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Secular Kashmir

While struggling to maintain its secular character Kashmir is busy burying its dead spread over to a large number of martyr´s graveyards; IBN Live of India quotes PTI June 23, 2012 that bodies of three Kashmiris were recovered from different parts of Kashmir. The bodies of Abdul Khaliq Teli, Mushtaq Ahmed Wani and an unidentified body of a third person, with a slit throat found on the Kashmir Highway a routine of killings that continues unabated. Indian army, one million strong, with sophisticated weapons aided and abetted by riot gear baton wielding paramilitary troops, elite black cat commandos, find easy targets to eliminate especially during the dark hours of evenings or nights. The job becomes easy when there is no electric supply as a large percentage of electricity generated in Kashmir is transmitted to India's "National Grid" to keep their own nationals happy depriving its colony Kashmir of its resources without any remuneration or compensation.



Vedic myths and rituals testifying the existence of Hindu Deity Lord Shiva and the belief of millions of devotees that Shiva recounted to his beloved goddess Parvati the secret of creation in the cave known as "Amarnath Cave" attracts many thousands spread over a month nowadays. The Cave situated at 14000 ft. above sea level is visited by huge numbers; and the influx from all corners of India because of lack of facilities makes it a big security and sanitation problem. The number of visiting worshippers has gone up considerably recently in comparison to two decades before when the worshippers at this high altitude with very difficult hilly terrain were confined to few orthodox religious zealots who at times would not survive to return safely. These nomadic religious breed (Sadhus) would dedicate their life and feel spiritually elevated and while on the pilgrimage most of the times lost a limb of their body or in some cases their life.

The shape of the glacier in icy sub-zero temperatures stays intact round the year only to reduce or increase in size during change in four seasons of Kashmir’s weather cycle. The shape as the myth goes is there from ‘dawn of the time’ and ice Shiv-linga (translated sexual organ) as is believed attains it maximum height at the time of festival towards the months July-August.

The story about the discovery of this cave, situated amongst high peak snow-clad mountains, is of a Muslim shepherd (Muhammad) "Buta" Malik who is given the credit of discovering this Cave. The story as believed is that a saint gave Malik a bag full of coal and on reaching his home he opened the bag, to his utter surprise found it filled with gold coins. This made Malik overwhelmed with joy and ran to thank the saint but what he found was that the saint had disappeared and found the cave and Shiv Lingam there, instead. He announced the discovery of this to the villagers and thereafter, as believed, the place became the sacred place of pilgrimage.

The sudden upsurge of swelled numbers of pilgrims has recently evoked political concerns among local Muslim population who strongly believe has connotations with serious political implications. In the recent past the Muslim population of Kashmir panicked after an Indian attempt to grab huge chunk of land for linga pilgrims to stay on in Kashmir on permanent basis. The act was deemed to be a conspiracy to settle huge numbers of these pilgrims to result into an eventual demographic change and at a convenient time voluntarily ask for a plebiscite conducted under the supervision of United Nations. There was a big uproar and an agitation started which at some stage became violent resulting in the deaths of several people. The international community swung into a diplomatic activity and the powers that be in India had to backtrack and abandon the plan.

www.liveinindia.com in its Muslims support the Amarnath Yatra News reported on Thursday, June 26, 2008 that “Hindus have been going on the Amarnath Yatra for decades, ever since a family of Muslim shepherds discovered the holy cave. The logistics of the trip have always been provided by the local Kashmiri Muslims who, since the beginning, took it upon themselves to make the Hindu pilgrimage a success. Then in 2000, the state took over and things began getting complicated.”

Historically speaking Kashmir has always been proud of its secular ideals and proved it to the world; when in 1947 whole of India was burning with communal killings and butchery Kashmir was protecting its 4% minority Hindus and their property.


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