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Freedom Struggle and Great Zadu Dynasty

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By: Dr. Shiben Krishen Raina

Most of the patriots and freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives in the Indian independence movement have found a place in our history and historians have highlighted their contribution sufficiently. But there are some freedom lovers and martyrs who could not find a place in history. The reasons may be anything, but it would not be unreasonable here to remember them and pay tribute to them, more especially, when the ‘Amrit Mahotsav of Independence’ is being celebrated in the country.

Late Jagadhar Jadu, a well-known professor of the Kashmiri Pandit community, was a famous researcher and scholar of Sanskrit. He was the first Kashmiri scholar to work with Japanese and Russian scholars. Dinanath Jadu and Kantichandra Jadu were born in 1916 and 1918 respectively to this promising and intellectual Kashmiri Pandit. Dinanath Jadu was a captain in the Azad Hind Fauj (INA) and fought bravely in Malaysia. He died in India in 1986. The second brother, Kantichandra Jadu, is believed to have been the personal secretary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. It is also alleged that Kantichandra Jadu was on board the same plane that mysteriously crashed in the year 1945 due to which both Subhash Chandra Bose and Kantichandra Jadu lost their lives.

Broadly speaking, the Jadu family of Kashmir has always been courageous and nationalistic in its approach and conduct. There is one more example: Krishna Misri (Jadu) had registered herself as a volunteer in the women’s wing of the ‘National Militia’ during the Pakistani-backed tribal (Kabayili) invasion on Kashmir in October 1947. In fact, ‘National Militia’ was a woman wing of Self-Defense attributed to the National Conference. This wing was also known as the ‘Women Self Defense Corps’ (WSDC). During the Pakistan-backed tribal attack on Kashmir in 1947, this wing did a remarkable job in which the contribution of Krishna Misri (Jadu) cannot be forgotten. Krishna should have been a teenager of only 13 or 14 years at the time of the tribal attack on Kashmir but her selfless and enthusiastic service for the people of Kashmir at the time of turmoil was exemplary.

We can, in no way, ignore the patriotism and supreme sacrifice of the late Pushkarnath Jadu who was born on 15th April 1928 to Pt. Vasudev Jadu and Smt. Devaki Jadu. His father was an engineer in the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. Pushkarnath did his graduation from Amar Singh College, Srinagar. Science was his main subject. He was influenced by the leftist ideology. In that era, some enthusiastic and nationalist youth of Srinagar-Kashmir had formed an organization called ‘Progressive Group’. Later, this group established a ‘Peace Brigade’ as a front-line force to counter the Trible Raid on Kashmir. Some volunteers led by Pushkarnath Jadu went to Handwara to stop the march of the tribal invaders. These young men had almost nothing in the name of weapons at their disposal. Still, they did not give up. Once the Indian Army units started arriving at the request of the then Maharaja of J&K, Pushkarnath and other nationalist youths started assisting and giving logistic support to these units in the Handwara-Kupwara-Teetwal region. Since Pushkarnath was familiar with the local language and environment, seeing his hard work, dedication, and capability, the administration entrusted him with the important responsibility of collecting local information, intelligence reports and other relevant inputs. He was posted to the Teettwal front. Here, while performing his duty, in July 1948, this untold, unknown and unsung hero, laid down his life for the pride and glory of his motherland Kashmir and thus became a great martyr of the nation and that of the Kashmiri Pandit community, in particular.

Needless to mention here that my wife Hansa Zadu has a close family relationship with this legendary family and is the granddaughter of the great Shaivite and Sanskrit Scholar Late Har Bhatt (Zadu)Shastri. It may not be out of context to highlight the contribution of this great scholar here briefly. Born in 1874 in a family that had produced some of the topmost Sanskrit scholars of Kashmir, Har Bhatt Zadu was yet another great personality. His father Pandit Keshav Bhatt Zadu was the Royal Astrologer in the Court of Maharaja Ranbir Singh, the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir who was a great patron of scholars and scholarship. After obtaining an academic degree in Shastri from Lahore University, Har Bhatt Shastri (Zadu) worked as Pandit at the Oriental Research Department of Jammu and Kashmir state, a post from which he retired in 1931.

Har Bhatt’s sharp intellect, his great erudition and, especially his deep insight into the Shaiva philosophy of Kashmir won him the esteem of such distinguished scholars as K. C. Pandey of Lucknow University and Prof James H. Wood of the College of Oriental Languages and Philosophy, Bombay. His repute attracted the well-known linguist Prof Suniti Kumar Chatterji to him and he stayed in Srinagar for two years to learn the basics of the monistic philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism from him.

It was only after David B. Spooner came from the USA to Kashmir to learn from scholars like Har Bhatt and Nitya Nand Shastri that Sanskrit began to be taught as a subject at Harvard University in 1905.

This “celebrated scholar of Shaiva lore”, the greatest interpreters of the Shaiva philosophy of Kashmir, he passed away in 1951. His illustrious American disciple, Dr. Spooner, often wrote letters to him paying obeisance to Har Bhatt and holding him in highest esteem as always.


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