They call it Paradise, I call it Home ©

Not Even An All Weather Road Existed!

In History, India, Kashmir, Politics on 12 July, 2007 at 7:28 am

A comment by Umar Sheikh on the Jashn-e-Azadi blog:

Recently I was invited for dinner by a very hospitable Kashmiri Pundit family and while discussing Kashmir issue, their grandmother, who was around 80 years, broke down in tears and said to me that she will prefer to be in Kashmir in whatever condition rather than in India, she further added that we have nothing in common with India.

These words resonated in my mind and reminded me of a great Kashmiri Pundit leader, Ram Chandra Kak, a great Archaeologist and Prime minister of Kashmir who laid the foundation stone for Independent Kashmir and always advised Maharaja against joining India. He wanted Kashmiris to be free, independent, and masters of their own destiny.

After Maharaja signed Instrument of Accession under duress, he was charged for treason by the Indian Government and immensely humiliated during his court hearings and sent to jail for several years. After his release he retired from politics but always dreamt of Independent Kashmir. His political contribution towards Independent Kashmir is conveniently glossed over by Kashmiri Pundit scholars.

I found many in this forum asserting that Kashmir was always part of India without realising the fact that before 1947 Kashmir was not even connected to India by all weather road.

You may also want to read How Mahatma Gandhi Stalled Kashmir’s Independence.

  1. […] found this on a blog this morning. “After Maharaja signed Instrument of Accession under duress, he was charged for […]

  2. It is quite strange that scion of Dogra Maharajas, who have been accused of brutalizing the people of Kashmir is being praised for championing the cause of independent Kashmir.
    The Kashmiri pandits have been forced out of the valley several times in the six hundred years, since the onset of Islam in the valley. Despite that the Pandits being a tolerant community have always identified themselves with Kashmiriat.
    Independence for Jammu and Kashmir was never feasible for both India and particulalrly Pakistan and such it is futile to take stands which can not be justified.
    While the Kashmiri leadership accuses India of reneging on its promises, it should also sincerely think about what it has been doing with people of Jammu.
    While Kashmiris allege India of imperialism, they themselves have denied political rights to the people of Jammu and discriminated against them to the hilt. This is perhaps one of the reasons that people of Jammu and Ladakh have opposed the movment run by Kashmiris.

  3. Let us not stray from the context. Of course all Kashmiri Pandits break into tears when reminded of Kashmir, and of their homes that they have been deprived of. They don’t want to live in other parts of India, if they can help it. Most of us consider Kashmiriyat as important. But this does not mean we want Azadi from India. We want Kashmir, but Kashmir is only meaningful to us if it is not turned into another bastion of Taliban or Al-Qaeda (like Pakistan and Afghanistan). That is bound to happen if it secedes from India, and it was the prospect of that happening that made our community pack our bags and flee. In our view, it is possible for Kashmir to belong to Kashmiris AND to be part of India. All that is needed is cessation of violence by all sides. Our history, our culture, our language, our religion, are all based in Kashmir. At the same time, none of these things sets us apart from India either.

    The fact that an all-weather road didn’t exist between Jammu and Srinagar does not justify separation (in any case you people never talk about separation of Kashmir from Jammu). The fact that Kashmiris don’t have too much in common with other parts of India does not justify separation. Most regions of India are different. Kashmiris don’t have much in common with Jammuites either, or with Ladakhis, or even with people in the Gurez region. So how many divisions do you want based on “dis-similarity”? Based on the fact that you consider yourselves culturally “different”, do you also want Kashmir valley to be separate from other J&K regions too? How much difference is difference enough to warrant secession?

  4. Uhh, a Pandit crying that they have nothing in common with India? All of the Kashmiri Hindus I’ve met say how terrorists began slaughtering Hindus in Kashmir in the late 80’s, early 90s and how their Muslim “brothers” stood by. Give me a break, if there is one truth in South Asian politics it’s that if you are a non-Muslim and you are living in a Muslim majority country, state or province, watch your back, your life is not as important in the eyes of the majority and in the near future your kind will cease to exist.

  5. Look at the Sikh’s today. Twenty years back they were embroiled in militancy in Punjab and today they are ruling India. Prime Minister of India is a Sikh, Head of indian economic policy is a Sikh, and Chief of Indian army is a Sikh. In short, they run the government, the economy, and the military. What more can a community in India want?

    Kashmiris today are not just misled, they are blind. They would rather throw rocks at security forces rather than realising the fact that they can be ruling entire India in 20 years time if the militancy stopped today in Kashmir. Again. If you think I am joking look at Sikhs today.

  6. Excerpts from Akhila Raman’s homepage (http://home.comcast.net/~raman_akhila)

    Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Second Series, Vol. 4, New Delhi 1986, p.288a

    Cable to C.R. Attlee from Nehru : New Delhi, 28 October 1947.

    We are always ready to discuss any issue in dispute with representatives of Pakistan. We have laid down the principle that accession of every State, whether Junagadh or Kashmir or Hyderabad, should depend on ascertained wishes of the people concerned.

    Govt. of India, White Paper on Jammu & Kashmir , Delhi 1948, p.77.

    Telegram, dated the 31st December 1947, from Foreign, New Delhi, to Indembassy, Washington:

    [On 26 October, 1947] In order to avoid any possible suggestion that India had taken advantage of the State’s immediate peril for her own political advantage, the Dominion Government made it clear that, once the soil of the State had been cleared of the invader and normal conditions restored, its people would be free to decide their future by the recognised democratic method of a plebiscite or referendum, which, in order to ensure complete impartiality, might be held under international auspices.

    Govt. of India, White Paper on Jammu & Kashmir , Delhi 1948, p.3.

    Nevertheless, in accepting the accession, the Government of India made it clear that they would regard it as purely provisional until such time as the will of the people of the State could be ascertained.

    Govt. of India, White Paper on Jammu & Kashmir , Delhi 1948, p.46.

    Telegram, dated the 25th October 1947, from Foreign, New Delhi, to C.R. Attlee, Prime Minister of UK.

    From Prime Minister of India.

    [….]

    “I should like to make it clear that [the] question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the State to accede to India. Our view, which we have repeatedly made public is that [the] question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people and we adhere to this view”.

    Govt. of India, White Paper on Jammu & Kashmir , Delhi 1948, p.55.

    Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister, in a broadcast from New Delhi on November 2nd said:

    “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given, and the Maharaja has supported it, not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not, and cannot back out of it. We are prepared when peace and law and order have been established to have a referendum held under international auspices like the United Nations. We want it to be a fair and just reference to the people, and we shall accept their verdict. I can imagine no fairer and juster offer.”

    Sheikh Abdullah, Flames of the Chinar, New Delhi 1993, p.97

    While Mehr Chand Mahajan was to continue as Prime Minister, I [Sheikh Abdullah] was appointed Director-General, Administration [on 27 October, 1947]- the first Kashmiri Muslim to hold this post. In my new position I addressed the senior officials of the government, and categorically stated that the future of Kashmir would be decided only by the Kashmiris. Our decision to accede to India was ad hoc, and would ultimately decided by a plebiscite.

  7. “Not Even An All Weather Road Existed”

    Author mentioned RC Kak as proponent of an independent Kashmir That means independent of both INDIA And PAKISTAN. You can not overlook the fact that if India has made all possible efforts to keep Kashmir within Indian Union so has PAKISTAN to disturb and disrupt the harmony in Kashmir. The people who have been taking greatest advantage or this war between two Giant neighbors are the Sheikh-Abdulla clan and Hurriyat conference. Both have been milking the governments of both sides for their own benefit. Careful scrutiny (independent of Indian and Pakistani version) of the history of conflict does reveal how politician (people in control) have benefited from 1947 to 2007. They have developed them self at the cost of the development of the state and they call themselves protectors of Kashmiriat!

  8. Very interesting, but I don’t agree with you.

    Idetrorce

  9. My dear Idetrorce

    Your name does not sound like the native name so please do clarify why you don’t agree ?

    If you are a native then why do you hide your name?

    Do you have any other information that we don’t have? Or are you one of the people blinded by the propaganda of one of the two profiting parties ?

    Eagerly waiting for a response…

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