Saturday, May 23, 2020

Choun Rokh Poshwun Gulab. Lyrics. Translation.

Choun Rokh Poshwun Gulab Chuna
you face is rose in bloom, is it not?
Gulshanan manz su intikhaab Chuna
chosen one among gardens, is it not?

Mayen dree chay Dyakas grih mutchraav
i beg you, unwind sad lines of your forehead
yoot chasman andar tche aab chuna
water in your eyes has dried, has it not?

chyen dree zaenith be chus khamosh
I swear on you, I know, yet I am silent
na kya zan me'nish jawaab chuna
not as if the answer, I don't have

Dil ratchun fitratan me aadat chum
to nurture heart, this habit, is my nature
Dil bajaey wanum sawaal chuna
a happy heart, is a question, is it not?

Jaanbaazaz asar novi saazas
Jaanbaz's music casts a potent spell
nati prathkeasi'nis Rabaab chuna
else everyone has a  Rabaab, is it not?

~ Ghulam Nabi Dolwal "Janbaz" Kishtwari, Singer-Lyricist-Poet
Tr. Vinayak Razdan



An old video of the poet:

Saturday, May 16, 2020

exile and art exhibit | Kochi Biennale, 2019

I witnessed this scene at Kochi Biennale in March, 2019. A girl was looking for her family house in an installation by Veer Munshi titled "Pandit Houses". She called up someone on the phone and asked them if they recognized. She was hoping to see it there. It wasn't. "All of them look similar". I later talked to the girl and found that she had traveled from Chennai. 

The actual installation had a display screen in center, in it a house burns on loop. Someone, visitor, it seems had stolen the display pad. So, you you had was houses. 

"Homes don't get demolished, they live inside us...Grid of 50 Photographs and Video on loop 5x7 inches each Veer Munshi's "Pandit House" is an ongoing photographic archive. It presents the stark documentary evidence, without annotation or comment, of the erasure of the Kashmiri Pandit  minority from the life of the Valley. This is the tragic outcome of a combination of factors: separatist violence and intolerance, the cynical indifference of the State, the breakdown of trust between communities. Presented without manipulation or theatricality, these houses and neighbourhoods, left behind by a community fleeing into exile, stand in our line of site as ruins, monuments, memorials. Munshi's suite of photographs provides testimony to the unforgiving march of history, which takes no prisoners."

That's the on-site description of the installation. The text contextualized the work in reference to Kashmir, when it talks about "erasure of the Kashmiri Pandit minority from the life of the Valley", with "life of valley" being the subject. However, in the video one can see what "Homes don't get demolished, they live inside us" means and what weird thing the installation does to a subject. Even a sighting is a prossible celebrations. Reclaiming of a memory. And all of this, nothing to do with the actual physical thing - House.


Additional exhibits:

Hauntology by Veer Munshi. There was "power cut" at the time, so it came out all the more haunting. Dead turning into precious relics. More precious than life. Little collectables. Exhibits. Whole valley a mine. That's what all the shine in the darkness of grave spoke to me.

text at the exhibit:

Veer Munshi


In his installation Relics from the Lost Paradise, the Kashmir-born artist Veer Munshi seems to literalize the dictum 'History is Alive'. Both the reliquary and the coffin are repositories/ resting places for the dead, with the difference that one is configured to the task of animating/ remembrance, the other with that of putting wayl forgetting. While contact with the contents of the former, is deemed salubrious and hence desirable, the thought of exposure to the contents of a grave would engender abject horror and repulsion. Both these objects are charged, albeit differently, with magical properties. One while the other haunts. Mobilizing the strong charge of abjection and grim consequence, induced by the imagery of a disinterred grave, the artist, in an emulation of the passion of Heath cliff, offers up for examination a war-tom and dismembered body of Kashmir as a corpus delicti, opening a space for meditation on the protracted suite and the larger question why war? The audience is invited to take a walk through the graveyard of history and throw themselves open for possession by the undead past and the dying present in a corrective danse macabre. Often times, all that the dead want is for someone to hear their story before the graph shifts from the paranormal to the normal again.

Murder of Crows by Gargi Raina [previously] Being a generational mainland KP, this was only work that looked at Kashmir from a distance, and in a bit of old school "paradise" lost format. 


text at the exhibit:

Gargi Raina

A MURDER OF CROWS (The Crow Funeral)

Gouache, ink, charcoal on paper 5 panels : 6.25 ft x 3.5 ft each 2018

In the English language a more poetic word is used to describe collective nouns, specifically groups of animals. In the book of St. Albans, in 1486 in medieval England these terms are mentioned

a gaggle of geese.
a school of fish, 
a pride of lions, 
A Murder of Crows

Crows are one of the closest to human beings in feeling and expressing grief collectively at the death of one of their own Crows hold funerals and mourn their dead. When a crow dies, other crows fly from afar and gather around and make a lot of noise In response to a distress call from near a dead crow, other crows fly in from afar and gather around and make a lot of noise. They react strongly to seeing one of their own who has died. These crows can share the knowledge of dangerous humans with other crows They have long collective memories and hold a grudge and pass it on to their offspring The sight of a dead crow leaves a lasting impression on living crows. This expression of public collective grief of crows is akin to human collective grief at funerals.


A Root-less Tree by Santosh Shah ‘Nadan'. Tr. Aman Indra Kaul

A Root-less Tree 

by Santosh Shah ‘Nadan'

Tr. from Kashmiri by Aman Indra Kaul

Where have I left to, where have I come to
In all corners has home’s love sunk to
What do I tell thee, what have I been through

Pick up your pens, elegies should you write
Hiding our identity, left we our homes
Weeping us, abusing they, left we our homes

Exile is extirpating a chinar from its roots
When does a wasteland reap verdure
Sown to its own home, it springs furthermore

Ramayan’s end is now its start
Gone have Rishis from the valley too
Dashrath finally, but had to die
Waiting for final rites, parched, he died

I, from birth, built a home like an ant
Like a thief, I, a raazbaa’e left home too
Having lost its way, where do I head to

In front of home were Sangrishi, in front Rishimoal
When do I run to wash my Saptrishi’s feet
Why division of humans when we all were one

Ganeshbal, Tulmul, Shankaracharya, Silgam
Amarnath, on its head, sitting like a chief
Lokutpur, you know, was my all-time abode

Nund Rishi, Sadarmaej, Mangladevi sthaan
Uintpore astaan, with what feet do I go there
Who will take taher on chodish to Zaala

How do I start towards Nilnaag Omoh
And a far-off place where ‘Amir’ lives
How do I reach Mukdoom Sahib and to Sharika

Where’s my father’s home and my in-laws’
Where are neighbours and childhood buddies
Who’s gonna go to Vomaaye on gang’e atham

Where be our Koshur and its culture
Where do I breathe under Chinar’s shade
Where do I relax with kangri and chai from Samavaar

Don’t change colours, don’t you Kashmiri Pandits
Tread truth’s way and don’t you fall fake
Think what waste has exile turned us into

How do I forget the rishi’s abode—
the home of sufis and saints
Kashmir, I tell you,
the ‘Nadan’ of Chandigam is devoted to you.

Notes on Translation:

Translated from Kashmiri. In its original form and language, this poem is very lyrical at most junctures. While translating, with whatever little I could, I tried to keep the flow as much as possible however pressing harder on rhyme would have lead to loss of meaning.

I had Rushdie in mind while translating. I wanted the Koshur in it to remain. Maybe, for posterity, like ‘atham’ to be remembered not as ‘ashtami’. So I left some of it unturned.

Because I was born in Delhi post exile, I don’t have the total grasp on the language and its dynamics. It is very much possible for me to misunderstand a word, a line or a stanza. Hence and otherwise too, I’m all in for constructive criticism.

— Aman Indra Kaul


Original by Santosh Shah ‘Nadan', written in 1993

Mool Ros Kul

Kyati Draay yor kot roznay aaye
Hyeni Hyeni saneymez me gharich maaey
Kyah wanai andri kyah me gudromut   
Hyeni Hyeni saneymez me gharich maaey

Tul kalam maanav lekh vyn khataey 
Ghar'e dramutey aesey nesif raatey
vyed vyed zyed karaan draay hamsaayey
Hyeni Hyeni saneymez me gharich maaey

Ghar nyerun chaey mool'e kadin booyn'ya
Dodryomut kyati pravi sabzaar
Teli febi yeli dil dimhon bey panin jaaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Phirith log ramayan, reshyev ti hyot tcholnuy
Dashrathas phirith marnuy pyov
Tresh haety naad booz trev lari jaaye 
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Zanmah derith sobrum daeray
gom kochey pheray kotu vate bo
raj raeni ghari draay zan tchor baiye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

buthi chum Sangresh bey chum Reshimol
satreshi gomut me hol pad chalhae
kyazi kuni zaat bagrin aay
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Ganeshbal Tulmul Shankrachaya Silgami
Amarnath bihit chum paane Padshah
Mukam loketpor cham bihinijaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Nundresh Sadarmej Mangladev Sathaan
Uintporas astaan kith vaate bo
kus neye tahar tchot Tchodash Zaayale
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Nilnag Womu kith kar prasthaan
Dooru Shahbaad Amir Rozaan
Kith Gatche Mokhdam Sehibun ti Sharikaaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Kyate Malyun Myon Kyate Vaeriv Myon
Kyate chum Hamsaay ti chatboj myon
Kusu gatche Gangashtame Womaaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Kyate bane Koshur ti Koshur Samtchar
Kyate chav yati bihit boni Sahjaar
Kyate bani Kangir ti samavaar chaay
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Kashmir Pandito ma kar dalbadli
Saandto satich vath ma ban nakli
souchtav ghar nirith gai zaaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Kyate trav Reshiwaer aalamas yiwaan vaer
Sufiyan ti Santan hinz aati paer
Nadan Tchandhigaam chay seevay
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey


Monday, May 11, 2020

Nehru on Plebiscite to Sheikh, 1947

Dwarkanath [Katju] writes to me that there is strong feeling in the leadership of the National Conference against referendum. I know this and quite understand it. In fact I share the feeling myself. But you will appreciate that it is not easy for us to back out of the stand we have taken before the world. That would create a very bad impression abroad and more specially in U.N. circles. I feel, however, that this question of referendum is rather an academic one at present. We have made it clear and indeed it is patent enough that there can be no referendum till there is complete peace and order in Kashmir State and all the raiders have been pushed out. As far as I can see this desirable consummation will be be achieved for some months yet. In the Pooch area it is quite possible that these raiders might continue to function in the hills and it might not be worthwhile for us to make a major effort to push them out during the winter. Thus for some months the question of referendum does not arise in any practical form.

These months will be full of developments and those developments will govern future events including the possibility of having a referendum. If this struggle lasts for several months, the chances of referendum automatically fade out.

If we said to the U.N.O. that we no longer stand by a referendum in Kashmir, Pakistan would score a strong point and that would be harmful to our cause. On the other hand, if circumstances continue as they are and the referendum is out of the question during the next few months, then why worry about it now? Indeed I have seen an argument in an English newspaper partly supporting out viewpoint about the referendum and saying that other events are deciding the issue and that in any event there can be no referendum before the spring.

There is no difference between you and us on this issue. It is all a question of the best tactical approach. I would personally suggest to you not to say anything rejecting the idea of a referendum but to lay stress on the fact that the people of Kashmir, by their heroic resistance, are deciding the issue themselves; also that it is a little absurd for people to carry on a little war in Kashmir and, when defeated, to want a referendum. If there is any serious intent on their part, they should have stopped this war and drawn back the raiders.

~ 21 November 1947. Nehru writes to Sheikh Abdullah on murmurs inside NC against referendum. These guys knew as long as Pakistan was the aggressor there was going to be no referendum. For them it was just an academic exercise.   


Above. Selective mishmash quotes of Nehru often peddled in Pakistan Propaganda. The objective being to fool present day self declared Nehruvian about their legacy. 
Below: Full context of "If we did anything of the kind", provided by Stanley Wolpert
Nehru's ambassador to Pakistan had suggested that India hand over Pakistan for the sake of peace.
Nehru explaining what it would mean for India.  
"you hinted at Kashmir being handed over to Pakistan...if we did anything of the kind our Government would not last many days and there would be no peace...It would lead to war with Pakistan because of public opinion here and war-like elements coming in control of our policy. We cannot and we will not leave Kashmir to its fate...The fact is that Kashmir is of the most vital significance to India...[H]erelies the rub...We have to see this though to the end...Kashmir is going to be a drain on our resources, but it is going to be a greater drain on Pakistan."

That Kashmir was going to be drain was becoming a pitch in certain circles in India. In 1952, Ambedkar naively said, "the matter is within the charge of the UNO and I do not think that Pakistan would be so foolish as to invade Kashmir or to invade this country in the teeth of the U.N.O. decision on the subject. Therefore, again, why are you maintaining this Army?"

 In Feb 1954, Pakistan started getting weapons and training from America. A decade later they were ready with Operation Gibraltar, an exercise straight from CIA's Bay of Pigs cookbook.
Ronald Searle's Nehru cartoon. Punch Cartoon. 1957. Peacekeeper in Egypt, asking for UN and US intervention. Painted Warmonger (like Modi) when it comes to Kashmir. All driven by world politics and individual interests of power countries.


Saturday, May 9, 2020

Copland mistake and fallout

More on the malicious propaganda and lies against Kashmiri Pandits produced in elite Indian universities. Or rather the mediocrity of the work peddled out on the subject. Above is an extract from a paper titled "The Caste of Migrants: Affirmative Action and the Case of Kashmiri Pandits" (2018) by Pushpendra Johar, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi. The paper sets out to prove how "reservations" for "Kashmiri Migrants" are against the notion of reservation laid out on India constitution and such. How does the paper go about it? By talking about KP supposed affluence and influence hundred years ago. And even here, to make the argument, the paper relies on secondary sources that themselves are part of deliberate lies. Where it cannot lie, it just creates a smoke screen in which reader is unable to read the data without bias. For the above passage it relies on "Islam and Political Mobilization in Kashmir, 1931-34, Ian Copland (1981). Copland is much cited in such studies and now considered an authority. As we shall see, it has flaws. A flaw an outsider can easily or deliberately make, and no one will question it as 'KPs as exploiters of Kashmir" is a settled theme in public discourse on Kashmir.  

The paper by DU guy claims 78% gazetted post were held by Hindus and Sikhs. Then in next line, instead of Hindus, he mentions Kashmiri Pandits, to imply this 78% was Kashmiri Pandits and Sikh that held "all the job". The writer makes the basic mistake of assuming that all Hindus in the state were KPs. 

In 1931, according to census data, there were 13133 total people in Public Administration and 12265 in State service

According to census, for every 1000 employees in State Service, about 305.9 were KP men and for every 100 woman employees in State Service, only 1 Female was KP woman. Overall, we can say 70% of State service comprised of other communities.

Next, quoting Copland, he makes the oft repeated claim that in 1931: "in Mirpur tehsil 94 % patwaris were Kashmiri Brahmin". Ian Copland indeed mentions it, and this claim has found its way into many scholarly works including the "Hindu rulers, Muslim subjects" by Mridu Rai (2004), a work much loved by Tahreekis for providing them the excuse for their violence on minorities of the state and for claiming the whole J&K as a Muslim territory. Copland mentions his source as "Report by Major General R.G. Finlayson on the visit of Inspection and Enquiry into Mirpur Tehsil" (1932). The "secret" report was result of riots of January 1932 in Mirpur in which Muslim majority killed and displaced the Hindu and Sikh minority. There were "Jathas" moving in from Punjab, hearing rumors about the scale of killings, they were rushing to kill Muslims. The situation was brought under control, but migration did happen. The British believed economic grievances to be the real reason for communal flare-up. Copland forwards the same argument. All fine. But, what are Kashmiri Pandits doing there in the quote of Copland? Were 94% patwaris in Mirpur tehsil Kashmiri Pandits or Kashmiri Hindus?


The actual wording of Finlayson in the report (attached) mentions just "Hindus" and not Kashmiri Pandits. 

Pandits as Oil Wells

 Wajahat Habibullah
in HT interview Jan 17, 2020 

This is how propaganda factory has been "handling" Kashmiri pandit tragedy. He is asked about events of 90 instead he talks vaguely about 25-35% government jobs being held by KPs. Ask him when? What time is he talking about? Pre- 1940s? How is it relevant to events of 90. How will a lay reader understand this contextless number? Reader will understand it the only way the speaker wants them to: that in 1990 KPs were holding 30% jobs (trigger "exploitative", autosuggest: see the killings in that light). Which of course is a lie. In 1990 out of total 2 Lakh + state employees only about 12 thousand were KPs. So, this begs the question why such discussion on KPs start in certain circles with this lie. To understand how potent this propaganda is, we have the famous case of Barkha Dutt also using the exact same approach to KPs in a TV report few years ago. What kind of an echo chamber has been created?

To understand that, we reach the end of Habibullah's piece. So high are they on their own drug, that they think since KPs were in government service since a hundred years, by now they have become Jeff Bezos, and that to be citizen of Kashmir, KPs need to prove their utilitarian benifits, and they be given those special Visas that western nations have for super rich. Basically, if Kashmir is a dirty rug, KPs have to be Nirma super. And not just stop there, they have to setup factory of Nirma detergent.

There is a theory why ethnic cleansing become possible. The root of it is an amoral society*. In such a society those at the top start seeing a group as something other than people. In some uncivilized places people think of "others" as parasites, in civilized Kashmir, KPs are seen as just enemy agents since the time of Mughals. The absurd, the amoral, is so normal that the solution to KP issue is presented as telling people that KPs  are actually oil wells so missed in Kashmir. Thus often such articles tell you benifit of KPs, that they can do wonder for education sector on Kashmir, that they are good doctors, or engineers etc, they can bring "normalcy". As if Majority in valley has to be convinced that KPs is the missing brick from his broken house wall. We are no bricks, we are people. Even the most useless, vile, poor, pathetic of KPs don't deserve to have to play this 25-30% game for next 30 years, and then try and "buy" their way back into Kashmir. We are talking about people who have nothing to show as "inheritance" (ironically communist in that aspect) and these babulog are telling majority in valley that KPs should move their oil mills to Kashmir. As what...collateral? Houses of most KPs are already lost collateral. Investment that our grandparent and parent generation made.

What has any of it got to do with right of KPs to exist in Kashmir on their own terms. Even the most useless Kashmiri Pandit does not seize to be a Kashmiri just because he is useless. Even a prisoner does not lose his citizenship just because he is a prisoner. 

Why feed such amoral nonsense to people?


Friday, May 8, 2020

Bambroos, Akura, 1960s

My mother's maternal grand uncle in his village Akura (Okur), Anantnag. 1960s.  Govind Joo Bambroo (Gund-maam, for my mother) was youngest uncle (mama) of my Nani. Gundmaam was a lover of Kehwa, loved it loaded with dalcheeni and elachi. Okur, when it crops up in conversation with my mother, is always remembered as a village paradise. Apparently a stream snaked silently under the wooden old house which was my nani's matamaal. Okur is the place from where my nani and her children, my mother, her sister and brother get their nose.

The family had a lot of cows, in 1990 when the family fled, the barn's gate was kept open for the cows to walk out and find new homes. 


Photograph from 1950s. Seated on chair: My Nani's mother. Her name was Yamberzal. After marriage she was renamed Umrawati, wife of Tarachand Raina, of Chattabal near Batte Booyn (Pandit Chinar). Tarachand was store keeper for British Bungalow at Gulmarg. Later the family moved to Karfali Mohalla. 

Chattabal is where my father's family comes from. The two families knew each other. Tarachand Raina's brother's first wife was sister of my great-grand mother. She died due to pregnancy complications. She had two children at the time, a boy named Radhakrishan Raina and a girl (mother remembers her as "kamjigri"). It is said she had Tchaman (Paneer) and died of colitis. This would be in 1930s. Radhakrishan Raina was stuck in Sialkot in 1947. He never returned. His wife, Radhikarani (my mother remembers her Chotey Bhabi) was pregnant with second child at the time. The family lived in Chattabal, my grandmother was friends with here. Radhikarani died in 2018, my grandmother was in Kerala with me at the time. When the news came on the phone, she cried and remembered Radhika Rani's life. Radhikarani's original name was something else, perhaps Shyama, she was renamed after the name of her husband.  She was great at making tablecloth out of used rugs. I heard how even as late as in 1965 war there was talk that Radhakrishan had survived, in prison, or converted. There was hope. Turned out to be rumor. 

When my Nani was pregnant with her first one, Radhakarani was also expecting. They were visited by a wandering saint, perhaps Prath Mout (Prath the Madman), a mercurial ascetic who would forecast future, say it out load, even if it was bleak. Mout told Radhakarani that she would deliver a boy, but he asked that the child better be given to him after birth. Radhakarani knew this meant something bad was about to go down. To my Nani also, he forecast a boy, but he said, you can keep him as you will need him.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Animus for Kritiya

Harwan Tile
Harwan Tile. 1950s when tiles were still openly displayed at the site
After about fifty years post death of Buddha (around 450 BC), monk Madhyantika arrives in Kashmir to bring it into the domain of Dharma. He brings along with him Manushakritya, "householder" slaves to inhibit and serve the place. They become the rulers of Kashmir after the death of Madhyantika. Overtime, native Naga worship mixed with Brahmanism and Buddhism. A mix looked down upon as corruption of Dharma.  

These people introduced to Kashmir by Madhyantika are referred as Kritiyas in travelogues of Chinese Buddhist pilgrim texts. Kritiyas, at the time was used contemptuously to mean unclear/lowborn/pigs/demons who dig out corpses/"serfs"-slaves bought. In the story of these people we find for first time hatred for a group of people in Kashmir, for their mixed native beliefs and for their rise to power. 

About four hundred years after the death of Buddha, Kanishka of Gandhara (Kushan dynasty (c. 127–150 CE) arrived in Kashmir to get rid of the Kritya Kings who had abandoned Buddhism and fallen back to older traditions. After he leaves, Kritiyas again gained power.  Kalhana calls Kanishka of turushka race [used in Rajatarangi for Turkic ]. The Chinese histories identify Kushans as Yuezhi, who originally lived in the very western part of Gansu in Northwest China until they were forced to emigrate by the Xiongnu, a confederation comprising other nomadic tribes of the region in around 177 BCE. Among this defeated mass, rose a branch of tribe which defeated Greeks in Bactria and came to be known as Kushanas. In later Persian history produced in Kashmir, the writers, rewriting older myths, were to claim that Kanishka (Kushanas) was deputed by Prophet Solomon or Sulaiman to rule Kashmir. The same Sulaiman who had flown to Baramulla and cleared the gorge to create the valley.   

Kalhana mentions Abhimanyu I as the ruler of Kashmir after Kanishka. Under Abhimanyu  I, the native cult as represented in Nilamata-purana is restored. However, Buddha mentioned as an avatar of Vishnu in Nilamata and celebrated. People practice Naga+Brahminical+Buddhist practices. In this era, Patanjali's Mahabhasya was [re-]introduced in Kashmir by Chanda. 

Far way from Kashmir, but around same time, in East India, under Pushyamitra Shunga (c. 185 – c. 149 BCE), a something similar Brahmin revival is happening. Buddhist texts mentions persecution. Mahabhasya becomes central. 

Hiuen Tsiang ( 602 – 664 A.D.) mentions that in around 280 A.D (six hundred years after the death of Buddha) Kritiyas were again thrown out of power in Kashmir by a warrior tribe. This time a Shakya clan king arrived from Himatala [sue-shan-hai/under the snowy mountain] of Tukhara [Central Asia, central Bactria] to re-establish Dharma in Kashmir.  Shakya/Sakas, originally Scythians from Central Asia, was the same tribe to which belonged Buddha. This clan of Shakya was earlier driven out of Shakya territory and into Bactria during Buddha's time by King Virudhaka of Kosala. Virudhaka's mother was daughter of a Shakya man and a slave women. Virudhaka claimed the Kosala empire by overthrowing his father and then proceeding to annihilate the Shakya clan as a punishment for defrauding him of his legitimacy, for they sent a slave born to marry a Kosala royalty.   

This King of Himatala and his warriors came in disguise of traders to Kashmir. After beheading the king in court, he handed over the country to monks and left. Krityas come to hate the Dharma all the more as more than once they had been defeated. 

Hiuen Tsiang mentions that neighbouring kings held the Kashmiri Nagas in scorn, they refused alliance with them. He adds that they called them, Ki-li-to, translated as Kritya. He says that Kashmir at the time was again in control run of Kritiyas and thus Dharma (Buddhism), flourishing but was in decline. 

Hiuen Tsiang was hosted in Kashmir by King Dwilabhavardhan (600- 636 A.D.) founder of Karkota dynasty. Karkota name coming from name of a mythical Naga serpent deity (a name one among many mentioned in Nilamata). Durlabhavardhana is said to have been the son of Naga. Thus this is considered to be the start of the rule of Naga Karkota dynasty. Coins show him as "Durlabhadeva". We have also possibly a reference to Dwilabhavardhana in a notice of the Chinese annals, which mention Tu-lo-pa as a king of India who controlled the route from China to Ki-pin i.e. the Kabul valley somewhere between 629-647.  Hiuen Tsiang distinctly records that Taksasila (Taxila, now in Rawalpindi district Punjab of Pakistan) was already in ruins in by this time. He writes that Ursaor/Hazara, Simhapura or the Salt range with smaller hill-states of Rajapuri and Parnotsa (modern Punch), had no independent rulers, but were tributary to Kashmir. Interestingly, Rajatarangini tells us that at this time Vaisnavism had a considerable presence in Kashmir among royals. Under Karkota one temple of Shiva was built or renovated. Mahabhasya was once again revived under Jayapida (751-782 A.D.) of Karkota dynasty. 


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Zadoo, 1938. Post no. 24

Guest post by Atul Ravi. First photograph taken in his family.

Kashmiri Pandits, 1938
Raghu Nath Zadoo
seated on left wearing a cap

This pic was taken in some studio probably Mahatta but not sure . It was first day of my grandfather's college. He had worn shoes for the first time in his life. The boys all dressed up and decided to get themselves clicked and barely managed to pool in money. It was the first pic in the family and was kept like that in our house. May be that’s how it survived .

My grandfathers name was Sh Raghu Nath Zadoo ( called as Rugh Nath in local lingo ). He was born in Gund Ahalmar Srinagar in 1920 to Smt Yemberzal and my Great Grandfather ( i don’t recall his name ). He was second in three siblings. He was first graduate in the family and completed BA , BT and BEd. He was politically active and was secretary of teachers association in Srinagar. He was also a recipient of Presidents Medal ( Bronze ) for his contribution to Census in Srinagar. He retired in 70s as Tehsil Education Officer. Post retirement he was an administrator in Hindu High School, Gankhan. He was also attached to Ganpatyar Mandir Committee . One particular incident I recall once we left Srinagar, he managed to get the salaries of few months of all teachers from the school and I could see the them thanking him in gratitude.

Post migration, he kept going to Srinagar and stayed in the house with all caution thrown to the wind. He only stopped when he became too old to travel. He lost his senses and was bedridden but in that state too he recalled Srinagar as his only refuge. He used to make gestures to my grandmother to pack and leave for Srinagar. When my uncle after few years went to our home, he saw that Grandfather had made arrangements like coals, wood, his walking stick, some clothes and dry vegetables for his next visit to Kashmir which never happened .

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