Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Kashmiri pandits 5

Then it was the turn of Afgani Pathans to unleash their quota of  terror on the  common masses of Kashmir particularly the Kashmiri pandits , who were not of their faith by relgion. It was the most trying period for Kashmiri pandits who were terrorized ,tormented and no adjective of infamy and notoreity was spared to treat them adversely.  They were taken for granted and all the agonies and abuses were hurled upon them for the fun and frolic of then rulers of Kashmir.
One of the pathan rulers would not like to take his  daily Lunch unless few Kashmiri pandits were not drowned in the Dal  lake. Maunds of janevu threads were recovered from Dal Lake later on. Any pathan would ask a Kashmiri pandit to give him a ride for the sake of fun.  He would ride on his shoulders and hold his Shikha to balance himself and take a  ride.  It gave birth to a saying in Kashmir ' Bat chuk te  Atta dit ' I.e. you are a Kashmiri pandit give me a ride.  An earthen pot filled with human refuse was kept on the head of  Kashmiri pandit  and  was aimed  at with a stone by a Pathan to break it.  All the filth would role over the face and body of Kasmiri pandit  to the amusement of  latter.
It was customary on  the part of Kashmiri pandits to make their houses with very small gates,which were called 'pilavs' so as not to allow pathans to enter  their homes because it was below dignity for a pathan to enter a gate by bending his back and that too on horse ride. Pathans usually avoided such gates.
It was how the steel was tempered. It was just like treading on Agnipath'. It was the test of their patience,perseverance and faith. The Kashmiri Hindus  who could not bear this agony either died or  got converted  to Islam or fled away from Kashmir to protect their religion. The legacy of  persons who stood to the test  and wrote history on the sands of time is represented by the present community of Kashmiri pandits.
Later on  some Kashmiri pandits went to Punjab on foot and asked for the help of Maharaja of Punjab who obliged them and saved Kashmir from Pathan invaders and once again Kashmir became a place worth living for Kashmiri Pandits.
Then most of the Kashmiri pandits who had left Kashmir earlier returned to Kashmir, alongwith some southern Brahmins , after three hundred years of sepearation from it.
The Kashmiri pandits who remained in Kashmir and who returned  to Kashmir  after three hundred years were classified in to ' Malmasis ' and  'Banmasis' respectively.
As the history has tendency to repeat itself and by the grace of our sanskars and genes ,which we have inherited,  it is not impossible for us to return to  Kashmiir with all dignity and honour some day. It now depends on our will ,unity and perseverance.
The Kashmir was then purchased by Mahraja Gulab Singh ruler of Jammu, who was once  commanding the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of punjab, at the cost of seventy five lakh rupees from Britishers. The Kashmiri pandits  lived a good life and enjoyed  atleast the freedom of religion in Dogra Shahi.
After independence of India Kashmir got annexed with India by signing the annexation treaty with India by last Dogra King of Jammu and Kashmir Mahraja Hari Singh.
To be concluded in 3rd part.....

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Kashmiri Pandits 4

The advent of Islam in Kashmir was due to the myopic outlook of  Kashmiri Brahmins and political instability in Kashmir at that time.  Renchan Shah, a pseudo Buddhist from Ladakh,  invaded Kashmir and killed the last Hindu King of Kashmir  and married his widow Kota Rani.  He  in order to form a political base in Kashmir desired  to convert himself to Hinduism which was the most popular religion  in Kashmir at that time.  Kashmiri Hindus did not allow him to join  Hinduism  because they considered him of low cast. This attitude of Kashmiri Hindus persuaded Renchan Shah to embrace Islam under the guidance of Bulbulshah who was on visit to Kashmir for the purpose of conversion only. The Islam in Kashmir got royal patronage and conversions started on large scale. The King on the behest of Bulbul Shah  began to convert Hindus into Islam by imposing taxes,  tyranny and other discriminatory policies against them.
Then Sikander butshikan invaded Kashmir,  who destroyed all the Hindu temples and idols and killed Hindus indiscriminately. Most of the Hindus got converted to Islam and some left the Kashmir for good.  Only options left with Hindus were either to get converted or to get killed or to leave Kashmir.  It is said that only eleven Hindu families were living in Kashmir at that time and that too in disguise.  Butshikan was a nick name given to him because he liked to destroy idols of Hindu faith.  After the death of Sikander butshikan his descendent Zainulafdin Badshah became king of Kashmir.  He was no less tyrant than his father and continued to harass Hindus who so ever were left in Kashmir.  It is believed, that once a  Hindu saint from India  paid a visit to kashmir and was looking for some Hindu family  to get  help for visiting a few pilgrimages in Kashmir.  He met a baker who invited him to enter his house, where the latter  disclosed that he was a Hindu by faith  but disguised as Muslim because of the cruelty of  King on his Hindu subjects.  As a matter of coincidence, during the same period,  the King fell seriously ill and an  announcement  was made that whosoever may cure the king will be highly rewarded.  The saint told the baker to send a message to King that I will cure him but the condition is that nobody except myself should be present in the room of King. The message was sent to the  King , who readily agreed to this condition.  When the saint entered the bedroom of King, the latter died and the soul of saint entered in to  the Kings body. The body of saint was taken away by baker to his place  for preservation as already agreed upon by  the two.  The King Zainulafddin got recovered  and his courtiers and subjects became happy. This time King was a changed man. He  became secular in nature and  made announcement that all the Hindus living in his kingdom can practice their religion freely and with out any fear.  Hindus lived a better life thereafter in his reign and popularly nicknamed him  as Budshah for his good governance and secular outlook.
After a long time King  appeared to die a natural death when the soul of  saint left his body and entered his own which was at bakers place. This kriya of entering of ones soul into the body of another is called Parkayaprevesh  in yogic language.
Thereafter condition of Kashmiri Hindus remained stable in Kashmir for some time.     ...….. to be concluded in next part...

Friday, 19 December 2014


Elementary My Dear Watson...
It has become a proverbial exclaimation and Sherloking has been adopted by English Dictionary as English word which means detection.This is the impact of fictitious character of Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur canon Doyle in detective stories and novels.
The characterisation of Sherlock Holmes is so strong that he appears to be a living character and fan mail is still received at his address Baker street London which is properly being replied therefrom.
It is believed that facts are stranger than fiction and therefore, it would not have been possible to create such a strong character without keeping in mind some real character.
Yes it was Dr.Budd a colleague of Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, who was a practising physician, when the later started his career in the medical profession. Dr. Budd was born with remarkable faculties. His power of observation and skill of diagnosis was superb.He started his career as a poor man, amassed great wealth and property by his professional skills and later on died as pauper.He was genious with a streak of eccentricity as it is normally said that there is a thin line between genious and eccentricity. There was always big rush of patients at his clinic. His patients would like to wait for hours at his clinic to have just one meeting with him. He would normaly come late and was seen yelling and hiting the patients with his umbrella and thus making his way to consulting room.
Once a women was just entering his consultation room,Dr Budd yelled at her..
Madame you are suffering from this disease should take this medicine and if it will not help you then you should swallow the cork of bottle of medicine and go to hell.
Once a friend asked Dr Budd , "what is the secret of your success sir" Dr Budd replied that the secret of my success is...
Never make fatal mistake of being polite to patients and never let your patient know that you want them.
In those days medical technology was not so advanced.Pathological tests and scanning was not available.Doctors job was very difficult.They had mostly to rely on symptoms of patients to diagnose the disease.The doctors had to develop such faculties which could help them to diagnose the disease.The doctors profession was more professional than commercial and professional ethics was in vouge to large extent.
Sir Arthur Canon Doyle modified and refined this live character of Dr.Budd and applied his faculties and intuitions in field of detection and formed the famous character of Sherlok Holmes.


Hindi Chini bai bai. This slogan has not stood to the test of time, which was realised by India in 1962 war with China.
In early post Independence era India took China for granted and ventured to expand its boundaries with China under forward policy. At that time China remained silent. But with the passage of time in 1962 war China rebuffed India violently and grabbed the major chunk of  land from India and still the border dispute remained unresolved.India was not able to take cognizance of sitiuation seriously and solve the dispute diplomatically. Either the experts on Chinese studies proved wrong or they were not consulted by diplomats and politicians at that time.
Now the thirst of China for expansion has increased tremendously and it is very difficult to solve border dispute with China  diplomatically which has been proved by the recent visit of Chinese President to India ,who after relishing Gujarati thali with our PM, alerted the army at home by saying that they should be prepared to win   the expected regional war.
Japans financial as well as technical support to China for the last two three decades has made the China what it is today. But still China is not compromising with Japan on border issues which has made the relation between the two countries very bitter now.
The recent decision taken by our PM by visiting Japan and assurance of good will sought therefrom has made China angry and the later is pressurising India by making more incursion of Chinese troops in Indian side of border. Because China will never be happy by increasing good relations between India and Japan and will always look at it as an attempt to contain China.  And that may be true also.
China is eager to do business with India as India is a big market for Chinese goods and  it has already taken lions share from Indian market. But it will never relent on border issues with India. Moreover border issues can not be solved so easily with China because of its expansionism policy.
Therefore. it is good for India to continue business with China, lower the  balance of payment  gap   and accept the investment from it , but remain militarily prepared for any exigency which may arise any time.


Once in my childhood my father brought home a calendar with a picture of smiling Jawahar  Lal Nehru between Dr.Rajinder prasad and Dr.Radha Krishnan. When we asked him about the identity of these persons. He told us that these are the pillars of our Nation. However a thought struck my mind at that time about the fourth pillar of our nation. But I could not venture to ask this to my father at that tender age. Later on we came to know that they were president, vice President and prime Minister of our country. I also remember the death of pt. Jawahir Lal  Nehru when whole nation was  under the state of  grief. No body could guess who will be the next prime minister of India. Those were the days when people used to debate on  topics like "After Nehru who". I also remember when my father accompanied me to pay last respects to the ashes of of Pt. Nehru  which were brought from Delhi to Srinagar. We had to stand in long  queues to have a glimpse of it. People also used to decorate their drawing rooms with the picture of pt.Nehru.
With the passage of time when I grew old enough to read books I got very much impressed with the writing talent and scholar ship of Nehru by reading his books viz.Glimpses of world History, Discovery of India and My Autobiography.
The secular, rationale and scientific outlook of Nehru with his outstanding statesmanship qualities can not be ignored so easily.
However, I was astonished to observe in recent Lok sabha elections that some  political parties were trying to malign the character of Nehru in general and his family in particular. They created some fictitious websites telling our young generation that Pt.Nehru's grandfather was a Mogul who later on converted to Hinduism. Strangely enough our young generation  began to believe them.
This reminds me of a book entitled "The Animal Farm" written by George Orwell which is a political satire. All the characters in the book are animals who liberate their farm from the dominance of Man and start managing their farm independently. But after sometime  image of  those animals ,who contributed for the liberation of farm and developing its  economy, is maligned by other animals.
This is the story how hero's can be transformed Into villains by brainwashing the minds of general masses.
Though I am  not a political person or congress sympathiser but as common man I feel it as a character assassination of a person of such statesmanship qualities for whom president of India said that what India is today it is because of Nehru.
Though Five year plans, Planning commission and Panchsheel may have become dysfunctional today but  they have lived their utility to the optimum levels. Moreover, we can create new  pillars or substitute old pillars with new ones but we can not ignore the utility of old pillars because that will be ungratefulness on our part.


It was one word 'Ecstasy' that changed the world of young boy and  enabled him to meet his master Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, who transformed his personality from meek Narendra to vibrant Swami Vivekananda.  Once an English professor was explaining   the meaning of English word Ecstasy to young Narendra in class room. While explaining the meaning of word  he told Narendra that if he wanted to see a person in the state of ecstasy then he should visit great saint Shri Ramakrishna. It was inquisitiveness regarding existance of God in the mind of young Narendra that prompted him to visit Ramakrishna's place at Dekhneshwar temple. As he met Swami Ramakrishna he put a direct question to him. Have you seen God sir. Swami Ramakrishna most confidently replied to Narendra in affirmative and told him yes I have seen God as I am seeing  you. I have talked to God as I am talking to you. But only in much intenser way. The people shed torrents of tears for family, property and money etc. but who cares for God these days. A person who really cares for God can realise God. Narendra got very much influenced by this  reply as he had put this question to several persons so far but nobody was able to answer this question to his satisfaction and so confidently.
Then started the spiritual journey of young Narendra under the feet of his great Master Swami Ramakrishna, who had realised God and was above caste creed religion or sex. He considered every woman as the incarnation of Mother Kali. Swami Vivekananda  was his favourite desciple who later on addressed the world conference of religions at Chicago in  USA and explained to western world the importance of Hinduism,  which was otherwise called religion of  black magic. He became a star attraction by his magnificent oratory, excellent demonstration of scientific logic and rationale  behind Hindu religion. He also attracted large number of disciples from USA. The first  line of his speech viz.My Dear Brothers and Sisters of America had a hypnotic impact over the audience of conference at Chicago.
Don't believe a thing if somebody has said it so .Don't believe a thing if you have read it from a book. Find out the truth yourself and that is realisation.....
Swami Vivekananda


A great French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre ,who is famous for theory of Existentialism and was awarded Nobel Prize in 1964, which was however ,refused by him, has also founded the philosophy of ...Cyclic Meaninglessness of life.Many books and plays were written by well known authors on this theme.Film 27 Down was produced and directed by Sh.Autar kaul, which won Presidents award in early seventies was also depicting the same theme.The film could not see the light of day due to sudden death of Sh.Kaul and loan burden on the film .Let us first discuss what cyclic meaninglessness of life means.It means that life of all people revolve in one cycle. Every person is born , educated and then there is job hunting marriage ,children, rearing of children and death.Then there is repetition of another cycle which appears meaningless to some thinkers.                     One Urdu poet has also written a couplet on the same lines...Fikere maash, Ashke butan yade raftagan, is zindagi me kya kya Kare koyee.....which means that we do only three things in life and I.e. economic worries, idol worshipping and Nostalgia. In life we move around a scheduled cycle and we don't go beyond that.In youth there is a rebellion in every person and he wants to do something different but with advanced age every person compromises with life and treads the same path. But a few who determine to go beyond this cycle, either become great persons or perish. As no one requires introduction of great persons but sometimes we think of unsung hearos who ventured not to tread the beaten path and were lost.  I will narrate a story of a person who had a rebellion in him and he never compromised with traditions in life, but died very young. Later a friend of him wrote following lines on his grave stone
Here lies the man. who never compromised in his life. but now the flowers growing on his grave show the sighns of reconciliation.

Experiences 2

Sometimes timely decision taken in managing affairs outsmart the ethics of decision making significantly. Quick decision making is important than contemplating whether decision is right or wrong .  This is also being advocated by modern management studies.  But such things can be learned in much better way by experience rather than reading books on the subject.
I would like here to narrate a story when I was posted at Jawahir Nagar Branch of my Bank as Manager Accounts now redesignated as Manager Branch operations and the year was1998.  Our Jawahir Nagar Branch was high clientele branch.  Most of our customers were high Govt.officials, retired High Court Judges and top police officers. Our branch was showing good business even in the period of militancy.
Once Our Branch Manager , who  incidentally  happened to be an experienced person, was on vacations and out of station. Therefore, I was the In charge of  branch.  During these days two persons arrived at the branch and approached  me with a packet of hundred rupee notes with a broken seal and told me that they have been sent by Ex DG of police, who was residing near the branch and was also customer of our branch. They further told me that ten hundred rupee notes are missing from the packet and  you please  make good the loss as advised by Ex DGP. I told them plainly that we are not responsible for the seal broken packet and can not do anything in the matter. Then after sometime I received a telephone call from the ex DGP
and when I advised same to him he said to me. " Look Mr Kaul what are you saying to me
Act like a Manager, investigate into the matter and call enquiry of all the concerned staff members and  find out the culprit. I told him most humbly that we can not hold responsible any staff member as the seal of packet is broken and notes are arranged haphazardly which clearly show that some tampering has been done with note packet afterwards.
The DGP became very angry and  told me that he has broken the seal of packet himself and noticed the shortfall personally and I should not expect lies from him. I could not do anything in it and left the  matter as it is.
Then after few days Branch Manager joined the branch and I reported the matter to him. He without wasting any further time visited Ex DGPs residence and handed over to him ten hundred rupee notes  and apologised to him. But DGP did not accept those notes and told him that I will not accept these notes as I know you are giving these notes from your own pocket. Then he immediately  cancelled the complaint  which he was going to make against the branch.


Superstitions have taken a toll of our society to such a large extent that a rationale person is labeled as an atheist.But a rationale person can  also be a staunch believer . Our society is embedded with the menance of superstitions since its inception. There will not be a single person without an iota of superstition in his psyche because the same has been imbibed in our mindset right from our birth.
A person with weak will, particularly  womenfolk of our society fall prey to the evil designs of so called godmen, Charleston's and fortune tellers. They flung their bait and we are succumbed to their gameplans. They give us gems, charms etc. to ward off evil on us and empty our pockets.
I have seen many celebrities going to these godmen or Astrologers to know their future as they are unsecured and do not want to fall down from the heights they have achieved. But ordinary people like us who do not have higher stakes also fall prey to them.
Though Astrology is a great subject which formed the base of moden  Astronomy, but what relation there can be possibly between human destiny and stars , which are thousands and thousands of miles away from us. Sometimes we wait for auspicious dates to perform some functions. I have seen a person waiting for auspicious day to join his new job. The job was declined to him as he joined late.
There are usually discussions on existence of ghosts, haunted houses etc.
Some even say that they have seen the ghost with their own eyes. It was a form of tall person draped in long white gown etc. But in my opinion it is all due to hallucinations that we see the ghostly figures in the same shape that we have visualised in our own mind. A man with strong will should never be haunted by such ghosts.
Some godmen perform miracles.They stop their pulse, produce holy ash from the palm of their hands or generate wrist watches, particularly for their affaulent desiples. But watches are usually Swiss made and not made in heaven. It was Dr.Kavoor Srilankan rationalist and writer of book entitled Be Gone Godmen, Who challenged them ...if they can perform such miracles in his presence. he will pay them Rs one Lack, which was a huge amount those days.No godman accepted his challenge as Dr Kavoor was aquainted with all these tricks himself.
It is really my dream to see rationality in my society someday.


Pandit Daya Krishen  Kaul Naseem was one of the best urdu poets of Kashmiri origin, whose famaily had shifted from Kasmir and settled in Lucknow very long ago.when he was in his teens he developed taste for urdu shayri and his father advised him to take lessons of urdu shayri from some Muslim ustad. The ustad in order to check his apptitude in poetry told Naseem to complete his couplet which started like this.. Sheikh ne masjid banakar mismaar butkhana kiya
Daya Krishen completed the couplet like this.. Sheikh ne masjid banakar mismaar butkhana kiya, pahle to surat bee thi ab saaf veerana kiya
( earlier there were images also but now it wears a deserted look
There is a common view that Hindus are idol worshipers or But parasts which is not actually true.It is no where written in hindu sciptures that a person can attain spritual heights by worshing idols.Moreover, goals of sprituality achieved by most of hindu saints were not because of Idol worshipping.This reminds me of swami Vivekananda who once saw a child offering flowers and water to Shiva linga became very happy but when he saw an old man doing the same he was annoyed.when asked the reasons for his reaction on these episodes , he replied a child is a begginer in this field.He will not understand Nirakar form of God.Therefore we have to show him a model of God and I became happy.But I was annoyed to see the old man also doing the same, when he should have gone beyond this and understood the ultimate truth.This story leaves no scope for beleiving that Hindus are  actually Idol worshipers. But some persons who redicule hindus for this also believe in holy relics and holy stones


I have seen this picture of Shiva mostly common in Kashmiri pandit households during those golden days when we were inhabiting in valley
Yes kasmiri pandits were Shiv upaskas right from beginning.Shivratri was our biggest festival.The oldest temples of Kasmir were mostly related to Shiva and Shakti.The temples of Rama and Krishna were later on built by Dogra rulers in Kashmir.we Kasmiri pandits believed in Philosophy of Shivism.The pioneers of which were The Great Abinavgupta , Utpal Deva etc. But Kashmiri Shivism had its own charactrisic features than General Shivism. Shankaracharya , a great Shivist also.  Visited Kashmir to have an insight of Kashmiri Shivism and got aquainted with the power of Shakti.If difference  between Shivism in general  and Kashmiri Shivism in particular is to be  defined in one sentence  it can be that shivism in general believes in Jagat Mithya, Shivo satyam and Kashmiri Shivism believes in Jagat Satyam , Shivo Satyam. The famous verses of our great Lala Ded are also witness to the acheivements of   Kashmiri Shivism.And lastly I pay homage to Swami Ishwarsaroop Laxmaman joo who was guarding this great legacy of ours till recently.


A fair mix of successes and failures are very essential for balanced life. A person who achieves only successes in life becomes arrogant and egoistc and a person who has seen only failures becomes a depressed person.Some Urdu Poet has aptly said it ..Garzishe Ayaam tera shukriya, mai ne har pahloo se zindgee dekh lee( Thanks to the vageries of fate that I have seen life from all aspects). As life is a mix of good and bad experiences , the ups and downs in life should be taken as challenges. If life moves smooth and there are no challenges in life, life becomes dull and a person is deprived of the joy of overcoming the difficulties in life. Life is short and we have to live it judiciously.Our aim should be to derive maximum joy from life , as great philosophers have said that...Happy truely is the Great...
Different persons derive happlness from different things.some people derive happiness by amassing huge wealth, some get it from meditation and penance, some get it from indulging in vices like drinking and womanising.But the question arises can a person achieve everlasting happiness by doing such things.History bears testimony that no rich man remained happy throughout his life.Vices likes Drinking etc may give a momentary happiness but it is not everlasting. The meditation etc.may give happiness to a large extent, but it is not also everlasting. In order to achieve this goal a person has to decide before investing, where he can get returns in the form of  everlasting happiness.                                                         Therefore, in my opinion, in order to acheive  everlasting happiness, we should  bring some  creativeness in our life. We should do something , which we love to do consciously, ethically, Spiritually or intllectually , devoid of pecuniary interests and craving for fame.
It can also be a small step towards the great philosophy of  Nishkam Karma as envisaged by Lord Krishna in Bhagwat Gita.


Mostly people believe that ninety percent of conflicts in this world are due to ego problem and only ten percent have some monetary or other considerations behind them.Normally conflicts between induduals start with arguements. Mostly both parties are correct from their own point of view but one person can not perceive others point of view.Actually conflict is illusion of perceptions.The people have quite contradictory perceptions on the same subject.But sometimes ego plays its own part.One person is fully aware that  he is wrong but his ego does not allow him to admit this and arguements continue.It is an old saying that you should try to win the will of man rather than arguement. While we strive to win the arguement, we are loosing a friend.Therefore it needs guts to admit it  when you are wrong and when you are right you should never boast of it.When we are proved right we are in habit of saying that we had already said it so.that is not also good habit. One of my friends , whether he agreed with you or not,was in habit of starting his conversation as..
You are absolutely correct sir, and then would explain his point of view
As we are discussing arguements and conflicts,in a lighter vien , I remember a tale of two friends who were having some dispute and were at loggerheads with each of the friends got seriously ill and was virtually on deathbed at some hospital.Soon he called his friend and told him that  I am dieng now and we should forget about the dispute and become friends once again .The other friend became very emotional and readily agreed to his proposal. Now when he stood  up to take leave from his friend on bed, the later yelled at him..This agreement is valid only if I die, but If get well ,by the grace of God, then we will have again to settle the scores with each other.


Conviction of a person is mostly influenced by his experience. If you have a good experience from friendship or a relationship you adore such friendship or relationship but if you have a bad experience of the same you despise it.Therefore quite contradictory beliefs develop on the same subject.Earlier I cherished the belief that competance of a person depends on the opportunities he gets but with experience I learned that competent is the person who creates opportunities for himself
But so far opportunities are created by honest and sincere means it is appreciable.But unfortunately these days opportunities are created by sychophancy and nepotism.By learning this art small favours like promotions choice transfers and material gains can be achieved.But it should be borne in mind whether the persons from whom such gratifications are sought are worth it.To elucidiate my point of view I narrate a short story.Once a poor man saved the life of Akbar in jungle and Akbar became happy and told the poor man to come to him whenever he requires any help. One day poor man needed some help and met Akbar.At that time Akbar was busy with Namaz.when Akbar finished poor man asked Akbar what he was doing.Akbar told him that I was preying to Almighty for more prosperity and good health.The poor man got astonished and told Akbar I have heard that you are the great person and you can oblige anyone. Here I see you begging someone else.If I have come to you, why should not I go to him directly.with these words he left Emperor Akbars palace


To day I opened window of my bed room and a fresh breeze of air entered the room which virtually refreshed my soul. I was overwhelmed with joy. I felt enriched with the tressures of  nature. The breeze of Aircondition never  gave me such a joy. This reminded me of a story of  a great philosopher of Greece, Diogenes by name if I remember correctly.Once he was sitting on roadside in shabby clothes enjoying the winter Sun, when King of Greece Alexander the great   passed by the same road. Knowing the philosopher very well, he stopped near him and requested to Diogenes, "Sir, what I can do for you, with the intention of helping him. On hearing this the philosopher replied, yes you can do one thing for me I.e. you can move ahead so that sun rays will directly fall on me which you are obstructing this time. Some times we take far granted the tressures of nature and the faculties provided to us by nature to enjoy them.All the wealth of nature including good health, material gains and good relations are waiting at our doors, but we do not open our doors because of our negative attitude. A person is healthy because our psychology has a great impact over our physiology.Moreover,Palcebo effect plays its own role.A man is wealthy because he knows the secret of attracting money by positive thoughts.One should forget that only bad persons are rich. A person has good relations because he makes a room for them.To be specific he does not occupy a full bed or wardrobe.

Kashmir Floods 2

Kashmir, once called paradise on earth has suffered a lot for the last quarter of century due to Pakistan sponsored terrorism. All the communities belonging to Kashmir have gone through the agony of terrorism equally. The Kashmiri pandits became migrants in their own country and bore the pangs of separation from their own homes and hearths. The Kashmiri Muslims witnessed killings, bomb blasts and rapes throughout the tenure of terrorism.
Now this natural calamity in the shape of devastating floods has made people of Kashmir desperate as their basic subsistence has been challenged.
But timely action of Indian forces with the cooperation of central Govt. and local volunteers have already  rescued the precious lives of people and now the rehabilitation process is in progress, which will continue till the position will be normal thereat.
Some good points have also emerged there from  this calamity as optimists try to find opportunity in every calamity.
It has unveiled the  real faces of extremist leaders, who for their own peccuniary benefits kept the pot of terrorism boiling for so many years.
Indian Army which was the bone of contention for extremists as well as politicians for so many years has been successful in leaving a mark of their good will in the minds of  common masses, if not winning their hearts. This achievement of army within a short span of time has lead to the throats of extremists  become sour. Moreover, rescue operations of army side by side with  local volunteers working in cooperation has added fuel to the fire.
The Indian Army and Central administration have risen to the occasion and have given sufficient proof of their Discipline, efficiency and human values, as compared to Pakistan Army which is too arrogant and too powerful than their administration and least helpful to common masses.
Moreover,  threat of substantial increase in terrorism sponsored by Alquida and ISIS towards Indian subcontinent in general and  India in particular can be defeated easily if  our citizens will bear true faith and allegiance to the union of India.
This is the time when common Kashmiri Muslim should be able to read writing on the wall. They should either join the hands with Indian Govt. and live in peace and brotherhood and pave the way for prosperity and development in Kashmir or support terrorism and make Kashmir another Gaza, Syeria or Iraq and bring misery  and agony where his own existence will be doomed.

Kashmir floods 1

A great natural calamity hit our native state of J & K in the shape of recent disastrous floods, the impact of which was more conspicuous in valley of Kashmir. It is a great treagdy which has befallen after a record time of century.. Most of the rescue operations by  Army, paramilitary forces and local volunteers with cooperation of central and state Governments have been accomplished and much remains to be done. There also remains a herculian task of rehabilitation of people  In the aftermath of floods.
However, I was astonished by comments made by some of persons belonging to kashmiri Muslim as well as Hindu community on social media sights and TV channels. I also believe that views expressed by few persons of a community do not represent the views of whole community but they help in creating the wedge between communities
Army and paramilitary forces did a commendable job in rescuing the people irrespective of their creed cast or colour. But it was not possible for army to reach every nook and corner of valley. Therefore, it was the exigency of situation that some local persons had to come forward and help people. But that does not mean that we should redicule army after we feel our steps on solid ground.  Moreover politicians and extremists have to grind their own axe and their views  can not be attributed to the views of common man.
In our community also few persons may think that they have avenged the catastrophe they faced in 1990. But this is wrong and  these are not the views of whole community.
There are also rumours that some local boatmen are blackmailing the people trapped in flood by demanding huge sums for their rescue. But black marketing in catastrophes and uneven circumstances can not be ruled out and let us hope that good sense  prevail upon them so that they will do their job selflessly.
Every reasonable and God fearing person will prey till the last person stranded in the valley is rescued and help and cooperate in their rehabilitation.

Kashmiri Pandits 3

Kashmir, once called Sharda Peeth ,was regarded as seat of learning and abode of Mata sharda, reminiscences of which can now be revived by observing the dilapidated temple of Mata Sharda in Pakistan occupied Kashmir . It stands like a mute spectator to changing times and bears testimony to our past glory and pride. Therefore, It is a matter of concern that origin of Kashmiri heritage which identifies Kashmiri pandit community and makes Kashmiri pandits distinguished from other communities of India has been forgotten by its descendants and no attempt has been made to pay visits to this great shrine ,unlike our Sikh community , who visit Nankanasahib at Pakistan regularly. Moreover, no temple of Godess sharda was rebuilt in Kashmir or Jammu province in India thereafter.
It is believed that eleven universities were existing in Kashmir in earlier times. One of the universities was located in Bijbihara town. The major subjects like Sanskrit. Vedas, Astrology and Mathematics were being taught in these universities. The students from all over India and even from neighbouring countries used to visit Kashmir for learning various subjects and arts. The convocation of universities was being held on Garu Triya , when certificates were distributed among newly passed graduates by their Chief Garus. Garu triya is still being celebrated by Kashmiri Pandits when a picture of Mata Sharda along with Ganpati is delivered by their Kulguru as a token for original university certificates. The original script of Kashmiri language was also in Sharda alphabets. Many Hindu communities in northetrn India, while performing yagnopavit ceremony of their children make them to bow in the direction of Kashmir and Kashi as a mark of reverence to these two seats of learning.
The Kashyap Rishi who founded the Kashmir after converting the great lake of Satiswar into beautiful valley was a descendent of Lord Bramha. Then further generations of Kashap Rishi who were great Rishis themselves formed their indudual families which are represented by Gotras of Kashmiri pandit families nowadays. As Kauls represent Dattatriya Rishi clan Kaks represent Guatam Rishis clan Rainas represent Vishwamiter Rishi clan and so on and so forth.
The Kashmiri Pandits were Shiv and Shakti upasaks from the times immemorial. The founder of Shivism in Kashmir was great Abhinav gupt followed by Utpal dev. The main difference between Shivism in general and Kashmiri Shivism in particular is that Shivism believes in ' Jagat Mithya Shivo satyam ' and Kashmiri Shivism believes in 'Jagat Satyam Shivo satyam. The Great Shankaracharya recognised the power of Shakti in Kashmir only. The Shivratri is the great festival of Kashmiri Pandits.
The Kashmiri Shivism has many School of thougts. One of the school of thoughts is Kaulism. The believers in such school of thought were known as kauls. which is most common surname prevalent in Kashmiri Pandits.
The Karamkand of Kashmiri Pandits is different from their southern counterparts.It has been founded by Logashta muni to whom respects are given at the start of every karam kand by kashmiri Pandits.
Walter Lawrence writes in his book 'The Valley of Kashmir' that though Kashmiri Pandits were meat eaters but they were far ahead in spiritual pursuits than their southern counterparts.

Kashmiri Pandits 2

The social reforms in our community i.e. Kashmiri pandits were initiated in the aftermath of revolt of kashmiri Muslims against the Mahraja of Kashmir in the year 1931, which was however, suppressed successfully by the Mahraja Hari Singh. But Kashmiri pandits who being soft targets were looted and masacarred by Muslims indiscriminately..
The Kashmiri pandit leaders like pt.Har Gopal kaul and sh.Tara Chand Bulbul, popularly known as Kasho Bando emerged at that time as saviours of community, who tried to transform the social fabric of Kashmiri Pandit community by initiating reforms which included simplicity in performing marriage functions, abandoning dowry system, wearing of saris by kashmiri women instead of Firan and serving vegetarian dishes for baratis. Though dowry system and complexity in performing marriage functions have now assumed enormous proportions but serving of vegetarian dishes to baratis is still in vogue. The impact of these reforms remained on our society for a long time as our leaders were very honest and dedicated at that time.
Then another phase of reforms in our community started in the year 1967. The elopement of Kashmiri pandit girl with a Muslim boy triggered the uprising in Kashmiri Pandit community which culminated in to mass demonstrations and satyagraha bringing in its fold many other social issues like unemployment, disparity in promotions of community members including restrictions on dowry system and simplification of marriage ceremonies. All the community members selflessly and dedicatedly supported the cause of community to such an extemt that even central Govt. Was compelled to send its home minister Sh.Chavhan for negotiations with Kashmiri Pandits. But unfortunately our leaders who were at the helm of affairs at that time betrayed our community for small personal favours which doomed the cause of our community in general and sacrifice of our community members in particular. The spirits of our youth got evaporated into thin air.
This incident had a deep impact on the general character of our community members and our community was rendered Leader less, the need of which was felt in 1990 at the time of mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from valley. Our community members had lost faith in their leaders, which could not be restored up to present time and it became a common belief that Kashmiri Pandits don't believe in their leaders.
Lamhe galti karte hai , sadiyan saza pati hai.
i.e.mistakes are being committed in moments but punishment is borne by centuries.
After migration of our community from valley of Kashmir a cluster of self styled bodies and organisations emerged in our community with different agendas but after Twenty five years of exodus from valley we could not achieve anything. We could not set our home right and not to speak of big issues like cause of Motherland.
No leader has ever spoken about bringing reforms in our society by curtailing huge expenses on performance of our marriage ceremonies and abandoning dowry system which has become a big menance and taken the toll of our society to large extent. As our community is diminishing day by day we need to rear more children for the balanced growth of our community
If marriage system will be simplified we can afford to have more children. Simple marriages will flourish our community to large extent. Now we need such a type of leadership which will unite us all together and act as a single mouthpiece of whole community and make us feel proud of it.
Ramesh Kaul's photo.

Kashmiri Pandits 1

In early post migration period of KP's in Jammu, while strolling over the streets of Raghunath bazar, I overheard two persons talking on the character of KP's.They were saying that KP's are very cunning type of people and their most characteristic feature is that they mostly criticise and despise their own community members. I was not in humour of having discussion with them at that time but their conversation left a deep impact in my mind. I became conscious not to curse my own community in future, not even subconsciously. This incident also persuaded me to have a deep insight in the history of my community and trace the traits which we inherited from our ancestors. I could conclude that our community had a remarkable quality of adaptation to new circumstances and striving for excellence from times immemorial, which made us distinguished from other communities and perhaps even soar of their eyes. We have always proved right the Darwin's theory of survival of fittest. In Afghan rule in Kashmir , which was most hostile period for us, we survived because of learning Persian language and getting employment in Afghan courts. Most of our ancestors were very good writers and poets in Persian language. Then during British rule we survived by learning English language. To day in this computer age also most of our young generation have excelled in computer learning for survival.
We have survived mostly due to our own acumen despite of all the odds faced by our community after exodus from Kashmir valley. The temperate climate of Jammu, which was alien for us , never hindered us to go ahead.
It is very easy to find faults and give advises but we should also be aware of our strengths
We are hundred percent literate community
Our community members have been proved better paymasters. We have never defaulted in making payments to our creditors. We possess a very good reputation in market.
We never compromised on the education of our children.
We never distinguish between Son and Daughter.
We have not a single case of dowry death
We are first class patriots.
We have rarely any criminal record in our community.
We believe far less in superstitions than other communities.
Most of our community members have rationale and scientific outlook.
We may invest in properties but not in speculative ventures.
This reminds me of a couplet of Iqbal which I quote here.
Kuch baat hai ki hasti mitt ti nahi hamari
Sadyoon raha he dushman doore jehan hamara.