Table of Contents
  Index
  About the Author
  About the Book
  Preface
  Foreword
PART I
  Laying the Scene
  Sayyid Sharafu'D-Din
  Mir Ali Hamadani's role ...
  P.N. Bazaz and P.N.Bamzai ...
  Laleshwari - A Shining...
  Trika Paved the Way for Islam
  Kashmir - Not A Tabula Rasa
  Willing and Peaceful ...
  Extra-ideological Methods
  Compromise as Tactics
  Shihab-ud-Din's anti-Hindu ..
  'Sufi-face of Islam' thesis ...
  Sultan Sikandar -  a Cruel ..
  Mir Ali Hamdani's Advice ...
  Return of Sanity
  Na Bhatto Aham -  A Cry ...
  Crusade Re-launched
  Nirmal Kanth - A Pillar ...
  Inter-face Between Hinduism..
  Regeneration of Kashmir ...
  Mughal Annexation at ...
  Learning Not Enough, ...
  Muslims Invite Afghans
  Birbal Dhar and Sikhs
  Loot of 1931
  Loot of Landed Properties
  Loot of a Kashmiri Pandit ...
  Loot and Plunder of 1986
PART II 
  Nehru's Advice to ...
  Pan-Islamic Design
  Sponsored Terrorism
  Kashmiri Pandits -  soft ...
  JKLF - An Outfit of Killers
  Jammaat-i-lslami - ...
  Afghans Again Invited ...
  Massacre of Kashmiri Pandits
- Part 1 of 3
- Part 2 of 3
- Part 3 of 3
  Loot, Grab and Arson ...
  Destruction and Desecration ...
  Loot and Burning of Books
  Kashmiri Pandits As Migrants
  Conversions as Muslim ...
  Kashmiri Pandits and ...
  Homeland Demand Raised
  Sangrampora Massacre
  References and Notes
  List of Illustrations
  Appendix
  Book in pdf format

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Part I: Chapter 23

BIRBAL DHAR AND SIKHS

The Afghans littered the valley of Kashmir with images of gore and violence and as a fall-out of their primeval and unbridled savagery and ferocity, the Kashmiri Pandits in streams buzzed off their homes and hearths to sanctuaries across the mountain ramparts in the plains of India. As evidenced by records of sufficient veracity, their numbers in the valley fell to a mere seven thousand, four thousand in the city of Srinagar and three thousand in the hamlets and villages, near and distant. According to Moorcraft, the unprecedented depletion of Kashmiri Pandit population was the direct outcome of ruthless persecution that they were subjected to. Concurring with the views of Moorcraft, Cunningham states that the ancestors of Kashmiri Brahmans now settled in Delhi, Lucknow and elsewhere in the plains of India were refugees from Afghan oppression and cruelty.

Dismayed and shocked by the ruthless persecution of his co-religionists, Birbal Dhar, a notable noble of Kashmir, suddenly disappeared from the landscape of Kashmir alongwith his son causing a gnashing anxiety to the Afghan governor, Azim Khan, rapacious and brutal and with the active aid of Raja Dhyan Singh, brother of Raja Gulab Singh, appeared in the glittering court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the Punjab. It was after a lot of persuasion that Ranjit Singh nodded the despatch of his troops to Kashmir to annexe it to his kingdom. The Afghan resistance petered out in face of the pitch and thrust of the Sikh onslaught and the Hindu conquest of Kashmir was celebrated for full three days.

The Sikhs were highly shocked at the sight of havoc that had been wrought on the Kashmiri Pandits all through the period the Muslims held sway over Kashmir. Their temples had been ravaged and levelled; they were butchered and murdered; they were not permitted to worship their gods and goddesses and their women-folk were abducted for export to Kabul. They were burdened with unjust and inequitous. taxes and exactions to satiate the hunger of the Muslim rulers at Kabul.

Now it was the turn of the Muslims to suffer. A brick for brick and tooth for tooth policy was pursued. In sheer retaliation the Sikhs closed Jama Masjid built on the ruins of a Hindu temple and a Buddhist Vihara for prayers, stopped azaan to call the faithfuls to prayers, imposed levies and taxes on the Muslims, banned cow-slaughter and declared Pather Masjid as property of the state. Phoola Singh, a Sikh General, trained his guns at the Mir Ali Mosque on the plea that it was raised on the plinth of a temple that was pillaged and destroyed. The said - mosque was saved only at the intervention of Birbal Dhar, who has been showered with bouquets and brickbats for this act of his by a substantial number of writers on Kashmir history.

About the Sikh phase of Kashmir conquest, a host of lies have been told and a number of half-truths have been woven with a view to discrediting the improvements that the Sikhs registered in Kashmir economy and politics and the relief that they brought to the oppressed people. The latest attempt in the vicious propaganda launched against all shades of Hindus is Altaf Hussain's book 'Paradise wounded', which is said to have been written by the votaries of secessionism in America and issued out in his name. But the available historical evidences and notices belie all what is said in the book by way of aiding and abetting the on-going terrorism in Kashmir.

Writes Fergusson, "The condition of Kashmir under the Sikhs was no doubt an improvement on that under the Afghans. The Hindus to whom the Sikhs are in many ways very near benefited most and the disabilities under which they had been unable to practice the rites of their religion were removed. It was now the turn of the-Muslims to suffer. Mosques were closed, the call to prayer was forbidden and capital punishment was awarded for the killing of a cow."

Walter Lawrence puts, "It must have been an intense relief to all classes in Kashmir to see the downfall of the evil rule of the Pathans. I do not mean Sikh rule was benign and good, but it was at any rate better than that of the Afghans. "

Records Baron von Hugel, "The dreadful cruelties perpetrated by their earlier rulers, who, for the smallest offence, punished them with the loss of their noses and ears, make poor Kashmiris well satisfied with their present comparatively mild government."

 

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