The Bold Voice of J&K

KP community suffered migration seven times

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KUNDAN  KASHMIRI

The legendary community of Kashmiri Pandits have not suffered with tragic migration once in but seven times. The first migration was held during the reign of Sikandar—-Butshikan (AD 1389 to 1413),.who with religious fanaticism spread Islam in the entire Valley. Cruel Sultan forgot his kingly duties and took delight day and night in breaking Hindu images in the Valley. There was no city, no town, no village, no wood where Muslim fanatics left the temples of the gods unbroken. Sikandar meted out greatest oppression to the Hindus. It was notified in the Valley that if a Hindu does not become a Muslim, he must leave the country or be killed. As a result some of the Hindus fled away, some accepted Islam and many Brahmans consented to be killed and gave their lives. It is said that Sikandar collected, by these methods, six maunds of sacred thread form Hindu converts and burnt them.. All the Hindu books of learning were collected and thrown into Dal Lake and were buried beneath stones and earth.” Sikandar issued orders that no man should wear the Tilak mark on his forehead and no woman be allowed to perform Sati. He also insisted on breaking and melting of all the gold and silver idols of gods and coin the metal into money. An attempt was made to destroy the caste of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans by force and those who resisted were subject to heavy fines. Many of the Brahmans, rather than abandon their religion or their county, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Muslims. The number of Kashmiri Sarasawti Pandits, to whom these thirteen maunds of sacred threads belonged, might have been tremendously colossal. A mammoth number of the Saraswat Pandits also went into exile, causing the first disastrous mass exodus of the community.
Second migration of Pandit community took place in the regime of Ali Shah (AD 1413-1430), son of Sikandar- the Butshikan, during his short rule of six years, carried on his father’s cruel reign with homicides, conversions, and enforced Jazia. This evil-minded man forbade ceremonies and processions on the new moon. He became envious that the Brahmans who had become fearless would keep up their caste by going over to foreign countries, he therefore ordered posting of squads on the roads, not to allow passage to any one without a passport. The legendary Brahmans burnt themselves in the flaming fire through fear of conversion. Some Brahmans killed themselves by taking poison, some by the rope and others by drowning themselves. The country was contaminated by hatred and the king’s favourites could not prevent one in a thousand from committing suicide. A multitude of celebrated Brahmans, who prided in their caste, fled from the country through bye-roads as the main roads were closed. Even as men depart from this world, so did the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir flee to foreign countries. The difficult countries through which they passed, the scanty food, painful illness and the torments of hell during life time removed from the minds of the Kashmiri Pandits the fears of hell. Oppressed by various calamities such as encounter with the enemy, fear of snakes, fierce heat and scanty food; many Brahmans perished on the way and thus obtained salvation. This was the second miserable mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits. Third migration of Kashmiri Pandits held during the time of Mir Shams-ud-Din Iraqi, who visited the Saffron Valley in AD 1477 and 1496, was the founder of Shia sect in Kashmir. His mission was the vigorous propagation of his faith. So, not contented with peaceful preachings, violent methods were employed. In this adventure, a Khanqah was built at Zadibal (Srinagar) by Iraqi, which became the nucleus of Shia concentration.
Kashmiri Pandits suffered ferociously under the instructions of Shams-ud-Din Iraqi . About 24,000 of them were forcibly converted to Shia sect of Islam. Iraqi had even issued orders that everyday about 1,500 to 2,000 Brahmans be brought to his doorsteps, remove their sacred threads, administer Kalima to them, circumcise them and make them eat beef. These decrees were ferociously and brutally carried out. The Hindu religious scriptures from 7th century AD onwards and about 18 magnificent temples were destroyed, property confiscated and ladies abused. Thousands of Brahmans killed themselves to evade this horrific barbarism and thousands migrated to other places, resulting in their third tragic mass exodus from the Saffron Valley of Kashmir. Those who stayed behind were not only forced to pay Jazia, but their noses and ears were chopped off. To escape the tremendous pain and agony, they cried. “I am not a Hindu.”
The fourth migration of Kashmiri Pandits took place during the period of Aurangzeb. With his bigoted fanatic and dogmatic approach, the Kashmiri Pandits were once again made vulnerable the Mughal governor of Kashmir during the reign of Aurangzeb, brutally tyrannised over the Brahmans to such an extent that they(Kashmiri Pandits) approached Guru Teg Bhahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, at Anandpur in Punjab and solicited his personal intervention with the Emperor. This ultimately led to the Guru’s martyrdom and made Guru Gobid Singh to create the Khalsa to fight the oppressors. Muzaffer Khan, Nassar Khan and Ibrahim Khan were other governors of Aurangzeb who ferociously terrorised the Kashmiri Pandits. These celebrated scapegoats were once again forced to migrate from the land of their origin. It was the fourth disastrous mass exodus of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans from Kashmir the land of Kashyap
The fifth migration was held during the rule of later Mugals,., Kashmir witnessed the outbreak of the worst kind of religious intolerance. In AD 1720, Mullah Abdul Nabi, also called Muhat Khan, a non-resident Kashmiri Muslim, was appointed as Shaikhul Islam . In order to assert his religious authority, he asked the Deputy Governor, Mir Ahmed Khan , to start a campaign of persecution of the Kafirs (infidels) – as the Kashmiri Pandits were called. In order to satisfy his satanic ego, the Mulla issued six commandments:
o1. No Hindu should ride a horse, nor should a Hindu wear a shoe. 2 They should not wear Jama. 3.They should move bare arms. 4. They should not visit any garden 5.They should not have any Tilak mark 6.Their children should not receive any education.
(To be continued)

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