (The Great Indian Mutiny).

Kashmir and the subcontinent has a rich and tumultuous history. We can pick up the pieces in the nineteenth century, but the actual history of Kashmir begins much much much earlier, before Islam or Hinduism was present on the soil of our lands.

Long before the Crescent and Star flew atop Islamabad, long before Mohammed Bin Qasim invaded Sind, long before the Mughals spread prosperity in all the nooks and corners of the subcontinent, long before the Sikh dynasty briefly controlled Kashmir, and long before the Chundra Gupta Vikramadatya ruled India, the people of Kashmir were tied to the people of Pakistan.

The history of the subcontinent pre-dates Hinduism. Some in secular India are pawning off religion as history. Vedic events are religion. Ramayana and Mahabharta are the holy scriptures of Hinduism. These scriptures need to be revered and respected. We learn a lot about our land from these scriptures.

The state of Kashmir was not created by the Sikhs. Various areas of Kashmir were re-incarnated by the Sikhs during the British rule. The British defeated the Sikh leader, and the rule reverted to Hindu (Dogra) maharaja.

Ancient Origins

Some recent historians have portrayed the history of the subcontinent as wars between two monoliths, the Hindus and the Muslims. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The history of the subcontinent is a history of wars between the various peoples who lived the subcontinent and the people who came to the subcontinent. The history of the subcontinent is replete with wars against the foreigners.

Some recent revisionists have portrayed the history of Hinduism as the history of India. The absolute fact is that The Indus Valley Civilisation preceded the Aryans, and preceded Hinduism. IF Islam is a foreign influence in the subcontinent so is Hinduism. The Aryan Swastika was imported from the caucus mountains, and has non-Indian origins. The only original people of the subcontinent were the people who were in the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Stone Age

Though man existed in Palaeolithic, and Stone ages, the first real civilisation in the subcontinent was the Indus Valley Civilisation. The Pakistanis of Sindh, Punjab, Kashmir the Baraouhis tribes of Balauchistan are the true descendants of the Indus Valley Civilisation . The Aryans were invaders who came and destroyed the Indus Valley Civilisation. The Aryans then began creating states in the rest of India. The story of Ramayana is basically a story of wars between the Aryans and the Dravidians. The story of Mahabharta is a story of inter-Aryan wars.

Around 468 B.C. Jainism and Buddhism appeared on the scene. Both competed with the tenants of Hindusim. Gautam Buddha was such a dynamic sage, that many Hindus have adopted him as a God. Even some Muslims consider him a prophet. However the fact remains that Buddhism is different from Hinduism.

Though many Hindus later regard Buddha as God, the Brahmans were always leery of Buddhists because this reduced their power. Buddhism is fundamentally different than Hinduism because it does not believe in the caste system. Because of the lack of the caste system, the Brahmans did not like Buddhists.

Alexander Invades

On the eve of Alexander's invasion, Kashmir was called Abhisara. Abhisara consisted of the districts of Punch and Naushara. One of the few direct results of the Greek invasions of India was the establishment of Greek colonies in the area of Kashmir. One of Asokas edicts refers to the existence of Yavana (Greek) settlers on the fringes of his empire. We now know that he was referring to the area of Hunza. Actually after the fall of the Muyeria (Greek) kingdoms in India, the Bacterians formed a number of Greek kingdoms in the area in and around Kashmir. In fact Chandragupta actually faced Alexander for military help (324-300 BC) but did not secure it.

The foundation of the Maurya empire in the subcontinent saw Kashmir exist on the outer fringes of the empire. Chandragupta Muyara was a Jain. According to the records of Hieun Tsang and Kalhanas Rajaatarangini, Kashmir was included in the empire of Asoka the great (273-232 BC). One of the most brutal massacres of Hindus occurred at the hands of the Muyara kings. Some historians put the number at 300,000 (akin to 3 million in present day numbers).

Contrary to BJP belief, all massacres in India were not committed by Muslims, Persians and Arabs. Asoka renounced violence, and renounced his religion after the Kalinga war, and he became a Buddhist. The Brahmans did not like him, and many historians think the Brahaman opposition to Asoka led to the destruction of the Muyarian dynasty.

With political disunity in the subcontinent, many foreigners invaded India. Alexander's kingdom was divided. The Bacterians invaded India (250 BC). From the ashes of the Muyara empire, Kanishka the conqueror rose to power (78 AD) and began a new era in India. He annexed the Indus Valley and conquered Kashmir. He set up his headquarters in Purushapura (Peshawar). Kanishka was a Zorastrian. His coins display the sun god. Later in life he supported Buddhism (to the ire of the Hindu Brahmans). Kanishka had convened the Buddhist Council of Kashmir to spread Buddhism instead of Hinduism in the subcontinent (much to the chagrin of the Brahmans ). During Asoka, Buddhism had become the state religion. Hinduism survived only due to Indian princes like Gautamiputra Satkarni.

With the fall of the Muyara dynasty, the Guptas came to power (beginning of the fourth century AD) with their independent kingdoms. Dr. R.C. Majumdar writes that The empire of Samudragupta included the whole of Northern India EXCEPT Kashmir. During this time Fa-hien visited India to study Buddhism (399 AD). The Gupta period saw the distinct revival of Hinduism in the subcontinent. Buddhism declined, and never did rise in India. Kashmir was either independent at the time or was an insignificant state.

When did Kashmiri History begin

Although some Indians would like it to make it so, the history of Kashmir does not begin with Maharaja Ghulab Singh. Kashmiri history began a long time before partition, a very long time before Ghulab Singh. It surely began before the very brief Sikha-Shahi of Lahore. To start the history of Kashmir in the nineteenth century is like beginning the history of the subcontinent after the war of independence of 1857 (The Great Indian Mutiny).

The recorded history of Kashmir is more than five thousand years. The Sikh Dogras have said wonderful things about the paradise called Kashmir, but the story of Kashmir pre-dates Sikhism. The great Kashmiri historians, Kalhan and Ratnakar have written beautiful stories about the valley, but the beautiful story of Kashmir pre-dates Hindusim. Muslim Kashmiri poets have eulogised the beauty of the Valley of Kashmir for centuries, but the story of the valley pre-dates Islam. Lalitaditya Avantivarman, Sikander Butshikan, Shamas-u-din Iraqi, Mirza Hyder Dughlat, Faquirullah Kanta, and Mir Hazar Khan are only few of the famous kings of the Valley.

The history of the subcontinent pre-dates Hinduism. Some in secular India are pawning off religion as history. Vedic events are religion. Ramayana and Mahabharta are the holy scriptures of Hinduism. These scriptures need to be revered and respected. If these holy scriptures are mistaken for history, than we are all in trouble.

The IVC

Five thousand years ago the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation lived in harmony on the banks of the Indus. Moenjadaro, Harappa and Taxila were all towns on the banks of the Indus. This was one of the original civilisation on the planet. This civilisation is marked as great a civilisation as the Chinese and the Egyptian civilisation. The Indus Valley Civilisation did not extend East of the Indus. Neither did it extend beyond the Western Mountain ranges of Bolan, and Khyber. The Indus Valley Civilisation existed on the banks of the Indus. The Indus valley Civilisation existed in what is today Pakistan. Pakistan is the natural inheritor of the Indus Valley Civilisation, just like modern day China is the natural inheritor of the Chinese civilisation, and modern day Egypt in the natural inheritor of the Egyptian civilisation. Pakistan existed 5000 years ago, even though it was not called Pakistan. This is the geographic two nation theory.

People up the river traded with people down the river. People up in the mountains traded with people down in the plains. For thousands of years, Kashmiris cut down trees and threw them into the river. This was trade at its best. The people of the Indus valley traded with Mesopotamia to the West, but there was no civilisation to the east of the Indus to trade with. There were only monkeys and apes. A human civilisation did exist in the Malaya straits but that was too far for the Indus Valley Pakistanis.

Recent archaeological finds in Kashmir have supported the theory that the Indus valley Civilisation indeed stretched right to the origins of the Indus beyond the Himalayas, into the Karakorums and into Kashmir.

All through the centuries Pakistan and Kashmir were trading partners to the WEST and NORTH-WEST of current Pakistan by land routes and traders with Oman and Gulf state through Arabian sea. In modern times Sindh was part of Bombay presidency and there was hardly any trade across Rajistan desert. Under Mughals, Mirs of Sindh maintained quite an independent administration on current day Sindh Province. The Middle East had always used these Baluchistan, Sarhad, and Kashmir and other areas in current Pakistan to access the main land in India. In fact Gwader is a Pakistani Island port that was owned by Kuwait till the sixties.

Sarhad historically was trading partners with Kashmir, Punjab, Afghanistan and central Asia (including Sinkiang province of present day china). Kashmir did not even have a road link to India except through Muslim dominated portion of Punjab ---through a town called Gurdaspur. (The tragedy of Gurdaspuspur is the tragedy of Kashmir. Today The Muslim town of Gurdaspur is part of India, and so is Kashmir). All its trade of fruits, wood and handicrafts was to its south west and west (Punjab and Sarhad) the wood from its forests flowed down the INDUS to Pakistan and all the administrative services such as electricity/postal/communication etc. were linked from present Pakistan. Punjab was the only province which had major trade eastward. But the trade was also with countries to the west as well as rest of Pakistan. All of North west India east of the Khyber pass, is clearly a totally unique country, naturally allied to Kashmir.

THE ARYAN HUNS INVADE THE IVC

With the decline of the Guptas, the nomadic tribes of Central Asia called the Huns invaded India. Their leader Tormana invaded Kashmir (500 AD).

Jawaharlal Nehru in his book Glimpses of World History says Skandagupta, the fifth of the Gupta line had to face this Hun invasion...gradually they spread all over Gandhara and the greater part of Northern India. THEY TORTURED THE BUDDHISTS AND COMMITTED ALL MANNER OF FRIGHTFULNESS....There must have been continuous warfare against them, but the Guptas could not drive them away. Fresh waves of Huns came ...

HINDU SAVAGERY

Jawaharlal Nehru says the following about the Hindu Huns ...Torman installed himself king . He was bad enough, but after him came his son Miharagula, who was an unmitigated savage and fiendishly cruel. Kalhana in his history of Kashmir--the Rajatrangini--tells us that one of his Miharagulas amusements was to have elephants thrown over the great precipices into the valley below.

The treatment of men was sometimes worse then that of animals (some of the animals like cows were actually revered because they were Gods). Lower caste Hindus had a miserable life. Other historians have commented that the treatment of women was even worse, specially women of lower castes, they were considered the property of the upper caste Hindus, to be molested and/or raped at will. In many cases the new bride had to stay a night with the village Brahman before she was married off. Kashmir converted to Islam during this time period. It was cruelty like this that led to the whole sale conversion to Islam. The new religion offered them equality and saved them from the Brahmans.

Nehru continues, Soon however the Hun power weakened in India... the Huns have been defeated and driven back, but many remain in odd corners. The Great Gupta dynasty fades away after Balditya.

The next great event for Kashmir was the birth of Harshavardhana (606-647 AD). There are references to Harshas expeditions to Kashmir. According to the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang Kashmir was an independent state at the time. Harshas ancestors were sun worshippers, however he himself was attracted towards the Mahayana form of Buddhism. The Brahmans were very displeased with him and even conspired to kill him. Harsha spent time and money on arts and literature, and drama, and was probably the last great Buddhist emperor of India.

THE RAJPUT HINDU ERA IN INDIA

The death of Harsha ushered in an era of anarchy again. The Rajputs were the invaders this time. This era is called the Rajput era. According to Tod The Rajputs were the descendants of Sakas,Huns, Ushans, Gujaaras etc.

According to Rajatarangini of Kalhana which forms the chief source of our history on Kashmir, Duralabhavardhana founded a new royal dynasty in Kashmir about the middle of the 7th century. Lalitaditya ascended the throne in 724 AD and he conquered large areas of India and brought it under Kashmiri rule. After him (750 AD) the power of Kashmir receded.

Jiyapida, the grandson of Lalitaditya tried to revive the reputation of the Karkota dynasty. The Karkota dynasty in Kashmir was replaced by the Utpala dynasty about the middle of the 9th century. The Rajputs were true Hindus and patronised Hindu religion and culture in all of India.

THE RAJPUT ERA ENDS

The end of the Rajput era created the beginning of the Muslim era in India. Dr. Smith says that this became so prominent that the centuries from the death of Harsha to the Mohammedan conquest of Hindustan, extending in round numbers from the middle of the seventh century to the close of the twelfth century, was the Rajput era . This is 500 years of Hindu rule. This is one of the few periods of history when Hindus ruled India.

On the eve of the Arab invasion of Sind (712 A.D: Quaid-e-Azam said that this is the day the Pakistan movement began in India), Chandrapida, the grandson of Durlabhavardhan was the ruler of the Korkot (Kashmir ) kingdom The most powerful king was Muktipida Lalitadya, brother and successor of Chandrapida. He was a great conqueror, and is said to have conquered Punjab, Dardistan and Kabul .

Mahmud of Gahazni made two attempts between 1015-1021 to conquer Kashmir, but was unsuccessful. Mahmud of Ghazni attacked temples in the subcontinent because the temples were the seats of political power. The Brahaman priests kept all knowledge to themselves. They kept all knowledge away from the population, locked up in temples (including the knowledge to build the temple). To destroy the political and military power of the city, the temple had to be destroyed. Since the high priest controlled the populations, they had to be defeated. The temples also contained all knowledge of the area. Mohammed Ghauri was the founder of the Muslim empire in India (1173 A.D). The slave dynasty lasted from 1206-1290. The Khilji dynasty lasted from 1290-1320. The Tughlaq dynasty lasted from (1320-1412). In 1304 Ibin-e-Batuta visited visited China through Kashmir. The Syed and Lodhi dynasty lasted from 1413-1526. During the reign of the sultans of Delhi the Khokars had established themselves between Lahore and Ghazni on the Southern border of Kashmir.

The caste system, the practice of Sati, human sacrifices, the ostracization of the lowest caste Hindus from society, and the treatment meeted out to them led to the infusion of Islam into the beautiful valley of the safron. Since Islam allowed instant equality to the down-trodden the religion made huge in-roads into the valley.

From the eighth century through Muslims permeated the state of Kashmir even though the rulers were Buddhist. Kashmiri rulers were Buddhist till it was conquered by the Muslims in 1339 AD. Even though Kashmir was inhabited by Muslims, it was still being ruled by Buddhist princes till 1349 when Shah Mirza, after the death of his royal patron, ascended the throne under the title of Samsuddin Shah. Thus began the Muslim era in Kashmir. K.Ali writes that of the rulers of Kashmir, Zainul-Abedin was the best and most liberal ruler under whom people enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous reign. After Abedin, anarchy reigned in Kashmir. At the end of 1540, Haider Mirza a relative of the Mughal emperor Humanyun occupied the state. But the Mirza dynasty was overthrown by the Chakk dynasty in 1561.

From the eighth century till the fifteenth century the population of Kashmir changed. However it was not Arab invasions, or Persian conquest that transformed Kashmir, it was the power of the new religion. For seven hundred years Kashmir was under Buddhist rule. However the rule was autocratic, and people were treated like animals. The general populace was disenchanted with the state machinery, and the state religion. IN droves they converted to Islam. By the middle of the sixteenth century, the accession of a Muslim to the throne was a forgone conclusion.

At the time of Baburs invasion 1526 Kashmir and Sind were independent but they did not play any major role. Around the 3rd part of the sixteenth century Kashmir was passing through disorder. The chaotic condition of the state induced Akbar to interfere in its internal affairs. Moreover the excellent climate of the valley and its natural scenery might have attracted Akbar. Akbar conquered and annexed Kashmir in 1586-1587. Henceforth Kashmir became the summer seat of the Mughal government. During Jahangir, and Shahjahan's reign the Mughals built the magnificent Shalimar Garden in Kashmir. This is long before Ghulab Singh was in Kashmir.

For the next 100 years peace remained in Kashmir. Saddozais (Sikander Butshikan, Shamas-u-din Iraqi, Mirza Hyder Dughlat, Faquirullah Kanta, Mir Hazar Khan ) ruled Kashmir for almost a century before the Sikhs. Peace was broken by the rise of Sikh power. The Sikhs rose to power in 1675 under Guru Gobind Singh. After the death of Gobinda Singh in 1708 the Sikhs established several states in the Punjab. Rajat Singh establish the Sikh empire in the Punjab. The Sikh rule in the history of the subcontinent is a footnote in history. It was extremely brief and was known for its stupidities (hence the word Sikha-shahi, and the jokes about Sikhs). Gulab Singh tried to rule Kashmir by putting together diverse and far-flung areas like Jammu bordering on the Punjab, Ladakh bordering on Tibet and Gilgit bordering on Sinkiang, Afghanistan and Central Asia across the Pamirs. There are many diverse groups in Kashmir. Gulab Sings was a ruthless ruler.

MAHRAJAH HARI SINGH

SEX and FOLLIES OF THE NINCOMPOOP RAJA OF Kashmir

This is what Larry Collins and Dominique Lapiere write about the Sikhs in the Punjab in their book (Freedom at Midnight... the source book for the screen-play Gandhi).The collapse of the Mogul empire gave the Sikhs the chance to carve out a kingdom of their own in their beloved Punjab. The tragedy of the Punjab was that while Moslems, and Sikhs could live under the British, neither could live under each other. The Moslems memory of Sikh rule in the Punjab was one of mosques defiled, women outraged, tombs razed, Moslems without regard to age or sex butchered, bayoneted, strangled, shot down, hacked to pieces, burnt alive. This was the legacy of Gulab Singh and his successors.

This following is what Larry Collins and Dominique Lapiere write about last maharaja of Kashmir Hari Singh in their account of the partition of India (Freedom at Midnight... the source book for the screen-play Gandhi).

Hari Singh was a weak vacillating indecisive man who divided his time between opulent feasts in his winter capital in Jammu and the beautiful flower-choked lagoons of his summer capital, Sirinagar, the Venice of the Orient. He had begun his reign with a few timid aims for reform which were quickly abandoned for an authoritarian system that kept his jails filled with his political foes. Their most recent occupant had been none other than Jawarlal Nehru. The prince had ordered Nehru arrested when he tried to visit the state in which he was born. Hari Singh too had an army to defend the frontiers of his state and give his claims to independence a menacing emphasis.

The bonfire (of the accounts of sexual eccentricities of some of India princes were in themselves lengthy enough to stoke a good fire for hours .... were being burnt at the behest of the British government ) consuming the archives dealing with the maharaja of Kashmir destroyed the traces of one of the more unsavoury scandals of the world between wars. The impetuous prince was trapped in fragrant delicto in Londons Savoy hotel by a man he assumed to be the husband of his ravishing bed companion. In fact, the prince had fallen into a gang of blackmailers who proceeded to drain the state of Kashmir, via the princes personal bank account, OF A VERY CONSIDERABLE PART OF ITS REVENUES. The case finally broke when the young lady's real husband persuaded that he had not been properly remunerated for the loan of his wife, went to the police. In the court case that followed, the unfortunate Maharajas infidelity was concealed under the pseudonym of Mr. A. Disillusioned for good with women as a result of his tribulations, Hari Singh returned to Kashmir, where he discovered new sexual horizons in the company of young men of his state. The accounts of his activities had been faithfully reported to the representatives of the Crown, Now whipped by the fresh mountain breeze of Srinagar, they disappeared into the Himalayan sky.

He ( Hari Singh) was a weak vacillating man whose perversions and orgies had given him the reputation of the Himalayan Brogia. Unfortunately, Hari Singh, the man who was Mr. A had titillated the readers of the British penny press before the war, was something else. He was the hereditary Hindu maharaja of the most strategically situated princely state in India.

Logic seemed to dictate that Kashmir join with Pakistan. Its people were Moslem. It had been one of the areas originally selected for an Islamic state by Rehmat Ali when he formulated his impossible dream. The k in Pakistan was for Kashmir.

Hari Singh the last playboy Raja of Kashmir was an abdominal character-less hedonist bi-sexual. His only redeeming quality was that he held out against Patels bullying. Hari Singh was escorted out of the state under the curfew of the Indian army. India claims that next day he signed the so called article of accession to India. According to Alistair Lamb a noted historian of Kashmir, has cast several doubts on the article of accession. India's claim to accession is in dispute. The U.N. recognised the dispute, and treats Kashmir as disputed territory between India and Pakistan.

UNDERSTANDING KASHMIR

A geographic region or an idea?

What is the background of Kashmir ? Pakistan is a country based on the banks on the Indus and its tributaries. All its major cities owe their existence to the rivers originating in the Himalayan mountains. Kashmir lies north of Pakistan, a natural extension to the mouth of the Indus river. It is in the ancient Silk Rout thorough which noted travellers like Ibn-Batuta, and Fa-hein travelled. Pakistan is the size of Texas and Minnesota put together. Kashmir is another Minnesota added to it.

Kashmir means many things to many peoples. The total area of J&K state is 2.22 lakh (222,000) sq. kms. Of this, the Pakistani area accounts for 78,114 sq. kms. Chinese area is 37,555 sq. kms plus another 3,180 sq. kms. ( that was an area adjusted during the boundary agreement with Pakistan ). At present, 35% of the state is Azad Kashmir and 17% is Chinese Kashmir. In a landmark boundary adjustment between Pakistan and China, China received 2.3% from Pakistan (There is no boundary dispute between China and Pakistan. China is today Pakistan's largest arms supplier. India occupies less than half of the original state which belonged to Hari Singh in 1947). The Indian area is 1.01 lakh (101,000)sq. kms. The Indian area is divided into the following divisions: Ladakh, Jammu and the Kashmir Valley. The Ladakh division is 49,146 sq. kms. The Jammu division is 26,293 sq. kms. and the Muslim Kashmir Valley is 15,948 sq. kms.

The population of the state governed by India is 6 million; of this, 64% are Muslims, 32% are Hindus, 2.2% are Sikhs and 1.2% are Buddhists. Another 2 million Muslims live in Azad Kashmir; taken together, Muslims would constitute 75% of the population of the entire state of Jammu & Kashmir, which is roughly 5% of the total Muslim population of India (the number of Muslims in India is more than 100 million). The Indians claim that in 1947 half a million Hindus and Sikhs also lived in Azad Kashmir. When 5 million Muslims were transferred from East Punjab to Pakistan, half a million Muslims fled Kashmir.

The Indian part of the state of Kashmir is divided into 3 main regions: Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. In terms of area, Ladakh forms 58%, Jammu 26% and Kashmir valley 16%. Buddhists used to constitute a majority in Ladakh but a few years ago (according to the last Indian census reports) Muslims are in a majority in Ladakh now. Hindus form a majority in Jammu and Muslims form a majority in Kashmir valley. In British India Kashmir was about 95% Muslim. Before 1947, nearly a million non-Muslims -- mainly Kashmiri Hindus called Pundits ruled the Kashmiris with the Dogra ruler Hari Singh. After the Dogra raja left the state in Indian custody, the Pandits also began leaving Kashmir. Today they live in Jammu and are asking for a separate union territory called Panditdesh.


This article was submitted by Moin Ansari. The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site manager.

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