More than 500 years have passed but Sultan Zainulabideen still dominates the governance circuit. Zubair Sofi asks people of eminence and history about the phenomenon
Khalid Bashir – Historian
We can’t say that he is immortal, he is considered to be a great king, he was a builder, he is considered to be secular. Compared to his father, Budshah was very polite to his subjects irrespective of their religion. Soon, people started comparing him with the image of his father. He was maligned by some biased historian. He was not the villain, what is being made so by the historian.
Sikandar was described as a cruel king by historians, which he wasn’t in reality. So it was historians who created a kind image of Budshah compared to his father.
We can’t ignore the contribution of Budshah in Kashmir. He introduced handicraft as a sustainable means of livelihood.
Zareef Ahmad Zareef – Satirist and poet
Budshah introduced handicraft, invited artists from central Asia (Samarkand) to Kashmir to help local artisans refine their skills. He wanted Kashmiris to grow economically by promoting different arts.
He introduced paper making in Kashmir and created a society for workers and named it Kagazgair Mohalla in Nowshera. He also built Draul Tarjam, a school experts used to translate different literature into Persian, and also translated Sanskrit literature into Persian which helped people to seek knowledge.
He was the great believer of secularism, which helped him to create a sense of brotherhood among Kashmiris.
P G Rasool – Columnist
The economic condition of Kashmir before Budshah was really weak. His efforts were significant in elevating the economic condition of the local population. He made many canals in Kashmir, which engaged a number of people. These canals helped people to cultivate otherwise barren lands. This played great role in the economic growth of Kashmir.
Budshah played a very important role in creating a sustainable irrigation system by giving systemic way to the flow of water.
These interventions helped increase agriculture production. During Budshah’s time the production of rice was 77 lakh Khawars that is very unprecedented then.
M Ashraf Wani – Dean Academic, Kashmir University
A passionate king who loved his subjects, Budshah is remembered for developing science, literature, architecture and agriculture. His behavior towards his subjects was very polite, that is why he is remembered with reverence.
He was tolerant and entertained both Hindus and Muslims alike.
Mohmmad Ashraf Batkho – former bureaucrat
One of the greatest contributions of ZainulAbidin was in the field of arts and crafts. After ascending the throne, he invited a large number of competent teachers and craftsmen from Samarkand to train his subjects. Some of the handicrafts introduced include carpet weaving, papier-mâché, silk, paper making etc. Kashmiri artisans improved and perfected these arts to such a level that their fame spread to whole Asia and even to Europe.
A majority of Hindus had left Kashmir taking with them valuable books both religious and secular.
ZainulAbidin, after ascending to the throne, he sent messengers to India inviting Hindus back to their birthplace.
Bashir Ahmad Khan – teaches modern Indian history –Kashmir University.
The contribution of Budshah in the different field of life, especially architecture, canal system is great.
He left many unique things behind, like art, historic structures, for the future generation. His contribution to Kashmir was really exceptional, that is way we count him among the best ruler of Kashmir.
Interestingly, Budshah created his own capital in Nowshera and didn’t rule from where predecessor’s ruled.
Professor Zaheen – teaches medieval Indian history, Kashmir University
Unlike his father, who was a controversial figure, Budshah had an altogether different approach towards his subjects. He was a true believer of secularism.
He is responsible for bringing stability in the economy of Kashmir. He commissioned historian to write the history.
Professor Rashid Lone – teaches Archeology, Kashmir University
ZainulAbidin’s rule was immortalized by his contributions made in the medieval technology of Kashmir. The technological diffusion especially of arts and crafts from Central Asia to Kashmir was made possible by him, which are still the living legends of the Kashmiri culture.
Zainulabidin has made a place in history unsurpassed anywhere for his religious tolerance. His reign shines out as a bright gem amidst the narrow minded and short-sighted rulers of his time. His reign is known for communal harmony as against his father who was a fanatic and was known for religious bigotry. Hindus looked upon Zainulabidin as their best protector during the dark period of religious bigotry. He abolished jaziya and put a ban on Sati system.
His contributions are unparallel in the history of Kashmir for which he is praised even by Abul Fazl and his fame was spread far and wide.