Continuing from Fight For Jammu & Kashmir: Accession To India
The facts given above do not point to any worth mentioning role of Sheikh Abdullah in the defense of the valley. But most of the books written on the subject have projected Sh. Abdullah as the real savior of Kashmir. This depiction of his role is fraudulent. It amounts to deliberate distortion of facts and history to serve partisan ends. Therefore the record needs to be put straight.
Sh. Abdullah was interested only in Kashmir valley. His one ambition was to become master and arbiter of Kashmir. He had neither any interest nor any stake in other parts of that far flung Kingdom.
His attitudes about accession to India or Pakistan was also guided by this one over-riding ambition and consideration. As a realist he knew that his followers were emotionally inclined toward Pakistan. As an Islamic fundamentalist his own intuitive sympathy was for Pakistan. The whole tenor and tone of his autobiography points to his aversion for Hindus and Hindu majority part of the State. All through his biography, he has referred to Anantnag, the district headquarters of southern part of Kashmir valley as Islamabad. His admiration for Dr. Iqbal – the father of the idea of Pakistan is writ large over 1,000 pages of “Atish-i-Chinar.”
But experience of Khan brothers of N.W.F.P. and his own experience during his struggle against the Maharaja had made him sceptical about his own future in the case of accession of the state to Pakistan. He wanted assurance from Jinnah that he would be made master of Kashmir valley. Jinnah was not prepared to give that assurance. Emissaries sent by him to Pakistan in early October to secure such an assurance had returned empty handed. Jinnah was reported to have told them that Kashmir was going to fall in his lap like a ripe apple in any case.
Abdullah has himself given a vivid account of the talks he had with two representatives of Pakistan, Dr. Mohammed Din Tashir and Sheikh Sadiq Hassan, President of Punjab Muslim League, who visited Srinagar on the eve of Pak aggression. They tried to persuade him to put his might for accession of the state to Pakistan. Instead of giving a clear reply he equivocated. He wanted a clear assurance for himself before taking any positive decision in favor of accession to Pakistan. Both of them invited him to visit Lahore and have direct talks with Mr. Jinnah. He accepted the invitation.
But before going to Pakistan he had to go to Delhi to preside over State’s People’s Conference of which he had been elected President. He was in Delhi when Pak attack on Kashmir began on October 21. He addressed press conference at Delhi on October 21, in which he blamed the Maharaja’s Government for repression in poonch, but did not say a word against Pak raiders who had created insurgency there.
On his own admission he was in Delhi on October 25-26 when Meharchand Mahajan reached there to plead for immediate acceptance of accession and despatch of Indian troops to save Srinagar from falling into the hands of invaders. There is no authentic information about his whereabouts on October 22 to 24. Even if he had returned to Kashmir he must have maintained a studied silence. As a man on the spot who was constantly moving in Srinagar to keep up the morale of the beleagured Hindus. I did not notice his presence at all. National conference workers came out on the streets only after information about acceptance of accession and imminent arrival of Indian Itroops reached Srinagar in the afternoon, October 26.
Sh. Abdullah was at Pt. Nehru residence at New Delhi on October 26 when a crucial meeting about accession was held there. He did not take part in the meeting, but over heard what transpired in it from a side room. He was, however, known to have endorsed the statement of Meharchand Mahajan about need for immediate accession when Pt. Nehru got non-plussed by plain Speaking by Mahajan about his orders to go to Karachi and surrender Kashmir to Jinnah on condition of safety of the Hindus if India was not prepared to accept the accession there and then. Abdullah’s endorsement might have had some effect on Pt. Nehru. It is however utterly wrong to say that accession took place because of his efforts. The decision to accede to India was an independent decision of the patriotic Maharaja and was accepted bv the Indian cabinet which gave greater might to the words of Sardar Patel in spite of hesitancy of Pt. Nehru.
The truth is that Sh. Abdullah and his followers never played any role in the defense of Kashmir in those five crucial days nor had he any significant role or say in the matter of accession of the State to India though he became the main beneficiary of it.
So called secularism of Sh. Abdullah and his followers would have been put to real test if Pakistani invaders had been able to enter Srinagar before the entry of Indian troops. There is no doubt in my mind that no Hindu, including myself, would have been left alive to testify to the much trumpeted secularism of Sh. Abdullah and his followers. Maqbool Sherwani of Baramula was the only Kashmiri Muslim at that time who can be called a real nationalist.
Kashmir valley was saved from Pakistan marauders by the gallantry of Dogra troops, vigilance of R.S.S. workers and other nationalist elements, decision by the Maharaja to accede to India and timely arrival of Indian troops. They were the real saviors of Kashmir and not Sh. Abdullah and his double faced followers.
Accession of the Jammu and Kashmir state to India and liberation of Pak occupied areas of Kashmir valley by air borne Indian troops was a great victory for India and its armed forces. That should have set at rest the doubt and uncertainty about future dispensation of Jammu and Kashmir state as an integral part of India.
But that was not to be. Dishonesty of Sh. Abdullah and blunders and bunglings of Nehru who considered Kashmir as his domestic domain, soon clouded the achievements of the armed forces and created a situation of neither victory nor defeat. This state of affairs has lingered on to this day.
Here ends the third leg of this series. Next post will be about POK, article 370, UN, plebisite, present situation, AFSPA, separatists , militancy, etc.
We have been able to established quite a few facts till now:-
i)Kashmir was a part of India for over 5000 years
ii)It was a Hindu dominant state until Muslims inaded it
iii)Kashmir became part of India in all fairness,even though pak tried to ‘snatch’ it, illegally, forcefully and immorally, but the brave souls of INDIA dnt let them succeed in their vicious intentions. And till date ,they call ‘Kashmir’ to be an issue and we like fools agree to it!!