Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Cancerous Pandit


Kashmir based magazine "Kashmir Narrator" has been trying to carry forward a discussion on the question of Kashmiri Pandit rehabilitation. The discussion is build around opinions sought and given by Kashmiris of the two communities and belonging to various cross section of society and ideological divide. The November 2016 issue had opinion from a lot of Pandits. I was among the people who voiced their opinion.

February 2017 issue carries the opinions of the majority community from valley. Among the opinions and be found some interesting dictats with the usual noise about "Kashmir Banega Palestine", and among those dictats stands out, like a dagger in a bleeding heart, this neurotic piece by a government employee who passes himself off as a Historian.



It starts off innocently calling future Pandit habitation cancer and then without provocation goes on to explain how every single pandit can be a potential cancer for Tahreekis.

Which reminds me of this sincere letter that was published a local Kashmiri newspaper back in 1991. "thwart any attempt by Pandits to return to the valley. Pandits have been cancer and once this cancer has been removed it should not be allowed to reappear."
The irony is that the cover of this Kashmir based magazine carries image of Geelani who wants Kashmir banega Pakistan while the back side of the magazine carries an advertisement for real estate in Gurgaon.

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Opening lines of
The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a graphic novel by American cartoonist Will Eisner
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I am going add some more notable exemplary specimen of conspiracy theorists and professional hatemongers from Kashmir.


Here's how you review a book on Kashmiri Pandit experience in exile. The book in question: "A Long Dream of Home". I know most of the contributors to this anthology, including the one who still stay in Kashmir. I was asked to be one of the contributors, somehow I couldn't get myself to write about it.


So, here's how you review. You don't read the book (cause you are saving money), you just vomit all over it. All the accusations are usual that most Pandits are now used to. What stands out it the man who is making the claim, taking his timeout to spit bile on an Amazon review page.

This fellow, Abdul Majid Zargar, is a chartered accountant by profession. He is a regular contributor to Kashmir based dailies sticking to the old school Tahreeki line of thought. So far so good. The fellow however is also given a decent space by left journals like countercurrent.org and the well respected Economic and Political Weekly (EPW.in where I have also written in the past). At EPW he has co-authored letter with Anuradha Bhasin, the editor of Kashmir Times.

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Any ultranationalist movement needs a "parasitic" perennial villain. The fascists are and remain obsessed with parasites and creating a "clean" society in which no one will question their progrom. The language seldom betrays the emotion.

Antisemitic propaganda in Nazi Germany: on the left, a depiction of Capitalist/Communist Vermin in Der Stürmer, September 1944; on the right, a painting by Gustave Doré at an exhibition dedicated to the Wandering Jew in 1937–8

Below is a "sarcastic" response to Rahul Pandita's book on Pandit exodus "Our Moon has blood clots" where the respected author compares Kashmiri Pandits who talk about their rights to intestinal parasites who just can't stop scratching the ass.









The writer of the piece is editor of online newsite Kashmir Reader that was blocked temporarily in 2016  for advertising threats from Jehadi groups. This fellow gained acceptability and respect for he worked for Hindustan Times as an assistant editor and continues to write for them frequently.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Template for defending Sikandars of the world



[Image: An extract from a photobook prologued by Neerja Mattoo/Suraiya Abdullah Ali (of famous Abdullah clan). Kashmir, Jammu & Ladakh: The Trefoil Land (1989)]

Template for defending Sikandars of the world

1. Take the name of Harsha, not in vain

Begin with reminding people about "similar" violence from Hindu past. Doesn't matter that the events are separated by a gap of 3-4 centuries. Doesn't matter that the account for these destructions comes from Hindu sources. In which, more often than not, the actions of the temple destroying kings is regretted. Doesn't matter that for his actions, Kalhana called Harsha a "Turk". He had mercenary turks working in his army. His turk legacy, and his influence on art fashion of the era can be seen in Buddhist Alchi Frescos of Ladakh. But, ignore all that.

Brahmin Kalhana mentions that just like a bad poet steals material from other poets, a bad King, plunders other cities. Take this truth and apply it no where else.

Foul mouthed S'amkaravarman plundered the nearby Buddhist site of Parihaspora to build his new town. But, the same king conquered and subdued areas which are now part of the imaginary map of the greater Kashmir.

In the defense of these Hindu kings, you can't say that temples were getting raided for material and political gain. Just mentions that Brahmins. Rest of the history, will fall in place automatically.

[A similar template can be applied to Mahmud of Ghazni too, and has been. Sadly, the nationalist Kashmiri writer has accepted that Ghazni was a motivated zealot. ]


2. Nice guy named Sikander (who, mind you, came much later).

Remind the reader how nice the fellow was. Scholar and patron of Sufis. Ignore what the historgraphic scholars of these Sufis wrote about him, or how they almost fought each other to claim as being the "influencers" of the king's actions. Ignore the sources in which his actions are lauded. Don't even wonder if there are works of any Sufi back then who criticised the action of the King. Was there a Musilm Kalhana in any of the Sufi orders?

Instead, remind them that since nice is not so often used with Sikander's name, it is possible that it is true, that he was nice guy, or at least as nice as others, and there's an ancient conspiracy at work to sully the name of Muslims, since forever, and ever, and ever. Only in extreme case mention that, it is possible that Sikander was possibly only 6 when he took over the throne. Temples are obviously destroyed. So, who did it?

3. The fanatic Brahmin

Remind the readers of the fanatic Brahmin convert Suha Bhatt. A neo-convert, a new convert, a bhatta on narcos, a fanatic. Forget that at that time there must have been hundreds of new converts. Where they fanatics likes new converts are supposed to be? Don't ask why Suha was fanatic? What empowered him? Don't ask if the missionaries asked him to think of himself as a Muslim Brahmin. It will all automatically somehow tie back to Harsha the fanatic. And, never, never ever, tell the reader that when Suha Bhatt went on his temple destroying spree, the name he chose was "Saif-Udeen", the "Sword of Faith". It was Saifudeen who was doing the destruction. However, during these acts only use the name Suha Bhatt.

4 . The Son

The glorious son. Could the son have been glorious, if the father was a fanatic? Tie it up to dad. Fruit has a bearing on a tree. Or, vice versa? You may mention his mother was afterall a Hindu, still buried among the stones. That's Kashmiriyat. Don't mention that the orthodoxy that supported the actions of Sikander and Saifudeen where always dragging Budshah down. That he was labeled kafir. That he too in his moment of violent query broke down a stone or two, what to do there was too much stone in Kashmir, and wood, he broke the wood of Sharda when the goddess won't talk to him. But, no one blames him. It's understandable. The historians and Kashmiris were always nice to him. That's Kashmiriyat. And, that's how you write history.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

kashmir-Casablanca

"badaam/paisley" in Casablanca (1942), actress Ingrid Bergman

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to Kali, Goddess of Terror!



Honour to Kama, God of Desire,
whose breath shipwrecks the flowers;
by the immaterial, airy arrows which
vanquish the three words, of Heaven
and Earth and Hell! And honour also
to Kali, Goddess of Terror!
For all things come to the ineluctable
chasm of her mouth, to be overwhelmed in
nothing.
This Triple world of ours seems only an
imperceptible reflection on that stormy sea,
or like a little vagabond carp within it. Already
that mouth has swallowed so dreadful a duration of time that even the Ancients have no count of it;
for the bold and careless lust of Kali cloaks itself in fraud against the unnumbered armies of those afflicted with a body!


~ 'Samayamatrika' of Kshemendra written during the reign of King Ananta, around A.D. 1050. [translation by E. Powys Mathers done in 1927]

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kabir and a Kashmiri saying

Kabir's 15th century sayings are a living phenomena in India languages. Everyone in North knows a Doha or tow. Did any of these sayings pass on to Kashmiri? Nothing much is know and linguistics seldom studied with a sense of wonder.


I recently came across these lines from Kabir in a song sung by Meghval community of Rajasthan.


video link

"Pehle toh guruji main janmyaPeechhe bada bhai
Dhoom dhaam sa pita re janmya
Sabse peechhe maai
Ber chalya mera bhai…"

O wise one, I was the first to be born
Then my elder brother
With great fanfare my father was born
In the end my mother
Time is slipping away…
[trans. via sayskabir]

The lines reminded me of a Kashmiri saying (that goes something like this...and given by anthropologist T.N. Madan in his study of Kashmiri Pandits):

God'e zaas be
pat zaai maej
telli mol
ti adi bude'bab

First was born
I
then mother
then father
and then
was born my
grandfather

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pad Pad gaya Pather, Likh likh gaya Chor

As a kid I remember sitting down to pretend study for exams, daydreaming. My grandmother would say "Pad Pad gaya Pather, Likh likh gaya Chor"....Just realized it's sufi kalam of Samad Mir ( (c.1893 – 1959)

Pad Pad gaya Pather,
Likh likh gaya Chor
Jis padnay say Sahil mile
woh padna hai oor

Reading, reading,
I became a stone
Writing, writing,
I became thief
It is something else
the study that gets you ashore



video link
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