Accession of J&K in India: Glorious history and prudence of Hari Singh

01 Dec 2017 11:35:34


Pankaj Gupta

26th October is a very important date for Jammu & Kashmir. This day is celebrated as “Vilay Diwas”. It is important to note here that ‘Vilay Diwas’ was the day when the state of Jammu & Kashmir acceded to the Dominion  of India. On 26th October 1947, the last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh of J&K signed the instrument of accession that has made the J&K 15th state of the union of India. This accession was full and final and the instrument used in it was the same which had been used by the rulers of other princely states, acceded to either India. Therefore, it is vital to celebrate this day as it would help in transmitting the correct information about the accession to younger generations and sensitizing them about the great history of this state and its revered ruler Maharaja Hari Singh. It is perhaps for the very first time that people have trended this important day on twitter, facebook, whatsup and other social networking sites. Not only political parties but the common residents and legal fraternity of J&K also celebrated this day with great vigour. It is important to mention here that through the instrument of accession, the entire state of J&K, covering the geographical area of 2,22,236 sq.km., was integrated into the union of India. Unfortunately Presently, India has only 1,01,387 sq.km. of land with it and rest of the area is illegally occupied by Pakistan and China. The Pakistani aggressors occupied this area due to the lethargy of the then Indian Government, who did not pay heed to the wishes of the last Dogra King. At present, Pakistan is in illegal occupation of Gilgit, Skardu, Diamir, Mirpur, Muzzafarabad and part of Poonch whereas China forcibly occupied Aaksachin in 1962 and the 5100 sq kms. territory of Shakshgaam valley was given to China by Pakistan in 1963. It is essential to mention here that the rumours spread about the integration is basically the misinformation spread by miscreants like separatists or paid media or political parties etc. Also, the state and central government have played their part in spreading the false information about J&K. This misinformation about the state was spread because of different treatment given by Nehru to this state. Nehru’s closeness with Sheikh Abdullah, who was an opportunist and did everything to rein the control over the entire state, is very well known. Also, Nehru did everything so that the control of the state would be given to Sheikh Abdullah against the wish of Maharaja Hari Singh. Perhaps, it is one of the biggest reasons that we have been presented distorted facts about the accession of J&K. 

The integration of Jammu & Kashmir was possible due to the instrument of accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh on 26th October 1947. The same instrument was signified by Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor General of India, on 27th October 1947, under Indian Independence Act, 1947, to complete the legal procedure of accession. It was a very well known fact that Maharaja proposed to sign the Standstill Agreement with both Indian and Pakistan. This agreement was accepted by Pakistan but India wanted to have discussion on it with the Maharaja. This irked Pakistan and it broke the standstill agreement on 31st August 1947 and invaded J&K. On 24th October, 1947 the Maharaja of State requested Bharat for military help against Pakistani invaders and signed the instrument of Accession on 26th October 1947 with India.

The instrument of accession was common for all  the princely states and J&K was one of them. Before Independence India was divided administratively in two parts  i.e British India and Princely States. It is important to mention here that 65% of India was directly ruled by Britishers which was known as British India.  whereas 35% was ruled by the respective rulers, under the British rule, indirectly, known as Princely States. It was an administrative arrangement, used by Britishers, to govern the entire country. Also, only 65% of the states, directly ruled by Britishers, were partitioned on communal lines i.e. between Hindus and Muslims, whereas the fate of the princely states was to be decided by its rulers. It is important to mention here that Amarkot, in today’s Sindh, Pakistan was having 90% of Hindu population at the time of India’s independence and ruled by Raja Rana Chandra Singh, also a Hindu, yet it went to Pakistan because of the decision of the ruler. So, it is a misinformation that entire India was divided on communal lines and Jammu Kashmir should have gone to Pakistan because this part of the state is having Muslim population.

When the two nations theory was accepted by the Britishers, Sheikh Abdullah also wanted to have the reign of J&K and his national conference gave the slogan of ‘Quit Kashmir’ against Maharaja Hari Singh. Therefore, Maharaja put him behind the bars on the charges of treachery. But Nehru, the then prime minister of India, was close to Sheikh Abdullah and was against the decision of Maharaja because of which he (Maharaja) had to release Sheikh Abdullah from jail. Also, because of the pressure from Nehru the reign of J&K was given in the hands of Sheikh Abdullah.

On the question of plebiscite, one should note that it was written in the Indian Independence Act, 1947 that only the ruler had to decide which dominions he wanted to accede to and plebiscite was not required in this matter. Surprisingly, Mountbatten has conveyed his intention of taking the people’s wish into consideration while acceding to any of the dominions only in the case of J&K but his intention had no legal sanctity as any such condition was not mentioned anywhere in the Indian Independence Act, 1947. The accession of J&K did not take place immediately after independence of India, therefore, Maharaja Hari Singh mentioned about the reasons of delay in accession but it was nowhere mentioned that the accession was against the wish of the people of the state. Also, no proof has been found which conveys that people of J&K were against the integration of the state with India. The India’s Independence Act did not contain any provision where any other condition, except the acceptance of instrument of accession by ruler, was given. The same instrument of accession was signed by Maharaj on 26 October 1947. Maharaja has categorically mentioned that no other instrument will supersede this instrument unless another supplementary instrument is signed by him. Further, according to the Indian Independence Act after signing the instrument of accession neither Pandit Nehru nor Lord Mountbatten nor Mohamed Ali Jinnah nor Queen of England nor Parliament of England or the citizen of the state has any right to raise objections on it. But unfortunately, no progressive steps were taken by the then congress government to dispel this myth among the people of this country, which has created the unwarranted controversy even today.

It is important to note here that Sheikh Abdullah has mentioned only about the Pakistani aggression in the state of J&K, and not the accession of the state to India, in his 5th February 1948 debate in United Nation Security Council (UNSC).  Though UNSC accepted the fact the J&K is 100% India yet it did not take any strong action to free the part of state from Pakistani intruders.

The recent controversy raked up by Farroq Abdullah, who shamelessly said that PoJK does not belong to India though he himself knows the reality. But yes, politicians have the full liberty to speak, with impunity, whatever rubbish comes to their mind. But in this case, it is surprising that this man has even overlooked the fact that his own father Sheikh Abdullah was also against the two nations theory of Jinnah and the integration of J&K with Pakistan. Further, he even overlooked the fact that the resolution passed on 22nd February 1992 by the parliament of India which have categorically mentioned that the PoJK and CoJK are the integral part of India and the same has to be taken back and no government can compromise on it. Perhaps, the loss of power has affect the capacity of Farooq Abdullah to think prudently.

Coming back to accession of J&K, it was quite unfortunate that Maharaja Hari Singh was neglected when the Indian Government and Sheikh Abdullah went to UNSC against Pakistani aggression on the soil of J&K and the displeasure on the same was conveyed by him to the then Deputy Prime Minister of India Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel through his letter dated 31st January 1948. He even expressed his displeasure of losing Mangla Valley, Alibeg, Gurudwara, Mirpur, Bhimbar, Devi and Kotla to Pakistan, by India, within two months. He even expressed his wish to command the Indian army but his wish was deliberately ignored by the then Congress Government. On 1st January 1949, the Indian government declared ceasefire without even removing the intruders from J&K soil, who have already occupied 85000 sq. km. of land by then.

Still we have people who want to separate Kashmir from the rest of India but it is important to mention here that J&K cannot be separated from India as it is given in the constitution of the state. The preamble of the J&K constitution states that “WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR, having solemnly resolved, in pursuance of the accession of this State to India which took place on the twenty-sixth day of October, 1947 to further define the existing relationship of the State with the Union of India as an integral part thereof, and to secure to ourselves- JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among us all; FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY This seventeenth day of November, 1956 do Hereby ADOPT ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION”

Also, Article 3 of J&K constitution state that “The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India”.

Further Article 5 of J&K mentions that “The executive and legislative power of the State extends to all matters except those with respect  to  which  Parliament  has  power  to  make  laws  for  the  State  under  the  provisions  of  the  Constitution of India”.

Another important Article 147 state that “An amendment of this Constitution may be initiated only by the introduction of a Bill for the purpose in the Legislative Assembly and when the Bill is passed in each House by a majority of not less than two thirds of the total membership of that House, it shall be presented to the Governor for his assent and, upon such assent being given, to, the Bill, the Constitution shall stand amended in accordance with the terms of the Bill:

Provided that a Bill providing for the abolition of the Legislative Council may be introduced in the Legislative Assembly and passed by it by a majority of the total membership of Assembly and by a majority of not less them two-thirds of the members of the Assembly present and voting:

Provided further that no Bill or amendment seeking to make any change

in-

(a) this section; or

(b) the provisions of sections 3 and 5 ; or

(c) the provisions of the Constitution of India as applicable, in relation to the State, shall be introduced or moved in either House of the Legislature.

The constitution is the holy book for a country to govern the entire country, therefore, its provisions cannot be overlooked in a civilised society. In case of J&K, this book has clearly mentioned that separation of J&K from India is impossible. So, people are spreading false information because any country can shun its constitution to its peril. Unfortunately, no mainstream media has been seriously making efforts to dispel this myth among the citizen of this country including the residents of J&K. Even a common citizen of this country cannot say this otherwise he may gain the accolade of being ‘Sanghi’ because you cannot have disagreement with sickulars in this country. The accession of J&K was a historically significant event yet hardly people knows the reality of it.

JKN Twitter