Distorted Logic And Reason
Of Our Historians
*- Bilhan Kaul
It is clear that Mr. Bamzai does not think through before he writes. If Islam did not meet violent opposition, credit is due to people of Kashmir who were broadminded and tolerant. But what about intolerance showed by Islam towards the people of Kashmir in exterminating the local cultures. That is of no bother to P.N.K Bamzai. If for the sake of argument, we agree that Islam met with no opposition and was welcomed with open arms by the people of Kashmir, did Islam reciprocate the same way and keep peace with those who welcomed it. How can one explain the disappearance of an entire local culture? Now read with “relief” as P.N.K Bamzai says that Sanskrit language was the court language for two centuries after Muslims seized the throne. It is almost as if Mr. Bamzai is asking us to be grateful for Islam not being so cruel as to force the local people to learn and practice a new language overnight. Historians such as Mr. Bamzai should acknowledge that Islam had an agenda in Kashmir and that agenda was to methodically but surely convert the entire population and demolish its cultural base.
Mr. Bamzai further writes in the chapter -Decline of Hindu rule, “that by the beginning of the 12th century, Islam was slowly accepted by harassed people. It is not therefore surprising that Shah Mir had local supporters and could ascend the throne and hold it without the aid of an outside army.” Earlier, in the same chapter, Mr P.N.K Bamzai says when writing about Shah Mir and Kota Rani that Shah Mir wanted to end the battle with Kota Rani quickly because his position in Kashmir affairs was questioned. His exact words are “and in the case of Shah Mir long seize was fatal, since his position was contested from all sides. Being a shrewd politician he realized that the conflict had to end in a short time”. Now see the contradiction. On the one hand Shah Mir was “welcomed by the harassed people” and virtually in the same breath Bamzai tells us that his position was contested from all sides. Which story to believe? Welcome or hostility?
G.M.D Sufi writes in the Ist volume of KASHMIR - A History of Kashmir “from first to last, the spread of Islam has been, on the whole, generally peaceful. At any rate Islam was never introduced into the valley by a conqueror like Mahmud nor by a warrior like Shihab ud-Din, nor by a general like Mohammed Bin Qasim. In fact, the process was reverse. Islam was introduced by a simple family named Bulbal Shah, whose simplicity and piety impressed the reigning sovereign of the time, Rinchin. The work was taken by and continued by faqirs and though occasionally stimulated by the zeal of a convert like Malik Saif-ud-Din , under a sultan like Sikander, its widespread peaceful penetration was due to the piety, and simplicity of the Muslim Rishis and saints who denied pleasures to themselves and worked for others. Thus the great prophet who took pride in fuqr or poverty found fuqara (fairs or friars ) to propogate his faith in the valley of Kashmir”.
*Bilhan Kaul is a freelance writer and hasbeen a regular contributer in various magazines and newspapers.
The writer has written extensively on forced conversion and believes it to be the root cause of the conflict in Kashmir. A Central Government Employee presently lives in Janipur, Jammu (India).
|Images and graphics by Deepak Ganju
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