Recently there was an alarm and panic because of alleged move for replacement of the Persian script of Kashmiri language by Devanagari or Sanskrit script. There is no doubt that the original Kashmiri language from ancient times was written in Sarada script. However, after the advent of Islam in Kashmir, the Persian script was introduced. Now for almost 7 to 8 centuries Kashmiri is written in the Persian script. In fact, when Budshah brought back Kashmiri Pandits who had migrated during the time of his father, he made them learn Persian and gave them important posts in his government. Since that time, Kashmiri language has been written in Persian script. Kashmiri language in the same script is one of the national languages recognized in the constitution of India. The currency notes give denomination in Kashmiri language in Persian script. Just see a thousand rupee note, it says in Kashmiri “ak saas ropiye”! The idea of replacing the basic script creates suspicion about some section of people interested in reversing the history of Kashmir by taking it back to the Hindu period. No doubt Kashmir has had a glorious Hindu past but it has now equally glorious Muslim present!

Normally, people in the mainland India should have been happy to accept Kashmir as a Muslim majority state to reinforce their claim of a secular India. Even though earlier there was some pretence of secularism but now at present, it is unabashedly violent and extreme communalism which holds the sway. Right from the start, the BJP-RSS combine has been trying its best to highlight the Hindu past of Kashmir. For them there seems to be a dichotomy. They seem to be irreconcilable to the loss of Kashmir’s glorious Hindu past which has been replaced by the vibrant but very tolerant Muslim present!It is not physically possible to bring back the Hindu past. For that one will have to arrange Ghar Wapsi of 10 million Kashmiri Muslims!

Allegedly, there is a concerted attempt to portray Kashmir as a holy land for Hindus. It is supposed to be home of umpteen holy sites of the Hindus from the earliest times. Every second day feelers about the discovery of a new holy site are circulated and attempts are made to initiate pilgrimages to these sites. Even the State Tourism Department instead of emphasizing the natural beauty has been projecting it as the “Abode of Siva”! According to some observers, there appears to be a diabolical plan to overrun Kashmir with millions of Hindu pilgrims. Even if only 1 % of Indian Hindus decide to come on a pilgrimage to Kashmir, it would mean more than 10 million pilgrims!

It is alleged that a number of moves have, in fact, been initiated to effect a demographic change in the Kashmir Valley. The notorious Sainik Colonies and Composite Pandit Townships along with shelters for outside labour are supposed to be clever moves in that direction. Additionally, the allotment of land to outside industrialists is alleged to be very subtle move to alter the Muslim majority character of the Valley. Very often the example of Israel in regard to Palestinians is quoted. Incidentally, there is complete collusion in many affairs of security and defence between Israel and India. However, the similarity in actions is not possible even if tried. Israel unlike India does not have a neighbor armed with dozens of nukes handled by operators who consider suicide as a path to Heaven! So there is a limit till which these efforts of resurrection can go. Crossing the limit can result in a South Asian Armageddon!

The authors of the above ideas for resurrecting Kashmir’s Hindu past must understand that they are driving Kashmiri Muslims to a wall. Kashmir had its own vibrant and very tolerant culture. It has been known as the valley of the saints. However, over past some time because of the actions of the extremist Hindutva elements, the religion is becoming a symbol of protest. It is turning into Muslim Kashmiris against Hindu India. It is in fact visual demonstration of extreme alienation. One can see a parallel of this situation in the Eastern Europe of seventies. Under the Communist Soviet Regime, in most of these countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia, religion had become a symbol of protest against the faithless Communist Regime. The new wave of militancy in Kashmir, involving highly educated youth committed to die and fully supported by common people everywhere is a living proof of this alienation. In fact, the famous journalist like Kuldeep Nayar says India is losing Kashmir and has advocated return to complete autonomous status of 1953 to save Kashmir!

The killing of Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the 22 year old technocrat from Tral and the subsequent violence involving shooting of 34 youth and injuring of hundreds in clashes should be an eye opener for the authors of the Sanskritisation campaign. Burhan wave has already become a Tsunami. The time is running out fast and there is urgent need for the saner elements to intervene forcefully to arrest this destructive march to resurrect the past. As far as the panic among the locals regarding Hinduisation of Kashmir is concerned, they need not be unduly alarmed. The history always moves forward. There is no evidence of a backward march of history anywhere in the world!

Mohammad Ashraf,   I.A.S. (Retired), Former Director General Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir),

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  1. Who is asking you to give up Urdu script? None

    Kashmir Language is not personal property of any religion. If you want to read & write in Urdu Fine. I have every right to read & write Kashmiri in the script I have learnt in my school. I am not taking away your right & you cannot take away my right to read it in Devnagri Script.

    Outside Kashmir the Kashmiri poets have published books about Kashmiri poetry & each book has two sections for same script one to one. One section for same content in Urdu other in Devnagri script for same content. The effect is those who can read it in Urdu can do it in Urdu & those who can do it in Devnagri can do it in Devnagri. We did not politicize it?

    In your case how the Hell is falling on earth if Kashmiri Is written in Devnagri script by us-the people now outside Kashmir.

    For every step to bring in the frame of politics & the religion has become your cancer with people like you know. Who has asked you to stop the use of Urdu if you want to read & write In Kashmiri? none! Same is the case here you cannot impose your script on me to write Kashmiri. Kashmiri Language is not your personal property. In fact what you are propounding now in the name of religion is committing Language Terrorism on Non Muslims who want to read & write Kashmiri.

  2. They are all up to kill us all and world is mute spectator

  3. S.M.PASHA says:


  4. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Kashmiri language is fine language like any language. If it’s script was Persian, let people write in Persian. And if people write in other scripts, no problem. But beauty of Kashmiri language remains the same. Similarly, Hindi or English can be written in Urdu or even Japanese or French. By the change of script, the beauty of language does not get diminished. On the other hand, people of other languages can get acquainted with a new language.
    But, colouring the language with religion is harmful. Sanskritisation and hinduisation of Kashmiri language is harmful. Similarly, writing Kashmiri in Urdu or Persian script and equating it Muslim fundementalist is harmful too! Kashmiri is a universal language of beauty and should be accessible to as many non- Kashmiris as possible. The language should be promoted without the garb of religion.

    • Kashmiri Muslims are themselves responsible for driving themselves to the wall. They are behaving as if Kashmiri language it is their personal property & see it from the from frame of politics & the religion & it has turned their cancer.

      Persian for us is a foreign language in the sense we have not read it. So let us read & write Kashmiri language it in Devnagri script.

      Nobody is stopping them the way they want to write it they are free to do it, so are we people.

  5. Vishnu Sharma says:

    The countercurrents is a Marxist website. The MARXIST who is the sworn enemy of the Indian people will resist any attempts to Indianize anything.

  6. Jawahar Lal Taku says:

    We have to live in present time ,though we cannot ignore the past history that is inheritance of the present. We cannot teach the history to a common man.
    No language can be forced on any one. Present is present and past is bygone.