Pre-Islamic Heritage

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Unlike other languages of North India, Kashur, the language of the kashmiris, does not belong to the Indo -Aryan family. Sir George Grierson shows that it belongs to the Dardic and not to the Sanskrit group. According to G.M.D. Sufi, `The original Dardic language has supplied the skeleton, Sanskrit has given it flesh, but Islam has given it life.’

Even the Muslims who constitute over ninety percent of the population of the valley are pound of its pre-islamic past. They still cling to the beliefs and practices of that period. According to Abdulla Yusf ali, the worship of relics, which prevalis at the principal Muslims shrine Hazartbal in Srinagar, is a continuance of a Buddhist practice -Islamic in India and the West.

Islamic came to kashmir at a time when its synthesis with Hindu thought had already blossomed in the form of Sufism and the Bhakti movement in the rest of the country. Bulbul Shah, shah Hamdan and other Sufi saints spread the message of Islam in kasmir unaided by the state. Kahsmir embraced Islam before any Muslim king invaded it.

In fact, when the first such invasion by a Muslim king, Akbar, took place in 1586, it was resisted by all Kasmiris. The Mughal rule and the pathan rule that followed in 1752, though both Muslim, are regarded by them even today as of slavery.

Centuries of oppression and poverty demoralized and degraded the people of Kashmir. they were in this state when their destiny was linked with Jammu and Ladakh in 1846 when the valley passed from the hands of the lahore Durbar to Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu on payment of a paltry sum of Rs seventy five lakhs.

Jammu until then had not been integrated into a single political entity, divided as it was into a number of principalities.It is divided by a series of the Siwalik ranges. The enclosed valleys have their own cultural variations.

Gujars are Muslims and live on the other side of the Pir Panchal. After Kashmir and Dogras, they are the third largest community of the state. They cannot to be hold apart by their by their features, dress, language and way of life. Cattle rearing is their main occupation and about one-third of them live a nomadic life. Their simplicity is proverbial.


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