Inventing the history -Kashmir

Shehjar Newsmagazine Shehjar e-magazine

very Fascist organization is inclined to tamper with the documented history of the people it plans to snare into its web. This includes systematic propaganda to denounce the concept and process of democracy, substitution of the accepted norms of democracy by inventing farfetched concepts like ”peoples democracy” “National socialism” “Panchayti democracy” or the newly coined “Islamic Republican democracy” as is currently being done in Kashmir.

Careful observation of the present Kashmir political scene reveals an extremely disturbing trend that has emerged there during the last year or so.

Organized and well orchestered campaigns to denounce the elections and ridicule the concept of democracy on one hand and promote the concept of an Islamic republic on the other, have been initiated using the electronic as also the more traditional media. Tools effective for the poisoning of the educated, rational minds are finely honed and surprisingly a very large percentage of the intellectual warriors employed for the purpose seem to be young educated girls, the niche targeted audience being the young students. Suggestive photographs and doctored maps of the state are surreptiously circulated with a purpose to deluge the young minds into belief that a popular mass unrest is sweeping their society.

The nomenclature of Sheikhdom being obsolete and unfortunately linked to the Late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, is now replaced by a proposed Amirate; it is anybody’s guess who the Amir- in- waiting is supposed to be. The active workers, the Sangbaaz(stone pelters) and the armed Mujahdeen are made to swear a personal allegiance to the Amir. All these are reminiscent of the markings and trappings of a Fascist movement.

Having systematically eliminated the more democratic and independent voices in the Hurriyat camp, bypassing the present leaders of such genre and gaining the operational control over the self confessed mass murderers through the benevolence of patrons across the borders, the not so young Amir to be, is now putting in all his efforts to achieve his life time dream of being the Amir-e-Kashmir, unmindful of the cost the common people have to bear and even the young lives lost.

The fanning of his ambitious fires got a wind speed when both the Pakistani state as also the Fundamentalist parallel state that exists in that country, had to buckle down to the International opinion against brazenly sending the jihadis into J &K state. What better way for them to have the man of their choice and under their command, to function as the front man who could engineer at least a modicum of unrest which could be conveniently branded as a mass public uprising, a people’s revolution. The muscle and money being provided discreetly by the veiled sponsors just across the border, the resultant show was bound to achieve the great publicity needed for an international impact. Any attempt to deal with such instigated social terrorism could be easily exploited for propaganda purposes as human rights violation, suppression of democracy etc.

As an additional prop to the civilian terrorism, a half baked theory based on a concocted history becomes very handy and in fact essential to lend a modicum of intellectual trappings to a Fascist charter. Some of the glaring examples presented by the extremist electronic propaganda mouth piece which goes under the impressive title of Kashmir ethnic after totally ignoring the Bhuddist and Hindu history of ancient Kashmir states:

1- “Then came the Afghan occupation at the end of Mughal rule in 1752. The Mughal and Afghan rule though an occupation, was not necessarily colonial in its modus operandi. Kashmir did enjoy a period of independence before the Sikh rule. Afghan rule was replaced by the Sikh occupation which put an end to that period of self rule.”

The seventy five years of the direct Afghan Governor rule, following the fall of Mughal dynasty in Delhi and incompetence of the Kashmiri courtiers to restore the Sultanate, has been notorious for its outright inhuman exploitation of Kashmiri masses and barbaric intolerance towards the minorities. This gruesome part of Kashmir history is conveniently forgotten a miserable attempt to white wash nearly a century marked by the worst period of Kashmiri society.

Further the learned anonymous historian writes:
2- “Sikh rule was engineered through joint conspiracies of Ranjit Singh, a Sikh; Birbal, a Pundit from the Valley; and Ghulab Singh, a Dogra Hindu from Jammu.. The common cause among these parties was to end the Muslim rule in Jammu and Kashmir. After two failed attempts Sikhs ( under Ranjit Singh ) occupied Jammu and Kashmir in 1819.The Sikh rule was a tyranny that lasted 28 years and came to an end after its treacherous relationship with the British rule.”

History of all hues written about the Sikh British relationship is witness to the fact that the British, Sikh relationship was anything but friendly and lacked even an iota of mutual trust. A deliberate and sinister attempt is made to give a simple power struggle by Sikhs and Dogras which incidentally coincided with the genuine move for deliverance from Afghan slavery by Kashmiris, a communal look, only because the Kashmiri liberation movement happened to be led by a Kashmiri Pundit.

The writer deliberately forgets the heroic sacrifice made by several Kashmiris both Hindu and Muslim in an attempt to rid Kashmir of Afghans. True, Sikhs had twice before failed to gain victory over Afghans in Kashmir and the Kashmiri freedom fighters led by Pt.Brbal Dhar did help the Sikhs to defeat the Afghans, but their was nothing nefarious leave aside being communal in their purely patriotic activities.

To bring forth the historical event in detail, I reproduce the following from the book ”Kashmiryat at crossroads;the search for a destiny.” which proves there were no joint conspiracies, that it was not communal in character and that it certainly was a struggle of independence by Kashmiris to get rid of Afghan rule.

“The early years of 19th century were years of turmoil and constant power struggles amongst the Afghan ruling factions and Kashmir being then a colony of the Afghan empire could not escape the devastating effects of an unsettled political situation in Kabul. The great Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh had conquered Multan and was eyeing Kashmir. In 1914 he made a strong attempt to annex Kashmir but was thwarted in this attempt by the Afghans when his forces tried to enter the valley through a pass in Pir Panjal range . Some three thousand Sikh soldiers lost their lives in this battle; even a second battle lasting about eight days proved equally futile.Azim Khan the acting Governor of Kashmir though elated over his victory over Sikh forces was realistic enough to understand that a second and stronger Sikh attack might not be easy to defend. This gnawing fear turned him into a rabid anti-Pandit Afghan Governor. He suspected the hand of Pandits in the Sikh invasion and possibility of yet another invasion by Sikhs or even other Afghan war lords. His first major causality was Pt. Hardass Tiku, whose brother, the distinguished diplomat Dewan Nand Ram Tiku was in Kabul and had access to several Afghan war lords. Pt. Hardass Tiku was publicly lynched. Azim Khan had appointed three Pandit revenue collectors, namely Pt.Birbal Dhar, Mirza Pandit Dhar,and one Sukh Ram Safaya. Unabated natural calamities had reduced the revenue of the Valley and mismanagement by Afghan revenue collectors had forced Azim Khan to appoint these Pandits, even though he had come to hate and distrust the Kashmiris, particularly the Pandits. As the revenues dwindled the atrocities on Pandits increased. Unable to bear the atrocities and the indignities heaped on him and members of his community, Pt. Birbal Dhar hatched a heroic escape plan to garner Sikh support for the hapless Kashmiris in general and Pandits in particular. It was the Muslim milkman Qudus Gujar who risking his life gave full support to Pt. Birabal Dhar by hiding the Pandit’s wife and daughter- in- law in the safety of his cowshed.

One dark night, Pandit Birbal, escaped and reached Kulgam in disguise where he picked his son Rajkak. From here the journey to Jammu via Banihal over the untrodden paths was enabled by members of the Mullick family, the Muslim wardens of the Pir Panjal passes. In the Sikh court,Pt. Birbal‘s proposal was examined by the Sikhs very critically and ultimately he accomplished his mission by convincing Maharaja Ranjit Singh about the possibility of a victory over Afghans in Kashmir. A military force under distinguished Sikh military leaders like Hari Singh Nalwa,Raja Ghulab Singh and diplomat Dewan Misr Chand accompanied by Pt. Birbal Pandit was dispatched to Kashmir, but this time via the Mughal route from Bhimber. Pt. Birbal’s son Rajkak however was kept as a hostage by Sikhs.The Sikh army first defeated the Afghans at Hirapur and then finally routed them at Shopian.Azim Khan hearing of the defeat at Shopian ran away in haste,leaving the State into the hands of his notorious brother Jabbar Khan. This victory of Birbal however left a bloody trail and he personally paid dearly for his accomplishment. His wife and daughter in-law hiding with the milkman Qudus Gujar were betrayed by none other than his own son–in- law possibly for some monetary gain or may be under duress. His wife committed suicide and his daughter-in-law was forcibly taken to Kabul after her suicide attempt failed. Pt. Vaaskak Dhar ,transport and communication in charge was murdered on suspicion of helping Birbal. Qudus Gujar( goor) and his family were brutally murdered and the Mullicks were deprived of their properties.”

The above mentioned detailed account is the truthful account of the non communal nature of the noble Kasmiri Pandit’s fight for a just nationalist cause which is being presented as a communal conspiratorial move by the Jeelanist media.

3- “One such meeting occurred on June 25th, 1931 when a non-Kashmiri Abdul Qadeer, North-West Frontier region resident, made a fiery speech calling for an armed resistance to the Maharaja's rule. He was immediately arrested and this provided the fuel for the Muslim anger culminated in the July, 1931 Kashmiri uprising when a hero by the name of Abdul Qadeer inspired the Muslims to rise against tyranny. He was arrested by Dogra gestapo after he delivered a fiery speech in a gathering at Khanqah-i-Mualla. July 13,”

These are the two versions from the same source of the same person. The fact that the man, one Qadeer, was a non Kashmiri and that he was working as a khansamaan of a foreigner living in a house boat near Dalgate are conveniently underplayed and omitted. That the rumor instigating the Muslims was purportedly to have originated from Jammu and was the creation of a fertile imagination of miscreants from outside the state are also swept under the carpet.

4- “Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah the leader of Muslim League visited Srinagar in 1935 to extend his support to this Liberation movement. In 1938 Muslim Conference was converted into National Conference by Abdullah to appease pro India elements”

The writer purposely forgets that Kashmir Muslim conference was formed in 1932 with Sheikh Abdullah and Mohammed Yusuf Shah as its main architects. The purpose of Mr.Jinnaha’s visit being to foster a non Kashmiri Ch.Ghulam Abbas as the leader of this party, his snubbing of Maulvi Mohammed Yusuf Shah(as a Mullah unfit to lead a political party) and his ill concealed distaste for the educated and strong willed Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah all combined to alienate Kashmiris in general and Shekh Saheb in particular from the Jinnah ideology. At that point of history there was only one country INDIA, so the term “pro India” to describe Sheikh Sahib’s formation of J&K National conference is irrelevant and a figment of imagination.

5- "On October 21st, 1947 a growing sense that the India army would invade Kashmir after the state's accession prompted Kashmiris in the Muzaffarabad region to dash from the state border to Srinagar. The arrival of Patiala troops in the state also contributed to this sense of urgency on the other side of the border, very much so in the Poonch region as they were sympathizers of the Kashmiri people and their subjugation during Dogra rule. As would be later called by Indian Intelligence officers, “Operation Gulmarg” became apparent

This piece of the invented history refers to the surprise armed attack by NWFP tribals (referred to here as Kashmiris of Muzafarabad) organized and guided by the Pakistani army .The atrocities committed by these tribals are too well known to every Kashmiri to need any rebuttal here.

6- “Mountbatten, Nehru, Menon and Abdullah were the architects of a concocted piece of paper called the ‘Article of Accession’, flouting the principle of association of various states of the Subcontinent either with India or Pakistan according to their free will. They committed a treacherous act of enslavement of a nation against its wishes. After seeing that the majority of the people of Jammu and Kashmir were eager to join Pakistan, Nehru with the help of his intimate friend, Mountbatten invaded Jammu and Kashmir on October 27, 1947 thereby laying a precedence for preemptive invasion of a sovereign Nation, the occupation of its land and oppression its people.A valiant resistance by Kashmiri`s threatening India`s colonialist designs forced India to go to the UN Security Council for intervention.”

Another fabrication of the long chain of events that led the Maharaja seeking not only accession to India but also military aid to defend whatever was left of the state. The accession was further ratified by the J&K state assembly following the general elections and with the election of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah as the Prime Minister of the state.

7-. The arrival of Patiala troops in the state also contributed to this sense of urgency on the other side of the border, very much so in the Poonch region as they were sympathizers of the Kashmiri people and their subjugation during Dogra rule. As would be later called by Indian Intelligence officers, “Operation Gulmarg” became apparent on the night of the 21st of October 1947 in the Domel-Muzaffarabad area. Taking the Dogras buy surprise who were guarding the bridge that crossed the Jhelum river and lead to Srinagar, the Poonch men killed the majority of the Dogra army in the early hours of October 22nd, 1947, representing an act of rebellion against the rule of the Maharaja. With the road now clear and the primary objective the taking of the capital Srinagar in clear view, victory was nearly in the hands of the Poonch men had they a few armored cars which would have been necessary in taking of the key Srinagar airfield.

First the invading hordes are called Muzaffarabad fighters, now they are called Poonch fighters and just a few paras later writing about the UN efforts the writers say:
When the UNCIP committee reached the subcontinent in July 1948, it produced a plan of action on August 13th, 1948, which called for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of negotiations, involving the withdrawal of Pathan tribesmen and other Pakistani nationals.

Self contradictions a galore, a miserable attempt in concocting history!
P Parimoo, son of the author Pt D N Parimoo, is the person responsible for compiling his father’s rich experiences noted in his various diaries and presenting them in the form of a book “Kashmiryat at crossroads;the search for a destiny.” P Parimoo was born in Srinagar and did his schooling and graduation from Srinagar before moving to Mumbai for training as a textile engineer. Since the beginning of his career he remained mostly outside Kashmir but did his most to keep in touch with Kashmir and also to keep the more logical and appealing traditions of Kashmiriyat alive in his home. He is married to Krishna Badam, also born and brought up in Srinagar. He worked at senior management positions in the Indian industry. As a part of his profession, he lived in Germany for several years and also travelled extensively across the world. He retired as General Manager of Reliance Industries Ltd, Ahmedabad.
Though a technocrat by training and calling, P Parimoo is an avid reader of history, particularly the history of religions. At the time of this writing he is researching the Pagan religions of Europe, strong telltale evidences of which he found in the north-western region of the French province of Alsace. It can easily be said that history of cultures is his first love.
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