Jammu and Kashmir is known for its communal harmony, and even local terrorists will not be able to tarnish that reputation. If we look at the recent past, we can say that the identity of Kashmir is protected in India. Basically, Kashmir is the land of Rishis and Sufi saints, and their message is deeply rooted in the hearts of Kashmiris regardless of their religions and beliefs. Not only that, he has the ability and scope to grow, vocalize creatively, and mature. It also has excellent prospects for disseminating its results throughout the country.
The convergence of Mahayana Buddhism and Islam in parts of Persia and Central Asia resulted in the evolution of Islamic mystics. Sufis founded several orders incorporating Hindu and Buddhist philosophies. The meeting of two great traditions, Saivisme, the Hindu monist philosophy of Kashmir and the Erfan of Muslim. It gradually took hold, giving rise to a unique order of “Rishis” whose philosophical beliefs led to the idea of religious tolerance and shared faith in God, which Kashmiris have always cherished. (Somnath Dhar, Jammu and Kashmir, National Book Trust of India, New Delhi, 1977. P-71.)
Rishi-Sufism, a social, cultural and religious space where several Hindus and Muslims once practiced their faith, was one of the most widespread expressions of Kashmiryat from the 15th to the 17th century. The practice of the Rishi-Sufis shaped the concept of the immanence of God, respect for all religions, beliefs in miracles, reincarnation, meditation and asceticism in Hinduism and the spirit of the “eightfold paths of Buddhism. He incorporated them into the concept of God’s transcendence and the spirit of Five pillars of Islam for launching the syncretic space of interreligious interactions. Ethno-cultural symbiotic consciousness and inter-religious Hindu-Buddhist symbiotic spiritual consciousness have shaped the evolution of Kashmiryat.
Kashmiryat is a concept of tolerance and inclusiveness of all religions and beliefs, thus respecting all religious traditions and festivals. It embodies community harmony, literary heights, spirituality and the symbiotic relationship between different communities. The Kashimiriyat is looming in all aspects of life for the Kashmiri people, and it is the powerful shaper of the religious and cultural life of its people. The comforting wisdom expressed in the local Kashmiri language by the Rishis brought solace in difficult times. Despite the cultural invasion of the Kashmir valley, Kashmiryat has survived as a single language due to various favorable historical reasons and other factors.
Kashmiri attack. In 1947, after the partition of British India between India and Pakistan. The former state of Jammu and Kashmir was attacked, which Pakistan orchestrated. Maharaja Hari Singh signed a legal document of the Instrument of Accession, accepting membership in the Union of India when the attackers had already reached the outskirts of Srinagar.
Terrorism that began in 1989 in the Kashmir Valley, ostensibly for more political rights, quickly turned violent at Pakistan’s behest. Once again ruthless killings, arson, looting and rape of non-Muslims have been perpetrated by the terrorists. Thus, the minority community of approximately 3,50,000 people, mostly Kashmiri Pandits, were driven out of the Kashmir valley and continued to live in exile. Ultimately, the entire former state of Jammu and Kashmir was engulfed in this cross-border terrorism sponsored by our adversary. Besides other things, these radical elements want to destroy the basic fabric of Kashmir, ie Kashmiryat.
When the people of Jammu and Kashmir suffer, the magnificent metaphysical and mystical ethnicities augmented by Rishis and Sufi saints bring them relief. There were conversions, sometimes peaceful, sometimes forced. J&K witnessed conversations, various changes in administration and transfers of power.
However, neither adaptation nor forced migration could destroy their mutual trust, love and psychological attachment between the different communities.
Ironically, the converts did not change their surnames after the conversions. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are proud of their culture as the society is deeply inclined towards the culture of Rishi-Sufi mysticism. People have chosen not to lose their diverse spiritual identity, which is unequivocally neither Hindu nor Muslim. This culture and spirit of a singular identity, regardless of individual religious beliefs, sometimes confuses people outside of J&K. However, Kashmiris proudly call it “Kashmiriyat”, in simple terms, “Kashmiri-ness”.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the Kashmir Valley, continued to live in harmony until 1989, when Pakistan stirred up communal feelings among the majority population of Muslims in Kashmir and changed the course of a passive, otherwise secular life into a violent life. mounted communal movement.
Pakistan imposed an ideology of fundamentalism, which was foreign to Kashmiri society where Sufism flourished, divided the people on the basis of religion, thus complicating the ethno-religious identity of Kashmiris. For the terrorists on the other side of the fence, religion was just a tool to exploit the vulnerabilities of the masses and tear apart the socio-cultural fabric of Kashmiryat. The young minds of J&K are brainwashed and trained in weapons to carry out large-scale acts of terrorism. Pakistani-funded radical elements are penetrating Kashmiri society, threatening the pluralistic social order, interfaithness and harmony of the people.
Young Kashmiri Muslims are growing up under one religion, Islam, with no memory of coexistence and compassion for other communities. At the same time, Kashmiri pundits continue to live in exile, with scattered future generations growing up outside their homeland, being molded into a different culture with barely a connection to their roots.
The unholy alliance of organized fundamental interpretations of religion and gun culture has led to the elimination of remnants of Kashmir’s humanistic culture with its deep roots in the centuries-old and glorious past, perhaps marking its imprint on “Kashmir”.
Thus, the threat to the cultural ethos and values of Kashmiryat comes from radical elements and not from India or the Indian Constitution. India is a pluralistic and multicultural society where many religions and belief systems govern the Indian people. The civilization of Kashmir is a splendid reflection of Indian civilization, which advocates composite culture and pluralism.
So far, Pakistan has tried to weaken the very spirit of Kashmiryat, but Pakistan must understand that in a struggle between secularism and fundamentalism, the former is always the winner. The faith of the people of J&K in the Hindu-Muslim socio-cultural fabric is indestructible. We must not see this conflict in J&K between Hindus and Muslims but between national and anti-national forces. The Pakistani strategy during the insurgency phase was to create social and communal disorder and weaken the secular base. Pakistan felt that Kashmiryat had no psychic roots in the state except in plural respect for other religions. This misunderstanding has encouraged Pakistan to transplant its fundamentalist ideology to combat the liberal Hindu ideal of human brotherhood, derived from the Indian philosophy of Sarva dharma sambhava‘.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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