Masla E Kashmir In Urdu Essays Online

For other uses, see Kashmir (disambiguation).

Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal Range. Today, it denotes a larger area that includes the Indian-administered territory of Jammu and Kashmir (which includes the region of Jammu, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh and Siachen), the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and Chinese-administered territories of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.[1][2][3]

In the first half of the 1st millennium, the Kashmir region became an important centre of Hinduism and later of Buddhism; later still, in the ninth century, Kashmir Shaivism arose.[4] In 1339, Shah Mir became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir, inaugurating the Salatin-i-Kashmir or Shah Mir dynasty.[5] Kashmir was part of the Mughal Empire from 1586 to 1751,[6] and thereafter, until 1820, of the Afghan Durrani Empire.[5] That year, the Sikhs, under Ranjit Singh, annexed Kashmir.[5] In 1846, after the Sikh defeat in the First Anglo-Sikh War, and upon the purchase of the region from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar, the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, became the new ruler of Kashmir. The rule of his descendants, under the paramountcy (or tutelage) of the British Crown, lasted until the partition of India in 1947, when the former princely state of the British Raj was claimed by both Pakistan and India.

Since 1947, the greater region of Jammu and Kashmir has been embroiled in a territorial dispute between India, Pakistan and China — with India controlling approximately 43% of the region and 70% of its population. Pakistan controls roughly 37% of the region while China controls the remaining 20%.[7][1][2] Kashmir is widely regarded as the world's most militarized zone — the region has witnessed three major wars between India and Pakistan, another limited war between India and China, numerous border skirmishes, high mountainous warfare, an ongoing insurgency, a mass Hindu exodus and internal civilian unrest.[8]

Etymology[edit]

The Sanskrit word for Kashmir was káśmīra.[9] The Nilamata Purana describes the Valley's origin from the waters, a lake called Sati-saras.[10][11] A popular, but uncertain, local etymology of Kashmira is that it is land desiccated from water.[12]

An alternative, but also uncertain, etymology derives the name from the name of the sage Kashyapa who is believed to have settled people in this land. Accordingly, Kashmir would be derived from either kashyapa-mir (Kashyapa's Lake) or kashyapa-meru (Kashyapa's Mountain).[12]

The Ancient Greeks called the region Kasperia which has been identified with Kaspapyros of Hecataeus of Miletus (apud Stephanus of Byzantium) and Kaspatyros of Herodotus (3.102, 4.44). Kashmir is also believed to be the country meant by Ptolemy's Kaspeiria.[13]

Cashmere is an archaic spelling of present-Kashmir, and in some countries it is still spelled this way.

In the Kashmiri language, Kashmir itself is known as Kasheer.[14]

History[edit]

Main article: History of Kashmir

Further information: Timeline of the Kashmir conflict and Kashmir conflict

Hinduism and Buddhism in Kashmir[edit]

Further information: Buddhism in Kashmir and Kashmir Shaivism

During ancient and medieval period, Kashmir has been an important centre for the development of a Hindu-Buddhist syncretism, in which Madhyamaka and Yogachara were blended with Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta. The Buddhist Mauryan emperor Ashoka is often credited with having founded the old capital of Kashmir, Shrinagari, now ruins on the outskirts of modern Srinagar. Kashmir was long to be a stronghold of Buddhism.[15] As a Buddhist seat of learning, the Sarvastivada school strongly influenced Kashmir.[16] East and Central Asian Buddhist monks are recorded as having visited the kingdom. In the late 4th century CE, the famous Kuchanese monk Kumārajīva, born to an Indian noble family, studied Dīrghāgama and Madhyāgama in Kashmir under Bandhudatta. He later became a prolific translator who helped take Buddhism to China. His mother Jīva is thought to have retired to Kashmir. Vimalākṣa, a Sarvāstivādan Buddhist monk, travelled from Kashmir to Kucha and there instructed Kumārajīva in the Vinayapiṭaka.

Karkoṭa Empire (625 CE – 885 CE) was a powerful Hindu empire, which originated in the region of Kashmir.[17] It was founded by Durlabhvardhana during the lifetime of Harsha. The dynasty marked the rise of Kashmir as a power in South Asia.[18]Avanti Varman ascended the throne of Kashmir on 855 CE, establishing the Utpala dynasty and ending the rule of Karkoṭa dynasty.[19]

According to tradition, Adi Shankara visited the pre-existing Sarvajñapīṭha (Sharada Peeth) in Kashmir in the late 8th century or early 9th century CE. The Madhaviya Shankaravijayam states this temple had four doors for scholars from the four cardinal directions. The southern door of Sarvajna Pitha was opened by Adi Shankara.[20] According to tradition, Adi Shankara opened the southern door by defeating in debate all the scholars there in all the various scholastic disciplines such as Mīmāṃsā, Vedanta and other branches of Hindu philosophy; he ascended the throne of Transcendent wisdom of that temple.[21]

Abhinavagupta (c. 950–1020 CE[22][23]) was one of India's greatest philosophers, mystics and aestheticians. He was also considered an important musician, poet, dramatist, exegete, theologian, and logician[24][25] – a polymathic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture.[26][27] He was born in the Kashmir Valley[28] in a family of scholars and mystics and studied all the schools of philosophy and art of his time under the guidance of as many as fifteen (or more) teachers and gurus.[29] In his long life he completed over 35 works, the largest and most famous of which is Tantrāloka, an encyclopaedic treatise on all the philosophical and practical aspects of Trika and Kaula (known today as Kashmir Shaivism). Another one of his very important contributions was in the field of philosophy of aesthetics with his famous Abhinavabhāratī commentary of Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharata Muni.[30]

In the 10th century Mokshopaya or Moksopaya Shastra, a philosophical text on salvation for non-ascetics (moksa-upaya: 'means to release'), was written on the Pradyumna hill in Srinagar.[31][32] It has the form of a public sermon and claims human authorship and contains about 30,000 shloka's (making it longer than the Ramayana). The main part of the text forms a dialogue between Vashistha and Rama, interchanged with numerous short stories and anecdotes to illustrate the content.[33][34] This text was later (11th to the 14th century CE)[35] expanded and vedanticised, which resulted in the Yoga Vasistha.[36]

Queen Kota Rani was medieval Hindu ruler of Kashmir, ruling until 1339. She was a notable ruler who is often credited for saving Srinagar city from frequent floods by getting a canal constructed, named after her "Kutte Kol". This canal receives water from Jhelum River at the entry point of city and again merges with Jhelum river beyond the city limits.[37]

Shah Mir Dynasty[edit]

Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir (reigned 1339–42) was the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir[38] and founder of the Shah Mir dynasty.[38][39] Kashmiri historian Jonaraja, in his Dvitīyā Rājataraṅginī mentioned Shah Mir was from Swat, and his ancestors were Kshatriya, who converted to Islam.

Shāh Mīr arrived in Kashmir in 1313, along with his family, during the reign of Sūhadeva (1301–20), whose service he entered. In subsequent years, through his tact and ability, Shāh Mīr rose to prominence and became one of the important personalities of the time. Later, after the death in 1338 of Udayanadeva, the brother of Sūhadeva, he was able to assume the kingship himself and thus laid the foundation of permanent Muslim rule in Kashmir. Dissensions among the ruling classes and foreign invasions were the two main factors which contributed towards the establishment of Muslim rule in Kashmir.[40]

Rinchan, from Ladakh, and Lankar Chak, from Dard territory near Gilgit, came to Kashmir and played a notable role in the subsequent political history of the Valley. All the three men were granted Jagirs (feudatory estates) by the King. Rinchan became the ruler of Kashmir for three years. Shah Mir was the first ruler of Shah Mir dynasty, which had established in 1339 CE. Muslim ulama, such as Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, arrived from Central Asia to proselytize in Kashmir and their efforts converted thousands of Kashmiris to Islam[41] and Hamadani's son also convinced Sikander Butshikan to enforce Islamic law. By the late 1400s most Kashmiris had accepted Islam.[42]

Mughal rule[edit]

The Mughalpadishah (emperor) Akbar conquered Kashmir, taking advantage of Kashmir's internal Sunni-Shia divisions,[43] and thus ended indigenous Kashmiri Muslim rule.[6] Akbar added it in 1586 to Kabul Subah, but Shah Jahan carved it out as a separate subah (imperial top-level province) with seat at Srinagar.

Afghan rule[edit]

The Afghan Durrani dynasty's Durrani Empire controlled Kashmir from 1751, when weakling 15th Mughal padshah (emperor) Ahmad Shah Bahadur's viceroy Muin-ul-Mulk was defeated and reinstated by the Durrani founder Ahmad Shah Durrani (who conquered, roughly, modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan from the Mughals and local rulers), until the 1820 Sikh triumph. The Afghan rulers brutally repressed Kashmiris of all faiths (according to Kashmiri historians).[44]

Sikh rule[edit]

In 1819, the Kashmir Valley passed from the control of the Durrani Empire of Afghanistan to the conquering armies of the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh of the Punjab,[45] thus ending four centuries of Muslim rule under the Mughals and the Afghan regime. As the Kashmiris had suffered under the Afghans, they initially welcomed the new Sikh rulers.[46] However, the Sikh governors turned out to be hard taskmasters, and Sikh rule was generally considered oppressive,[47] protected perhaps by the remoteness of Kashmir from the capital of the Sikh Empire in Lahore.[48] The Sikhs enacted a number of anti-Muslim laws,[48] which included handing out death sentences for cow slaughter,[46] closing down the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar,[48] and banning the adhan, the public Muslim call to prayer.[48] Kashmir had also now begun to attract European visitors, several of whom wrote of the abject poverty of the vast Muslim peasantry and of the exorbitant taxes under the Sikhs.[46][49] High taxes, according to some contemporary accounts, had depopulated large tracts of the countryside, allowing only one-sixteenth of the cultivable land to be cultivated.[46] Many Kashmiri peasants migrated to the plains of the Punjab.[50] However, after a famine in 1832, the Sikhs reduced the land tax to half the produce of the land and also began to offer interest-free loans to farmers;[48] Kashmir became the second highest revenue earner for the Sikh Empire.[48] During this time Kashmiri shawls became known worldwide, attracting many buyers, especially in the West.[48]

The state of Jammu, which had been on the ascendant after the decline of the Mughal Empire, came under the sway of the Sikhs in 1770. Further in 1808, it was fully conquered by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Gulab Singh, then a youngster in the House of Jammu, enrolled in the Sikh troops and, by distinguishing himself in campaigns, gradually rose in power and influence. In 1822, he was anointed as the Raja of Jammu. Along with his able general Zorawar Singh Kahluria, he conquered and subdued Rajouri (1821), Kishtwar (1821), Suru valley and Kargil (1835), Ladakh (1834–1840), and Baltistan (1840), thereby surrounding the Kashmir Valley. He became a wealthy and influential noble in the Sikh court.

Princely state[edit]

Main article: Jammu and Kashmir (princely state)

In 1845, the First Anglo-Sikh War broke out. According to The Imperial Gazetteer of India,

"Gulab Singh contrived to hold himself aloof till the battle of Sobraon (1846), when he appeared as a useful mediator and the trusted advisor of Sir Henry Lawrence. Two treaties were concluded. By the first the State of Lahore (i.e. West Punjab) handed over to the British, as equivalent for one crore indemnity, the hill countries between the rivers Beas and Indus; by the second the British made over to Gulab Singh for 75 lakhs all the hilly or mountainous country situated to the east of the Indus and the west of the Ravi i.e. the Vale of Kashmir)."[45]

Drafted by a treaty and a bill of sale, and constituted between 1820 and 1858, the Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu (as it was first called) combined disparate regions, religions, and ethnicities:[53] to the east, Ladakh was ethnically and culturally Tibetan and its inhabitants practised Buddhism; to the south, Jammu had a mixed population of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs; in the heavily populated central Kashmir valley, the population was overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, however, there was also a small but influential Hindu minority, the Kashmiri brahmins or pandits; to the northeast, sparsely populated Baltistan had a population ethnically related to Ladakh, but which practised Shia Islam; to the north, also sparsely populated, Gilgit Agency, was an area of diverse, mostly Shi'a groups; and, to the west, Punch was Muslim, but of different ethnicity than the Kashmir valley.[53] After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, in which Kashmir sided with the British, and the subsequent assumption of direct rule by Great Britain, the princely state of Kashmir came under the suzerainty of the British Crown.

In the British census of India of 1941, Kashmir registered a Muslim majority population of 77%, a Hindu population of 20% and a sparse population of Buddhists and Sikhs comprising the remaining 3%.[54] That same year, Prem Nath Bazaz, a Kashmiri Pandit journalist wrote: “The poverty of the Muslim masses is appalling. ... Most are landless laborers, working as serfs for absentee [Hindu] landlords ... Almost the whole brunt of official corruption is borne by the Muslim masses.”[55] Under the Hindu rule, Muslims faced hefty taxation, discrimination in the legal system and were forced into labor without any wages.[56] Conditions in the princely state caused a significant migration of people from the Kashmir Valley to Punjab of British India.[57] For almost a century until the census, a small Hindu elite had ruled over a vast and impoverished Muslim peasantry.[54][58] Driven into docility by chronic indebtedness to landlords and moneylenders, having no education besides, nor awareness of rights,[54] the Muslim peasants had no political representation until the 1930s.[58]

1947 and 1948[edit]

Further information: Kashmir conflict, Timeline of the Kashmir conflict, 1947 Poonch Rebellion, Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, 1947 Jammu massacres, and 1947 Mirpur massacre

Ranbir Singh's grandson Hari Singh, who had ascended the throne of Kashmir in 1925, was the reigning monarch in 1947 at the conclusion of British rule of the subcontinent and the subsequent partition of the British Indian Empire into the newly independent Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.

In the run up to 1947 there were two major parties in the princely state: the National Conference and the Muslim Conference. The National Conference was led by the charismatic Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah who tilted towards favouring the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India whilst the Muslim Conference tilted towards favouring the accession of the princely state to Pakistan.[59] The National Conference enjoyed popular support in the Kashmir Valley whilst the Muslim Conference was more popular in the Jammu region.[60] The Hindus and Sikhs of the state were firmly in favour of joining India, as were the Buddhists.[61] However, the sentiments of the state's Muslim population were divided. Scholar Christopher Snedden states that the Muslims of Western Jammu, and also the Muslims of the Frontier Districts Province, strongly wanted Jammu and Kashmir to join Pakistan.[62] The ethnic Kashmiri Muslims of the Kashmir Valley, on the other hand, were ambivalent about Pakistan[63] (possibly due to their secular nature)[64] although Snedden claims that the best-informed English language newspaper on the state's affairs, the CMG, reported on 21 October 1947 that there had been a massive upsurge in favour of Pakistan in the southern section of the Kashmir Valley-which was the stronghold of the socialist Kisan Mazdoor Conference party led by Kashmiri Pandit Prem Nath Bazaz.[65] Many supporters of National Conference and Sheikh Abdullah also did support Jinnah and the Muslim League.[66] Conversely, The Times reported that Sheikh Abdullah's influence in Srinagar was 'paramount'.[67] The fact that Kashmiris were not particularly enamoured with the idea of Pakistan reflected the failure of the idea of Pan-Islamic identity in satisfying the political urges of Kashmiris.[68] At the same time there was also a lack of interest in merging with Indian nationalism.[69]

According to Burton Stein's History of India,

"Kashmir was neither as large nor as old an independent state as Hyderabad; it had been created rather off-handedly by the British after the first defeat of the Sikhs in 1846, as a reward to a former official who had sided with the British. The Himalayan kingdom was connected to India through a district of the Punjab, but its population was 77 per cent Muslim and it shared a boundary with Pakistan. Hence, it was anticipated that the maharaja would accede to Pakistan when the British paramountcy ended on 14–15 August. When he hesitated to do this, Pakistan launched a guerrilla onslaught meant to frighten its ruler into submission. Instead the Maharaja appealed to Mountbatten[70] for assistance, and the governor-general agreed on the condition that the ruler accede to India. Indian soldiers entered Kashmir and drove the Pakistani-sponsored irregulars from all but a small section of the state. The United Nations was then invited to mediate the quarrel. The UN mission insisted that the opinion of Kashmiris must be ascertained, while India insisted that no referendum could occur until all of the state had been cleared of irregulars."[71]

In the last days of 1948, a ceasefire was agreed under UN auspices. However, since the referendum demanded by the UN was never conducted, relations between India and Pakistan soured,[71] and eventually led to two more wars over Kashmir in 1965 and 1999. India has control of about half the area of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, while Pakistan controls a third of the region, the Northern Areas and Kashmir. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, "Although there was a clear Muslim majority in Kashmir before the 1947 partition and its economic, cultural, and geographic contiguity with the Muslim-majority area of the Punjab (in Pakistan) could be convincingly demonstrated, the political developments during and after the partition resulted in a division of the region. Pakistan was left with territory that, although basically Muslim in character, was thinly populated, relatively inaccessible, and economically underdeveloped. The largest Muslim group, situated in the Valley of Kashmir and estimated to number more than half the population of the entire region, lay in Indian-administered territory, with its former outlets via the Jhelum valley route blocked."[72]

Current status and political divisions[edit]

Main articles: Aksai Chin, Azad Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit–Baltistan, and Trans-Karakoram Tract

The eastern region of the former princely state of Kashmir is also involved in a boundary dispute that began in the late 19th century and continues into the 21st. Although some boundary agreements were signed between Great Britain, Afghanistan and Russia over the northern borders of Kashmir, China never accepted these agreements, and China's official position has not changed following the communist revolution of 1949 that established the People's Republic of China. By the mid-1950s the Chinese army had entered the north-east portion of Ladakh.[72]

"By 1956–57 they had completed a military road through the Aksai Chin area to provide better communication between Xinjiang and western Tibet. India's belated discovery of this road led to border clashes between the two countries that culminated in the Sino-Indian war of October 1962."[72]

The region is divided amongst three countries in a territorial dispute: Pakistan controls the northwest portion (Northern Areas and Kashmir), India controls the central and southern portion (Jammu and Kashmir) and Ladakh, and the People's Republic of China controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract). India controls the majority of the Siachen Glacier area, including the Saltoro Ridge passes, whilst Pakistan controls the lower territory just southwest of the Saltoro Ridge. India controls 101,338 km2 (39,127 sq mi) of the disputed territory, Pakistan controls 85,846 km2 (33,145 sq mi), and the People's Republic of China controls the remaining 37,555 km2 (14,500 sq mi).

Jammu and Azad Kashmir lie outside Pir Panjal range, and are under Indian and Pakistani control respectively. These are populous regions. Gilgit–Baltistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas, is a group of territories in the extreme north, bordered by the Karakoram, the western Himalayas, the Pamir, and the Hindu Kush ranges. With its administrative centre in the town of Gilgit, the Northern Areas cover an area of 72,971 square kilometres (28,174 sq mi) and have an estimated population approaching 1 million (10 lakhs).

Ladakh is a region in the east, between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south.[73] Main cities are Leh and Kargil. It is under Indian administration and is part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the area and is mainly inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent.[73] Aksai Chin is a vast high-altitude desert of salt that reaches altitudes up to 5,000 metres (16,000 ft). Geographically part of the Tibetan Plateau, Aksai Chin is referred to as the Soda Plain. The region is almost uninhabited, and has no permanent settlements.

Though these regions are in practice administered by their respective claimants, neither India nor Pakistan has formally recognised the accession of the areas claimed by the other. India claims those areas, including the area "ceded" to China by Pakistan in the Trans-Karakoram Tract in 1963, are a part of its territory, while Pakistan claims the entire region excluding Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract. The two countries have fought several declared wars over the territory. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 established the rough boundaries of today, with Pakistan holding roughly one-third of Kashmir, and India one-half, with a dividing line of control established by the United Nations. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 resulted in a stalemate and a UN-negotiated ceasefire.

Demographics[edit]

In the 1901 Census of the British Indian Empire, the population of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu was 2,905,578. Of these, 2,154,695 (74.16%) were Muslims, 689,073 (23.72%) Hindus, 25,828 (0.89%) Sikhs, and 35,047 (1.21%) Buddhists (implying 935 (0.032%) others).

Among the Muslims of the Kashmir province within the princely state, four divisions were recorded: "Shaikhs, Saiyids, Mughals, and Pathans. The Shaikhs, who are by far the most numerous, are the descendants of Hindus, but have retained none of the caste rules of their forefathers. They have clan names known as krams ..."[74] These kram names included "Tantre", "Shaikh", "Bat", "Mantu", "Ganai", "Dar", "Damar", "Lon", etc. The Saiyids "could be divided into those who follow the profession of religion and those who have taken to agriculture and other pursuits. Their kram name is 'Mir.' While a Saiyid retains his saintly profession Mir is a prefix; if he has taken to agriculture, Mir is an affix to his name."[74] The Mughals who were not numerous had kram names like "Mir" (a corruption of "Mirza"), "Beg", "Bandi", "Bach" and "Ashaye". Finally, it was recorded that the Pathans "who are more numerous than the Mughals, ... are found chiefly in the south-west of the valley, where Pathan colonies have from time to time been founded. The most interesting of these colonies is that of Kuki-Khel Afridis at Dranghaihama, who retain all the old customs and speak Pashto."[74] Among the main tribes of Muslims in the princely state are the Butts, Dar, Lone, Jat, Gujjar, Rajput, Sudhan and Khatri. A small number of Butts, Dar and Lone use the title Khawaja. The Khatri use the title Shaikh and the Gujjar use the title Chaudhary. All these tribes are indigenous to the princely state which converted to Islam from Hinduism during its arrival in the region.

The Hindus were found mainly in Jammu, where they constituted a little less than 60% of the population.[74] In the Kashmir Valley, the Hindus represented "524 in every 10,000 of the population (i.e. 5.24%), and in the frontier wazarats of Ladhakh and Gilgit only 94 out of every 10,000 persons (0.94%)."[74] In the same Census of 1901, in the Kashmir Valley, the total population was recorded to be 1,157,394, of which the Muslim population was 1,083,766, or 93.6% and the Hindu population 60,641.[74] Among the Hindus of Jammu province, who numbered 626,177 (or 90.87% of the Hindu population of the princely state), the most important castes recorded in the census were "Brahmans (186,000), the Rajputs (167,000), the Khattris (48,000) and the Thakkars (93,000)."[74]

In the 1911 Census of the British Indian Empire, the total population of Kashmir and Jammu had increased to 3,158,126. Of these, 2,398,320 (75.94%) were Muslims, 696,830 (22.06%) Hindus, 31,658 (1%) Sikhs, and 36,512 (1.16%) Buddhists. In the last census of British India in 1941, the total population of Kashmir and Jammu (which as a result of the second world war, was estimated from the 1931 census) was 3,945,000. Of these, the total Muslim population was 2,997,000 (75.97%), the Hindu population was 808,000 (20.48%), and the Sikh 55,000 (1.39%).[75]

The Kashmiri Pandits, the only Hindus of the Kashmir valley, who had stably constituted approximately 4 to 5% of the population of the valley during Dogra rule (1846–1947), and 20% of whom had left the Kashmir valley by 1950,[76] began to leave in much greater numbers in the 1990s. According to a number of authors, approximately 100,000 of the total Kashmiri Pandit population of 140,000 left the valley during that decade.[77] Other authors have suggested a higher figure for the exodus, ranging from the entire population of over 150[78] to 190 thousand (1.5 to 190,000) of a total Pandit population of 200 thousand (200,000)[79] to a number as high as 300 thousand[80] (300,000).

People in Jammu speak Hindi, Punjabi and Dogri, the Vale of Kashmir speaks Kashmiri and the sparsely inhabited Ladakh region speaks Tibetan and Balti.[81]

The total population of India's division of Jammu and Kashmir is 12,541,302[82] and Pakistan's division of Kashmir is 2,580,000 and Gilgit-Baltistan is 870,347.[83]

Economy[edit]

Further information: Azad Kashmir § Economy, and Jammu and Kashmir § Economy

Kashmir's economy is centred around agriculture. Traditionally the staple crop of the valley was rice, which formed the chief food of the people. In addition, Indian corn, wheat, barley and oats were also grown. Given its temperate climate, it is suited for crops like asparagus, artichoke, seakale, broad beans, scarletrunners, beetroot, cauliflower and cabbage. Fruit trees are common in the valley, and the cultivated orchards yield pears, apples, peaches, and cherries. The chief trees are deodar, firs and pines, chenar or plane, maple, birch and walnut, apple, cherry.

Historically, Kashmir became known worldwide when Cashmere wool was exported to other regions and nations (exports have ceased due to decreased abundance of the cashmere goat and increased competition from China). Kashmiris are well adept at knitting and making Pashminashawls, silk carpets, rugs, kurtas, and pottery. Saffron, too, is grown in Kashmir. Efforts are on to export the naturally grown fruits and vegetables as organic foods mainly to the Middle East. Srinagar is known for its silver-work, papier-mâché, wood-carving, and the weaving of silk. The economy was badly damaged by the 2005 Kashmir earthquake which, as of 8 October 2005, resulted in over 70,000 deaths in the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir and around 1,500 deaths in Indian controlled Kashmir. The Indian-administered portion of Kashmir is believed to have potentially rich rocks containing hydrocarbon reserves.[84][85]

Transport[edit]

Transport is predominantly by air or road vehicles in the region.[86] Kashmir has a 135 km (84 mi) long modern railway line that started in October 2009, and was last extended in 2013 and connects Baramulla in the western part of Kashmir to Srinagar and Banihal. It is expected to link Kashmir to the rest of India after the construction of the railway line from Katra to Banihal is completed.[87]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ ab"Kashmir: region, Indian subcontinent". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 16 July 2016.  Quote: "Kashmir, region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent. It is bounded by the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang to the northeast and the Tibet Autonomous Region to the east (both parts of China), by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south, by Pakistan to the west, and by Afghanistan to the northwest. The northern and western portions are administered by Pakistan and comprise three areas: Azad Kashmir, Gilgit, and Baltistan, ... The southern and southeastern portions constitute the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian- and Pakistani-administered portions are divided by a “line of control” agreed to in 1972, although neither country recognizes it as an international boundary. In addition, China became active in the eastern area of Kashmir in the 1950s and since 1962 has controlled the northeastern part of Ladakh (the easternmost portion of the region)."
  2. ^ ab"Kashmir territories profile". BBC. Retrieved 16 July 2016.  Quote: "The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for over six decades. Since India's partition and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars over the Muslim-majority territory, which both claim in full but control in part. Today it remains one of the most militarised zones in the world. China administers parts of the territory."
  3. ^"Kashmir profile — timeline". BBC. Retrieved 16 July 2016.  Quote: "1950s – China gradually occupies eastern Kashmir (Aksai Chin). 1962 – China defeats India in a short war for control of Aksai Chin. 1963 – Pakistan cedes the Trans-Karakoram Tract of Kashmir to China."
  4. ^Basham, A. L. (2005) The wonder that was India, Picador. Pp. 572. ISBN 0-330-43909-X, p. 110.
  5. ^ abcImperial Gazetteer of India, volume 15. 1908. Oxford University Press, Oxford and London. pp. 93–95.
  6. ^ abPuri, Balraj (June 2009), "5000 Years of Kashmir", Epilogue, 3 (6), pp. 43–45, retrieved 31 December 2016,  
  7. ^Margolis, Eric (2004). War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet (paperback ed.). Routledge. p. 56. ISBN 9781135955595. 
  8. ^Coleman, Peter (2011). The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts (paperback ed.). Hachette UK. ISBN 9781586489229. 
  9. ^"A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages". Dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  10. ^Akbar, M. J. (1991), Kashmir, behind the vale, Viking, p. 9 
  11. ^Raina, Mohini Qasba (October 2013), Kashur The Kashmiri Speaking People, Trafford Publishing, pp. 3–, ISBN 978-1-4907-0165-3 
  12. ^ abSnedden, Christopher (2015), Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris, Oxford University Press, pp. 22–, ISBN 978-1-84904-342-7 
  13. ^Khan, Ruhail (2017-07-06). Who Killed Kasheer?. Notion Press. ISBN 9781947283107. 
  14. ^P. iv 'Kashmir Today' by Government, 1998
  15. ^A.K. Warder, Indian Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass 2000, page 256.
  16. ^A.K. Warder, Indian Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass 2000, pages 263–264.
  17. ^
Nanga Parbat in Kashmir, the ninth-highest mountain on Earth, is the western anchor of the Himalayas
This general view of the unexcavated Buddhist stupa near Baramulla, with two figures standing on the summit, and another at the base with measuring scales, was taken by John Burke in 1868. The stupa, which was later excavated, dates to 500 CE.
Gateway of enclosure, (once a Hindu temple) of Zein-ul-ab-ud-din's Tomb, in Srinagar. Probable date 400 to 500 CE, 1868. John Burke. Oriental and India Office Collection. British Library.
The prevailing religions by district in the 1901 Census of the Indian Empire.
A Muslim shawl-making family shown in Cashmere shawl manufactory, 1867, chromolith., William Simpson.
A group of Kashmiri Pandits, natives of Kashmir Valley belong to one of the prominent Shaiva sects of Hinduism, shown in 1895.
Srinagar, the largest city of Kashmir

The history of Kashmir is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent and the surrounding regions, comprising the areas of Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia. Historically, Kashmir referred to the Kashmir Valley.[1] Today, it denotes a larger area that includes the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir (which consists of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh), the Pakistan-administered territories of Pakistan occupied Kashmir

Gilgit–Baltistan, and the Chinese-administered regions of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.

In the first half of the 1st millennium, the Kashmir region became an important centre of Hinduism and later of Buddhism; later in the ninth century, Shaivism arose. Islamization in Kashmir took place during 13th to 15th century and led to the eventual decline of the Kashmir Shaivism in Kashmir. However, the achievements of the previous civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the new Islamic polity and culture which gave rise to Kashmiri Sufi mysticism.

In 1339, Shah Mir became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir, inaugurating the Shah Mir Dynasty. For the next five centuries, Muslim monarchs ruled Kashmir, including the Mughal Empire, who ruled from 1586 until 1751, and the Afghan Durrani Empire, which ruled from 1747 until 1819. That year, the Sikhs, under Ranjit Singh, annexed Kashmir. In 1846, after the Sikh defeat in the First Anglo-Sikh War, and upon the purchase of the region from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar, the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, became the new ruler of Kashmir. The rule of his descendants, under the paramountcy (or tutelage) of the British Crown, lasted until 1947, when the former princely state became a disputed territory, now administered by three countries: India, Pakistan, and the People's Republic of China.

Etymology[edit]

See also: Timeline of the Kashmir conflict

According to folk etymology, the name "Kashmir" means "desiccated land" (from the Sanskrit: Ka = water and shimeera = desiccate).[2] In the Rajatarangini, a history of Kashmir written by Kalhana in the mid-12th century, it is stated that the valley of Kashmir was formerly a lake.[3] According to Hindu mythology, the lake was drained by the great rishi or sage, Kashyapa, son of Marichi, son of Brahma, by cutting the gap in the hills at Baramulla (Varaha-mula).[3] When Kashmir had been drained, Kashyapa asked Brahmins to settle there. This is still the local tradition, and in the existing physical condition of the country, we may see some ground for the story which has taken this form.[3] The name of Kashyapa is by history and tradition connected with the draining of the lake, and the chief town or collection of dwellings in the valley was called Kashyapa-pura, which has been identified with Kaspapyros of Hecataeus (apudStephanus of Byzantium) and Kaspatyros of Herodotus (3.102, 4.44).[3][4] Kashmir is also believed to be the country meant by Ptolemy's Kaspeiria.Cashmere is an archaic spelling of Kashmir, and in some countries it is still spelled this way.

According to the Mahabharata,[6] the Kambojas ruled Kashmir during the epic period with a Republican system of government[7] from the capital city of Karna-Rajapuram-gatva-Kambojah-nirjitastava.,[8][9] shortened to Rajapura,[10][11][12][13] which has been identified with modern Rajauri.[14]

Later, the Panchalas are stated to have established their sway[citation needed]. The name Peer Panjal, which is a part of modern Kashmir, is a witness to this fact. Panjal is simply a distorted form of the Sanskritic tribal term Panchala[citation needed]. The Muslims prefixed the word peer to it in memory of Siddha Faqir and the name thereafter is said to have changed into Peer Panjal.[15] According to legend, Jammu was founded by Hindu King RajaJambu Lochan in the 14th century BC. During one of his hunting campaigns he reached the Tawi River where he saw a goat and a lion drinking water at the same place. The king was impressed and decided to set up a town after his name, Jamboo. With the passage of time, the name was corrupted and became "Jammu".

Historiography[edit]

Nilmata Purana (complied c. 500–600 CE) contains accounts of Kashmir's early history. However, being a Puranic source, it has been argued that it suffers from a degree of inconsistency and unreliability.[a]Kalhana's Rajatarangini (River of Kings), all the 8000 Sanskrit verses of which were completed by 1150 CE, chronicles the history of Kashmir's dynasties from mythical times to 12th century. It relies upon traditional sources like Nilmata Purana, inscriptions, coins, monuments, and Kalhana's personal observations borne out of political experiences of his family. Towards the end of the work mythical explanations give way to rational and critical analyses of dramatic events between 11th and 12th centuries, for which Kalhana is often credited as India's first historian. During the reign of Muslim kings in Kashmir, three supplements to Rajatarangini were written by Jonaraja (1411–1463 CE), Srivara, and Prajyabhatta and Suka, which end with Akbar's conquest of Kashmir in 1586 CE. The text was translated into Persian by Muslim scholars such as Nizam Uddin, Farishta, and Abul Fazl.Baharistan-i-Shahi and Haidar Mailk's Tarikh-i-Kashmir (completed in 1621 CE) are the most important texts on the history of Kashmir during the Sultanate period. Both the texts were written in Persian and used Rajatarangini and Persian histories as their sources.

Early history[edit]

Further information: Rajatarangini, Kushan Empire, Huna people, Buddhism in Kashmir, Karkota Empire, and Mauryan Empire

Earliest Neolithic sites in the flood plains of Kashmir valley are dated to c. 3000 BCE. Most important of these sites are the settlements at Burzahom, which had two Neolithic and one Megalithic phases. First phase (c. 2920 BCE) at Burzahom is marked by mud plastered pit dwellings, coarse pottery and stone tools. In the second phase, which lasted till c. 1700 BCE, houses were constructed on ground level and the dead were buried, sometimes with domesticated and wild animals. Hunting and fishing were the primary modes of subsistence though evidence of cultivation of wheat, barley, and lentils has also been found in both the phases. In the megalithic phase, massive circles were constructed and grey or black burnish replaced coarse red ware in pottery. During the later Vedic period, as kingdoms of the Vedic tribes expanded, the Uttara–Kurus settled in Kashmir.

In 326 BCE, Porus asked Abisares, the king of Kashmir, to aid him against Alexander the Great in the Battle of Hydaspes. After Porus lost the battle, Abhisares submitted to Alexander by sending him treasure and elephants. During the reign of Ashoka (304–232 BCE), Kashmir became a part of the Maurya Empire and Buddhism was introduced in Kashmir. During this period, many stupas, some shrines dedicated to Shiva, and the city of Srinagari (Srinagar) were built.Kanishka (127–151 CE), an emperor of the Kushan dynasty, conquered Kashmir and established the new city of Kanishkapur. Buddhist tradition holds that Kanishka held the Fourth Buddhist council in Kashmir, in which celebrated scholars such as Ashvagosha, Nagarjuna and Vasumitra took part. By the fourth century, Kashmir became a seat of learning for both Buddhism and Hinduism. Kashmiri Buddhist missionaries helped spread Buddhism to Tibet and China and from the fifth century CE, pilgrims from these countries started visiting Kashmir.Kumārajīva (343–413 CE) was among the renowned Kashmiri scholars who traveled to China. He influenced the Chinese emperor Yao Xing and spearheaded translation of many Sanskrit works into Chinese at the Chang'an monastery.

Hepthalites (White Huns) under Toramana crossed over the Hindukush mountains and conquered large parts of western India including Kashmir. His son Mihirakula (c. 502–530 CE) led a military campaign to conquer all of North India. He was opposed by Baladitya in Magadha and eventually defeated by Yasodharman in Malwa. After the defeat, Mihirakula returned to Kashmir where he led a coup on the king. He then conquered of Gandhara where he committed many atrocities on Buddhists and destroyed their shrines. Influence of the Huns faded after Mihirakula's death. After seventh century, significant developments took place in Kashmiri Hinduism. In the centuries that followed, Kashmir produced many poets, philosophers, and artists who contributed to Sanskrit literature and Hindu religion. Among notable scholars of this period was Vasugupta (c. 875–925 CE) who wrote the Shiva Sutras which laid the foundation for a monistic Shaiva system called Kashmir Shaivism. Dualistic interpretation of Shaiva scripture was defeated by Abhinavagupta (c. 975–1025 CE) who wrote many philosophical works on Kashmir Shaivism. Kashmir Shaivism was adopted by the common masses of Kashmir and strongly influenced Shaivism in Southern India.

In the eighth century, Karkota Empire established themselves as rulers of Kashmir. Kashmir grew as an imperial power under the Karkotas. Chandrapida of this dynasty was recognized by an imperial order of the Chinese emperor as the king of Kashmir. His successor Lalitaditya Muktapida lead a successful military campaign against the Tibetans. He then defeated Yashovarman of Kanyakubja and subsequently conquered eastern kingdoms of Magadha, Kamarupa, Gauda, and Kalinga. Lalitaditya extended his influence of Malwa and Gujarat and defeated Arabs at Sindh. After his demise, Kashmir's influence over other kingdoms declined and the dynasty ended in c. 855–856 CE. Utpala dynasty founded by Avantivarman followed the Kakrotas. His successor Shankaravarman (885–902 CE) led a successful military campaign against Gurjaras in Punjab. Political instability in the 10th century made the royal body guards (Tantrins) very powerful in Kashmir. Under the Tantrins, civil administration collapsed and chaos reigned in Kashmir till they were defeated by Chakravarman. Queen Didda, who descended from the Hindu Shahis of Kabul on her mother's side, took over as the ruler in second half of the 10th century. After her death in 1003 CE, the throne passed to Lohara dynasty. During the 11th century, Mahmud of Ghazni made two attempts to conquer Kashmir. However, both his campaigns failed because he could not siege the fortress at Lohkot.

Muslim rulers[edit]

Prelude and Kashmir Sultanate (1346–1580s)[edit]

Historian Mohibbul Hasan states that the oppressive taxation, corruption, internecine fights and rise of feudal lords (Damaras) during the unpopular rule of the Lohara dynasty (1003–1320 CE) paved the way for foreign invasions of Kashmir. Suhadeva, last king of the Lohara dynasty, fled Kashmir after Zulju (Dulacha), a Turkic–Mongol chief, led a savage raid on Kashmir. Rinchana, a Tibetan Buddhist refugee in Kashmir, established himself as the ruler after Zulju. Rinchana's conversion to Islam is a subject of Kashmiri folklore. He was persuaded to accept Islam by his minister Shah Mir, probably for political reasons. Islam had penetrated into countries outside Kashmir and in absence of the support from Hindus, who were in a majority, Rinchana needed the support of the Kashmiri Muslims. Shah Mir's coup on Rinchana's successor secured Muslim rule and the rule of his dynasty in Kashmir.

In the 14th century, Islam gradually became the dominant religion in Kashmir.[56] Islamic preacher Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani, who is traditionally revered by Hindus as Nund Rishi, combined elements of Kashmir Shaivism with Sufi mysticism in his discourses. The Sultans between 1354–1470 CE were tolerant of other religions with the exception of Sultan Sikandar (1389–1413 CE). Sultan Sikandar imposed taxes on non–Muslims, forced conversions to Islam, and earned the title But–Shikan for destroying idols. Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin (c. 1420–1470 CE) invited artists and craftsmen from Central Asia and Persia to train local artists in Kashmir. Under his rule the arts of wood carving, papier-mâché , shawl and carpet weaving prospered. For a brief period in 1470s, states of Jammu, Poonch and Rajauri which paid tributes to Kashmir revolted against the Sultan Hajji Khan. However, they were subjugated by his son Hasan Khan who took over as ruler in 1472 CE. By the mid 16th century, Hindu influence in the courts and role of the Hindu priests had declined as Muslim missionaries immigrated into Kashmir from Central Asia and Persia, and Persian replaced Sanskrit as the official language. Around the same period, the nobility of Chaks had become powerful enough to unseat the Shah Mir dynasty.

Mughal general Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, a member of ruling family in Kashgar, invaded Kashmir in c. 1540 CE on behalf of emperor Humayun. Persecution of Shias, Shafi'is and Sufis and instigation by Suri kings led to a revolt which overthrew Dughlat's rule in Kashmir.

Mughals (1580s–1750s)[edit]

Kashmir did not witness direct Mughal rule till the reign of Mughal padshah (emperor) Akbar the Great, who visited the valley himself in 1589 CE. The Mughal conquered Kashmir and added it in 1586 to his Afghan province Kabul Subah, but Shah Jahan carved it out as a separate subah (imperial top-level province), with seat at Srinagar. During successive Mughal emperors many celebrated gardens, mosques and palaces were constructed. Religious intolerance and discriminatory taxation reappeared when Mughal emperor Aurangzeb ascended to the throne in 1658 CE. After his death, the influence of the Mughal Empire declined.

In 1700 CE, a servant of a wealthy Kashmir merchant brought Mo-i Muqqadas (the hair of the Prophet), a relic of Muhammad, to the valley. The relic was housed in the Hazratbal Shrine on the banks of Dal Lake.Nadir Shah's invasion of India in 1738 CE further weakened Mughal control over Kashmir.

Afghan rulers (1750s–1819)[edit]

In 1753, Abdul Khan Isk Aquasi, a general in Ahmed Shah Abdali's army, invaded Kashmir and established the rule of the Durrani Empire of Afghanistan. Afghan rule in Kashmir was extremely cruel and oppressive, particularly for the Hindus. Locals were extorted from, captured and forced into slavery during this period. Dominance of Afghans declined after Ahmed Shah Abdali's death in 1772, but they ruled Kashmir for another 47 years.

Sikh rule (1820–1846)[edit]

In 1819, the Kashmir valley passed from the control of the Durrani Empire of Afghanistan, and four centuries of Muslim rule under the Mughals and the Afghans, to the conquering armies of the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh of Punjab. As the Kashmiris had suffered under the Afghans, they initially welcomed the new Sikh rulers. However, the Sikh governors turned out to be hard taskmasters, and Sikh rule was generally considered oppressive, protected perhaps by the remoteness of Kashmir from the capital of the Sikh Empire in Lahore. The Sikhs enacted a number of anti-Muslim laws, which included handing out death sentences for cow slaughter, closing down the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, and banning the azaan, the public Muslim call to prayer. Kashmir had also now begun to attract European visitors, several of whom wrote of the abject poverty of the vast Muslim peasantry and of the exorbitant taxes under the Sikhs. High taxes, according to some contemporary accounts, had depopulated large tracts of the countryside, allowing only one-sixteenth of the cultivable land to be cultivated. However, after a famine in 1832, the Sikhs reduced the land tax to half the produce of the land and also began to offer interest-free loans to farmers; Kashmir became the second highest revenue earner for the Sikh empire. During this time Kashmiri shawls became known worldwide, attracting many buyers especially in the west.

Earlier, in 1780, after the death of Ranjit Deo, the Raja of Jammu, the kingdom of Jammu (to the south of the Kashmir valley) was also captured by the Sikhs and afterwards, until 1846, became a tributary to the Sikh power. Ranjit Deo's grandnephew, Gulab Singh, subsequently sought service at the court of Ranjit Singh, distinguished himself in later campaigns, especially the annexation of the Kashmir valley, and, for his services, was appointed governor of Jammu in 1820. With the help of his officer, Zorawar Singh, Gulab Singh soon captured for the Sikhs the lands of Ladakh and Baltistan to the east and north-east, respectively, of Jammu.

Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu (Dogra Rule, 1846–1947)[edit]

Main article: Kashmir

In 1845, the First Anglo-Sikh War broke out, and Gulab Singh "contrived to hold himself aloof till the battle of Sobraon (1846), when he appeared as a useful mediator and the trusted advisor of Sir Henry Lawrence. Two treaties were concluded. By the first the State of Lahore (i.e. West Punjab) handed over to the British, as equivalent for (rupees) ten million of indemnity, the hill countries between Beas and Indus; by the second the British made over to Gulab Singh for (Rupees) 7.5 million all the hilly or mountainous country situated to the east of Indus and west of Ravi" (i.e. the Vale of Kashmir). The Treaty of Amritsar freed Gulab Singh from obligations towards the Sikhs and made him the Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir. The Dogras' loyalty came in handy to the British during the revolt of 1857 which challenged British rule in India. Dogras refused to provide sanctuary to mutineers, allowed English women and children to seek asylum in Kashmir and sent Kashmiri troops to fight on behalf of the British. British in return rewarded them by securing the succession of Dogra rule in Kashmir. Soon after Gulab Singh's death in 1857, his son, Ranbir Singh, added the emirates of Hunza, Gilgit and Nagar to the kingdom.

The Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu (as it was then called) was constituted between 1820 and 1858 and was "somewhat artificial in composition and it did not develop a fully coherent identity, partly as a result of its disparate origins and partly as a result of the autocratic rule which it experienced on the fringes of Empire."[71] It combined disparate regions, religions, and ethnicities: to the east, Ladakh was ethnically and culturally Tibetan and its inhabitants practised Buddhism; to the south, Jammu had a mixed population of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs; in the heavily populated central Kashmir valley, the population was overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, however, there was also a small but influential Hindu minority, the Kashmiri brahmins or pandits; to the northeast, sparsely populated Baltistan had a population ethnically related to Ladakh, but which practised Shi'a Islam; to the north, also sparsely populated, Gilgit Agency, was an area of diverse, mostly Shi'a groups; and, to the west, Punch was Muslim, but of different ethnicity than the Kashmir valley.[71]

Despite being in a majority the Muslims were made to suffer severe oppression under Hindu rule in the form of high taxes, unpaid forced labor and discriminatory laws.[72] Many Kashmiri Muslims migrated from the Valley to Punjab due to famine and policies of Dogra rulers.[73] The Muslim peasantry was vast, impoverished and ruled by a Hindu elite.[74][75]  The Muslim peasants lacked education, awareness of rights and were chronically in debt to landlords and moneylenders,[74] and did not organize politically until the 1930s.[75] It is interesting to note that it was a KashmiriShiaMuslim named Aga Syed Hussain Thakur who passed the matriculation examinations for the first time in Kashmir in the year 1894.[76]

1947[edit]

Further information: Timeline of the Kashmir conflict

Ranbir Singh's grandson Hari Singh, who had ascended the throne of Kashmir in 1925, was the reigning monarch in 1947 at the conclusion of British rule of the subcontinent and the subsequent partition of the British Indian Empire into the newly independent Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. An internal revolt began in the Poonch region against oppressive taxation by the Maharaja.[77] In August, Maharaja's forces fired upon demonstrations in favour of Kashmir joining Pakistan, burned whole villages and massacred innocent people.[78] The Poonch rebels declared an independent government of "Azad" Kashmir on 24 October.[79] Rulers of Princely States were encouraged to accede their States to either Dominion – India or Pakistan, taking into account factors such as geographical contiguity and the wishes of their people. In 1947, Kashmir's population was "77% Muslim and 20% Hindu". To postpone making a hurried decision, the Maharaja signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan, which ensured continuity of trade, travel, communication, and similar services between the two. Such an agreement was pending with India.[81] Following huge riots in Jammu, in October 1947, Pashtuns from Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province recruited by the Poonch rebels, invaded Kashmir, along with the Poonch rebels, allegedly incensed by the atrocities against fellow Muslims in Poonch and Jammu. The tribesmen engaged in looting and killing along the way.[82][83] The ostensible aim of the guerilla campaign was to frighten Hari Singh into submission. Instead the Maharaja appealed to the Government of India for assistance, and the Governor-GeneralLord Mountbatten[c] agreed on the condition that the ruler accede to India. Once the Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession, Indian soldiers entered Kashmir and drove the Pakistani-sponsored irregulars from all but a small section of the state. India accepted the accession, regarding it provisional[84] until such time as the will of the people can be ascertained. Kashmir leader Sheikh Abdullah endorsed the accession as ad-hoc which would be ultimately decided by the people of the State. He was appointed the head of the emergency administration by the Maharaja.[85] The Pakistani government immediately contested the accession, suggesting that it was fraudulent, that the Maharaja acted under duress and that he had no right to sign an agreement with India when the standstill agreement with Pakistan was still in force.

See also: 1947 Poonch Rebellion, 1947 Jammu massacres, Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 and The Accession of the Princely States.

Post-1947[edit]

Further information: Timeline of the Kashmir conflict and History of Azad Kashmir

In Early 1948, India sought a resolution of the Kashmir Conflict at the United Nations. Following the set-up of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), the UN Security Council passed Resolution 47 on 21 April 1948. The UN mission insisted that the opinion of Kashmiris must be ascertained. The then Indian Prime Minister is reported to have himself urged U.N. to poll Kashmir and on the basis of results Kashmir's accession will be decided.[86] However, India insisted that no referendum could occur until all of the state had been cleared of irregulars.

On 5 January 1949, UNCIP (United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan) resolution stated that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite. As per the 1948 and 1949 UNCIP Resolutions, both countries accepted the principle, that Pakistan secures the withdrawal of Pakistani intruders followed by withdrawal of Pakistani and Indian forces, as a basis for the formulation of a Truce agreement whose details are to be arrived in future, followed by a plebiscite; However, both countries failed to arrive at a Truce agreement due to differences in interpretation of the procedure for and extent of demilitarisation one of them being whether the Azad Kashmiri army is to be disbanded during the truce stage or the plebiscite stage.

In the last days of 1948, a ceasefire was agreed under UN auspices; however, since the plebiscite demanded by the UN was never conducted, relations between India and Pakistan soured, and eventually led to three more wars over Kashmir in 1965, 1971 and 1999. India has control of about half the area of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir; Pakistan controls a third of the region, governing it as Gilgit–Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, "Although there was a clear Muslim majority in Kashmir before the 1947 partition and its economic, cultural, and geographic contiguity with the Muslim-majority area of the Punjab (in Pakistan) could be convincingly demonstrated, the political developments during and after the partition resulted in a division of the region. Pakistan was left with territory that, although basically Muslim in character, was thinly populated, relatively inaccessible, and economically underdeveloped. The largest Muslim group, situated in the Vale of Kashmir and estimated to number more than half the population of the entire region, lay in Indian-administered territory, with its former outlets via the Jhelum valley route blocked."[90]

The UN Security Council on 20 January 1948 passed Resolution 39 establishing a special commission to investigate the conflict. Subsequent to the commission's recommendation the Security Council, ordered in its Resolution 47, passed on 21 April 1948 that the invading Pakistani army retreat from Jammu & Kashmir and that the accession of Kashmir to either India or Pakistan be determined in accordance with a plebiscite to be supervised by the UN. In a string of subsequent resolutions the Security Council took notice of the continuing failure by India to hold the plebiscite. However, no punitive action against India could be taken by the Security Council because its resolution, requiring India to hold a Plebiscite, was non-binding and the Pakistani army never left the part of the Kashmir, they managed to keep occupied at the end of the 1947 war, required by the Security Council resolution 47.

The eastern region of the erstwhile princely state of Kashmir has also been beset with a boundary dispute. In the late 19th- and early 20th centuries, although some boundary agreements were signed between Great Britain, Afghanistan and Russia over the northern borders of Kashmir, China never accepted these agreements, and the official Chinese position did not change with the communist revolution in 1949. By the mid-1950s the Chinese army had entered the north-east portion of Ladakh.:[90] "By 1956–57 they had completed a military road through the Aksai Chin area to provide better communication between Xinjiang and western Tibet. India's belated discovery of this road led to border clashes between the two countries that culminated in the Sino-Indian war of October 1962."[90] China has occupied Aksai Chin since 1962 and, in addition, an adjoining region, the Trans-Karakoram Tract was ceded by Pakistan to China in 1965.

In 1949, the Indian government obliged Hari Singh to leave Jammu and Kashmir and yield the government to Sheikh Abdullah, the leader of a popular political party, the National Conference Party.[81] Since then, a bitter enmity has been developed between India and Pakistan and three wars have taken place between them over Kashmir. The growing dispute over Kashmir and the consistent failure of democracy[92] also led to the rise of Kashmir nationalism and militancy in the state.

Following the disputed elections in 1987, young disaffected Kashmiris in the Valley such as the HAJY group – Abdul Hamid Shaikh, Ashfaq Majid Wani, Javed Ahmed Mir and Mohammed Yasin Malik – were recruited by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front(JKLF) and the popular insurgency in the Kashmir Valley increased in momentum from this point on.[94] The year 1989 saw the intensification of conflict in Jammu and Kashmir as Mujahadeens from Afghanistan slowly infiltrated the region following the end of the Soviet-Afghan War the same year.[95] Pakistan provided arms and training to both indigenous and foreign militants in Kashmir, thus adding fuel to the smouldering fire of discontent in the valley.[96][97][98]

Historical demographics of Kashmir[edit]

In the 1901 Census of the British Indian Empire, the population of the princely state of Kashmir was 2,905,578. Of these 2,154,695 were Muslims, 689,073 Hindus, 25,828 Sikhs, and 35,047 Buddhists. The Hindus were found mainly in Jammu, where they constituted a little less than 50% of the population. In the Kashmir Valley, the Hindus represented "only 524 in every 10,000 of the population (i.e. 5.24%), and in the frontier wazarats of Ladhakh and Gilgit only 94 out of every 10,000 persons (0.94%)." In the same Census of 1901, in the Kashmir Valley, the total population was recorded to be 1,157,394, of which the Muslim population was 1,083,766, or 93.6% of the population. These percentages have remained fairly stable for the last 100 years. In the 1941 Census of British India, Muslims accounted for 93.6% of the population of the Kashmir Valley and the Hindus constituted 4%. In 2003, the percentage of Muslims in the Kashmir Valley was 95%[101] and those of Hindus 4%; the same year, in Jammu, the percentage of Hindus was 67% and those of Muslims 27%.[101]

Among the Muslims of the Kashmir province within the princely state, four divisions were recorded: "Shaikhs, Saiyids, Mughals, and Pathans. The Shaikhs, who are by far the most numerous, are the descendants of Hindus, but have retained none of the caste rules of their forefathers. They have clan names known as krams ..."[102] It was recorded that these kram names included "Tantre", "Shaikh", "Bat", "Mantu", "Ganai", "Dar", "Damar", "Lon", etc. The Saiyids, it was recorded, "could be divided into those who follow the profession of religion and those who have taken to agriculture and other pursuits. Their kram name is 'Mir.' While a Saiyid retains his saintly profession Mir is a prefix; if he has taken to agriculture, Mir is an affix to his name."[102] The Mughals who were not numerous were recorded to have kram names like "Mir" (a corruption of "Mirza"), "Beg", "Bandi", "Bach" and "Ashaye". Finally, it was recorded that the Pathans "who are more numerous than the Mughals, ... are found chiefly in the south-west of the valley, where Pathan colonies have from time to time been founded. The most interesting of these colonies is that of Kuki-Khel Afridis at Dranghaihama, who retain all the old customs and speak Pashtu."[102] Among the main tribes of Muslims in the princely state are the Butts, Dar, Lone, Jat, Gujjar, Rajput, Sudhan and Khatri. A small number of Butts, Dar and Lone use the title Khawaja and the Khatri use the title Shaikh the Gujjar use the title of Chaudhary. All these tribes are indigenous of the princely state which converted to Islam from Hinduism during its arrival in region.

Among the Hindus of Jammu province, who numbered 626,177 (or 90.87% of the Hindu population of the princely state), the most important castes recorded in the census were "Brahmans (186,000), the Rajputs (167,000), the Khattris (48,000) and the Thakkars (93,000)."

Gallery[edit]

  • Pot, excavated from Burzahom (c. 2700 BCE), depicts horned motifs, which suggest links with sites like Kot-Diji, in Sindh.

  • A Muslim shawl making family in Kashmir. 1867. Cashmere shawl manufactory, chromolith., William Simpson.

  • Kashmiri home life c. 1890. Photographer unknown.

  • Muslim papier-mâché ornament painters in Kashmir. 1895. Photographer: unknown.

  • Three Hindu priests writing religious texts. 1890s, Jammu and Kashmir, photographer: unknown.

  • Full-length portrait of two Ladakhi men. 1895, Ladakh, unknown photographer.

See also[edit]

[edit]

Notes[edit]

General view of Martand Sun Temple and Enclosure of Marttand or the Sun, near Bhawan. Probable date of temple AD 490–555. Probable date of colonnade AD 693–729. Photograph of the Surya Temple at Martand in Jammu & Kashmir taken by John Burke in 1868.
This general view of the unexcavated Buddhist stupa near Baramulla, with two figures standing on the summit, and another at the base with measuring scales, was taken by John Burke in 1868. The stupa, which was later excavated, dates to 500 CE.
Gateway of enclosure, (once a Hindu temple) of Zein-ul-ab-ud-din's Tomb, in Srinagar. Probable date AD 400 to 500, 1868. John Burke. Oriental and India Office Collection. British Library.
Silver sasnu of the Kashmir Sultan Shams al-Din Shah II (ruled 1537–38). During the Sultanate period, the Kashmir sultans issued silver and copper coins. The silver coins were square and followed a weight standard unique to Kashmir of between 6 and 7 gm. This coin weighs 6.16 gm.
Sheikh Imam-ud-din along with Ranjur Singh and Dewan Dina Nath. 1847. (James Duffield Harding) Sheikh Imam-ud-din was the governor of Kashmir under the Sikhs, and fought on the side of the English in the battle of Multan during the First Anglo-Sikh War (1845–46).
Portrait of Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1847, a year after signing the Treaty of Amritsar, when he became Maharaja by purchasing the territories of Kashmir "to the eastward of the river Indus and westward of the river Ravi"[b] for 7.5 million rupees from the British (Artist: James Duffield Harding).
  1. ^. This is incorrect. Scholasticism was a hallmark of the Puranas. It is not that Puranic genealogies are "incomplete and occasionally inaccurate"

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