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History of Jammu Kashmir


The Valley of Kashmir was once the great lake Satisar. According to Hindu texts, the Hindu sage Kashyapa drained a lake lying north of the Pir Panjal range by cutting the mountain near Varamulla. The sage then encouraged people from India to settle in the valley that was formed after the lake was drained. The locals named the valley Kashyap-Mar and Kashyap-Pura in honour of the sage. The name Kashmir is derived from ka (the water) and shimeera (to desiccate). In other words, the word Kashmir implies land desiccated from water.

Kashmir was one of the major centres of Sanskrit scholars in ancient times. According to Mahabharata evidence, Kambojas had ruled over Kashmir during epic times and it was a Republican system of government under the Kamboj. The capital city of Kashmir (Kamboj) during epic times was Rajapura e.g. Karna-Rajapuram-gatva-Kambojah-nirjitastava. Epic Rajapura is the same as Ho-lo-she-pu-lo of Yuan Chawang and has been identified with modern Rajauri. Later, the Panchalas are stated to have established their sway. The name Peer Panjal, which is a part of modern Kashmir, is a witness to this fact. Panjal is simply a distorted form of the Sanskritic tribal term Panchala. The Muslims had prefixed the word " peer " to it in memory of one Siddha Faqir and the name thence-after is said to have changed into Peer Panjal.

The Kashmir valley was first incorporated into the Maurya Empire and then into the Kushan Empire. In the early 8th century, Kashmir became the center of Hindu warrior Lalitaditya Muktapida's empire spanning much of northern India and Central Asia. Kashmir was invaded in mid 12th century by the Muslim Turkish army but it was completely occupied by Turkish Zulkadur Khan in 1322. Later in 1394, another Turkish occupation took place by Sikandar who made Islam the state religion allegedly resulting in forced mass conversions. Udayan Dev was the last free Kashmiri ruler but after his death in 1338, Kashmir was completely occupied by the Muslims Turks. Turkish rule ended when the Mughal Emperor Akbar invaded Kashmir in 1586, led by Hindu King Bhagawant Das and his aide Ramchandra I. The Mughal army easily defeated Yusuf Khan of Kashmir. After the battle, Akbar appointed Ramchandra I as the governor of the Himalayan kingdom. Ramchandra I founded the city of Jammu (named after Hindu goddess Jamwa Mata) south of the Pir Panjal range. Ramchandra was the ancestor of the last Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir Hari Singh whose kingdom was invaded by Pakistan on 20 October 1947.

1909 Map of the Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu. The names of different regions, important cities, rivers, and mountains are underlined in red.
Portrait of Maharaja Gulab Singh, former Governor of Jammu of the Sikh Empire of Ranjit Singh, in 1847, after signing the Treaty of Amritsar with the British, when he became Maharaja for the territories of Kashmir east of the Indus and west of the Ravi. (Artist: James Duffield Harding).In 1780, after the death of Ranjit Deo, a descendant of Ramchandra I, Jammu and Kashmir was captured by the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh of Lahore and afterwards, until 1846, became a tributary to the Sikh power. Ranjit Deo's grand-nephew, Gulab Singh, subsequently sought service at the court of Ranjit Singh, distinguished himself in later wars, and was appointed as the Governor or Raja of Jammu in 1820. With the help of his able officer, Zorawar Singh, Gulab Singh soon captured Ladakh and Baltistan, regions to the east and north-east of Kashmir. In 1845, the First Anglo-Sikh War broke out, and Gulab Singh "contrived to hold himself aloof till the battle of Sobraon (1846), when he appeared as a useful mediator and the trusted advisor of Sir Henry Lawrence. Two treaties were concluded. By the first the State of Lahore (i.e. West Punjab) was handed over to the British, as equivalent for (rupees) one crore of indemnity, the hill countries between Beas and Indus; by the second the British made over to Gulab Singh for (Rupees) 75 lakhs all the hilly or mountainous country situated to the east of Indus and west of Ravi" (i.e. the Vale of Kashmir). Soon after Gulab Singh's death in 1857, his son, Ranbir Singh, added the emirates of Hunza, Gilgit and Nagar to the kingdom.

Ranbir Singh's grandson Hari Singh, who had ascended the throne of Kashmir in 1925, was the reigning monarch in 1947 at the conclusion of British rule in the subcontinent. As a part of the partition process, both countries had agreed that the rulers of princely states would be given the right to opt for either Pakistan or India or—in special cases—to remain independent. In 1947, Kashmir's population "was 77 per cent Muslim and it shared a boundary with Pakistan. On 20 October Pakistan violating the Stand-Still agreement invaded Jammu & Kashmir. Initially the Maharaja fought back but on 27 October appealed to Mountbatten for assistance, and the Governor-General agreed on the condition that the ruler accede to India." Once the papers of accession to India were signed, "Indian soldiers entered Kashmir but they got the order just to stop any further occupation but they were not allowed to drive out the invaders from the state. India took the matter to the United Nations. The UN resolution asked Pakistan to vacate the areas it has occupied and asked India to assist the U.N. Plebiscite Commission to organize a plebiscite to determine the will of the people. Pakistan has refused to vacate the occupied areas. In course of time relations between India and Pakistan soured for many other reasons, and eventually led to three more wars in Kashmir in 1965, Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 and 1999. India has control of 60 percent of the area of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir; Pakistan controls 30 percent of the region, the Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir and China has occupied 10 percent of the state in 1962. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Although there was a clear Muslim majority in Kashmir before the 1947 partition and its economic, cultural, and geographic contiguity with the Muslim-majority area of the Punjab (in Pakistan) could be convincingly demonstrated, the political developments during and after the partition resulted in a division of the region. Pakistan was left with territory that, although basically Muslim in character, was thinly populated, relatively inaccessible, and economically underdeveloped. The largest Muslim group, situated in the Vale of Kashmir and estimated to number more than half the population of the entire region, lay in Indian-administered territory, with its former outlets via the Jhelum valley route blocked."

The eastern region of the erstwhile princely state of Kashmir has also been beset with a boundary dispute. In the late 19th- and early 20th centuries, although some boundary agreements were signed between Great Britain, Tibet, Afghanistan and Russia over the northern borders of Kashmir, China never accepted these agreements, and the official Chinese position did not change with the communist takeover in 1949. By the mid-1950s the Chinese army had entered the north-east portion of Ladakh: "By 1956–57 they had completed a military road through the Aksai Chin area to provide better communication between Xinjiang and western Tibet. India's belated discovery of this road led to border clashes between the two countries that culminated in the Sino-Indian war of October 1962." China has occupied Aksai Chin since 1962 and, in addition, an adjoining region, the Trans-Karakoram Tract was ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963.

Since the 1990s, the state has been hit by confrontation between Islamic separatists supported by Pakistan and Indian Armed Forces, which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people and expulsions of the non-Muslims from the Kashmir valley. The Indian army maintains a significant deployment of troops in Jammu and Kashmir to maintain law and order.

For more visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammu_and_Kashmir

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