Aishwarya Rai also a "Kashmir Ki Kali"
While Moses and Jesus are said to have visited the Kashmir Valley to reportedly meet the Jewish community there, Aishwarya Rai also has her roots in Kashmir.Updated: Jan 19, 2004 12:14 IST
There is a Kashmir link between Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai, Moses and Jesus Christ.
While Moses and Jesus are said to have visited the Kashmir Valley to reportedly meet the Jewish community there, Aishwarya Rai according to noted Kashmiriologist Parves Dewan has her roots in
In his latest book 'Kashmir', Dewan, a former civil servant, has carried forward Sir Walter Lawrence's classic compilation, 'The Valley of Kashmir' written in the late 19th century. The book deals with travel, culture, history wildlife and much more.
Dewan has traced the origins of Rai, who was declared the most attractive woman in the world recently by the online edition of Hello! Magazine.
He found that Sarswati Brahmanis (Aishwarya's caste) of Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra have migrated from Kashmir around the turn of the previous millennium.
"The very Kashmiri complexion and light dove eyes of former Miss World are sharp indicators of her Kashmiri ancestry," says Dewan.
He has, however, reserved the challenge for future researchers to study the family trees of Aishwarya's community to trace her roots to a particular village in Kashmir.
He has also broken the myth that Kashmiris are a homogeneous community or belong to the same ethnic group.
"There is a substantial group of Kashmiris having those sharp 'Jewish' facial features, especially noses. Indeed, there are some Hebrew words in the Kashmiri language. Some Jewish customs, food habits and beliefs, too, are found in Kashmir," he claims according to a report in Online News.
"There can be no doubt that Jews used to visit ancient pre- Islamic Kashmir at the rate of one or two visitors a year. They were particularly honoured guests. This explains their stamp on some aspects of Kashmiri life."
"Some of them must have settled in Kashmir and accepted Hinduism (and later Islam). That explains why some Kashmiris have the 'prominent noses' that have intrigued European travellers so much," writes Dewan.
About the presence of Moses and Jesus in Kashmir, Dewan refers to the manuscripts of the Bhavishya Maha Puran, Mullah Nadiri's Tareekh-e-Kashmir and an ancient manuscript in the revered Buddhist Hemis caves in Ladakh.
"If these documents have not been tampered with, then there can be no doubt but that Lord Jesus had lived for at least a while in Kashmir and Ladakh," he maintains.
Kashmir's first written historical work 'The Rajatarangini' has also referred unambiguously to a Christ-like seer who was crucified by a Herod-like king and who lived in and ruled over Kashmir, possibly in the 1st century AD.
In any case, there's an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence that indicates that Jesus might have come to Kashmir. He has, however, disputed the claim that Lord Jesus was buried in Kashmir. There are identical beliefs about Prophet Moses also. Though, there is no evidence that he too is buried in Kashmir, but there are indications that he too has visited the Kashmir
On the advent of Islam in Kashmir Valley, the author maintains that this is perhaps the only place where the influential and higher castes like Brahmins and Thakurs converted first. Lower castes like fishermen and scavengers etc. turned to Islam sometime after 200 years. This is because it was the king himself
who became Muslims first and was followed by his courtiers.
The book also reveals that the Durranis (Aghans) were the ones who pampered the Kashmiri Pandit community to the hilt. They appointed several Kashmiri Pandits to high office in Srinagar as well as in Kabul. Not one of these senior officials converted to Islam in order to obtain or retain their position.
However, in the villages, some Kashmiri Pandits accepted Islam. Significant among these was a Kashmiri Pandit from Rajwer. Around 1760, he became a Muslim, with the name Sheikh Abdullah. Almost two centuries later, his descendant became the prime minister and later chief minister of the state.
First Published: Jan 19, 2004 12:14 IST