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

Inder Salim indersalim at gmail.com
Tue Sep 1 18:20:52 IST 2009

Dear Juniad/Rashneek

please click to see
this is not a pipe is by  celebrated artist Rene Magritte. Earlier i
had little idea how to see this image, but now i really appreciate it
after reading about it....may be you know  this image, but it is
interesting for me to connect that understanding with the Kashmir

Imagine, the image of pipe and the text underneath are two different
stars of two different glaxies with a distance of millions of light
years in between, but are seen with a naked  eye from this planet
earth as  twin stars sitting on a single sofa. I am not saying that
the things should not be seen from earth, but sometimes our
perespectives can become narrower if we remain stationary/stagnat
about our views/view points. We are free to see things diffrently,

So,  are we really used to see Islam and Kashmir issue as two stars
sitting in a single sofa ? but may be they are two far from each

Similarly we are unfortunately used to see thigs from the perespective
of our respective communities and threfore remain ignorant about the
other. it is true that in the past Kashmiri Pandits never liked to
share their food with their Muslim friends. and similarly Muslims
would really detest if a girl from their community decides to marry
someone from outside her community, but usually celebrate if a
non-muslim girl marries to someone from their own community.
Communiites do have merits,but if there is a desire to know  something
about the higher state of mind then we need departures from our fixed
notion of identies and our respective religions even. Finally we want
some freedom, which is existentially the only truth, if there is one.
Truths based on communties are limited and are likely to nourish false

for example, There are communities within muslims and Hindus in
kashmir who dont appreicite inter-marraiges and social interactions
between the two. we know other exmples

Communities develop ghosts over the period of time, and only poets,
philosophers, sufis, musicians, artists and good intellecutals dare to
exorcize them with their powers, but alas, there is little patience
around to listen to the saner voices. We, quickly become obstinate and
when violence hits us deeply, we regret.  Ironically, it is the simple
minded who is driven to hysteria by the very intellligent cream of the
society. People, workers generally are too immersed in their own
phychological complexities, and rarely come to know about the hidden
nuance embedded in the  grand narraive of  our known poltical stage.
It is not easy to celebrate politics based on peoples demands.
Understanding of History is too complex, but departure from that too
is possible if we look at what people really want.  Kashmiris will
really face the biggest problem on earth once they achieve freedom. It
is not easy to sleep with this  ever demanding muse. Most of the
outspoken votaries of freedom struggle will feel shy once they look
into the eyes of freedom.

what happened to Kashmir. sad
what is happenning in kashmir is the debate.

Kashmir is a political issue, irrespective of  its Muslim character,
and Indians/Indian Govt. should not hesitate to endorese it. Kashmrii
Muslims on the other hand will benefit from this  given understanding
if they know how to embrace 'this present' of our colective beings,
not only globally,  but in kashmir as well. There is no one single
muslim identity in kashmir. Muslims too have their own dalits. No
religion on earth has come on earth to celebrate  freedom of man, but
they are essentially about their desire to hold on to power
structures.  people, by and large know this fact, but cling to it
because of fear, which is unknown often.

The common past between the two ( hindus and muslims ) can be
overooked, or ignored, or  even preserved for future.But what is vital
is a return to the moral, simplicity and space for fun with a
paticipatory goodness, intact,  Kashmiri pandits may return or not,
but the remaining lot in kashmir need to change, their understanding
of the present, which is about  the understanding of their devasted
environment and a corruption,

Indian Govt can not keep of reciting the Non-violence mantra,  while
transforming the entire  Kashmir into a fort like thing, branding
every kashmir muslim as terrorist.
 and similarly Mulsims too can not keep on counting virutes of their
religon, while practizing differently.

perhaps, The new politics will emerge only if we know how to see the
hidden distance between the perespectives which we conventionally see

with love
inder salim

On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 12:31 PM, rashneek kher<rashneek at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
> Rashneek
> 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.
>> > _________________________________________
>> > reader-list: an open discussion list on media and the city.
>> > Critiques & Collaborations
>> > To subscribe: send an email to reader-list-request at sarai.net with
>> subscribe
>> > in the subject header.
>> > To unsubscribe: https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/reader-list
>> > List archive: &lt;https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/>
>> >
>> _________________________________________
>> reader-list: an open discussion list on media and the city.
>> Critiques & Collaborations
>> To subscribe: send an email to reader-list-request at sarai.net with
>> subscribe in the subject header.
>> To unsubscribe: https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/reader-list
>> List archive: &lt;https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/>
> --
> Rashneek Kher
> http://www.kashmiris-in-exile.blogspot.com
> http://www.nietzschereborn.blogspot.com
> _________________________________________
> reader-list: an open discussion list on media and the city.
> Critiques & Collaborations
> To subscribe: send an email to reader-list-request at sarai.net with subscribe in the subject header.
> To unsubscribe: https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/reader-list
> List archive: &lt;https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/>



More information about the reader-list mailing list