Table of Contents
   About the Author
   Kashmiri Hindus: Origin ...
   Sultan Zain-ul-abidin
   The Sayyids as Oppressors
   Chak Fanatics
   The Mughals
   The Afghans
   Sikh Rule
   Dogra Rule
   Post-1947 Scenario
   Jammu and Ladakh ...
   Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad
   Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq
   Sayyed Mir Qasim
   Sheikh Abdullah Sows Seeds ...
   Farooq Abdullah ...
   Ghulam Mohammad Shah ...
   Rajiv-Farooq Accord
   Proxy War Declared
   Muslim Fundamentalism
   Terrible Plight of Minorities 
   13th November, 1991
   Download Book 

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity



The Sayyids as Oppressors

The Sayyids had entered the purlieux of Kashmir as proselytisers and ultimately entrenched themselves in the power structure of Kashmir and cornered high offices and positions gaining tremendous privileges and favours for themselves and their kinsmen. They married in royal and noble families and amassed incalculable fortunes. As they were held in high esteem by the Muslim rulers, they misused it only to become an instrument of oppression for the mass of neo-converts and the Hindus as well.

The Sayyids virtually reduced Kashmir to a state of bankruptcy indulging in loot and wholesale corruption. They maltreated the neophytes and considered them as low as dust. Having fractured their conscience by furcible conversion, they added insult to injury by calling them 'Brahmanzadas' - sons of Brahmans. They indulged in corruption, oppression and drinking. Records Shrivara "Accepting bribes by them was virtuous, oppressing people was wise and indulging in drinking and sex was happiness''.l

Having gained enormous political power, the Sayyids had to face bitter opposition from the Muslim nobility, which was side-lined, humiliated and disrespected. The neo-converts being utterly ignored in matters of politics and religion rose in revolt resulting in utter chaos and anarchy. But, the Sayyids suppressed the revolt with firmness. The Sayyid Prime Minister of Hasan Shah installed an eight year old boy of his own daughter on the throne of Kashmir. In general, the Sayyids were haughty in their conduct, cruel in behaviour and urged by excessive cupidity, they oppressed the people like the messengers of death.

Sayyids were bitterly opposed to the policy projections of Bud- Shah, who had granted peace and respite to the Hindus. A campaign of calumny was launched against the Hindu infidels forcing them to quit their land or get converted to Islam. They ruthlessly used force against them designed to annihilate them. Calling the Sayyids as oppressors, Shrivara is categoric in underlining the deep-seated bias they harboured against the Kashmirian Hindus, who had tenaciously withstood the storm of the religious war ravaging them root and branch. In the end of Hasan Shah's reign, under the directives of the Sayyids, the religious places of the Hindus were looted, ransacked and burnt. The Hindus were not heard at all and were shorn of all normal human rights to live and live with safety. Every puny Muslim would take law into his own hands and inflict pains and miseries on them, harassing, intimidating and forcing them to run to the mountainous regions for refuge. Kashmir, for them, was reduced to a jungle where wild and ferocious animals could be seen prowling about without any restriction.

The Hindus under the political hegemony of the Sayyids, who had reduced the local rulers to a state of nullity, found themselves in tight straits. They could not lodge a complaint if and when their normal human rights were trespassed or violated. A Hindu held in great reverence by the Kashmirian Hindus lodged a mild complaint against the tress-pass of his land to the Sayyid officer, who decreed the destruction of his entire psoperty, and also the devastation of the properties belonging to all the Hindus inhabiting that locality. This incident illustrates the condition of the Hindus under the Sayyids, who had actually fled their land to ward off persecution and torture and were given refuge and succour by the very Hindus they were persecuting and torturing only to break their resistance for conversion to Islam.

The Hindus with a Damocle's sword perpetually hanging over their necks were terrorised to the extent of living with utmost care and caution. Even 'Srivara, a notable figure connected with many courts presided over by Sultans, felt so much harassed that he was compelled to conceal and dared not record many facts of historical import while he as a historian was recording the events happening under his very nose. Writes he, "I have abstained from giving even a brief aceount of this defeat in consideration of the present unsuitable times."3

The Muslims in their crusade against the Hindus entered their private lodgings, ate from their pots, disrupted their usual modes of worship and indulged in bouts of drinking and carousing. They would rob them of their domestic animals, rice and other necessities of life and the most avaricious among them went to the extreme of killing them in their own houses.4 The lands belonging to the Hindus were confiscated. They were deprived of the means of earning their livelihood. A vasnavite Brahman, Muni, rose in revolt against the Sayyid oppressors, who had plans for the total decimation of the Hindus. He along with other patriotic elements could not stand the state oppression. The homes of Muni and his supporters were ruthlessly ravaged and devastated. Their women-folk were raped and lifted off only to be sold to fanatical zealots. To avoid brutalities, many Hindu women committed suicide by jumping into rivers or wells. The Hindus if clinging to their faith were meted out atrocious treatment. They were put in fetters and their eyes were gouged out and body-limbs cut off. They would be beheaded and their bodies thrown on road-sides only to terrorise men of their faith. 'Srivara has drawn a graphic picture of atrocities heaped on the Kashmirian Hindus by the Sayyids. Crossing all limits of ruthless barbarity, they cruelly beheaded a renowned Hindu physician, Bhuvneshwara by name and to instill fear into the Hindus, threw his decapitated head on the road-side. As if it were not enough, they placed decapitated heads of the Hindus on a pile of wood and coals on the banks of the river Jehlum for the people to watch the grisly scene.6

Notes and References

1. Shrivara, Zaina Rajtarangini.  2. Ibid.  3. Shrivara, Zaina Rajtarangini.  4. Ibid.  5. Ibid.  6. Ibid.

Kashmir: Past and Present



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