History of Kashmir
Kashmir has taken more media space and government time than any other state. It started with the Pakistani invasion / the Instrument of Accession in 1947, Nehru’s going to the UN, Article 370, appointment and arrest of Sheikh Abdullah, Sheikh-Indira agreement of 1975, appointment & dismissal of Farooq Abdullah, rigged elections of 1987 (held by many to be a turning point in the state), Insurgency started in 1989, kidnapping and release of the Home Ministers daughter in 1990, migration of Kashmiri Pandits, the siege of Hazbratlal and so on.
What touched me most was the gunning down of innocent Amarnath yatris and death of Brigadier Shergill / Colonel Chauhan by an Improvised Explosion Device. The Government of India’s response is that it we have to live with the danger of an IED since the company manufacturing them in the U.K. has shut down. Is this the way we treat our soldiers. If 100 Americans lives were lost due to bomb blasts, would the American President and Media respond like that?
The Question that I asked myself is, was Kashmir always like this?
I have traced Kashmiri History from 300 to 1850 AD. It is followed by a Write Up on the events that led Nehru to the United Nations and False Truths.
Amongst the oldest chronicles is the Rajatarangini. It is the history of Kashmir, written in verse, by Kalhana in 1149-50 a.d. While this book is considered a masterpiece and followed a method of historical research, his account before the seventh century cannot be considered as trustworthy. He was followed by Jonaraja who died in 1459 a.d, imitated Kalhans style and brought the history narrative up to the reign of Zain-ul-Abidin. Srivara, Prajya Bhatta and Suka carried on the history till Kashmir’s conquest by Akbar.
Upto 600 BC
According to the Rajatarangini, the oldest ruler was Gonanda I, who appears to have ruled in the days just before the Mahabharata. It is emperor Ashok who is said to have founded the city of Srinagari, now Srinagar.
Among the many tribes in ancient North India were the Uttarakurus who were located beyond the Himalayas. Though regarded as mythical and later literature, they appear as a historical people in Aitareya Brahmana which states that Janatapi Atyarati was eager to conquer the land of the Uttarakurus or the land of Gods. Zimmer places the land of Uttarakurus in Kashmir.
The dialect of the North was known for its purity hence Brahmanas flocked to the North for the purposes of study. This is corroborated by the fact that Taxila became a centre of learning and classical Sanskrit was first developed in Kashmir.
Alexander left the King of Abhisara to rule in Kashmir. According to the Mahavimsa, the Third Buddhist Council met at Pataliputra (Patna) and deputed a missionary by the name of Majjhantika to go to Kashmir and Gandhara (in modern day Afghanistan).
320 to 740 AD
According to Kalhana (referred to above), nearly the whole of the Gupta age was ruled by the Gonanada dynasty ie for about 300 yrs. (unlikely though). It is also believed that the Kushanas and the Huns ruled over Kashmir during this period.
After them a new dynasty known as Karkota or Naga was founded by Durlabha-vardhana. He had married the daughter of the last Gonanada king and became king in 527 a.d. According to Hiuen Tsang who visited Kashmir, the king ruled over parts of western and north western Punjab as well. The King’s son Chandrapida sent an envoy to the Chinese in 713 ad for help against the Arabs. Inspite of not receiving any help he was able to defend his kingdom against the Arabs.
He was followed by Lalitaaditya Muktapada in 724 ad, the greatest king of that dynasty. He defeated the Tibetans and the Turks. His extensive conquests, up to Bengal, made Kashmir the most powerful kingdom since the days of the Guptas. The most famous of his works is the Martanda Temple. He died in 760 ad while the dynasty continued to rule till the middle of the ninth century ad. When Jayapida, the grandson of Lalitaditya, lost the throne of Kashmir, he came to North Bengal.
Besides the Purannas, there are certain texts called Upapuranas, also 18 in number. Among these works is the Vishnudharmottara, a Vaishnava work from Kashmir. It deals with fine arts like dancing, singing, painting, and sculpture besides other subjects. The Pancharatna had three distinct versions, amongst which one was a Kashmiri one called Tantrakhyayika.
The Hinamaya school of Buddhism was divided into Vaikhasika and Sautrantika. The former was popular in Kashmir on account of their acceptance of the Vibhashas, compiled around the second century ad, and translated by the Chinese in 383-434 ad. These are mainly studied and preserved in Kashmir. Vasubandhu (5th century ad) a native of Gandhara went to Kashmir and made a study of the Vibhashas condensed them into Kosa. This Bhashya came to be regarded as one of the classical texts by monks of Hinayana and Mahayana sects. It attained so much importance in China that schools were started after Kosa and is still studied in China and Japan.
The Sautrantika School came into being as a bitter opponent of Vaibhasikas. The traditional founder, Kumaralabdha, was a native of Taxila. Another great proponent was a native of Kashmir, Srilabha, a great Sastra-master.
In the 8th century ad, Sarvajnamitra, a nephew of the King of Kashmir became one of the principal teachers of Nalanda.
Renowned scholar, Kumarjiva, responsible for translating over 100 Sanskrit texts into Chinese, was taken by his mother at the age of nine to Kashmir to study Buddhist literature. After completing his studies he visited Central Asia. From 318 to 413 ad he translated texts and was the first to Interpret Mahamaya philosophy in China. The fact that Kumarajiva was taken from Kuchi to Kashmir for the purposes of education shows the high position held by Kashmir in the Buddhist world.
Among the Kashmiri scholars were Sanghabhuti (381-384ad), Buddhajiva (423ad), Dharmamitra (422-424 ad). Another noble son was Gunavarman. He proceeded to Ceylon and Java and preached Buddhism there, reaching Nanking in 431 ad.
750 to 1000 A.D.
Lalitaditya’s son Vajraditya who ruled from 762 a.d. is said to have sold many Kashmiris to the Arabs of Sindh and introduced many Islamic practices in Kashmir. The Arab governor of Sind raided Kashmir around 770 and took many slaves / prisoners. The next successor was Jayapida referred to above. He was a brave general like his dada Lalitaditya. Away from Kashmir, he won some battles and lost others and ruled Kashmir from 770 ad up to the closing years of the eighth century. Thereafter, a series of Kings ruled Kashmir. The Karkota dynasty came to an end in 855-6 ad.
Avanti-varman was the founder of the Utpala dynasty. Through a series of engineering operations, he used the river waters to increase agricultural output significantly. He was an able general who brought neighboring areas under his control. He died in tragic circumstances to be succeeded by his minor son Gopala-varman. His mother Suganadha ran the administration (notice the status given to women) and later on went to become Queen. She was overthrown by the Tantrin infantry, a powerful political organization in Kashmir. What followed was a number of kings with no significant contributions. The Utpala dynasty came to an end in 939 ad.
Next in line was Yasakara who earned a reputation as a man of great learning. Besides being a good administrator, he built a Matha (monastery) for the residence of students coming from Aryadesa to Kashmir for higher education. Next important king was Parvagupta who died in 950 ad whose son died within eight years to be succeeded by his wife Didda, a woman of keen intelligence. A no nonsense women she got rid people of who came in her way to ascend the throne in 980 ad. (note women power). She died in 1003 ad not before establishing the supremacy of the Lohara dynasty in Kashmir.
A Turkish family ruled the Kabul Valley and Gandhara for a long time. Kallar, a minister, overthrew the king to found the Hindu Shahi dynasty in the second half of the ninth century a.d and is identified as Lalliya Shahi in the Rajatarangini. Lalliya was brave and able to withstand the invasion of King Sankaravarman of the Utpala Dynasty of Kashmir. After the death of Lalliya’s son, Kamaluka, his grandson Bhima-about 900 ad, ascended the throne. By giving his bitiya is marriage to the King of Lohara in Poonch, he was able to exercise influence in Kashmir to build a magnificent temple of Vishnu and call it Bhimaksava. (Has now been converted into a Muslim Ziarat). There were a series of kings thereafter. It ends with King Jayapala who fought the Sultan of Ghazni.
Literature – The Buddhist Sivasvamin has given us an epic, Kapphanabhyudaya and Haravijaya, a long epic in fifty cantos, narrating the story of Siva killing the demon Andhaka. Was written under Avantivarman referred to above. Another epic was Yudhishthiravijaya, narrating the story of Yudhisthir up to his coronation. The Jain Somadeva, composed the Nitivakyamritaa which is almost based on Kautilya’s Arthasastra. There are numerous books written during this period.
Philosophy – In Kashmir, we have two schools of Saivism, the Spandasastra and the Pratyabhijnasastra. The former was founded by Vishnugupta to whom Siva revealed the Sivasutra. The important works of the latter are Sivadrishti and Pratyabhijnasutra composed by Somananda and his pupil Utpala. In Paramarthasara, Abhinavgupta, has combined the teaching of Advaita with the practices of Yoga and the Bhakti of Saivism & vaishnavism in such a manner that it can be said to strike a new path altogether.
During this period Kashmir continued to be an important centre of Buddhism which attracted monks from western countries. The Vikramasila monastery in modern day North Bihar had six important dvara-panditas, one of them being from Kashmir, Ratnavajra. A scholar named Ananta translated texts and preached Buddhism in Tibet during this period.
Kashmir Saivism – The system is also is also referred to as Trika that refers to the triple principle with which the system deals vis Sivai-sakti-anu. Though the other schools of Saivism accept these three categories, Kashmiri Saivism regards the individual soul and the world as essentially identical with Siva and so three are reducible to one. The beginnings of Kashmir Savisim are to be traced to the Sivasutras whose authorship is attributed to Siva himself. The sutras are said to have been revealed to a sage Vishnugupta, who lived about the end of the 8th century ad. Kallata, Somananda were his pupils.
The Ultimate Reality in KS is Siva himself. He is pure consciousness, absolute experience and the supreme lord. He resides in all that moves and all that does not. He is called anuttara, the reality beyond which there is nothing. The manifestation of the universe is effected through Power (sakti) of Siva. Sakti is Siva’s creative energy. The five most important modes of Sakti are 1)chit-sakti, the power of intelligence, which means that the Supreme shines without dependence on any other light 2) anada-sakti, the power of independence which is bliss or joy, 3) icchchha-sakti, the power of will, 4) jnana-sakti, the power of knowledge, 5) kriya-sakti, the power of action. Since Sankaracharya visited Kashmir, it is likely that Advaita, influnenced the formulation of KS. Solar Cult – Though questioned recently, Kashmir may have some hand in popularizing the worship of the Sun in western India. Towards the middle of the 8th century was built the magnificent Marthananda temple.
While resting in the Valley the learned Brahmans told Sankaracharya that unless he defeated the learned persons of Sarada Pitha they would not accept the supremacy of his philosophy. With his arguments he defeated all the learned men at that high seat of learning including Jains and Buddhists. The King of Kasmira or Kashmir has made arrangements for the S’s stay at Srinagar but the S chose to stay near an ancient Siva temple overlooking the city. Since then the temple has popularly been known as the Sankarcharya temple.
1000 TO 1300 AD
Around 1014 ad, Mahmud Ghazni plundered the Valley for the first time. He carried him with a large number of prisoners and converted to Islam. He returned in 1015 ad and made a fruitless attempt to capture the hill fort of Lohkot, modern day Loharin. He failed to capture the fort in 1021 ad too.
The Lohara dynasty happened around 1003 referred to above, Samgramaraja was the first king. There were a series of non consequential events, kings thereafter up to the second Lohara dynasty started by Uchchala around 1105 ad. Vantideva (1165-1172) was the last king of this dynasty. After some more kings, in 1301 ad, Suhadeva asserted his supremacy over Kashmir but had to face Dulucha, commander in chief of the King of Kandhar who took a large number of Kashmiris as slaves. At the same time, Rinchana, the son of a Western Tibetan chief, invaded it from the south. By killing one Ramachandra he became the undisputed ruler of Kashmir in 1320. An able ruler, he was killed by his enemies. Suhadeva behaved like a coward all along and died in 1320. Rinchana’s wife Kota became head of Kashmir. Unwilling to trust her minister Sahamera, she appointed Bhatta Bhikshana. Unhappy at being sidelined Sahamers murdered Bhatta, imprisoned the queen and became King in 1339 ad under the name Shams-ud-din. This marked the advent of Muslim rule in 1338 ad.
Literature – Kshemendra, the 11th century poet of king Ananta of Kashmir, gives us the epitomes of two great epics in his Bharata-manjari and Ramayana-manjari. His Dasavatara-charita describes the ten incarnations of Vishnu. The Haracharitachintamnai by Jayadratha is important to the extent it embodies some and new Saiva practices and legends some of which are directly linked to the places of pilgrimage in Kashmir. There were a number of other learned writers / poets during this period.
There was an exodus of Buddhist missionaries from this region to Central Asia and Tibet so much that the valley became some sort of a holy land for Northern Buddhists. In 980 ad two missionaries went to China to translate scriptures from Sanskrit to Chinese. There were two centers of Buddhist learning, Ratnagupta and Ratnarasmi that figure amongst the greatest centers of Buddhist learning during this period.
Buddhism produced such a salutary effect on the people of the valley that even some kings insisted on the practice of Ahimsa. The Saivite schools that came up in the 9th and 10th centuries had been influenced by Buddhism. Saivism continued to flourish in Kashmir.
It is a very significant fact that the Himalayan countries of Kashmir, Nepal and Tibet came out of the mountain seclusion and enter the arena of Indian history and culture, almost simultaneously, from the seventh century onwards. Kashmir maintained this intimate association till it was overrun by the Muslims while Nepal, Tibet until very recent times. The Sufi saints appeared during this period, the first of whom was Shaikh Ismail of Lahore. The greatest saint was Khvaja Muinuddin of Ajmer.
1300 to 1526 AD
The history of Kashmir was given in three Sanskrit chronicles ie from the middle of the 12th century to the time it was conquered by Akbar. The earliest one was by Jonaraja. The Muslim chronicles are based on these writings.
The ascent of the first Muslim ruler in Kashmir in1339 ad was described above. (Advent of the Shah Miri dynasty). After a series of kings came Shihab-ud-din who by various conquests restored Kashmir some of its glory. He possessed a spirit of toleration seldom displayed by any Muslim ruler in India.
The next important king was Sikandar whose reign marks a turning point in the history of Kashmir from a religious/social perspective. A large number of fanatical Muslims from outside the country came, occupied offices of the state and became the king’s friends. Idols were destroyed; temples demolished, attempts were made to kill the Brahmins. His son Mir Khan continued with the torture of Brahmins.
Shahi Khan became the next king in 1420. He is the greatest king of Kashmir. The state became prosperous and he treated the Hindus well. He was well versed in Persian and Sanskrit, had the Mahabharat translated into Persian. His court was a meeting place of Hindu – Muslim scholars, poets. He died in 1470 ad. From there on till 1530, there were a number of kings with treachery and instability being the name of the game.
The bulk of the Sanskrit literature during this period came from Bengal, South and Western India. Kashmir recedes into the background. The Sufi movement developed during this period. The Muslim Sufis were men of deep religious feelings who believed in soul, a spiritual substance, different from the body but akin to the universal soul (sounds like Vedanta). They regarded inward light or intuitive experience of far more importance than dogmatic formalism of the orthodox type and think love to be the only means of reaching God.
1526 to 1700 AD
A series of kings ruled Kashmir till 1540. It was then decided by Humayun’s generals mainly Mirza Haidar to invade Kashmir. He conquered it in 1540. His description of Hindu temples make delightful reading but he was also a bigoted Sunni. Unable to control the various feudatories he fought them and died in one such war in 1551. There were a series of kings between 1551 and 1579 till Yusuf Shah became king. Oscillating between making peace overtures and being aggressive he submitted to Akbar’s forces in 1586. Unhappy with the treaty between his lieuftant Bhagwan Das and Yusuf, Akbar imprisoned Yusuf. His imprisonment inspite of a promise of safe custody is a dark blot on the character of the chivalrous Akbar. His son Yaqub continued fighting Akbar till he was defeated. Restored the kingdom, he did not administer it well compelling Akbar to have Mirza Yusuf conquer it in 1589.
The reigns of Jahangir and Shah Jahan did not see much interaction with Kashmir. During Aurangzib’s stay in Punjab in 1674-75 officials converted a large number of Hindus to Islam. In order to infuse courage in Hindus, Guru Tegh Bahadur visited East Punjab. This created confidence in the minds of people. Enthused, the Kashmiri leaders told the Guru of their plight. He advised them to inform Aurangzeb to convert the Guru first and then all of them would embrace Islam. Surely Guru did not convert and paid for his life by being beheaded on 11/11/1675.
Literature – Not much is known about Kashmiri literature prior to the 15th century. The poetic compositions of Lalla Didi is the oldest specimen. During the reign of Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, a number of Sanskrit, Persian and Kashmiri writers flourished but their works are not known. During the 16th century, the exquisite lyrics of Habba Khotun were very popular. The Muslim conquest of large parts of Northern India meant that places like Kashmir, once an important center of Sanskrit learning, hardly produced any noteworthy work after the end of Hindu rule.
Religion – The Qadriya school of Sufism which traces its origin to Shaikh Abdul Qadir of Gilan who lived in Baghdad in the 8th century was introduced during the reign of Akbar by Shaikh Abdul Haqq. One of its famous exponents was Mulla Shah of Badakshan who settled down in Kashmir. Other Sufi saints were Saiyyid Ali Hamdani and Sayyid Bilal Shah.
1707 to 1818 AD
Jammu – The hill states lying between the Indus and the Ravi fell into two political groups. The first was Kashmir ruled by Muslim chiefs and the second embraced Jammu. Of the 22 states in Jammu, eight were ruled by Muslims and the balance by Hindus. Jammu had been under the rule of a Rajput dynasty since olden times. With the decline of the Mughal power, the Raja of Jammu stopped paying tribute to the Mughals. Jammu was under Ranjit Deo from 1750 to 1781. He helped Ahmad Shah Abdali conquer Kashmir in 1752 and 1762. During his reign the city prospered and became an important center of trade. About 1770, Ranjit Deo submitted to the Sikhs.
Kashmir – After Aurangzeb’s death the decline of Mughal power did not affect Kashmir till Ahmad S Abdali conquered it in1752. The Afghans ruled it till 1819. As long as they got their annual tribute of Rs 20 lacs a year, the Afghan king did not intefere in the administration. There were 28 governors during Afghan rule of which there was only one Hindu, Sukhjiwan. In 1753 he was the first Hindu chief of Kashmir since 1320 ie in 433 yrs. He was a brave soldier, wise administrator, scholar and poet. His liberal and sympathetic outlook won the hearts of all. He fell out with Ahmad Shah Abdali who invaded Kashmir with the help of Ranjit Deo, the ruler of Jammu. Sukhjivan was captured, blinded and trampled to death by horses.
After this Afghan rule was a tale of atrocities. Sunni Shia riots broke out in 1763-65. Mir Hazar Khan in 1793 sewed up Hindu leaders in gunny bags and threw them in the Dal Lake to be drowned. Ata M K Alkozai forcibly seized pretty girls to satisfy his lust. Many parents were forced to shave the heads of their daughters rather than allow them to be molested and degraded. This forced many Pandit families to migrate to Rajauri, Poonch and Delhi. As a result of oppression, great unrest spread in the province. It was conquered by Maharaj Ranjit Singh in 1819.
1818 to 1905 AD
Jammu was conferred as a jagir to the family of Gulab Singh by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Among the three traitors in The First Sikh War was the Dogra Chief Gulab Singh. As a reward for siding with the Brits he was given the state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846 on payment of fifty lakhs rupees in cash.
The reign of Ranavira Singh (ascended in 1857) witnessed a great amount of enthuiasm for Sanskrit. Sivasankara compiled the Dharmasastra Digest, Vasudeva wrote the Chittapradipa amongst others. The king appears as the sponsor of no less than thirty two branches of Sanskrit literature. Will write about the Dogra rule later.
From the above we can see how Kashmir has changed from a center of Buddhist / Sanskrit / Saivite learning to the orgy of violence that it has been for most of its last nearly seven hundred year history. Yet our government believes that sacrificing more innocent civilian and army lives is the only way that peace will be restored!
Every one keeps on holding misgovernance being responsible for the terrorism in Kashmir. Is the Kashmir Valley the only part of the country where there is misgovernance? What about Jammu, Ladakh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. Can any one tell us why there is no insurgency there? Secondly, the local administration has always been in the hands of the Kashmiris. Being part of the government, are they not responsible for misgovernance.
This essay is based on inputs from The History and Culture of Indian People by the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.
Long Live Sanatan Dharam
By a Well Wisher –
PRINCELY J&K’s ACCESSION TO INDIA
From How & Why to War, the UN Stalemate & Constitutional Democracy
“J&K was the biggest among the 562 princely Indian States that comprised two-fifths of the India under colonial rule for well over a century. Unlike the remaining 60 per cent area constituting the British India Provinces, these States possessed sovereignty in various degrees depending on their individual treaties with His Majesty’s government; broadly speaking, they had a system of personal government while being under the overall suzerainty of the British Crown.
The British Parliament’s Indian Independence Act, 1947 (which received Royal Assent on 18th July that year) created two independent Dominions of India and Pakistan made up of the erstwhile British India Provinces. The Act freed the princely States from the Crown’s paramountcy but denied them dominion status while permitting them to accede to India or to Pakistan.
The terms of accession were determined by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten. Considering their past status, it was agreed that each of these States would sign an Instrument of Accession whereby they would concede the subjects of “defence”, “external affairs” and “communications” to the appropriate Dominion, leaving themselves a fair degree of independence. However, the Viceroy made it clear to these States that there were certain geographical and practical factors which precluded their total independence. The Instrument of Accession document was prepared by the States Department under Sardar Patel and was got approved from the princely rulers by Mountbatten. J&K was, along with Hyderabad, one of the only two princely States that dilly dallied with their decision on accession.
In fairness to Maharaja Hari Singh, it was not easy for him to come to a decision. If he acceded to Pakistan, the non-Muslims of Jammu and Ladakh as well as considerable sections of Muslims led by the National Conference Party would definitely have resented such action. On the other hand, accession to India would have provoked adverse reactions in Gilgit and certain regions contiguous to Pakistan. Further, the road communications were with Pakistan and forest resources that constituted a considerable portion of the State’s revenue were being transported by rivers flowing into Pakistan. Besides, the Maharaja was toying with the notion of an Independent Jammu & Kashmir.
A cascading flow of events forced the hand of the Maharaja.
• On 15th October 1947 J&K’s Prime Minister complained to the British Prime Minister that the Pakistan Government had discontinued supplies of essential articles, that the railway service from Sialkot to Jammu had been stopped without reason, and that the whole of the State border from Gurdaspur to Gilgit was threatened with invasion that had already begun in Poonch. No reply was received from the British Prime Minister.
• On 18th October 1947 the J&K State sent a protest to Jinnah, Pakistan’s Governor-General, against the continuing raids and the stoppage of essential supplies. Jinnah replied on the 20th October taking offence at the language of the protest and attributing the disruption of supplies to alleged widespread disturbances in East Punjab.
• An all-out invasion of J&K started on 22nd October 1947. The main raiders’ column consisted of an estimated five thousand tribesmen including soldiers of the Pakistan Army “on leave” and led by a few regular officers who knew Kashmir well. Garhi and Domel were quickly captured and the gates of Muzaffarabad were reached. On 24th October, Mahura Power House supplying electricity to Srinagar was taken over; the capital of the State was plunged in darkness.
J&K’s day of destiny had finally come. Its Maharaja sought India’s military help and signed the Instrument of Accession on 26th October 1947 to enable that help to be rendered. As Governor-General of the Dominion of India, Lord Mountbatten signed his acceptance of the Instrument deed on the next day.
In the early hours of 27th October 1947 began an operation the like of which had never before occurred in the history of warfare. With the wholehearted co-operation of the civilian air companies, over a hundred civilian aircraft and Royal Indian Air Force planes were mobilized to fly troops, equipment and supplies to Srinagar. Some of the pilots flew did several sorties in the course of the day; the ground crew rose to the occasion.
On 7th November the Indian troops won the battle of Shaltang, thereby removing all threats to Srinagar. Three days later, Baramulla was recaptured. The process of retreat by the enemy on all fronts began.
With the Indian Army finding that the only way the raiders could be completely removed from Kashmir was by attacking their bases and sources of supply in Pakistan, India warned Pakistan on 22nd December 1947 that unless Pakistan denied her assistance and bases to the invaders, India would be compelled to take such action.
At that critical stage in J&K’s history, 53 years ago, Lord Mountbatten urged our PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, about “the overwhelming need for caution and restraint”; he stressed “how embroilment in war with Pakistan would undermine the whole of Nehru’s independent foreign policy and progressive social aspirations.” And, on Mountbatten’s advice, Nehru decided to lodge a complaint to the United Nations Security Council. That was done on 31st December 31, 1947.
Invoking Article 35 of the UN Charter, India appealed to the Security Council to ask Pakistan to undertake several measures that would end Pakistan’s illegal act of aggression in J&K.
On 13th August 1948 the UN passed a resolution whereby the future of J&K would be determined by a democratic plebiscite under the UN’s auspices but after Pakistan first of all withdrew its troops from the State.
Pakistan has not complied with that condition till date. Accordingly, it remains possession of about one-third of the original J&K that was Maharaja Gulab Singh’s at the end of 1846. And, accordingly, even after millions of words of debate stretching over years, the UN has not resolved the issue even as India has been left sucking the wounds of cross-border terrorism while also being the recipient of hectoring from several sources including Indian journalists who have never opened the pages of history documenting the issue.
The only but major saving grace of the last 53 years events in J&K has been the State’s emergence from hereditary rule to a democratic entity with a Constitution of its own framed by a Constituent Assembly elected in August 1951 on the basis of universal adult franchise, thereby fulfilling an old wish of the State’s people. Section 3 of that J&K Constitution, 1957, is a matter of pride for every genuine Indian. It says that “The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.” What is more, the State’s Constitution prohibits any amendment of that Section 3. So what’s this plebiscite the Pakis and, alas, several Indians, keep talking about?”
What was the American attitude towards Kashmir at the time of Independence?
Refer article by Narendra Singh Sarila published on the edit page of “The Times of India”, Mumbai edition, dated 14th August 2000.
That article, based on US State Department’s secret archives, establishes the following:
• In October 1948, General George Marshall, US Secretary of State, was convinced that J&K’s accession to India was valid and he therefore refused to toe the British Foreign Secretary’s line of recognizing Pakistan’s occupation of J&K’s northern territories including Gilgit.
• Dean Rusk, Assistant to General Marshall, upheld the validity of J&K’s accession to another British delegation that visited him in 1948.
• It was Britain that played the perfidious role of letting Pakistan continue to occupy J&K’s northern territories as a bulwark against the feared invasion by the Soviet Union, the argument being that Islam is incompatible with Communism.
• The change in US policy towards India’s legally rightful claim to the entire J&K State came only after Nehru was persuaded by Mountbatten to agree to a cease-fire and to consider partitioning J&K leaving Gilgit in Pakistan.
Charges against Kashmir Valley Clique!
The charges against the Kashmiri clique are many. Writing in the May 2000 issue of “Voice of Jammu Kashmir” magazine, J.N.Bhat, retired judge of the J&K State High Court, alleged that:
1. Thousands of plots carved out in the suburbs of Jammu have been allotted to Kashmiris, all the beneficiaries belonging to one particular community.
2. In some localities of Jammu city, water is supplied after a gap of three to four days, and not even enough of it to quench the thirst of the people. Obviously, funds got for development get misused.
3. In the Jammu region, Hindu minorities of Doda and Poonch districts have been tortured and many of them have found, according to sources, conversion the only option, though they prefer death to forced conversion.
Another eminent person who has made more serious accusations is Hari Om, Professor of History in Jammu University, and a member of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). In a recent newspaper article, the Professor complains that -
1. Though Kashmiris constitute roughly 22 per cent of the State’s total population, the mechanism cleverly devised by Sheikh Abdullah’s National Conference Party in 1951 enables it to capture nearly half of the total Assembly and Lok Sabha seats. The trick lies in 46 Assembly segments having been created in the small Valley as against 41 segments combined in Jammu and Ladakh regions that are far bigger and more populated than the Valley. This mechanism is apparently contrary to the rules framed under the Indian Parliament’s Representation of People’s Act and those under the relevant State Act of 1957.
2. Kashmiris hold over 2, 30,000 positions out of a nearly 2, 40,000 positions in government and semi-government organizations in the Valley. In addition, they corner nearly 25 per cent of the jobs in the regional services of Jammu and Ladakh.
3. All the professional and technical institutions, universities and all the big public sector industrial units like the HMT, television, telephone and cement factories located in the Valley are the sole preserve of the Kashmiris. Besides, they manipulate for themselves more than 50 per cent of the seats in Jammu’s ill-equipped and under-staffed medical and engineering college, and the Agricultural University in R.S.Pura. No such institution exists in Ladakh.
4. The Kashmiris control trade, commerce, transport and industry, and own big orchards as well as landed estates. None of them is without a house. Likewise, the per capita expenditure on woolen clothes in Kashmir is perhaps the highest in the world. Till date, none in Kashmir has, unlike in UP, Bihar and Orissa, died either of hunger or cold.
5. Interestingly, yet not surprisingly, a vast majority of the Kashmiris don't pay even a single penny to the State in the form of revenue due to it. It is Jammu and Ladakh that contribute over 90 per cent to the State exchequer, but a major part of this money is spent not in the extremely backward and underdeveloped Jammu and Ladakh but in the highly prosperous and developed Kashmir Valley.
As a result of the above, Prof. Hari Om says that “it is the Kashmiris and Kashmiris everywhere and all others in the State exist nowhere.”
The dismal scenario above has apparently prevailed so long that even editors of our national daily newspapers refer most casually to J&K merely as “Kashmir”, forgetting the fundamental fact that “J&K” is not Kashmir and that “Kashmir” is not J&K
FALSE TRUTHS UNMASKED by a well wisher.
A The India Today issue of August 14 would have us believe that J&K acceded to India in 1947 in return for Nehru's promise of plebiscite and Article 370's nomenclature of "prime minister" of J&K was changed to "chief minister" in 1964. The Centre extended jurisdiction over J&K in 1953. Sheikh Abdullah died in 1983 and his son Farooq became J&K's chief minister in that year.
1. Firstly, J&K's accession to India had nothing to do with the promise of plebiscite by Nehru or anyone else. It was instead directly linked to the tribal invasion from Pakistan that threatened the very survival of Srinagar city, forcing its ruler to ask India's military help and offer accession for that purpose. And Nehru's promise of plebiscite was made in his All India Radio broadcast of December 23, 1949. (It is a different matter that according to a former chief justice of India, M C Mahajan, the Instrument of Accession, designed by the British and the Indian Independence Act, 1947, of the British Parliament
gave no legal or constitutional authority to Nehru or Mountbatten, the then governor general, to make that promise).
2. The draft Constitution of India was presented to our Constituent Assembly for debate in February 1948 and, therefore, Article 370 being promised in 1947 is poppycock.
3. The Centre's jurisdiction over J&K was extended, not in 1953, but on January 26, 1950, by a Presidential Order issued under Article 370.
4. The nomenclature of 'prime minister' of J&K was changed to 'chief minister' not in 1964 but April 1965 by the sixth amendment to the J&K State Constitution, 1957.
5. Finally, Sheikh Abdullah died, not in 1983, but on September 8, 1982. Similarly, his son Farooq became J&K's chief minister, not in 1983, but on September 9, 1982.
Had the India Today correspondent read a authoritative book on J&K like that of Chief Justice, Dr A S Anand, (done his PhD on the subject approved by London University.) he would have saved the need to repeatedly clarify. But the media in our country!
B. Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of the The Indian Express. In his column of August 5, one of his brazen accusations is that "We had defied the UN resolutions on a plebiscite."
Facts 1. India has never defied the UN resolution on plebiscite. Rather, it was Pakistan that did so by just not fulfilling the resolution's first condition requiring it to withdraw its tribesmen and nationals from the J&K state territory it had invaded for the purpose of fighting in October 1947 (resolution adopted on August 13, 1948, by UN Commission for India and Pakistan).
2. Gupta's second accusation is that, "We had consistently and calculatedly diluted the autonomy promised to Kashmir under the Instrument of Accession and Article 370."
Facts 2. That charge is based on a lack of comprehension of the essence of Article 370 which, while guaranteeing the sanctity of the accession deed, also permitted an extension of the Indian Parliament's laws to J&K with the concurrence of the government of that state or in consultation with it. Let it be known here that Article 370, as it stands, had the approval of the four representatives from J and K appointed on the Indian Constituent Assembly in June 1949 by the Sadar-i-Riyasat on the advice of his council of ministers. Let it be known too that all the parliamentary laws extended to J&K so far have the latter's nod. Let it be known finally that the enlargement of various provisions of Indian laws to J&K via Article 370 was upheld by that state's high court in 1959 and by the Supreme Court in 1961 as well as in 1970.
C. J N Dixit - he advocates autonomy to J&K in the framework of the Sheikh Abdullah-Indira Gandhi agreement of 1975. But in summing up the contents of that accord, he says that one its clauses laid down that with regard to those provisions of the Indian Constitution as had been made applicable to J&K, only those affecting the unity of India were unalterable, thereby implying that all others of those provisions were alterable.
Facts 1. But such an open general licence just doesn't exist in the text of that agreement published in The Statesman, Calcutta, of February 25, 1975. That text says clearly that only alterations and modifications to such provisions of the Indian Constitution as had been made applicable to J&K can be repealed after considering the merit of each; those provisions made applicable to J&K without modifications were unalterable.
Dixit conceals more than he reveals with his assertion that Maharaja Hari Singh's decision to accede to India did not represent the view of the Kashmiri people. This is another of those opinions from a reputedly high source that harms India's cause. Under the monarchical system, the act of accession is the prerogative of the prince and that his people had no legal right to be consulted on the issue of accession. He also fails to mention that when the duly elected Constituent Assembly of J&K unanimously ratified in February 1954 the state's accession to India, the people of J&K had endorsed their Maharaja's action of October 1947.
Our next intellectual in the list is Praful Bidwai, professional journalist, anti-nuclear activist, and anti-Hindutva warrior. In a round about way, so typical of committed leftists, he supports autonomy to J&K as a way to reverse the damage allegedly caused by New Delhi’s repeated failure to fulfill its constitutional commitments and political promises over the last 53 years. In that signed article in “The Times of India” of 29th July, he does not elucidate that charge but cites how Delhi had effected 42 amendments to the Constitution of J&K, no less, and some of them without legal warrant and propriety.
It’s a marvel, really, the way these learned leftists like Bidwai produce fiction from fact. And the facts are that (i) President of India has issued 43 orders from 14th May, 1954 making several Central Acts applicable to J&K (ii) 24 amendments, not 42, have been made in the J&K Constitution till 13th April, 1997, and all of them have been made by the State Legislative Assembly, not by Government of India and (iii) since the 43 Presidential Orders were issued as per the procedure of State government consultation/concurrence set out in Article 370, not a single one of them can be tainted as being illegal or improper.
What is truly a marvel about all the shallow and superficial intellectualism we have seen in this commentary today is the unwillingness of opinion makers to open books and dig deep? The reputation of being this or that seems to be license enough to just sit at the lap top and fire away at the keyboard. And never mind even if the subject is as sensitive as J&K, the cause of so much heartburn and fighting and killings all these 53 years.
It is also interesting to speculate why, in all the sound and fury of State autonomy, nobody is questioning why Karnataka and Tamil Nadu didn’t even ask the Central government’s assistance in securing actor Rajkumar’s release and capturing Veerappan once and for all. Or is that what State autonomy is all about?”