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During the Ashok Regime, Buddhists moved to Kashmir, and except for Brahmins, other orders and classes started to blur. Women in Kashmir were held in high regard, unseen in other communities, least in Islam. (1/n)
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. (2/n)
In 14th century, finally, Muslim rule began owing to the invasions and due to internal problems caused by the then feudal lords. The Brahmins were unhappy as they were subjected to burdensome taxes unlike before. (3/n)
In 15th century, Zulju, a Mongol, Sultan Sikandar began boasting Islam by destruction of non-Muslim religious symbols and forced population to either covert or to flee. Brahmins began fleeing, also because of the offer of lands and less taxes by other rulers across India. (4/n)
Their high literacy and dignity that Brahmins maintained attracted high respect in every region they fled to. Kashmir Valley now became a Muslim dominated area. (5/n)
Sikandar's heir, the devout Muslim Zain-ul-Abidin, was tolerant of Hindus to the extent of sanctioning a return to Hinduism of those who had been forcibly converted to the Muslim faith, as well as becoming involved in the restoration of temples. (6/n)
He respected the learning of these Pandits, to whom he gave land as well as encouraging those who had left to return. He operated a meritocracy and both Brahmins and Buddhists were among his closest advisors. (7/n)
Then came Akbar in 16th century. Hindus enjoyed high position jobs and properties. Pleased with their intelligence, Akbar conferred Brahmins with their surname, Pandit. As Mughal rule continued, many converted to Islam, except Pandits who continued being Shaivites. (8/n)
Hindus were still a majority. The Pandits were the first to bring about social reforms owing to their power and high literacy. Education bound the entire country's elite together with high regards for Pandits (9/n)
The society of Kashmiri Pandits is divided mainly into following sub-categories: Banmasi who had initially migrated from the valley during the rule of Muslim kings and later returned and Malmasi who stayed back in valley despite all odds. (10/n)
Both categories had different customs and traditions. Later, the Pandits who started doing business were categorized as Buhirs. Come 1989, these categories would begin to fade. (11/n)
The Kashmiri Pandits had been a favoured section of the population of the valley during Dogra rule in mid 20th century. 20 per cent of them left the valley as a consequence of the 1950 land reforms, and by 1981 the Pandit population amounted to 5 per cent of the total. (12/n)
Now began radical threats by local Muslims. Militancy erupted against the beloved Pandits. Mosques shouted announcements for male Pandits.
1. Leave Kashmir
2. Convert to Islam
3. Die

Those who chose option 1 were asked to leave women behind for the pleasure of Muslims (13/n)
Mosques announced on speakers urging Muslims to find out Pandit houses on 19th Jan 1990 in order to systematically target them for conversion or death. Over 180,000 Pandits out of 200,000 from the valley left Kashmir, with nowhere to go. (14/n)
Many of the refugee Kashmiri Pandits had been living in abject conditions in refugee camps of Jammu. The government had been reported on the terrorist threats to Pandits still living in the Kashmir region, with little help. Hindus across India lent a helping hand (15/n)
Bal Thackeray from Maharashtra got seats reserved in engineering colleges for the children of these Pandits. He was one of the first persons to help them after which Punjab also followed suit. (16/n)
In 2009 Oregon Legislative Assembly passed a resolution to recognise 14 September 2007, as Martyrs Day to acknowledge ethnic cleansing and campaigns of terror inflicted on non-Muslim minorities of Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists seeking to establish an Islamic state. (17/n)
In early years of 21st century, GoI tried to provide incentives to migrated Pandits to facilitate their return to Kashmir. The memories of horror forbade them. 400+ Pandits had been massacred in front of their wives, parents and children. (17/n)
From being 6% of Kashmir Population in 1947, less than 3000 Pandit families remain in Kashmir Valley as on 2011. A total of 60,000 families migrated across India after the incident of 1990. Countless wives, mothers and sisters were raped in 1990-91 by peace loving Muslims (18/n)
Pakistan sponsored militancy that made Pandits watch their loved ones get killed, raped or tortured isn't spoken about by Indian media. They care not for Hindus. They fled their ancestral homes without nothing in their hands and nowhere to go. (19/n)
Pandits are overjoyed over scrapping of 370 article that will offer more security and safety for the Pandits and will encourage them to reclaim what was stolen from them 30 years ago. Whether or not some liberals support 370, i stand with the Pandits. What about you? (20/20)
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