The demand for complete Azadi in Kashmir is resut of U-turn by both sides-1

Dr G.M. Athar
July 29, 2016 OPINION 383 Views
The demand for complete Azadi in Kashmir is resut of U-turn by both sides-1

Kashmir has passed through different eras of political socialisation since Abdul Qadir’s speech in Srinagar in 1931.The first movement was against autocracy, feudalism and discrimination to have democracy, socialism and equal opportunity for the people in general and the Muslims in particular. Sheikh Abdullah emerged as a hero of Kashmiries to achieve all this with the help of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. But the removal from prime ministers position and arrest of Abdullah on 9th August 1953, the murder of democracy, erosion of the internal sovereignty of the state and the rise of communalism within India disgusted the Muslims of Kashmir with the Indian establishment. The Kashmiri youth in reaction to these provocations not only back tracked on Indo-Kashmir constitutional relationship but even surpassed the ethical limits as well.The paragraphs to follow discuss in detail this point with an objective to have an amicable solution of the political problem manifesting itself as a big human tragedy.
Unfortunately in mid-August 1947 the subcontinent got divided on the basis of religion and two sovereign countries emerged in the neighbourhood of Jammu and Kashmir. The autocratic ruler of J&K wanted to stay away from both dominions to secure his political future and avoid the division of his kingdom on the basis of religion. Since Sheikh Abdullah had to implement his Nay Kashmir Manifesto, so for ideological reasons and partly because of Jinnah’s legalism to depend on Hari Singh for Kashmir’s accession with Pakistan and the reluctance of Pakistan to accommodate the regional aspirations of Kashmiries, Abdullah was not inclined towards Pakistan. He was offered a near sovereign status for Kashmir by Nehru through diplomatic channels when he was in Jail for launching his Quit Kashmir Movement. Pakistan became especially perturbed when Abdullah wrote a letter of apology to Hari Singh on 26th September 1947 in which he offered the Maharaja his full support against the potential aggressors of Jammu and Kashmir. It would have been directed towards both India and Pakistan but the later saw it as a reference to itself only. Pakistan developed the suspicion that by the fall of the winter the snow will choke the mountain passes and Hari Singh will accede to India. In order to deny Hari Singh that opportunity Pakistan violated the Stand Still Agreement and sent the raiders on 22nd Oct. 1947 to annex Kashmir. May be some people (Bakras)might have been enthused to find the raiders in Kashmir but the Kashmiries in general and the National Conference supporters (Shers)in particular took it as an invasion by Pakistan. People like Master Adul Aziz, and Mohd Maqbool Sherwani tried to thwart the invasion by misguiding their way to Srinagar to buy time .In a state of emergency, Hari Singh had no other option but to approach the government of India for military help. The government of India represented by prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and home minister Sardar Patel put two categorical conditions for military help to Hari Singh, first to have the formal accession of the J&K with India and the second, to induct Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in the J&K Administration. So acting upon the advice Hari Singh acceded to India on 26th Oct. 1947 with respect to just three areas; defence, communication and foreign affairs and also appointed Sheikh Abdullah as an Emergency Administrator on 31st October 1947. Mountbatten the governor general of India in reply to Maharaja Hari Singh’s Instrument of Accession wrote back on 27th October 1947 that as law and order situation in J&K will improve, the wishes of the people will be ascertained. Thus he kept the finalization of the provisional accession subject to the will of the people.
At the political level Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru began to help the transfer of power from Jammu based Dogras to Kashmir based National Conference and this relationship reached its zenith in 1951 when the J&K Constituent Assembly was established. Sheikh Abdullah in first speech to the Constituent Assembly on 5th November 1951 had all praise for India for its secularism, socialism, modern democracy, asymmetrical federalism, liberalism and civil liberty etc. Since the interests of the feudal class especially the Jammu Dogras and Kashmiri Pandits were hurt because of the transfer of power from Hindus to Muslims and the land to the tiller without any compensation to the landlords, the former privileged section of the society organised itself with the support Hindu communalists and the Hindu organizations like Shama Prasad Mukerji’s Jansang. Sheikh Abdullah was angered by all this and he was party worried about his political future because of the UN Resolutions calling for two-option plebiscite in Kashmir. Abdullah began to give fiery speeches against the growing communalism in India, he posed a question to the Indian leadership that if the Hindu communalism will continue to grow in the country how canhe convince the Muslims of his state about their safe future in India. He was worried about his personal political future as well as about the future of Kashmiri Muslims to whom he had wedded to a Hindu dominated India. Meanwhile he reached an agreement on centre-state relations popularly referred to as Delhi Agreement in 1952. The Hindutva forces in Jammu and the rest of India launched an anti-Kashmir campaign in the country saying ” ek desh mein dou nishan dou vidhan,dou pradhan our dhou samdhan nahein chalein gay nahein chaliein gay” meaning that in one country there can’t be two flags, two constitutions, two parliaments and the two prime ministers. Abdullah was perturbed by all this to the extent that in R.S. Pura in one of his speeches he said “a day would come when I will say them good by”. Abdullah was already on the radar of intelligence agencies in which some of his associates collaborated to hatch stories against Abdullah. Since Abdullah was worried about the outcome of a two option plebiscite in J&K he began to talk about a third option as well. The death of Shama Prashad Mukerji in custody gave the anti-Kashmir Hindu communalists an opportunity to launch negative campaign against Abdullah. The growing criticism of Nehru’s Kashmir policy and most importantly the negative communication by Abdullah’s leg pullers to New Delhi began to shake even Nehru’s confidence in him so he asked Abdullah to ratify the accession of J&K with India. He was reluctant to ratify the accession as it was the violation of UN resolutions and its political outcome for him would have been disastrous in the state in the sense he would have been projected as an undemocratic person. Abdullah was perhaps trying to make it a bargaining chip to convert Kashmir in to a semi-independent state. New Delhi made the use of young Karan Singh the sadr-e-riyasat of J&K to unconstitutionally sack Abdullah on 8th August 1953 and put behind the bars with immediate effect. The event marked the end of Indo- Kashmir love marriage. Ghulam Mohammad Bakshi became the succor of Abdullah on 9th August 1953. In his first speech as the prime minister of J&K Bakshi leveled the allegation against Abdullah that he was riding on two horses. The allegation could never be proved correct, which gives the impression that New Delhi in collaboration with its collaborators in Kashmir hatched the conspiracy to get accession ratified undemocratically through J&K Constituent Assembly.

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