Kashmir, a fertile ground for corrupt
If you happen to meet a Hindu and a Muslim of Kashmir together both will brag equally about Kashmiriyat and then Muslim will blame India and Hindu will blame Pakistan for the conflict in Kashmir. Both are correct, however, if they revisit history, they will know why they will continue to suffer?
If there was no conflict what would Kashmir be like today? A hub of cultural activities, a research center innovating for the better quality of life, and a must visit place for every human on earth. Kashmiri people are hardworking, honest and peace loving. Both Hindus and Muslims believe in acquiring modern education and enjoy life. Yet its people irrespective of religion have suffered.
A quick analysis of past may help overcome conflict in Kashmir.
During the early part of the Vedic period (1500- 500 BCE), the Indo-Aryans settled into northern India, bringing with them their specific religious traditions. In 326 BCE, Abisares submitted to Alexander the Great after Porus lost the battle of Hydaspes.
During the reign of Ashoka the Great (304-232 BCE) Kashmir became part of Maurya Empire. During this period Buddhism was introduced in Kashmir. Many stupas (place for meditation), some shrines dedicated to Shiva, and the city of Srinagari (Srinagar) were built.
By the fourth century, Kashmir became a seat of learning for both Buddhism and Hinduism. Kashmiri Buddhist missionaries helped spread Buddhism to Tibet and China and from the fifth century CE, pilgrims from these countries started visiting Kashmir.
In the centuries that followed, Kashmir produced many poets, philosophers, and artists who contributed to culture and Sanskrit literature. Among notable scholars of this period was Vasugupta, who wrote the Shiva Sutras which laid the foundation of Kashmir Shaivism. Abhinavagupta who wrote many philosophical works on Kashmir Shaivism. Kashmir Shaivism was adopted by the common masses of Kashmir and strongly influenced Shaivism in Southern India.
From 7th to 9th century several attempts were made by Arabs to reach to Kashmir but they failed. During the 11th century, Mahmud of Ghazni (the Muslim invader who had already conquered and looted the riches and wealth from then Indian subcontinent, the eastern Iranian lands, modern Afghanistan, and modern Pakistan.) made two attempts to conquer Kashmir. However, both his campaigns failed because he could not siege the fortress at Lohkot.
In the 13th century at the time of Raja Suhadeva (1301-1320 AD), Muslim missionaries entered Kashmir prominent among them was Bulbul Shah. Though few Muslim businessmen had started making an inroad into Kashmir since mid of 12th century. It was during Suhadeva's time Shah Mir had arrived Kashmir along with his tribe. He was employed by Suhadeva. During the same time Mongol warrior Zulju, invaded Kashmir, Suhadeva tried to organize resistance but failed. Zulju's invasion created havoc and Suhadeva fled. Rinchana, son of a Ladakhi chief, who was employed by Ramacandra (Prime Minister of Kashmir) to establish law and order, took advantage of the chaos. He got Ramacandra murdered, occupied the Kashmir throne by the end of the year 1320, and ruled until his death in 1323 C.E. In order to gain acceptance of Kashmiris, he married Kota Rani, the daughter of Ramacandra, and made Rawancandra (Ramacandra's son) his commander in chief. For political reasons and under the influence of Shah Mir and Bulbul Shah, Rinchen converted to Islam. Thus became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. Following the conversion of Rinchan, his commander in chief also became Muslim. According to one source, about 10,000 Kashmiri Hindus embraced the doctrine of Bulbul Shah. The period of Rinchen's short rule and the period after his death was marked by bedlam and power tussle. Udayanadeva, the brother of Suhadeva, was made the ruler. His chief Kota Rani bravely faced another invasion by Dulchoo a Mongol warrior, invaders were successfully repelled and defeated. Udayanadeva died in the year 1338 C.E, and Kota Rani ascended the throne. But, Shah Mir, employed earlier by Suhadeva, had other ambitions, he led another rising and defeated the queen at Jyapur (modern Sumbal). The defeat upset her and she stabbed herself to death because Shah Mir wanted to marry her. Her death in 1339 paved the way for the establishment of Muslim rule in Kashmir.
This was followed by the arrival of a number of Muslim missionaries and Sayyids. However, the major influencer was Mir Syed Ali bin Shahab-ud-Din Hamadani during the 13th Century. He preached Sufism and influenced much rich in the position of power to convert to Islam.
14th Century onwards, though Sufism continued to influence, but conversions to Islam were mainly due to discriminatory policies like a heavy tax on non-Muslims forced poorer Hindus to convert to Islam. Some rulers forced conversion by persecution. Seven mounds of the sacred thread (janeu) of murdered Kashmiri Hindus were burnt by Sikandar But-Shikan. Lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus were brutally murdered and burnt at one spot near Rainawari. The spot is now known as Batta Mazaar (Kashmiri Hindu cemetery). During this phase, a time came when only 11 Kashmiri Hindu families were left in the Valley. While Akbar reversed some of the previous State policies of systemic persecution of Kashmiri Hindus, his offspring was not that tolerant and kindly. Aurangzeb was most ruthless in his policies and actions against Kashmiri Hindus. While Akbar launched rehabilitation schemes for Kashmiri Hindus and abolished the Jazia on them, his descendants engaged in another round of systemic State-approved ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus. Several Hindu temples and shrines were demolished or desecrated during Shahjahan’s and Aurangzeb’s merciless rule. Aurangzeb also established a State policy to liquidate Kashmiri Hindu scholars. For Islam to successfully spread across India, he said, elimination of Hindu scholars was necessary. It was during this period that the Guru Teg Bahadur Ji was executed by Aurangzeb while he stood against the persecution of Kashmiri Hindus and fought for their fundamental rights.
During the 18th century a deputation of Kashmiris led by Pandit Birbal Dhar, and his son Pandit Rajakak Dhar, left for Lahore and fervently requested Maharaja Ranjit Singh to conquer Kashmir. Three prominent Muslims helped Pandit Birbal Dhar in his escape from the valley. They were Abdul Qadoos Gojwari, Mallick Zulfiqar, and Malik Kamgar. In 1819, 30,000 soldiers of Maharaja Ranjit Singh attacked Kashmir, defeated the Pathans, and the state became a part of Ranjit Singh's empire. This ended about 500 years of Muslim rule in Kashmir.
During subsequent years of Hindu rule, many Muslim's in Kashmir tried to convert back to Hinduism but were not allowed. The land in Kashmir was mostly acquired by Kashmiri Pandits who employed Kashmiri Muslim's as peasants and were not treated well.
Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims having descended from same immediate ancestors would generally celebrate each other's festivals, share common surnames, visit temples and Sufi shrines this was called “Kashmiryat”.
After Partition of India in 1947, Jammu & Kashmir's Hindu ruler choose to be independent. However, Pakistan soon realized it would need Kashmir to secure water for its people. It invaded Kashmir and occupied part of Kashmir now called Pakistan occupied Kashmir (Pakistan later gifted part of it to China). To protect remaining part of Jammu & Kashmir its ruler signed an instrument of accession with India. Muslim's of Kashmir for right reasons preferred India over Pakistan. Indian PM offered right to self-determination under UN resolution provided Pakistan withdraws its military from Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Post 1945, Pakistan with an eye on rest of Kashmir, waged multiple wars with India and lost all of them. India returned the territory it occupied each time but Pakistan continues to interfere.
Pakistan continues to use extremist Muslim missionaries and their funding to fuel the Muslim extremism in Kashmir. To keep Kashmir boiling helps it's corrupt military and religious leaders to collect donations in the name of Jihad.
India's corrupt politicians too never bothered to understand the aspirations of Kashmiri Muslims, it allowed Kashmiri political and religious leaders to siphon off funds meant for development of Kashmir. This led to unemployment of educated youth, who took to religious extremism as a source of employment.
Kashmir has now become a fertile ground for corrupt, religion has conquered minds of young and old, men and women. In a century of science and technology, artificial intelligence and regenerating body organs, Kashmir could have led the inventions with it's educated, hardworking and honest youth. Kashmir could have led the world peace with its “KASHMIRYAT” but the corrupt around the world will never let it happen. They will keep it boiling. If Kashmiri people want peace they need to fight the battle against corruption and against extremism.