Ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in JK



Cut off in modern times, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir comprises 97.16% of Muslims in the 10 districts of the Kashmir Division and also accounts for up to 30.69% in the Jammu Division. .

Military attributes in the sphere of operations emphasize and above all revolve around the vital aspect of the terrain and its corresponding complexities. However, an important facet of functioning, whether on the line of control or in the hinterland, is the social dynamics which play a tremendous role in the overall understanding of the local population and its dynamics.

As we move north along the old Route Nationale 1A (now renumbered Route Nationale 1), there is a significant and visible shift in demographics, particularly in reference to and highlighting nuances of religion.
Why do we need to shed light on religion in this part of the country as a separate rubric that is not discernible to anyone and is palpable? Webster, defines religion as “the commitment or devotion to faith or religious observance”, in addition to rehashing “a personal set of institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices”. This is not only unequivocal philosophical terminology, but also gives credit to a sociological system.
The southern Shaksgam Ranges and eastern PirPanjal are not only mere ardor, but are deeply rooted in the region as an archaic institution. In its early days, the creation of the crescent and star in the green folds of the Kashmir valley has its genesis and stems from the early period of Islamic contact in the form of relentless and relentless assaults and blows by first under the reigns of the caliph followed by the Ghaznavids and finally by the Turks who not only succeeded in making cracks in the region but also perforations in the folds of society with the constant decrease of Shaivism (the existing religion in the region at that time) and the evolution of Islam under the aegis of Rinchana, the Ladakhi leader who, by hypothesis, for the simple expansion of his political pedestal and influence, embraced Islam. Much of the responsibility for adhering to Islam and the hijacking of Shaivism in the region lies with the outright fanaticism of the well-to-do upper class of the Brahmins in society who notably had their say in the leadership of the company affairs.
With royal patronage embracing Islam, the people have also bypassed and moved into the folds of Islam as a desperate relief and appeasement from the mistreatment inflicted on them.
Ultimately, it is the Shahmiri dynasty that is widely credited with the prolific spread of Islam in the valley through the Sufi saints. However, it is notably Sikandar who has been widely recognized for putting an end to the syncretic culture in Kashmir with the introduction of strict respect for Sharia law, with a steady hand.
Cut off in modern times, the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, consists of a whopping 97.16% of Muslims in the 10 districts of Kashmir Division and also accounts for up to 30.69 % in the division of Jammu.
For a more complete understanding of the situation on the ground, it is essential to dissect regional religious beliefs encompassing the Muslim population in the region, which is not a katzenjammer situation.
Corresponding to the situation which is consistent across the world, this region also has the Muslim sect mainly divided into two main factions. It is evident that the preponderance in the Kashmir valley is that of the Koshur or Sunnis, who form a considerable part of the masses. The Shiites represent a small percentage in this gargantuan expanse.
In particular, it is the Shiites who form the wealthy class despite their small number in the population. However, the late deportation of Shiites to government agencies despite encompassing the opulent strata of society at the time, is noticeable even to the naked eye and is a worrying sign.
One remarkable incident that stands out was the photo of Burhan Wani (the slain former terrorist Hizbul Mujahideen) being greeted in a predominantly traditional Shia Ashoura (Muharram) procession in the outskirts of Srinagar in 2018. A fact that deserves to be remembered. to be mentioned, Burhan Wani was a Sunni Muslim. It was more than just a getaway. Two irreconcilable sects, poles apart, at loggerheads and grappling with each of these centuries across the globe, seen suddenly sympathizing? Was this a deliberate attempt to show unity for the lost cause / a political gimmick or is it more than meets the eye? It certainly requires microscopic scrutiny and delineation to identify the circumstances surrounding this sea of ​​change of compassion and solidarity.
The predominantly Sunnis, as the figures above show, are benefiting from a better share of the population, as has been the case in the country and around the world. So, surprisingly, this is nothing new. However, it was from this percentage of the population that troublemakers generally emerged.
A fact well recognized by everyone is that there exists across the LC a similar ideology (about Sunni reigns) which is easily interpreted and fashioned into propaganda to convey malicious intent and bad faith.
Together, they lingered on these religious feelings and lent a hand under the pretext of sympathizing. Unfortunately, this tale apparently exerted its spell on the ignorant population, not realizing that they were destroying their own garden and, in a moment of senseless brainwashing and madness, dug their own cemetery. This has over a period of time been subdued and reduced by the security forces with a sturdy and heavy hand to bring some relief to this lawless situation. Even across the LC in the upper parts of Gilgit and Baltistan, a paradigm shift has been observed with the government slowly and steadily settling Sunnis in an otherwise region where Shiites have dominated over the decades. The same strafing and the same decree passed on our side of the LC.
Another dimension to ponder is the phenomenal increase in the abundance of Wahhabism among the sectarian people, which is an austere form of Islam emphasizing a literal interpretation of the Quran. Those who do not accept this belief and practice are seen as antagonists. The growing weight of this form presents a grim picture as the scenario of coexistence preached to this day might see a vehement digression.
The scenario of Ahles Hadith or of the followers of Wahhabism imploded with a considerable push. The influx of money from Wahabi-dominated countries is a trail ahead of everyone to see – About 2,000 Wahabi mosques have sprung up in the past three decades.
It is a directly proportional relationship. The voids of the last three decades left by the upheavals and infamy of activism, have finally led to the easy radicalization of the population with the filling of the coffers. The future laments a frightening look. Some opponents might overlook this fact, pointing out the decreasing number of incidents day by day and a seemingly stable law and order situation, but the peace and sanity in this region, as we have seen time and time again, have always been on a thin and marginal line. The decisive moment may well be around the corner as we watch the lukewarm scenario unfold before us but don’t do enough to deny it. This situation will rightly implode like Dunkirk and become a headache for the security forces in times to come. It needs to be dealt with with firm political will corroborating with the ground commanders before we run out of time.
At the cessation all I would say is that it is extremely important to understand the religious ideologies of the people in the midst of the hostile environment in which the security forces operate, if we are to prepare a scene where the The situation and the environment are stable and conducive to the advancement of all stakeholders in the best interests of the proper functioning of the State. This may categorically seem like a tiny tine in hic et nunc, but with the evolution of time and scenario it is of prima facie importance, requiring considerable attention to the topic and intervention at the highest levels of policy makers and decision makers. policymakers as to the eventualities and dilemmas that a significant shift in religious strata has to offer in the future operating environment and demographics.


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