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



My close associations with well-meaning, honest and starry-eyed radicals proud of having played an outstanding role in the struggle against a decadent system baptised me as a Marxist, aiming high with all unflinching faith in a sane and secular society free from religious bigotry and narrow perspectives. As such I frowned at and kept away from any thought wave or movement, which betrayed parochial and communal prejudices, predilections and motivations. Though Muslim communalism, frenzied as it is; was spreading its roots deep and fast, I somehow chose not to deflect away from my old ideological frames actuating me to dismiss it as a sheer aberration. As an act of rationalisation, I looked back at yester years, a period when matters were ripening for a new epoch and Kashmiris of all shades sinking their differences "had conferred with open minds and assiduously worked together in harmony for achieving common good, had assembled together and marched for a common purpose and more than most had pooled their thoughts born in tranquil sanity for integrated wisdom."

I equally drew sustenance from the fact that we, both Muslims and Hindus, are a people living in the same region blessed with bewitching beauty and scenic splendour, speak the same language enriched by the outpourings of our saint-poets, work and live in the same style and share the same mental patterns which by and large reflect the same cultural ethos. Though there were differences, yet the whole appeared as a mosaic of varied strands.

But, all what I had thought and consciously rationalised proved nothing but a castle built on shifting sands. The Muslim majority had been busy hatching a clandestine conspiracy against the Kashmiri Pandits (an euphemism for Kashmiri Hindus) and were one with the Muslim rabids to hound them out from their millennia-old homes and hearths. As part of a pre-meditated design, they were decreed to quit their home-land dubbing them as Mukhbirs, agents of India, enemies of Islam and Kafirs with no place in an imaginary Islamic state placed on the plank of fundamentalism. The milling crowds trotting about the length and breadth of the Valley of Kashmir chanted anti-Hindus and anti-lndia slogans working out the dictates of swashbucklers and screwballs flaunting sophistieated weapons, trained and indoctrinated in Pakistan-established camps across the borders. The killers ploughed into the houses of Hindus, killed them, raped their women-folk, sawed them into two equal halves and chopped off their breasts-all a brutal dance of death and destruction. The Muslim majority exulted over the holocaust of Hindus and genuflected in absolute homage before the killers masquerading as champions of Islam.

The Kashmirian Hindus as a result of militarised Islam and its hurricane fury are refugees in their own country suffering cynical and malign neglect of powers that be, dumped in torn tents and shanties, they are in an extremely parlous state, let down and frustrated, floodgates have been opened for all kinds of canards, lies and accusations against them. Human rights outfits operating within the country have dodged and winked at their human right violations and invested the Muslim terrorist groupings with innocence and pietic legitimacy. The brutalities that have been heaped on my hounded-out community motivated me to run through the history of Kashmir with a view to establishing its history of unmitigated social, political, religious and cultural repression bordering on genocide since the advent of Islam in Kashmir.

And now a word or two of indebtedness. I am highly indebted to my friends and colleagues inside academe, who have not only encouraged me, but also posted me with historical materials germane to the subject of my study.

I am extremely indebted to P. N. Kachru, a renowned painter of Kashmir, now in exile, who has been a source of inspiration and guidance to me throughout my life. His precious collection of volumes on Kashmir-looted, and/or destroyed by the illiterate Kashmir terrorists-which I would browse on, proved highly useful while preparing the manuscript. The materials then collected had to be updated and collated and in this arduous task I was assisted by the librarian of the Ranbir Singh Library, Jammu, thus deserving my thanks.

I am equally thankful to P. N. Jalali, a veteran freedom fighter of Kashmir, who guided me in regard to issues of political import and the role of Kashmiri Pandits in rejuvenating and re-orienting the backward polity of Kashmir.

I am thankful to B. L. Handoo, my life-long friend; P. N. Raina, a journalist; O. N. Trisal, a freedom fighter and M. L. Raina, a professor, who have assisted me in putting the history of Pandits in proper perspective.

My thanks are also due for P. L. Koul, whose book Crisis in Kashmir has proved of great usefulness in tracing fundamentalist developments in Kashmir.

I am also grateful to Sehyog Prakashan, the main publisher of Kashmir: Past and Present-Unravelling the Mystique. This is a unique publishing concern in the sense that it probably is the first effort in the capital, to run a publishing house on cooperative lines.

Last, but not the least, I must express my heartfelt thanks to Ashok Gupta of Manav Publications, the co-publisher of my book, which could see the light of this day because of his substantial financial help.

Mohal Lal Koul

Kashmir: Past and Present



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World Kashmiri Pandit Conference 1993 Panun Kashmir
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