We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Kashmir - Oxford Islamic Studies Online
Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
Chapter: verse lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result

Kashmir

Source:
The Islamic World: Past and Present What is This? Accessible coverage of Islam from the seventh century to the twenty-first century

    Kashmir

    Situated in the extreme northern frontier of the Indian subcontinent, Kashmir is a mountainous region that has been the subject of dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947 . Bounded by China, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Kashmir covers an area of more than 85,000 square miles. India controls almost two-thirds of the territory, which constitutes the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan administers about one-third of the region, known as Azad (Free) Kashmir and the Northern Areas. After the Sino-Indian War of 1962 , China occupied a portion of eastern Kashmir. The territory has approximately 12 million inhabitants. They are predominantly Muslim, but Hindus make up a significant minority.

    The Province of a Prince.

    The early history of Kashmir was dominated by clashes between Buddhism and Brahmanism, as rulers who followed one religion persecuted members of the other. From the 800s to the 1300s, Hindu dynasties controlled the region, and for several centuries, Kashmir thrived as a center of Hindu culture. During the early 1300s, the leaders of Kashmir began to embrace Islam. Well-known ulama from Central Asia visited the area and preached to the masses, converting thousands of Kashmiris to Islam. By the end of the 1400s, most of the inhabitants of region were Muslim. Kashmir remained under Muslim rule for almost five centuries.

    In 1819 Ranjit Singh , the Sikh ruler of Punjab, conquered Kashmir. After winning the first Anglo-Sikh war, Great Britain gained rights to the territory. In 1846 the British named Raja Gulab Singh the maharaja, or “ruling prince,” of Kashmir. Singh founded the Dogra dynasty, which controlled the territory until 1947 . For the British, Kashmir provided a buffer zone between colonial India and the empires of Russia and China to the north. Muslims, however, suffered under Hindu rule. Despite being the majority of the population, they encountered severe oppression, including heavy taxation, forced labor without wages, and discriminatory laws.

    Choosing Sides.

    In 1947 Great Britain divided the subcontinent into two independent states, the predominantly Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. According to the terms of the partition plan, the maharaja Hari Singh could choose whether Kashmir would become part of Pakistan or India. Muslims, accounting for almost 80 percent of the population, favored Pakistan. Singh postponed the decision, however, hoping to retain the region's independence. His Muslim subjects revolted, and hundreds of tribesmen from Paki-stan invaded Kashmir to support the rebels. The maharaja agreed to join India in 1947 on condition that the government provide military aid and permit the people of Kashmir to vote on their political status in the future.

    A full-scale war between Pakistan and India resulted. The Pakistani government claimed that Muslim-majority Kashmir was a natural extension of its own territory. The leaders of India argued that they had gained the legal right to rule Kashmir, based on their agreement with Hari Singh .

    In January 1949 , the United Nations negotiated a ceasefire and mediated the dispute. Later that year, India and Pakistan established a line of control to divide Kashmir. The boundaries that they established remain virtually unchanged today. In 1965 war erupted again between the two countries, followed by another ceasefire agreement. India and Pakistan agreed to seek a peaceful solution to the dispute, but fighting flared up repeatedly throughout the following decades.

    Domestic Conflict.

    In addition to the rival claims of India and Pakistan to the territory of Kashmir, violent unrest has plagued the Indian-ruled portion of the region. From 1947 to 1953 , the state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed considerable autonomy under Shaikh Abdullah . In 1953 , however, the Indian government arrested and imprisoned him. Despite promises to the Kashmiri people and to the United Nations, India never allowed the Kashmiris to exercise their right to determine their political status. Instead, the government declared Jammu and Kashmir to be an integral part of India. The Indian government did little to develop the infrastructure and economy of the only Muslim-dominated state within India. Moreover, a growing emphasis on secularism produced a religious backlash and contributed to the popularity of Islamic political parties.

    In 1987 the Indian government prevented an alliance of several Islamic political parties from coming to power in Jammu and Kashmir, thus triggering a powerful mass resistance against Indian rule. Leading the armed struggle is the Hizbul Mujahidin, a group that is committed to jihad and seeks to join the Indian portion of Kashmir with Pakistan. The Indian government alleges that Pakistan finances the armed struggle. Pakistan denies the charges, claiming that it provides only moral and diplomatic support. In response to the uprising, India has significantly increased its military presence in the area. According to the reports of various human rights groups, Indian security forces have committed terrible acts of violence against the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Authorities estimate that more than 30,000 people have died in the conflict. By 1998 India and Pakistan had developed nuclear weapons, making resolution of the decades-old dispute over Kashmir more urgent than ever. See also India; Pakistan; South Asia.

    • Previous Result
    • Results
    • Highlight On / Off
    • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
    • Next Result
    Oxford University Press

    © 2019. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice