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. Continue reading
On receiving the report from Mr. Menon the Government Of India felt inclined to go to the rescue of the state. But it was felt that formal accession of the State must take place before any help could be sent. So Mr. Menon flew back to Jammu with the Instrument of Accession. He woke up the Maharaja who was fast asleep after a night-long drive from Srinagar. Mr. Menon has recorded in his famous book ‘Integration of States’ that before going to sleep the Maharaja has left instructions with his A.D.C. that “If I (Menon) came back from Delhi, he was not to be disturbed as it would mean that the Government of India had decided to come to his rescue and he should therefore be allowed to sleep in peace, but that if I failed to return, that meant everything was lost, in that case in A.D.C. was to shoot him in his sleep”.
The Maharaja at once signed the Instrument of Accession and also handed over a letter for Lord Mountbatten, the Governor General of India informing him that it was his intention to set up an interim government at once and to ask Sheikh Abdullah to carry the responsibilities in the emergency with Mr. Mehar Chand Mahajan, his Prime Minister. It was out of sheer patriotism and solicitude for the safety of his people that the Maharaja agreed to Submit to this pre-condition of the Indian Prime Minister.
Pakistan thus played a major role in resolving the dilemma of Hari Singh and bringing about accession of Jammu and Kashmir state to India.
Sardar Patel who in his anxiety for the State had been waiting at the aerodrome for Mr. Menon to return, was not prepared to go all out to save the State. But Pt. Nehru and Lord Mountbatten were hesitant. It was not before Mr. Mahajan, who knew that every minute counted if about a lakh of Hindus in Srinagar were to be saved from total annihilation, threatened to proceed to Karachi and surrender Kashmir to Mr. Jinnah to secure safety of its people that Pt. Nehru’s reluctance could be overcome.Continue reading
The tribal hordes armed and supported by the Pakistan Government and led by officers of the Pakistan army that entered the State from Hazara district in the N.W.F.P. along the Abbotabad – Muzaffarabad – Domel- Srinagar road on October 21, formed the spearhead of the final and the biggest blow of Pakistan to the State. Its objective was Kashmir valley and the capital city of Srinagar. Almost simultaneously new thrusts were made all along the Kashmir – Pakistan border including Gilgit. These other thrusts did not get much publicity because they were directed against comparatively little known though strategically equally important parts of the State. They ultimately succeeded in gaining their objective in Gilgit, and the western districts of the State.
But their master plan to occupy Srinagar and Jammu simultaneously and present the world with a fait- accompli before any outside help could come to the State was foiled by the timely arrival of air-borne Indian troops in Srinagar and by the popular resistance put up by the people of Jammu. In order to appreciate the magnitude of the threat and the success it achieved, one should have a clear picture of the situation on the ground. The Kashmir-Pakistan frontier is over 500 miles long, a major portion of which is quite ill-defined. Beginning from near Pathankot it runs along the districts of Sialkot, Gujerat and Jehlam of the West Punjab; then turning North it runs along the Jehlam up to Kohala at which point that river leaves the State to form its western boundary. From Kohala onward this frontier runs along the Hazara district of the North Western Frontier Province, and then touches the tribal area of Yagistan and the frontier state of Chitral, which had already acceded to Pakistan. Continue reading
KASHMIR: The Storm Center of the World by Balraj Madhok
Role of Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (R.S.S.)
Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh played an important role in Kashmir in that crucial period. I had started a branch of R.S.S. in Jammu in 1940. I was then studying at Lahore. By the time I passed M.A. in History and returned to Jammu and Kashmir State, in 1942, the R.S.S. had picked up in Jammu City under the guidance of Pt. Prem Nath Dogra who had been appointed “Sangh Chalak” for Jammu. Within a couple of years of my taking charge, the network of R.S.S. branches was spread all over the Jammu region. In 1944, I moved to Srinagar Where I joined the local D.A.V. college as lecturer in history. This helped me to get in touch with the Kashmiri youth. Hundreds of Kashmiri Hindu youth began to attend R.S.S. branches daily. With the arrival of Hindu refugees from Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Abbotabad and other adjoining districts of west Punjab, the number of R.S.S. workers in Srinagar began to swell because some of them had been active workers of R.S.S. in their home districts.
Pandit Prem Nath Dogra
R.C. Kak, the Kashmiri Prime Minister of the State was, as stated earlier, keen to enlist the support of R.S.S. for his plan for independence for the states. But I made it clear to him that R.S.S. was for accession of the State to India because it was convinced that the best interests of the nation demanded so.
Lakhs of AYSS activists all over Jammu region took part in jail Bharo Andolan from 1th to 20th August.Youn and old, men, women and children all offered themselves for arrests. Police stations all over the city were swamped by protesters.