Potohari + Mirpuri = Real Kashmiri?
- Potohar is treated as a region of Northern Punjab, but is its Culture
and people really a component of Punjab and are their Manners and
Cutoms the same as of Punjabis of the South?
Azad Kashmir or Mirpur is a land of troublemakers, for Pakistanis as
well as Indians. Indians see their stubborn resistance, a historical
enmity against all things Hindu, the most recent reason for which is
the Hindu Dogra (mis)rule of Punchhi Potohari areas by the Dogra
rulers of Jammu. Mirpuri Potoharis,wholike being called Kashmiris
have little in common with Kashmiris of the Valley and elsewhere.
Their language is a Pahari-Potohari which resembles, or rather which
is the mother of Dogri and Southern Punjabi, because it is free from
many Turak inflections which Punjabi, as spoken by Jats and other
mixed races in the south speak, probably since mongolian-altaic also
happens to be the racial character of these people.
Pakistanis feel compelled to continue their Kashmir programme because
if they do not, these Mirpuri Azad Kashmiris(Potoharis basically,
from the east of Jhelum) will regard it as a gross betrayal and any
kinship which religion makes them feel with the Pakistanis will be
undermined. Most Mirpuris are Sudhans although in the southern areas
there live a few Jatts. Another people are the Gujjars who do not
feel strongly about the Mirpuri Kashmiri cause but they live on the
Indian Side of the divide.
Potohari Saraswats, who migrated to India in 1947 or converted to
Islam are also related to the Sudhans, both are a unique warrior
people,whereas Sudhans live in the mountains or at greater altitude
being the only differentiator, rest of their Culture is alike. THe
Hindus were chided for being spiritually Muslims by some other
Brahmanical groups which made them either diffident or some got
inverted and identified themselves with a new breed of fanatical
Mirpuris and Pushto-Afghans, they are the ones which have found
plenty of faults within the western lands where they migrated years
ago, given some socio-economic problems in their regions which was
not developed by the Southern punjabi Pakistani political elite which
has probably always lacked trust in them, nothwithstanding the common
collectivist cause called Pakistan, which they share.
There is little which is now known about the Saraswat Brahmans(Hindu
Sudhans) and now this sub-race is almost lost, but I request Ravi to
read some more about the Sudhans and if possible detail a response
which might suggest their relationship with the Jat/Jatt groups.
I will post a few of our old ways.
Potoharis are warriors and Poets.
Potoharis are simple, honest and hardworking men of soil.
Potoharis are a highly conservative group, patriarchy being a strong
Most true Potoharis are Sudhans, Rajput Muslims Including the
Janjuas, Saraswats(out of the landscape).
Potoharis think Kashmiris are wimps and Buddhists, especially the
Potoharis have lately become staunch Muslims because of their
historical animosities with respect to the Dogras and the Indian
Mirpuris/Potoharis fear India thus they have temporarily accepted
their status as Pakistanis being a deterrent against an Indian
invasion upon their land.
I feel that exploration has dicovered probable profitable drilling
prospects in the Potohar region. And this land is going to get alot
more interesting once the Oil forces are settled with Iraq and the
rest of the Middle East. In Pakistan, there is a willing
Mohajir/fellaheen elite which will align its interests with forces of
oil & energy and northern people will be pitted against them,but
before that their Culture needs to be destroyed and their blood ought
to be wasted to exhaust them of any yearning for fighting.
Mirpuris in the west have created a support for the Kashmiri Cause
there among Political Elite. The valley has its own anti-India issues
fuelled by Guns, muscle and petrodollars, but eventually their vision
of Islam is hardly similar to that of Mirpuri-Potohari.
Genetically however, Potoharis, Punchhis & Mirpuris are closer to
Kashmiris. Toomas Kivisild reckons that the Nordindid Kashmiris might
be the original Indo-European race, and from them are derived
Potoharis who could be the Aryan Sudas and Pururavas.
Khatri and Aroras are likely an Indo-Greek and Sindhi people,
distinct from Potoharis.
If they are at all related to the Jats, who claim a Saraswati
homeland, much becomes obvious and who knows if Jats and our folk are
actually a common people.