Kashmir : An Understanding Of The Two Religious Groups Present

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The discussion of Kashmir requires an understanding of the two religious groups present in Kashmir – the minority Kashmiri Pandits (Kashmiris who practice Hinduism and are the original inhabitants of the Kashmir valley) and the majority Kashmiri Muslims – and the history of the movement for self-rule in Kashmir.
The Dogra rule of Jammu and Kashmir originated from the Jammu region of the newly created state in 1846. The Dogras (neighboring Hindu’s) gained control of the state by purchasing it from Britain as part of the Treaty of Amritsar (Bamzai, 1994, p. 666).
Maharaja Hari Singh succeeded in 1925, and soon lost touch with the people and their grievances (Bakaya & Sumeet, 2005, p. 5.) This resulted in a propaganda campaign against his rule in 1931 and a Muslim Conference (later to become the National Conference in 1939) was formed. Sheikh Abdullah, the man who would later lead the Kashmiri people, was a founding member of the Conference. Abdullah continued to petition for freedom, and gained the support of India due to his commitment to secularism.
The partition of India on August 14-15 1947 saw Kashmir become an independent nation like many other princely states. The understanding was that each of these states was to accede to either Pakistan or India based on their geographical position and the wishes of their population. Maharaja Hari Singh delayed his decision in an attempt to maintain Kashmiri independence, a move that resulted in frustration and
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