A basic tenet of history writing remains that it should be based on facts and empirical evidence. India’s “Eminent (Leftist) Historians” are aware of this and have, hence, unleashed their devious agenda toward historical analysis and have distorted almost all historical discussions in the public sphere. Nowhere does this manifest more than in the case of Jammu-Kashmir. It is noteworthy that with the accession of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu-Kashmir to the Indian Union, the level of orchestrated distortion of facts and historical evidence by the so-called historians and left-liberal intellectuals has created serious myths about JK’s accession to India. As a result of this conspiracy, the crown of India, Jammu-Kashmir, has become a headache for the people of India. On October 26, 2022, the princely state of Jammu-Kashmir completed 75 years of its accession to the Indian dominion. On this day, the erstwhile princely state was merged with the Indian Union. Commemorating the 75th Anniversary, it is imperative to expose these fallacies of history and understand the nationalist narrative rather than the colonial and leftist narratives taught by Macaulay-Marx’s sons to date. Further, it is essential to have a hard look at the facts rather than believing in false emotive stories based on misinformation and outright lies propagated to mislead the people of Jammu-Kashmir and the Nation at large. Atonement for this historical sin will be possible only by bringing the truth to light.
The oft-repeated assertion that Maharaja Hari Singh delayed accession of JK to India is as flawed as it’s ill-designed and ill-motivated to exonerate the then Prime Minister Nehru of the follies he committed during that time. It is often said that Maharaja was toying with the idea of an independent Kashmir free from both Indian and Pakistan dominion. While the historical facts pointed out that according to the Indian Independence Act of 1947, the Kings and Nawabs of all the princely states had two options – either they could include their princely state in the Indian dominion, or they could join the Pakistani authority. Also, Hari Singh offered accession to PM Nehru as early as July 1947 – a fact Nehru candidly acknowledged on July 24, 1952, in Lok Sabha. Hari Singh was a true patriot. His love for India became evident in the Round Table Conference held in London in 1931. In that very conference, as a representative of all the princely states, he strongly advocated for the independence and unity of India. As a result of his nationalist speech against the British and in favour of India, he came under the target of the British. Hari Singh was a liberal, modern, and progressive ruler, unlike an overbearing despot. The setting up of Praja sabha, schools, colleges, banks, police, and medical facilities, and the entry of Dalits into temples during his rule are clear proofs of the benign changes he brought in. Thus, he was always under the British scanner because of the many democratic and progressive acts he achieved in the princely state of Jammu-Kashmir.
Similarly, it is necessary to burst the myth of another promulgated fallacy of the accession period: The invasion of Jammu-Kashmir on October 22, 1947, has been written and read as a tribal attack to date, while the reality is that ‘Operation Gulmarg’ was planned and carried out by the Pakistani army in the guise of tribal raiders. The Pakistanis and the British knew that Maharaja Hari Singh would ultimately accede his princely state to India at any cost. The attack was orchestrated to dethrone Hari Singh and make Kashmir a part of Pakistan. Because of Kashmir’s pivotal geo-strategic location and the wealth of natural and water resources it possessed, the masters of the British Indian Empire and Pakistani administration wanted the state to be part of the newly carved Nation of Pakistan. Likewise, post the Second World War, under the politics of ‘The Great Game’, which flourished in the shadow of the Cold War, America and Britain did not want India to emerge as a strong nation, so a ploy of strengthening Pakistan, to curb India’s rise was hatched. The then Major General of the Pakistan Army, Akbar Khan, in his book ‘Raiders in Kashmir’ and Humayun Mirza, in his book ‘From Plassey to Pakistan’, leaves no doubt about how Pakistan planned the invasion and was directly involved in it. Akbar Khan, through his book, no longer keeps it a secret that at the beginning of August-September 1947, he was asked to prepare a plan to capture Kashmir. Serving at the time as director of weapons and equipment (DW&E) in GHQ, he was aware of the quantum of firearms and ammunition required for the military invasion and secretly diverted them to Kashmir. Subsequently, a plan was sketched, and adopted after due deliberations at a conference in Lahore by the political establishment of Pakistan. He, along with his comrades Lt. Col Masood, Zaman Kiani, Khurshid Anwar, and Air Commodore Janjua, executed the plan on October 22, 1947.
In fact, historical facts also point out that the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, caused the delay and allowed Pakistan to launch the brutal attack on Jammu-Kashmir through its regular soldiers as well as the tribal militia. The stumbling block for accession was Nehru’s insistence on installing his friend Sheikh Abdullah at the helm of the Jammu-Kashmir administration, which wasn’t acceptable to Maharaja Hari Singh. The same Sheikh Abdullah spearheaded a movement against the Maharaja through the Reading Room Party. The Party was communal to the pulp, blood, and bone as it was biased against the Kashmiri Pandits and sowed the seeds of communalism in JK since 1931. Abdullah himself aspires to become a Wazir-e-Azam. Later, his progressively increasing Islamism and call for complete independence/ Freedom for Kashmir eventually led Nehru to abandon his policy of ‘friendship and Muslim appeasement’ and imprison him. Still, by then, irreparable damage had already been done.
During her invasion of 1947, the Pakistani army carried out brutal massacres in areas like Poonch, Rajouri, Mirpur, and Muzaffarabad. This invasion killed innocent Kashmiri men and women. It plundered and looted Kashmiri resources. The militia unleashed terror and unprovoked aggression against the people of Jammu-Kashmir. The scale of horror and destruction they had left in Kashmir was unimaginable. Lakhs of people were forced to leave their homes and be displaced. Thousands of mothers and sisters were outraged. Lakhs of houses were destroyed. The residents were forced to stumble every step. They were doomed to live in camps at different places in the country. The day of infamy, October 22, thus remains etched in the memories of Kashmiris, who have lived in the shadow of Pakistani terror ever since. The successive governments of Jammu-Kashmir have often neglected them. Though today their children want to return home. They want rights, respect, and security. But they have not yet been heard, forget about addressing their concerns. Who is responsible for this historical crime? The Pakistani army invaded and inhabited millions of square kilometres of India’s land and has occupied it to date. Many places of worship and pilgrimage centres of our faith are still under their possession.
Whose responsibility is it? The residents of Pakistan-Occupied Jammu-Kashmir and China-Occupied Jammu-Kashmir are still being discriminated against and oppressed. They do not even have basic amenities like education, health, food, and employment. They are pleading for Indian citizenship. They are voicing the inclusion of the whole of Jammu-Kashmir in India, as mentioned in the Instrument of Accession (IOA). That is perhaps why they are being harassed. Who is responsible for their suppression and oppression? How and by when will their torment and suffering end? After 75 years of accession, these questions should be asked, and answers should be sought.
On August 5, 2019, the present central government declared India’s unity, integrity, and sovereignty, completing the process of integration of Jammu-Kashmir by abolishing the transitional and temporary constitutional provisions like Articles 370 and 35A. New Industrial Policy, Press Policy, Film Policy, Language Policy, and Education Policy has been implemented in Jammu-Kashmir. In the last three years, many positive changes have taken place in J&K. Democracy at the grassroots level has been strengthened, and power has been decentralized by introducing the three-tier Panchayati Raj system. Regional discrimination and imbalance have been addressed by delimitation of the Legislative Assembly. The reservation policy has assured justice to the deprived sections and areas. Transparency and accountability in the administration have been ensured by making more than 225 citizen services online. Terrorists and separatists have been cracked down on heavily. Jammu-Kashmir is becoming a tourist hotspot instead of a terrorist trouble spot due to the pinning down of hawala funding of separatist and terrorist organizations like Hurriyat Conference. A record of more than 22 lakh tourists has visited Jammu-Kashmir this year. The influx of tourists is increasing gradually. In about 70 years before 2019, a total private investment of 15 thousand crores was made in Jammu-Kashmir, whereas post-2019 (in the last three years), an investment of 56 thousand crores has been made by the private sector in their hands.
Today, the local youth have books, pens, mobiles, and laptops instead of stones and guns. The terrorists and their masters are being crushed. Their associates are being identified and sacked, and strict action has been taken against them under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code. Organizations like Anti-Corruption Bureau and CAG are at the forefront of the fight against corruption. The multi-pronged assault by the government cracking down on terror networks infuriated the gupkar gang and the terrorists operating in the valley. Indulgence in making gibberish statements and targeting the killing of innocent civilians is their ultimate attempt to make their presence felt. This is perhaps the last flutter before the lamp finally extinguishes.
The local society is also standing with/ supporting the security forces against these cowardly acts. Recently, Kashmiris in large numbers came out to protest the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit, Puran Krishan Bhatt, in Shopian, wherein candle marches and peace rallies were staged, and slogans of Hindustan Zindabad were raised by waving the tricolour. Protesters gathered outside the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat’s office in Rajbagh and staged a sit-in. They daubed “India” on the main gate of the Hurriyat’s central building and tore down the separatist amalgam’s signboard. The gates of the Hurriyat office were shut down, and a banner of ‘How long until last?’ was placed on the wall. This is the hallmark of the change taking place in Kashmir. On the other hand, Pakistan is exposing itself as an advocate of terror and unrest by raising a discordant rant about Kashmir at international forums.
Following the increasing terrorist violence and Pakistan’s attempts to highlight the Kashmir dispute, both houses of the Indian Parliament unanimously passed a resolution on February 22 1994. The solution not only reiterated that Jammu-Kashmir was an integral part of India (as mentioned in the Instrument of Accession). It shall remain so forever but also asked Pakistan to “vacate the areas of the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir, which they have occupied through aggression” and warned Pakistan that “all attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of India will be met resolutely.” This is a committed nation’s collective and organized aspiration and is yet to be achieved. To make this resolution possible, the people of India will have to make a collective concoction of their courage, unity, and determination. We should not give our future generation militancy, hartals, clashes, and situation of chaos as a gift; instead, we should provide them with a future with opportunity, progress, peace, prosperity, and stability.