Secular to Fundamentalist
Protestors beating a policman during riots on Amarnath Land issue in Srinagar, Kashmir
ashmir was a land architected by the Gods who somehow forgot to retrieve it to the heavens. Now it is a plagued and tormented land where life itself refuses to exist and evils have come to rule. It cries and bellows at the top of her voice to the world what it was and what it has come to be. The bean shaped Valley of Kashmir had emerged out of the Tetheys about 100 millions years ago, about 5000ft above sea level. Later after various geological periods, a vast sweet water lake submerged almost the entire valley. This lake came to be known as SATISAR.
In the three worlds, the jewel producing earth was extolled; the region of Kubersa to the north, the Himalayan mountain ranges next and then the large lake, SATISAR. Satisar was ruled by the serpent deity called SHEISHNAG. During 4000BC a great Rishi named Kasypa, with the consent from Sheishnag drained this lake by cutting a gap in the hills at Baramulla. When Kashmir was drained, Kasypa asked the Brahmins to settle there. The entire dwelling for the Brahmins here came to be known as Kashyap pura, says RAJATARANGNI (WRITTEN BY KALHANA IN 12 C).
KA means water and SHMIR means to desiccate. Hence Kashmir stands for the land desiccated from water. (NILMAT PURANA)
Culturally the early settlers in the valley and surrounding areas for up to 272 BC can be depicted as a blend of the original and Aryan clans. At this time Kashmir was the land where the spirit and the form of God converged together. The objective of Kasyapa to settle the Brahmins was fulfilled because the dwellers of this land were cut off from the outer world. They were the blend of righteousness, peace, spiritualism, dedication, devotion, inspiration and compassion without any signs of hatred, anarchy, jealousy and all other evils existing outside Kashyap pura. So Kashmir as this place later came to be called was truly the God’s land. The highly cultured ethos of the Kashmiris came to be known as KASHMIRIAT. Much later, even the Sufi’s and Saints of this land lent a unique aura of spiritualism to this sacred place. As a result, Kashmir became the base from where great works of Buddism and scholarly Sanskrit literature spread, giving the name Sharda Peeth to this place. Today Kashmiriat of which we hear so much is dying an untimely death though it took hundreds of years to evolve. The spirit of Kashmiriat is being profaned at the hands of fanatics and terrorists. Those who now claim to be true upholders of Kashmiriat may not even know its meaning.
Even with the advent of Islam, there were significant periods wherein Kashmir was a truly secular state. Even the devout Muslims would participate actively in the festivals of Hindus and vice versa. In fact most of the festivals like Eid, Maha Shivratri etc became cultural rather than sectarian events. The spring festival at Badam vari was welcomed by all the Kashmiris irrespective of their sects. The classical music of Kashmir is Sufiyana, a blend of Iranian and Hindustani classical music. Chakker and Ruf are the two important components of Kashmiri Music and Dance Culture. Any festival or marriage would be considered incomplete with out them. The Pather is Kashmiri Folk Theater performed by folks known as the Bands. Both Hindus and Muslims would actively participate in this BandPather. Even today, thanks to Television and Radio, the Bands have a great fan following.
The traditional dress of Kashmir is the Faren which also reflected the spirit of togetherness. It is worn specially in winters by all the Kashmiris be, these Hindu or Muslim. This was the only place where slaughter houses used to be away from public places, and beef was completely banned regarding the sentiments of Pandits.
The recent serial bomb blasts in Delhi after Bangalore and Gujarat showed the network of terrorists. I wonder if these are linked to Kashmir militancy or something else. To fulfill their selfish motives, our so called political leaders have turned this paradise into real hell. Now brooding over the present crisis is not the solution. We need to show a proactive and infallible approach both at the centre and the state level. The part of Kashmir under the illegal subjugation of Pakistan and its problems also need to be addressed. The entire issue needs to be looked at not just from the head but also from the realms of heart.
Why can’t we be like USA; after 9/11 WTC attack their forces are still on mission, fighting against terrorists and protecting their nation from repeat attacks. If they can reach to Gandhar, crossing continents, comparatively it is walking distance for Indian forces. Indians continue to be the victims of such attacks as our security apparatus and administration is so tolerant of terrorists. Are we waiting for Shri Rama, Shri Krishana, and ShriGuru Tegbahadur Singh to come from heaven to fight and protect us?
Measures that Govt. of India must consider on priority,
-All the combatants in the state should be asked to shun violence, with special directives to be given to PAKISTAN for not aiding and abetting terrorism in any form and manner.
-The people from the undivided state of J&K (POK) should be engaged in dialogue along with the Kashmiri Pandits. And of course the political parties need to be involved.
-Holding free and fair elections, while bringing in every one from national to the state or regional level, also including the separatists to face a litmus test by the people. The condition remaining that the verdict of people has to be acceptable to all.
With all these measures we can gift back the crown of KASHMIRIAT to Kashmir
|*Rajesh T Bhatt (Yajin), a Kashmir valley resident from Anantnag, Education: Post graduate in computer Science, working with Telecom sector for last 8 years. Father retired from defence services. Presently living in Delhi with his family. Eemail@example.com|
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