Although some residents of Azad Kashmir call themselves 'Kashmiri', most residents of Azad Kashmir are not actually ethnic Kashmiris.[K]
Political Map: the Kashmir region districts, showing the Pir Panjal range and the Kashmir Valley.
The Hindu caste system of the Kashmir region was influenced by the influx of Buddhism from the time of Asoka, around the third century BCE, and a consequence of this was that the traditional lines of varna were blurred, with the exception of that for the Brahmins, who remained aloof from the changes. Another notable feature of early Kashmiri society was the relative high regard in which women were held when compared to their position in other communities of the period.
A historically contested region, Northern India was subject to attack from Turkic and Arab regimes from the eighth century onwards, but they generally ignored the mountain-circled Kashmir Valley in favour of easier pickings elsewhere. It was not until the fourteenth century that Muslim rule was finally established in the Valley and when this happened it did not occur primarily as a consequence of invasion so much as because of internal problems resulting from the weak rule and corruption endemic in the Hindu Lohara dynasty. Mohibbul Hasan describes this collapse as
The Dãmaras (feudal chiefs) grew powerful, defied royal authority, and by their constant revolts plunged the country into confusion. Life and property were not safe, agriculture declined, and there were periods when trade came to a standstill. Socially and morally too the court and the country had sunk to the depths of degradations.
The Brahmins had something to be particularly unhappy about during the reign of the last Lohara king, for Sūhadeva chose to include them in his system of onerous taxation, whereas previously they appear to have been exempted.
Arrival of Islam and Shah Mir Dynasty (1320–1580s)
Islam arrived in Kashmir starting with the conversion in 1320 of Kashmir's Buddhist ruler, Rinchan, at the hands of the saint, Sayyid Bilal Shah (also known as Bulbul Shah). After conversion to Islam he called himself Malik Sadur-ud-Din and became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. In 1339, Shams-ud-Din Shah Mir established the Shah Mir dynasty in Kashmir. Islam grew in the 14th century under the Shah Mir dynasty and numerous Muslim ulama from Central Asia came to preach in Kashmir. Some of the famous ulama who propagated Islam in Kashmir included Sayyid Jalaluddin, Sayyid Tajuddin, Sayyid Ḥusayn Simani, Sayyid Ali Ḥamadani, Mir Muḥammad Hamadani, and Shaykh Nuruddin.[L]Sayyid Ali Hamadani (also known as Shah-yi Hamadan), alongside hundreds of his followers, converted thousands of Kashmiris to Islam and also imparted Persian influences on the local Kashmiri culture. His son, Sayyid Muḥammad Hamadani, encouraged Kashmir's Muslim ruler Sikander Butshikan (who reigned from 1389–1413) to enforce Islamic law and establish the office of Shaykh al-Islam i.e. the chief religious authority. The actions of Sultan Sikandar Butshikan (1389–1413), the seventh Muslim ruler in Kashmir, were also significant to the area. The Sultan has been referred to as an iconoclast because of his destruction of many non-Muslim religious symbols and the manner in which he forced the population to convert or flee. Many followers of the traditional religions who did not convert to Islam instead migrated to other parts of India. By the late 1400s the majority of the population had embraced Islam.[M] Since the arrival of invaders and the start of religious conflicts, before the Partition of India, many Kashmir Hindus and Buddhists migrated to other regions.
In 1540, the Mughal general Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat invaded Kashmir but his rule was brief and overthrown because of his persecution of Shafi'is and Shias. In 1557 the Shah Miri dynasty was overthrown by the Chaks who were foreigners to Kashmir and originated from Baltistan. Since they were from outside Kashmir they were not interested in the Kashmiri population's welfare. The Chak rulers, who were Shia, persecuted their Sunni subjects and this caused Sunni scholars to flee to safer environs. Some disenchanted Sunnis, such as notable Sunni scholar, Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi, went to the court of Akbar and invited the Mughals to conquer Kashmir and overthrow Chak rule on certain conditions. These conditions included a guarantee of Kashmiri rights such as freedom of religion for all of Kashmir's population. Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi also forbade Sunnis from carrying out any reprisal against Shias and he devoted his life to restoring peace and communal harmony between the Sunnis and Shias of Kashmir.[N][O]
Mughal rule (1580s–1750s)
Kashmiri historians see Mughal rule as the beginning of the end of Kashmiri independence. The Mughal Emperor Akbar succeeded in invading the Kashmir Valley, despite tough Kashmiri resistance,[P] due to internal Sunni–Shia divisions amongst Kashmiris.
The anti-Shia policies of Mirza Haidar Dughlat and the anti-Sunni policies of the Chaks had broken Kashmiri unity, thus paving the way for the Mughal occupation of Kashmir.Akbar's victory brought an end to indigenous Kashmiri Muslim rule.[Q]Christopher Snedden states that the Mughals began a process of psychological warfare against Kashmiris to strip them of their martial capabilities. After this, outsiders started considering Kashmiris a 'cowardly' and 'non-martial' race.
Conversely, Akbar also reduced the land revene demand from two-thirds, as it was earlier, to one-half of the produce. Kashmiri Hindus also felt a respite from the severe persecution they faced under the earlier Muslim rule.
The Mughals maintained a large military presence in the valley and were not interested in developing the productive sectors although they patronised art and constructed some pleasure gardens and a few mosques. While many histories of Kashmir consider the Kashmir Valley's incorporation into Mughal India as a decline of Kashmiri independence and cultural identity, Chitralekha Zutshi argues that Kashmiri poets began to consciously articulate their sense of regional belonging during the Mughal rule. According to M.J. Akbar, the clash of cultures between Delhi and Kashmir resulted in Kashmiris wishing for nothing more than to be left alone.[R]
Afghan Rule (1750s–1819)
In 1751, the Afghans, ruled by Ahmad Shah Durrani, absorbed Kashmir into the Durrani Empire. The Afghans were cruel, especially to Kashmir's Hindus. However, Kashmiri historians state that the Afghans were brutally repressive to all Kashmiris, regardless of religion.[S] The Afghans extorted money from the locals and both Kashmiri men and women lived in fear of their lives. The Afghans sent many Kashmiris as slaves to Afghanistan. During Afghan dominance, the shawl industry declined, probably due to heavy taxes. According to scholars Chitralekha Zutshi and Janet Rizvi, the Afghan brutality caused many Kashmiri shawl-weavers to flee to Punjab.[T][U] However, due to the administrative experience of Kashmiri Pandits, the Afghans utilised their services. Kashmiri Pandits were not prevented from entering into government service. George Foster, who visited Kashmir during the Afghan rule, documented the oppression of Kashmiris by Afghans. He writes:
The Afghans would never issue an order without a blow of the side of hatchet (battle axe). Karim Dad Khan in a mood of enjoyment would tie up the inhabitants by back in pairs and drop them in the river.
In 1819 Kashmir came under Maharajah Ranjit Singh's Sikh Empire and Sikh rule over Kashmir lasted for 27 years till 1846. These 27 years of Sikh rule saw 10 Governors in Kashmir. Of these 10 Governors five were Hindus, three were Sikhs and two were Muslims. Due to the fact that Kashmiris had suffered under the Afghan rulers, they initially welcomed the Sikh rule.[W] However, the Sikhs oppressed the population. Scholar Christopher Snedden states that the Sikhs exploited Kashmiris regardless of religion.
During the Sikh rule the mostly illiterate Muslim population suffered under heavy taxation, rural indebtedness and discrimination. The Sikhs had enacted a number of anti-Muslim policies, thus subjecting the Muslim majority population of the Valley to a number of hardships in the practice of their religion. The central mosque, Jama Masjid, was closed for 20 years and Muslims were prohibited from issuing the azan (call to prayer). If a Sikh murdered a Hindu the compensation amount allowed was four rupees. However, if a Sikh murdered a Muslim the compensation amount allowed was only two rupees. According to Prem Nath Bazaz the effect of the Sikh rule was that the people of the valley came to be known as 'zulum parast' (worshippers of tyranny), forgot their glorious martial traditions and became timid and cowardly.[X]
During the Sikh rule, Europeans who visited the Valley documented the deprivation and starvation and also wrote of the abject poverty of the peasantry and the exorbitant taxes under the Sikhs. According to European traveler Moorcraft, no more than one-sixteenth of the cultivable land surface was under cultivation and due to starvation many people had fled to India.[Y] Kashmiri histories also emphasise the wretchedness of life for common Kashmiris during the Sikh rule. According to them, the peasantry became mired in poverty and migrations of Kashmiri peasants to the plains of Punjab reached high proportions. Several European travelers' accounts from the period agree and provide evidence for such assertions.[Z] When Moorcroft left the Valley in 1823, about 500 emigrants accompanied him across the Pir Panjal Pass.[AA] The Sikhs lost their independence with the Battle of Subraon. In 1846 Kashmir came under the rule of Gulab Singh, a Hindu Dogra Maharajah under the British suzerainty.
The 1833 famine caused many people to leave the Kashmir Valley and migrate to the Punjab, with the majority of weavers leaving Kashmir. Weavers settled down for generations in the cities of Punjab such as Jammu and Nurpur.[AB] Due to the famine, the Punjabi city of Amritsar witnessed a large influx of Kashmiris.[AC][AD] Thousands of people died during the famine of 1833 and both the famine and emigration reduced the population to one-fourth by 1836. Hindus were not much affected but Muslims were and had to leave in large numbers.[AE]
Dogra Regime (1846–1947)
The Muslim population suffered severe oppression under Hindu rule and were subjected to heavy taxation, discriminatory laws and forced unpaid labour.[AF] The 100 year Dogra regime was a disaster for the Muslim peasantry of Kashmir Valley.[AG]Walter Lawrence described the conditions of the Valley's peasantry as being 'desperate' and noted that the Valley's peasantry attributed their miseries to the Maharajah's deputies rather than the rulers themselves. The state officials apparently kept the rulers from knowing the conditions of the Muslim peasantry in the Valley.
Lawrence in particular criticised the state officials who belonged to the Kashmiri Pandit community.Lawrence provided evidence that while many of the Kashmiri Pandit officials may have been ''individually gentle and intelligent, as a body they were cruel and oppressive.'' Scholar Ayesha Jalal states that the Maharajahs nurtured ties with Kashmiri Pandits and their Dogra kinsfolk in Jammu to trample on the rights of their subjects.Christopher Snedden also states that the Kashmiri Muslims were often exploited by the Kashmiri Pandit officials  Kashmiri Pandits had entered the state administrative machinery during the Afghan period and by the Dogra period they had become entrenched in the lower levels of the state bureaucracy. However, the Pandits were, like all Kashmiris, excluded from the upper sections of the bureaucracy, although they continued to exercise control in the countryside.
Wingate and Lawrence spent many months in the rural hinterland of Kashmir and in an unprecedented manner brought to the fore the tensions that underlay Kashmiri society between the interests of the Hindu Pandit community and the numerically preponderant Kashmiri Muslim cultivators. However, while both acknowledged the oppression of Kashmiri Muslims, the solutions offered by Lawrence and Wingate differed from each other. While both acknowledged the responsibility of the Kashmiri Pandit community in exacerbating the situation of the Muslim cultivating classes, Wingate was far more uncompromising in demanding that the privileges of the Pandit community be eliminated. However, Lawrence proposed to provide relief to Kashmir's cultivating class without eliminating the privileges of the Kashmiri Pandits.[AH]
Gawasha Nath Kaul described the poor conditions of the Valley'sMuslim population in his book Kashmir Then And Now and in it he wrote that 90 percent of Muslim households were mortgaged to Hindu moneylenders. Muslims were non-existent in the State's civil administration and were barred from officer positions in the military.[AI]
Prem Nath Bazaz, one of the few Kashmiri Pandits who joined the movement for change, described the poor conditions of the Valley's Muslim population as such:
The poverty of the Muslim masses is appalling. Dressed in rags and barefoot, a Muslim peasant presents the appearance of a starved beggar...Most are landless laborers, working as serfs for absentee landlords.
There was a famine in Kashmir between 1877-9 and the death toll from this famine was overwhelming by any standards. Some authorities suggested that the population of Srinagar had been reduced by half while others estimated a diminution by three-fifths of the entire population of the Valley. During the famine of 1877-9 not a single Pandit died of starvation during these annihilative years for the Muslim cultivators, according to reports received by Lawrence. During the famine the office of Prime Minister was held by a Kashmiri Pandit, Wazir Punnu, who is said to have declared that there ''was no real distress and that he wished that no Musulman might be left alive from Srinagar to Rambhan (in Jammu).''[AJ]
Despite the ban on leaving the state, everyone wanted to leave the Valley either temporarily or permanently. Lawrence described the situation when the government of the day lifted the ban on free movement after the deadly famine:
The lifting of the ban witnessed a stampede, it appeared as if a bund had suddenly collapsed, for a sea of humanity, drawn from every town and village, was moving towards the snow clad passes, on their way to the land of hope – the British India...the migration was so extensive that according to the 1891 census Report of Punjab, 1,11,775 Muslims born in Kashmir were counted as having settled in the Punjab.
When lands fell fallow temporarily during the famine, Pandits took over substantial tracts of them claiming that they were uncultivated waste. Numerous Kashmiri Muslim cultivators who had left the Valley for Punjab to escape the devastation of those years found upon their return that they had been ousted from lands that they had cultivated over generations.[AK]
The Dogra administration's attempts to revive the crippled shawl weaving industry failed as after the famine many weavers left the Valley permanently and settled in the Punjabi towns of Amritsar, Lahore, Ludhiana, Nurpur, Gujrat, Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Chamba, Kangra and Simla. The weavers introduced their art to the towns they settled in.[AL][AM][AN][AO]
Thus, in the late nineteenth[AP] and early twentieth centuries,[AQ] there had been a significant migration of Kashmiri Muslims from the Kashmir Valley to the Punjab, due to such conditions of famine in the princely state and also because of extreme poverty and harsh treatment by the Dogra Hindu regime (according to Prem Nath Bazaz the Kashmiri Muslims faced this harsh treatment because of their religion).[AR] According to the 1911 Census there were 177,549 Kashmiri Muslims in the Punjab. With the inclusion of Kashmiri settlements in NWFP this figure rose to 206,180.[AS]
Kashmiri cuisine holds a unique place among different world cuisines. Rice is the staple food of Kashmiris and has been so since ancient times.[AT] Meat, along with rice, is the most popular food item in Kashmir.[AU] Kashmiris consume meat voraciously.[AV] Despite being Brahmin, Kashmiri Pandits also consume meat heavily.[AW] Salted tea or Noon Chai is the traditional drink and is cooked in a samavar, a Kashmiri tea-pot. Kehwa, traditional green tea with spices and almond, is served on special occasions and festivals. Kashmiri weddings incorporate a traditional feast known as Wazwan, which typically includes spicy food cooked by the traditional cooks (waz). The concept of Wazwan is 500 years old and originates in Central Asia. Rice and meat are central to the feast.
Kashmiri (/kæʃˈmɪəri/) (कॉशुर, کأشُر), or Koshur, is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley and Chenab regions of Jammu and Kashmir. The language originates from Sanskrit although it received Persian influence during Muslim rule.[AX] According to many linguists, the Kashmiri language is a northwestern Dardic language of the Indo-Aryan family, descending from Middle Indo-Aryan languages. The label "Dardic" indicates a geographical label for the languages spoken in the northwester mountain regions, not a linguistic label. UCLA estimates the number of speakers as being around 4.4 million, with a preponderance in the Kashmir Valley, whereas the 2001 census of India records over 5.5 million speakers. According to the 1998 Census there were 132,450 Kashmiri speakers in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. According to Professor Khawaja Abdul Rehman the Kashmiri language is on the verge of dying out in the Neelum Valley.
Kashmiri is believed to be the only one among the Dardic languages that has a written literature. Kashmiri literature dates back to over 750 years, comparable to that of most modern languages. Kashmiri poets and writers like Mehjoor, Abdul Ahad Azad, etc. enriched the literature with their poetry.
The Kashmir Valley has a 700-year-old tradition of Sufism. The Kashmir Valley is known as the ‘Pir Waer’, meaning the ‘Alcove of Sufis and Saints’. Sufism was introduced to Kashmir almost simultaneously with the foundation of Muslim rule. Kashmiris take pride in inhabiting a cultural space between Sufi Islam and Vedic Hinduism. Both the Pandits and Muslims of Kashmir respect the Shaivite mystic Lala Ded, who symbolises Kashmir's syncretic culture[AY] and both Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Hindus also hold the shrine of Dastgeer Sahib in high esteem. People in Kashmir pay regular visits to the shrines of Sufi saints for peace of mind. It has also been a centuries-old tradition in Kashmir for Sufi disciples to recite special 'Wazaif'.
In contrast, the introduction of Salafism to Kashmir only goes back to a hundred years. Salafis remained on the fringes of Kashmir's religious and cultural life since belief in the local traditions of Sufi Islam was very strong in the Valley. But this has begun to change since the insurgency in Kashmir since the late 1980s. Pakistani-trained jihadi groups hijacked the local sentiment for freedom and transformed the Kashmiri struggle into a continuation of their holy war for an Islamic caliphate, by playing on the fears of the people that Kashmir's Muslim identity was under threat of erasure. However, there has also been a proliferation in the number of Barelvi groups, claiming to be custodians of the Valley's Sufi moorings, which have sprung up to challenge the growing power of the Wahhabi faith.
Salafis say that those who frequent shrines indulge in 'grave worship' (which is forbidden in Islam). But Sufis state that it is incorrect to assume that shrine-goers indulge in grave worship. They say they visit shrines only to seek the blessings of Allah as these places are said to be sacred as great scholars are buried there.
Kashmiri Hindus are all Saraswat Brahmins, known by their exonym of Pandit. The endonym used within the community is Bhatta. Kashmiri Pandits are chiefly followers of Shiva. Their favourite goddess is Kheer Bhawani. The spring of Kheer Bhawani at the mouth of Sind Valley in Kashmir is considered one of their most important and sacred places. Their branch of Shiva worship is known as Kashmir Saivism. The primary tenet of Kashmir Shaivism is that the individual soul is one with the universal spirit, and each person has to experience and discover this for themselves.
Song is an integral part of several Kashmiri Pandit religious ceremonies. This style of choral singing is called Wanvun.
Arts and crafts
The missionary saint Shah Hamadan brought Pashm to Kashmir from Ladakh and started various pashmina works. Since then pashmina has been used in several textiles in Kashmir and the Valley became a stronghold of pashmina. According to Moti Lal Saqi the shawl industry in Kashmir was made prominent by Mir Syed Ali Hamadani who was accompanied by both religious scholars and expert craftsmen and artists from Central Asia. Hamadani encouraged the practice of shawl weaving and cultural relations were thus established between Kashmir and Central Asia. There is a consensus among researchers that Shah Hamadan's arrival heralded the great advancement in the arts and crafts of Kashmir since 713 people of various professions had entered the Valley, accompanying Shah Hamadan. At the time it is said there were about twelve thousand idol-makers in the valley who had been rendered jobless since Islam does not approve idol-carving. Syed Ali Hamadani assisted them to find earnings by encouraging them to take to stone-carving and other arts and crafts practised by his associates who had accompanied him to Kashmir.
Fair skin and prominent noses are the hallmarks of Kashmirs. Kashmiris have been considered a good-looking race and British memoirs have commented positively on their physique and beauty. According to the 17th century French traveller, Francois Bernier, the Kashmiris were celebrated for beauty and considered 'well-made' like the Europeans. He records that the Mughals would select wives and concubines from Kashmir so that their children could be whiter than Indians and pass for genuine Mughals.[AZ][BA]Marco Polo observed that the beauty of Kashmiri women was superb. According to Alex Drace-Francis the resemblance between the natives of Kashmir and those of France and Circassia is 'striking'. Bhandari remarks that one is usually struck by the marked ethnic differences between Kashmiris from other races in India and Pakistan.[BB]
In 2011 a survey by Gilani Research Foundation/Gallup Pakistan found that 55 percent of Pakistanis considered Kashmiris and Pashtuns to be the best looking people in the country. 29 percent rated Kashmiris as the best looking people while 26 percent rated Pashtuns as the best looking people.[BC]
After Kashmiri Hindus had converted to Islam they largely retained their family names (kram) which indicated their original profession, locality or community. These included surnames such as Butt, Pandit (Brahmin), Dar (kshatriya), Tantre (Tantray), Magre (Magray), Mantu, Wayne, Dar, Nayak, Kaul, Lone, Parry, Rather and Yatoo etc.
The 1921 Census report stated that Kashmiri Muslims formed 31% of the Muslim population of the entire princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.[BE] The 1921 Census report also stated that Kashmiri Muslims are sub-divided into numerous sub-castes such as Bat, Dar, Wain etc.[BF] The Kashmiri Muslim population in the 1921 Census was recorded as 796,804.
The 1931 Census report also reiterated that the 'Kashmiri Muslim' population occupied the foremost position in the State (other communities in the princely State being Arains, Jats, Sudhans, Gujjars and Rajputs etc.).[BG] It recorded the Kashmiri Muslim population as 1,352,822. The 1931 Census report explains that the 'phenomenal' increase in the number of Kashmiri Muslims by 556,018 was due to several castes such as Hajjam, Hanji, Sayed and Sheikh being merged into the community.[BH][BI]
The 1931 Census report stated that the Bat, Dar, Ganai, Khan, Lun, Malik, Mir, Pare, Rather, Shah, Sheikh and Wain were the most important sub-castes among Kashmiri Muslims. Below are the population figures for the various sub-castes among the Kashmiri Muslim population according to the 1931 Census.
A few largest of the numerous Kashmiri sub-divisions in the Punjab are as follows, as per the 1881 Punjab Census Report: Bat (24,463), Lun (4,848), Dar (16, 215), Wain (7,419), Mir (19,855) and Sheikh (15,902). The 1881 Census notes that the distribution of these Kashmiri sub-divisions do not appear to follow any rule.
In the early twentieth century, the policies of the Dogra rulers drove many Kashmiri Muslims to flee their native land to Punjab. Earlier, Afghan brutality and the oppression and poverty during the Sikh rule had also caused Kashmiri migrations to the Punjab.Kashmiri Muslims came to constitute an important segment of several Punjabi cities such as Sialkot, Lahore, Amritsar and Ludhiana.[BJ] Kashmiri Muslim immigrants from the Valley were a fifth of Amritsar's Muslim population in 1921.
With the integration of the Valley and British India, increasing numbers of Muslims had begun travelling to the Punjab. It is noted in the Census of 1921 that, 'the Kashmiri not only contributes to the growth of population in the state, but he adds considerably to the population of all important towns in the Punjab, which are situated along the State border or the main railway line.' Notable Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah said of Kashmiris in Punjab;
My stay at Lahore, for other reasons, awakened me from the slumber and made me familiar with new spirits. I saw Kashmiri Muslims in big bands leaving their beautiful land for the hard plains of Punjab in search of livelihood. These labourers had to cross on foot the snowy mountains of Mari and Banihall and had to face thousands of odds in their way. Sometimes, while crossing the mountains, these people were perishing as a result of difficult passes, snowstorms, etc. these unfortunate people were dying unwept and unsung. It was not easy once reaching the plains; there they had to face numerous odds and worries. During the day they wandered through the streets in search of work. Some worked as wood cutters, some as helpers to the shopkeepers, some carried heavy loads on their backs while some of them did grinding. After doing hard work during the day, they earned very little money of which maximum was spent on their meals. They passed their nights either in any inn or mosque, where they were harassed like dumb driven cattle.
Scholar Ayesha Jalal states that Kashmiris faced discrimination in the Punjab as well. Kashmiris settled for generations in the Punjab were disqualified from taking advantage of the Punjab Land Alienation Act,[BK] and most Kashmiri families in Punjab did not own land.[BL] Historian Zutshi states that Kashmiri Muslims settled in the Punjab retained emotional and familial links to Kashmir and felt obliged to struggle for the freedom of their brethren in the Valley.[BM]
Almost the entire of East Punjab's Muslim population migrated to Pakistan after the partition of India. Kashmiris who migrated from Amritsar in 1947 have had an extensive influence on Lahore's contemporary cuisine and culture.[BN] The Kashmiris of Amritsar were more steeped in their Kashmiri culture than the Kashmiris already resident in Lahore.[BO] An exclusive research conducted by the “Jang Group and Geo Television Network” has shown that the Kashmiri community has been involved in spearheading the power politics of Lahore district since 1947.[BP] Pockets of Amritsari Kashmiri power can also be found in every major city of central Punjab in Pakistan.
160,000-170,000[BW]Kashmiri Pandits have also fled to India and to other parts of Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. A number of Kashmiri organisations have been existence for over half a century in Delhi, including Kashmiri Pandit Sabha, Panun Kashmir, Vyeth Television, and N. S. Kashmir Research Institute. Notable members of the Kashmiri Pandit diaspora in India include former Indian Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
^...the 'real' Kashmir—that is, the Kashmir Valley...Historically, Kashmir equates to the Kashmir Valley.
^Small numbers of ethnic Kashmiris also live in other parts of J&K. There are Kashmiris who live in areas that border the Kashmir Valley, including Kishtwar (Kishtawar), Bhadarwah, Doda and Ramban, in Jammu in Indian J&K, and in the Neelum and Leepa Valleys of northern Azad Kashmir. Since 1947, many ethnic Kashmiris and their descendants also can be found in Pakistan. Invariably, Kashmiris in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan are Muslims.
^From the late nineteenth century, conditions in the princely state led to a significant migration of people from the Kashmir Valley to the neighboring Punjab province of ‘British’-as distinct from ‘princely’-India. 
^The shawl industry began to decline with the institution of the dagshawl tax system during the beginnings of Afghan rule in Kashmir. The warring Sikhs sustained this system, perhaps not in name but in practice, if only to support their military exploits. The natural calamities of the 1830s caused the weavers to emigrate en masse to the Punjab, leaving their homeland.
^As in Pakistan, Sunni Muslims comprise the majority population of Kashmir, whereas they are a minority in Jammu, while almost all Muslims in Ladakh are Shias.
^The Kashmiri Pandits are the precursors of Kashmiri Muslims who now form a majority in the valley of Kashmir...Whereas Kashmiri Pandits are of the same ethnic stock as the Kashmiri Muslims, both sharing their habitat, language, dress, food and other habits, Kashmiri Pandits form a constituent part of the Hindu society of India on the religious plane.
^Thus the two population groups, Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims though at the time constituted ethnically homogenous population, came to differ from each other in faith and customs.
^The Sheikhs are considered to be the descendants of Hindus and the pure Kashmiri Muslims, professing Sunni faith, the major part of the population of Srinagar district and the Kashmir state.
^Sheikh: local converts, subdivided into numerous subgroups. Most largely retain their family names, or patronyms (kram), indicating their original profession, locality or community-such as Khar (carpenter), Pampori (a place), Butt and Pandit (brahmin), Dar (kshatriya)-but with increasing Islamization, some have dropped these 
^Even today most common family name in Kashmir is Butt, a distortion of Bhatt, a Hindu surname common amongst the Brahmins in India.
^Confusingly, the term 'Kashmiri' also has wider connotations and uses. Some people in Azad Kashmir call themselves 'Kashmiris'. This is despite most Azad Kashmiris not being of Kashmiri ethnicity.
^Rinchan, a Buddhist ruler of Kashmir, embraced Islam in 1320 under the guidance of Sayyid Bilāl Shāh (also known as Bulbūl Shāh), a widely travelled Musavī sayyid from Turkistan. Islam consolidated its hold during Shāh Mir's reign (1339–1344). A large number of Muslim ʿulamāʿ came from Central Asia to Kashmir to preach; Sayyid Bilāl Shāh, Sayyid Jalāluddīn of Bukhara, Sayyid Tajuddīn, his brother Sayyid Ḥusayn Sīmānī, Sayyid ʿAlī Ḥamadānī, his son Mir Muḥammad Hamadānī, and Shaykh Nūruddīn are some of the well-known ʿulamāʿ who played a significant role in spreading Islam.
^The contribution of Sayyid ʿAlī Hamadānī, popularly known as Shah-yi Hamadān, is legendary. Born at Hamadān (Iran) in 1314 and belonging to the Kubrawīyah order of Ṣūfīs, a branch of the Suhrawardīyah, he paid three visits to Kashmir in 1372, 1379, and 1383; together with several hundred followers, he converted thousands of Kashmiris to Islam. His son Sayyid Muḥammad Hamadānī continued his work, vigorously propagating Islam as well as influencing the Muslim ruler Sikander (1389–1413) to enforce Islamic law and to establish the office of the Shaykh al-Islām (chief religious authority). By the end of the fifteenth century, the majority of the people had embraced Islam.
^In 1557, when Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi was thirty-five, the Shah Miri dynasty was overthrown by the Chaks. The Chaks traced their origins to Baltistan. Being from outside Kashmir, they were not particularly concerned about the welfare of the people of Kashmir. The Chak rulers persecuted the Sunni subjects...In their audience with Akbar, Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi and his companions insisted that after Akbar took over the administration of Kashmir, he should ensure full freedom of religion to all its people...With the Mughal takeover of Kashmir, some Sunnis are said to have launched stern reprisals against the Shi’as. Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi is said to have bitterly protested against this, and is credited with having made efforts to restore peace and communal harmony...He devoted his life to normalize the sectarian tensions between the Shias and Sunnis of Kashmir.
^By 1586, however, Akbar and his empire had become strong while Kashmir's situation was deteriorating due to significant Sunni-Shia sectarianism that the Chaks, who were Shias, allegedly often instigated. Consequently, come disenchanted Sunnis invited their fellow Sunni, Akbar, to rule Kashmir.
^Kashmiris united and fought the intruder. Tough and capable fighters defended the entrances to the Kashmir Valley...
^It was emperor Akbar who brought an end to indigenous Kashmiri Muslim rule that had lasted 250 years. The watershed in Kashmiri history is not the beginning of the Muslim rule as is regarded in the rest of the subcontinent but the changeover from Kashmiri rule to a non-Kashmiri rule.
^According to M. J. Akbar, the first clash of cultures between Delhi and Kashmir only resulted in the former sneering at the latter and the Kashmiri wishing nothing more than to be left alone...It is significant to note that except for constructing some pleasure gardens for their own personal purposes and constructing a few mosques and a military cantonment by the name of Naagar Nagar and patronizing a few artists and poets of repute, the Mughals did not show any interest in developing the productive sectors. While, on the one hand, almost all the works on the history of Kashmir consistently portray the incorporation of the Kashmir valley into the Mughal India after Chak rule as the beginning of the end of Kashmiri independence and decline of Kashmiri cultural identity, Chitralekha Zutshi, on the other hand, argues that it was precisely in the Mughal period that Kashmiri poets first began to self consciously articulate a sense of regional belongings.
^Most historians of Kashmir agree on the rapacity of the Afghan governors, a period unrelieved by even brief respite devoted to good work and welfare for the people of Kashmir. According to these histories, the Afghans were brutally repressive with all Kashmiris, regardless of class or religion.
^The emigration of Kashmiri shawl weavers to the Punjab had begun as early as the 1810s, when they fled Kashmir as a result of Afghan policies.
^The brutality and misrule of the Afghans, who ruled Kashmir from 1753 to 1819, had already forced many of the skilled weavers to flee from Kashmir to various cities of the plains-Amritsar, Nurpur...
^In 1751, the Afghans, ruled by Ahmad Shah Durrani, absorbed Kashmir into their expanding empire. The names of the Afghan governors who ruled Kashmir are all but forgotten but not their cruelty, which was directed mainly towards the Hindus. Oppression took the form of extortion of money from the local people and brutality in the face of opposition. Both Kashmiri men and women lived in fear of their lives. Many were captured and sent as slaves to Afghanistan...During Afghan dominance, the shawl industry declined, probably due to heavy taxes...Despite the religious oppression, to which many Hindus were subjected, they were, however, useful to the Afghans because of their administrative experience. Kashmiri Pandits were not prevented from entering into government service...In 1819, the 'Lion of the Punjab', as Ranjit Singh became known, finally succeeded in taking Kashmir, initially to the relief of the local people who had suffered under the Afghans.
^In 1751, the Afghans, ruled by Ahmad Shah Durrani, absorbed Kashmir into their expanding empire. The names of the Afghan governors who ruled Kashmir are all but forgotten but not their cruelty, which was directed mainly towards the Hindus. Oppression took the form of extortion of money from the local people and brutality in the face of opposition. Both Kashmiri men and women lived in fear f their lives. Many were captured and sent as slaves to Afghanistan...During Afghan dominance, the shawl industry declined, probably due to heavy taxes...Despite the religious oppression, to which many Hindus were subjected, they were, however, useful to the Afghans because of their administrative experience. Kashmiri Pandits were not prevented from entering into government service...In 1819, the 'Lion of the Punjab', as Ranjit Singh became known, finally succeeded in taking Kashmir, initially to the relief of the local people who had suffered under the Afghans.
^Sikh army entered Kashmir on 4th July, 1819, starting a new phase of tyranny and oppression...Describing the Sikh rule, Moorcraft, an English traveler reflected, 'Sikhs looked at Kashmiris 'a little better than the cattle. The murder of a native Sikh was punished with a fine to the government ranging from 16 to 20 rupees, of which four were paid to the family of the deceased if a Hindu, and two if he was a Mohammedan;. During this dark phase in Kashmir's history, people were in a most abject condition 'subjected to every kind of extortion and oppression'. Under Sikh rule Kashmir was ruled by 10 governors. Out of these, five were Hindus, three Sikhs, and two Muslims. Sikhs consistently followed anti-Muslim policies in Kashmir, subjecting the majority population of the Kashmir valley to severe hardship in relation to the practice of religion. It was also during this phase that the central mosque of Srinagar, the Jama Masjid was ordered to be closed and Muslims of Kashmir were not allowed to say azan (call to prayer). Sikhs tried to establish a 'Hindu' state where cow slaughter was declared a crime and a complete ban was passed against cow slaughter, lands attached to several shrines were also resumed on state orders...The effect of the Sikh rule, according to Prem Nath Bazaz, dealt a severe blow to the pride of the local people. 'The people of the valley came to be known as zulum parast (the worshippers of tyranny) as they gradually forgot their glorious martial traditions and became timid and cowardly.' With the battle of Subraon, the Sikhs lost their independence. The treaty of Amritsar between British and Dogras signed on 16th of March 1846, gave way to Dogra rule in Kashmir.
^The picture painted by the Europeans who began to visit the valley more frequently was one of deprivation and starvation...Everywhere the people were in the most abject condition, exorbitantly taxed by the Sikh Government and subjected to every kind of extortion and oppression by its officers...Moorcroft estimated that no more than one-sixteenth of the cultivable land surface was under cultivation; as a result, the starving people had fled in great numbers to India.
^Kashmiri histories emphasize the wretchedness of life for the common Kashmiri during Sikh rule. According to these, the peasantry became mired in poverty and migrations of Kashmiri peasants to the plains of the Punjab reached high proportions. Several European travelers' accounts from the period testify to and provide evidence for such assertions. 
^What with the political disturbances and the numerous tyrannies suffered by the peasants, the latter found it very hard to live in Kashmir and a large number of people migrated to the Punjab and India. When Moorcroft left the Valley in 1823, about 500 emigrants accompanied him across the Pir Panjal Pass.
^In the beginning, it was only the excess of population that was increasing rapidly, that started migrating into Punjab, where in the hilly cities of Nurpur and Jammu, that remained under the rule of Hindu prince the weavers had settled down for generations...As such, even at that time, a great majority of the weavers have migrated out from Kashmir. The great famine conditions and starvation three years earlier, have forced a considerable number of people to move out of the valley and the greater security of their possessions and property in Punjab has also facilitated this outward migration...The distress and misery experienced by the population during the years 1833 and 1834, must not be forgotten by the current generation living there.
^Owing to a large influx of Kashmiris into Amritsar during the great famine which occurred in Kashmir in the year 1833 A.D., the number of shops increased in Amritsar to 2,000 and the yearly out-turn of pashmina work to four lacs of rupees.
^In the year 1833 A.D. owing to a great famine in Kashmir, there was a large influx of Kashmiris into Amritsar. 
^Moreover, in 1832 a severe famine caused the death of thousands of people...Thus emigration, coupled with the famine, had reduced the population to one-fourth by 1836...But still the proportion of Muslims and Hindus was different from what it is as the present time inasmuch as while the Hindus were not much affected among the Muslims; and the latter alone left the country in large numbers during the Sikh period.
^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.
^The hundred-year reign of the tinpot monarchy appointed as subcontractors of the Raj was an unmitigated disaster for the peasantry of Muslim faith who made up the overwhelming majority of the Valley's population. Walter Lawrence wrote: when I first came to Kashmir in 1889, I found the people sullen, desperate and suspicious. They had been taught for many years that they were serfs without any rights....Pages might be written by me on facts which have come under my personal observation, but it will suffice to say that the system of administration had degraded the people and taken all heart out of them. Lawrence...was careful to absolve the ruler of personal culpability: the peasants, one and all, attributed their miseries to the deputies through which the Maharajas ruled, and they have always recognised that their rulers were sympathetic and anxious to ensure their prosperity. But the officials of Kashmir would never allow their master to know the real condition of the people. Who were these venal officials? Lawrence was particularly critical of princely state officials belonging to the Kashmiri Pandit community... 
^Wingate and Lawrence had spent many months in the rural hinterland of Kashmir. They brought to the fore, in an unprecedented manner, the tensions that underlay Kashmiri society, pitting the interests of the Hindu Pandit community against thise of the numerically preponderant Kashmiri Muslim cultivators within the framework of the Dogra state. However, beyond agreeing about the nature and causes of the Kashmiri Muslims' oppression, the solutions offered by Wingate and Lawrence were at significant variance. While both acknowledged the responsibility of the Kashmiri Pandit community in exacerbating the situation of the Muslim cultivating classes, Wingate was far more uncompromising in demanding the elimination of the exemptins and privileges of the former. In contrast, while Lawrence's land settlement also sought to provide relief to the cultivating classes of Kashmir, it did so without entirely dismantling the privileges of the Kashmiri Pandit community.
^Indeed, in a book titled Kashmir Then and Now, published in 1924, Gawasha Nath Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit, painted a Dickensian picture of Srinagar: beggars, thieves, and prostitutes abounded along with disease and filth, and 90 percent of Muslim houses [were] mortgaged to Hindu sahukars [moneylenders]....local Muslims were barred from becoming officers in the princely state's military forces and were almost nonexistent in the civil administration. In 1941 Prem Nath Bazaz, one of a handful of Kashmiri Pandits who joined the popular movement for change that emerged during the 1930s and swept the Valley in the 1940s, wrote: ‘’the poverty of the Muslim masses is appalling. Dressed in rags and barefoot, a Muslim peasant presents the appearance of a starving beggar...Most are landless laborers, working as serfs for absentee landlords...’’
^The fatal results for Muslim agriculturists of this capacity for combination among the Hindu Kashmiris was demonstrated most clearly during the famine of 1877-9 when the office of prime minister was also held by a Kashmiri Pandit, Wazir Punnu. According to reports received by Lawrence, not a Pandit died of starvation during these annihilative years for the Muslim cultivators. Undoubtedly reflecting a selective Pandit view of the famine, Wazir Punnu is said to have declared that there 'was no real distress and that he wished that no Mussulman might be left alive from Srinagar to Rambhan [in Jammu].'
^When lands fell fallow temporarily during the Kashmir famine of 1877-9, Pandits took over substantial tracts of them claiming that they constituted uncultivated waste. Numerous Kashmiri Muslim cultivators who had left the valley for Punjab, to escape the devastation of those years, found upon their return that they had been ousted from lands they had cultivated over generations. 
^The Dogra rulers' attempt to revive the crippled industry suffered a further set-back due to another famine of great magnitude in 1878-79 when many weavers permanently left the valley and settled down in Amritsar, Lahore, Ludhiana and Nurpur...
^On the other hand, hundreds of famished and harassed skilled weavers left their homes and looms to seek safer havens in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Nurpur, Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Gujarat, Chamba, Kangra, Shimla etc. Most of these places came to be associated with 'Kashmiri' shawls...It were those fugitive Kashmiri weavers who introduced Kashmiri technique...
^Many Kashmiris had migrated from their homes and settled in cities of Lahore, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalalpur (Gujrat district) Dinanagar (Gurdas- pur district), Nurpur and Tiloknath (Kangra district).
^But the Kashmiris who left the Happy Valley during the great famine, and settled in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Gujrat and Sialkot, etc. soon found lucrative markets in some of the great Muhammadan centres (Lucknow, Hyderabad, etc.) for their jamawars.
^From the late nineteenth century, conditions in the princely state led to a significant migration of people from the Kashmir Valley to the neighboring Punjab province of ‘British’-as distinct from ‘princely’-India.
^In the early twentieth century, famine and the policies of the Dogra rulers drove many Kashmiri Muslims to flee their native land and further augment the number of their brethren already resident in the Punjab. Kashmiri Muslims constituted an important segment of the populace in a number of Punjabi cities, especially Sialkot, Lahore, Amritsar and Ludhiana. 
^Prem Nath Bazaz, for instance, noted that 'the Dogra rule has been Hindu. Muslims have not been treated fairly, by which I mean as fairly as Hindus'. In his opinion, the Muslims faced harsh treatment 'only because they were Muslims' (Bazaz, 1941: 250).
^According to the 1911 census there were 177, 549 Kashmiri Muslims in the Punjab; the figure went up to 206, 180 with the inclusion of settlements in the NWFP
^Rice was, as now, the staple food of Kashmiris in ancient times.
^But perhaps the most popular items of the Kashmiri cuisine were meat and rice.
^Since Kashmiris consume meat voraciously and statistics reveals that on an average 3.5 million sheep and goat are slaughtered annually for our consumption, the skin can be utilised for production.
^Though Brahmins, Kashmiri Pandits have generally been great meat eaters.
^The Kashmiri language belongs to the Indo-Aryan family of languages. It has its origin in Vedic, Sanskrit itself. During the Muslim period in Kashmir, Persian and Urdu words and phrases have also been assimilated in the language
^Kashmiris have long taken pride in inhabiting a cultural space between Vedic Hinduism and Ṣūfī Islam. Lalla-Ded (fourteenth century), revered by both the Pandits and Muslims of Kashmir, is the finest symbol of their essentially syncretic culture.
^The people of Kashmir, says Bernier, are celebrated for beauty; they are as well-made as the Europeans...The women are particularly handsome; and it is very common for strangers on their first appearance at the court of Mogul to provide themselves with wives from Kashmir, in order to have children that may be more fair than the Indians, and that may pass for true Moguls. 
^While paying his compliments to their physical beauty, Bernier writes: 'Nearly every individual when first admitted to the court of the Great Mogul selects wives and concubines (from Kashmir) so that his children may be whiter than the Indians and pass for genuine Mogols.'
^One is usually struck by the marked ethnic differences of the Kashmiris from other Indian and Pakistani races. Fair skin and prominent noses suggest a Semitic origin. Historians write that there are no actual records based on facts, only speculations. The most interesting speculation is that the Kashmiris are descendents of one of the lost tribes of Israel.
^A total of 55% of Pakistanis believe Kashmiris and Pathans have the best looks in the country, according to a recently released survey by Gilani Research Foundation/Gallup Pakistan. The survey asked a nationally representative sample of 2,666 men and women across the country the following question: In your opinion which people in Pakistan are the most good looking? Kashmiris and Pathans stood out as the best looking amongst all linguistic groups, with 29 per cent voting for Kashmiris and 26 per cent for Pathans.
^Kashmiri Hindus are all Saraswat brahmins, known by the exonym Pandit (the endonym being Batta), a term first reserved for emigrant Kashmiri brahmins in Mughal service. Their surnames (kram) designate their original professions or their ancestors' nicknames (e.g., Hakim, Kaul, Dhar, Raina, Teng).
^The bulk of the population in Group I is furnished by the Kashmiri Musalmans (796,804), who form more than 31 per cent of the total Musalman population of the State. The Kashmiri Musalman is essentially an agriculturist by profession, but his contribution to the trade and industry of the Kashmir Province is by no means negligible.
^The Kashmiri Musalmans are sub-divided into numerous sub-castes such as Dar, Bat, Wain, etc.
^Kashmiri Muslim.-The community occupies the fore-most position in the State having 1,352,822 members. The various sub-castes that are labelled under the general head Kashmiri Muslim are given in the Imperial Table. The most important sub-castes from the statistical point of view are the Bat, the Dar, the Ganai, the Khan, the Lon, the Malik, the Mir, the Pare, the Rather, Shah, Sheikh and Wain. They are mostly found in the Kashmir Province and Udhampur district of the Jammu Province.
^The decrease in some of the Muslim castes is counterbalanced by the abnormal increase under Kashmiri Muslims which include a large number of castes.
^The Kashmiri Muslim shows a phenomenal increase of 556,018 which is due to several castes having been merged in the community. The Hajjam, Hanji, Sayed, Sheikh afford some instances of the process of amalgamation which while adding to the Kashmiri Muslim community in such vast numbers has reduced the strength of other communities who show a decrease.
^In the early twentieth century, famine and the policies of the Dogra rulers drove many Kashmiri Muslims to flee their native land and further augment the number of their brethren already resident in the Punjab. Kashmiri Muslims constituted an important segment of the populace in a number of Punjabi cities, especially Sialkot, Lahore, Amritsar and Ludhiana. 
^...Kashmiris engaged in agriculture were disqualified from taking advantage of the Punjab Land Alienation Act...Yet Kashmiris settled in the Punjab for centuries faced discrimination. 
^Like most Kashmiri families in Punjab, Iqbal's family did not own land.
^Kashmiri Muslim expatriates in the Punjab had retained emotional and familial ties to their soil and felt compelled to raise the banner of freedom for Kashmir and their brethren in the Valley, thus launching bitter critiques of the Dogra administration.
^The biggest influence on Lahore's contemporary culture and cuisine are the Kashmiris who migrated from Amritsar in 1947.
^The Kashmiris of Lahore were not as steeped in their Kashmiri culture and heritage as the Kashmiris of Amritsar, which was why the Kashmiri Band did not last long.
^An exclusive research conducted by the “Jang Group and Geo Television Network” shows that the Arain and Kashmiri communities have spearheaded the power politics in Lahore district since independence.
^Kashmir may have been missing from the agenda of the elections in Pakistan, but the country's new government will have Kashmiris in vital positions — beginning with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself. Sharif, 63, who was sworn in for a historic third term on Wednesday, belongs to a family that migrated to Amritsar from South Kashmir's Anantnag district in the beginning of the last century. Sharif's close confidant Ishaq Dar, and influential PML (N) leader Khawaja Asif — both of whom are likely to get important positions in the new government — too have roots in Kashmir. 'My father would always tell me that we are from Anantnag. We had migrated to Amritsar from there for business', Sharif told this correspondent in his office in Lahore's Model Town last month where he sat with his key associates tracking the results of the election. 'And my mother's family came from Pulwama'. .
^Iqbal's attachment to his Kashmiri lineage is evident from his poetic references to himself as a descendant of Kashmiri Brahmins.
^As one of the most highly educated Kashmiris in the Punjab, Muhammad Iqbal supported the Kashmiri cause through the Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam and the lesser known Anjuman-i-Kashmiri Musalman. His poetry demonstrates a keen sense of belonging to Kashmir, the magnificent valley which the cruel hands of fate had allowed men of bestial disposition to reduce to abject slavery and benightedness.
^He claimed allegiance not only to his native Punjab but also to his ancestors' home in Kashmir. While raised speaking Punjabi, he was also proud of the remnants of Kashmiri culture that his family maintained-food customs, as well as intermarriage with families of Kashmiri origin-and throughout his life he assigned special importance to others who had Kashmiri roots. In a tongue-in-cheek letter addressed to Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, he went so far as to suggest that being beautiful was the second meaning of being Kashmiri
^By virtue of his disposition, temperament, features and his spirit, Manto remains a Kashmiri Pandit.
^Some 35,000 Kashmiris fled from Indian-controlled Kashmir during the 1990s to settle in Pakistan, a country that has not yet granted citizenship to up to 40 percent of the migrants....migrants speak the Kashmiri language whereas many of the locals speak a dialect of Punjabi.
^One of the chief causes of the ambiguity is because the numbers of Pandits in the valley in 1989 can only be adduced from the census of 1941, the last time the Pandits were counted and listed as distinct from the category of Kashmiri Hindus and that census listed a little fewer than 79,000 Pandits in the valley. It's from this baseline that demographers have sought to work out the number of Kashmir Pandits in the valley in 1990. Using the rough measure of the average decennial growth rate in the state as a whole, available through the censuses up to 1941 and then the 2001 census, the number of Kashmiri Pandits living in the valley before 1990 that they arrive at is about 160,000 to 170,000. So the number of 700,000 as representing the number of Kashmiri Pandit departures after 1989-1990 is not credible because that exceeds by many hundreds of thousands the total of the Kashmiri Pandit population at the time.
^ abProceedings - Indian History Congress, Volume 63. Indian History Congress. 2003. p. 867. Retrieved 30 December 2016. ...the Muslims also retained their Hindu caste-names known as Krams e.g. Tantre, Nayak, Magre, Rather, Lone, Bat, Dar, Parry, Mantu, Yatoo.....
^Amin, Tahir; Schofield, Victoria. Kashmir. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. During both Sikh and Dogra rule, heavy taxation, forced work without wages (begār), discriminatory laws, and rural indebtedness were widespread among the largely illiterate Muslim population.
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