The ambiguity of the word Kashmiriyat can be understood from its usage and interpretation in various contexts. At regular intervals, the word is thrown like a Dice to remind Kashmiri’s to uphold completely alien traits. If we were to give a little thought to the phrase itself, it fails to find its place in the Kashmiri Lexicon and is much connected to the Hindi language. Take an example, Punjabiyat or Hundustaniyat, but how come Kashmiriyat came to be accepted as part of the Kashmir narrative. Not so long, the word was completely alien to the discourse of Kashmir and its language. As the word itself is self-evident for its foreignness, it’s vagueness its quite visible in the language of those who implement it to promote their nefarious designs. The phrase is often mentioned when Kashmiri demands their right-to-self-determination as promised by the United Nations as well as Pakistan and India.
In 1935, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah started a weekly called Hamdard with Prem Nath Bazaz. The idea behind this newspaper was to promote the political ambitions of Abdullah and at the same time garner support for the National Conference. He had earlier met Prem Nath Bazaz (1932) in Chashma Shahi where the cropping of National Conference was already planted in him. There were two reasons for that: One is that he required funds for his political activities and the second that he could get the support of Indian Congress. Nehru on the other side was anxious about the fact that Kashmir being a Muslim majority will find space in the Muslim League of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Having ideologically parted ways from the Muslim Conference and working on the creation of All Parties National Conference, the duo coined a term called Kashmiriyat. The term meant to segregate Kashmiri’s from the politics of the Muslim league and create a unique identity of so-called ethnonationalism that was much connected to the Indian National Congress.
Sheikh Abdullah saw an advantage of aligning to Congress as he deemed the Muslim Conference to be poor and unable to fund his designs. With the help of Prem Nath Bazaz, he could have unalienable support of the Indian National Congress. Apart from other things, Hamdard became his mouthpiece and term Kashmiriyat, a political thought to befool Kashmiri’s.
The term got later adopted by Indian politicians and other of their flunkeys to further the political manipulation. Every time Kashmiris demand their right, this term is thrown in the air to tell Kashmiris, that they should follow Kashmiriyat and by their logic, it sees Kashmir as a serene playground deleted of its people and their aspirations to rule their destiny. It simply defines the whole character of Kashmir as someone submissive, unable, and unfit to choose for themselves.
No matter how foreign the term is, it’s being attached to Kashmir in every Kashmiri discussion, even the Indian people who use it are aloof for what it means because it’s never been part of the Kashmiri language. The interpretation might change, but the purpose remains the same, to further political propaganda. People often believe this is a Kashmiri word when it doesn’t exist in the dictionary of Kashmir. Even Kashmir doesn’t exist in the Kashmiri language, its called Casheer.