[Reader-list] Muslims help perform last rites of a Pandit in Kashmir

rashneek kher rashneek at gmail.com
Tue Sep 1 12:31:46 IST 2009

Dear Juniad,

Many thanks for telling us that "actually the Islamization of kashmir took
place in 14th century".We are enlightened.

I was in a progamme organised by GK wherein AG Noorani said the same thing
as you have said which is that most of lower caste of Kashmiri's converted
to Islam and he was almost shouted down for saying so by an audience which
was predominantly Muslim.The audience there told him to co-relate surnames
like kaw,Kotur,Pandit,Raina,Shawl and many others to prove that it was
Brahmins that they were.Poor  Noorani had to beat a retreat.
Now if you are against the mainstream thought of your own community who feel
pride of their brahmin ancesstery ,it is your position and I respect it.
As far the question of Deshbhakti is concrend Junaid bhai Kashmir is our
desh,,,,yours and mine
Now can you tell me what deshbhakti is it when you guys use a foriegn
calender and throw the kashmiri one in a dustbin, when the language that you
use is a sub-dialect of Persian and not indigeneous kashmiri...Is gharoobe
aftab kashmiri ...,when you welcome foreigners to fight for you what is
indigenous about it.
Whether Pandits are indigenous or not whether Muslims are indigeneous or not
are useless in the present contxt.whoever now lives there(those forcibly
exiled as well) is a son of the soil.
That Kashmir is predominantly Islamic is as much a reality as my exile.How
can I forget it?
Brother it is time for a truth and reconciliation wherein the killers can be
punished and people of the land even if it has be divided live
peacefully.Even if one life is lost no cause is worth a human life.

In hope of peace


On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 7:30 PM, Junaid <justjunaid at gmail.com> wrote:

> Actually the "Islamisation" of Kashmir took place in the 14th century,
> when a majority of lower-castes of Kashmiri Hindus, with a
> choice/promise to escape the rigid caste structure of Hinduism,
> converted to Islam. Only the Brahmins/Pandits didn't convert--that is
> why the typical Brahmin proportion of population of 3 to 5 percent in
> the Hindu societies continued to remain the same, while others
> mass-converted, in the new Muslim society.
> It is a different matter that Pandits continued to enjoy their social
> position even after this Islamisation--probably apart from some little
> breaks--during Sikander's time and later under Afghans, which was
> miserable for Muslims as well.  During Zainul Abidin's rule or under
> Chaks, and Mughals, and of course under Sikhs and Dogras they enjoyed
> a high social position. Incidentally this constitutes the most of the
> history since "Islamisation" of Kashmir. The present-day Pandits,
> however, construct their history as exclusively having been marked by
> Islamic oppression. This kind of "history" writing among Pandits began
> around the time Muslims became politically conscious, and is therefore
> understandable.
> Many Pandits continued to treat Muslims as undercastes, largely seeing
> them as unclean, a practice that I have seen with my own eyes. Pandits
> wouldn't let Muslims enter their kitchens or eat with them. But
> somehow neither I nor anyone else seemed to be so bothered about it.
> This whole thing about Pandits being "indigenous" is theoretically and
> historically untenable. One cannot find clean lines of transmission
> from past to the present, where cultures have remained
> hermetically-sealed from the outside influences and that an active
> flow of people, ideas and material hasn't happened. Neither is
> Hinduism indigenous to Kashmir nor is Islam, in the sense that it grew
> up on its own and without any touch with the outside world.
> Historically there have been other religions practiced in Kashmir
> before the Hinduism that the present day Pandits now claim to follow;
> the later somehow includes Desh-bhakti which I am sure wasn't present
> among the repertoire of traditional Bhaktis in Kashmir at least not
> the Indian deshbhakti.
> And, really, is 700 years of Islam in Kashmir just an undesirable,
> forgettable, foreign footnote in the history of Kashmir, tomes and
> tomes of which Mr. Pawan Durrani and others have been dreaming up and
> dishing out here?
> Islam is a reality in Kashmir, you just cannot deny its existence. You
> may bury your head in the sand and try to cover up its existence by
> coming up with the "Shalla Daleelah" of good ol' Hindu times, but you
> will realise soon that Kashmiris no longer worry about the myths and
> stories that used to bind them into servitude. They think about the
> present and the future. They don't ignore the past, but they are
> sure-footed about their own social and political history as a society
> and a nation. They would not accept your present day mythology as a
> concrete historic reality, a mythology in which you and your facts
> have become inextricably wound up. A mythology which somehow resembles
> the tale of Ramayan--with Muslims as the evil Rakshas/Ravan, the
> Pandits as Ram in Banwas, with Kashmir as Sita abducted by Ravana, and
> Indian troops as Hanuman who justifiably sets the entire Muslim
> Kashmir on fire to make way for Ram.
> It is not going to happen.
> Junaid
> On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 7:51 AM, Kshmendra Kaul<kshmendra2005 at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > "There was nobody to perform the funeral."
> >
> > It is a commentary on the Islamisation of Kashmir under garb of "Aazadi"
> > that led to creating of a situation which forced almost all of the
> > Non-Muslims out of Kashmir.
> >
> > It is a commentary on the near erasure and extinction of a unique
> > socio-cultural-religious group that was indigenous to and rooted in
> Kashmir.
> >
> > Kshmendra
> > --- On Sun, 8/30/09, Junaid <justjunaid at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > From: Junaid <justjunaid at gmail.com>
> > Subject: [Reader-list] Muslims help perform last rites of a Pandit in
> > Kashmir
> > To: reader-list at sarai.net
> > Date: Sunday, August 30, 2009, 12:48 AM
> >
> > Does this fit into any debate here?
> >
> >
> http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/India/Kashmiri-Muslims-perform-funeral-of-Hindu-man-/articleshow/4948967.cms
> >
> > Kashmiri Muslims perform last rites of a Kashmiri Pandit
> >
> > SRINAGAR: In a unique display of communal harmony, Muslims neighbours
> > here performed the last rites of a Hindu man who stayed back when most
> > of the Pandit families fled during the early 1990s when Islamist
> > insurgency erupted in Jammu and Kashmir.
> >
> > Bhola Nath Kachroo of Srinagar, who was living with his wife and a
> > daughter here, died Friday after an illness and had nobody to perform
> > his funeral.
> >
> > The family was devastated when Kachroo, who his neighbour said was
> > "very old", passed away. There was no other Pandit family nearby to
> > help them.
> >
> > But, Muslims in the area helped the family in performing the last
> > rites of Kachroo. They made arrangements for the last rites and also
> > erected tents for Kachroo's friends and relatives who had gathered to
> > mourn the death.
> >
> > "There was nobody to perform the funeral. We were equally saddened to
> > lose an elderly person in our neighbourhood. We gathered and performed
> > the last rites without considering what faith we follow," said Ghulam
> > Mohammed Bhat, secretary of the Muslim Welfare Society.
> >
> > Most of the Hindu families migrated from the Kashmir Valley in the
> > wake of insurgency fuelled by Islamic fundamentalists, but Kachroo and
> > his family stayed back.
> >
> > "We came as humans to help our mourning neighbours. They didn't leave
> > when other Pandits fled and we owe responsibilities to this family,"
> > said Ali Mohammed, another neighbour.
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Rashneek Kher

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