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In wake of scrapping Article 370, look at Kashmir’s Bengali Kshatriyas

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If you are acquainted with Kashmiri surnames, you must have often come across the surname Dar. Found among both Kashmiri Pundits and Muslims, they actually come from the Dhar community of Bengal. The Dhar kram originates from the honorific given to a village head, strongman or a warlord of a jagir, which was prevalent during the 12th century A.D. and remained in vogue up until the 14th Century A.D. Later, many from the community migrated to the region of Gauda, present day Bengal, and much later again returned to the Kashmir Valley. Nevertheless, to this day, there are many Bengali Kshatriyas of the Dhar clan who are found in ancient Gauda region of Bengal.

The Bengali Dhar Brahmins of Kashmir originally belonged to the Bharadwaj gotra. After independence as Kashmir was reeling under a political and constitutional emergency, the Dars were forced to flee and many of them settled in Bengal. They were known as the direct descendants of Lord Shiva. Those who lived bac in the Valley, were mostly converted to Islam and came to be known as Dars also. Hence Dar community consists of both Muslims and Hindus. For centuries this flourishing community has braced all terrorist attacks and jehadi forces operating from the land of their birth. And many of them traced their roots to Bengal that had given them refuge once upon a time.