Subject: Prayer for preventing Islamisation of Kashmir and Protection of Hindu Identity in Kashmir
Sir, on behalf a Delhi-based “Think Tank”, namely, the Patriots’ Forum, primarily engaged in the task of protecting and preserving our age-old Indic civilization, now seriously threatened by a variety of threats that would not be unknown to your august self, we earnestly appeal to you to protect the Hindu identity of Kashmir, known as the “Crown Jewel” of India, as also to prevent its Islamisation. There seems to be a clear and concerted drive by the separatist Muslims, unfortunately appearing to be in concert with the present State government as well, to uproot, if not outrightly destroy, the traces of Hindu culture in this part of India, Bharatvarsh of the Shastras.
Sir, Kashmir was indeed a thriving Hindu Kingdom. It is the quirk of historical process—thanks to Demographic Changes, it has now become a Muslim-majority state. But, it is still an integral part of the Union of India, Art. 370 of the constitution being a ‘temporary’ provision only. Despite the fact that the Indian Parliament has made it abundantly clear that the merger of Kashmir was irreversible, the present Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah has shown the audacity to deny that publicly. Sir, we are afraid the Hindu identity of Kashmir is being deliberately destroyed, possibly with his tacit consent.
The facts briefly are:
According to the famous Rajtarangini of Kalhan, King Lalitaditya (697-734 B.C.) and King Gopaditya (426-356 B.C.) had repaired the temple in a big way. Gopaditya had also granted the land at the foothill of the hill to the Brahmins. That area is now called Gupkar. After Kalhan, Abul Fazl has mentioned that King Gopaditya had actually built it.
At some point, not possible to determine when, some of the local Muslins began calling it as Takht-e-Suleman. That had been unofficial until a notice board has been placed outside the gates of the temple, mentioning its name as Takht-e-Suleman, signed by the Archaeological Survey of India.
When the Kashmiri Hindus protested, the ASI remained silent. A photocopy of a signboard put up by the J & K TDC at the foothill, making a crude attempt & trying to mischievously combine both the Hindu and Muslim names, is enclosed.
Sir, we take this occasion to also enclose a brief formal note available on the subject as The Shankaracharya Temple.
While these developments appeared in the print media recently, Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of J & K, made a “mischievous” tweet, apparently aimed at diverting from the main issue by making some absurd statements like both ‘yes’ or no, ending with:
“Let me be as clear as I can – there is NO, repeat, NO proposal by the state to change the name of Shankracharaya Hill in Srinagar,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.” He ended:
“From conversations with ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), I have ascertained that there is no such proposal with them either. But, Sir, the signboard at the foothill mentioned earlier disproves that. To make light of the effort to Islamise the matter, the Chief Minister further said:
“There have always been parallel names for Shankracharaya hill and will always be. This isn’t the only place with two or more names,” Omar said. (based on PTI report)
Sir, there thus seems to be an overdrive to skillfully Islamacise the State by gradually ending all historical signs & vestiges of Hindu cultural identity of Kashmir. During Sheikh Abdullah’s tenure as CM, following official state proclamations, the names of over 500 villages were changed to give them Islamic names. A town in south Kashmir – Anantnag – the name very ancient, as is the town, is now called Islamabad – almost officially. Virtually all new settlements have Islamic names. Srinagar is being called, more and more, Akbarabad, and the other hill in Srinagar, Hari Parbat, which was the most sacred temple called Chakreshwar mandir, has begun to be called Koh-e-Maran.
Just a few yards below the Shankaracharya mandir, a large plot of land has been fenced in with a green Islamic flag, and there is a notice proclaiming it to be the holy site related to a local Muslim saint. The Kashmiri Hindus, therefore, most genuinely suspect that very shortly, a grand mosque will be in place there. Shankarachrya mandir and whatever other Hindu sacred places remain in tact there is only because of major presence of armed forces there for protection.
Sir, it may also interest you to know that according to the Government of J & K’s official statement, 208 temples were damaged in Kashmir in the last two decades, as had been reported by one Peerzada Tashiq in The Hindustan Times, October 4, 2012.
Rashtrapatiji, with all these material, will it be incorrect to humbly demand that it is an extremely fit case for immediate intervention by your honourable self. The State Govt. of Omar Abdullah cannot be trusted whatsoever and the Archaeological Survey of India is equally undependable. If our impudence is excused, it may even be worth enquiring from your high office with the ASI under whose instructions they have been indulging in this malpractice of distorting history. Yes, Sir, it is not a case of simple distortion; it is a case of positive, wilful mischievous distortion, warranting necessary action, if we may humbly submit.
Rashtrapatiji, we are hopeful we shall receive due justice from you. And, if required by your goodself, we would be happy to lead a delegation to you, to explain further the hurt feelings of the Kashmiris as well as all other Hindus from the rest of the country.
We remain, Sir.
(President, Patriots’ Forum)
(Former Spl. Director, IB)
1 The photocopy of the sign board
2 The note on the Sankaracharya Temple
The Shankaracharya Temple
Standing on the summit of the ancient Gopadri Hill, the Shankaracahrya Temple commands a magnificent view of the whole city of Srinagar. Kalhana clearly states in the Rajatarangini thatKing Gopaditya constructed a temple of Shiva on the Gopadri hill in the name ofShiva Jyeshtheshvara. However, Gopaditya’s date cannot be ascertained with certainty, though it is assigned to about 369 – 309 B. C. General Cunningham and LT. Cole identify the temple with the shrine of Jyeshtharudra built by Ashoka’s son Jalauka. Built on a high octagonal plinth, the temple is of a simple structure and can be approached by a long flight of steps. The unadorned interior of the temple and the absence of some features of classical Kashmiri temple art on the three sides of the main shrine show that the basic structure is of a very early date.
There is a very strong tradition in Kashmir, as well as outside Kashmir, that Shankaracharya did pay a visit to Kashmir, though scholars hold different views about it. It is believed that it was here at the famous Sharada shrine that he ascended the sarvajñapītha or the‘Throne of Omniscience’. Madhvachārya very clearly mentions so in his ShankaraDigvijaya. Chidvillasmuni in his Shankara-vijaya-vilāsa too refers to Shankaracharya’s visit to Kashmir as does Nilakantha in his work Shankaraabhyudaya. Kashmiri Pandits widely believe that that during his visit, the great sage stayed in the capital city Srinagar also, probably in the vicinity of the Gopadri Hill. It is most probable that the ancient name of the hill was changed to Shankaracharya Hill as a tribute to him after his visit.
As Aurel Stein and several other scholars have said that the name Takht -e – Suleiman or ‘Solomons’s Throne’ “is undoubtedly of Muhammadan origin”. There is a Koh- i- Suleiman in Afghanistan also. Kashmiri Muslims have given an Islamic name to the other sacred hill of Hindus in Srinagar also – they call the SharikāParvat of Sanskrit texts, popularly called Hāri Parbat by the Kashmiri Pandits, by the name of Koh –i- Mārān or ‘The Hill of the Snakes’. In fact it is a habit with them not to call sacred places of Kashmiri Pandits by their original name – calling the Anantnag town as Islamabad being yet another example. Both Sheikh Abdullah and Farookh Abdullah officially changed the original names of hundreds of places in Kashmir to Islamic ones so as to erase vestiges of Kashmir’s Hindu past. PDP leader Mufti Sayed tried to officially change the name of Shankaracharya and Hāri Parbat hills to Takht-e- Suleiman and Koh-i-mārān respectively, but did not succeed because of stiff resistance by Kashmiri Pandits. The efforts have been renewed now with the Archaeological Survey of India officially choosing to call the Shankaracharya Hill by the name of Takht-i-Suleiman. The area around the temple where the famous Durga Nag temple is situated has already become Suleiman Complex.
Solomon, as everybody knows, was the Biblical king of Israel and son and successor of David. He built the first Jewish Temple and was noted for his wisdom. Muslims believe that he was a Muslim prophet even if he lived more hundreds of years before the birth of the Prophet of Islam. According to Kashmiri Muslims he ruled over Kashmir from the top of the Shankaracharya Hill. But how the Jewish king could, for all his wisdom, have ruled over Israel and Kashmir at one and the same time, is something that they do not tell. But ask the Kashmiri Muslims and they will say evenmore outlandish things. Once Farookh Abdullah even charged the Kashmiri Hindus to have appropriated an Islamic holy place by calling the hill after the name of Shankaracharya! The news came out in the Times of India several years back and the paper refused to publish our rejoinder.
Source: Via WHN Publisher Email