Setting The Record Straight

  • Zahir-ud-Din
  • Publish Date: Oct 17 2017 10:09PM
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  • Updated Date: Oct 17 2017 10:09PM
Setting The Record Straight

Why Kashmir: Exposing The Myth Behind The Narrative is a must read


Khalid Bashir Ahmad’s book makes it difficult to accept the fairy tales of Nilmata Purana about the creation of Kashmir.

The tale goes thus: “O best among the kings, the goddess Uma is the same as Kashmira. What was formerly an enjoyable, heart-enrapturing lake for six Manvantras since the beginning of the Kalpa became a beautiful territory in this Manvantra,” said Vaisampayana to Jananejaya in reply to his question as to why a woman was crowned the ruler of Kashmira.

“On the bank of this heart-enrapturing lake, lotus eyed Indra was once sporting with the consort Sachi. On this beautiful goddess fell the eye of Daitya Chief named Sangrha. The Daitya Chief became subject to passion and desirous of carrying away Sachi, and in his excitement discharged semen into the lake. The child born out of the evil-minded Sangrha’s discharged semen was brought up by the Nagas and called Jalodbhava, the water-born.”

The tale further tells about the travelling sage Kashyapa, his alliance with Nila Brahama and other gods, his altercation with the Nagas and the intervention of Vaishnu telling Nila to live in the company of men.

As Akhter Mohi-ud-Din writes in his book, A Fresh Approach To History Of Kashmir: “It is quite obvious that the tale is in no way intended as an historical narrative, but, instead, has been woven to put forth the religious beliefs of the narrators.”

Like Akhter, Khalid shreds the authenticity of Nilmata Purana, and even Rajtarangni. Only Exposing The Myth Behind The Narrative is more extensively researched and solidly argued.

Khalid demolishes the Naga myth with the hammer of evidence: there is no archaeological proof about their existence. The Nagas, he argued, existed only in the imaginations of the authors of Nilmat Purana and Rajtarangni.

Quoting Abdur Rashid Lone, who teaches Ancient Indian History and Archaeology at the University of Kashmir, he writes: “Nagas do have a historical base in the mainland of India. Certain temple shrines and sculptures there are ascribed to them. But as far as Kashmir Valley is concerned, except in Nilmata Purana and Rajtarangini, they do not exist. From the archaeological perspective, we do not have any concrete evidence of their presence in Kashmir.”

Khalid also exposes the lies of Brahman chroniclers about the transformation of Kashmir from a Hindu kingdom to a Muslim society.

He has furnished proof that the Hindu community was well placed during Mughal, Afghan, Sikh and Dogra regimes even as the poor Muslims suffered silently. About the allegation that Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam, Khalid says the transformation of Kashmir from a Hindu kingdom to a Muslim society was a long drawn out process spread over about three centuries.

Khalid points out that Brahman chroniclers did not say a word about the patronage of Sanskrit by Muslim kings. They are also silent about the reluctance of Sultan Shihab-ud-Din to melt Hindu idols for making coins despite the counsel of his Hindu minister Udayashri. They are also silent about the genocide of Buddhists at the hands of the Brahmans.

Khalid explains how Brahmans exercised influence over Afghans and other repressive regimes; one of them even became the governor of Kabul. The Pandits always played the role of “fifth columnists” after the Mughal occupied Kashmir.

The book also throws light on the so-called genocide of the Pandits in the late 1980s and their migration in 1990. Khalid rejects the figures about the killings of the Pandits, as also the allegations of gang rape of a Pandit woman. About the latter he writes: “The scene of the alleged crime was reported as Hazratbal in Srinagar. In response to a query asked through an RTI application addressed to the State Home Department, the Srinagar Police denies the incident having taken place. To a question whether this incident took place, the police responded with an emphatic ‘No’.”

The figures on the killings furnished by Panun Kashmir, Khalid writes, have been rejected even by members of the community. “Sanjay Tikoo asserts that 399 members of their community were killed in a span of 20 years. Tikoo rejects the claims of Panun Kashmir as mere propaganda. Even Tikoo’s estimate of casualties is contested by some fellow Kashmiri Pandits who like him did not migrate from the Valley.”

Moti Lal Bhat observes: “I think the government’s figures of 219 are incorrect...I reject this figure of 650 and even the figure 399.”

Khalid cites scores of examples to expose the falsehood in the claims of so-called leaders and saviours of the Hindu community.

Responding to the claim that around 7,00,000 Pandits migrated from the valley in 1990. Khalid writes: “According to the census of 1981, the total population of Hindus in Kashmir (including non-Kashmiris) was 1,24,078. Given the decadal growth of the community from 1971 to 1981 as 6.75 percent, there population in 1991 would have been 132,453.”

According to him, the total number of Pandits who left the valley in 1990 is about 1,24,453.