J&K: Dilemma of Accession – Part IIB
by Radha Rajan on 19 Dec 2016 3 Comments
Section VI

 

8. In September 1947, the Maharaja released Sheikh Abdullah before expiry of the term of imprisonment to which then he had been sentenced. His object in doing this was two fold. Firstly, he hoped to put himself right with the Congress by building up an alibi with reference to Sheikh Abdullah’s arrest and trial, viz., that it was the Prime Minister (Pandit Kak) and not he who was responsible for this and for the refusal subsequently to Abdullah’s release. (This would, however, not have been easy, since the Maharaja had himself had rejected Shri Kripalani’s plea for Sheikh Abdullah’s release when Shri Kripalani came to Jammu in May 1947 and spoke to the Maharaja personally about it). The Maharaja’s second object was to make a deal with Abdullah by offering the National Conference a couple more ministerships, there being already two elected ministers out of five in the Kashmir Government and the idea was to add two more to the total.

 

9. Sheikh Abdullah declined and publicly declared that the future of the State would be settled by the will of the people. India and Pakistan had at this time already come into existence as separate Dominions. After announcing this, he left for Delhi.

 

12. What Sheikh Abdullah was really gambling for and what his alliance with the Congress in effect provided, was an independent principality [sic] whose continued existence was guaranteed by the Indian armed forces and whose solvency was secured by the Indian treasury. There was, however, no idea of a quid pro quo from his side. He did not expect to be called to account either in respect of the internal administration of the State or the utilization of the funds supplied to him by the Indian Government [emphasis added]

 

13. The curious thing is that despite the fact that he made no secret of his intentions, it took India no less than six years to make up its mind to face up to the true situation, viz, that Sheikh Abdullah [sic] stood only for his own aggrandizement and that he had no affection for India, and no use [sic] for her except to the extent she subserved his ends.      

 

Section 1

 

17. With the arrival of Lord Mountbatten in India as Governor General and Crown Representative, and the decision to partition India, the Kashmir Government’s feelings with regard to non-accession became more pronounced…. Kashmir was now asked, not merely as before to communicate its decision with regard to accession, but to state whether it would accede to India or Pakistan.

 

4. The dilemma of accession; Mountbatten’s insistence on accession to Pakistan, and his pre-condition of plebiscite

 

18. Lord Mountbatten visited Kashmir in June 1947 with the specific object of getting a decision from the Maharaja to accede. He had a talk with Pandit Kak on that occasion and subsequently in Delhi in the following month…. Pandit Kak asked him point-blank to state as to which Dominion he advised Kashmir to accede. Lord Mountbatten, avoiding the direct reply, said, “That is entirely for you to decide. You must consider your geographical position, your political situation and the composition of your population and then decide.” “Kak rejoined “That means that you advise us to accede to Pakistan. It is not possible for us to do that; and since that is so, we cannot accede to India”. In other words, since Kashmir would not accede to Pakistan, it could not accede to India.

 

21. …Pandit Kak saw Jinnah also, and had a long talk with him. Mr. Jinnah advised him to accede to Pakistan and stated that Kashmir, by immediate accession would get far better terms from Pakistan than she was likely to get later. On being told that the State’s decision not to accede was definite, Mr. Jinnah said that so far as he was concerned, he was prepared to concede that this was option which could be exercised by the State and so long as the State did not accede to India, he would not mind if it did not accede to Pakistan.

 

Note:

“He (Mountbatten) accepted a long-standing invitation from the Maharajah to visit Kashmir again and went there in the third week of June. Lord Mountbatten spent four days discussing the situation and arguing with the Maharaja. He told him that independence was not, in his opinion, a feasible proposition and that the State would not be recognized as a Dominion by the British Government. He assured the Maharaja that, so long as he made up his mind to accede to one Dominion or the other, before August 15, no trouble would ensue, for whichever Dominion he would accede to, would take the State firmly under its protection as part of its territory. He went so far as to tell the Maharaja that, if he acceded to Pakistan, India would not take it amiss and that he had a firm assurance on this from Sardar Patel himself. Lord Mountbatten went further to say that, in view of the composition of the population, it was particularly important to ascertain the wishes of the people.” (Integration of the Indian States, pp. 451-52)

 

Mountbatten’s implicit threat, that if the Maharaja did not accede by August 15 there would be serious problems, must be read together with the fact that, as of August 15, the armed forces in both India and Pakistan were headed by British Officers and this was the situation even in October when the Pakistani army, packaged as tribal invaders, invaded and occupied Kashmir in a well-planned operation. The invasion and occupation happened in the political and administrative vacuum created by the resignation of Prime Minister Ramchandra Kak. All this would have been known to MI5, to the British Officers in India and Pakistan, and certainly would have been known to Mountbatten.

 

5. When British Officers and Muslim League made common cause in Gilgit

 

“Before the Jinnah-Mountbatten parleys took place, another drama had been enacted. I have already mentioned that soon after the announcement of the transfer of power, the Gilgit Agency had been retroceded to the Maharajah. The Maharajah then appointed a Governor for that area. The Governor, accompanied by Major-General HL Scott, Chief of Staff of the Jammu and Kashmir Army, reached Gilgit on 30 July. On arrival they found that all the officers of the British Government had opted for service in Pakistan. There was no State civil staff available to take over from these officers. The Gilgit Scouts also wanted to go over to Pakistan. In addition to the Scouts, 6 J&K battalion (half Sikhs and half Muslims) was the only State force unit available…

 

At midnight of 31 October, the Governor’s residence was surrounded by the Gilgit Scouts. The next morning the Governor was put under arrest and a provisional government was established by the rebels. The Muslim elements (including officers) in the State force garrison had deserted; the non-Muslim elements were largely liquidated. Those who survived escaped to the hills and then joined the State force garrison at Skardu. On 4 November, Major Brown, the British Commandant of the Gilgit Scouts ceremonially hoisted the Pakistan Flag in the Scouts’ lines and in the third week of November, a Political Agent from Pakistan established himself at Gilgit (Integration of the Indian States, pp. 463-64)    

 

6. Mountbatten’s pre-conditions for accepting the Instrument of Accession

 

“On the evening of 24 October, the Government of India received a desperate appeal for help from the Maharajah. They also received from the Supreme Commander information regarding the raiders’ advance and possible intentions. On the morning of 25 October, a meeting of the Defense Committee was held, presided over by Lord Mountbatten. This committee considered the request of the Maharaja for arms and ammunition as also for reinforcement of troops. Lord Mountbatten emphasized that no precipitate action should be taken until the Government of India had fuller information. It was agreed that I should fly to Srinagar immediately in order to study the situation on the spot and to report to the Government of India. …

 

The Maharaja was completely unnerved by the turn of events and by his sense of lone helplessness. There were practically no State Forces left and the raiders had almost reached the outskirts of Baramula.

 

We left Srinagar in the first light of the morning of 26 October and immediately on my arrival in Delhi, I went straight to a meeting of the Defence Committee. I reported my impression of the situation and pointed out the supreme necessity of saving Kashmir from the raiders. Lord Mountbatten said that it would be improper to move Indian troops into what was at the moment an independent country as Kashmir had not yet decided to accede to either India or Pakistan. If it were true that the Maharaja was now anxious to accede to India, then Jammu and Kashmir would become part of Indian territory. This was the only basis on which Indian troops could be sent to the rescue of the State from further pillaging by the aggressors. He further expressed the strong opinion that in view of the composition of the population, accession should be conditional on the will of the people being ascertained by a plebiscite after the raiders had been driven out of the State and law and order had been restored. This was readily agreed to by Nehru and other ministers.

 

Soon after the meeting of the Defence Committee I flew to Jammu accompanied by (Prime Minister) Mahajan…. The Maharaja was asleep;… I woke him up and told him of what had taken place at the Defence Committee meeting. He was ready to accede at once. He then composed a letter to the Governor General describing the pitiable plight of the State and reiterating his request for military help. He further informed the Governor General that it was his intention to set up an interim government at once and to ask Sheikh Abdullah to carry the responsibilities in this emergency with Mehr Chand Mahajan, his Prime Minister.” (Integration of the Indian States, pp. 455-458)          

 

Note:

At the time of crisis when every hour mattered and when Pakistani soldiers were approaching Srinagar, Mountbatten refused to act promptly. VP Menon’s narrative has no mention of Gandhi’s response, if any, or Sardar Patel’s views on the issue of delayed response and Mountbatten’s pre-condition for plebiscite. Either Gandhi had no conception of Hindu nation or did not subscribe to it. The Hindu Nation historically has always had well-defined borders. The kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir was well within these borders.

 

Why was Sardar Patel silent on those occasions when he should have been on the warpath? As Home Minister of independent India, sending Indian troops to Jammu and Kashmir ought to have been his decision and that of his Prime Minister. Mountbatten had no locus standi. Why did Sardar Patel not send Indian troops on the 22nd or even 23rd October when Pakistan launched its all-out invasion of Jammu and Kashmir; why did he allow Mountbatten to make plebiscite a pre-condition?

 

7. Why did the Kashmir State Troops offer no resistance to the invading army?

 

Section V

 

41. The question why the Kashmir State troops put up little or no resistance against the raiders in October 1947 needs an answer. When Pandit Kak relinquished office on 11th August 1947, it became clear to the people of the State that his policy and methods would now no longer be followed. Consequently, the confidence which the people had felt and by reason of which they had remained calm and untroubled when blood was flowing freely between the two major communities in the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, often within their own sight and hearing, was shattered. That being so, maintenance of law and order would under the new circumstances require far greater resources than were available to the successor State Government.

 

42. Secondly, Pandit Kak’s elimination was followed by what can only be termed the decapitation of the entire administration. The Revenue Minister was retired a few days later; the Chief Secretary, the Chief of the Army Staff, the Inspector-General of Police, the Governor of Kashmir, the Director of Civil Supplies, the Chief Engineer and other important officers, were almost immediately removed from their office, and in their place were appointed people of little or no experience and some of doubtful reputation, the majority belonging to one community, the Maharaja’s own.

 

Naturally, when the shock came, there was no one in high authority willing to take responsibility and capable of taking adequate action. The new Prime Minister, an estimable old gentleman now nearly 80 years old, was not physically or mentally able to bear the strain of the strenuous [sic] events confronting him. On assuming office, he took to his bed and seldom emerged from it till he handed over charge on 15th October. … The Maharaja was hag-ridden by superstition in the person of his Guru, Swami Sant Dev and was unable to make up his mind firmly in any matter.

 

Note:

This is just one-half of the narrative of why the State troops put up no resistance. The other more alarming and nerve-chilling half is detailed in Integration of the Indian States.

 

“The all-out invasion of Kashmir started on 22 October 1947. The main raiders’ column, which had approximately two hundred to three hundred lorries, and which consisted of frontier tribesmen estimated at five hundred  - Afridis, Wazirs, Mahsuds, Swathis, and soldiers of the Pakistani Army “on leave” – led by some regular officer who knew Kashmir well, advanced from Abbottabad in the NWFP along the Jhelum Valley Road. They captured Garhi and Domel and arrived at the gates of Muzzaffarabad. The State battalion consisting of Muslims and Dogras stationed in Muzzaffarabad was commanded by Lt. Colonel Narain Singh. All the Muslims in the battalion deserted; shot the Commanding Officer and his adjutant; joined the raiders, and acted as advance-guard to the raiders’ column.

 

The raiders then marched towards Baramula along the road leading to Srinagar; their next destination being Uri. All the Muslims in the States Forces had deserted and many had joined the raiders. When Brigadier Rajinder Singh, the Chief of the Staff of the State Forces , heard of the desertion of the Muslim personnel and the advance of the raiders, he gathered together approximately 150 men and moved towards Uri. There he engaged the raiders for two days and in the rearguard action, destroyed the Uri bridge. The Brigadier himself and all his men were cut to pieces in this action.” (Integration of the Indian States, pp. 454-55)

 

Note:

Pandit Ramchandra Kak summed up Sheikh Abdullah brilliantly well when he said what Sheikh Abdullah wanted was an independent principality whose continued existence was guaranteed by the Indian armed forces. From 1947, to this day, our armed forces from the rest of India are continuing to die for the Sunni jihadi parasitical Kashmir valley so that the Abdullah clan may perpetuate itself at the expense of the Hindu taxpayer; so that descendants of Nehru can look the other way when descendants of Abdullah’s community commit genocide of Kashmiri Pandits; so that Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah can both declare that they will not only not permit a Hindu Chief Minister in the State, they will also not allow a sainik colony nor allow Kashmiri Pandits to be settled in a secure enclave, both of which threaten the prevailing religious demography of the Kashmir Valley.

 

8. Why did both Congress and Maharaja Hari Singh want Kak to step down?

 

Section VII

 

6. As stated above, when the question of accession was first mooted, the State Government’s reaction was that it would not accede. So far as the Maharaja was concerned, his inclination was reinforced by the faith he had in his Swami, Swami Santdev….

 

7. Such was the domination acquired by the Swami over the Maharaja, and such his reputation as the decisive influence in moulding [sic] the Maharaja’s mind, that even Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru when he came to Kashmir for the second time in 1946, paid a call on him.

 

8. The Maharaja believed that after the departure of the British from India, he would through the potency of the Swami’s supernatural powers, be able to extend his territory and rule over a much larger dominion than that already comprised in the Jammu and Kashmir State. A good deal of propaganda was being carried on in the State and in the Punjab, about the formation of what some people then called Dogristan in which it was hoped to include, besides the Jammu and Kashmir State, the districts of Kangra and the States and areas now mostly included in Himachal Pradesh.

 

9. In June 1947, the Maharaja of Sirmur and the Rajas of Mandi and Jubbal came to Srinagar and stayed with the Maharaja as his guests. One evening the Maharaja sent for Pandit Kak and introduced him to his princely guests. He then showed him a draft agreement, in which were defined the aims and objectives of the proposed federation and the safeguards in relation to dynastic matters of the ruling families. Kak offered no comment at that time beyond asking for time to think. Next morning, however, he explained to the Maharaja how futile and impracticable such an idea was, and how utterly unrealistic it was for anybody to imagine that the forces which had compelled the British to leave India, would allow the creation of the new empire in their midst. Kak added that the utmost that one could hope for in conditions now emerging, was the survival of the Jammu and Kashmir State as already constituted and any expectation beyond that or any move in the direction contemplated by the Maharaja and his guests was sure invitation to disaster. So far as Kak was concerned, the matter came to an end there.

 

11. The cold douche administered to his hopes by Pandit Kak was, therefore, never forgotten nor forgiven, either by him or his Swami, or by the Court favourites [sic] and hangers-on who expected to benefit from the expanded empire.

 

13. Finding Pandit Kak as Prime Minister not amenable to his wishes and feeling that the Maharaja might perhaps jib at being directly asked to remove his Prime Minister, the Swami embarked on bringing about an understanding between himself and the leaders of the Indian National Congress, who already had their own reasons for not approving of an administration in the State, which had consistently refused to yield to coercion in the matter of Sheikh Abdullah.

 

14. ...Pandit Kak, though previously, on occasion, puzzled by stray hints dropped in various quarters, finally became aware of the dispatch of these messages when he met Sardar Patel in July 1947, at the time he went down to Delhi at the request of Lord Mountbatten to attend the Conference of the States Ministers.

 

15. Sardar Patel started by showing him a copy of a letter from Khurshid Ahmed, Mr. Jinnah’s Personal Assistant, to Ch. Hamid Ullah Khan… as regards the attitude of the Muslim Conference during the forthcoming visit of Mahatma Gandhi to Kashmir. Mahatma Gandhi was to be the guest of Begum Abdullah and the idea seems to have been that the National Conference would ask the Mahatma Gandhi to use his influence to bring about Pandit Kak’s removal…

 

16. ...Sardar Patel concluded by asking me to tell Your Highness that this state of affairs was unfortunate and that in these crucial days it was essential that the Maharaja and the Prime Minister pull together and if that was not possible, the situation should be brought to an end immediately…

 

17. The Maharaja was now in the horns of a dilemma. He has to choose between his Swami and his Prime Minister. Inevitably, he chose the Swami.

 

19. On the 25th October night, the Maharaja left Srinagar as a refugee. The Swami was also in the train, but in the course of the journey, on the way to Jammu, they finally parted company. It was the end of an association which had cost the Maharaja dear.

 

9. Closing Word: 

 

It took the Congress less than 18 months to gift away the State of Jammu and Kashmir to Sheikh Abdullah and just 15 months to manipulate the resignation of Prime Minister Kak, which in turn created the administrative vacuum utilized to the hilt by Pakistan. What is more horrifying is the casualness with which VP Menon, Secretary in the Ministry of States entrusted with persuading all Princely States to sign the Instrument of Accession, narrates the cataclysmic events of 1947 in Jammu and Kashmir.

 

“Shortly before the transfer of power, Pandit Kak was replaced as Prime Minister by Major-General Janak Singh. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir then announced their intention of negotiating Standstill Agreements with both India and Pakistan. Pakistan signed a Standstill Agreement. But we wanted time to examine the implications. We left the State alone. We did not ask the Maharaja to accede, though at that time, as a result of the Radcliffe Award, the State had become connected by road with India. Owing to the composition of the population, the State had its own peculiar problems. Moreover, our hands were already full and, if truth be told, I for one had simply no time to think of Kashmir. (Integration of the Indian States, page 458)

 

The Secretary, Ministry of the States, has the audacity to claim he had no time to think of Kashmir. VP Menon compounds his offence when he speaks of the territory of the nation as if national territory were merely coins in a game of dice where you win some and lose some.

 

“When India was partitioned and Pakistan became a separate state, India lost an area of 364,737 square miles and a population of 81.5 million; but by the integration of the states, India received an area of nearly 500,000 square miles with a population of 86.5 million. India was adequately compensated.” (Integration of the Indian States, page li)

 

Gandhi went to Srinagar in August 1947, and would have seen how perilously close the State was to descending into chaos and anarchy because of his behind-the-scenes maneuverings against the Prime Minister and yet, such was his infatuation for Nehru that he was unforgiving of Prime Minister Ramchandra Kak for daring to keep Nehru out of Srinagar and for daring to reject his (Gandhi’s) demand for Sheikh Abdullah’s release. Gandhi therefore did nothing to heal the fissures between the Congress and Pandit Kak and between the Maharaja and his Prime Minister. The State of Jammu and Kashmir and the hapless people of the State were not Gandhi’s priority; seeking the extinction of the Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was, and Pandit Kak and the people of the state were just collateral damage. Just how uncaring Gandhi was about loss of more territory to Pakistan, is best judged by his threat to go on an indefinite fast if Patel did not honour the promise to Pakistan to hand over Pakistan’s share of pre-partition treasury funds.

 

Sardar Patel did not demur not protest when Mountbatten insisted on plebiscite as pre-condition to sending Indian troops to Srinagar; Patel did not publicly resist or condemn Nehru for promising Sheikh Abdullah his own state constitution nor did he refuse to support the pernicious Article 370 from being tabled and then accepted by the Constituent Assembly to be subsequently made a part of the Indian Constitution.

 

The Instrument of Accession is the binding legal document which makes Jammu and Kashmir and all Princely States integral parts of India. Anything outside of the IoA is not binding upon the Indian State. Plebiscite, separate Constituent Assembly, separate state constitution and Article 370 are not in the Instrument of Accession and are therefore not binding upon the Government of India and Parliament in one voice can still reject them.

 

If Gandhi erred horrendously when he encouraged Nehru to prop up Sheikh Abdullah against the King, he erred more grievously when he made Nehru his political heir and thus India’s first Prime Minister for what is an unbelievably frivolous reason: 

“But I give you a tip. I was not joking when I made a statement some time back in answer to Sir Feroz Khan Noon at San Francisco, that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is my heir. He has got ability, knowledge and close touch with the public here and can interpret India’s mind. I have already, as I wrote to Lord Linlithgow, taken him as my guide in international affairs. He can interpret India’s mind to the outside world as no one else can.” (Interview to Preston Grover, CWMG Vol. 87, pp 189-191)

 

Obviously Nehru failed to “interpret India’s mind to the outside world”. Nehru and Gandhi watched as Imperial London vivisected the nation; watched as Pakistan invaded and occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Nehru obeyed Mountbatten’s suggestion that he should not continue the offensive to drive Pakistan out of the occupied territories must take India’s case to the United Nations which, Mountbatten assured Nehru, will deal with Pakistan; Nehru failed in the United Nations too.

 

Gandhi’s actions had the most destructive consequences for the Hindu nation; but Patel’s, Rajaji’s, Munshi’s and Rajendra Prasad’s silence had equally destructive consequences too. London’s plan to paratroop Gandhi into India in 1915 and maneuver him as leader of the INC yielded spectacular results. In 1947, Mountbatten, the Muslim League and Sheikh Abdullah got what they wanted. The country’s Hindus, Pandit Ramchandra Kak, Jammu’s Hindus and the Buddhists of Ladakh have become the invisible, silent and forgotten victims of Gandhi’s politics. 

 

If Prime Minister Modi is indeed genuinely committed to honouring Sardar Patel’s tireless efforts to integrate the Princely States with the Indian Union, he should get rid of Article 370 which is a festering wound of separatism and retrieve PoK to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with finality into the Union of India.

 

India is a nation of Hindus. While persons professing the Abrahamic and other faiths may live with full rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Indian Constitution to all citizens, they may not claim this territory to be their own for separatist and secessionist ends – Sikhs, Muslims or Christians. Jammu and Kashmir tests Hindu resolve to protect the Hindu nation from aggression by anti-Hindu and non-Hindu forces.

 

Point 8 in the Jammu and Kashmir Instrument of Accession says:

“Nothing in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this State, or, save as provided by or under this Instrument, the exercise of any powers, authority and rights now enjoyed by me as Ruler of this State or the validity of any law at present in force at in this State.”

 

Gandhi, Nehru and the Government of India did not live up to or fulfill their obligation to the Maharaja as contained in point 8 of the IoA. Instead, Sheikh Abdullah, the Pretender to the throne, ascended the throne with a separatist state constitution and Article 370 in tow. Rai Bahadur Pandit Ramchandra Kak Papers tell us why the Hindu nationalists must cultivate zero tolerance for attempts to make them mute witnesses in the Kaurava Court.

 

(Concluded)

See also: Part I

http://vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4157

http://vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4158

http://vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4159

Part II

http://www.vijayvaani.com/Admin/ArticlePost.aspx?id=4163

 

Complete originals at

http://www.vigilonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2339:jammu-and-kashmir-dilemma-of-accession-a-historical-analysis-and-after&catid=95:pictures&Itemid=142 and

http://www.vigilonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2340:jammu-and-kashmir-dilemma-of-accession-a-historical-analysis-and-after&catid=95:pictures&Itemid=142

Pandit Ramchandra Kak Paper

http://www.vigilonline.com/downloads/2016/RCK_MissingLink_Full_1.pdf

 

User Comments Post a Comment

Back to Top