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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

A shocking and painful saga of social, cultural, and religious genocide of Kashmir

The Kashmir Files has awakened the masses and taken Hindu consciousness to a whole new level. People are not just talking about the film but are also understanding the nuances of the genocide committed against the Kashmiri Hindus. It took 32 long years, but at least now people have started understanding the deceit Hindus have been subjected to.

However, people are yet to understand the social, cultural, and religious genocide committed only against the Kashmiri Hindu community but also against the entire land of Kashmir. Kashmir is known as the cradle of ancient learning, culture, and civilization of Bharat. There is absolutely no aspect of learning that Kashmiri thinkers have not enriched or nourished with their expertise.

Kashmir – The cradle of learning, culture, and religious awakening

In every field from architecture to astrology, from poetics to mathematics, from astrology to sculpture, from music to painting, Kashmir has been the pioneer of every important aspect of Bharatiya learning. The land was known as the pivotal centre of the Sanskrit language and numerous scholars and saints either hail from Kashmir or came here to contribute their might to the ancient learning and culture.

Great learners and scholars such as Jonraj, Kalhan, Abhinavgupta, Srivar, Soman, Utpaldev, and many others transformed Kashmir into a seat of culture, social learning, and religious attainments with their unprecedented contributions. The famous “Sharda Peeth” was a source of inspiration for scholars and learners from all around the world.

Kashmir was the epicentre of Hindu Dharma. It was the land of great Hindu king Lalitaditya Muktapida (697-733 CE) of the Karkota dynasty. His kingdom extended from Kashmir to Central Asia and from Uzbekistan to Bengal. The culture and civilization flourished and people lived in perfect harmony. Kashmir was known as the safest place for Hindus and Buddhists until it was invaded by Islamic invaders.

How did Islamists commit social, cultural, and religious genocide of Kashmir?

Islam struck Kashmir as a ruthless avalanche, which not only destroyed the heritage of Kashmir but also destroyed the centres of Kashmiri learners. The radical Islamists attacked the religious sites and learning institutions to root out the history of Kashmir. They mutilated, burned, and annihilated the treasure trove in the form of ancient knowledge books that consisted of what can only be described as thousands of years of civilizational, social, cultural consciousness.

Islamist rulers targeted the Kashmiri Pandit scholars, who were known for their supreme knowledge and varied contributions to aesthetics and learning. They were subjected to various types of gruesome treatment such as mutilation of body parts, banishment, and sometimes horrendous killing. Once the scholars were killed, their research work and books were looted and burnt thereby wiping all traces of indigenous knowledge and depriving the future generations of the same.

The Islamic rulers introduced and patronized the Persian language in courts and ensured the Kashmiri and the Sanskrit language were pushed into oblivion which further deracinated the local populace. It was a larger conspiracy to wean Kashmiris away from their mother tongue and force them to use an alien language with the ultimate objective of destroying the essence of their Kashmiri Hindu identity. Another objective of Islamic language policy was to keep Kashmiri Pandits away from the administrative apparatus. Later on, the radicals implemented the same policy to promote the alien concept of ‘Kashmiriyat‘.

Most of the Hindu temples including the Martand temple, Chakradhara, Vijayesvara, Suresvari, Varaha, Tripuresvara, and Maha Shri Temple were brutally razed. The infamous “Raliv, Galiv ya Chaliv” (Convert, Die or Leave) policy was implemented by Islamic rulers and Kashmiri Hindus were forced to pay Jizya. Those Hindus who were not converted were mercilessly killed and forced to flee. It is said that more than 1 lakh Kashmiri Hindus were killed and drowned in Srinagar, and the place where the brutality took place is still known as Bhatta Mazaar (the graveyard of Kashmiri Pandits).

Even after facing these terrible atrocities, Kashmiri Hindus did not forget their rich culture and learning. They played the brilliant role of custodians of their ancient knowledge, cultural heritage, and Shaiva philosophy. Kashmiri Hindus suffered a lot, but they were still carrying the treasure of arts, music, literature, medicine knowledge, and grammar with them by spreading the knowledge to their younger generations.

Eighth Exodus – the final assault

The first exodus of Kashmiri Pandits happened between 1389-1413 under the brutal Shah Mir dynasty. Since then Kashmiri Hindus faced seven more exoduses, but the 8th exodus was the most pronounced as it completely destroyed the knowledge and culture of Kashmir. This exodus occurred in the late 80s in the name of Islam with the backing of the Pakistani government and army.

The Islamic terrorists killed hundreds of prominent Kashmiri Hindus and forced the community to flee the Kashmir valley. Once Kashmiri Hindus left their homes, these radical Islamists looted and plundered their estates, libraries, and properties. They destructed and desecrated the Hindu temples and shrines, annexed their lands, harvested their crops, and burnt their books, knowledge resources, and cultural repositories.

The radical Islamic destructionists were implementing their long-cherished plan of ethnic cleansing in Kashmir. They not only uprooted the Kashmiri Hindus from their own land but also destroyed the indigenous cultural and civilizational knowledge systems enshrined and embedded in our sacred scriptures for several thousands of years.

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