Kashmiri people

Kashmiri people

ethnic group
group=Kashmiri People

poptime = "5,600,000"
regions =
region1 = flagcountry|IND
pop1 = 5,527,698 (2001)
ref1 = lower| [http://www.censusindia.gov.in/Census_Data_2001/Census_Data_Online/Language/Statement1.htm Abstract of speakers’ strength of languages and mother tongues – 2001] , "Census of India" (retrieved 14 May 2008)]
region2 = flagcountry|Pakistan
pop2 = 105,000 (1993)
ref2 = lower| [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=kas Kashmiri: A language of India] , "Ethnologue" (retrieved 14 May 2008)]
rels=Sunni Islam, Shi'a Islam [http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/insights/insight20010101a.html] , Hinduism,Sikhism [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/685479.stm BBC News | SOUTH ASIA | Safety fears for Kashmir's Sikhs ] ]
langs=Kashmiri smaller|"Hindi,cite web|url = http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=kas|title = Kashmiri: A language of India |publisher = Ethnologue |accessdate = 2008-05-14] Urdu,cite web|url = http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=kas|title = Kashmiri: A language of India |publisher = Ethnologue |accessdate = 2008-05-14] or Englishcite web|url = http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=kas|title = Kashmiri: A language of India |publisher = Ethnologue |accessdate = 2008-05-14] also spoken widely as second languages"
related=Other Dardic peoples
The Kashmiri people (Kashmiri: कॉशुर, کٲشُر "Koshur") are a Dardic ethnic group living in the central valley of Kashmir in India who speak the Kashmiri language. Kashmiri is "a Northwestern Dardic language of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European language family." [UCLA Languages Project: Kashmirihttp://www.lmp.ucla.edu/Profile.aspx?LangID=198&menu=004] which is also known as "Koshur" and hence are classified as a Dardic people.


Originally, the Kashmiris were mostly Buddhist and Hindu. Islam was introduced by Sufi saints from Central Asia, Hazrat Bulbul Shah of Anatolia being the most prominent of them. Prince Rinchin of Ladakh, a Buddhist who was living in Jammu & Kashmir at the time came under the influence of Saint Bulbul Shah and converted to Islam. Later on after the defeat of the Hindu ruler Suhadeva by Dulchu, Suhadeva fled Kashmir, and Rinchin became King of Jammu & Kashmir and adopted the name Malik Saduruddin. Eventually the majority of Kashmiris adopted Islam and became Muslim, although there are still small communities of Hindus and Sikhs living in the Kashmir Valley, the former being known as Kashmiri Pandits.Fact|date=September 2008

Ethnic variation as shown by linguistics

The population living in the Valley of Kashmir is primarily homogeneous, despite the religious divide between Muslims (94%), Hindus (4%), and Sikhs (2%). The people of the Valley, share common ethnicity, culture, language and customs, which is no doubt the basis of "Kashmiriyat".

The people living in Jammu that profess Hinduism and Islam are ethnically different from those living in the Kashmir Valley in terms of ethnicity, language and culture. The people living in Azad Kashmir, share common religion with their counterparts along the line of control, but are not ethnically and culturally similar to the people living in the Valley who are Dardic. The predominant language of Azad Kashmir is Pahari and the people of Azad Kashmir are ethnic Punjabis. Kashmiri is only spoken in a few border areas of Neelum District. [ [http://hrw.org/reports/2006/pakistan0906/3.htm HRW Culture and Ethnicity-Kashmir] ] The people living in Ladakh are primarily Buddhist and are of Tibetan origins. The Muslim minority in Ladakh belongs to the Shia sect. The Kashmir Valley is ethnically homogeneous with ethnic Kashmiris of all religions residing mainly in the Kashmir Valley, with Srinagar as its capital.


Further reading

* Kashmir Return of Democracy By Yodhishter Kahul, Yudhistar ed Kahol
* The Crisis in Kashmir: Portents of War, Hopes of Peace By Šumit Ganguly

See also

* Kashmiri Pandits
* List of Kashmiris

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