Kalhana, Sarswat Brahmins
By M.M. Munshi
congratulate you for bringing out the special September issue of your esteemed
journal. Most of the articles are very interesting as well as informative.
Further this letter has reference to two articles of the said issue “Dr. B.N.
Sharga -the living Kalhan” by Kuldip Raina and “Saraswat Brahmins”. “With the
spirit of let Truth prevail” I beg to point out that parts of the said articles
are not factual.
Pt. Kalhana son of Campaka
the illustrious minister of Harsa and other Kings of Kashmir) was the first
indigenous historian of the Indian sub -continent to record history with true
perspective. Prof. R.C. Majumdar formerly (i) Head of the Department of ancient
history and culture, Nagpur University, (ii) Vice Chancellor and Prof. of
History Dacca University, (iii) Honurary Head of the department of history,
Bhartia Vidya Bhawan and general editor and part author of “History and culture
of Indian People” has paid a glowing tribute to Kalhana for having set the
tradition of art of compiling history in real perspective.
Kalhana has compiled the history of
Kashmir in eight Tarangas (cantos) in Raj Tarangini (River of Kings) from the
time of King Gonanda I regarded as contemporary of Kurus and Pandvas to the
almost of middle of 12th century A.D., a period of several thousand years.
Besides history his work reflects the culture, geography and other aspects of
On the other hand Dr B.N. Sharga
has compiled detailed family histories of well-known mostly Hindi-speaking
Kashmiri Pandits whose ancestors had migrated from
Indian Plains of
Punjab, U.P. Rajasthan etc in eighteenth
century. His painstaking researches revealed more than what their present day
defendants knew themselves. But whenever Dr. Sharga has written political
Kashmir ancient or of recent past, his writings
betray the fact that he has mostly relied on heresay and not on authentic and
trustworthy documents. His article “Trifurcation of J&K State” is one of the
examples. The comments for the same have also been documented in your special
issue of September 05 with the title “Distortion of Kashmir History”. Dr. Sharga
about two years back advocated that Kashmiri Muslim families with surname DAR
are converts to Islam from Kashmiri Pandits with the surname of DHAR. No
or Kashmiri Pandits have accepted the idea to be factual. DARS are not converts
from DHARS but Damars the feudal lords during the Hindu Rule.
Equating Dr. Sharga with Kalhana
is like comparing Emperor Ashoka with a ruler of pre-independence princely
state of Indian sub-continent.
In the same article it has been
mentioned that certain Kashmiri Shia families settled in
trace their ancestry to Shah Hamdan (Syed Ali Hamdani) which seems to be their
wish full thinking as Syed Ali Hamdani who started converting Hindus to Islam by
persuasion was a Sunni and not a Shia. He lived in Kashmir for about 6 years and
Kashmir via Hazara but died on the
in 1384. His son Mohammad Ali Hamdani arrived in Kashmir in 1393 and spent 12
years in desecrating destroying, and damaging Hindu places of worship beyond
repair tectonic persecuting, converting Hindus to Islam by force in
collaboration with Sikandar Butishikan before he departed from Kashmir in 1405.
Shia sect was introduced into Kashmir by about 1484 by Shamas-ud-Din Iraqi and
According to the other article
“Saraswat Brahmins” - editor Sarwat Brahmins are original inhabitants of
Valley in Kashmir does not stand scrutiny. Neither Saraswati flowed through
Kashmir nor the area through which
River flowed formed part at any time of the domain of Kashmirian Kings. It has
been proved beyond any doubt by historical, archaeological, geomorphological as
well as geological evidences that River Sarasvati flowed through present day
southern Punjab, Haryana, Bhawalpur (Pakistan), western Rajasthan, Eastern Sind
(Pakistan), independent of Indus system and Gujrat before falling into Rann of
Cutch which used to be an even inland sea about 1500 years back.
It drieded up in stages as its main
feeders (i) Yamuna got diverted due to tectonic movements along NE extremity of
Aravali axis occupying a tributary of Chambal joining the ganges system in
Mahanbarata times and (ii) Satadru (Sutluj) also got diverted due to no moments
and joined Vipasa (Beas) after invasions of Indus system of North India by
The Saraswat Brahmins who derived
their clan name from the mightly river by virtue of living along its banks
migrated to other places like Kashmir, Punch, North west of undivided Punjab;
Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharastra, Karnataka as far Kerala after the river dried
up. It is highly improbable to believe that all the Saraswat Brahmins in the
first instance migrated from
Valley enblock to Kashmir and subsequently spread to other parts of the Country.
However it is possible that
Sarasvat Brahmins from
Valley migrated to other parts of the Country during late 14th and early 15th
century when they were ruthless by perseueted by Sikander But Shikan, Syed
Mohammad Hamdani and others.
It may not be out of place to
mention here that in POK a tributary of
River known as Sargan / Kankotri originating from hills near Chilas meets the
Lattar slightly upstream opposite the confluence of Madhumati Stream near Sharda
Temple has been referred in scriptures as Sarasvati. But the course of its
valley is too narrow and steep to have supported a sizable settlement.