Desecration, damage and destruction of temples is not new and unusual phenomena. The process has been continuously going on ever since Kashmir passed into political domination of Muslim rulers in the first quarter of fourteenth century.
Islam like other Semitic religions enjoins upon the faithful to expand their religion by proselytizing the heathens, infidels and 'kafirs' (non-believers) to their faith to gain religious merit. "Jihad" or holy war is the instrument that is used for proselytization. The Muslim rulers of Kashmir, the Mughals and Pathans made full use of their political authority to effect conversion of Hindus of valley. To achieve the objective it became imperative for them to wipe out all traces of religious and cultural symbols of Hindus which included their temples, libraries, universities and ashrams etc.
In Kashmir gun powder was used for the first time not for fighting a war but for destroying massive Hindu stone temples. When it was felt that the fissionable material was not available in sufficient quantity for the iconoclasm, the nearby jungles were cut and used for setting on fire the giant stone structures of Hindu Temples. By excessive heat the stones burst, broke-away and crumbled these gigantic structures that spread through the length and breadth of Kashmir. The ruins of Martand, Avantipur, Devar etc. are mute witnesses of the depredation.
Panun Kashmir Movement (PVM)
Central Camp Office, Jammu, India
Download: KASHMIR DOCUMENTATION - Pandits in Exile
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