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Kashmir" - it has been a bone of contention between
Indiaand over the last sixty years. Accusing fingers have been raised at individuals and leaders since 1947. The non- resolution character of the issue springs from the fact that it was an emotional affinity for the inherited property of 'two estranged brothers'. And its HISTORY has played a very vital role which none of the parties involved wants to understand. Pakistan
Kashmiris also called the land of 'Neela Nag'--Son of 'KASHYAP'--a wandering sage and his wife 'KUDRU'-a supposedly serpent girl, who produced 'half-human' and a 'half-Snake' children. Incidentally, ' Kashmir' is the name derived from Kashyap i.e. 'Kashyap Mar'(KASHYAP's STRIKE). Legend has it that SAGE KASHYAP worshipped and made prayers to LORD VISHNU for 1000 years to let the valley be rid of a monster called JALDEVA-who was a son of SANGHRASUR- an ASURA. The beautiful valleyof River Vitasta( Jhelum) of Vedic name has no one to blame but its own history for its current miseries. If it is now in the centre stage of current Indo-Pak face off, it is the handiwork of its history.
Frankly speaking, since 1820,
Kashmirhas been under the spell of the curse of its own history. And the cure will also come from its history only! I bet you will dismiss this as a joke. But recorded facts are otherwise. This logic (or truth!) of history of Kashmir was revealed to me, some eight years back, by an illiterate 'Kashmiri Guzzar' of North Kashmir, when I had gone there to study the Kargil-99 Episode. My friend, K****din, was convinced about it and I was stunned by it. And more I read about its history, more I am enamoured by the sheer veracity of this logic. Here are some of the key points of my friend, K****din's theory of 'Grand-Cycles-of-Kashmir-History': -
Ø Every 780-800 years of
Kashmir's recorded history, it has been under the domination of a particular religion. This period of 780-800 years is called 'Grand Cycle of History'.
Ø Every Grand Cycle is further subdivided into three sub-cycles of 265-275 years each.
Ø First Sub- cycle of each Grand Cycle relates to emergence, development and progress of a particular religion.
Ø Second Sub- Cycle pertains to consolidation and prosperity of the religion.
Ø The first two sub cycles of 530-550 years, as above, make the 'Golden Period of Domination of a Religion in
Ø The Third Sub Cycle leads to decay and degeneration of the predominant religion and ushers the era of emergence of a new religious philosophy, which shall dominate for other 530-550 years.
Ø The term ' Religious Domination' is to be read as 'State
Ø Patronization' of the philosophy of 'Worship and rituals' by human beings in a particular manner.
Keeping the above in mind, let us have a brief glance at the recorded history of
Kashmir. The best sources are RAJTARANGNI by Kalhan and 'Nilamat Puran' of 2nd century AD. I MUST HERE GIVE YOU A BACKGROUNDER ON THE RECORDED HISTORY OF KASHMIR. Succeeding paragraphs will endeavour to condense a long winding story- beginning with KALHANA'S book 'RAJTARINGANI'.
'Rajtarangini' begins with the year 1184 BC when Gonanda-I, a 'Shaivite'(Followers of Lord SHIVA!) king was ruling
Kashmir. It roughly relates to 'Mahabharta Period'-the great 'HINDU Epic'. The grand son of Gonanda-I was Gonanda-II who was deposed by one -Haran Deva, a brother of 'Janamejya' and Grandson of Arjun (Great Arjuna of Mahabharata War). Most Western and Indian Historians agree that Mahabharta War took place around 1000-1100 BC, although some Indian scholars put the date around 3000 BC. We will go by the majority opinion.
It will be interesting to note, prior to the coming of Aryans, the VAISHNAVITES (Worshippers of Lord Vishnu-the Vegetarians), major portion of Northern South Asian sub continent (Present day
India, , Bangla Desh etc) was inhabited by "SHAIVITES" (Worshippers of Lord Shiva - the Non Vegetarians). Look at the old ancient 'Shiva Temples' spread along the length and breadth of the sub continent. Pakistan
'Shaivism' and 'Vaishnavism' were different temporal philosophies-one stressed on Non-Vegetarian food the other on pure vegetarian food. Shaivism insisted on 'ENJOYING THE PRESENT'; whereas Vaishanavism preached on 'IMPROVING YOUR TOMORROW'. These were the practising faiths of the people of this region. There was nothing known as 'HINDUISM' till 530 AD. The 'two' were altogether different cults or what you call religions today. We will call them 'separate religions' to understand the issue properly.
Let us, now, look at the five GRAND CYCLES of different dominating religions in the recorded history of
Kashmir. They are: -
Ø The FIRST CYCLE belongs to 'SHAIVISM'. This GRAND CYCLE PERIOD in
Kashmirended with the deposition of Gonanda-II by Harandeva, a VAISHNAVITE. This was the end of 1st Grand Cycle of its history. It was around 1050 BC. We do not have any recorded version of history prior to this. There are only mythological tales. RAJTARANGINI says there were some 108 kings before GONANDA-1, who were the descendants of one DAYA KARAN. But all legends tell us it was the abode of Lord Shiva and his followers were of 'Naga Race'. Remember, Prince Takshak, who killed Parikshat- Arjun's son. He was a Naga. It is a different matter Aryan literature dubbed him as a 'Nag'- a 'Serpent'-a 'Cobra'.
Ø The Second Grand Cycle of Kashmir began around 1030-1050 BC. 'Vaishnavism' dominated it and it ended around 250 BC when great 'Ashoka' came to Kashmir and founded SRI NAGAR in honour of goddess LAXMI (Approximately 800 years). Note, he was a Buddhist king and he established a city in the name of VAISHNAV goddess. It explains that cults (or so called religions of today) had no separate identity. They were intermixing and inter-mingling. They made a composite culture of the region.
Ø The Third Grand Cycle heralded BUDHISM in
Kashmirand ruled the roost from 250 BC to 530 AD. 'Kushan' kings patronized it. 'Kushans' came to Kashmir from around 260 BC. They were followed by Shakas and Huns. This grand cycle ended with the emergence of Huns (a Chinese tribe), whose first king of China Kashmirwas MIHIRKULA ? a known tyrant in history (Approximately 780 years).
Ø The Fourth Grand Cycle, which established ' Hinduism', began around 530 AD, when Gopal Ditya, Mihirkula's son, came to throne. It is he, who gave religious recognition to the term 'HINDUISM' as we know it today. Here-to-fore, the term 'Hindu' was used only as a geographical identity for the land East of 'River Indus'. It is pertinent to note the word 'Hindu' has a Persian origin and derived from 'Sindhu'- a 'Sanskrit' word. 'Sindhu' was the name given to River Indus (From Sindhu it became 'Hindu' in Persian and from Hindu it became '
Indus', Indic or Indi in Greek). As ancient Persians pronounced 'S' - as an aspirate 'h', so 'Sindhu' became 'Hindu'. No Vedic literature or religious scriptures mention the word 'Hindu', whether it is 'Vedas', 'Upanishads' or the great epics. In the written form, first time the word 'Hindu' appears on a tablet dated back to 518 BC when king Darius- I was ruling Persia. He used it to describe the geographical extent of his kingdom upto and beyond River Hindu (or Sindhu or Indus). Anyway, to cut the story short, till Gopalditya became king in Kashmirin 530 AD, the term 'Hindu' had only a geographical identity for the people living East of River Indus. To Gopalditya, these people were a Curious mix of conflicting beliefs and ideologies but with traits of liberal tolerance and peaceful co-existence. He, therefore, saw 'Shaivites', 'Vaishnavites' and 'Buddhists' as a composite mix of a larger philosophy. He termed it as 'Hinduism' and converted himself to it. Thus, it was a Chinese Hun, who gave 'Hinduism' its religious identity as a composite 'Culture of the Way of Living' of people. This Grand cycle of 'Hinduism' flourished between 530 AD to 1325 AD. (Approximately 795 years). It ended when Rinchen Shah, a Tibetan prince, came to power after marrying Rani KOTA DEVI, whose husband had run away when the Turks invaded Kashmirin 1324 AD.
Ø The Fifth Grand Cycle, which brought in ISLAM, began around 1325 AD when Rinchen Shah, the King, converted to Islam as he was snubbed by a Brahmin Mr. Dev swami, who stopped him from converting to Hinduism. An outsider, Gopalditya-a Hun, had initiated the reign of HINDUISM in
KASHMIR, but another outsider was prevented and he brought in Islam. Even before this, all famous Buddhist kings of Kashmirhad been outsiders- Kushans from china ? such as Jalushka, Haluska and Kanishka. Do not forget Harandeva (A Great Grandson of Arjuna of Mahabharta) - an Aryan, was an also outsider.
Ø The golden period of 500 years of Islam in
Kashmirwas up to 1820 AD - when it was annexed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The third sub-cycle of this grand cycle began around 1820 AD. This sub cycle is of decay and degeneration. If you add other 265- -275 years to the 1820 AD, this grand cycle will close around 2085 to2095 AD.
Ø In other words, by the end of 21st century, the SIXTH GRAND CYCLE will take over. What will be its characteristics? It could be more liberalized 'Secularism' or 'Globalism'. I RECKON, BY THEN, THE MANKIND WOULD HAVE GOT RID OF THE GRIP OF RELIGIONS OVER IT AND THE MAN WOULD HAVE ENTERED THE 'COSMIC AGE'. We would have left THREE WAVES of Agriculture, Industrial and Information / Knowledge waves far behind. The last wave of KNOWLEDGE will drive away religion to the privacy of our homes only. I suppose it will take another90- 100 years for COSMIC MAN to emerge on the scene. COSMIC MAN will live in the GLOBAL VILLAGE and work in the SPACE interacting with EXTRA TERRESTIAL(ET) INTELLIGENCE. This is there on the cards. Read the writing on the wall.
KASHMIR, then, like any other region or place, will be an interconnected and interfaced as a micro- dot on the GLOBAL CHIP. When the concept of NATION-STATE becomes redundant---many large nations will meet the fate of 'lost civilisations'. But till it happens, the Kashmirpot will keep boiling? History itself will seek answer for the problem which has roots in its annals. Rests, all of them are mere actors in this drama of history.
Having said this much, let me also make two points on the current day problem of
Kashmir. First of all, it is a misnomer to equate Kashmirwith the erstwhile territories of the state of J&K of Maharaja Hari Singh. The J&K territories of Maharaja Hari Singh comprised six different regions, which historically, ethnically, geographically and linguistically had nothing in common except a lose central control of 100 years by the descendants of Raja Gulab Singh. These regions were Jammu, Laddakh, Kashmir, Baltistan, Dardistan, and 'Naushehra-Poonch-URI-Mirpur' extension of Western Punjab. While Jammu, Laddakh and Kashmir Valleyare with India; Baltistan, Dardistan (both making Northern areas of Pakistan) and 'Naushehra-Mirpur' extension of Western Punjab (NOW POK) are with . It is misunderstood and lost identity of other five regions and confused synonym of Kashmir with J&K which is the cause of problem between Pakistan Indiaand . J&K is not Kashmir but Pakistan Kashmiris part of it. To find a solution to this problem, Kashmirmust be de-linked from other regions.
My second point emerges from this. If
Indiacommitted blunders in 1947-1950, so has . If only Pakistan had not forced the hands of Maharaja Hari Singh by sending tribal raiders in Sept 1947, the history would have been entirely different. This was the biggest blunder of MA Jinnah who acted on the ill - timed advice of his military advisor, Major General Akbar Khan (The infamous General Tariq of Tribal Raiders in Kashmir in 1947). Mountbatten, a so-called friend of Pakistan , had ensured that Indian leadership of the time, remained drowned in its self-created sea of moralities. But Jinnah lacked patience or time (he was dying of cancer!). India
However, Jinnah and Nehru could do nothing about it as 'History of Kashmir' had scripted their roles as much. Ordained by History, events in
Kashmirmoved, as it desired. All these Gilainis, Bhatts, Salahuddins, Yasin Maliks, Javed Mirs, Omar Farouks, Dhars, Sheikh Abdullahs, are pawns in the hands of the history of Kashmir. Kashmirhad known tyrants (terrorists!) in its history: from 'Jaldevs' in the ancient times to 'Mihirkulas' in the medieval times. All were outsiders. Today's Salahuddins, Azhar Masouds, and their elk are the replicas of yesteryears 'Jaldevs' and 'Mihirculas'. History of Kashmiris using these terror groups to move on its pre-ordained path. Right Sir, history will find a cure at the right time. Wait till the end of the century.
One passing remark I will make. Looking for a solution to
Kashmirproblem? Are you? Then, Indiaand must get out of the vicious grip of history. In simple terms, 1947 is not 2007 as 2007 will not be 2099. And today's solution is that LOC must be accepted as 'INTERIM IB'. Leave the rest to future generations. Do they have the courage to do so? If not, then, keep playing into the hands of history. Pakistan
Simla agreement of 1972; Lahore Declaration of 1999, saw the vision of such a possibility but it got scuttled because Nawaz Sharief & CO, realizing this possibility at a future date, pre-maturely ventured into 'LOC-Nibbling- Act' in Kargil in 1999. His Kargil misadventure was aimed at occupying important heights in Kargil before LOC became accepted as IB. Basically, it was to safeguard his 'Northern Areas'-where a problem of independence is brewing up.
But history outsmarted him through his generals, who enlarged the scope of 'Nibbling-Act' to a total "Misadventure". And it derailed the whole process. History of
Kashmiris too strong to allow anyone to tinker with its well-charted course. You need men of steel nerves on both sides of the fence to override her wishes. Lawlessness (read TERRORISM) in Kashmir, sir, is a creation of history and it will die when it would have served her purpose. Till then live with it or make its mother infertile. It needs men of vision on both sides to understand this alternative option.