July-September 2001 Issue
Kyazi Ravihey Kahan Gaav
by Makhan Lal Kaul,
Many Seers, Sages and Spiritual Gurus,
having any faith, were once born in the holy land of Kashmir, from time
to time. We have heard of many such personalities of the past and you can
find many of them there in the present times too. All the people of Kashmir,
to whatsoever faith or religion they belong to, had great reverence for
such noble souls alike.
Many years ago, such a great
soul, in the garb of Mata Lalleshwari was born, who was and is being revered
by all the people of Kashmir in general and Pandits in particular. She
had Trikal Drishti and could foresee the things. To forewarn the people
of that time, she might have spoken the words Sariy Samahav Akisay Razi
Lamahav Teli Kyazi Ravihey Kahan Gaav advising in her humble way, the people
to unite and have faith in the leadership of one person. May be during
her life time also, the people of her community were disintegrated. This
must have caused the invasion of Pathans into the holy land of Kashmir
and was ruled over by them for centuries. They strengthened their foothold
in Kashmir through their might. Before the invasion of Pathans, whole of
Kashmir was inhabited by the learned Hindus, known as Rishis, that is why
it was nicknamed as Reshiwar. We are ourselves to be blamed to encourage
the spread of Islam in this Reshiwar due to our own lapses of which history
speaks volumes. The Muslim rulers starting converting the Kashmiri Brahmins
to Islam. It was forcible conversion. Brahmins had only three options left
open to them viz Ralun, Galun or Tsalun (get converted or be prepared to
meet the icy death or leave your homes and hearths). It is said that during
the course of time, only eleven families of Pandits were left in the whole
Valley. Even now, you hear people say "Kyasa, Kasheeri Roodi Kahay Garah
History speaks that with
the help of Sikh rulers of Punjab, Kashmir was recaptured by them. The
Kashmiri Pandits, who have migrated, returned to their homes and the people
who were forcibly converted to Islam wished to get themselves reconverted.
Here again out Netas (Pandits) were disintegrated and they did not allow
them to get reconverted. Present suffering of our community is all due
to their vengeance, which is clear from the fact that many of our surnames
Well, this theory of Ralun,
Galun and Tsalun was repeated in the year 1989-90 and there was a mass
exodus of our community members from Kashmir, mostly to Jammu and other
parts of the country. The people of other community knew that we have no
leader of name and fame, having any force to lead us. They were aware
that whole of our community was disintegrated. They took the advantage
of infighting of our Netas, who were pulling the legs of one another.
During my younger days,
the name of some of the social reformers cum leaders like Swargwasis Pandit
Surajkak Mattoo, Pandit Jialal Kilam, Pandit Kashyap Bandhu, Pandit Shivnarayan
Fotedar, Pandit Gopi Krishen etc were heard of. All of them in my opinion,
were honest to serve and remove the evils prevailing in our community.
They tried to collect the people on one platform. The leaders of other
communities started misleading us and we started disintegrating. Members
of one group started accusing the leadership of the other one. People in
general, having no affinity with any group, were heard of commenting "Hey
Batta hasa gav dai Congressi, tamis chha kansi peth pachh". This gave rise
to a new leadership of younger generation which in the earlier stages did
I think, we were united only
once during the agitation of " Parmeshwari Handoo" episode. I did not witness
this as I migrated to Mumbai (then Bombay) in early 1948. As it was narrated
to me, I could not but appreciate the way agitation was launched. How in
a fraction of an hour, meetings were arranged and the big gathering of
members of our community, both young and old, in particular ladies were
found attending the same in big numbers. We in Mumbai collected over a
lac of rupees in a single day from our Biradari as a humble contribution
for the great cause. I was told that the Late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah
had remarked that had he the backing of such a band of workers behind him,
he would have achieved his goal long ago. May be, this statement of his
might have been taken seriously by his people, which generated a feeling
amongst the other community and gave rise to present day militancy in the
state, of which our community has become a prey. As usual, this uprising
in our community did not last long because of some selfish and interested
so called Netas, of our community, having say in the government circles,
both in the State and the Centre. The bloodshed and the sacrifice of many
young lives did not bring the desired fruit. Why? For want of leadership,
for which we are suffering even now.
The main aim before all the
leaders, if at all they are sincere, is to serve the people and sail the
broken ship of community ashore, from the troubled waters. Agreed, the
approach may differ from person to person, but sincerity of the cause should
be observed. We should not get lost or diluted and become prey of black
sheep, of which there is no dearth in our community, for their selfish
interests. Though we have lost much because of our disintegration, but
there is still time for all of us to think with a cool head and rise to
the occasion, unite and meet on one Platform, under one Banner and Leadership.
"United we stand and win and divided we lose and fall". Team work always
pays, may it be a playground, a battlefield, common cause of the community
or to run a household.
I am reminded of a story
that our father used to narrate to us when we were young and the same is
reproduced as under, (to the extent I remember):
Once upon a time there was
grave famine in a village and the people had nothing left, that they could
fall back upon. Many people started migrating to other places for their
survival. Amongst them was also a family consisting of four sons and the
parents. They reached a place in the evening and camped under a tree. A
pair of parrots were perched on one of the branches of the same tree, who
were watching the movements of the members of the family, under the direction
of the parents.
Father directed the eldest
son to make Choola. To second one he said to collect some firewood and
to the third he told to go to a nearby stream and clean the utensils and
to the fourth one he ordered to bring a pitcherful of water. All the four
sons, ungrudgingly and obediently followed the instructions of their father.
On seeing this the two birds
(parrots laughed and talked to themselves, in their own language known
as Shathbool in Kashmiri, which the head of the family could understand)
that "they have made all arrangements for cooking but what are they going
to cook, they have no stock of cereals with them". The father heard this
and replied, "It is true that we have no cereals with us, but I plan to
kill you both, cook and eat you to subside our hunger to some extent".
On hearing this the two birds were afraid. They thought to themselves that
because of the cooperation of the brothers and faith in the leadership
of their father it would not be difficult for them (the members of the
family) to kill them (the two birds). They told the father of the family,
if they (birds) gave him (father) some clue to unearth a huge treasure,
would he (father) still kill them (the birds). The father replied in negative
and the birds gave him the necessary clue. They unearthed the treasure
and went back to their home with all the riches and lived happily in the
On their return, the news
spread like wild fire and the cousins of the family also heard about the
whole story. They also decided to move out of the village and go under
the same tree where the same pair of parrots were perched on one of the
branches. The head of the family told the eldest son to make choola to
which he argued that he was tired, moreover what was the use of making
a choola when they had nothing to cook. In short all the sons of the family
started arguing with their father, disrespected him and indirectly expressed
that their father was a fool to give them such directions. Anyhow after
long persuasion by their father, the sons grudgingly did what they were
told. The birds again talked amongst themselves as to what they were
going to cook. To this the father told them that he was going to kill them
for their meals. The birds (who were none other than Lord Shiva and Mata
Parvati) laughed ironically and told the father that it was only within
the powers of the previous family to kill them because of their cooperation,
respect for their father and faith in his leadership, which was lacking
in this family. With these words the birds flew away.
With these humble words of
mine, I wish to bring home to the members of our community and remind our
leaders of the time, that it is the teamwork and unity alone which has
strength. We should unite and meet on one platform and struggle against
injustice and disparity shown to our community. History is witness to it
that infighting alone has brought down many kingdoms and also made us slaves
for centuries and we were able to free ourselves only with united struggle
and unity amongst Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. We were taught then that Hindu,
Muslim, Sikh, Isaai, Hai aapas mein Bhai Bhai". With this feeling in our
minds we achieved our goal of "freedom". Here again the British were so
cunning that while leaving India they divided us on the basis of religion,
which our neighbouring country doesn't understand.
Ours is a microscopic community.
We should stop infighting. Meet on one platform, without any ego, under
one leadership and keeping in mind the words of our Mata Lalla-Ded
"Sariy Samahav Akisay Razi Lamahav
Teli Kyazi Ravihey Kahan Gaav"
Sense of the verse :
Had we all collected,
pursued the cause jointly,
we would have not lost the cause".
All of us recite these words
with devotion but the main point is, how many of us put this to practice.
It is said "Kathani se karni Bhali". I close this with the request
that all my brethren will give my views a cool thought and share their
views with me. It is rightly said, "Let the dead past, bury it, it is
dead. Act in the living present, heart within and God overhead".
"Aasto maa sadgamaya,
Tamso maa Jyotir Gamaya,
Mrityu maa Amritam gamaya".
Let us all pray to Him to
lead us on the right path of spirituality and truth in their right sense.
Lead us to light from Darkness and unite with HIM after death.