27 October, black day for some, accession for few

India and Pakistan, since 60 long years, have had a different way of reading the day of October 27 in the year 1947, and it keeps changing every other year. India believes that on this day, what we saw was a “friendly gesture” of give and take, to defend the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir on request of the king of a sovereign state. Pakistan licked the dust after the raiders were pushed back from the valley. The remnants of big defunct machines are on display as one enters the Srinagar city through the cantonment area.

In the midst of all the defending and grabbing, one overlooked the mood of people of the valley at that time. It is said raiders were garlanded by some while others showed them door. Whatever the case might be, today, just like previous years, people have been observing October 27 as a black day. The skeptics seem to be incredulous as the clouds of uncertainty clear up and things are much clearer after the Amaranth land row.

A glance at history leaves some unanswered questions and suspicions. One can also see the reason why there is so much distrust and hatred amongst the two nuclear rivals India and Pakistan. The state of Jammu and Kashmir, being a Muslim majority state, was ruled by a Maharaja Hari Sing. The monarch king who was in command of the state found safe resort at Jammu among the Hindu loyalists of Maharaja as Kashmir was falling to the tribals from Pakistan. The rebellion forced the maharaja to play the religious card, leaving his own people of the valley due to fear of getting toppled and scoring a card among dogra Hindus. Never in the history of Kashmir had the Maharaja been challenged in his authority by any religious faction. It’s believed that Maharaja Hari Sing had written a letter to Lord Mountbatten dated 26 October, 1947 asking for military aid in return for accession to India. Lord Mountbatten accepted his terms of request and wrote back a letter dated October 27th, now that the two nations had agreed, the documents called “instrument of accession” were to be signed and given legality. Noticeably the people were never taken in consent except for the constitution assembly, which was in a letter endorsed by Mr. Sheikh Abdullah.

The Maharaja was believed to have signed the document of accession but on October 26th, 1947. The Maharaja was traveling from Jammu to Kashmir by road which presently happens to be 300km highway. He had spent the night at Kud some 100km away and signed the documents while traveling. If such important documents would have been signed publicly it would have created more credibility.

A few questions still lie unanswered in the minds of the people of Kashmir about the accession. Mr. Mehar Chand Mahajan, the Prime Minister of Kashmir was supposedly in Delhi on 26th October working out the details of the accession. In such state when he was in Delhi, working on the accession modalities, it would have not been possible from him to have witnessed the signing ceremony.

A number of people feel that the Indian Army landed in Srinagar even before the signing of the documents.

The Pakistan stand still remains that if ever the instrument of accession took place why has it not been produced before the United Nations.

These doubts greatly affected the mood of people of valley. The truth still remains veiled from the people of valley. Some people believe that India holds Jammu& Kashmir on the bases of its military might. Whatever the case maybe, a more liberal and real humanitarian look needs to be addressed rather than playing politics on the carcasses of thousand of innocent lives who have fallen to the roaring guns. The sooner we see peace in Kashmir the better it would be to save lives of people who are killed for no crimes committed.

Mirza Tufael Hussain

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