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The Kashmiris (Kashmiri: کٲشُر لُکھ / कॉशुर लुख) are an ethnic group native to the Kashmir Valley, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, who speak Kashmiri, an Indo-Aryan Dardic language.[4] The bulk of Kashmiri people predominantly live in the Kashmir Valley–which is the 'actual' Kashmir and does not include the other territories of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (i.e. Jammu, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and Ladakh).[A] Other ethnic groups living in the Jammu and Kashmir state include Gujjars,[5] Dogras,[6] Paharis, Baltis and Ladakhis.[7]

Kashmiris
کٲشُر لُکھ
कॉशुर लुख
Regions with significant populations
India6,797,587 (2011)*[1]
Pakistan132,450 (1998)*[2]
Languages
Kashmiri
Hindustani (Hindi, Urdu), also spoken widely as second language[3]
Religion
Predominantly:
Islam
Minorities:
Related ethnic groups
Other Dard people

*The population figures are only for the number of speakers of the Kashmiri language. May not include ethnic Kashmiris who no longer speak Kashmiri language.
Political Map: the Kashmir region districts, showing the Pir Panjal range and the Kashmir Valley.

While Kashmiris are native to the Kashmir Valley, smaller populations of Kashmiris also live in the remaining districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Ethnic Kashmiris can be found in the Chenab region's Doda, Ramban, Reasi and Kishtwar districts and in the Neelam Valley and Leepa Valley of northern Azad Kashmir. Since 1947, many ethnic Kashmiris are also found in Pakistan.[8] Many ethnic Kashmiris from the Kashmir Valley migrated to the Punjab region during the Dogra, Sikh and Afghan rule of Kashmir.[9][10][11][12] Most Kashmiris today are Sunni Muslim[13] but a sizeable Hindu community also exists. Most ethnic Kashmiri Muslims are descended from Kashmiri Pandits and Buddhists,[14] some also use the prefix 'Sheikh'.[15][16][17] Common surnames among these people include Bhat/Butt, Dar, Lone, Malik etc.[18][19][20]

Although all residents of Azad Kashmir call themselves 'Kashmiri', most residents of Azad Kashmir are not ethnic Kashmiris.[21]

Contents

HistoryEdit

Hindu and Buddhist ruleEdit

 
Martand-Sun temple in Anantnag
 
Shankaracharya Temple constructed around 200BC

The Hindu caste system of the Kashmir region was influenced by the influx of Buddhism from the time of Asoka, around the third century BCE, and a consequence of this was that the traditional lines of varna were blurred, with the exception of that for the Brahmins, who remained aloof from the changes.[22][23] Another notable feature of early Kashmiri society was the relative high regard in which women were held when compared to their position in other communities of the period.[24]

A historically contested region, Northern India was subject to attack from Turkic and Arab regimes from the eighth century onwards, but they generally ignored the mountain-circled Kashmir Valley in favour of easier pickings elsewhere. It was not until the fourteenth century that Muslim rule was finally established in the Valley and when this happened it did not occur primarily as a consequence of invasion so much as because of internal problems resulting from the weak rule and corruption endemic in the Hindu Lohara dynasty.[25][26] Mohibbul Hasan describes this collapse as

The Dãmaras (feudal chiefs) grew powerful, defied royal authority, and by their constant revolts plunged the country into confusion. Life and property were not safe, agriculture declined, and there were periods when trade came to a standstill. Socially and morally too the court and the country had sunk to the depths of degradation.[26]

The Brahmins had something to be particularly unhappy about during the reign of the last Lohara king, for Sūhadeva chose to include them in his system of onerous taxation, whereas previously they appear to have been exempted.[27]

Arrival of Islam and Shah Mir Dynasty (1320–1580s)Edit

Islam arrived in Kashmir starting with the conversion in 1320 of Kashmir's Buddhist ruler, Rinchan, at the hands of the saint, Sayyid Bilal Shah (also known as Bulbul Shah). After conversion to Islam he called himself Malik Sadur-ud-Din and became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. In 1339, Shah Mir established the Shah Mir dynasty in Kashmir. Islam grew in the 14th century under the Shah Mir dynasty and numerous Muslim ulama from Central Asia came to preach in Kashmir. Some of the famous ulama who propagated Islam in Kashmir included Sayyid Jalaluddin, Sayyid Tajuddin, Sayyid Ḥusayn Simani, Sayyid Ali Ḥamadani, Mir Muḥammad Hamadani, and Shaykh Nuruddin.[28] Sayyid Ali Hamadani (also known as Shah-yi Hamadan), alongside hundreds of his followers, converted thousands of Kashmiris to Islam and also imparted Persian influences on the local Kashmiri culture.[29] His son, Sayyid Muḥammad Hamadani, encouraged Kashmir's Muslim ruler Sikandar Butshikan (who reigned from 1389–1413) to enforce Islamic law and establish the office of Shaykh al-Islam i.e. the chief religious authority. By the late 1400s the majority of the population had embraced Islam.[28] During the rule of Sultan Sikandar Butshikan (1389–1413), who has been referred as an iconoclast, there were mass migrations of Kashmiri Pandits to other parts of India.[30][31]

Chak RuleEdit

In 1540, the Mughal governor of Kashgar and a cousin of Emperor Babur by the name of Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat conquered Kashmir. He ruled until 1551, when he was killed in an outbreak of revolt by Chaks, who became the main force by this time.[32] The Chaks are believed to have been naturalised Kashmiris of Dardic ancestry from Chilas. Today their tribe is based in trehgram and other parts northern Kashmir valley.[33] In 1557 they overthrew the Shah Miri dynasty and came to power.[34][35] The Chak rulers, being Shias, persecuted their Sunni subjects, causing Sunni scholars to flee to safer environs. Some disenchanted Sunnis, such as notable Sunni scholar, Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi, went to the court of Akbar and invited the Mughals to conquer Kashmir and overthrow Chak rule on certain conditions. These conditions included a guarantee of Kashmiri rights such as freedom of religion for all of Kashmir's population.[36] Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi also forbade Sunnis from carrying out any reprisal against Shias and he devoted his life to restoring peace and communal harmony between the Sunnis and Shias of Kashmir. Initially after being defeated by kashmiri forces twice,[37] In 1586 the Mughal imperial army finally entered the valley of Kashmir taking advantage of the disunity among Kashmiris (Shia-Sunni sectarian violence).[38]

Mughal rule (1580s–1750s)Edit

Kashmiri historians see Mughal rule as the beginning of the end of Kashmiri independence.[39] The Mughal Emperor Akbar succeeded in invading the Kashmir Valley, despite tough Kashmiri resistance,[40] due to internal SunniShia divisions amongst Kashmiris.[41]

The anti-Shia policies of Mirza Haidar Dughlat and the anti-Sunni policies of the Chaks had broken Kashmiri unity, thus paving the way for the Mughal occupation of Kashmir.[42] Akbar's victory brought an end to indigenous Kashmiri Muslim rule.{{Sfn-ua|Puri, Balraj (June 2009), "5000 Years of Kashmir", Epilogue, 3 (6), pp. 43–45, retrieved 31 December 2016 Christopher Snedden states that the Mughals began a process of psychological warfare against Kashmiris to strip them of their martial capabilities. After this, neighbouring ethnic groups started stereotyping Kashmiris as a 'cowardly' and 'non-martial' race.[43]

Conversely, Akbar also reduced the land revenue demand from two-thirds, as it was earlier, to one-half of the produce.[44] Kashmiri Hindus also felt a respite from the severe persecution they faced under the earlier Kashmiri Muslim rule.[45]

The Mughals maintained a large military presence in the valley and were not interested in developing the productive sectors although they patronised art and constructed some pleasure gardens and a few mosques. While many histories of Kashmir consider the Kashmir Valley's incorporation into Mughal India as a decline of Kashmiri independence and cultural identity, Chitralekha Zutshi argues that Kashmiri poets began to consciously articulate their sense of regional belonging during the Mughal rule. According to M.J. Akbar, the clash of cultures between Delhi and Kashmir resulted in Kashmiris wishing for nothing more than to be left alone.[42]

Afghan Rule (1750s–1819)Edit

In 1751, the Afghans, ruled by Ahmad Shah Durrani, absorbed Kashmir into the Durrani Empire. The Afghans were cruel, especially to Kashmir's Hindus. However, Kashmiri historians state that the Afghans were brutally repressive to all Kashmiris, regardless of religion.[39] The Afghans extorted money from the locals and both Kashmiri men and women lived in fear of their lives. The Afghans sent many Kashmiris as slaves to Afghanistan. During Afghan dominance, the shawl industry declined, probably due to heavy taxes. According to scholars Chitralekha Zutshi and Janet Rizvi, the Afghan brutality caused many Kashmiri shawl-weavers to flee to Punjab.[46][11] However, due to the administrative experience of Kashmiri Pandits, the Afghans utilised their services. Kashmiri Pandits were not prevented from entering into government service. George Foster, who visited Kashmir during the Afghan rule, documented the oppression of Kashmiris by Afghans. He writes:[47]

The Afghans would never issue an order without a blow of the side of hatchet (battle axe). Karim Dad Khan in a mood of enjoyment would tie up the inhabitants by back in pairs and drop them in the river.

By 1819 the Sikh Empire's Maharajah Ranjit Singh finally succeeded in taking Kashmir. Initially, Kashmiris felt relieved as they had suffered under the Afghans.[48]

Sikh Empire (1820–1846)Edit

In 1819 Kashmir came under Maharajah Ranjit Singh's Sikh Empire and Sikh rule over Kashmir lasted for 27 years till 1846. These 27 years of Sikh rule saw 10 Governors in Kashmir. Of these 10 Governors five were Hindus, three were Sikhs and two were Muslims.[49] Due to the fact that Kashmiris had suffered under the Afghan rulers, they initially welcomed the Sikh rule.[48] However, the Sikhs oppressed the population.[50] Scholar Christopher Snedden states that the Sikhs exploited Kashmiris regardless of religion.[51]

During the Sikh rule the mostly illiterate Muslim population suffered under heavy taxation, rural indebtedness and discrimination.[28] The Sikhs had enacted a number of anti-Muslim policies, thus subjecting the Muslim majority population of the Valley to a number of hardships in the practice of their religion. The central mosque, Jama Masjid, was closed for 20 years and Muslims were prohibited from issuing the azan (call to prayer). If a Sikh murdered a Hindu the compensation amount allowed was four rupees. However, if a Sikh murdered a Muslim the compensation amount allowed was only two rupees. According to Prem Nath Bazaz the effect of the Sikh rule was that the people of the valley came to be known as 'zulum parast' (those who worship tyranny), lost their military culture and were meekened and made docile.[49]

During the Sikh rule, Europeans who visited the Valley documented the deprivation and starvation and also wrote of the abject poverty of the peasantry and the exorbitant taxes under the Sikhs. According to European traveller Moorcraft, no more than one-sixteenth of the cultivable land surface was under cultivation and due to starvation many people had fled to other parts of India.[52] Kashmiri histories also emphasise the wretchedness of life for common Kashmiris during the Sikh rule. They state that the peasants were embroiled in destitution and large numbers of Kashmiri villagers increasingly emigrated to the Punjab plains. Contemporary accounts by European travellers substantiate these statements.[10] Moorcroft was accompanied by 500 emigrants in 1823 when he departed the Kashmir Valley.[53] The Sikhs lost their independence with the Battle of Subraon. In 1846 Kashmir came under the rule of Gulab Singh, a Hindu Dogra Maharajah under the British suzerainty.[51]

1833 FamineEdit

The 1833 famine caused many people to leave the Kashmir Valley and migrate to the Punjab, with the majority of weavers leaving Kashmir. Generations of weavers entered urban Punjab, including Jammu and Nurpur[disambiguation needed].[54] Due to the famine, the Punjabi city of Amritsar witnessed a significant Kashmiri immigration.[55] Thousands of people died during the famine of 1833 and both the famine and emigration caused a diminution of the population to a quarter. Muslims were more impacted than Hindus and emigrated in larger numbers.[56]

Dogra Regime (1846–1947)Edit

Scholars have noted that during the Hindu monarchy, a Hindu elite heavily exploited the Kashmiri Muslims.[57][58][41] Sumantra Bose describes the 100 year Dogra regime as a disaster for the Muslim peasantry of Kashmir Valley.[59] Walter Lawrence described the conditions of the Valley's peasantry as being 'desperate' and noted that the Valley's peasantry attributed their miseries to the Maharajah's deputies rather than the rulers themselves. The state officials apparently kept the rulers from knowing the conditions of the Muslim peasantry in the Valley.[60]

Lawrence especially criticised the state officials who were Kashmiri Pandits[60] Lawrence provided evidence that while many of the Kashmiri Pandit officials may have been "individually gentle and intelligent, as a body they were cruel and oppressive." Kashmiri Pandits had entered the state administrative machinery during the Afghan period and by the Dogra period they had become entrenched in the lower levels of the state bureaucracy. However, the Pandits were, like all Kashmiris, excluded from the upper sections of the bureaucracy, although they continued to exercise control in the countryside.[61]

Wingate and Lawrence both spent time in the rural areas of Kashmir and documented the tensions between the Kashmiri Muslim cultivators and the Kashmiri Pandits. However, while both acknowledged the oppression of Kashmiri Muslims and the responsibility of the Kashmiri Pandits in aggravating the former's conditions, they both proposed different solutions with Wingate calling for the removal of privileges held by the Pandit community and Lawrence not demanding the elimination of the privileges in his solution for relieving the Muslim cultivators.[62]

Gawasha Nath Kaul described the poor conditions of the Valley's Muslim population in his book Kashmir Then And Now and in it he wrote that 90 percent of Muslim households in Srinagar were mortgaged to Hindu moneylenders. He recorded that Muslims were not present in the State's civil administration and were not permitted to hold officer positions in the military.[9]

Prem Nath Bazaz, one of the few Kashmiri Pandits who joined the movement for change, described the poor conditions of the Valley's Muslim population as such:[9]

The poverty of the Muslim masses is appalling. Dressed in rags and barefoot, a Muslim peasant presents the appearance of a starved beggar...Most are landless laborers, working as serfs for absentee landlords.

1878 FamineEdit

There was a famine in Kashmir between 1877-9 and the death toll from this famine was overwhelming by any standards. Some estimated that Srinagar lost half its population. Others estimated that the Valley lost up to 60 percent of its population.[63] No Pandit died during the famine, as stated by the reports which Lawrence obtained. Wazir Punnu, the Kashmiri Pandit Prime Minister during the famine apparently claimed there "was no real distress and that he wished that no Musulman might be left alive from Srinagar to Rambhan (in Jammu)."[64]

Despite the ban on leaving the state, everyone wanted to leave the Valley either temporarily or permanently. Lawrence described the situation when the government of the day lifted the ban on free movement after the deadly famine.[citation needed]

The lifting of the ban witnessed a stampede, it appeared as if a bund had suddenly collapsed, for a sea of humanity, drawn from every town and village, was moving towards the snow clad passes, on their way to the land of hope – the British India...the migration was so extensive that according to the 1891 census Report of Punjab, 1,11,775 Muslims born in Kashmir were counted as having settled in the Punjab.[65]

Lands which were left untilled during the famine were occupied and claimed as waste by Pandits. Many Kashmiri Muslim farmers, upon their return to the Valley from Punjab, discovered that their former lands had been taken.[66]

The shawl industry was damaged as a result of the famine and the Dogra state's attempts to resuscitate it also did not succeed because the famine had caused many weavers to leave the Valley for good and settle in the Punjabi towns of Amritsar, Lahore, Ludhiana, Nurpur, Gujrat, Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Chamba, Kangra and Simla. The weavers introduced their art to the towns they settled in.[67][68][69][70]

Thus, in the late nineteenth[9] and early twentieth centuries,[71] there had been a significant migration of Kashmiri Muslims from the Kashmir Valley to the Punjab, due to such conditions of famine in the princely state and also because of extreme poverty[58] and harsh treatment by the Dogra Hindu regime (according to Prem Nath Bazaz the Kashmiri Muslims faced this harsh treatment because of their religion).[72] By 1911, over 200,000 Kashmiris were resident in Punjab and NWFP.[58]

CultureEdit

CuisineEdit

 
A complete Wazwan

Kashmiri cuisine holds a unique place among different world cuisines. Since ancient times the staple in Kashmiri diet has been rice.[73] Meat, along with rice, is the most popular food item in Kashmir.{{Sfn-ua|Kaw, Kashmiri Pandits (2001, p. 98) Kashmiris eat meat in great quantities.{{Sfn-ua |Press, Epilogue, Epilogue, Vol 3, issue 9, Epilogue -Jammu Kashmir Despite being Brahmin, Kashmiri Pandits also consume meat heavily.[74] Salted tea or Noon Chai is the traditional drink and is cooked in a samavar, a Kashmiri tea-pot. Kehwa, traditional green tea with spices and almond, is served on special occasions and festivals. Kashmiri weddings incorporate a traditional feast known as Wazwan,[75] which typically includes spicy food cooked by the traditional cooks (waz). The concept of Wazwan is 500 years old and originates in Central Asia. Rice and meat are central to the feast.[76]

LanguageEdit

Kashmiri (/kæʃˈmɪəri/) (कॉशुर, کأشُر), or Koshur, is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley and Chenab regions of Jammu and Kashmir. The language originates from Sanskrit although it received Persian influence during Muslim rule.[77] According to many linguists, the Kashmiri language is a northwest Dardic language of the Indo-Aryan family, descending from Middle Indo-Aryan languages. The label "Dardic" indicates a geographical label for the languages spoken in the northwest mountain regions, not a linguistic label.[4] UCLA estimates the number of speakers as being around 4.4 million, with a preponderance in the Kashmir Valley,[78] whereas the 2001 census of India records over 5.5 million speakers.[79] According to the 1998 Census there were 132,450 Kashmiri speakers in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.[80] According to Professor Khawaja Abdul Rehman the Kashmiri language is on the verge of dying out in the Neelum Valley.[81]

Kashmiri is believed to be the only one among the Dardic languages that has a written literature.[4] Kashmiri literature dates back to over 750 years, comparable to that of most modern languages.[82] Kashmiri poets and writers like Mehjoor, Abdul Ahad Azad, etc. enriched the literature with their poetry.[83]

Religious traditionsEdit

 
Kheer Bhawani Temple
 
Hazratbal Shrine built in around 1700 AD

The Kashmir Valley has a 700-year-old tradition of Sufism. The Kashmir Valley is known as the ‘Pir Waer’, meaning the ‘Alcove of Sufis and Saints.[84] Sufism was introduced to Kashmir almost simultaneously with the foundation of Muslim rule.[85] Kashmiris take pride in inhabiting a cultural space between Sufi Islam and Vedic Hinduism. Both the Pandits and Muslims of Kashmir respect the Shaivite mystic Lala Ded, who symbolises Kashmir's syncretic culture[86] and both Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Hindus also hold the shrine of Dastgeer Sahib in high esteem. People in Kashmir pay regular visits to the shrines of Sufi saints for peace of mind. It has also been a centuries-old tradition in Kashmir for Sufi disciples to recite special 'Wazaif'.[84]

In contrast, the introduction of Salafism to Kashmir only goes back to a hundred years. Salafis remained on the fringes of Kashmir's religious and cultural life since belief in the local traditions of Sufi Islam was very strong in the Valley. But this has begun to change since the insurgency in Kashmir since the late 1980s. Pakistani-trained jihadi groups hijacked the local sentiment for freedom and transformed the Kashmiri struggle into a continuation of their holy war for an Islamic caliphate, by playing on the fears of the people that Kashmir's Muslim identity was under threat of erasure.[87] However, there has also been a proliferation in the number of Barelvi groups, claiming to be custodians of the Valley's Sufi moorings, which have sprung up to challenge the growing power of the Wahhabi faith.[88]

Salafis say that those who frequent shrines indulge in 'grave worship' (which is forbidden in Islam). But Sufis state that it is incorrect to assume that shrine-goers indulge in grave worship. They say they visit shrines only to seek the blessings of Allah as these places are said to be sacred as great scholars are buried there.[84]

Arts and craftsEdit

 
Kashmiri children in traditional Pheran.
 
Kashmiri Ornamental Kanger

The missionary saint Shah Hamadan brought Pashm wool to Kashmir from Ladakh and started various pashmina works. Since then pashmina has been used in several textiles in Kashmir and the Valley became a stronghold of pashmina. According to Moti Lal Saqi the shawl industry in Kashmir was made prominent by Mir Syed Ali Hamadani who was accompanied by both religious scholars and expert craftsmen and artists from Central Asia. Hamadani encouraged the practice of shawl weaving and cultural relations were thus established between Kashmir and Central Asia. There is a consensus among researchers that Shah Hamadan's arrival heralded the great advancement in the arts and crafts of Kashmir since 713 people of various professions had entered the Valley, accompanying Shah Hamadan. At the time it is said there were about twelve thousand idol-makers in the valley who had been rendered jobless since Islam does not approve idol-carving. Syed Ali Hamadani assisted them to find earnings by encouraging them to take to stone-carving and other arts and crafts practised by his associates who had accompanied him to Kashmir.[89]

Krams (Surnames)Edit

 
Kashmiri Hindu priests in 1890's

Kashmiri Hindus are all Saraswat Brahmins and are known by the exonym Pandit. Their surnames (kram) designate their original profession or their ancestors' nicknames. Such surnames include Hakim, Kaul, Dhar /Dar, Raina and Teng.[18] The Muslims living in Kashmir are ethnically of the same stock as the Kashmiri Pandit community and are designated as 'Kashmiri Muslims'. They are descended from the Kashmiri Hindus and are also known as 'Sheikhs'.[15][90][91]

After Kashmiri Hindus had converted to Islam they largely retained their family names (kram) which indicated their original profession, locality or community.[18] These included surnames such as Butt/ Bhat,[18] Pandit (Brahmin), Dar (Kashmiri Pandit)[92], Tantre (Tantray), Magre (Magray), Mantu, Wain, Nayak, Parry, Rather and Yatoo etc.[20]

PopulationEdit

Kashmiri MuslimsEdit

The 1921 Census report stated that Kashmiri Muslims formed 31% of the Muslim population of the entire princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.[93] The 1921 Census report also stated that Kashmiri Muslims are sub-divided into numerous sub-castes such as Butt, Dar, Wain etc.[94][95]

The 1931 Census report also reiterated that the 'Kashmiri Muslim' population occupied the foremost position in the State (other communities in the princely State being Arains, Jats, Sudhans, Gujjars and Rajputs etc.).[96] It recorded the Kashmiri Muslim population as 1,352,822.[97] The 1931 Census report explains that the 'phenomenal' increase in the number of Kashmiri Muslims by 556,018 was due to several other castes such as Hajjam, Hanji, Sayed being merged into the community.[98][99]

The 1931 Census report stated that the Butt, Dar, Ganai, Khan, Lone, Malik, Mir, Pare, Rather, Shah, Sheikh and Wain were the most important sub-castes among Kashmiri Muslims.[100] Below are the population figures for the various sub-castes among the Kashmiri Muslim population according to the 1931 Census.[101]

Ailo Akhoon Bat Chaupan Dar Ganai Hajam Hanji Khan Khawja Lone Magre Malik
Population in entire Jammu and Kashmir State
Male 5807 2715 90477 6045 64446 32441 10371 2334 18195 3236 34312 4523 31211
Female 4622 2383 77751 5208 53906 26800 8504 1780 15770 2669 30055 4145 26743
Population in Kashmir Province
Male 4934 2608 80444 5758 61512 31327 10010 2165 18017 2227 29593 4806 17458
Female 4280 2211 69286 5025 51418 25957 8154 1648 15672 1679 25870 3788 15604
Mir Pandit Parai Pirzada Raina Rather Rishi Syed Shah Sheikh Tantrei Wain Others
Population in entire Jammu and Kashmir State
Male 55092 1911 8317 4452 2111 21765 5672 6756 10333 40264 6158 39670 222655
Female 47155 1673 7180 3995 1762 17960 4626 5821 9027 34711 6095 32443 189269
Population in Kashmir Province
Male 49586 1902 7852 4444 2105 19643 5374 6059 10289 37320 4875 34080 196596
Female 42285 1670 6739 8995 1755 16572 4469 5298 8977 31787 4790 28622 164986

A few largest of the numerous Kashmiri sub-divisions in the Punjab are as follows, as per the 1881 Punjab Census Report: Butt (24,463), Lone (4,848), Dar (16, 215), Wain (7,419), Mir (19,855) and Sheikh (15,902). The 1881 Census notes that the distribution of these Kashmiri sub-divisions do not appear to follow any rule.[102]

Kashmiri HindusEdit

The following data is from the 1931 Census.[103]

Kashmiri Pandit
Population in entire Jammu and Kashmir State
Male 35060
Female 28028
Population in Kashmir Province
Male 33590
Female 27136

DiasporaEdit

MuslimEdit

In the early twentieth century, famine and the policies of the Dogra rulers drove many Kashmiri Muslims to flee their native land to Punjab.[104][71] Earlier, Afghan brutality and the oppression and poverty during the Sikh rule had also caused Kashmiri migrations to the Punjab.[10][46] Kashmiri Muslims came to constitute an important segment of several Punjabi cities such as Sialkot, Lahore, Amritsar and Ludhiana.[71] Kashmiri Muslim immigrants from the Valley were a fifth of Amritsar's Muslim population in 1921.[105]

Historian Zutshi writes ″With the integration of the Valley and British India, increasing numbers of Muslims had begun travelling to the Punjab. It is noted in the Census of 1921 that, the Kashmiri not only contributes to the growth of population in the state, but he adds considerably to the population of all important towns in the Punjab, which are situated along the State border or the main railway line.″[106] Notable Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah said of Kashmiris in Punjab;[107]

My stay at Lahore, for other reasons, awakened me from the slumber and made me familiar with new spirits. I saw Kashmiri Muslims in big bands leaving their beautiful land for the hard plains of Punjab in search of livelihood. These labourers had to cross on foot the snowy mountains of Mari and Banihall and had to face thousands of odds in their way. Sometimes, while crossing the mountains, these people were perishing as a result of difficult passes, snowstorms, etc. these unfortunate people were dying unwept and unsung. It was not easy once reaching the plains; there they had to face numerous odds and worries. During the day they wandered through the streets in search of work. Some worked as wood cutters, some as helpers to the shopkeepers, some carried heavy loads on their backs while some of them did grinding. After doing hard work during the day, they earned very little money of which maximum was spent on their meals. They passed their nights either in any inn or mosque, where they were harassed like dumb driven cattle.

Scholar Ayesha Jalal states that Kashmiris faced discrimination in the Punjab as well.[58] Kashmiris settled for generations in the Punjab were disqualified from taking advantage of the Punjab Land Alienation Act,[58] and most Kashmiri families in Punjab did not own land.[71] Zutshi states that Kashmiri Muslims settled in the Punjab maintained emotional and familial links to Kashmir and sensed an obligation to struggle for the freedom of their people in the Valley[108]

Almost the entire of East Punjab's Muslim population migrated to Pakistan after the partition of India.[109] Kashmiris who migrated from Amritsar in 1947 have had an extensive influence on Lahore's contemporary cuisine and culture.[110][111] An exclusive research conducted by the “Jang Group and Geo Television Network” has shown that the Kashmiri community has been involved in spearheading the power politics of Lahore district since 1947.[112] Pockets of Amritsari Kashmiri power can also be found in every major city of central Punjab in Pakistan.[110]

Notable members of the Kashmiri Muslim diaspora in Punjab include Pakistan's current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (paternal and maternal ancestries from Anantnag and Pulwama respectively), Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and politicians Sheikh Rasheed & Khawaja Asif.[113] Other famous members of the Kashmiri Muslim diaspora in Punjab included Muhammad Iqbal (who was attached to his Brahmin ancestry[71] and whose poetry displayed a keen sense of belonging to the Kashmir Valley)[58] and famous writer Saadat Hasan Manto.[114][115]

The But/Butt of Punjab were originally Brahmin migrants from Kashmir during 1878 famine.[116]

— The Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, Volume 52


Since the 1990s approximately 35,000 Kashmiri Muslims from Indian administered Kashmir have fled to Azad Jammu and Kashmir.[117]

HinduEdit

Due to rising militancy in early 1989, approximately 300,000[118][119][120] to 600,000[121][122] Kashmiri Hindus have also fled to neighbouring states and to other parts of Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. Notable members of the Kashmiri Hindu diaspora in India include former Indian Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Snedden, Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris (2015, pp. 20–21) "...the 'real' Kashmir—that is, the Kashmir Valley...Historically, Kashmir equates to the Kashmir Valley."

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://censusindia.gov.in/2011Census/Language-2011/Statement-1.pdf
  2. ^ Mohsin Shakil, Languages of Erstwhile State of Jammu Kashmir (A Preliminary Study), Unpublished, 2012
  3. ^ a b "Kashmiri: A language of India". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2 June 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Munshi, S. (2010), "Kashmiri", Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World, Elsevier, pp. 582–, ISBN 978-0-08-087775-4
  5. ^ http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/Publicat/TAPAFON/TAP_10.PDF
  6. ^ Minahan.J.B., (2012), Dogras, Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia
  7. ^ "Department of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir - Ethnic Groups". Jktourism.org. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  8. ^ Snedden, Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris 2015, p. 23.
  9. ^ a b c d Bose, Transforming India 2013, p. 211.
  10. ^ a b c Zutshi, Languages of Belonging 2004, p. 40.
  11. ^ a b Rizvi, Trans-Himalayan Caravans 2001, p. 60.
  12. ^ Ames, Frank (1986), The Kashmir shawl and its Indo-French influence, Antique Collectors' Club, ISBN 9780907462620
  13. ^ Snedden, Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris 2015, p. 7.
  14. ^ "Full text of "Religions Of Ancient Kashmir, A Case Study Of Buddhism."". archive.org. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  15. ^ a b Kashmiri Pandits: Looking to the Future, APH Publishing, 2001, ISBN 9788176482363
  16. ^ Bhasin, M.K.; Nag, Shampa (2002). "A Demographic Profile of the People of Jammu and Kashmir" (PDF). Journal of Human Ecology. Kamla-Raj Enterprises: 15. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  17. ^ Bhasin, M.K.; Nag, Shampa (2002). "A Demographic Profile of the People of Jammu and Kashmir" (PDF). Journal of Human Ecology: 16. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
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