Sunday, September 29, 2019

Bhatta Mazar- A place where Hindus were massacred by Muslims in Kashmir- History forgotten by Hindus also.

The advent of Islam in Kashmir was considered from the 14th century and it is believed that the introduction of Islam has created unprecedented problems and led to exodus of Kashmiri Hindus, the aborigines, from Kashmir. Prof. K.L. Bhan has identified 7 exoduses of Kashmiri Hindus in seven different epochs starting from 14th century onwards and finds that their number has been reduced from being majority to minority in their own land because of constant persecution and forced conversions. Many Kashmir Hindus were either forcibly converted to Islam or they have been killed or left Kashmir.

 The First Exodus (1389-1413) 
Scheming wily and guily Shah Mir became the founder of the Muslim rule in Kashmir. By encouraging inter-marriages he poisoned and weakened the family life of the Kashmiri Hindus to the advantage of the Muslim minority as this tactics built a reliable and strong base/plinth for the propagation of Islam in Kashmir. By fraudulently getting Kota Rani, Bhatta Bhikshana and Bratta Autar murdered he removed forces of resistance from his way and became instrumental in letting Islam set its root deep in Kashmiri soil. The counselors of Kota Rani did not let her have tit for tat, following their ethos of non-violence, reverence for moral and ethical values.
Terrorised by Tamur the Lame – Syyid Mir Ali Hamdani along with 700 Sayyids, his followers, landed in Kashmir and drove a wide and deep wedge between the majority Hindus and minority Muslims. He dictated the Sultan Qutubud-Din to make the persecution and torture of the KPs a state policy. The code he prescribed for the sultan was a model of hatred, distrust, intolerance, bigotry and malignity against the KPs. He compelled the Sultan to officialise the presecution and massacre of KPs unless they embraced Islam. He is the architect of desecration and demolition of the Kalishree temple near Fatah Kadal in Srinagar and raising on its plinth a mosque known as Khanqah-i-Mulla. With his repressive and precautionary measures backed by state terrorism he achieved the conversion of 37,000 KPs to Islam during the latter two of his three visits. The Sayyids headed by Mir Ali Hamdani openly preached extermination of Hindu religion and Hindu politics from the soil of the Kashmir in order that Islam might flourish and get unshakably entrenched in their place. Following in his father’s footsteps Mir Mohamad Hamdani urged Sultan Slkandar (1389-1413) notoriously known as the iconoclast (Sikandar but-shikan) to wipe out infidelity (Hindus) root and branch, from Kashmir and let not even a weed of it survive. The two reinforced by the rabid neo-convert Malik Saifudin unleashed a massive war against KPs with the target of genocide of this highly cul­tured people. Sikandar having pawned his soul to the Sayyids threw all norms of civilized Ilfe and tolerance to winds and issued an atrocious and barbaric Government decree or­dering the KPs to opt for conversion or exile, flight or death. They let loose the floodgates of a reign of terror on the KPs to pressurize them to embrace Islam. Sikander enjoyed and exulted in breaking down images of Hindu deities. No temple anywhere in the city town or village escaped paying the heavy toll. Numerous Hindus fled, numerous were converted and numerous were brutally killed. Many poisoned themselves. This marks the first ominous exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits from their native fair homes. It is this mass migration that occasioned the plight of KPs to the neighbouring regions of Kishtwar and Bhadarwah via SMITHAN pass and to various provinces of India via Batote (Bhatta wath, path of the Bhattas or Kashmiri Pandits).
In the wake of this damned decree of Sikandar, seven mounds of the sacred thread of the murdered Brahmans were burnt by Sikandar and all of their sacred books were thrown into the Dal Lake. The KPs numbering over one lakh were drowned in the Lake and were burned at a spot in the vicinity of Rainawari in Srinagar City known as Bhatta Mazar (The grave yard of the Bhattas, the KPs) beyond present day Jogilanker. According to the living memory of the KPs only eleven KP families stayed back in Kashmir, the rest, rather than abandoning the religion of their father’s, chose to migrate leaving behind their beloved homes hearths, lands and everything, only to protect their religion and faith.
Jonraj, the contemporary historian draws a graphic picture of the traumatic experiences of the first exodus. Crowds of Hindus ran away in different directions through passes and bypasses. Their social life was totally disrupted, their life became miserable with hunger and fatigue. Many died in the scorching heat. Some disguised as Muslims roamed about the country searching for their distressed families. Hindus lolled out their tongues like dogs, looking for dog’s morsel at every door. (Jonraj: Kings of Kashmir). Then the Sultan exclaimed proudly that he had succeeded in extermi­nating all traces of Hinduism from the valley by massacring the Hindus, by ravaging, looting and ransacking their prop­erties and more than most by kidnapping and raping there women folk. Jonraj laments the trampling of the Hindu ethos by the Yavanas (Muslims) whom he compares to locusts descending on and destroying a paddy field.

The Second Exodus (1506-1585)

Kashmiri Pandits suffered vicissitudes and misfortune when under the zeal of Islamic fundamentalism the Sultans made it a state under policy to effect forcible conversion and implements it by issuing decrees to sever and chop off limbs of the Pandits, kidnap them, loot their possessions and im­prison respectable people on various concocted pretexts so as to pressurize them to change their faith and become the followers of Islam, the religion of the rulers.
There is a general agreement on the point that the Chaks came to Kashmir from the land of Dares of Dartistan of Gilgit-­Hunza Region. Ferocious, rugged and wild by nature they possessed great physical powers. When Shah Mir founded the Sultanate in Kashmir he found them the most suitable to be recruited to his armed forces. This brought them into great prominence.
The Chaks belonged to the Shia sect of the Muslims, like all other earlier Muslim rulers they also adopted their policy of conversion by coercion, loot, plunder arson and butchering of Kashmiri Pandits, who as a result of continual religious persecution became considerably reduced in number. There was no let up in religious crusade against them either to force them to get converted or face liquidation.
Kashmir universally known as abode of sufis and saints (Rishiwari) presented scenario of religious harmony, peace and absolute tolerance as long as there was preponderance of Hindu population, be it Saivites, Vaishavites or Buddists. All co-existed amidst amity and maintained very cordial re­lations and religious intolerance was unknown. This serene and sublime atmosphere was vitiated and poisoned by the emergence of alien Muslim rulers, no matter what class of dynasty they belonged to. The holy land of Kashmir, the cradle of Trika philosophy, the abode of rishis and munis was transformed into an arena of strife and intrigues which very soon saw not only the reversal but also the annihilation of centuries old and precious socio-cultural attainments.
Making a historical evaluation of political and social role of Islam in Kashmir and among various medieval societies, his­torians have adjudged Muslim ideology as parochial and ste­reotyped. It is in this ideological framework that, to one’s amazement and shock, loot, arson rape, murder and killing have a religious recognition and sanction.
Firstly all this appears legalized under the umbrella of ‘mali­ganeem’ . Secondly any social strife leading to disorder and anarchy is permissible getting covered under Jehad (holy war). Thirdly any Muslim intoxicated with religious frenzy and going on a spree of killing without rhyme or reason is saluted as’Majahid’ or ‘Ghazi’ (conqueror or victor).
The Kashmiri Hindu having reached a high level of cultura attainment was found to be a soft target and was thus sub­jected to the most horrendous tortures and atrocities in the name of service to Islam. A right thinking person wonders whether the message of Islam was bloodshed, plunder, arson and liquidation of followers of other faiths or for spirrtual betterment and exaltation of mankind at large.
Dr. M.L. Kapoor observes that it took Islam almost six cen­turies to secure a strong foothold in Kashmir. Subsequently with a jet speed it galloped through and within next one hun­dred years over shadowed Hinduism and claimed a major­ty. Quoting Jonaraja Dr. Kapoor writes “As the wine de­stroys the trees and locusts the paddy crops, so did the Yavanas destroy the usage of Kashmiris and the Kingdom of Kashmir was polluted by evil practices of malechhas.”
While the power of the later Sultan ebbed, the Chaks corre­spondingly gained supremacy at the court and ultimately succeeded in usurping the throne and establishing their suzerainty over Kashmir. They consolidated their political power through intrigues, conspiracies and murders of politi­cal rivals and opponents. They spared no ferocious and barbaric means to seize political power. Though belonging to the Shia sect the Chaks were no less ruthless than the earlier Sunni rulers and showed no sympathetic consider­ation for the Kashmiri Pandits whose number continued dwindling steadily following the unrelenting onslaughts of the fanatical zealots.
When Fatah Khan (1506-16) proclaimed himself the ruler and ascended the throne under the title of Sultan Fatah Shah, the situation in the valley was depressing and deplorable. He tried bid best to restore normalcy and rule of law and order by curbing the power of nobles but met with no suc­cess. Contrarily he ended up in becoming a mere tool in the hands of those who counted in the echelons of power. Fore­most among those were the intriguing Shams Chak, and his three trusted friends. Nasrat Raina, Sarhang Raina and Moosa Raina. Moosa Raina succeeded Shamas Chak as the Prime Minister of Sultan Fatah Shah. He was a confi­dent of Shams-ud-Din Iraqi propagator of Islamic faith and converter of non-believers and Sunnis to Shia sect of Islam. Hailing from Talish on the Caspian Sea he played a capital and instrumental role in converting Chaks to Shia sect of Islam. Receiving green signal from Moosa Raina Shams Iraqi opened floodgates of repression, terror and cruelty against the Kashmiri Hindus. Hindu places of worship were demolished only to see the erection of mosques on their foundations. All traces of infidelity and idol worship were replaced by Islamic symbols and the infidels and holy thread bearers of Kashmir were converted to Islam so much so that Shams Iraqi with the help of Moosa Raina was able to convert 24000 Brahmin families to Islam. (Kapoor from ‘Baharistani Shahi’). The two savages terrorized and forced their faith. A model of bigotry and tyranny, Moose mission of humiliating, looting and then murdering those Kashmir Pendits who still clung to their ancient faith besides wiping out residual Hindu temples and schools.
When persecution and religious repression became intoler­able and showed indications of being tantamount to ethnic cleansing, some Hindus rallied round the leadership of one Pandit Nirmal Kanth, a respected scholar. They sent a delegation to Prime Minister Moosa Raina to appeal for mercy. Moosa Raina came down with a heavy hand on the members of the delegation. It was breaking their head against the stone wall of cruel Feteh Shah, wolfish Shamas Iraqi and pitiless Moosa Raina. The suppliants were thrown into jail, where unfed they famished and groaned and died of starvation. This forms one of the darkest periods of the black history of Kashmir. Shamas Iraqi’s fanaticism and zealot was unquenchable. His vindictiveness did not get satiated with the massive conversion of Kashmiri Pandits whom he found with suspicion and distrust. He did not spare then even after they had forcibly accepted Islam. He charged the neophytes of clinging to their original faith. He gave free vent to his wrath when he observed them chanting mantra by placing their haunches on the hand written copies of Muslim religious texts and bowing before Hindu idols. Moosa Raina set up camps for forcible circumcision of the neophytes in order to brutalise and deculturise them. Moosa Raina and his gang men would forcibly draw and haul them out of the homes and stuff their mouths with beef so as to stagger and shock them psychologically. This was intended to give them such a shaking that they would not dare retain any Hindu tradition and lest they should be exterminated, snapped their habitual links with the Hindus, their erstwhile brethren.
After Moosa Raina had gone the way of all flesh in 1513 Mohammed Shah (1517) appointed Kazi Chak, again a Shia, as his Prime Minister. Kazi Chak too gave no quarter and no time for recovery to the distressed Kashmiri Pandits. One hound after another thirsty of the blood of the unfortunate Pandits followed in succession. Kazi Chak left no stone unturned inflicting pain and heaping disasters and miseries on the Pandits. He initiated a systematic and planned campaign for the desecration and dismantling of Hindu temples and sacred places. The movable and immovable property of Pandits were looted and ravaged and ruined. It is attributed to him that he used to get 900 KPs beheaded every day for not having accepted Islam as their only mode of faith. Such kind of cruelty was unheard of before.
The Hindus hold cows sacred and revere them. The Chaks ordered that one thousand cows be slaughtered every day to wreck vengeance on the Kashmiri Hindus so as to shock them into accepting Islam. They re-imposed the dreaded punitive tax Jazia on KPs and snapped all means of sustenance from them. The contemporary historian Shukla testifies. “The Hindus were overpowered by the religious intolerance the same way as the sun is overpowered by the gray sable clouds”. A KP wearing the sacred thread had to pay annual tax to the Chak rulers. For the Chaks killing, butchering, mangling and marauding was a common place routine after not worth being taken as a sensation.
During the Chak period the KPs were persecuted, snubbed, humiliated, held low and trampled mercilessly. They had to pay tax even for performing their religious rites and obligations, rituals and customs. To preserve the distinctive traits of their sect and creed the Kashmiri Pandits were bound to pay 40 precious stones to the ruler. The Chak era goes down as black saga in the history of the Kashmiri Pandits. The Chak rulers were cruel and heartless and peerless in devising ever-new methods of inflicting pain and misery to the KPs without the slightest tremor of scruple. Those KPs who somehow escaped getting converted to Islam fled their native places to seek refuge and sustenance at safer places in the neighbourhood of Kashmir Valley. It was a massive exodus in that innumerable KPs left their homes and hearths and marched out of Kashmir. While they were fleeing for their lives, a barrage of spiteful abuse and insolent contumely was let loose on them with the aim of preventing their return to the land of their genesis. Thus the genocide of Kashmir Pandits was designed, engineered and pursued to transmute the basic character of the heritage of Kashmir, change its social religious and cultural identity beyond recognition and reduce this ancient land of Hindu sages and saints to the Muslims ghetto as was conceived by the Sayyid theologians.
When Akbar, the Mughal King, began to make inroad into Kashmir and Yusuf Shah Chalk abjectly surrendered and joined the invading Moghul forces, the rebel Yakub Chak seized the reigns of power in Kashmir. He too initiated his rule with forced conversion of the Pandits, rank communalist as he was. He made the Jama Masjid in Srinagar as the headquarters of his Jehad against the Sunnis and the Pandits. Under his instructions his fanatic Shia zealots committed numerous atrocities on the Pandits, especially on their women folk, including their massacre. He added a new feather to his cap in his Jehad for Islam by hauling up Pandits in their houses and roasting them alive. It was a new cono button to the spread of Islam in Kashmir.

Third Exodus under the Mughals (1585-1753)
Akbar captivated by the idyllic and scenic beauty of the val­ley of Kashmir visited the place three times. His court poet Maulana Faizee composed a poem to eulogize the beauty of Kashmir. It purposes to say that the dust of Kashmir is like an eye lotion and the grass and herbs are vital medicines for beauty. Faizee depicts the great Mughal’s fascination for the allurement of Kashmir. Akbar initiated many plans and welfare schemes for the people of Kashmir. He attempted to expend his liberal policies to Kashmir. He entrusted the administration of the valley to a subedar.
Akbar launched a comprehensive scheme for the rehabilita­tion of Kashmiri Pandits honourably in their native place. He also became aware of the importance of the role they could play in managing and running the administration of Kash­mir. They in fact rose to high places of status and prestige. After about a span of thirty years the KPs again started feel­ing comfortable and assured of their safety and security. They found the atmosphere favourable enough to practise their faith without any coersion and persecution.
Akbar was admittedly highly tolerant and refrained from fall­ing into the net of fanatic religious zeal. He never resorted to following the policy of persecution and discrimination against the Hindus who had earlier encountered periods of misfortune at the hands of Muslim rulers who made them targets of their religious bigotry and persecution.
On his visit to Kashmir in 1589 Akbar gleaned accounts of stirring and blood boiling plight of the KPs where groaning, being crushed to pulp under the heavy weight of the vexa­tious extortion’s like the much deplored Jazia (Poll tax), Akbar repealed the black tax along with other taxes and fines imposed by the vicious Chak rulers. Akbar’s decree abolishing them brought a relief and much sought after respite to the KPs. Many KPs who fled to other safer places their lives and honour found conditions in their home Iand quite conductive to their honourable return though shocked to find their homes and hearths looted and plundered by the Muslim zealots during the period of their absence.
Jehangir, Akbar’s son made a departure from the path of religious tolerance and non-interference in other religious affairs. His sectarian predilection and prejudices were clearly pronounced. He shuffled his stances in his dealing with KPs and his inconsistencies were to a large extent responsible for the communal frenzy and rioting to resurface in its full fury. It was during his rule the Kashmiri Pandits were forced to marry their daughters to Moghul officers and Subedars and yet it is an irony that Jehangir is known for his “adal” and love and concern for justice. Seemingly just and equitable in his treatment of the Kashmiri Pandits, he upheld and followed in letter and spirit Islamic practices. This blots and besmears his image of being a tolerant ruler. He disapproved of and opposed matrimonial relations between Hindus and Muslims but declared that while a Hindu was forbidden by law to marry a Muslim woman. Muslim had all the license to marry a Hindu woman.
Jehangir did not lag behind in following the footprints of earlier Muslim fanatics. It was at his behalf that the flight of steps linking the temple of Shankeracharya to the river Jhelum near the temple of Trepur Sundary was dismantled and the smooth chiseled stones thus got were used by Noorjehan to erect the massive mosque at Pather Masjid in down town Srinagar on the west bank of over Jhelum. The Mughal Sardar Itquad Khan, cruel and inhuman as he was, further tarnished and blackened Jehangir’s image that had already been soiled by anti-Hindu pursuits in Kashmir. Itquad Khan forced the Hindus at gun point to get converted to Islam and tortured them by levying taxes on them. As the Shia Chaks had persecuted Sunni Muslims, he persecuted the Shias.
Shah Jehan was a chip of the old block of his father and proved true to him. No less ardent lover and admirer of the natural beauty of Kashmir he did conceal the ugliness in his mind. He did justice to his faith as a Muslim in devoting himself to torturing and persecuting the Kashmin Hindu. He laughed with pleasure when a Muslim mob led and insti­gated by Kwaja Mam pounced on a prominent Kashmir Hindu Pandit Mahdeo’s house and looted it and set it ablaze.
Shah Jehan did not fall to keep up the iconoclastic heritage of his father and did his bit by desecrating and demolishing a number of temples in Kashmir. Bernier is reliable in his conclusive finding that “the doors and pillars were found in some of the idol temples demolished by Shah Jehan and it is impossible to estimate their value.” Shah Jehan showed his love for gardens by laying out Shalimar, Nishat, Achabal. He also got constructed many mosques, but hardly cared to reconstruct temples, monasteries and libraries of Hindus demolished and destroyed by Islamic zealots preceding him.
Aurengazeb the ‘Puritan King’ whose life is a sharp contrast to that of his predecessors/ancestors lost no time after as­cending the throne in Delhi in 1658 to convert whole of India to Islam. To fulfil this desire of his he had no hesitation in using and wielding sword. The fundamentalist emperor thew to winds the seemingly secular policy of his forefathers re­placing it by one of religious harassment and persecution. He re-imposed Jazia (poll tax). While the entire lndian people shuddered at his manner of building an Islamic state, he implemented a well calculated plan according to which he started with liquidating Hindu scholars in India in general and the Kashmiri Pandits in particular. Not surprising he did not spare his own father. According to him elimination of Hindu scholars was a pre-requisite for the spread of Islam India.
Since Kashmir has from times immemorial remained a prominent center for learning, Aurangzeb appointed 14 atrocious subedars as administrators and governors of Kashmir for its Islamization. Notable among them was Iftekhar Khan who during his regime (1617-75) unleashed his pack of hounds of cruelties of all sorts to leave the Kashmiri Hindus no alternative but to embrace Islam on pain of death. During his rule of five years of hair raising cruelty and tyranny Iftekhar Khan drove it home to Pandits that then future in their land of birth was assured only if they kissed Islam, failing which they must quit their homeland forthwith; there was no third option.
In consequence of this dire threat thousands of Kashmiri Pandits succumbed to his policy of duress and treacherous religious bigotry of the vicious subeder and thus got converted to Islam. Thousands who could manage to withstand the tremendous pressure bade good bye to their homes and hearths and sought refuge in neighbouring regions to keep alive themselves and their faith that was so dear to them.
It is during the rule of Emperor Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb that Kashmiri Pandits driven out of Kashmir reached Delhi and settled down in Bazar Sitaram. Two prominent castes namely Zutshis and Shangloos reached there after a great ­struggle, difficulties and hardships. These castes over a period of generations had changed into Pehlvis (poets) and Topawallas, said one of the descendants of KPs living in Bazar Sitaram Shri Gulzar Pahlvi. There is a temple of ancient KPs now internally displaced communities in India believe in. It is said that Pandit Nehru’s marriage procession had come all along from Allahabad to Bazar Sitaram where his marriage was solemnized. Their present priest is Iqbal Krishen Revoo.
It is during the Aurangzeb-Iftekhar Khan combine that re­duced the Kashmin Pandits as low as dust, nay they made them lick the dust. They trampled the Pandit psyche by subverting all the achievements of this advanced and learned community in social, economic and religious fields during the pseudo-secular stance of the earlier Mughals. Aurangzeb followed Islamic law with fervor showing no regard for nor­mal laws of Hindus.
When the religious persecution and cruelties perpetrated by Iftekhar Khan and approved by Aurangzeb made life un­bearable for Pandits in Kashmir, the latter decided to ap­proach the immortal national hero Shri Guru Teg Bahadur at Anand Sahib for rescuing the Kashmiri Hindus from Islamic onslaught by his personal intervention. A delegation of 500 KPs led by Pandit Kripa Ram learned person, called on the Guru and narrated their harrowing and woeful expe­riences of the diabolical misrule of Iftikhar Khan patronized by Aurangzeb whose wickedness had no parallel. These fun­damentalists thrust Islam by hook or by crook. They converted by atrocities, by polluting the KPs by banning the wearing of sacred thread and tilak, by sexual harassment and forcible abductions of the daughters of Hindus and other satanic misdeeds. The delegations appealed to Guru Teg Bahadur to deliver them from their religion of the land.
The great Saint whose face radiated Cecelia light was pain­fully moved on hearing the woeful tales narrated by the Kashmir Pandit suppliants. This great man from Punjab went to Delhi for the redressal of the grievances of the KPs and got killed by the cunning Aurangzeb. The Guru was asked to embrace Islam but he preferred death to change his Dharma which was most dear to him. Furious Muslim zealot Aurangzeb ordered the execution of Guru Teg Bahadur. His head was slit by one Jalal-ud-din Jalad (Executioner). In this way the Guru attained martyrdom for the sacred cause of saving Hindu Dharma. Shat Shat Pranam. Guru Maharaja’s sacrifice sent a shiver down the spine of Aurangzeb and it marked the beginning of the fall of Mughal empire in India.
Despite the supreme sacrifice for the preservation of Hindu religion and Kashmiri ethos, the state terrorism remained unabated for sometime more. The desecration of temples and the killings of KPs continued and the process of exodus also continued.
A griping and inspiring and graphic account of this national issue and the unforgettable sacrifice and martyrdom of Guru along with his three disciples has been given by Giani Gian Singh in his book ‘Shri Guru Granth Prakash’ and another book ‘Shri Guru Pratap Suraj’ which are strongly recommended to the readers.

The Fourth Exodus (1753)
Following close on the heels of Faqierullah’s tyrannical and fanatic misrule came his diabolical son Fazal Kanth the Chief Minister whose subedar beheaded Kailash Dhar in broad day light in the open court of the Shia-Muslim Governor Amir Khan Jawansher and gave a contemptuous watery burial in the river Jhelum. Then he went amuck killing and plundering the KPs.This episode so alarmed and panicked the KPs that they felt helpless and desperate. The whole environment became so hostile to them that they fled to Poonch and Kabul for safety and shelter.
Physical torture in the mast ruthless fashion, mental agony, emotional, spiritual anguish fleecing punitive taxes, indignity heaped on the male members of the hapless community. Unchecked harassment and shameless molestation of women folk and more than most the commendable remarkable and unbeaten will to preserve the faith that had been good enough for their forefathers could perhaps have been the reasons that compelled this exquisitely cultured and literate, non-violent and highly tolerant community with rich and radiant heritage to flee the land of their genesis, of their Saints and Sages, of their mature ancestors four times by the time the sixty seven year black and cursed rule of the Afghan butchers in Kashmir expired. The capture of Kashmir by Sikhs marked the deliverance of the KPs from the barbarous Afghan governors.

The Fifth Exodus
Despite having been made victims of repeated humiliations relentless atrocities, a series of reigns of terror, religious fanaticism of the worst type known to the world, conversion by sword and fire, social and economic repression, population decimation and what have you at the hands of savage MusIim rulers for over 500 years, the vibrant and resilient spirit of the KPs despite diminishing numbers, never got dampened or sagged. In spite of deathblows to their culture, ethos and faith they managed to keep alive their centuries old heritage and tradition while they had to pass through fire and water. This microscopic minority recognized and acclaimed and feared as an extra-ordinarily intelligent stock even by the barbaric rulers, both local and alien always maintained a unique cultural attainments and inherent goodness and shunned crookedness even when they served in key postions in the courts of the despotic, bigotic brutal Muslim rulers barren in all human attributes. This nationalistic group preferred to break but did not bend. It did not easily rush into making compromises with the iconoclasts even at the cost of their lives. It was the great Pandit Birbal Dhar whose political maturity and maneuvering paved the path for Maharaja Ranjit Singh to re-establish a Hindu Government in J&K state. Aftar Kashmir slipped from the hands of the Afgans back into those of the Hindus in 1820 the sound of bells restarted emanating from temples that had earlier stood for over four centuries wearing the mantle of mourning, whose ruins spoke volumes in a loud and clear voice of the stones of religions and ethnic fanaticism and intolerance suffered by their builders at the hands of those who hold their faith superior to all other faiths but which deems as sacred and halal, dispossession, loot arson, molestation, rape and slaughter of infidels particularly the Hindus. The Sikh rule ushered in an epoch of peace for all. In some instances the Sikh rulers may be guilty of harshness but they were not cunning, cruel and fanatic religious zealots as their prede­cessors were. With the passage of time the Sikh rule dis­placed symptoms of aging and the Dogras seized the golden opportunity to step in and take charge of administration of the combined provinces of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. It was a glorious period of all round development and reform. It signaled the initiation of the modern history of the state. All the Dogra rulers, though Hindus, believed in and adhered to religious tolerance and harmony. Maharaja Hari Singh, a refined and cultured person, had good will of all his subjects to his credit. Lover of freedom and self-rule he was progres­sive in his thoughts and deeds.
That the British rulers of India followed the policy of divide and rule is well known to all. To safeguard their entrenched supremacy they went the whole hog in communalising poli­tics and drive such a wide wedge between the Hindus and the Muslims that there could be no meeting point for them. How could they approve of the communal peace and amity the Sikhs and the Dogra rulers had established? Maharaja Hari Singh had to encounter political agitation triggered by the cunning, British from the very inception of his rule. Young Kashmiri Muslims, fresh from the universities of Northern India, particularly AMU, Aligarh where they had met and come under the influence of burgeoning Muslim leaders in India and who were hectically propagating and campaign­ing for Pan-Islamism, formed an organization for holding fre­quent meetings. It came to be known as Muslim Reading Room. This crop of new spring literate young Muslims be­came jealous of well-educated KPs holding comfortable po­sition in the state administration They became frustrated and desperate at their failure to enter Government service and hold responsible and influential and remunerative posts by direct appointments. So they commenced a campaign against what they dubbed the Hindu State. They had the covert backing and blessing of the British India Government chair and the Maharaja had no knowledge of it. His address at the Round Table Conference in London in 1931 as chairman of the chamber of princes convinced the British rule that he was a hard nut to crack by virtue of his being haughty and independent in his ways and, therefore, he could not toe their line nor have any truck with them. The British carved a situation in which stage was set for the desperate educated young Muslims to enact scenes of violent political agitation. And the Muslim press did not lag behind in keeping pace with the agitators. It let loose a fierce and venomous propaganda against the Hindu Maharaja; later on Anglo-Indian press joined hands with its and echoed its refrain.
Sheikh Mohd Abdullah was the most prominent. voluble,eloquent, firebrand activist of the Muslim Reading Room Group. He was all fire in his outbursts against the procedure guidelines of the civil service Recruitment Board for selection and appointment of candidates to higher posts strictly on the basis of merit where the KPs stole a march over their rival aspirants among the Muslims. The Sheikh and his comrades in arms would not take it lying down. After over a hundred years, the KPs unfortunately became an eyesore for the simple fault of their out-shining others with their higher education and technical qualification. The Sheikh minced no words in voicing his resentment against the established system and convened mammoth meeting of Muslims in mosques and made fiery provocative speeches instigating the audience to rise in revolt. Communal tension reached the point of ignition needing just spark to engulf the state in uncontrollable conflagration.
The 13th of July 1931 will go down as a black day in the history of KPs in modern times. On that ominous day the Kashmiri Muslims repeated their history vis-a-vis the KPs.On that Day City of Srinagar and its suburbs witnessed a depressing and demoralizing spectacle of loot, arson and murder of Kashmiri Hindu property and lives. The Bombas and the Khakas had, it seemed. revisited the Valley. On the incitement and directive of the Muslim Reading Room party the Muslim hoodlums made the unfortunate KPs direct target of their wrath, frenzy and madness. The Goondas and the anti-KP Muslims had a hayday. They went berserk everywhere particularly in downtown Srinagar looting KP shops and houses and setting them on fire. The booty they lard their hands on in Zaina Kadal and Maharaj Gunj was distrib­uted. It was in fact, the looters day and the real martyrs were the KPs. Numerous KPs were killed and many wounded. Legend has it that there was a communal orgy at Kanikoot, Tehsil Nagam, Distt, Badgam, a few KMs away from the city of Srinagar. About a dozen houses of the KPs were ransacked, looted and then torched and several KPs were murdered for absolutely no fault on their part. Sheikh Abdhullah in his ever first address to the KPs at Sheetalnath in Srinagar, Is on record having blamed it on the goons for the communal disharmony resulting in loot and murder of the KPs.
A mob of furious Muslims gate crashed into the central Jail in Srinagar to extricate one Qadir, a bearer of a European, who was being tried there for sedition The state police posted there fired on the rowdy mob killing ten agitators. The Muslims crowded and directed their vengeance and vin­dictiveness against the soft and easy targets, the KPs, who were taken unawares and who had a long history of meeting violence with non-violence as sufferance has been their badge slnce they came into contact with the Muslims in Kash­mir. Those responsible for flouting law and order and creat­ing mayhem and glory on a spree of loot and murder were eulogized and glorified as Freedom fighters and exalted as martyrs for the cause of rights of Muslims. They went scot­free and the Maharaja’s administration proved too weak and ineffective to afford protection to the terrorized KPs.
The KPs received no privileges and prerogatives form Dogra rulers. They were not specially favoured community. The Dogra rulers were as strangers to them as to the Kashmiri Muslims. There was no partisan of partial tilt towards the KPs who, like the Ajax rose from their own ashes, regenerated and renewed themselves by hard incessant labour and struggle. Speaking with regard fo all fariness and objectively, the sufferings of the Muslims taken apart during the one hundred and twenty six years of the rule the Sikhs and the Dogras in Kashmir pale into significance and dwindle to nothing when contrasted with the sufferings of the KPs during the five hundred years of the Muslim rule. No Sikh or Dogra ruler employed state power for proslytising ­Muslims into Sikh or Hindu, for demolishing mosques to raise temples on their plinths and ruins, for torturing and persecuting Muslims for following their faiths, for extorting exorbotant sums of money by way of religious taxes, jazia, baj, zaridood or tax on burying their dead and maintaining their id­entification marks. No Muslims were tied back to back and put into sacks and consigned to the Dal Lake. No Muslim women were made victims of their carnal lust, debauchery lechery and voluptuousness. No Muslim family had to marry off its young budding daughters in teens or chop off their noses to disfigure their faces and make them repulsive lest they fell prey to the lusty eyes of the rulers and their ministers. And yet the Hindu rulers are denounced as tyrants despots, fanatics and anti-Muslims. It is the pot calling the kettle black.
KPs were equal partners in the quit Kashmir movemen launched against the Dorga rule. As India awoke into freedom in August 1947 from the yoke of British imperialism, Dogra rule too reached the end of its tether soon after. While freedom bells were chiming for the majority community, the unfortunate KPs were in for a grave surprise and shock turn­ing the reveling and jubilation of freedom into a melodrama for them. Pakistan, the new born Islamic theocratic state, clandestinely engineered and launched an aggression on Kashmir by sending armed tribesmen backed up by Paki­stan army across the state border on the northern and north­western side. The religious zealots of Kashmir acted as guides to these hordes of savages from NWFP who behaved even worse than their Afgan ancestors. Besides indulging in wholesale loot and arson they killed numerous KPs at Batapora, Gushi and Tikkar in the present Kupwara district and at various places in the district of Baramulla, Badgam and outskirts of Srinagar.
Tens of thousand of KPs in the Northern, Northwestern and Northeastern Kashmir had to flee their homes and hearths and seek refuge in Srinagar. A good number of them left the state for good, thus setting the stage for the fifth exodus. The local Muslim zealots joined hand with the wild tribals in forcibly converting many KPs to Islam on pain of torture and instant death. And numberless were the Hindu places of worship and Dharamshalas that were reduced to ashes.
The emancipated, the far sighted and those with the sense of the past history of Kashmir since the coming of Muslims and those who were sagacious enough to sense which way the wind was blowing and what trends the future had in its womb lost no time in seeing through the intriguing game plan of what was in essence pan-Islamic fundamentalism raising its ugly head. Mir Waiz Yousf Shah, a grand uncle of Umar Farooq, the present Mirwaiz of Kashmir became cat’s paw for Muslim clergy. At the behest of M.A. Jinnah he cor­ned on in Pakistan a compaign of canard of concocted and alleged tales of persecution of Kashmiri Muslims under Dogra Hindu rule and pioneered the process of infecting the psyche of the Kashmiri Muslims with the ideal of separate quam (nation). Barring in Srinagar and the southern Kashmiri they acted as guides and accomplices of Pakistan army supported Pakistan tribals, in their crusade against the infidels for the glory of Islam by means of murder, rape, loot, arson and conversion by coercion. According to a Reuter’s dispatch in 1947 the mass rape at Baramulle eclipsed the massacre at Rajouri in Jammu province. With a view to grab Kashmir by force Pakistan flauntingly violated Maharaja Hari Singh standstill agreement with India and Pakistan and in a way pushed him to execute the instrument of accession to India. But for the landing of the Indian troops at Srinagar who stalled the advance of the tribals almost at the gates of Srinagar, the gori things would have happened, had they entered the city.
When the popular Government came into existence in free Jammu and Kashmir it started imperceptibly implementing the resolutions of the Reading Room Party. We cannot help making allowance for the occurrence of some pleasant and unpleasant things in the course of transfer of power from one form of Government to another. These are bound to happen. But when the mind of the people at the helm of affairs is warped and deformed by narrow, sectarian, communal, and religious considerations and prejudices one cannot hope for fairness and justice. The newly sprung Muslim Ministers coupled with the bureaucracy and executive of the same creed made the KP officers and official’s targets of their vendetta for being good and loyal employees of the erstwhile rulers. Resorting to compulsion and coercion. they brushed aside all moral restraints in subjecting the KP employees in subordinate positions to injustice and gross un­fairness and vexations and whimsical orders. Their rights by way of their seniority, qualification and experience were treated as trifles. They were relegated to second class sta­tus and treatment. Was this their dream of Naya Kashmir they had aspired to build in a democratic egalitarian secular framework in unison with the Muslim freedom fighters? Having gauged and scanned the trend of the Government and having been disillusioned and embittered with the gap between its theory and practice, some self respecting KP intellectuals abandoned Srinagar. Notable among these are Dr. R.K. Bhan, Prof. Soom Nath Dhar, Prof. T.N. Raina, Prof, S.N. Koul, Prof. P.N. Dhar Secy to Late Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Veer Vesheswer and others. There are innu­merable prominent KP personalities who felt compelled by hostile political and economic circumstances to bid unwill­ing good bye to their dear native places. They found the climate of the paradise charged with sinister and inauspi­cious and revengeful mist which would in due course of time drop as brutal hail on the poor KPs leaving them cold, shiv­ering and stunned. People like Sh. R.N. Koul Advocate, (Ex-Registrar Supreme Court of India),Sh. P.N. Koul Karihaloo (Ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of ndia), Sh. Zinda Lal Koul (Charge do affairs), Sh S.N. Bhat (Indian Railways), Sh. J. N. Ganjoo (Secretary, Indian Embassy in USA) who died recently and among others Munshis, Kaws, Saproos. Tengs. Gassis, Thusoos, Wangnoos and so on migrated to better and safer pastures.
The post independence period in J&K state witnessed an unmistakebly slow and steady exodus of the KP community owing mainly to the following prime and significant factors:
(a) Break down of law and order.
(b) Ever dwindling and waning chances for securing govern­ment appointments in spite of their requisite merit and quali­fications.
(c) Abolition of Zamindari system, which though welcome step in principle, resulted in turning thousands of KP land­owners into paupers as no compensation in lieu of loss of their land was granted to them. Nor was any other means of rehabilitating them sought with the inevitable result that they became victims of rural indebtedness.
(d) Discrimination of admission of KP youth to higher edu­cational and technical and professional institutions.
The year 1948 dawned quite ominous forthe KPs. The tribals of NWFP again supported by regular Pakistan army re-raided north Kashmir, this time fromTitwal Karnah-Keran in Kupwara sector. Meeting no resistance of any name the raiders wiped out all KPs staying behind in the region following the earlier raid of the Pakistan army and tribals in 1947 on the heels of the partition. Unfortunately Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, met his dramatic end in the national capital in the course of his prayers for national reconciliation and emotional integration. Here in Kashmira compaign was let loose to harass and humiliate KPs for alleged allegiance to RSS and those who were thought to be stooges of Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of the state. Distinguished and emi­nently respectable KPs were summoned time and again to Halqa (Block) National Conference offices for interrogation by members of the Halqa peace Brigade officers. They were subjected to unbearable disgrace, humiliation and even tor­tured for personal animosity and political vendetta. Not tol­erating this insult many people belonging to various social and political groups were disgusted and ran away to escape facing dire consequences. Thus a good number of KPs of repute holding dignity, honour dear to them said good bye to the Valley never to re-enter it. There was obviously no state authority to look to the affairs of law and order. Only the peace brigade constituted at the time of Pakistani aggres­sion ruled the roost and held the supreme sway They enjoyed the full liberty to settle their personal scores.
A noted historian and political associate and co-worker of Sheikh Mohmmed Abdullah. P.N. Bazaz records that “those who dared to oppose National Conference were treated as ‘Pariah’ dogs They were arrested in thousands, their hands tied with ropes behind their backs and dragged like animals through the main bazars of Srinagar and other towns”. The former Prime Minister Shri R.C. Kak was taken from a subjail to the High Court on foot with his hands tied with rope made of dry paddy hay and enroute Muslim, National Con­ference workers pelted stones, cast dirt and rubbish on him and even spat at him. And in the courtroom the N.C. activ­ists manhandled him doing him physical violence while the judge looked on helplessly and dumbly.
Now the soil was propitious for Sheikh Modmmed Abdullah to transform into reality his cherished dream that had been lurking in his mind since the Reading Room Forum days. ZAMIN KISSAN KI. In 1950 an act called “The J&K landed Estates Abolition Act of 2007 (1950) vide Act No: XVII of 2007” was passed. It purported the abolition of big landed estates and their transfer to the actual tillers. This act came into force with immediate effect without any consideration for payment of compensation to the landowners dispos­sessed of their land. The landowners could retain 182 ca­nals of land with no tenancy rights. According to the provi­sion of the Act, the landowner would get 1/4 th of the yield of 182 canals but no share of the hay. Sheikh Sahib’s dream came true when he rapturously witnessed the KP irrepara­bly hit by his land reform program. With one hit below the belt he gloated quietly at the thought that KPs had been sent sprawling with no chance to recover and fight back. Reduced to the state of paupers the aggrieved KPs knocked at the doors of justice but in vain.
The land reform blitz that turned the tables out of justifiable proportion on the former land lords and changed social relationships and traditions so suddenly generated enough heat in the dispossessed land lord community to which KP community was no exception.
To the tenants, predominantly Muslims, the Act came as a boon and blessing and they received it with jubilation and revelry. On the landlords, mostly Hindus, it fell like a guillo­tine. They protested and cried hoarse against the unfair and partisan and jaundiced deal given to them. The game plan of the Sheikh was clearly seen through. The cardinal objec­tive of the Act was to deprive the landlords of their rights as proprietors and help the tenants at the cost of the former. The judicious approach ought to have been made to find a path to secure fair play and justice to both the classes. The Act, it became clear, was remotely motivated by such con­sideration and indicated antagonistic and hostile approaches only to see that KPs were reduced to penury. The Act was sheerly based against the Hindu community in particular and heavily tilting in favour of the tillers, thus making one class poor and the other suddenly rich. The Act was categorically against the spirit and the interest of natural justice accord­ing to the bereft and distressed landowners. The writer has personally been witness to the spectacle of so many KP Chakdars starving and living below poverty line. Deprived of all means of sustenance for their families and livestock they distributed their starving cows among their well off neighbours and bewailed their destiny.
Chances for appointment and promotions were blocked, by taking into employment undesirable and incompetent per­sons from the majority community ignoring the deserving and qualified and technically trained hands. It became a state policy to ignore KPs in matters of appointment and give first preference and priority to take a Muslim applicant or to wait till one became eligible or available.
A KP teacher with a good deal of service to his credit was made subordinate to his Muslim taught who was upgraded and promoted to be his Head Master. Here is an instance on how the administration of education was deliberately and crudely maligned. Once all aspirants to the post of head­master were called for an interview and the venue was the open lawns of the palace on the bank of the Jhelum. Hin­dus, Muslims and Sikhs their number ran into hundreds. Sheikh Sahib, the then Prime Minister and incharge of education, was in a fix what he should do. He hit upon a plan. He asked them to fall in two rows – one of those tall in size and the other comparatively short or medium. This having been done he had a look around and looked still indecisive and confused since both the rows consisted of both Hindus and Muslims. Ultimately utilizing his sweet whim of absolute power, he resorted to absolute corrupt practice of pick and choose by pointing his finger, like Hitler, on tall Muslim aspirants, like Mr Abdul Ahad, Mr. Kak and others singling out about 100 teachers from the lot ignoring veteran teach­ers like Sh. Gangadhar Dhar, Sh. Sham Lal Madan, Sh Raghunath Kaul, Sh Keshov Nath Veshin and so many oth­ers. This naturally entailed a breaking of hearts and genu­ine grievance of unjustified unwarranted and brazenly un­restrained open discrimination against the KPs. The realization that Kashmir is not a place for the future of their children nor for their posterity began to gain ground and later events confirmed it so that it turned into a conviction deeply rooted in the treatment meted to KPs in every sphere of life in Kashmir and they started turning their gaze beyond the borders of the state to find sustenance to their survival. They were snubbed and subjected to various indignities and de­prived of avenues and opportunities to display what mettle they are made of. Thus started an imperceptible exodus of KPs for pastures elsewhere.
The state Government, controlled, regulated and steered by the National Conference passed new laws designed to pro­tect the interest of the majority community. One of these was the Agrarian reform law brought into abolish tenancy farming. All land that was cultivated by tenants was taken away from the landlords and transferred to the tenants. It was a welcome step in socialistic sense. But the axe fell on the KPs in the Valley as the new law made them suddenly paupers and deprived them of source of their income and livelihood. Many of them who were solely dependent on land turned into paupers. Since the bulk of the landlords affected by the Agrarian reform were the KPs, the reform as a tremendous success. It was along cherished desire of the ruling National Conference to snatch away the land. The money that was to be paid to them for their land barely added to a fraction of a year’s income from it and in any case, it was to be paid at some future date not specified. Decades have passed since the KPs lost their ancestral fields. They have still not received the money. The compen­sation case is still pending resolution. No attempt was eves made to rehabilitate the ex-owners of the land.
As it all this were not sufficient Caesar appeared in the form of a ghost. Mr Ghulam Mohd. Sadiq, said to be a liberal, emancipated, progressive and secular person passed, as state Education Minister in Bakhshi Ghulam Mohd. Ministry an impugned order/circular that only 30 percent seats at the maximum be allowed to the KP boys seeking admission to academic colleges for higher education, not to talk of ad­mission to professional institutes. What tale hangs thereby is obvious. And it was allowed to take effect when the state followed the declared policy/program of free education to all up to postgraduate level. In order to curtail and curb and demoralize the brilliant KP youth from obtaining admission in academic and professional colleges in the state various impediments and hurdles were put up in the form of admis­sion committees, selection boards and boards for catego­rizing and classifying the admission seekers. The tacit pur­pose was to dissuade and deprive them of all possible op­portunities for progress and advancement. How ironical it is that the son of Muslim Chief Secretary was deemed and acknowledged as backward while his Jamadar-Ramjoo’s son was declared forward and not entitled to the award of the backward certificate! The resultant mood among the KPs was naturally underlined by preference for life and death some where else to economic strangulation and deprivation in the so called Naya Kashmir where communal prejudice and discrimination had become order of the day under the patronage of rulers known for secular credentials. There were writ petitions of scores of KP teachers and admission seekers in the Apex Court of the country and the state High Court for redressal of their genuine grievances and injustice meted out to them on the basis of belonging to the KP com­munity. The powers that be minced no words in telling them that India is a vast country and KPs could go upto Raskumari (Cape Comorin). Where will the poor Muslims go? This was the import of the discourse of no less a person than late Sheikh Mohmmed Abdullah with a deputation of the KPs that called on him to give vent to their protest. We believed him to a majestic edifice sheltering us all. The signal was loud and clear – the KPs had better pack up and get scat­tered over the rest of India, it would be of no avail to them to stay back. Sheikh Sahib’s words made it abundantly clear what his motives were.
The agitation by the Muslims following the disappearance of the holy relic at Dargah Hazratbal in 1964 and the KP agita­tion following the conversion of an underage KP girl Parmeshwari to Islam was a severe setback to the existing KP social fabric. It aggravated the process of exodus of KPs that was going on quietly un-cared for by the so-called nationalists.
While concluding the era from 1931 to the end of 1985 I find it quite pertinent to quote here a few significant excerpts from the book “History of Kashmiri Pandits” by justice Jia Lal Kilam, also known as Sher-e-Babbar Kilam. He terminates his history at the point of time of the conversion of Muslim Conference to National Conference. Why he did so is intriguing and worth probing. He writes “But here we stop. What followed is matter of recent history in which the present writer has also played his humble part. It would indeed be embarrassing for the present writer to discuss facts that form a quite recent history”.
A person of Kilam Sahib’s status and caliber and with his rich and varied store of information and personal experience on the subject should not have chosen to cut it short and apply the break abruptly to bring the history of the sufferings of the tormented community and the events having bearing on life after the conversion of the Muslim Conference into National Conference to a grinding halt. It should be appa­rent that there could not be any justification to abandon the narrative kept alive by his compelling historical impulse to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity. He ought not to have left the community in the lurch by leaving the story untold. Obviously there must have been more compelling and urgent considerations – political, social and last but not the least personal, that must have constrained the roaring lion of the KP community to become tame and quiet. Is not discretion the better part of valour?

The Sixth Exodus
The mastermind behind the planning and architect of Shah Masjid within the premises of an ancient temple inside the New Civil Secretariat area at Jammu was Mr. Gul Shah ‘Padsha’ and his brigade of hoodlums and hooligans (sirwallas), after he had snatched political power from his estranged brother-in-law Dr. Farooq Abdullah. Gul Shah held the reigns of power as Chief Minister for a spell of twenty months. His regime was the worst ever in the post indepen­dence history of the state. Every Kashmiri, even every child who had attained age of consciousness then, will testify that Kashmir saw maximum number of curfew days during Shah Sahib’s mis-rule. He earned the appellation ‘Gul Curfew’ not unjustifiably and undeservedly. Chaos and confusion held its sway all over. Law and order suffered a complete break down. Anarchy spread its tentacles in political, social and economic area. Corruption was rampant.
The valiant people of Jammu did not take Shah Sahib’s he­roic deed lying down. They poured out into the streets. There were demonstrations and protest marches throughout Jammu against this avowedly Islamic act of the CM in a secular state. Shah was not only haughty but also unpredictable and deeply vindictive. Accompanied by some of his trusted Muslim of­ficers and bureaucrats like Sheikh Gulam Rasool, the former chief secretary, who could boast of brave exploits of having evicted some KPs from EP Quarters, Gulshah entered Srinagar on 20th February, 1986 and provoked the Muslims to communalise the situation in Kashmir in view of what had happened in Jammu and deliberately raised the boggy of ‘Islam Khatre Mein Hai’ (Islam is in danger) and excited and raked his Lushkar (Brigade) known as Lushkari Gulshah Padshah among the local people into a violent and bloody stance end then directed them towards Kashmiri Pandits for no fault of theirs. At his behest they went on a unleashed spree of desecrating their temples and places of worship and shrines, torching their cowsheds and molesting their womenfolk. This time it was in south Kashmir that had in the post-independence time remained untouched by the loot arson, murder, molestation and rapes by the tribal invaders with the active support of Pakistan in league with its stooges in Kashmir. They had not suffered the ordeal and trauma that the KPs in Baramulla district had passed through in the wake of partition in 1947. The then Congress (I) President, Mufti Mond. Syed, the former Union Home Minister, patron­ized a member of his clan Qazi Nissar, a crude and con­firmed fundamentalist and theologian to spearhead the movem­ent against the KPs in Southern Kashmir where the latter commanded a vast influence and audience. This provided the hawk like Farooq Abdullah a golden opportunity to go for fishing in the troubled waters. The anti-KP tirade of repres­sion spread like wild fire. The main targets were their temples to what was a lightning operation temples at Vanpoh, Lukbhawan, Anantnag, Salar, Fatehpur, Akoora and so many places in South Kashmir and those in and around Sopore in north Kashmir the birth place of Jamaite Islami leader, Ali Shah Gillani were rampaged, demolished and leveled to ground and destroyed in fire. It was like Sultan Slkandar the iconoclast (butshikan) having been recalled to life. Putting the pieces together it is very easy to discover that it was a planned design of the pseudo secularists and the Muslim fundamentalists with Qazi Nissar in the vanguard hatched not only to destroy the property of the KPs but also it bred a fear psychosis in their mind so as to facilitate and precipitate their early flight from the Valley. It was the shadow of the coming events. It did cause a tremor in the KP psyche and many a sagacious person was wakeful enough to read the writing on the wall and take time by the forelock. Not a tear was shed by the then Government of the State or the Central Government. The light that Mahatma Gandhi had sighted in Kashmir was beginning to fade. The KPs were frightened and armed by the psychological onslaught by the forces inimical to India on the patriotic community of the KPs. The episode of 1986, in fact, made two things crystal clear:
  1. Kashmir is for Kashmiri Musalman only. Islam can exist and flourish there and there is no place or scope for any other religion or it followers to co-exist in Kashmir.
  2. The slogan of secularism with reference to Kashmir in particular is a farce and a facade rendered hollow and a hoax by the passage of time and the behaviour of the State and Central Governments viz. Kashmir secularism as a concept and way of life had become cold and dead and lay buried deep in the same Kashmir where, during the bloody days proceeding and following the partition of India, the Father of the Nation, Bapu had seen a ray of hope of survival of communal amity and harmony; It turned out to be a myopic sight. The myth had got exploded with a bang, whether they heard it in India or not. They heard it in deed, but they paid no heed or were indifferent or did not care about it, since it touched neither their skin nor their heart. It touched them no where at all.
The Indian intelligentsia and leadership of all hues and la­bels remained mute spectators. The mass media looked the other way. The Indian Army and security forces sta­tioned in the Valley could not come to the rescue and succour of the unhinged and terrorized KPs. The State administra­tion gloated and laughed up its sleeve at their plight and anguish. It was at this juncture that the KP lost his forth and trust in both the State and the Central administration. Both betrayed his faith and turned out to be pusillanimous in the extreme. The very soul of India was gasping for breath; the very corner stone of India’s composite cultural tradition was dislodged; the backbone of Indian polity was broken; the spirit of the constitution of India was hacked. It appeared that the State Administration and the anti-KP and anti-na­tional elements were in league with each other for the former did nothing to assuage the emotional pain caused by the communal violence. The KP looked at the situation in a historical perspective and its analysis left him in no doubt that it formed a link in the chain of persecution of KPs at the hands of the Muslims. Those who were not complacent and doubted the effectiveness of the Indian polity took the cue and planned their quiet exit from the Valley where the latter-day Chengezes and Tartars in the form of Gulla Shahs, Farooqs, Syed Mir Qassims, Qazi Nissars etc. with their inherited convert’s blood and zeal were there to carry on their tradition in a modern drafty manner. Thousand of KPs saw no redeeming feature in the way things were shaping and found no option but to make preparation or rather be in a state of preparedness for deserting their motherland physically and mentally. The truth is that numerous families disposed of their immovable property and left the valley for good.

The Seventh and Final Exodus
The wounds inflicted on the Kashmiri Hindus in the 1986 disturbances were not allowed to heal. Looking back now the episode looks like a mild arm twisting of the State administration and that of the so-called mighty India to gauge their real might and will-power to deal with recurrence of such disturbing situations. The unexpected speed with which anti-India and anti-Kashmiri Hindu designs, the seeds of which read been sown over the years, began to unfold themselves was the most terrifying thing about it. The madrasas financed and run by the Jamait-e-Islami had poisoned the mind of the younger generation with Islamic fundamentalism under dictation from the theocratic Pakistan. The Jamaite-Islami activists had crept into the services at a large scale. They had found their way even into the top rung of the State machinery and also influenced and won the members of the bureaucracy that crossed over to their side. So for all practical purposes the State bureaucracy was hand in glove with pro-Pak elements and forces that had most sinister plans up their sleeves.
Though Dr. Farooq Abdullah saddled himself in power by allegedly rigged elections in 1987, the power had, as a matter of fact, slipped from his hands. The Muslim United Front, a new fangled Muslim outfit owing political allegiance to Pakistan did not take its defeat at the busting lying down and vowed to get its own back. A monster with virulent fangs was harnessing itself for the charge. The Government headed by the nincompoop chief minister was too inefficient to crush the monster raising its horrible head. Law and order machinery that had developed cracks became steadily defunct. Farooq Abdullah openly admitted having sent numerous Kashmiri Muslim youth to Pak for training in arms. He released about seventy of them soon after they had been arrested. It is clear that armed insurgency and subversive activities were receiving state patronage and protection.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Battle Of Haldighati and aftermath battle of Dewar-Maharana Pratap -Truth

Numbers and Composition of Armies:
Sesodia army:
Al-Badayuni, an eye-witness of the battle, gives a number of 3,000 for the army of Rana Pratap. This number seems to be very accurate by any realistic estimate. We know that at Chittor, a garrison of 8,000 best Sesodia soldiers was present, but most of it was slaughtered and thus, the men that managed to escape could not have been greater than 3,000. Apart from the main Sesodia army, Rana Pratap received help from Raja Ram Singh Tomar, the king of Gwalior who had lost his kingdom to the Mughals, and Hakim Singh Sur, an Afghan enemy of the Mughals who contributed some 300 Afghan horsemen. Taking these into account, the men under Pratap number no more than 4,000, and since a garrison of at least 1,000 men had to be placed at Kumbhalgarh, we arrive at a maximum number of 3,000 for the army of Rana Pratap. His army was organised in this way:
(i) Vanguard — 800 Afghan and Rajput horsemen. The Afghan horsemen were led by Hakim Khan Sur, and the Rajput horsemen were led by Bhim Singh Dodia, and Ramdas Rathore (son of Jaimal who died during 1568 siege of Chittor),
(ii) Right wing — 500 horsemen led by Raj Singh Tomar and his sons, along with the minister Bhama Shah and his brother Tarachand,
(iii) Left wing — 400 horsemen of the Jhala clan commanded by Man Singh Jhala (also known as Bida Mana),
(iv) The Center — 1,300 horsemen commanded by Rana Pratap himself.
Pratap had possession of two elephants, Lona and Ram Prasad, while had no musket or artillery as they had to be left in Kumbhalgarh for it’s protection against a siege. Pratap also received aid from a Bhil chieftain of Merpur in the form of 400 Bhil bowmen, but these bowmen were in the rear and were only used to ply their arrows from the forest or hill cover. Since the battle was fought in a pitched style in an open plain, the Bhil bowmen had no influence on the battle whatsoever and hence, their numbers should not be added to the total strength of the army.
Mughal army:
The army of 10,000 (infantry, cavalry, archers and muskets) was commanded by Man Singh Kacchwa. The army had possession of matchlock muskets and many elephants. Nearly 5,000 were Muslims under imperial service, while 5,000 were Rajputs and other Hindu auxiliaries. Apart from the Sheikhzadas of Fatehpur Sikri, and the Sayyids of Barha, the imperial Mughal army was mainly made up of Central Asian cavaliers and horse archers who were Uzbeks, Qazzaqs, Badakshis, and from other tribes. The army was organised in this way:
(i) Front — Skirmishers made up of 75 selected horsemen under command of Sayyid Hashim Barha,
(ii) Vanguard — Made up of Kacchwa clansmen led by Jagannath Kacchwa and Central Asian Mughals led by Bakshi Ali Asaf Khan (a Khwaja of Kazvin),
(iii) Reserve — Kacchwa clansmen under Madho Singh Kacchwa,
(iv) Centre — Led by Man Singh,
(v) Left wing — Central Asian Muslims led by Mulla Qazi Khan of Badakshan, troops from Sambhar led by Rao Lunkarn Shekhawat and Sheikhzadas from Fatehpur Sikri,
(vi) Right wing — Made up of Sayyids of Barha who were famous for their valour and played a decisive role in the battle,
(vii) Rear — Central Asian Muslims Commanded by Mehtar Khan
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -
Stage I — Mughal Defeat:
The battle was started when Pratap led a ferocious frontal assault against the large Mughal army which was divided into conventional divisions as has been described in the previous post. At the head of the charge was the vanguard made up of ferocious Afghans under Hakim Khan Sur, and the Rajputs under Ramdas Rathore who routed the 75 skirmishers under Sayyid Hashmim Barha making them flee for their lives. The Afghan-Rajput vanguard then collapsed into the vanguard of the Mughal army which was commanded by Jagannath Kacchwa and Ali Asaf Khan. The Mughal vanguard was also broken and forced to give ground due to the great slaughter of Mughal troops led by Ramdas Rathor, Bhim Singh Dodia and Hakim Khan Sur. Behind the vanguard, the 3 parallel divisions of the Sesodia army were following and they too collapsed into the corresponding enemy divisions. The Mughal left wing (made up of Rajputs, Sheikhzadas of Fatehpur Sikri and Badakshis) was utterly routed and all it’s men either fled or took refuge in the right wing. Therefore, the plan of Rana Pratap to put all he had in one cavalry charge with great momentum and break the enemy lines seemed to be successful in the start. The left wing of the army and it’s vanguard sustained an utter defeat, and the official historian Al Badayuni says that “they fled away without drawing rein for miles.” Lunkarn Shekhawat and Qazi Khan were thus routed by Ram Singh Tomar, and Ram Singh Tomar (along with his three sons) now joined the centre and stood in front of Rana Pratap so as to protect him.
The right wing was also greatly pressed but luckily for the Mughals, the Sayyids of Barha bravely held their ranks inspite of the great slaughter led by the Jhalas. They were further strengthened by the reserve sent by Man Singh, and in this way, the right wing proved to be the pivot point of the battle. Man Singh proceeded to engage the centre led by Rana Pratap, and commanded Mehtar Khan (who was in the rear) to come forward and cover his left flank which was exposed due to the rout of his left wing. By this time, the momentum of the Pratap’s initial cavalry charge had been lost, and the battle entered the second stage.

Stage II — Stalemate:
Pratap followed the tactic of making simultaneous head-long charge by parallel solid columns of cavalry and then pursue the enemy if they break. In order to make this charge decisive, he had to invest all his manpower in it. His total strength was too small to allow him any measure of precaution, or to let him keep any rear or reserve. His ferocious assault led by Ramdas Rathore and Hakim Khan Sur was greatly effective but the Mughal army was three times as large, and as soon as the initial impetus of his charge exhausted, he became helpless. His horsemen were soon surrounded by horse archers and guns from three sides who started killing best soldiers and leaders of Mewar, one by one. The centre led by Pratap was also engaged by main body of Mughal army led by Man Singh, and the fight now became general. The Kacchwas fought with extreme anger and fury with their hereditary enemies and personal remarks and insults were being hurled from each side towards another. Many Kacchwas and Sesodias were thus slain, and the horse archers who surrounded them plied their arrows indiscriminately on the massive crowd of Rajputs. When asked by Al Badayuni, how their archers would distinguish between friendly and enemy Rajputs, the bigoted Ali Asaf Khan assured him, “on whichever side a man falls, it is a gain to Islam because it is one Hindu the less.”
Thus, the battle had been stabilised. Because of the small numbers, Pratap had no rear or reserve to follow up the initial success gained by a ferocious and headlong frontal assault. Pratap staked everything in making one bold charge on every front, and even though he was awarded with significant initial success, the Mughal centre and reserve had now come forward to repair the damage, while there was no reserve for Pratap to follow up his initial success.

Stage III — Elephant Combats:
The Sesodia men were loosing their morale by seeing themselves surrounded in three sides and the Muslims plying their arrows and musket shots on them continuously. All the divisions of the army were now being pushed towards the centre, and the charges led by Mewar horsemen could not build enough momentum so as to break enemy lines, due to the dead bodies lying everywhere. Therefore, to break the enemy line, Rana Pratap ordered an attack by his elephants who were reserved for later.
The first elephant, Lona crushed many enemy troops but was now opposed by the Mughal elephant Gaj-mukta. The two elephants made a head-on collision, and the Mughal elephant was left dazed. Before Lona could advance further, his driver was hit by a bullet and the elephant retreated to the Mewar centre. The second elephant, Ram Prasad made an even greater impact and sent many Mughals flying. To oppose him, two Mughal elephants, Gajraj and Ran-madar were sent. Before these heavily armoured beasts could clash into each other, the driver of Ram Prasad, Pratap Singh Tomar was shot down by an arrow. Now, a driver from one of the Mughal elephants quickly jumped onto Ram Prasad and managed to bring it under his control.
Close of the battle — Sesodia army withdraws:
After the brief elephant combat, the hand-to-hand combat was resumed. The men who lost their horses, now weilded their daggers and swords to attack the men of Men Singh Kacchwa. Ram Singh Tomar always kept in front of Rana Pratap and according to Al Badayuni, he “performed such prodigies of valour against the Rajputs of Man Singh as to baffle description. Similarly, the young heroes who acted as the bodyguards of Man Singh performed such exploits as were a perfect model.” The battle had raged for nearly three hours by then, and the Rana was now wounded by arrows and spears. The battle had turned irretrievably against the Maharana, and both the left and right wings had now crowded into the centre. Man Singh Jhala (also known as Bida Mana) who commanded the left wing, now knew that a defeat in the battle was certain, but the war could still be won if the Rana managed to escape from the battle. Therefore, he snatched away the royal umbrella (chattri) from over the head of the Rana, and ran into the Mughal lines with it, shouting that he was the Maharana and challenged the imperial soldiers to capture him. Every Mughal captain who immensely wished to earn the honour of being the killer of the emperor’s great enemy rushed towards him, and Bida Mana died a martyr’s death. Rana Pratap along with every alive soldier, all the supplies and civilians managed to escape and left nothing behind. A pursuit was not done because Man Singh was afraid of any ambush that might have been planted in the narrow Haldighati pass. Because of this, Rana Pratap had ample time to evacuate Gogunda with all the baggage and supplies and when the Mughal army proceeded to capture Gogunda on the next day (19th June), they found it empty. All they found there was some brave Rajputs who had volunteered to stay back so as to protect their temples. Since Rana Pratap had banned every kind of farming, cultivation or herding while Chittor was under the enemy, there was absolutely nothing in the countryside for the Mughals. Apparently, the only spoil they gained from the battle was the elephant Ram Prasad.
Even though the Sesodias had to retreat, the battle should be considered a tactical victory for them as they managed to escape without giving any prisoners or supplies, even when outnumbered three to one; and their resistance against Mughals was never halted in future.

I. Failure of Man Singh
After a “victory” in the battle on 18th June, Man Singh collected his exhausted troops and reached Gogunda on 19th June, but it was completely evacuated by now, and therefore, no booty was gained. Rana Pratap, along with his army relocated to the region around Kumbhalgarh and started a guerrilla campaign against Man Singh. Also, Rana issued an order banning the raising of any types of crops. This was a deathblow to the men of Man Singh, as they quickly exhausted all the supplies in the range of their foraging parties, while the supply caravans arriving from Mughal base in Western Mewar were all looted by Rana’s men. Therefore, Man Singh could not sustain his army and elephants, and abandoned his position at Gogunda, leaving behind some men in the towns that he had occupied. In a few days after he left, all of eastern Mewar including his capital Gogunda was quickly liberated by Pratap, and new raids were made into Western part of the kingdom. Man Singh was assigned the task to capture the Rana and make him submit, and in this, he utterly failed.
Now, Man Singh’s army moved to Ajmer where they met Akbar who had arrived there on 26th September, 1576. Akbar was very disappointed at Man Singh’s failure to suppress the Rana, and himself took a large army to Gogunda and established military posts at Mohi, Madar and many other places. One army was sent to occupy the small town of Udaipur which was only in it’s infancy then and another was sent against the chief of Idar (an ally of Mewar) who had revolted just after hearing of Pratap’s success against the Mughals, and raided Mughal territory. The Rao of Idar was forced to submit. Before coming to Gogunda, Akbar had also subjugated the chiefs of Sirohi and Jalor who were allies of Mewar and they too had revolted after Pratap’s success againt Man Singh, and raided Mughal territory. They were all made to submit, and the territory of Rana was encircled. Akbar, now sent a large army under Man Singh Kacchwa, Bhagwant Singh Kacchwa and Qutbuddin. They were given the task to follow Pratap into the hills, bring him out, capture his strongholds and make him submit. But this army was again harassed by guerrilla tactics of Rana Pratap who looted all their supply trains. Due to the lack of supplies, Man Singh and Bhagwant Singh retreated back to their base, without fighting a single battle. Akbar was extremely displeased and angered at this, and refused audience to Man Singh. Meanwhile, poor success of Man Singh in suppressing the Rana was presented to Akbar by his enemies as being due to his sympathy for the Rana, both being Hindu Rajputs. But Akbar realised that all these complaints were merely the result of their envy at seeing a Hindu’s rise to the highest rank in the Mughal court. Abu Fazl describes these envious courtiers as “tricksters, time-servers and evil-inclined wordspinners.” Disappointed Akbar then left Mewar for Malwa, and all his military outposts in Eastern Mewar were destroyed and their garrisons were slaughtered. Eastern Mewar was again liberated immediately by Rana Pratap, and raids into the Mughal territories started again.
Aftermath of Haldighati(only Haldighati not all campainags are taken into account)
II. First Campaign of Shahbaz Khan
The failed and disappointed Akbar left Mewar on 27th November, 1576. As soon as he left, Maharana liberated Udaipur and Gogunda, and slaughtered Mughal garrisons of Mohi and other places. According to Vir Vinod, Maharana did not sit peacefully for even one minute; and during this time, he did not even remove his armour and helmet. The road from Agra through Mewar was captured, and thus, the path of the Mughal armies and the path of Mecca pilgrims going to Gujrat through Mewar were blocked. Mughal emperor became furious at this, but now he was in Meerut. From there he sent a large army under Shahbaz Khan Kamboh, Man Singh Kacchwa, Maharaja Bhagwant Singh Kacchwa, Payanda Khan Mughal, Sayyid Hashim Barha, Ulag Asad Turkoman, Mirza Khan Khankhana, Sharif Khan Atgah, Ghazi Khan Badakshi, Sayyid Qasim, Sayyid Raju etc.
Shahbaz Khan was a Mir Bakshi of the Mughal empire appointed in 1572 and had proved himself in many great campaigns. On reaching Mewar on 15th October, 1577, he started his mission to capture Rana. But he was greatly harassed by guerrilla units of Pratap, and therefore, he requested another army from Agra. Akbar sent another large army under Sheikh Ibrahim Fatehpuri and it joined the forces under Shahbaz Khan Kamboh. Before proceeding towards Kumbhalgarh, Shahbaz Khan sent Man Singh and his father Bhagwant Singh back, as he did not want any Hindus to accompany him on this campaign. This completely Muslim army then marched straight towards Kumbhalgarh and mercilessly destroyed villages and towns, and slaughtered innocent people of Mewar. After a siege of several months, a small fort of Kelwara was captured, and from there Shahbaz Khan laid seige on Kumbhalgarh, where Rana was present with his army. Here, luck ran in Shahbaz Khan’s way, and a big gun of Kumbhalgarh exploded and destroyed most of the war materials and supplies. Rana Pratap evacuated the fort overnight and in the morning, the empty fort was captured by Shahbaz Khan. Maharana again took refuge in forests and hills. He first went to Rampura which was ruled by Rao Durga. Here, he was warmly welcomed and given protection by his clan-brothers. After this, the Rana went to the hills of Banswara and lived there for some months. While living here, he received help from his prime minister Bhama Shah who sent 250,000 rupees and 20,000 gold coins his way (apparently, he gained this wealth by looting Mughal territories) and these helped the exhausted Rana to strengthen his army and prepare for his conquest of those areas which were now occupied by Shahbaz Khan.
Meanwhile, from Kumbhalgarh, Shahbaz Khan launched attacks on Udaipur and Gogunda and captured them. After this, he wandered in hills of Mewar searching for Rana, but after three months, he returned empty-handed to Akbar. For all his boasts in the Mughal court, he did not fight a single battle with Pratap and gained no major booty. Before leaving, he established 50 military posts and garrisons in the forts that he captured. During his campaigns, he did a lot of destruction, burned cities and engaged in bloody massacres of civilians. However, it had the exact opposite effect, and as soon as he left, Kumbhalgarh and all forts and towns were liberated by Pratap, and the Muslim garrisons were completely slaughtered without leaving a single man alive. Thus, Pratap paid him back in his own coin, and the success of his long campaign was nullified.
With this ended the first campaign of Shahbaz Khan. It was not a success but with some luck, he still managed to capture Kumbhalgarh in a very short time. He proved to be a great general and his march from Gogunda to Udaipur was so quick that it has been greatly praised by military historians. Akbar was impressed by him, and as soon as Rana again started raiding Mughal territories, he sent Shahbaz Khan again to Mewar. I’ll write about the later campaigns of Shahbaz Khan in the next post.
Before ending, let us see in more detail the activities of Pratap after Shahbaz Khan left, and how he liberated Mewar again.
After hearing that Shahbaz Khan had departed after loosing his hope, Rana moved to Chappan mountains, leaving his earlier position in Banswara. After gaining financial help from his Prime Minister Bhama Shah, he attacked the Mughal army stationed at Diwer. This army was led by Sultan Khan and he faced the Rajputs bravely. In the battle, Sultan Khan was killed by a spear thrown by Amar Singh Sesodia, prince of Mewar. Another soldier of Mewar badly injured the Mughal elephant. The battle was easily won and the Mughal soldiers fled or were killed. After gaining control over Diwer, Pratap captured Hamirsara and set out to besiege Kumbhalgarh. After a brief siege, the mighty fortress was captured and the Mughal soldiers there were slaughtered. Ghazi Khan Badakshi, the man who was put in the command of Kumbhalgarh by Shahbaz Khan, was beheaded by the Rana. After this, Jawar, Chappan, Bagad, Chavand etc. were all captured from the Mughals, and the Rana made Chavand his centre for a next few days.
After this, raids were launched everywhere in the Mughal territories as far as Malwa. Tarachand, the brother of Bhamashah, who had also fought at Haldighati, was campaiging near Bassi and there, he met Shahbaz Khan who was on his way back to Panjab. Tarachand was defeated and badly wounded. Rao Chaindas escorted him safely to Chavand. Meanwhile, the chiefs of Dungarpur and Banswara and the former allies of Rana, Rao Aaskaran and Rao Pratap respectively, now started having friendly relations with Akbar. This alarmed Pratap and he sent an army under Rawatman to bring them under his control. The armies of Rawatman were helped by Rao Chandrasen of Jodhpur, and they met with the joined armies of Dungarpur and Banswara at the river Som. Rawatman was victorious in this battle, and both the chiefs temporarily accepted Maharana’s suzerainty. But after some time, Dungarpur, Banswara again revolted and this time, they received help from the Mughals in the form of a large army. Another battle took place at the Som river, and this time, Pratap was not successful. But it kept the Mughals busy and gave Pratap more time to strengthen his hold over Mewar. Meanwhile, Sahmal, the son of Rao Aaskaran of Dungarpur, who hated the Mughals, joined the Rana in Chavand. Rana now occupied the plains of Mewar and started waiting for the next step of Akbar. So far, Akbar had gained almost nothing from his numerous campaigns.
Later campaigns of Shahbaz Khan
After hearing about Pratap’s activities and raids, Akbar was outraged and again sent Shahbaz Khan to his second campaign, as he had done a satisfactory job in the first campaign. This time Akbar gave him strict orders that his goal was to make Rana accept Mughal suzerainty, and this was to be accomplished at all costs. Shahbaz Khan was given huge amount of money, so that the Rajputs can be bought off, if necessary. Turkic military leaders like Muhammad Hussain Mirza, Sheikh Timur Badakshi, Ali Khan etc. accompanied him. After reaching Mewar, Shahbaz Khan started building military posts and strengthening his control over cities and towns. After this he wandered cluelessly in hills and forests of Mewar, looking for Rana. But Rana was nowhere to be found. After losing hope, he returned back to Agra, and Rana became active once again. Meanwhile, Rao Chandrasen, an ally of Pratap, revolted and marched with his army to Ajmer. Here he was defeated by a huge army in command of Payan Muhammad Khan. This revolt kept Mughals busy and gave Pratap some time to establish control over Mewar.
Now, Akbar was becoming restless. He had conquered everything from Khandesh to Kashmir, and Gujrat to Bengal, but was continuously failing to subjugate Mewar. He offered many prayers in Khwaja mosque of Ajmer, but he never saw much success. After praying for a long time in the Ajmer mosque in October 1579, Akbar sent Shahbaz Khan to Mewar for the 3rd time. Pratap went into the hills again. Shahbaz Khan did all he could, and searched every corner of Mewar, but this time, Rana had taken refuge in mountains of Sodha, which are at a distance of 12 k.m. from Mt. Abu. Here Rao Dhula of Loyana gave him full respect and protection. He married his daughter to Maharana, and Maharana gave him the title of Rana. Akbar was saddened by another failure, and in disappointment, he called Shahbaz Khan back in July 1580. Rustom Khan, the subehdar of Ajmer, was assigned to leadership of Mewar campaigns, but before he could proceed, Kacchwa Rajputs of Sherpura revolted. Rustom Khan went to suppress this revolt but was killed. Now, Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana (popularly known as Rahim), a famous Hindi poet, was appointed subehdar of Ajmer and was given the task to capture Rana.e, Amar Singh arrested women from the enemy camp along with a Mughal officer and brought them before Pratap. Rana Pratap rebuked his son for this act. He ordered to send women back to their camp with escorts.When Rahim Khan-e-Khana who was preparing to assault Maharana Pratap came to know this incident, he withdrew his forces.
The Aftermath form a basis wheather the battle was really a Victory or a Stalemate, the readers can decide
Eg.Battle of Dewar(1606)-Rana Amar Singh personally killed the Mughal commander Sultan Khan and his horse, due to which he is known as Chakrveer(also called Chakraveer). Parviz and Asaf Khan retreated from the battlefield but majority of historian call it stalemate as Rana was eventually defeated in 1615…now compare it with Haldighati

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Monday, December 24, 2018

हिन्दू ह्रदय सम्राट महाराजा सूरजमल

हिन्दू ह्रदय सम्राट महाराजा सूरजमल

महाराजा सूरजमल एक ऐसे सम्राट थे जिन्हें पूरा हिंदुस्तान एक हिंदुआ सूरज के रूप में जानता है।
उन्होंने मुगलों पठानों अफगानों रुहेलों ब्लुचों आदि सभी मुस्लिमो से लोहा लिया और उन्हें हराया।
उनका साम्राज्य राजस्थान, हरियाणा, उत्तर प्रदेश, दिल्ली तक फैला हुआ था।और जटवाड़ा कहलाता था।
उन्होंने मंदिरों, गौमाता, सनातन संस्कृति के प्रतीक पीपल के पेड़, महिलाओं व हिन्दू धर्म की जीवनपर्यंत रक्षा की।
उनके राज्य में गौहत्या और पीपल के पेड़ काटने पर प्रतिबंध था और मृत्युदंड का प्रावधान था।
कुछ मुस्लिम शासकों में उनका इतना खौफ था कि उन्होंने अपने क्षेत्र में भी गौहत्या बन्द कर दी थी व गौहत्या करने वालों को फांसी की सजा देनी शुरू कर दी थी व वे इसकी जानकारी उन्हे पत्र लिखकर सौंपते थे।
उनके होते हुए किसी भी महिला पर आंख उठाकर देखने की हिम्मत नहीं होती थी।उन्होंने एक हिन्दू लड़की हरदौल की इज्जत की रक्षा के लिए दिल्ली पर आक्रमण कर दिया था व उन्हें मुगलों से बचाया।
उन्हें हिन्दू एकता करने के लिए जाना जाता है उनका खजांची दलित था, उनका गुरु व सलाहकार ब्राह्मण था व उनकी सेना में सब जातियों के लोग थे।उनकी स्थायी सेना के अतिरिक्त उनके राज्य का हर नागरिक अस्थाई सैनिक था।
उन्होंने कई दूसरे राज्यों को भी जरूरत पड़ने पर सहायता की।उन्होंने मराठा, राजपूत समेत सब हिन्दू राजाओ की सहायता की।
वे बहुत ही धार्मिक प्रवृत्ति के धनी थे।उन्होंने मथुरा भरतपुर गोवर्धन आदि समेत ब्रज क्षेत्र में सैंकड़ो मन्दिर तीर्थ स्थान घाट बनवाये।
उन्होंने अपनी राजधानी भरतपुर का नाम भगवान श्री राम के छोटे भाई भरत के नाम पर रखा। वे श्री कृष्ण भगवान के वंशज थे, बजरंग बली व भगवान लक्ष्मण के बहुत बड़े भक्त थे,और शूरसेन महाराज उनके कुलदेवता है एवं केला देवी माता उनकी कुलदेवी है।
उनके युद्ध का झंडा कपिध्वज था जिस पर हनुमान जी की मूर्ति अंकित थी।उनकी रियासत के केसरिया झंडा हमेशा शान से लहराता रहा।
उन्हें दिल्ली में मुगलो का राज बीलकुल न सुहाता था उन्होंएँ दो बार दिल्ली में भगवा फहराया और मुगलो की ईंट से ईंट बजाकर बहुत बड़े क्षेत्र पर अधिकार कर लिया था।
वे दोनों हाथों से तलवार चलाना जानते थे व उन्होंने छोटे बड़े लगभग 80 युद्ध किये थे जिनमे वे हमेशा विजयी रहे जिसके कारण उन्हें एक अजेय महाराजा के तौर पर जाना जाता है।
उनके बनाये गया भरतपुर का लोहागढ़ किला देश का एकमात्र अजेय किला है जिसे न मुगल जीत पाये और न ही बाद में अंग्रेज।
उनका राज्य बहुत ही विशाल, समृद्ध न्यायप्रिय और खुशहाल था। वे सादगी के प्रतीक थे व सिर्फ विशेष अवसरों पर ही मुकुट और राजशाही पौशाक पहनते थे।उनकी पगड़ी हमेशा मोरपंख से सजी रहती थी।
वो जनता के बीच रहना पसंद करते थे व ज्यादातर अपनी लोकभाषा का ही प्रयोग करते थे।

Sunday, December 2, 2018

राजा महेन्द्र प्रताप सिंह-अखंड भारत के प्रथम राष्ट्रपति

आजाद हिंद सरकार के संस्थापक महान स्वतन्त्रता सेनानी राजा महेंद्र प्रताप सिंह(1 दिसम्बर 1886-29 अप्रैल1979) जयंती
राजा महेंद्र प्रताप का जन्म मुरसान के राजा बहादुर घनश्याम सिंह के यहाँ खड्ग सिंह के रूप में हुआ।
बाद में उन्हें #हाथरस के राजा हरिनारायण सिंह ने गोद ले लिया व उनका नाम महेंद्र प्रताप रखा।
उन्होने #निर्बल समाचार पत्र की स्थापना की व भारतीयों में स्वतन्त्रता के प्रति जागरूकता लाने का काम किया।
वे विदेश गए कई देशों से भारत की स्वतंत्रता के लिए सहयोग मांगा और इसके बाद #काबुलअफगानिस्तान में देश की प्रथम #आजाद_हिंद_सरकार की स्थापना की।
वहां आजाद हिंद फौज बनाई और अखंड भारत के प्रथम राष्ट्रपति के मानक पद पर आसीन हुए। लेकिन सु वे वहां कामयाब नहीं हो सके।
अंग्रेजों ने इनके #सिर पर इनमे रख दिया था व इसके बाद उनका राज्य हड़प लिया था।
इसके बाद वे दुनिया भर के देशों में समर्थन के लिए घूमे जापान में उन्होंने एग्जेक्युटिव बोर्ड ऑफ इंडिया की स्थापना की और रास बिहारी बोस उनके उपाध्यक्ष थे।
इस दौरान उन्हें
जापान से मार्को पोलो, जर्मनी ने ऑर्डर ऑफ रेड ईगल की उपाधि दी थी। वे चीन की संसद में भाषण देने वाले पहले भारतीय थे।
वे दलाई लामा से भी मिले थे।
बहुत से देशों में पहुँचे व भारतीयों पर हो रहे अत्याचार के बारे में विश्व को जागृत किया।दुनियाभर में फैले भारतीयों व उनके संगठनों को एक किया व फौज के निर्माण के।लिए प्रोत्साहित किया
उन्होंने ग़दर पार्टी के साथ मिलकर भी आजादी के लिए कार्य किया व फौज तैयार करने के लिए सारी योजनाएं बना ली।
फिर जापान से सब तैयार कर लिया लेकिन ऐन मौके पर जापानी मनमानी करते दिखे और अपमानजनक शर्ते रखने लगे तो राजा साहब ने उन्हें फटकार दिया और कहा कि वे अपने अनुसार कार्य करेंगे वे देश को आजाद कराने के लिए लड़ रहे हैं न कि फिर से गुलाम करने के लिए। इस पर जापानी बिफर पड़े उन्हके नजरबंद कर दिया। उसके बाद राजा साहब की सहमति से रास बिहारी बोस जी अध्यक्ष बने। इसी बोर्ड का नाम योजना के हिसाब से आजाद हिंद फौज रखा गया और दूसरी आजाद हिंद फौज तैयार हुई। इस तरह यह फौज एक दिन में नहीं बनी थी बल्कि राजा साहब के पूरे जीवनकाल का तप थी। उसके कुछ समय बाद आजाद हिंद फौज की बागडोर संभालने के लिए नेताजी को बुलाया गया था।
वे विश्वयुद्ध में अंग्रेजो का साथ देने के विरुद्ध थे और उन्होंने इस पर गांधी जी का विरोध किया।
उन्होंने विश्व मैत्री संघ की स्थापना की,उसी तर्ज पर आज uno बनने की शुरुआत हुई थी।
वे 32 सालों तक देश के लिए अपना परिवार छोड़कर दुनिया भर की खाक छानते रहे।
जब वे वापिस भारत पहुंचे तो #सरदार_पटेल जी की बेटी #मणिकाबेन उन्हें हवाई अड्डे पर लेने पहुंची थी।
1952 में उन्हें #नोबल पुरस्कार के लिए भी नामित किया गया था।
1909 में वृन्दावन में #प्रेम महाविद्यालय की स्थापना की जो तकनीकी शिक्षा के लिए भारत में प्रथम केन्द्र था। मदनमोहन मालवीय इसके उद्धाटन समारोह में उपस्थित रहे। ट्रस्ट का निर्माण हुआ-अपने पांच गाँव, वृन्दावन का राजमहल और चल संपत्ति का दान दिया। राजा साहब #श्रीकृष्ण भक्त थे उन्ही के नाम पर उन्होंने देश का यह प्रथम तकनीकी प्रेम महाविद्दालय खोला था।उन्होंने अपनी आधी सम्पति इस विद्यालय को दान कर दी थी।
बनारस #हिंदू विश्वद्यालय, अलीगढ़ विद्द्यालय, #कायस्थ पाठशाला के लिए जमीन दान में दी। हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय के बोर्ड के #सदस्य भी रहे।
उनकी दृष्टि विशाल थी। वे जाति, वर्ग, रंग, देश आदि के द्वारा मानवता को विभक्त करना घोर अन्याय, पाप और अत्याचार मानते थे। ब्राह्मण-भंगी को भेद बुद्धि से देखने के पक्ष में नहीं थे।
वृन्दावन में ही एक विशाल फलवाले उद्यान को जो 80 एकड़ में था, 1911 में #आर्य_प्रतिनिधि_सभा उत्तर प्रदेश को दान में दे दिया। जिसमें आर्य समाज गुरुकुल है और राष्ट्रीय विश्वविद्यालय भी है।
मथुरा में किसानों के लिए #बैंक खोला, अपने राज्य के गांवों में प्रारंभिक #पाठशालाएंखुलवाई।
उनकी राष्ट्रवादी सोच के कारण कांग्रेस के नेता उन पर RSS का #एजेंट होने का आरोप लगाते रहते थे।
उन्होंने चुनावों में बड़े बड़े दिग्गजों को धूल चटा दी थी।
उन्होंने निर्दलीय उम्मीदवार होते हुए भी भारत के पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री #अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी जी की जमानत जब्त करवा दी थी।
उन्होंने छुआछूत को कम करने के लिए दलितों के साथ एक राजा होते हुए भी खाना खाया जो उस समय एक असामान्य बात थी।उन्होके #चर्मकार समाज को जाटव की उपाधि दी थी।
उन्होंने अपनी सारी #संपत्ति देश और शिक्षा के लिए दान कर दी थी।
अपनी अफगानिस्तान यात्रा के दौरान प्रधानमंत्री मोदी जी ने भी अपने भाषण में इनको नमन किया था।
ऐसे महान दानवीर स्वतन्त्रता सेनानी राष्ट्रवादी समाज सुधारक राजा महेंद्र प्रताप को उनकी जयंती पर उन्हें कोटि कोटि नमन।