Kashmir

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Kashmir is a beautiful valley in the northernmost part of India and widely known for it being heaven on earth. It is part of a state called Jammu & Kashmir. The Kashmir Valley is surrounded by some of the highest mountain ranges in the world. The valley itself is green and thickly populated. The people of this Valley are from one of the oldest civilisations in the world and they would normally benefit from the rich heritage and culture of Kashmir.  This heritage and culture is deteriorating due to disasters, famine, lack of education and services.

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The Kashmir Region is about 85,000 sq. miles in size, and because of the breathtaking mountains scenery, is often referred to as the "Switzerland of the East."

Over 12.5 million Kashmiri people live in the area. Many farm the fertile valley, while others work in the famous Kashmir wool industry, producing carpets and shawls.

Most of those people, and the areas where they live and work, were completely devastated by the October, 2005, earthquake.

A Poem by Allama Iqbal (Sir Mohammed Iqbal) of Kashmir

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KASHMIR

Repair to Kashmir’s land and see Hills, meadows, pastures, wealds. See miles on miles of greenery And endless tulip?fields.

Whiff after whiff spring breezes blow, And hosts of birds of spring— The thrush, the quail, the dove — all go From place to place and sing.

To hide it from the jealous sky The earth veils its fair face Behind a complex tracery Of shrubs that interlace.

The tulips burst forth from the earth; The waves leap up in streams. Look at the sparks the dust puts forth And the waves’ silver seams.

Come bring your lute and strike its strings, And fill your cup with wine, And let there be gay gatherings To greet spring’s caravan.

Look at that highborn Brahmin maid, Lily?limbed, tulip?faced, Look at her and feel yourself fade Into someone low?placed.

Historic dates of Kashmir

1846 -The British East India Co sells Kashmir off plan to a maharajah for six million rupees and an annual tribute of six shawls spun from the wool of Kashmiri goats.

1925 -Maharajah Hari Singh conquers the throne of the princely state of Kashmir. He is part of a dynasty, empowered by the British, ruling over a majority Muslim state.

1947- Partition - India gains control of Kashmir after the British installed maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in return for armed assistance, basically handed over a country so he could save himself and future proofed the children of Kashmir from harm, since then over a million deaths. Indian troops in Kashmir fight their first war against Pakistan. The war ends after a UN intervention on 1 January 1949 that sets up a cease fire line between the two states.