Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Timeline Of Ashura Procession In Kashmir

The ashura procession in kashmir which would mark the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali has been banned since 1989 when militancy broke out in kashmir. Hundreds of shia muslims are arrested every year while they struugle for their basic religious right.

History, background and current situation

The Ashura was first taken out during nights in kashmir, as some of the sects were against the beliefs on which it was taken on roads and organised. Later Agha Syed Hussain Jalali with help of sunni muslims tried first to take the procession during day. The group of Kahkashees led the procession by holding quran on their heads and reached their grand destination.  In this way Ashura procession in Kashmir dared to proceed on roads during day. People chanted 'Ye chu zuljanaye syede shohda, ye qatal gah manz draw gache kheem gah' under the light of sun and many shia writers began to write nohas like Mirza Mehdi Beigh became wide spread known for his contribution. The procession continued till decades but during the outbreak of militancy in 1989, grand ashura procession was banned by Indian Government. Many Political clerics and leaders as well filled petitions to lift the ban of grand ashura procession in kashmir but government seemed uninterested. Nowadays ban with hard restrictions is still imposed on the grand procession and the area from where it would proceed remain under tight security on 10th of muharram every year, to prevent the gathering of shia mourners.Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen a political party led by Molvi Abbas Ansari is struggling for basic religion practising rights for shia muslims including repeal of Ashura ban in kashmir which is decades old now. Government of Jammu and Kashmir is now allowing small processions from shia dominated ares but grand procession is not allowed fom Lal chowk as authorities impose restrictions over there which ultimately make mourners unable to commemorate the death of Hussein ibn Ali. Government of Kashmir thus block all those roads which lead to Lal Chowk. Despite restrictions mourners stage protests every year near the Lal Chowk from where the grand ashura would begin its journey. Mourners demonstrate under the banners of various religious parties. The shia mourners are stage protests against Indian Government, claiming India is depriving them from their religious rights.. Activists of Anjuman shere shia also try to defy the restrictions but government in response detain the youth and activists. Government of Kashmir believes that ashura procession may turn anti india sentiment that runs high in kashmir region thus not allowing mourners to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali. 

Inside Kashmir  © copyright work 2013

Riyaz Jalali : I.K. Blogger
Sharafat Hussain Beigh : Proffessional Wikipedian
Imtiyaz Qureshi : Akash Vaani Blogger

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