Table of Contents
   About the Author
   The Abdullah Dynasty
   A Journey into History
   Kashmiri Pandits
   The Myth of Negligence
   Mortgaged Media
   Siege by Scandal
   The 'Inhuman' Rights
   The Valley of Oddity
   This Happened to KPs
   Exaggerated Reporting

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



This Happened to Kashmiri Pandits

A.D. 1389-1413

The Islamic zeal attained fanatical proportions under Sultan Sikander (A.D 1389-1413) who came to be known as But Shikan (destroyer of idols). "There was no city, no town, no village, no wood, where the temples of gods remained unbroken." The Sultan even tried to pull down the famous temple of Martand but later gave up the effort. Under the influence of the Baihaqi Sayyids, the Sultan banned un-Islamic practices such as drinking, gambling, dancing, and playing of musical instruments. The Hindus were subjected to jizia, and forbidden to apply tilak on their forehead. Sikander also introduced an institution of Sheikh-ul-Islam to insure that the injunctions of Islam were fully observed. A relentless campaign for conversion to Islam was launched, under the charge of the Sultan's Chief Minister, Malik Saif-ud-Din. The Chief Minister's original name was Suha Bhatta. He renounced his Hindu faith to accept Islam. The zeal of this neo-convert knew no bounds. He unleashed a reign of terror against those who resisted conversion. It is believed that the Sultan and his Chief Minister threw into the Dal Lake all the sacred books of Hindus that they could lay their hands on, and seven maunds of sacred threads of murdered Brahmins were burnt. It is from this period that the predominance of Muslims in the population of the Valley began.

A.D. 1671-75

During Aurangzeb's long reign of 49 years, Kashmir saw fourteen governors. They generally ruled well. But one of them, Iftikar Khan (A.D. 1671-75), persecuted the Brahmins, and they approached the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur. They complained to him: "We suffer great atrocities, sacred threads (janeus) are forcibly taken off our persons. Cows are killed. Janeus, a maund and a quarter in weight, are snapped in a single day." The Guru consoled them and said, "Go and tell the Mughal rulers that if they converted Tegh Bahadur they would all voluntarily accept Islam." This infuriated the Imperial Court and led to the Guru's martyrdom. And the Sikh faith and history took a new turn.

A.D. 1762-1811

With the re-establishment of Afghan rule, the miseries of the people multiplied. Kashmiris had the misfortune of being ruled by two upstarts - Lal Khan Khattak and Faquir Ullah. Both were tyrannical to the extreme. The former was given to fits of insane rage and sometimes got an entire family killed on mere suspicion. He was particularly hard on Hindus. Faquir Ullah was equally inhuman. He got hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits killed because he suspected that his father had been killed at the instance of a Kashmiri Pandit, Kailash Dhar, who was a nobleman at the time. Another Afghan Governor, Ata Muhammad Khan, had earned notoriety for his insatiable lust for beautiful Kashmiri women. The Hindu parents became so apprehensive that they had the good looks of their girls sullied to evade the attention of the Governor's agents. Jabbar Khan, the last Afghan Governor, also persecuted the Hindus relentlessly.

Crescent over Kashmir



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World Kashmiri Pandit Conference 1993 Panun Kashmir
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