Table of Contents
   Index
   Acknowledgement
   Introduction
   First Exodus
   Second Exodus
   Third Exodus
   Fourth Exodus
   Fifth Exodus
   Sixth Exodus
   Seventh Exodus
   Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Matrimonial

 
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The First Exodus (1389-1413)

The scheming wily and guily Shah Mir became the founder of the Muslim rule in Kashmir. By encouraging inter-marriages he poisoned and weakened the family life of the Kashmiri Hindus to the advantage of the Muslim minority as this tactics built a reliable and strong base/plinth for the propagation of Islam in Kashmir. By fraudulently getting Kota Rani, Bhatta Bhikshana and Bratta Autar murdered he removed forces of resistance from his way and became instrumental in letting Islam set its root deep in Kashmiri soil. The counselors of Kota Rani did not let her have tit for tat, following their ethos of non-violence, reverence for moral and ethical values.

Terrorised by Tamur the Lame - Syyid Mir Ali Hamdani along with 700 Sayyids, his followers, landed in Kashmir and drove a wide and deep wedge between the majority Hindus and minority Muslims. He dictated the Sultan Qutubud-Din to make the persecution and torture of the KPs a state policy. The code he prescribed for the sultan was a model of hatred, distrust, intolerance, bigotry and malignity against the KPs. He compelled the Sultan to officialise the presecution and massacre of KPs unless they embraced Islam. He is the architect of desecration and demolition of the Kalishree temple near Fatah Kadal in Srinagar and raising on its plinth a mosque known as Khanqah-i-Mulla. With his repressive and precautionary measures backed by state terrorism he achieved the conversion of 37,000 KPs to Islam during the latter two of his three visits. The Sayyids headed by Mir Ali Hamdani openly preached extermination of Hindu religion and Hindu politics from the soil of the Kashmir in order that Islam might flourish and get unshakably entrenched in their place. Following in his father's footsteps Mir Mohamad Hamdani urged Sultan Slkandar (1389-1413) notoriously known as the iconoclast (Sikandar but-shikan) to wipe out infidelity (Hindus) root and branch, from Kashmir and let not even a weed of it survive. The two reinforced by the rabid neo-convert Malik Saifudin unleashed a massive war against KPs with the target of genocide of this highly cul­tured people. Sikandar having pawned his soul to the Sayyids threw all norms of civilized Ilfe and tolerance to winds and issued an atrocious and barbaric Government decree or­dering the KPs to opt for conversion or exile, flight or death. They let loose the floodgates of a reign of terror on the KPs to pressurize them to embrace Islam. Sikander enjoyed and exulted in breaking down images of Hindu deities. No temple anywhere in the city town or village escaped paying the heavy toll. Numerous Hindus fled, numerous were converted and numerous were brutally killed. Many poisoned themselves. This marks the first ominous exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits from their nativefair homes. It is this mass migration that occasioned the plight of KPs to the neighbouring regions of Kishtwar and Bhadarwah via SMITHAN pass and to various provinces of India via Batote (Bhatta wath, path of the Bhattas or Kashmiri Pandits).

In the wake of this damned decree of Sikandar, seven mounds of the sacred thread of the murdered Brahmans were burnt by Sikandar and all of their sacred books were thrown into the Dal Lake. The KPs numbering over one lakh were drowned in the Lake and were burned at a spot in the vicinity of Rainawari in Srinagar City known as Bhatta Mazar (The grave yard of the Bhattas, the KPs) beyond present day Jogilanker. According to the living memory of the KPs only eleven KP families stayed back in Kashmir, the rest, rather than abandoning the religion of their father's, chose to migrate leaving behind their beloved homes hearths, lands and everything, only to protect their religion and faith.

Jonraj, the contemporary historian draws a graphic picture of the traumatic experiences of the first exodus. Crowds of Hindus ran away in different directions through passes and bypasses. Their social life was totally disrupted, their life became miserable with hunger and fatigue. Many died in the scorching heat. Some disguised as Muslims roamed about the country searching for their distressed families. Hindus lolled out their tongues like dogs, looking for dog's morsel at every door. (Jonraj: Kings of Kashmir). Then the Sultan exclaimed proudly that he had succeeded in extermi­nating all traces of Hinduism from the valley by massacring the Hindus, by ravaging, looting and ransacking their prop­erties and more than most by kidnapping and raping there women folk. Jonraj laments the trampling of the Hindu ethos by the Yavanas (Muslims) whom he compares to locusts descending on and destroying a paddy field.

Paradise Lost

 

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Kashmiri Pandits in Distress

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