The Challenge of Akhtar Mohiuddin:
A Kashmiri Religion?
From its origins in the poetry of Lal Ded and Nund Rishi, a distinctive notion of Kashmiri spirituality which combines the early Islamic asceticism with Saivite and Buddhist philosophy, has been a meta-thematic concern in Kashmiri literature.
This spiritual philosophy, even as it gets historically transformed, endures in Kashmiri thought and bears a striking resemblance to via negativa. There are many points of entry into a thinking of this spirituality: the poetry of Ahad Zargar or the vakhs of Bimla Raina offer as many clues to an understanding of this spirituality as the lilas of Parmanand and the masnavis of Mahmud Gami. But I choose here another point of entry: the rage of a people’s writer.
A Fresh Approach to the Cultural History of Kashmir is a controversial book by the Kashmiri writer, Akhtar Mohiuddin, and I present here the last chapter of the book which attempts to raise the question of Kashmiri spirituality in a unique way which points to possible pathways in the future.
The Green Culture of Kashmir [PDF].