We often find LMN (Leftist Marxist Naxalite) media and intellectuals extolling the virtues of Kashmiriyat and Sufism, both supposed to be syncretic in nature.

If we look back into history to see how Islam expanded in kashmir, we shall find Sufism often come across as a form of political crusade. This version of Sufism would give rise to a version of Kashmiriyat that resulted in seven exoduses of Kashmiri pandits.

Syyid Mir Ali Hamdani (also known as Amīr-i Kabīr or the Great Commander) was one of the harbingers of Islam in Kashmir. He along with 700 Sayyids followers migrated from Hamdan (a city in Iran) and landed in Kashmir to escape terror perpetrated by Tamur the Lame.

He was very influential in spreading Islam in Kashmir; immortalised by poets like Allama Iqbal; of  ‘Saare jahan se achha’ fame. It is interesting to note that Allama spear-headed Muslim renaissance in British India and he could connect with one person who played same role in 14th century Kashmir.

Syyid Mir Ali Hamdani and his followers started working as missionaries and preachers, after settling in the valley. He influenced Sultan Qutubud-Din to make the persecution and torture of the Kashmiri Hindus & desecration of temples a state policy.

His son Mir Mohamad Hamdani urged Sultan Slkandar (1389-1413); notoriously known as the iconoclast (Sikandar but-shikan or Idol Breaker) to wipe out infidelity/Hindus from Kashmir for good.

This also set a bad precedent of outside interference in Kashmir with long-term repercussions. Iranian Sufi crusaders were to be followed by all sorts of invaders like Mughals, Afghans and Pakistanis (post 1947) with similar attitude towards Hindus.

Mir Ali’s Zakhiratul-Muluk codified the conditions for governing infidels. These twenty humiliating conditions is an example of licensed iconoclasm (as per theory proposed by James Simpson). Below are those 20 conditions*:

1. The Hindus will not construct any new places of worship or idol temples in the territory under the control of a Muslim ruler.

2. They will not re-construct any existing place of worship or temple that may fall into ruin.

3. They will not prevent Muslim travellers from staying in their places of worship or temples.

4. They will receive any Muslim traveller into their houses and will provide him with hospitality for three days.

5. They will not harbour any spies and will not act as spies themselves.

6. If any of their relations show any inclination to embrace Islam, they shall not prevent him from doing so.

7. They will respect Muslims.

8. If they are holding a meeting and a Muslim happens to come there, he will be received respectfully by them.

9. They will not dress like Muslims.

10. They will not adopt Muslim names.

11. They will not ride a saddled horse.

12. They will not carry swords or bows and arrows.

13. They will not wear rings with diamonds.

14. They will not openly sell or drink intoxicating liquor.

15. They will not abandon their traditional dress so that they may be distinguished from Muslims.

16. They will not openly practice their customs and usages among Muslims.

17. They will not build their houses in the neighbourhood of Muslims.

18. They will not cremate their dead.

19. They will not mourn their dead loudly.

20. They will not buy Muslim slaves.

A polity that systematically discriminate against citizens on the basis of religious identity must cast away any pretense of secularism. Its time we should have a hard look at the concepts like kashmiriyat and put them on table for debate.



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