Preservation of Identity

The way in which a society and culture dwells its day-to-day life shows impact of what all it has gone through centuries. Culture of Kashmir is dominated by Muslims as they constitute 63% of the population. Whereas Hindus are 28.44% of the total populace and rest are Christians, Buddhists, etc.

Ratio of population represents the type of rulers who ruled Kashmir. The known history starts with Hindu rulers of Shavya sect, ruling through beginning of first millennia (The word Kashmir was derived from the ancient Sanskrit language and was referred to as káśmīra, this proves the statement), followed by Buddhism. Then majority of populace was Hindu (or practically a way of life later named as Hinduism by Non-Indians).

This was later wiped out by Muslim rulers. Shah Mir became the first ruler to conquer Kashmir in 1339 which was continued by Mughal Empire and Durrani Empire. Originally Hindu population can be seen chronologically declining coming down to 28.44%. Later in 1846, Sikh rule came to existence in 1846, which was for a short period and couldn’t create much impact on culture.

Basohli Painting

Kashmir has lot to offer and teach the world, example carpet, food, beautiful silver jewellery, world famous pashmina shawls, wood carving (especially pens), basohli paintings, calico painting (similar to Kalamkari of South India), phool kari, crewel for drapes (British seem to have copied this) and how to enjoy and survive such a harsh climate. The list goes on and on. People must be encouraged to share their rich heritage with world and this will help built the economic cultures of the culture. When any culture opens to the world, the channeling of goodness is never one way. Kashmir once open, it will be able to see what all goodness the rest of the world has to offer. In a line, people must be made aware to take pride in what they are and how to use that to make best for their life, carrier and society.

Not so long ago, a common person subconsciously used to think that he must fear the Security Forces. After humongous efforts to reach out to such populace, people have now realized that the Security Forces are here to protect, support and help them.

Efforts like regular interaction with children, giving them carrier counseling, organizing competitions etc have brought out the best in people through healthy competition. A confident youth can revolutionize the state. Till the time this revolution is not realized, visible significant changes will be scanty.

As Indian govt is secular in nature, its duty is to create a safe environment where people can choose what they want and how they want to live. Enabling them to make right decision for themselves and not forcing their believes on others. Encouraging the quality to question everything before accepting can do wonders. This can only come from education. Not only children should be provided with world class education but also older people must also be educated.

Any govt cannot do well unless and until the indigenous people are not ready to help themselves. With current initiatives the education will prosper in the state and then problem of jobs will come. Therefore, from now itself, we must encourage sense of entrepreneurship and innovation. Initiative like Atal Innovation mission must be made available. Children and their parents must be aware of the Govt schemes, where a child is supported financially if his parents are not financially stable like fee waiver seats in colleges, scholarships, reservation for Kashmiri people in jobs, college seats etc.

People must be taught how to register for global platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc. so that they can sell their beautiful homemade products worldwide. Companies through their CSR can help people with that. This will indirectly give people’s lives a bigger purpose and something to look forward to every day. Govt policy must be made simpler for small businesses for the region, easy grant of loans and startup grants must be made available.

By encouraging education, trade and feeling of safety we can preserve this beautiful place and its syncretic heritage. The Kashmir valley is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. People need to focus on positive part and rest will fall into place.

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