Destruction and Injustice
Destruction and Injustice
The Tribulations Of
Outline Of History of
Century to Independence
first came to
through traders, warriors, and missionaries starting as early as the 8th
century. In the 12th
century the Mongols, under Genghis Khan, brought havoc to Central Asia and part
of this chaos spilled into the
. Islam penetrated
in the early part of the 14th century. Through the Sufi saint Bulbul
Shah and found some acceptance.
At the same time Dulucha, a fierce Mongol, invaded the valley with an
army of 60,000 and practically ended Hindu rule under Raja Sahadev.
A Ladakhi prince, Rinchin, usurped the throne in its weakened state and
sought to be converted to Hinduism. The
Brahmins refused the request and so he embraced Islam instead.
his death in 1323 Rinchinís Hindu Queen Kota Rani married a nominal king,
Udayana Dev, and ruled until 1338. At
Udayana's death Shah Mir wanted to marry the surviving Hindu queen who refused
his overture and instead stabbed herself to death in 1339 to pave the way for
the establishment of Muslim rule in
the middle of the 14th century, Lal Ded, a great mystic and poet,
promoted Kashmiri Shaivism. She had
far-reaching influence which included acting as mentor to a Sufi saint,
Nooruddin, and whose
is called "Rishi." Islam
also spread quickly and in 1389 led to the persecution of Hindus under Sultan
Sikandar, a puritan. He banned
joyous celebrations, did not listen to music, imposed jizia (taxation of
non-Muslims) upon Hindus, and forbade the practice of using tilak on foreheads.
In their zeal he and his minister Saif-ud-din (a former Hindu) were
responsible for the wholesale destruction of temples, shrines and idols.
Hindus were forcibly converted, and so in order to save their faith and
heritage many fled the valley until there were only eleven Hindu families
was replaced by his son, Shahi-Khan in 1420, or Badshah (Great King) who was an
enlightened ruler and promoted religious tolerance.
Many Hindus returned to the valley.
Additional canals were built, irrigation systems were improved, and arts
and crafts were promoted (such as carpet making and shawl manufacture).
Works from the Sanskrit were translated into Persian and Arabic.
and Pathan Eras
became a part of the Mughal Empire under Akbar and turned into a popular summer
resort. The Mughals built a number
of famous gardens such as Shalimar, Nishat, and Chashme Shahi on the banks of
. Under Aurangzeb, another Muslim
puritan, Hindu oppression again resurfaced as he began to lose administrative
. His rule was marked by anarchy and his Puritanism allowed for religious
bigotry and fanaticism towards the people.
In 1752, Mughal rule collapsed in Kashmir when the Afghan brigand Ahmed
Shah Abdali was asked to assume control of
by two Muslim noblemen.
now became a dependency of
until 1819 and fell further down a well of darkness.
This Pathan rule of 67 years is arguably the bleakest and most tyrannical
period in Kashmiri history. They
imposed a reign of terror instead of bringing stability by looting and killing
indiscriminately. Hindus and Shias
were their chief victims.
and Dogra Eras
Sikhs, under Maharajah Ranjit Singh, finally defeated the Afghans in 1819 and
for a brief period of 27 years. Although
the people were elated to be rid of the Pathans, natural calamities such as
premature snowfall destroyed rice crops and resulted in famine and disease.
At the same time the British defeated the Sikhs in Punjab resulting in
the Treaty of Amritsar which now gave the British rights to the
. However, they quickly sold it to
Gulab Singh, the Dogra ruler, for 7.5 million rupees in 1848.
The Dogra rulers trace their lineage back to the Kshatriyas in the
Mahabharata. The British would
retain right of paramountcy or control of foreign relations.
Singh is the only Indian ruler to carve out a state and extend
's borders in the 19th cent. He
was a distinguished soldier and diplomat who consolidated
. The Dogras established English
civil law, built major roads, started the first colleges, and formed telegraph
links in order to end the isolation of
. In 1925, Maharajah Pratap Singh's
nephew, Hari Singh, ascended the throne and ruled
through Indian Independence until 1949. He
helped to modernize the state and allowed political consciousness and political
parties to flourish.
a consequence during the 1930's a legislative assembly was established where
Sheikh Abdullah emerged as the most prominent leader.
He founded the Muslim Conference that was later changed to the National
Conference as an attempt towards secularization. The Indian National Congress
under Nehru heavily influenced Sheikh Abdullah.
Maharajah Hari Singh, the Hindu ruler, appeared to be holding out for
independence around 1947 for the 86,500 square miles of this place found at
's crown called
Jammu and Kashmir.