Sunday, January 6, 2008

ICONOCLASM IN KASHMIR-MOTIVES AND MAGNITUDE

ICONOCLASM IN KASHMIR-MOTIVES AND MAGNITUDE

Iconoclasm and religious persecution of faiths alien to the king’s faith has been a norm said one of my Marxist friends. He didn’t stop there. He went on to name various Hindu, Naga, Buddhist & Huna kings [Kalhana’s Rajatarangi(The River of Kings)] in the Pre-Islamic period who had resorted to iconoclasm and religious persecution of faiths other than theirs. As if this wasn’t enough he went on to announce that Islam in Kashmir had spread through examples set by missionaries and religious divines and not military expansions. Obviously for this he did not have any credible historical evidence but then isn’t spreading lies about India’s past one of the favourite pastimes of Marxist Historians, Romila Thapar included.
Ordinarily I would have ignored such a statement had it been made by some sly shadow of Mao but since this came from someone whose knowledge of history and art is highly respected by his followers, it was time to call his bluff. While no-one can argue that Kashmir has not seen sporadic cases of Iconoclasm (even in the pre-Islamic era) we cannot but observe that such cases have been exceptions or aberrations rather than an instrument for subjugation of followers of a different faith. Compare that to the Islamic period and we have whole lot of historical evidence to suggest that persecution (in the Salatin era) of non-muslim subjects happened at a large scale which resulted in 6 exoduses of the Hindu community from the valley. There is evidence also to support that whichever of the two Islamic sects (Shia’s or Sunni’s) was in power subjugated the other but meted out special torment on non-muslim subjects.
While it is true that Kashmir did not have armies of Arabs or Persians (although Zulchu did march in with his armies in Kashmir but the purpose was to loot and not conquer land or convert its inhabitants. I am saying this despite the fact that he took thousands of Kashmiri men and women as slaves all of whom perished in a snow storm at Devasar in Anantanag) marching into its land but as far as conversions due to examples set by missionaries and Dervishes are concerned, it is mere hogwash to a great extent. How Islam was spread is clear from the next part of this column. You will see how Hindus were converted by brute force and how atrocities were inflicted by the Osama’s of those days.
MOTIVES BEHIND ICONOCLASM-THE MUSLIM KINGS
I once again re-affirm that while a miniscule percentage of Hindu,Hun(like Mihirkula),Buddhists (like Jaluka) rulers did destroy temples and some destroyed Buddhist Viharas too(of course not Shankarvarman)the reasons for the same were not religious expansion or bigotry.Unlike Muslim kings they did not think that they have a holy aim of converting Darul-Harb to Darul-Islam.The aim was not to subjugate or make people change their religion or faith but anything else.Most of the Muslim rulers destroyed temples thinking that they were doing a righteous act and were promoting Shariah by eliminating infidels(Kafir’s).Many thought that they were emulating the Prophet(SAW) little realizing the difference that what Prophet Mohammed (PBH) had done while destroying the idols at Kabba(a pagan place of worship then and a mosque now) was destroying idolatory and not idols.Iconoclasm in Kashmir was endorsed by the Amirs of the day(whether general Muslims supported it or not can be a matter of debate much like whether majority Hindus supported or condemned the barbaric destruction of Babri Mosque or whether Iconoclasm, in present day Kashmir has the mandate of the Muslims of the Valley or not).There are examples galore to prove this point.In order to put this in perspective I am giving some references. From Bahristan-i-Shahi
“Sultan Shihabu'd-Din addressed himself to such works as would help him get peace in the world hereafter. He arranged a tomb and a burial place for himself to be used after his death. Towards the fag end of his life, he was infused with a zeal for demolishing idol-houses and destroying the temples and idols of the infidels. He destroyed the massive temple at Beejeh Belareh [31] (Bijbehara). He had designs to destroy all the temples and put an end to the entire community of the infidels.[32] ““Again it needs to be recorded that for some of the time which the holy Amir spent in Kashmir he lived in a sarai at 'Alau'd-Din Pora. At the site where his khanqah was built, there existed a small temple which was demolished and converted into an estrade on which he offered namaz (prayer) five times a day and recited portions of the Qur'an morning and evening. Sultan Qutbu'd-Din occasionally attended these congregational prayers.”“ [It may be recorded] that the temples of idol-worshippers, which had been destroyed and razed to the ground by the religious-minded and justice-loving Sultan Sikandar- God bless his grave and bless him-had been rebuilt and rehabilitated by Zainu'l 'Abidin. He had permitted idolators and polytheists to revive the practices of infidelity and they had propagated heresy (kufr) and false religion (din-i batil). With the support of some more kings,[96] the infidels had flourished day after day. But with the support and authority of Malik Musa Raina, Amir Shamsu'd-Din Muhammad undertook a wholesale destruction of all those idol-houses [97] as well as the total ruination of the very foundation of infidelity and disbelief. On the site of every idol-house he destroyed, he ordered the construction of a mosque for offering prayers after the Islamic manner.”The idolatory and heresy which had existed prior to his coming to this place were effectively replaced by his preaching and propagation of Islamic laws and practices. He brought honour to all the infidels and heretics (zandiqa) of Kashmir by admitting them to the Islamic faith and bestowed upon them many kinds of rewards and benefactions. It is publicly known as well as emphatically related that during his life-time, with the virtuous efforts and elaborate arrangements made by the fortunate Malik Musa Raina, twenty-four thousand families of staunch infidels and stubborn heretics were ennobled by being converted to the Islamic faith. [99] It is difficult to compute the number of people who had hitherto indulged in corrupt practices of a wrong (false) faith and dissent and were put on the right track under the proper guidance of Mir Shamsu'd-Din 'Iraqi .[99]
In fact the transmitter of (God's) grace (Mir Shams 'Iraqi) conferred favours upon the righteous Malik Musa Raina and gave him blessings which enabled him to fulfill that cherished task. Indeed, fortunate is one who has been able to become the recipient of such special consideration at the hands of a highly venerable and elderly person like him (Amir Shamsu'd-Din). After Sultan Sikandar-God's peace be upon him-no one among the Muslims who wielded authority over this country rendered as much service to Islam by its propagation and advancement as Malik Musa Raina did. Nobody was able to make as organized an effort as he did towards the advancement and furtherence of the Muhammadan religion
.
Please look at how the kings viewed their acts.One thought he would get peace by destroying temples.Sultan Sikander has been defined as religious minded and justice loving by the historians of the day while in no case has Kalhana supported or even condoned breaking of religious places.He heaped scorn on kings who resorted to this.Now that’s the difference. While Muslim Kings, their Amirs and even most Muslim Historians thought that the King was indulging in act of religious righteousness, kings belonging to other faiths had no such grandiose megalomania of reaching heaven (where houris would await them) by resorting to such acts. It makes an important reading into the mindset of the Muslim rulers.They clearly saw a holy purpose of converting “people of false faiths” like Hindus,Buddhists,Jainas and other heterodox religions to the only “true religion”.In their understanding of Islam they were doing great acts and their Amirs and most Historians of that period(especially the foreign historians who came with them ) supported this sickness unlike Kalhana who outrightly condemned these acts. Read the Last line of my reference from the Bharistan-i-Shahi
Nobody was able to make as organized an effort as he did towards the advancement and furtherence of the Muhammadan religion.
Here we are.The purpose is clear “Advancement and Furtherance of the Mohammedan Religion”.
Tarikh-i-Hasan Khuihami For details of forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam and their massacre in case they refused to be converted, see Tarikh-i-Hasan Khuihami; pp. 178-80. One significant detail is that three kharwars (one kharwar is approximately equal to eighty kilograms) of Hindu ceremonial thread (zunnar) were burnt by Sultan Sikandar. (Tarikh-i-Hasan Khuihami, Pir Ghulam Hasan, Vol II, RPD,* Srinagar 1954.) Other Sources for Sikander Butshikan alone
This is what historians (mostly Muslims) have to say.
"He [Sikandar] prohibited all types of frugal games. Nobody dared to commit acts which were prohibited by the Sharia. The Sultăn was constantly busy in annihilating the infidels and destroyed most of the temples..." (Haidar Malik Chădurăh: Tărîkh-i-Kashmîr; edited and translated into English by Razia Bano, Delhi, 1991, p. 55.)
"[He] strove to destroy the idols and temples of the infidels. He got demolished the famous temple of Mahădeva at Bahrăre. The temple was dug out of its foundation and the hole (that remained) reached the water table. Another temple at Jagdar was also demolished… Răjă Alamădat had got a big temple constructed at Sinpur. (...) The temple was destroyed [by Sikandar]." (Khwăjah Nizămu’d- Dîn Ahmad bin Muhammad Muqîm al-Harbî: Tabqăt-i-Akbarî translated by B. De, Calcutta, 1973)
"Sikander burnt all books the same way as fire burns hay". "All the scintillating works faced destruction in the same manner that lotus flowers face with the onset of frosty winter." (Srivara, Zaina Ra-jtarangini). This I am giving more for its poetic value rather than what it says.

Also please do pay attention to the following

"At the behest of Shams Iraqi, Musa Raina had ordered 1500 to 2000 infidels to be brought to his door-steps every day by his followers. They would remove their sacred threads, administer Kalima to them, circumcise them and thrust lumps of beef into their mouths,'' mentions Tohfatul Ahbab.

Role of so-called Sufis:

While no one can deny the fact that Kashmir was greatly influenced by Sufism and has produced some great Sufi saints and mystic poets(both Hindus and Muslims),we must stay clear of attaching a Sufi tag to every Muslim Godman.On one hand we have the great Sufi Tradition of Nund Rishi,Shams Faqir,Ahmed batwario,Rahim Saab,Swoch Kral,Prakesh Ram Kurigami,Govind Kaul,Ahmed Dar, on the other we have self styled god-men like Bul Bul Shah and Syed Ali Hamdani on whom this label of Sufi is stuck to make them more palatable to the larger masses.
Syed Ali Hamdani or Shah-I Hamdan as he is popularly called by Kashmiri Muslims is widely regarded as the man responsible for conversion of Kashmiris to Islam.As we already know that the Shah-i-Hamadan mosque was built after demolishing a Kali temple(and there are enough historical records to prove that, apart from the fact that to this day Pandits perform prayers alongside the converted structure).Now that itself should restrain our Marxist historians from making “religious divines” claim.
That not-withstanding I would like to inform the readers that before Shah-i-Hamadan left Kashmir he ordered the king to impose the following sanctions on Non-Muslims.I am enumerating them for your reading please.

1) The Hindus will not construct any new temples under the rule of Muslims.
2) They will not repair old temples fallen into ruins.
3) They will respect Muslims.
4) They will not dress like Muslims.
5) They will not ride a horse with saddle & bridle
6) They will not put on a ring.
7) They will not carry swords or bows & arrows.
8) They will not adopt Muslim names
9) They will not harbour spies or act as spies
10) If any relation of their’s wants to embrace Islam, they will not oppose it.
11) If a Muslim comes to attend a Hindu meeting he will be respectfully received.
12) They will receive Muslim travelers into their houses & provide them hospitality.
13) They will not prevent Muslim travelers from staying in their temples & shrines.
14) They will not mourn their dead loudly.
15) They will not buy Muslim slaves.
16) They will not build houses in neighbourhood of Muslims.
17) They will not sell intoxicating drinks.
18) They will not carry their dead near the grave-yards of Muslims.
19) They will not openly practice their customs & usages among Muslims.
20) They will not give up their traditional dress so that they can be distinguished from Muslims.
In the end the fiat in the form of an advice dictated if any Hindu dares to flout any of conditions, he should be first looted and then possession of his body is halal(Zakhiratul- Muluk).

(Source:Dr.Qayoom Rafiquee’s doctoral thesis titled”Sufism in Kashmir”)

In case this is not enough proof for anybody’s flight of fancy which makes him believe that Islam spread peacefully here are some examples from the same thesis.If this isn’t persecution in the name of religion then I wonder what is.

Writes Dr. Qayoom Rafiquee, “Mir Mohammad was not ready to give the status of Zimmis to the Hindus of Kashmir and treated them as kafirs who were not obedient to Islam, but were at war with it”.

Sufism in Kashmir, P-101

Again to quote Rafiquee, ‘the medieval Muslim sources inform us emphatically that infidelity was uprooted from Kashmir through the influence of Mir Mohammad’.

Sufism in Kashmir 101.
And sadly some of us have the cheek to say Islam in Kashmir spread through divinity and personal example of missionaries.This should put to rest any imaginative thought processes of Islam spreading in Kashmir through “divine incarnation of Dervishes and examples set by missionaries”.If someone still wants to stick to his point then I hope the same divinity that dawned on our forefathers in Kashmir dawns on him too.
HARSHA-THE ICONOCLAST
Harsha (1089-1111) ruled Kashmir and is probably one king who Kalhana has painted despicably. Why I wish to discuss this king is because he has been pulled out of the historical wilderness time and again by the Marxist historians. This one example is used as a counterweight the huge historical evidence that we have to support religious persecution and Iconoclasm by hundreds of muslim rulers all over south Asia and not just Kashmir alone.It seems as if just because Harsha did what Muslim rulers followed as a matter of policy and an instrument of abuse we are to condone their acts. Let us first see what different historians have to say about him.
Romila Thapar and Harbans Mukhiya-Lies and Un-substantiated Claims
Let us examine what Romila Thapar,A L Basham and Mukhiya have to say about iconoclasm by Hindu kings in Kashmir in their various articles.Views of Romila Thapar(whose knowledge and erudition of Sanskrit has always been a question mark) and Mukhiya whose Marxist leftist credentials have never been under question.So we kind of know which side of their bread is buttered.We will try and understand what Basham says about “Harsha the Iconoclast”.I am leaving Mukhiya alone but if need be ,we will discuss his understanding of Harsha as well.I will also like the forum to read through this piece of extremely unbiased work by an American Student. Puzzling Dimensions and Theoretical Knots in my Graduate School Research By Yvette Claire Rosser, M.A., Ph.D. http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/s_es/s_es_rosse_puzzle_frameset.htm
A few days later I met with Professor Romila Thapar and told her Prof. Mukhia had told me that she could provide information substantiate the hypothesis that Hindu rulers in the past had regularly destroyed temples in neighboring kingdoms. She said that she had not written anything but that Richard Eaton, an American scholar had recently written about this phenomenon in the introduction of his latest book.
A few months later in the December 9 and 16 editions of Frontline published by the Leftist leaning editor N. Ram of The Hindu newspaper Dr. Eaton did publish a long article in two parts that discussed in detail the destruction and desecration of various temples during the Medieval Period. In his article, Eaton attempted to prove the assertion made by Dr. Mukhia's and his colleagues. However it was argued, Eaton failed to understand the difference in scale and magnitude between the few times Hindus raided the temples of other kings, and the much more wide spread and architecturally devastating attacks from Muslim armies.
I spoke with Professors Thapar and Mukhia and told them that I had heard about Harsha in Kashmir, recounted by the poet Kalhana in the 'Rajtarangini'. Harsha destroyed some temples and viharas, but most scholars consider Harsha's actions as exceptions to the usual practice. I pointed out that all of the literature indicates that Harsha was definitely only looting the temples for gold and riches, not desecrating them for ideological reasons. Though the result is the same, the temples were attacked, the intent and the scale of the destruction was very different. I also mentioned that there seems to have been one or two instances in Rajasthan and Gujarat where competing Maharajas raided temples in the neighboring kingdom and stole a murti (consecrated statue) which was considered to be endowed with powerful attributes. Then, bringing it back to his own kingdom, the king erected a new and more fabulous temple for the murti. This type of vandalism is a very different case, the murti was removed as a trophy not as an unholy thing to be desecrated. In the accounts that I had heard, the king who had looted the temple of his adversary did not throw the captured statue in the roadway or bury it into the staircase of a religious structure in his kingdom to be trod upon, but, interestingly, he built an even grander temple and had it installed with fanfare. Though the actions may have similarities, the motivations were very different.
I also suggested that these types of attacks on temples were not representative of usual practice, but in fact were very much the exception to the rule. Even after reading the Eaton article, I was not impressed by the meager evidence. Though the article very few verifiable examples offered to substantiate this often-repeated claim that Hindus were just a guilty as Muslims for breaking statues and destroying temples. I told suggested to several Leftist scholars in Indian that they should stop using that tact about the Hindus destroying temples, because hardly anyone in India really believes them. The evidence that Hindus were equally culpable for the destruction of temples and viharas, similar to the large scale destruction of Hindu temples by the various Muslim dynasties is simply untenable. Though the Marxist historians in India use the case of King Harsh in Kashmir, it is a rare historical exception, certainly not proof of a legacy of Hindu-driven carnage. Yet the historians who make these claims have failed to uncover any real evidence to substantiate their theory of Hindu aggression.
Let us move on to see what an independent Belgian Indologist Keonraad Elst has to say about claims made by Romila Thapar about Harsh’s iconoclasm.Thapar’s claims seem to have found favour with Our Marxist friend for they fall in line with his pre-determined understanding of Kalhana.
Kalhana's first-hand testimony:
Now, let us look into the historical references cited by Romila Thapar. Of Banabhatta's Harshacharita, concerning Harsha of Kanauj (r.606-647), I have no copy available here, so I will keep that for another paper. Meanwhile, I have been able to consult both the Sanskrit original and the English translation of Kalhana's Rajatarangini, and that source provides a clinching testimony.
Harsha or Harshadeva of Kashmir (r.1089-1111) has been called the "Nero of Kashmir", and this "because of his cruelty" (S.B. Bhattacherje: Encyclopaedia of Indian Events and Dates, Sterling Publ., Delhi 1995, p.A-20). He is described by Kalhana as having looted and desecrated most Hindu and Buddhist temples in Kashmir, partly through an office which he had created, viz. the "officer for despoiling god-temples". The general data on 11th-century Kashmir already militate against treating him as a typical Hindu king who did on purely Hindu grounds what Muslim kings also did, viz. to destroy the places of worship of rival religions. For, Kashmir had already been occupied by Masud Ghaznavi, son of Mahmud, in 1034, and Turkish troops were a permanent presence as mercenaries to the king.
Harsha was a fellow-traveller: not yet a full convert to Islam (he still ate pork, as per Rajatarangini 7:1149), but quite adapted to the Islamic ways, for "he ever fostered with money the Turks, who were his centurions" (7:1149). There was nothing Hindu about his iconoclasm, which targeted Hindu temples, as if a Muslim king were to demolish mosques rather than temples. All temples in his kingdom except four (enumerated in 7:1096-1098, two of them Buddhist) were damaged. This behaviour was so un-Hindu and so characteristically Islamic that Kalhana reports: "In the village, the town or in Srinagara there was not one temple which was not despoiled by the Turk king Harsha." (7:1095)
So there you have it: "the Turk king Harsha". Far from representing a separate Hindu tradition of iconoclasm, Harsha of Kashmir was a somewhat peculiar (viz. fellow-traveller) representative of the Islamic tradition of iconoclasm. Like Mahmud Ghaznavi and Aurangzeb, he despoiled and looted Hindu shrines, not non-Hindu ones. Influenced by the Muslims in his employ, he behaved like a Muslim.
And this is said explicitly in the text which Romila Thapar cites as proving the existence of Hindu iconoclasm. If she herself has read it at all, she must be knowing that it doesn't support the claim she is making. Either she has just been bluffing, writing lies about Kalhana's testimony in the hope that her readers would be too inert to check the source. Or she simply hasn't read Kalhana's text in the first place. Either way, she has been caught in the act of making false claims about Kalhana's testimony even while denouncing others for not having checked with Kalhana.

A.L.Basham
Thankfully I did get to read Basham’s article titled”Harsha of Kashmir and the Iconoclast Ascetics”
Basham writes and I quote”The dissolute king Harsha or Harshadeva(AD 1089-1101),when in financial straits,was advised by his evil counseller Lotsdhara to restore his fortunes by looting the temples and melting down the images of the gods”
It is evident from the sentence that it was financial problems (due to various vices) that prompted him to resort to doing what he did.
Although Basham contradicts himself later in the same article by saying that the motive could not be financial alone but he attributes it to King enjoying acts of heresy.He even contradicts Aurel Stein’s explanation that King had been under the influence of turuska’s or (Muslims or outsiders) who in this case happened to be Muslims.Even if we accept his explanation, there is nothing to prove that he destroyed temples to promote his faith or ideology (Hinduism) while the contrary can be proved by the following verse from Kalhana’s Rajatarangni Book 7 verse 1095
"In the village, the town or in Srinagara there was not one temple which was not despoiled by the Turk king Harsha."
Kalhana calling him a turk (which was a synonym for Muslim/outsider/foreigner in Kalhana’s vocabulary.At many places Kalhana uses the term turuska’s to describe Muslims.We will discuss the word Turuska in detail when we analyse Our Marxist friend’s references to Rajatarangni.
Although I do not completely agree with either Basham or Keonard Elst,the reasons for which are the following.
1.Koenard Elst has got it wrong that Kashmir was conquered by Masud of Ghaznvi in 1034.There are no direct/indirect references or credible sources of history to prove that fact.I agree with Our Marxist friend when he says that Islamic rule was still some two centuries away.
2.Basham’s assertion that we should look to Ajivikas as Harsh’s source of his iconoclasm also seems to be a far fetched argument.Our Marxist friend himself concludes his argument by stating the following”Basham’s argument,albeit speculative,is less reliant on conjecture than the automatic identification of Turuska with Muslim that bedevils the other efforts to wrestle with the complexity of his reign that I have referred to above”
Irrespective of the arguments set forth by Romila Thapar,Basham,Elst and others it is conclusively proved in case of Harsha that although he did destroy temples and Viharas both but the reason was not to promote Hinduism or to subjugate Buddhism.What however can be argued is that he may be doing at the behest of whom Kalhana calls Turks(outsiders/foreigners who were Muslims in this case) what later Muslim kings did.ie.Try and Destroy the very root of Hinduism in Sarada Desha.

Pre-Islamic Iconoclasm-References from Rajatarngani

Let us now move to the third part of Our Marxist friend’s observations where he has written in detail about the kings who burnt temples,destroyed Viharas etc etc.Although I have read both R.S.Pandit’s translation of Rajatarangni as well as Aurel Stein’s translation( complete with notes and his travels to many places mentioned by Kalhan)the notes that I had made on both (as a Class XI student,I and my father traveled to a lot of places which Kalhana mentions in Rajatarngni) were burnt when my house was razed to ground by terrorists(sorry divinely ordained dervishes and missionaries) on the Janam Asthami of 1990.I will refer to Aurel Stein’s translation and footnotes since in my opinion he presents a more detailed account of Kalhana’s Kashmir. Another reason for me to refer to his translation and footnotes is that R S Pandit was no historian of any repute, whatsoever, while Aurel Stein’s extensive work leaves little to imagination. Thus wherever he could he has closed loops so that half-baked historians don’t go on an imagination hunt and derive their own meanings.
(I apologize for not being in a position to use diacritical marks.)
Let us look at each king mentioned by Our Marxist friend
1.Jalauka:This King finds mention in Taranga 1,verses 108-152.,Vol 1,page 26.Aurel Stein’s translation.
While it is true that he did destroy one Vihara(and not many Buddhist Shrines as Our Marxist friend imagines and later tells us) the reason for the same as mentioned in Rajatatarangni is that he was disturbed while sleeping because of the music emanating from the said Vihara.It clearly is no religious zeal that drove him to do this act.
This can be easily understood the following(Tarnaga 1,140-144)page 26 Book 1,Volume 1, Aurel Stein’s Translation:
“When you had lately been kept from sleep by the noise of the music of the Vihara,you had at the instigation of wicked persons caused in your anger the destruction of the Vihara.The excited Bauddhas thought of me and sent me forth to kill you.But then the Boddhisattvas called me and gave me the following directions:’That great king is a Sakya(Mahasakya).You cannot hurt him;but in his presence,O good one,you will obtain liberation from darkness(sin).In our name you shall exhort him who has been ed into guilt by wicked people,to give up his hoarded gold and to build a Vihara.If he does so,no misfortune shall befall him in consequence of the destruction of the Vihara,and atonement shall thus be made for him and his instigators.”
The king repents for the sin he committed in a fit of anger and later builds the Vihara and names it after the divine sorceress.The same can be easily verified by the following Taranga 1,147,page 26,Vol 1 of Aurel Stein’s translation
“Thereupon the king built the Krtyasarama Vihara,and worshipped there the divine sorceress who had been freed from darkness”
So Our Marxist friend’s assertion that”Jalauka’s destruction of Buddhist shrines” is but an incorrect statement.There is only one Vihara in question and not many shrines.Probably in order to prove his point my friend is very liberal in the use of alphabet (s).One may also be tempted to ask if Jalauka was himself a Buddhist,he being the son of Ashoka.
Notwithstanding his religious leanings we learn from Rajatarangi that he did destroy 1(one) Vihara for which he later repented by building a Vihara.
Now here I ask my Marxist friends to name one Muslim ruler in Kashmir who repented for his acts of Iconoclasm and re-build temples.
2.Abhimanyu-1.This king finds mention in Taranga 1,verses 174-184,Vol1 page 31-33,Aurel Stein translation.
We straight away go to the verses which my Marxist friends mention as his proof of Iconoclasm and religious persecution by Abhimanyu 1.These are 177-181.
I don’t even deem it worth discussing what can be best be defined as their’s figament of imagination.Yet for purpose of clarity I discuss it.The important verse is verse 181 of Taranga 1,page 33,Vol1 of Stein’s translation.This is how it reads
“At that time there manifested itself some miraculous power through which the Brahmans,who offered oblations and sacrifices,escaped destruction while the Bauddhas perished”
From this verse our friend presumes that Brahmans killed or persecuted Buddhists.He supports this what R.S.Pandit in his footnote to the verses 180-181 says”this (snow that killed the Buddhists) is PERHAPS a poetic description of the persecution of Buddhists during this era.”
One is tempted to ask what is the source on the basis of which R.S.Pandit presumes his PERHAPS. R.S.Pandit being a person of shallow knowledge of history can be pardoned for his ignorance but when someone like our own Marxist friend (who I greatly regard for his scholarship) uses this as an example of Iconoclasm or Persecution,it is but sad.We could have agreed with RS Pandit,if anything in the Rajatarangi had mentioned Abhimanyu 1, as an unjust ,licentious,communal or ill mannered moanarch.But that is not the case.
Not only this,while Aurel Stein makes a detailed foot note of the verse 180,he doesn’t even bother to write a word about 181 since to any intelligent reader it is more than self explanatory.
3.Nara:This king finds mention in Taranaga 1,verses 197-275,Vol 1,page 34-41 of Aurel Stein’s translation.
My friend’s explanation of the verses 199-200 of Taranaga 1,are more or less correct.While Stein mentions the woman in question as the king’s wife R.S.Pandit mentions her as king’s lover.Whichever be the case the Buddhist monk does seduce the king’s wife through magical powers.
Enraged by this the king does destroy thousands of Viharas.The reason for destruction of Viharas is clear and needs no explanation.Though an unpardonable sin,clearly religious zeal or conversion or selective persecution is certainly not mentioned.
4.Mihirkula:This king finds mention in Taranga 1,verses 289-324,page 43-48,Vol1,Aurel Stein’s translation.
My Marxist friend writes”Here we enter the terrain of strictly historical account of iconoclasm in Kashmir”
He refers to verses 289-293 of Taranga 1.Now let see what is said in them
I re-write Stein’s translation for the benefit of the readers and for an easy explanation later.
289-293”Then his son Mihirkula,a man of violent acts and resembling Kala(Death),ruled in the land which was overrun by hordes of Mlecchas.In him the northern region brought forth ,as it were,another god of death,bent in rivalry to surpass the southern region which has the Yama(as its guardian).The people knew his approach by noticing the vultures,crows and other birds which were flying ahead eager to feed on those who were being slain within his armies’ reach.This royal Vitala was day and night surrounded by thousands of murdered human beings,even in his pleasure-houses.This terrible enemy of mankind had no pity for children,no compassion for women,no respect for the aged.”
From the above I could not find out anything that would indicate to me that he killed Buddhists alone or burnt their Viharas only and not Hindu Temples.If anyone else can,I would be more than willing to be corrected.However as Our Marxist friend mentions that R.S.Pandit in his foot note says”Huns carried out terrible persecution of Buddhism,destroying Stupas and Viharas and massacring the monks.Although the Huns were hostile to Buddhism,they protected Saivism and their kings built temples in honour of Shiva”
I started looking at the other verses that Kalhana writes for this cruel king.Surprisingly the word Buddhist or Vihara or Stupa simply does not find a mention in the verses which have described Mihirkula’s despotic regime.So the question of him destroying them simply does not arise unless in someone’s imagination.It is possible that other Huna rulers might have done what RS Pandit writes as his footnote.Even that seems improbable,because if any such references would have been there over zealous Marxists would have found them.
As far as building temples Kalahana says in Verse 306,Taranga 1 Vol1,page 46 the following”Thus,evil-minded as he was,he founded at Srinagari the (shrine of Shiva) Mihireshwara,and in Holada the large town called Mihirpura”
I hope building a Shiva temple is no proof of Iconoclasm.
As for giving Agraharas,Our Marxist friend himself acknowledges that he gave it to Brahmanas born in the Gandhara country at Vijayeshwara.What is notable is the scorn that Kalhana heaps on these foreign Brahmanas for accepting Agraharas from this wretched king.This is how Stein translates this verse.
Ref verse 307,Taranga 1,Vol1,page 46,
Brahmanas from Gandhara,resembling himself in their habits and verily themselves the lowest of the twice-born,accepted Agraharas from him”
So our Marxist friends’ assertion”Here we enter the terrain of strictly historical account of iconoclasm in Kashmir” falls flat for want of credible historical proof.
5.Jayapida:This king finds mention in Taranga 4,Verses 402-659,page 158-180,Vol 1,Aurel Stein’s translation.
This is one king who Kashmiri Pandits need no mention of.Almost all of us in our hour of vanity refer to the miraculous powers of our forefathers the curse of who led to Jayapida’s painful end.We often take re-course to our past and foolishly so.
What our friend observed with respect to Jayapida is true and just goes on to prove my point that the reasons for Icocnoclasm or persecution by non-muslim kings of Kashmir could have been anything but religious expansion or promotion of their own faith.That greed was the motive for his persecution of his subjects can be easily testified by this verse
Ref verse 628,Taranaga 4,page 177,Vol1,Stein’s Translation
“In his persistent greed he went so far in cruelty,that for three years he took the (whole) harvest,including the cultivator’s share”
6.Ksemagupta:This king finds mention in Taranga 6,verses 150 to187,page 247 to 250,Vol 1,Aurel Stein’s translation.
My Marxist friend refers to Ksemagupta’s iconoclasm by his act of burning down of holy Jayendra Vihara and subsequent errection of temples.Let us ourselves read what Kalhana says about this incident
Ref:171-173 verses,Taranga 6,page 248,Vol1,Stein’s translation.
“In order to kill the Damara Samgrama,who when attacked by the assassins,had enetered the famous Jayendravihara,he(Ksemagupta) had the latter burnt down without mercy.Taking from this Vihara,which was entirely burned down,the brass of the image of Sugata(Buddha), and collecting a mass of stones from decaying temples,he erected the (temple of Siva) Ksemagaurisvara in a market street of the city,thinking foolishly that the foundation of the shrine would perpetuate his fame”
Now,the motive for burning the Vihara is known to us as is the foolish reason for erecting a temple.The king proves himself to be a wicked soul but to attribute the reasons of religious bigotry for the destruction would be taking the argument too far. The argument that he used material from the Vihara to build the temple is fallacious because Stein’s translation itself is clear when it reads”and collecting a mass of stones from decaying temples”Even the Sanskrit verse reads”Devagrah” which means temple.Kalhana uses the word “Chaityas or Viharas” to describe Buddhist places of worship ,although a Chaitya is the place of worship while a Vihara is a monastry in which Chaityas were generally situated.
7. Harsha:This king finds mention in Taranga 7 and Kalahana has written extensively on this king.Ref Taranga 7,verses 829 to 1732.page 333 to 402 of Volume 1,Aurel Stein’s translation.
We have already looked at the views of various historians and analysed their writings with respect to Harsha”the Iconoclast”However the discussion would be incomplete unless we refer to what Kalhana writes about this wretched king.We will also see the impact of the word “Turuska” which has baffled historians.
There can be no difference of opinion as far as his title of Iconoclast goes.
Let us try and understand the reasons for his Iconoclasm based on Kalhanas description.This is what Aurel Stein writes in “Harsha’s temple de-spoliation”
Ref Introduction Chap 5,sec 5,page 113,Volume 1 of Aurel Stein’s translation.
“Extravagant expenditure on the troops and senseless indulgence in costly pleasures involved Harsa in grave financial troubles.From these he endeavoured to free himself by ruthless spoliation of sacred shrines.Kalhana relates with some humour how the incidental discovery of the treasures hoarded at the temple of King Bhima Sahi had turned the king’s attention to this method of replenishing his ex-chequer.After the temple treasuries had been ransacked,Harsa proceeded to the still more revolutionary measure of confiscating divine images in order to possess himself of the valuable metal of which they were made.Kalhana records the strange fact that as a preliminary step the sacred images were systematically defiled through outcast mendicants.As Kalhana is particular to specify the few metal statues of gods throughout Kashmir which escaped Harsha’s clutches,we cannot doubt the extent of Harsha’s iconoclasm.Can the latter have been instigated or encouraged somehow by the steady advance of Muhammadanism in the neighbouring terrorities?Kalahana,when relating these shameful confiscations,gives to Harsha the epithet”Turuska”,ie Muhammadean,and later on makes a reference to Turuska captains being employed in his army and enjoying his favour.”
From the above it almost seems clear that Harsa was greatly influenced by Muhammedeans and is likely to have committed these acts of Iconoclasm under their influence if not at their behest.From the way he went on to destroy and defile almost all icons, without bias either in favour of Hindus or Buddhists draws a parallel to Muslim rulers who did the same.Harsa made no difference when it came to defiling Buddhist and Hindu images makes us believe that he was purely an iconoclast and the philosophy of Iconoclasm where every image deserves to be destroyed is a concept rooted in one Semitic religion alone.
Let us also look at the word Turuska and its connotations with regard to Kalhana’s Rajatarngni.In all there are 19 references to the word Turuska in Rajatarangni.There is one reference to Yavan in Rajatarangni.There are 14 references to the word Mlecchas in Rajatarngni.
I agree with Our Marxist friend that words like Yavan,Turuska and Mleccha were used interchangeably to describe foreigners/outsiders/Muslims by Kalhana.That Kalhana uses the word “Turuska” to describe kings like Husha,Jushka and Kanishka cannot be refuted.We however need to study the word “Turuska” in the context of how Kalhana uses it for Harsa.We also need to see how Stein understands this word.For the benefit of the readers I give below all the references to the word in Rajatarangni.
Refer:Index Vol 2 page no 546 of Aurel Stein’s translation.
Turks,their habits iv .179;kings Huska,Juska,Kanishka called Turuskas I,170,viii 3412;enemies of Lalliya Sahi v 152;soldiers of Hammira(Mahumud), vii 51,56,70,118;sell slave girls,520;mercenaries supported by Harsa,1149;Harsa fears attack from Turuskas,1159;Muhammadean allies of Bhiksacrara,viii 885,886,919,923;northern allies of Dards,2843;invaders of the Punjab,3346;artist from Turuska Country vii.528;Harsa called Turuska i.e.Muhammadean,1095.
We need to look at the Turuska reference with regard to Harsa to understand whether it was “Mohammadean” that Kalhana meant by Turushka.As far as Stein is concerned he seems to be in no doubt whatsoever.This can be safely understood by the last of the references given above and given again for easy reference.( Harsa called Turuska i.e.Muhammadean,1095,vii).
As for other references except for one where Kalhana uses Turuska to describe Huska,Juska and Kanishaka all other references clearly point out that Kalhana uses Turuska as a synonym of Mohammedean..
Still let us look at some specific references
Invaders of Panjab,viii,3346,page 261,Vol 2,Aurel Stein’s translation……Prince Sangiya,the younger brother of Kamaliya,consecrated (a linga) under his own name.He was born from a race of Ksattriyas,who owing to their native place being within the territory of the Turuskas had learned nothing but cruelty……
Here Stein in his footnote writes..K refers to the condition of the Panjab after the Muhammadean conquest.
Soldiers of Hammira(Mahmud),vii 51,56,70,118, Vol 1,pages 270-276,Aurel Stein’s translation
These verses make for an interesting reading because they describe the Muhhamdean conflict with the Hindu-Shahi dynasty.In this rather detailed footnotes of the verses 47-69 Stein writes”There is no doubt that Kalhana’s narrative ,vii 47-69,relates to one of the campaigns which Mahmud of Ghazna directed against Trilochanpala and his allies.The identity of our account with Mahmud has been recognized by REINAUD,lc.Already before him Thomas(J.R.A.S,ix p.190sq)had shown the derivation of this term from the Arabic tittle Amiru-l-mumenin,and its application on coins and elsewhere to Ghaznavid Sultan.Reinaud has also rightly pointed out that the expression Turuska used for Trilochanpala’s opponents ,vii 51,56, is particularly appropriate for Mahmud’s army,which chiefly consisted of soldiers of Turkish origin.”
Documentary evidence heavily supports the fact that Harsa was greatly under the influence of his employed Muslim commanders.From the available references it can also be safely understood that in the context of Harsha Kalhana uses the word Turuska to refer to Muslims alone.
From the above one can conclude that though Harsa’s iconoclasm had its origins in greed and later in enjoyment of heresy and corruption resulting from power the effect of his Muslim friends can simply not be ruled out.In my opinion he was the first of the kings who started the process which was to be later followed by other”Turuska” kings.
As is said “Coming events cast their shadows before’The catastrophe that was to hit Kashmiris later had its shadow in Harsha”the turuska”.
Sankarvarman:This king finds mention in the Taranga 5 verses 128-227 page 202-216,Volume 1,Aurel Stein’s translation.
My Marxist friend gives us this verse from Taranga 5 as a proof of Sankaravarman’s destruction of Buddhist Viharas.Let us read the verse no 161 of taranga 5.R.S.Pandit’s translation pg 207.
“Thus the ruler,who possessed but little character,had whatever was of value at Parihaspura,carried off in order to raise the fame of his own city”
Aurel Stein’s translation of this verse reads like a copy of Pandit’s translation.Let us read that too.page 207,Vol1,Aurel Stein’s translation.
“Thus this ruler,who possessed but little character,had whatever was of value at Parihaspura,carried off in order to raise the fame of his city”
Two inferences can be drawn after reading the above verse.
1.Kalhana considers the king as bereft of any character.
2.He took away things from Parihaspura to raise the fame of his city.
In order to understand whether this was an act of destroying Viharas alone,we need to know which buildings existed at Parihaspura in the first place.Was Parihaspura a city of Buddhist Viharas alone? Was Parihaspura a city where Buddhist Viharas outnumbered Hindu temples?Did Shankaravarman destroy Parihaspura?Are there any direct/indirect references in the verse mentioned above which would indicate Shankarvarman destroying Viharas?
All these questions need to be answered before finding out whether Sankarvarman destroyed any Viharas at all or if he did so how many to be precise and which ones.So let us go back to Rajatarangi and read Taranaga 4,verses 194-209,Vol 1 page142-143 of Aurel Stein’s translation.
Parihaspura drew its name from Parihaskesava(Lord Vishnu) the image of who was the first installation at Parihaspura.If one reads through all the verses that I have referred to above it would not be hard to know that except for two images of Buddha(including the famous Brhdbuddha image) all other installations were those of Hindu gods and goddesses mainly Vishnu. So Our Marxist friend’s derivation (from verse 161 of Taranga 5)that stealing of material of any worth from Parihaspura is equal to destruction of Viharas holds no water.If at all he did destroy Parihaspura,Kalhana would have mentioned this in great detail for Parihaspura was no pushover as a city.It was built by the tallest Kashmiri King ever.Kalhana himself describes it as town” that mocked the residence of Indra” .How could a historian of Kalhanas repute have erred in mentioning its destruction at the hands of Shankarvarman and forgiven Samkaravarman for destruction of a city like Parihaspura. Marxist attempts to communalize Samkarvarman don’t seem to work.Let us also note that Kalhana says “Sankarvarman took away anything of value”No way does he write or even gives an indication that Sankarvarman destroyed the city,leave alone Viharas.
I request my friend to come up with more plausible explanations than the one he has given.It is good to read between lines.That is how history should be read but imagining is different from reading between the lines.
Let us look at the other verses that that our friend has mentioned about Sankarvarman.
I am in total agreement with him that Sankarvarman destroyed temples and like Harsha ,he too had officers who supervised the same.I had in no case argued that Sankarvarman was a just king who did not persecute his subjects neither had I argued that he did not destroy temples.All I had said was Kalhana nowhere mentions that Sankarvarman destroyed Viharas the credible evidence for which, I have already given.That he destroyed temples and collected share of profits from them proves that Sankarvarman was a wicked and a greedy king but that he destroyed Viharas is simply preposterous.
No direct or indirect reference is given either by Kalhana or later by Stein which would indicate that he selectively persecuted Buddhists or other sects who were social outcasts.
Let us now look at Agam-adambara which our friend presents as a proof of his argument that non-vedic people were prosecuted by Shankarvarman.I salute this great master of history who outrightly rejects Jonaraja,Shuka,Srivara and Prajabhatta as not being credible historians yet he presents a poet as a source of history.It just goes on to show what ridiculous lengths some of us can sometimes go to prove our point.Agam-adambara is a play and hence not in any way a source of credible historical evidence.While plays,stories,poetry written in a certain era do indicate the social,cultural and other facets of that era we cannot use them as credible historical evidences.We cannot use ” Haroun and the Sea of Stories” a thousand years from now as a historical source to understand a particular event of history.In the same manner Agamadambara may provide us an outline of the time of Sankarvarman,but to use it as a source of history would only be a mistake.
But since my friend had read it and wanted to quote from it as a proof of his hard work and knowledge of Sanskrit we may as well look at this also.I present an essay written by Dr.Ved Kumari Ghai,who is considered an authority on Kashmir’s Sanskrit Literature has written an essay on “Agamadmabara” in her book titled”Kashmir ka Sanskrit Sahitya ko Yogdhaan”published by J&K Academy of Art,Culture and Languages,Jammu
ref page no 30-35
She refers to the third act of the play.This is what she says” p 32
“Teesre Ank main Tantrik Shaiv Sadhak Kankalaketu tatha Shamshanabhuti bhaybheet hain ki Shankarvarman aur uska mantra Jayant,aadveik matavlambiyon ko desh se bahar nikalne par tule hain.Unki yojna yeh hai ki Yogeshwari Kalangi Shika ke madhyam se Maharani Sughanda par prabhav daalkar iss nishkasan ko rukvaya jayen.Tabhi dondi sunayee padti hai ki Sankarshana aur Maharaj Sankarvarman kee Aagya anusaar jagat pravah se chale aa rahe nana agam anuyayi apne apni kriyaen karte huyean rajya main rahe parantu prastut dharmo main vighan daalne wale tap se vimukh papi logon ko raja sankarvarman samapt kar denge.Bahut se sadhu dar kar rajya se bhagne lagte hain.Sankarshan svyam shaiva ashram me jaa kar shaivmata anuyyayeon ki branti door karta hai tatha rajya se bhagte huve logon ko lautane ko vyakti bhejta hai”
The above very clearly shows how the kings representative himself stops mendicants belonging in my opinion to Laukilisa or Pashupat Cult , from leaving the country.
In the fourth act of the play kings wife Sughanda calls for a congregation of saints of various schools of philosophy and to our surprise even Carvakas join the assembly.In the end of the discussions the chairman Bhatt Sahat concludes by saying the following,in the words of Ved Kumai ”Jaise kisi nagar ya mahal main pravesh karne ke ichuk alag alag dwaron se pravesh kar sakte hain usee prakar moksh ke ichhuk sadhak bhi moksh ki praapti ki liye alag alag marg apna sakte hain”ref p 34,
Now my dear friend where is the question of selective persecution.
Although I have put forth my comments on Adam-agambara I still don’t consider this as a historical source though it can be a reflection of the times of Shankarvarman.Poets/playwrights have poetic license and use it liberally.They use Alamkaras and Atishouktis to add spice to their works.So to use or even suggest using them to verify a certain historical event is committing historical hara-kiri.
Anangpala:Taranga 7,verse 147;This person was not a Kashmiri , nor a king or a king who ruled Kashmir. That he was related to King Ananata was his only connection to Kashmir.It is like a nephew of Rahul Gandhi coming from Italy and then doing something which is out of sync with our culture.Can I take this an example of Rahul Gandhi being a non-conformist or less-Indian or something of that sort. Giving examples of Prince of Kabul for proving Hindu Iconoclasm in Kashmir shows that Our Marxist friend had to work really hard to find examples to justify his argument.
Summary:Kalhana records Kashmir’s history for a total of 3339 years.There are 147 kings who find mention in Rajatarangni.Out of these our learned friend (after a lot of hard work and digging,even muck raking)could find only seven kings (as per his analysis) who he believes to have committed acts of Iconoclasm and persecution.He does not go into the motives for the same except in case of Harsha where he defends his citadel that Harsha wasn’t really so-much under Islamic influence to have committed acts of iconoclasm against Hindu and Buddhist icons as Muslim rulers later did.
Let us assume(playing Marxist Historian’s advocate) all seven of the kings including Anangpala(an Afghan prince) did commit acts of iconoclasm wouldn’t it be more of an exception/aberration rather than a rule.Although I have conclusively proved on the basis of written evidence that not more than 4 kings in an entire span of 3339 years have resorted to such acts.This is not to say that Hindu kings were any better than Muslim kings in terms of governance/administration ,justice delivery system or persecution of their subjects.Not even one Pre-Islamic king has been found to have resorted to selective persecution on the basis of faith.
Now compare this with the kings in the Islamic period of approximately 450 years one can count on ones fingers the kings (Zainul-abidin,Akbar,Hassan Shah,Jehangir,Shah-Jehan)who did not resort to large scale persecution on the basis of religion & iconoclasm.That Shia’s or Sunnies also subjugated each other is but a proof of religious intolerance within Islam’s different sub-sects.A detailed account of the same has already been provided in the earlier chapter titled”Motives Behind Iconoclasm-The Muslim Kings”.In the end of this rather dry and scholastic paper I am giving references to Jia Lal Kilam’s “A history of Kashmiri Pandits”
Birabar Dhar as a representative of Kashmiris (both Hindus as well as Muslims) had gone to Sikhs to seek their help to free Kashmir from the clutches of the Afghan rulers.When Afghans came to know of this they took his daughter away to Afghanistan and his wife consumed a diamond so as to escape their cruel hawks.
Eventually the Afghans were defeated.The Sikhs wanted to bring down the Shah-i-Hamdan mosque(which as you know was built after breaking a Kali temple)but Birbar Dhar requested them not to do so.This I gave as an example of how a Kashmiri Pandit tried to save his nation(Kashmir) from the clutches of the ruthless Afghan kings.This also is an example of the religious tolerance shown by Pandits who despite being brutally subjugated by Afghan kings did not resort to religious bigotry despite the fact that they knew that the mosque was a built on a Hindu Temple.
This was to make a point that unless Kashmiris acknowledge the role of all those (irrespective of their religion) who fought for its sovereignty and freedom the minorities would never feel or be a part of that movement.
I am giving below from the same book references to show the kind of atrocities which were inflicted by most Muslim rulers (with a few exceptions) on the non-Muslims.This is not to say that Muslim people participated in these orgies of death and destruction.Even among the mayhem that was let loose by these cruel kings on their subjects especially non-muslims there are instances when Hindus supported Muslims and vice-versa.Please be kind to read the following references from the books.
JLK:Jia Lal Kilam
1. pp 24-25,JLK,cross ref:Pir Hassan Shah,Vol1,p 495
Zul-chu ordered a massacre.Thousands were killed,more were sold as slaves to Tartar merchants…………….Zul-chu or Durl-chu took about 50,000 brahmans with him as slaves.
2.pp 30---,JLK,
The king in order to break the upheaval amongst the Hindus, turned his attention towards their temples which must have provided a meeting place for them.Hassan the Kashmiri historian says that almost all the temples in Srinagar including the one at Bijbehara were greatly damaged.
3.p 30,JLK
The methods adopted by Sikander in this behalf may well be given in the words of Hassan.After having described the great homage paid by Sikander to Mir Muhammad Hamdani,at whose bidding he constructed a khankah,known as Khankaha-i-Maula,on the site of an old temple called Kali Shri,Hassan says”this country possessed from the times of Hindu Rajas many temples which were like the wonders of the world.Their workmanship was so fine and delicate that one found himself bewildered at their sight.Sikander goaded by feelings of bigotry destroyed them and leveled them with the earth and with their material built many mosques and khankahs.In the first instance he turned his attention towards the Martand temple built by Rama Deva on Mattan Karewa.For one full year he tried to demolish it but failed.At last in sheer dismay he dug out stones from its base and having stored enough wood in their place set fire to it.The gold gilt paintings on its walls were totally destroyed and the walls surrounding its premises were demolished.Its ruins even now strike wonder in men’d minds.At Bijbehara three hundered temples including the famous Vijeyshwara temple which was partially damaged by Shahab-ud-din were destroyed and with the material of the latter a mosque was built on its site a khankah which is even now known as Vijayeshwar mosque”
4.p 31-32,JLK,cross reference Pir Hassan Shah,Vol 1,p 180
Gruesome conversion of Hindus,their conversion,burning of six maunds of sacred thread,see how many brahmans embraced death rather than convert.Books thrown into Dal.
5.p 33,JLK, cross reference JC Dutt pp 65-66,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II p 186
6.p 34,JLK,cross reference Sufi,G.M.D Kashir Vol 1,p 89
7.p 36.JLK,cross reference Dutt,JC pp 67-68
8.p 49JLK, “During Haider Shah’s reign Pandits suffered immensely”
9.p 50,JLK,cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol 2,p 20
10.p 50,JLK,cross reference ,Dutt JC,p 188
11.p 50,JLK,cross reference ,Dutt JC,pp 195,196.
12.p 57,JLK,cross reference ,Dutt JC,p 261.
13.p 62,JLK, cross reference ,pandits being targeted
14.p 62,JLK, cross reference ,Fauq,History of Kashmir
15.p 62,JLK, cross reference ,Fauq,History of Kashmir
16.p 65,JLK,cross refernce,Dutt,JC,p 348
17.p 66,JLK, cross reference,Dutt JC,p 353-54
18.p 67,JLK,cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah Vol II,pp 273-74
19.p 69,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II p 332
20.pp 89-90,JLK cross reference,Fauq,History of Kashmir,p 91.
21.p –90-91,JLK,Muhatta Khan’s looting,killing and maiming of Hindus,Burning of Houses and other atrocities…. cross reference…Fauq ,History of Kashmir
22.p92,JLK, cross reference,Pahalwan Ananad Ram,History of Kashmir
23.p 109,JLK, a popular verse describing the condition
24.p 123,JLK, cross reference,Fauq,History of Kashmir
25.p 125,JLK, cross reference,Fauq ,History of Kashmir
26.p 125,JLK, cross reference,Anand Ram Pahalwan,History of Kashmir
27.p 126,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol-II p 669
28.p 126,JLK,cross reference,Kachru Birbar,History of Kashmir
29.p 131,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah, Vol II,p 673
30.p 131,JLK, cross reference,Pahalwan Ananad Ram,History of Kashmir
31.p 134,JLK,read about Haji Karim Dad and his atrocities on Pandits.
32.p 135,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II p 684
33.p 135,JLK,a supplement to Narayan Kaul’s History of Kashmir by Anand Ram Pahalwan.
34.p 135,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah Vol II p 684.
35.p 141,JLK, cross reference,Fauq,History of Kashmir.
36.p 142,JLK, Azad Khan’s appetite for Pandit blood.
37.p 149,JLK, cross reference ,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II,p 696.
38.p 153,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II,p 701.
39.p 154,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II,pp 699,701
40.p 154,JLK, cross reference,Kachru Birbar, A History of Kashmir
41.p 154,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II p 701,
42.p 154,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II p 701.
43.p 155,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II,p 701.
44.p 155,JLK, cross reference,Fauq,History of Kashmir, also Kachru Birbar,A History of Kashmir.
45.p 166,JLK, cross reference,Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II,p 732.
46.p 166,JLK, cross reference, Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II,p 732.
47.p 173,JLK, cross reference ,Fauq,History of Kashmir
48.174,JLK, cross reference ,Tarikh-1-Awam-i-Kashmir.
49,p 177,JLK, cross reference, Pir Hassan Shah,Vol II,p 748
These references stated above should serve as an eye opener to Marxist Historians who try and compare Iconoclasm and Religious Persecution in pre-Islamic era to that of Islamic era.
I have never stated that the Kashmiri Pandit is timeless victim but at the same time can any one refute the evidences (mostly by Muslim Historians) which stand as a testimony to how barbaric foreign rulers(the progeny of whom today seek independence in Kashmir) resorted to brutalities against the native populace of Kashmir.How they left no stone un-turned to convert all of us to the only “true religion”.In all this I pay glorious tributes to kings like Zainaul abidin,Akbar and Shah-Jehan who ruled Kashmir without bias.
Conclusion:
While there is no doubt that Islam does not alone have a monopoly of religious intolerance,in case of Kashmir most of the Muslim rulers were bigots,extremely intolerant and conversion or subjugation topped their agenda.We cannot but miss the fact that in pre-Islamic Kashmir (for which we have written History) of around 3500 years we have 4 instances,OK 7 instances of iconoclasm(to keep Our Marxist friend happy) and none of religious persecution at the hands of kings(Hindus,Hunas,Buddhists,Nagas,Kushans) while as in the 450 odd years of Islamic rule we have more than 100 such instances( most recorded by a sizeable number of foreign Muslim Historians with pride).

Rashneek Kher

5 comments:

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There will be only one slogan: NO MERCY!

Communist said...

May God destroy Islam and kill all Muslims.

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Dead End

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The road to what was once my home in Kashmir....zuv chum bramaan ghare gachehae..