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“History is a symphony of cries heard and unheard. It is a poem with events as verses.”
With the Kashmir Files turning tables around the globe and especially in India, political insurgencies are bound to happen. The film, which got support from PM Modi, made an IAS officer post grave comments; has had multiple facets of historical memoirs fused with pathos. Historical mistakes have a cascading effect on a nation’s future and it is proven right when actor Akshay Kumar aptly asked for revamping of the Indian history curriculum in school textbooks because it focused more on the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal era, while very little is mentioned about Indian rulers and their prowess. However, I would rather ask, if the film and this incident had set a rat as a guinea pig among ‘dehumanized’ cats who are chasing it for some time and will get exhausted and forget it later?
The story of our independent India is littered with such costly blunders. India has crossed over 2 years since the abrogation of Article 370, a historic decision that revoked the special status of Jammu & Kashmir; which paved the way for the bifurcation of the state into two union territories, and put it at par with the rest of India. It also opened floodgates of the righteous rage of misinformation campaigns on how the move was unconstitutional, and accusations on how India is crushing this matter of Kashmir.
When the real curtain unveiled
A flashback to 1947, when our country got partitioned into 562 princely states, each ruled by a king/nawab. When the British left, a pertinent question arose, “What would be the status of these states?” The Indian Independence Act (1947) stipulated that these states could either join India through the instrument of accession, merge with Pakistan or remain independent. Most of them joined India, while some chose Pakistan.
Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of J&K, wanted to keep the state independent because his notions resonated with the tenets of ideological indoctrination and polarization of viewpoints. Nehru’s so-called friend, Sheikh Abdullah, was the leader of Kashmir’s first political party, the ‘Kashmir Muslim Conference.’ He wanted to rule the state by a communist form of government. In 1946, he launched an agitation against the king, the ‘Quit Kashmir Movement.’
‘The Socialist Nehru’ tweaked his course of action, and called Abdullah his ‘blood brother’ and ‘a man above suspicion.’ He stated, “If non-muslims want to join Kashmir, they should join the national conference and bid goodbye to the country…if pundits do not join it, no safeguards or weightages will protect them.” Maharaja Hari Singh ordered the arrest of Abdullah, which pertained to the widening of gaps between him and Nehru.
Abdullah requested Hari Singh to accede to the Indian union due to his conflicts with Jinnah. Jinnah called him ‘quisling’, ‘traitor’, ‘a tall man who sings the Quran and exploits people. This led to Kashmir’s accession to India on Oct 26, 1947. The Indian army emancipated occupied territories but Pakistan tried to aggravate the whole situation through Operation Gulmarg, orchestrated by British General Messervy, which was in sharp contrast to what Britain agreed to.
Lord Mountbatten, in November 1947, said that he was unauthorized by the Government of India. Eventually, he devised a proposal that he sent to Jinnah to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir. He thought that India would concur, but even Pakistan didn’t.
Well, this was the last straw that broke the camel’s back as Nehru did a humongous mistake and agreed to an UN-led plebiscite and Pakistan did so, but both had their intentions at the back of their mind, and this made the Kashmir issue “unsolvable” in the context of world politics. India was treated in the same way as Pakistan in this case. The worth of India’s case got lost.
Jawaharlal Nehru himself admitted his erroneous decision, and thereafter brewed a series of transgressions. Sheikh Abdullah, when released from prison, was made ‘Sultan-e-Kashmir’ (head of the state). In 1953, he challenged Nehru’s authority and conspired against him, his blood brother! His talks were accorded by the residents of Kashmir who were in utter ignorance of their accession to India.
To prevent another disaster, New Delhi accepted Abdullah’s whimsical plans and he signed deals with India ensuring Kashmir’s integration with her would never succeed. Article 370 and Article 35-A of the Indian constitution are prominent examples of this ideology.
Still, in the contemporary time, these historical episodes are a mere reflection of how India dug its own grave. Mistakes of letting foreign powers decide our fate as well as friendships influencing major political resolutions. I’m compelled to ask this and I quote, “Is India a lost cause?”
These pieces are being published as they have been received – they have not been edited/fact-checked by ThePrint.