By K.N. Pandita
Mr. Jagmohan’s write – up (Kashmir’s new danger April 12, 2007) asks for some vital clarifications. A letter will not do, hence a full write-up.
Shri Jagmohan is one most outstanding authority on contemporary Kashmir essentially first by virtue of being an astute scholar, and secondly having headed the J&K State twice, once in normal times and the next at a crucial time when armed insurgency broke out. Notwithstanding these unique qualifications, some basics of Kashmir history and psyche appear to have remained obscure to his searching eye.
In the first place it is a big fallacy to think that Kashmir had a tolerant Islam. It was never so. Muslim historians, pseudo-secular Hindus and some self-styled visionaries manipulated it. Works of Kashmiri Persian histories like Baharistan-i-Shahi (A.D. 1622) and Tohfatu’l-Ahbab (closing years of 16th century) and Tarikh-i-Kashmir of Peerzada Ghulam Hasan have remained inaccessible to most of Kashmir commentators including perhaps Jagmohan. These and other casual Persian histories give an insight into atrocities perpetrated on the Kashmiri Hindus from A.D 1339 to the end of the Pathan rule in circa A.D. 1797. For a long period of over four hundred years, Kashmiri Hindus have borne untold atrocities, forced conversion and circumcision and persecution at the hands of the local Muslim satraps, warlords and their engines of oppression. Never did a single Kashmri Muslim stand up to the tyrannical and bigoted rulers and goons demanding justice to the Hindu population.