The Mughal annexation of Kashmir is said to be the direct outcome of the Shia-Sunni strife and turbulence that had ravaged and seeped deep to the very roots of Kashmir polity causing chaos, disruption and dismantling of societal and political structures. The Sunni Muslims as per their history in time complained of severe and unsparing political and religious oppression and persecution, which touched its culmination in the exile of Sheikh Hamza Maqdoom from the precincts of Srinagar city to Beerva village in Badgam District for spear-heading an anti-Shia movement. The two political advisers of the Sheikh, paradoxically designated as suns, repaired to the imperial court of Akbar faith the humble petition that the Sunni Muslims had been reeling and groaning under severe religious and political repression and needed an immediate retrieval and salvation from the chak rulers and their official machine. Yaqub Sarfi and Baba Dawood Khaki known as inveterate Shia-foes were involved in a maze of conspiracies against the chak regime. That they sought for the intervention of the Mughal Emperor to dismantle the Shia-led regime was deemed as the only viable and acceptable course open to them.
MUGHAL ANNEXATION AT THE BEHEST OF MUSLIMS
Though being deliberately smoke-screened, yet there is clinching historical evidence available not only to suggest, but also to establish the leading role of Yaqub Sarfi in coaxing and inviting the Mughals for invasion of Kashmir. At the head of a Sunni delegation, he ostensibly apprised the Mughal Emperor of the oppression perpetrated by Chak fanatics as deviants from Islam on the Sunni Muslims, but in reality, he in his moves and motives was prompted by his sectarian and anti-Shia sentiments and prejudices. It is said that he even spelt-out in detail some of the conditions, which the emperor was required to act upon in the wake of the annexation of Kashmir to the vast Mughal empire. That the Muslims (Sunnis) would not be reduced to the position of slaves, they would not be oppressed and harnessed for begar (Corvee) and the treacherous Chak nobles would be kept away from the administrative management of Kashmir were the prime conditions stipulated by the delegation led by Sarfi. Muslims of the Sunni brand alone were his primary and over-riding concern. Not a word was said about the Kashmiri Pandits, who were marauded, brutalised and massacred for the religion they espoused and harboured. They were hounded out and obliged to roam about the mountainous regions and plains of India to save themselves from the hurricane of Muslim bigotry and intolerance. It is within the realms of possibility that the Emperor had his covetous eyes on the splendorous vale of Kashmir and even had prior plans to annexe Kashmir. But, the Sunni-Muslim leadership after prolonged and concerted deliberations sent a mission to the Imperial court, thus providing an alibi to the Emperor for an armed intervention in Kashmir. The front-line objective of the Sunni-Muslims was only to turn turtle the apple-cart of the Shia-Muslims and destroy their hegemony over Kashmir. It is said that Yaqub Sarfi and Baba Dawood Khaki cringed and crooned before the Emperor for immediate despatch of troops to the valley and when troops were despatched, Sarfi accompanied the Imperial army to be at its beck and call and also serve as its guide to facilitate the conquest of Kashmir by Mughals.
It was at the persuasion of Sarfi that the recalcitrant Chiefs of Karnah (West of Kashmir) surrendered to the Mughal army, which as a matter of strategy utilised that as a vital base for further forays and incursions into the valley of Kashmir. The emperor possessed of ample fund of military experience made his own assessments and calculations and virtually ignored and paid no heed to the boastful claims of Sarfi about the unstirred support that he drew from the fractious nobles and grantees of Kashmir for the Mughal annexation of the territory under the Chak sway and rule. The troops were despatched via Hirpur route and in the battle that ensued at Hastivanj, Sarti was seriously wounded and was removed from the battle-field by his friends in the arms.
The significant role played by the Sunni leadership operating under the direct guidance and patronage of Sheikh Hamza Maqdoom is deliberately being played down and even rejected as untrue by the formulators and sponsors of the theory that Kashmir lost its independence with the Mughals annexing it to their empire ruled from Delhi and Agra in 1586 A.D.
Records M.J.Akbar, "Kashmir suddenly became part of a larger world and peace of this world of empire would last for more than a century and a half, that was the extraordinary legacy of Akbar."
He further records, "A standard land revenue policy brought stability and growth to the largely agricultural economy.
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