By R.V. Joshi
It appears that even the best of the involved intellectual minds have really failed to put across an undisplaceable viewpoint that it is really India which is an aggrieved party and that the role of Pakistan has always been as of a bully.
Sir Gopala Swami Iyengar in company with Sheikh Abdullah in reality are responsible for putting India into a political mess on this question. Pandit Nehru appeared to have realised his misplaced trust in Sheikh Abdullah who later on had to be re-imprisoned for his suspected conduct of treason against India. Indeed the two political parties that existed in the state of J&K even during the reign of Maharaja Hari Singh never in reality were close to the secular viewpoint of the Indian National Congress. Abdullah and his Muslim supporters always looked to the future solely on the communal grounds and always acted against the ruler of the state, who himself was a Dogra Hindu but was ruling the state of Muslim majority.
This however, needed to be understood that the four different regions of the state of J&K had different majorities as far as communal countdown was concerned.
This however, needed to be understood that the four different regions of the state of J&K had different majorities as far as communal countdown was concerned. The Jammu region had Hindu majority and the region of Ladakh had Buddhist majority and there was a mix-up of small communities inhabiting the north-western region of the state, called Baltistan. The most important and better developed region laid as the valley of Srinagar with some areas around was demographically dominated by the Muslim community.
Sheikh Abdullah differed internally with his rival political party, namely the Muslim Conference. While the former dreamt of himself becoming the Shiekh of the Valley and was even ready and willing to give up his claim over other regions, the Muslim Conference all the time toyed with the state joining Pakistan. The Muslim Conference however was no real political force to reckon with and hence, trusting Abdullah who was the leader of the National Conference, Pandit Nehru trusted him beyond even a trustable point.
Undeniable facts are that as per Government of India Act, 1935 and later by India Independence Act, 1947, the state merged into India by signing a similar type of Instrument of Accession as was done both in India and Pakistan by almost 600 princely states. Further, the present situation of ever-existing state of turmoil in J&K has its roots in a well-planned Kabaili-cum-Pakistani military invasion thrust upon us by the rulers of Pakistan. What and from where must one find any legitimate cause for Pakistan to invade an otherwise sovereign state? The state of J&K was under the rule of a sovereign prince. He decided to merge into India in finality as per rules of international law. The action of Maharaja Hari Singh was clearly not only just, fair and lawful but even in accordance with what was followed by 600 other princely states. He could not have been alternatively or differently dealt with. Even Mohammad Ali Jinnah duly acknowledged the right of the sovereign ruler of the state to merge into either India or Pakistan. Jinnah himself as the first Governor General of Pakistan attempted to seduce the Hindu Maharaja of a Hindu-dominated state of Jodhpur to join Pakistan by openly admitting his acceptance of the provisions of law of those days yet proving both his insincerity and hypocrisy in his belief in the two-nation theory of Hindus and Muslims being two different nationalities.
The present situation of J&K is in reality a mess created by poor statesmanship displayed by the then leaders of India who at the behest of India'sfirst Governor General, Lord Louis Mountbatten, took the matter before the UNO who had hardly been born a few years before. The commitments made to the world by India can have no meaning in it because what Pakistan presently relies upon is the three parties in dispute agreeing to hold a plebiscite in the state of J&K. Even at that time such an agreement could have only advanced if Pakistan itself first vacated occupied J&K territory that had come under its control by way of looting by the invaders.
Whereas many more arguments can be mustered very effectively in favour of India, any reasonable person with any sense of law, ethics or morality shall fail to find even a single argument in favour of Pakistan. If India ever yields to even talks with Pakistan on the basis of communal division of the country, it will only be legitimising the two-nation theory of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. What shall then happen to the Muslim population in India is indeed a very important question that can never be ignored since the very foundation of India is based upon secularism and hence no talk with Pakistan can ever yield any result? It is senseless to meet, to disagree, to increase mutual hatred and disappear in utmost disgust and frustration thereafter.
Pakistan itself stands divided in two different countries and more than half of its own original population has no interest of whatsoever nature in the dispute now on between India and that part of Pakistan which no more carries behind it the support of more than half of its people. The issue that was messed up by the early leaders of India stands resolved not only by just and fair arguments legally valid, yet the passage of time itself must put the fullness of this question as to ask Pakistan as to when they shall be ready to vacate that part of territory of India, which is still illegally held by them? The Prime Minister of India, a few days before, had correctly put this question before Pakistan and to the world as a whole. There is no question other than this that survives.
The action of Maharaja Hari Singh was clearly not only just, fair and lawful but even in accordance with what was followed by 600 other princely states.
What a Paradox
A robber is attempting to establish his legal right over his loot before the police and talks of his right to discuss his conduct of robbery.
While the internal problems of Pakistan may result in any government of that country trying to keep this issue alive but the similarity of consequences also affecting any Government of India in power can also be never different.
If India ever yields to even talks with Pakistan on the basis of communal division of the country, it will only be legitimising the two-nation theory of Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
As far as India is concerned, the time has ripened for the state to firmly deal with this issue as one of its internal law and order problems and it is now of vital importance to let the people of India, including the people of J&K and the entire world, firmly and finally know that under no circumstances can India any more afford to keep this issue alive so that the rulers of Pakistan are aided to remain glued to the chairs of power in that country, which has itself not yet seen democracy in practice but talks of democratic rights of the people of J&K, who are Indian citizens and shall ever remain so hereafter for all times to come.
The time calls for India to scrap its constitutional provision which is Article 370 of its Constitution by which the state of J&K was temporarily afforded a transitional and special status within India for being treated discriminatorily when compared with similarly placed other princely states, which too merged into India as did Maharaja Hari Singh of J&K. This issue is now legally placed before the Supreme Court of India by the people of India who are legally, morally and politically entitled to work their democracy as per rule of law. The world must note that because of poor statesmanship on the part of India'sleaders of the past, the country and her people shall no more be allowed to suffer and I quote a couplet from an Urdu poem which is pertinent and relevant in this case:
Lamho ne khata ki, sadiyon ne sazaa payee (For the errors committed by the moments of time, centuries stood punished.)