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Friday, October 26, 2018

beautiful Kashmir ~ and accession day

Bernier,  the first European to enter Kashmir, writing in 1665, wrote : " In truth, the kingdom surpasses in beauty all that my warmest imagination had anticipated." This impression is not universally felt, for one of the very latest writers on Kashmir speaks of it as overrated, and calls the contour of the mountains commonplace and comparable to a second-rate Tyrolean valley

More importantly, the Instrument of Accession is a legal document executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, on 26 October 1947. By executing this document under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh agreed to accede to the Dominion of India.   .. .. sadly within few decades, it showed an ugly face to the World when the exodus started in Sept 1989, leaving only a few thousand of them behind in the Valley and about seven and a half lakh Kashmiri Pandits were left to live the life of refugees in their own country.  The act of losing something can ensure that you elicit great wisdom. For the hapless Pandit, this wisdom translates into pain.

Today, we read far too different stories on Kashmir.  .. .. today’s reports read that a soldier was killed after protesters threw stones at an army convoy passing through the Anantnag bypass tri-junction in Jammu and Kashmir.  Rajendra Singh (22), who was part of a quick reaction team responsible for providing security cover to a Border Roads Organisation team, died in a hospital today. Sad, instead of mourning, we are debating on ‘dosa’ and its casteist dimensions !!

Our neighbouring country has been trading propaganda war on Kashmir ~ it is uncommon for a diplomat of relatively junior rank to make headlines. Most times, they are relegated to doing the running around to make their seniors or political masters look good. And if they do hit the headlines, it’s mostly for the wrong reasons.  But when Eenam Gambhir, first secretary at the Permanent Mission of India in New York, took the floor to exercise India’s Right to Reply following a combative speech by Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif accusing India of human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir, she won only praise back home. AT the UN Conference, Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly session, said Pakistan wants peace with India but maintained it is "not possible without resolving the Kashmir issue". It was to be rebutted .. Rejecting Pakistan’s repeated demand to the United Nations to resolve the Kashmir dispute, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan and India should address their issues, including Kashmir, through “dialogue”.  Eenam Gambhir, the first secretary of the Permanent Mission of India to the UN grabbed the opportunity to exercise the right to reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statements at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). 

She not only slammed Pakistan for calling HizbulMujahideen commander BurhanWani a patriot but also called it a “terrorist state” which keep on funding terrorist activities.  While calling Sharif’s “long tirade” about the situation in Jammu andKashmir at the UNGA, she called Pakistan a host to the “Ivy League of terrorism”and “global epicenter of terrorism”. “What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region,” she said.

To recall some history, back in Aug  1965, Pakistan Army's airborne paratroopers and Pakistan Army's guerrillas, disguised as locals, entered Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan with the goal of fomenting an insurgency among Kashmiri Muslims. However, the strategy went awry from the outset due to poor coordination, and the infiltrators were soon discovered. The operation sparked the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the first major engagement between the two neighbours.  Much of the war was fought by the countries' land forces in Kashmir and along the International Border between India and Pakistan. This war saw the largest amassing of troops in Kashmir since the Partition of British India -  in the end, Pakistan was made to realise the futility of war, pushed to the corner surrendered.

Nearly a thousand year ago, our Acaryar Sri Ramanujar on a pilgrimmage visited Srinagar searching for manuscript of Bodhayana-vritti, a commentary  on the Brahmasutra by Bodhyana.  His ardent disciple Kuresar was able to memorise it in one glance; the commentary of Udayavar is known as Sri Bashyam ~ Goddess of learning Saraswathi approving Sri Bashyam conferred the title  ‘Bashyakara’ on Sri Ramanujar.  Thus was fulfilled the main desire of Alavandhar – writing of an authoritative and illuminating commentary on Brahma sutra. Kashmir is associated with Adhi Sankarar.  He is believed to have written ‘Saundarya Lahari’, in praise of Shakti, at the top of the hill, known till then as Gopadari Hill.  The Shankaracharya Temple is situated on the top of the Shankaracharya hill, also called Gopadari Hill,  in the Zabarwan Mountain in Srinagar, Kashmir. The temple is on the summit of the same name at a height of 1,000 feet (300 m) above the plain and overlooks the city of Srinagar.

Today is an all important day – ‘Accession Day ‘  is celebrated on October 26 every year to commemorate the day when the last Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in 1947. The agreement made the former independent princely state of J&K join the Union of India.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Oct 2018.

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