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At a time when even otherwise sensible intellectuals in India are expressing a Kashmir fatigue and asking us to let it go – to where, nobody says, or, I am sure, knows – it is time for us ordinary Indians to remind them that Kashmiriyat is a prototype for Hindustaniyat. We just cannot let go of either.

But political connection is not the only or even the main connection we have with Kashmir. Kashmir’s deepest connection with the Indian nation is, of course, in the spiritual realm. Kashmir has been a permanent part of our mindscape. Where else but in Kashmir would you find Muslims prepared, not so openly perhaps in the present milieu, to claim their Vedic and Buddhist heritage.

 Kashmir is important for our politicians, mandarins and intellectuals perhaps as vote-bank, or real estate, or as a debating point. But Kashmir is important for us common Indians because Kashmiriyat is a prototype for Hindustaniyat. A unique blend of unity in ideological diversity, Kashmir has survived many crises all through its history with its Kashmiriyat intact. If you know present-day Kashmir, you would have no hesitation in believing that it would survive the present one as well with its essence unharmed.


The best exponents of Kashmiriyat have been the rishi-sufis of Kashmir. It is they who have traditionally sustained Kashmir through all its myriad trials and tribulations. It’s time we once again recalled their insights and wisdom. The following is a paper by Sultan Shahin, editor, NewAgeIslam.com, on Kashmir’s Rishi-Sufi order and its precious gift known in the valley and beyond as Kashmiriyat, a unique blend of what the world today is trying to emulate as multi-culturalism, secularism, pluralism, tolerance and much more.


URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-pluralism/sultan-shahin,-founder-editor-new-age-islam/kashmiriyat-is-a-prototype-for-hindustaniyat/d/614