Sorry state of Indian intellectuals!

Arundhati Roy wants an Azad Kashmir! This Sunday she took up the dais with separatist leader (sic) and Pakistani stooge Syed Ali Shah Geelani and made a statement that Kashmir has never been an integral part of India.

Arundhati’s statement from Srinagar: Full text

Either she is pretending to be ignoramus of Indian history or is intellectually dishonest . It is hard to believe she said so but perhaps following facts can enlighten her and help her realize how integral  Kashmir is to India…

1. According to the “Nilmat Puran,” the oldest book on Kashmir, in the Satisar, a former lake in the Kashmir Valley meaning “lake of the Goddess Sati,” lived a demon called Jalodbhava (meaning “born of water”), who tortured and devoured the people, who lived near mountain slopes. Hearing the suffering of the people, Kashyap Rishi, son of  Marichi, son of Brahma, came to the rescue of the people that lived there. After performing penance for a long time, the saint was blessed, and therefore Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and struck the mountain at Varahamula (present day Baramulla), boring an opening in it for the water to flow out into the plains below. The lake was drained, the land appeared, and the demon was killed. The saint encouraged people from India to settle in the valley. As a result of the hero’s actions, the people named the valley as “Kashyap-Mar”, meaning abode of Kashyap, and “Kashyap-Pura”, meaning city of Kashyap, in Sanskrit. The name “Kashmir,” in Sanskrit, implies land desiccated from water: “ka” (the water) and shimeera (to desiccate).

2. According to the Mahabharata, the Kambojas ruled Kashmir during the epic period with a Republican system of government from the capital city of Karna-Rajapuram-gatva-Kambojah-nirjitastava., shortened to Rajapura, which has been identified with modern Rajauri. Later, the Panchalas are stated to have established their sway. The name Peer Panjal, which is a part of modern Kashmir, is a witness to this fact. Panjal is simply a distorted form of the Sanskritic tribal term Panchala.

3. The name of Kashyapa is by history and tradition connected with the draining of the lake, and the chief town or collection of dwellings in the valley was called Kashyapa-pura, which has been identified with Kaspapyros of Hecataeus (apud Stephanus of Byzantium) and Kaspatyros of Herodotus (3.102, 4.44). Kashmir is also believed to be the country meant by Ptolemy‘s Kaspeiria.

4. Kashmir is widely regarded as the place where Vedas were first written

5. The “Rajatarangini,” a history of Kashmir written by Kalhana in the 12th century, concurs with Nilmat Puran, stating that the valley of Kashmir was formerly a lake. This lake was drained by the great rishi or sage, Kashyapa, son of Marichi, son of Brahma, by cutting the gap in the hills at Baramulla (Varaha-mula).

6. The Buddhist Mauryan emperor Ashoka is often credited with having founded the old capital of Kashmir, Shrinagari, now ruins on the outskirts of modern Srinagar.

7. Kashmir was long to be a stronghold of Buddhism. In the late 4th century AD, the famous Kuchanese monk Kumārajīva, born to an Indian noble family, studied Dīrghāgama and Madhyāgama in Kashmir under Bandhudatta. He later became a prolific translator who helped take Buddhism to China. His mother Jīva is thought to have retired to Kashmir. Vimalākṣa, a Sarvāstivādan Buddhist monk, travelled from Kashmir to Kucha and there instructed Kumārajīva in the Vinayapiṭaka.

8. Adi Shankara visited the pre-existing Sarvajñapīṭha (Sharada Peeth) in Kashmir in late 8th century CE or early 9th Century CE. The Madhaviya Shankaravijayam states this temple had four doors for scholars from the four cardinal directions. The southern door (representing South India) had never been opened, indicating that no scholar from South India had entered the Sarvajna Pitha. Adi Shankara opened the southern door by defeating in debate all the scholars there in all the various scholastic disciplines such as Mimamsa, Vedanta and other branches of Hindu philosophy; he ascended the throne of Transcendent wisdom of that temple.

9. Abhinavagupta (approx. 950 – 1020 AD was one of India‘s greatest philosophers, mystics and aestheticians. He was also considered an important musician, poet, dramatist, exegete, theologian, and logician – a polymathic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture. He was born in the Valley of Kashmir in a family of scholars and mystics and studied all the schools of philosophy and art of his time under the guidance of as many as fifteen (or more) teachers and gurus. In his long life he completed over 35 works, the largest and most famous of which is Tantrāloka, an encyclopedic treatise on all the philosophical and practical aspects of Trika and Kaula (known today as Kashmir Shaivism). Another one of his very important contributions was in the field of philosophy of aesthetics with his famous Abhinavabhāratī commentary of Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharata Muni

10. The wronged ones in Kashmir are not the Muslims but hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits who are living despicable lives all over India. I would not go to medieval times to show the brutality these pundits  have faced but below are some incidents of recent past carried out by the same people Arundhati is now defending and proclaiming to be the ones that are wronged (sic)

The night of January 19, 1990 will remain the most unforgettable one in the memory of every Kashmiri Pundit child who had attained age of consciousness of surroundings, and grownup men and women. That night stands singled out as the harbinger of the terrible catastrophe which before long engulfed the panic-stricken unfortunate community. The implementation of the policy began with extinguishing the beacon lights among the Kashmiri Pandits comprising intelligentsia, the political workers, professors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, well placed officers in the State and Central Governments and others.  There was not to reason why? There was not to ask why? The terrorists had their own interrogation centers and courts awarding penalties and death sentences.  There was the Jamate-Islami injunction and commandment “Bahas Mubahasa se perhez Karen” (shun argumentation). So the allegedly unwanted and undesirable persons were killed summarily and point blank in lanes and by lanes, streets, thoroughfares, in offices, at homes, any where the choice was that of the killer who more often than not made a show of his chivalry in the Islamic tradition by gunning down a poor Kashmiri Pandits in full public view so as to earn the appellation and applause for being a mujahid.

JKLF drew first blood with the pre-planned murder of Shri Tika Lal Taploo, an advocate and prominent and vocal member of the provincial wing of BJP. He fell to terrorists bullets quite near his house. He had always helped and served the Muslims of his locality without any compensation and was very popular with them. The Muslims of his locality mourned his death and joined the mammoth funeral procession. His death sent a powerful tremor down the spine of the Kashmiri Pandit community and caused real tangible concern. The ground had been broken for the vicious process to gather momentum. As days passed the heads of prominent Kashmiri Pandits rolled down. No day passed without registering the murder of an innocent Kashmiri Pandit here and there.

Shri N.K. Ganjoo, a retired Judge was gunned down at an arm length in broad day light in Hari Singh High Street, Srinagar. The dead body lay in a pool of blood with no police anywhere and no Hindu daring to touch it, lift it or cover even with a sheet of paper. The Muslim passers by and shopkeepers watched the scene with jubilant faces and hilarious hearts. Much later Muslim policemen removed a dead body dragging it in the manner of dead dog. The scene was televised a number of times.

It became a common place to hear Kashmiri Muslims greeting one another with the gleeful news of the fall of a Kashmiri Pandit. The day augured well if the day dawned with fresh warm blood of a Kashmiri Pandit. A medieval tribal trait still alive in Kashmiri Muslim mind despite the gloss of advancement in its modern sense.

Those who know Shri P.N. Bhat, a front rank advocate practicing at Anantnag, will vouch safe how much popular he was with Muslims in his town. His skull was shattered with a volley of bullets. No Muslim uttered a word of condolence for him; why should they? It had brought glory to Muslim zealots.

Shri Lassa Koul, Director, Doordarshan Kendra, Srinagar, was gunned down just outside his house at Bemina. He was returning home at night after doing his duty. Even a layman could suspect the foul play of DD employees in his dastardly murder.

Shri R.N. Handoo, P.A. to Governor, was killed outside the gate of his house at Narsinghgarh just as he was entering the official vehicle to take him to his office.

The next day, in its early hours, witnessed the merciless and brutal killing of Shri B.K. Ganju, a young budding and extra ordinarily intelligent and efficient Telecom Engineer, within his home at Chotta Bazar, Srinagar. He hid in a charcoal drum and the assailants failing to find him were about to leave when his neighbors whom he trusted too much redirected the blood thirsty savages to conduct a research. A dozen bullets were pumped into the drum killing the help less trapped weak man. When his young widow appealed to the jubilant killers to shoot here down along with her two baby daughters, they marched out chuckling “who would mourn over his dead body?”

The following day heralded the murder of Shri A.K. Raina, Deputy Director, Food & Supplies, Srinagar by terrorists in his office. It was literally dying in harness. His subordinates stood aloof and watched the proceeding joyfully.

Prof. Nila Kanth Lala, MA (Political Science, History and Education), extensively read and informed person, with a gift of gab, in fact an institution in himself, was done to death by his own Muslim taught of his own area. After his retirement from Government service he had been serving in Islamic Higher Secondary School; What a reward?

Prof. K.L. Ganjoo an agricultural scientist at Shere Kashmir University of Agriculture Science & Technology at Wodhura Sopore (his home town) was kidnapped and tortured by his own Muslim students and friends before he was shot dead while wading the Jehlum under dictation from the terrorists. His wife Prana Ganjoo was kidnapped and gang raped and then dismembered. Her body was not returned to her relatives.

The followers of Nizam-e-Mustafa revived the medieval barbaric age when Shri Brij Nath Kaul, a driver in SKUAST, Shalimar campus, Srinagar was tied by his feet to a jeep driven by the terrorists. Muslims praying five times day, witnessed the ghastly manner of dealing out death and enjoyed his defacement. This belittles the brutalities of the Afghan rulers of Kashmir.

Shri D.N. Mujoo had done a lot for educating the Muslim youth of his area, Fateh Kadal, Srinagar before he moved Rawalpora. Besides being a Theosophist, an unassuming Scholar, an educationist who took pains to experiment ‘with J. Krishnamurti’s dynamic thoughts on education, Shri Mujoo was all his life a real teacher. An old man of over 70 years, tall and healthy he passed his time in philosophical contemplation. He did not dabble in any politics and was least dangerous. Yet the terrorists intruded into his house seized him and stabbed ruthlessly at the dead of night. His wife was also assaulted and injured but left as ‘dead’. The poor old man bled pale and cold.

Shri Sarvanand Koul ‘Premi’ truly brimmed with love for all. A distinguished poet in Kashmiri he contributed much to ennrich the Kashmiri Literature. He translated the Bhagvat Geeta into Kashmiri verse. He had a copy of the Holy Quran besides the Hindu scriptures in his library. Destroying his library was not enough. The terrorist hounds led Premi and his son Virender some distance away from his house. His forehead was nailed at the tilakmark, his eyes were carved out; his limbs and bones were broken; his body was aeced and then butchered in the same manner. What impressive examples of Islamic tolerance!

Smt. Sarla Bhat, a nurse in SKIMS Srinagar was suspected of being an informer since the institute was a den of other terrorists who included members of the faculty as well. At the behest of Dr. A. A. Guru she was gang raped by a number of Muslim bad characters of degraded order before she was stripped naked, mauled and murdered in a shameless manner that no human being born of woman can conceive. She was thrown on the road for all to see what respect they had for womenfolk.

Smt. Girja a school teacher in Bandipora had gone to school to collect her salary and called on a friendly Muslim col league. The architects of Nizama-e-Mustafa kidnapped her from there with the Muslim lady restraining herself from interceding and thwarting the evil designs of the Islamic zealots. The possession of her body was halal; according to religious injection. They gang raped her, ripped open her abdomen, placed her on band saw and sawed her into two halves.

Kumari Babli and her mother Smt. Roopwati of Pulwama met a horrible end at the hands of terrorist brutes.

Shri Balkrishen Tutoo, an officer in agriculture department became the victim of callous bloodthirsty militants who barged into his house to abduct and kill his brother. Tutoo pleaded for mercy and resisted, he was fired and critically wounded. He was rushed to the hospital where the doctors on duty allegedly completed rest of the work.

Mustaq Latram for whose release the AI-Faran outfit wants release of the four foreign hostages was allegedly involved in the gruesome murder of four members of a family at Mallapora, Habbakadal, Srinagar. The victims at the instance of some neighbors gunned down Jawahar Lal Ganjoo, Mrs. Ganjoo, Badri Nath Koul and his wife Lalla, living under one roof, leaving behind two unmarried daughters and two innocent teenaged boys and an old 85 years paralytic mother.

Asha Koul was abducted from Achabal-Anantnag. She was taken to a Kashmiri Pandit migrants abandoned house in Srinagar and gang raped for many days and tortured. Her body was found in a decomposed state in the very house on 8th August in 1991.

Babli Raina, R/o Sopore a teacher was gang raped in her house in presence of her family members on 13th August 1990, before she was killed an act we have never heard or read in the recent history of any civilized country. There are many more reported and unreported cases of brutal and hair- raising treatment meted out to women as memorable examples of Islamic gallantry.

No religion enjoins upon its followers such inhuman, cruel and unnatural acts. And the Muslims more educated in number than the uneducated ones hailing from well to do homes indoctrinated and motivated by Pakistan Government backed ISI prowled about like man eaters looking for Kashmiri  Pandits. Killings were carried on and unabated in ever new devised forms that beat all past records of cruelty and ferocity during the 500 years of Muslim rule in Kashmir. For paucity of space I cannot allude to comprehensive details brutal and ruthless murders of hundreds of Sarlas, Rainas, Ganjoos, Tikoos, Kouls, Mujus, Tutoos and so on. Hundreds of Kashmiri  Pandits martyrs who fell at the altar of Indian secularism and the splendid heritage of India have remained unsung.

So far as Islam is concerned it is an entirely tolerant religion. Islam desires peace to prevail in the world. The Quran calls the way of Islam the path of peace the state of peace can never prevail in a society if a tolerant attitude is “lacking in the people….” (Excelsior 2.9.95) What a sublime ideal, theoretically! But what an agonizing gulf between the ideal and the ground reality, between theory and practice of Islam as is expounded by the Maulana.

The insurrection of the Kashmiri Muslims could, for the sake of argument, be defended were it directed against injustices and lapses, omissions and commissions of the Central and the State Governments from time to time or that it was the outcome of economic and educational neglect of the Kashmiri Muslim alone. They are more affluent than the other segment of population in the whole J&K state and many other states in India. They are more than enough pampered lot. Their advancement in every aspect of life during the last about fifty years has been phenomenal; they have come a long way while as their counter parts in the other two provinces of Jammu and Ladakh are leagues behind. This is not an over statement as facts and figures speak for themselves.

Tarun Rattan

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