We have discussed this a few times in BR. There are constant accusations made that successive GOI's have succumbed to foreign pressure in key policy issues. For example , the BJP/NDA has been accused of acquiescing to talks with Mush at the behest of (and pressure from)the GOTUS. <P>Well this column makes fascinating reading. It is clear from this historical excerpt that the main culprit was Lord Louis Mountbatten (regarded as sympathetic to India). <P>Furthermore , it is clear the Gen.Bucher flatly disobeyed orders from the PM. As far as I am concerned Gen.Bucher, the C-in-C, should have been hung from the nearest tree or courtmartialed for breaking his oath of office. <P>I hope at least in future we will not hear sentimental tripe about Mountbatten's supposed 'tilt' towards India, since it is now obvious that he was singlehandedly responsible for sabotaging India's counterstrike against TSP.<BR>Most of the other descriptions of this period are not as explicit about Mountbatten's role in what has turned out to be the greatest blunder in Independent India's history.<P><BR>Kaushal <A HREF="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=484873326" TARGET=_blank>http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=484873326</A> <P>TIMES OF INDIA, NOV 10, 2001 <P>LEADER ARTICLE<P>KASHMIR'S 1947 WHODUNNIT <P> <BR>C DASGUPTA <P> ONE of Jawaharlal Nehru’s most controversial decisions was to refer the<BR>Kashmir issue to the UN Security Council at the end of 1947. The decision is<BR>commonly ascribed to his idealism and unrealistic faith in the UN. <P>This explanation does not do justice either to the man or to the complex nature<BR>of the decision. An examination of the records proves that Nehru did not pin<BR>much hope on the UN. <P>While agreeing to approach the UN, he simultaneously instructed the C-in-C to<BR>make preparations to strike at the raiders’ bases in Pakistan. <P>By mid-December 1947, the prime minister had come to the conclusion that<BR>further talks with Pakistan did not hold out any hope of an early solution. <P>Nor were the military prospects encouraging. Nehru was deeply dissatisfied with<BR>the manner in which the C-in-C, General Lockhart, conducted the war. <P>The C-in-C insisted that it would not be possible to expel the raiders from the<BR>Jhelum valley until the spring. <P>Moreover, the service chiefs and Mountbatten had effectively scuttled the<BR>government’s directive to employ the air force against the invaders along the<BR>border from Naushera to Muzaffarabad. <P>Nehru recorded his views in an incisive policy note on December 19. ‘‘I cannot<BR>get over the feeling that our tactics have been unsuccessful’’, he wrote.<BR>‘‘There is a certain heaviness of thought and action which is peculiarly<BR>unsuited to a conflict of the type we are waging...We cannot go on carrying on<BR>this little war for months and months and maybe a year or more’’. <P>The prime minister concluded that the ‘‘obvious course is to strike at these<BR>concentrations and lines of communications in Pakistan territory. From a<BR>military point of view this would be the most effective step’’. <P>The prime minister’s new approach alarmed Mountbatten. A war between two<BR>dominions, both owing allegiance to the British crown, was unprecedented in<BR>Commonwealth history. <P>In keeping with British policy, the governor-general had striven to avert a<BR>full-fledged war between India and Pakistan. <P>In a letter to the King, Mountbatten had claimed that his presence as<BR>governor-general of India was the best insurance against an actual outbreak of<BR>war with Pakistan. <P>Mountbatten had always viewed a reference to the UN as an effective method of<BR>preventing an all-out war. <P>It was he who had first proposed a UN-supervised plebiscite in Kashmir. In<BR>early December, he had tried unsuccessfully to persuade Nehru to ask for a UN<BR>team to be sent out to the subcontinent in order to break the impasse with<BR>Pakistan and to stop the fighting. <P>The new trend in Nehru’s thinking reinforced the governor-general’s conviction<BR>that the only hope for preventing an inter-dominion war lay in involving the<BR>UN. <P>The inevitable clash between the prime minister and the governor-general<BR>occurred on December 20, in a meeting of the cabinet’s defence committee. <P>Nehru observed that a regular war was being waged on Indian territory from<BR>bases in Pakistan. The talks with Pakistan held out little promise of a<BR>settlement. <P>It might, therefore, be necessary to take a political decision to conduct a<BR>limited strike into Pakistan. <P>The Indian army should be prepared to enter the Sialkot, Gujarat and Jhelum<BR>districts of Pakistan in order to deny the raiders the assistance they were<BR>getting at their bases. <P>Mountbatten, in his capacity as chairman of the defence committee, stated<BR>flatly that no directive should be issued on these lines. <P>The proper course would be to refer the whole matter to the UN which, he said<BR>disingenuously, would promptly direct Pakistan to withdraw the raiders. <P>After a stormy debate, the committee agreed to proceed on both lines<BR>simultaneously. A reference would be made to the UN in a last attempt to seek a<BR>peaceful settlement. <P>Meanwhile, the chiefs of staff were instructed to draw up contingency plans for<BR>a military operation to evict the raiders from their bases in Pakistan. <P>Nehru explained to General Bucher: ‘‘We shall naturally continue our efforts in<BR>the political field, by reference to the UNO etc...But I am sure that this will<BR>not result in fighting stopping at present. We have thus to be prepared for<BR>every contingency and to be prepared soon’’. <P>Mountbatten, however, was determined to thwart the cabinet. He promptly alerted<BR>Attlee about India’s intentions. <P>Full details of his exchanges with Nehru, together with relevant minutes of the<BR>defence committing meeting, were passed on to London via the British high<BR>commissioner. <P>Attlee lost no time in warning Nehru that it would ‘‘gravely prejudice’’ the<BR>Indian case if it were to send its forces into Pakistan. <P>Prompted by London, Washington also sought assurances about India’s intentions.<BR>In the Security Council it soon became clear that India would face condemnation<BR>if it were to send its forces into Pakistan. <P>The planned counter-attack became politically infeasible. <P>Meanwhile, the service chiefs dragged their feet over the preparation of<BR>contingency plans. <P>The new C-in-C, General Bucher, confided to the US charge d’affaires in early<BR>January that he had taken no steps to prepare the Indian army for a<BR>cross-border operation. <P>Before the end of the month, in the light of UN developments, Mountbatten was<BR>able to persuade Nehru that there was no present need for the defence committee<BR>to consider the question of a counter-attack across the border. <P>The diplomatic factor is particularly important in wars among countries of the<BR>Third World. These countries are vulnerable to a variety of pressures from the<BR>great powers — military, political and economic. <P>The course and outcome of wars in the Third World can, therefore, often be<BR>influenced by the great powers. <P>In such wars, surprise and speed are vital requirements, not only in a military<BR>but also a diplomatic sense. <P>Decisive results must be speedily achieved before the major powers can<BR>intervene effectively. <P>In 1947-48, it was virtually impossible for India to meet the requirements for<BR>secrecy and surprise since the defence committee and the armed forces were all<BR>headed by the British. <P>Contingency planning for a counter-strike into Pakistan could be seriously<BR>undertaken only after the army leadership had been Indianised. <P>Thus, in August 1952, Nehru was able to inform Parliament that ‘‘any further<BR>aggression’’ in Kashmir would lead to ‘‘all-out war not in Kashmir only, but<BR>elsewhere too’’. This was the policy implemented in 1965.
Very interesting article. I generally agree with it. However, the question posed can be answered in the one sentence: <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The decision is commonly ascribed to his <I>(garbage deleted)</I>.. faith in the UN. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>This was 1948, 3 years after the end of WW2, and less than a year after hard-won freedom from the British. <P>The United Nations Organization had just come into being, with the explicit "New World Order" mandate to stop war and have all international disputes settled by peaceful negotiations. <P>The Monday-morning Quarterbacks who keep up their supercilious descriptions of Indian leaders as "unrealistic" conveniently ignore these basic facts about the environment. <P>A far better question would be:<BR>"What would have happened if Jawaharlal Nehru had taken the advice of the hotheads and sent the Indian Army charging into Pakistan?"<P>The answer to that is all too evident if one does a wee bit of thinking. The West would have landed Airborne divisions in Pakistan and destroyed the Indian Army, even if the meager transport resources of IA at that time would have saved IA from being caught with extended supply lines in the Kashmir winter, and decimated by the savages. <P>Left undefended, all of Kashmir and much of northwest India would have then fallen to the Pakistan Army. Srinagar and probably New Delhi would today be in Pakistan.<P>Unless this basic reality is properly addressed, articles criticizing GOI decisions of 1947-48 are grossly dishonest.
Narayanan, I see no where in the article, GoI being critisized. It is the brits who are being critisized for the fiasco (sp??) and rightly so. This is certainly an eye opener in a sense. Based on this, I am not sure what India could have done. It was effectively cornered and forced to make that decision. As to what could have happened if India would have striked back had the Army been in India's control? Barring condemnation? Nothing. World was still recovering from the war and India was in its rights to retaliate.
Qn: is this simply a white-wash job at protecting Nehruvian legacy?<BR>Where is the supporting documentation?<BR>A quick read of the first post does not mention any supporting data for the author's statements.<P>Is this an exercise to deflect the blame from Nehru?<P>N., I disagree with your pessimistic opinion.<BR>After all, did anyone raise a voice wrt Hyderablad, or Patel's other efforts, or even much later wrt Goa?<BR>So I do not buy the pessimistic theory.<P>I am more inclined to put trust in Madhok's version of the events at that time, which he gives in much more detail. See also descriptions of Nehru's reliance on Abdullah, and his nonchalant attitude when the Hindus from PoK areas were fleeing. The local IA officer in charge there was prevented from taking actions that would have at least prevented some of the towns with a heavy Hindu concentration from falling into Pak hands.<P>Also: why, even assuming the above constraints on IA were true, was the IA army advance within PoK stopped? Many articles, including at least one by a participant in the leading advance, have noted that with another 48 hours much more if not all of PoK could have been captured -- or that at least the geography could have been changed so that the Indians did not hold the disadvantageous positions (e.g., at Hajipir).<P>Bottom Line: I remain unconvinced that Nehru is not to blame for the present Kashmir mess. I hasten to add that I do not fault him exclusively, but that a substantial part of the blame is on him. <P>I will admit that we all have our biases -- and I am not one who believes Nehru was divine. I give him credit for some actions (such as his vision about higher, particularly technical, education in India) and for fostering democracy, but on the whole my rating would be about 20-80 (on the positive:negative spectrum). (My biases are not against the family per se -- I believe if Indira had been at the helm in 1948, things would have been a little different.)
Hi Nikhil: <P>Go up to the line in the article from where I copied and edited this statement: <P>The decision is commonly ascribed to his (garbage deleted).. faith in the UN. <P>The garbage which I deleted is what I refer to as garbage: these MMQs can't write anything about Indian leaders without exposing their own fundamental intellectual dishonesty. <P>This particular Dasgupta refers to Indian Prime Minister Nehru as "idealistic and unrealistic". I ask: "what was the cynical and realistic alternative to the PM's actions?"<P>Look at subsequent history for some glimpse of reality: 15 years after the Indian forces went in to save Srinagar (and that they did at essentially a week's notice!!!) the Indian Army failed utterly and disastrously to stop the invasion by the PLA. Three years after that, a much-better IA had a very tough time stopping the invasion by Pakistan, and essentially managed only to fight the invaders to a standstill in Chaamb, while managing some success against Lahore and Sailkot (these are within 20 miles of the border, right?)<P>So what is the basis for arguing that in 1948, the Indian Army had any realistic chance of taking and holding Sialkot, Lahore etc. and "cutting the lines of the invaders", al through the winter of 1948? Where was the fuel? the ammo? the food-supply logistics capability? <P>At this time, India faced serious situations in Hyderabad and everywhere else - a massive riot had just subsided, but was likely to explode again if there was full-scale war with Pakistan. The Princes were likely to declare independence if they got the chance. The whole nation was barely holding together. <P>Food supplies were scarce, the riot-affected regions were heading for famine, millions of refugees had to be cared for. Was this the kind of nation which could go fight a war deep inside enemy territory? How many airplanes did we have at the time? <P>If the Indian Army had really crossed the International border and attacked the Paki cities of Lahore and Sialkot, the UN would have first demanded a ceasefire, then sent Western forces to attack India and "protect" the Pakis. Indian airfields needed to supply the Indian forces in J&K and TSP would have been bombed, and the fledgeling IAF would have been decimated. The Indian Army's strike forces would have been cut off and systematically destroyed inside TSP. <P>The same people who tricked India (the UQ) would have ensured that ALL of J&K fell back into TSP. Riots would have exploded again in North India - and with the bulk of the Indian forces trapped inside TSP and being decimated, Pakistan's army, helped by the Westerners, would have marched across the plains of North India unopposed to capture New Delhi (to save the Oppressed Muslims of course) and re-establish the Mughal Empire of Mohammed Ali Jinnah. <P>Who would have saved India then? The DasGupta Empire or the ShekharGupta Empire? :p<P>This is the realistic scenario which these ****s never discuss when they present their oh-so-wise scenarios of "limited war inside Pakistan", "liberate POK in 2 weeks", "should have taken Sardar Patel's Advice" etc. <P><BR>Nehru, Patel, Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Rajiv Gandhi - all patriots, all people who did the best they could under conditions where all the experts were predicting the imminent destruction of India. All dead, and may they rest in peace. <P>Lets worry about something useful, like how to counter the Foggy-Paki-Bottom - CNN propaganda about how bloody war criminal terrorist Paki dictators should be given more arms aid.<P>In 2001, with the 3rd largest army on Earth, one of the biggest and best air forces, overwhelming naval superiority, an awesome nuclear deterrent, immensely greater economic power than in 1948, total access to the news media from inside India, space satellites, and with a million Indian-Americans constituting the richest community in North America, we can't seem to get our acts together to wipe out this Paki propaganda. Despite a history of 4 bloody dictators, a drug-dealing dung-heap economy, a 100 million terroris-loving yahoos on rampage, and after starting and losing 4 wars, the Paki generals strut around the world to the adulation of the worldwide media, while the best our media can do is to copy and parrot AFP/CNN lies. <P>What will history say about our generation? What right does our performance give us to go second-guess leaders who managed to bring our nation through such terrible times? <P>Of the youth of 1940, perhaps 30% risked everything to go fight for India against the most powerful and immovable colonialist savages of all time - the British. <P>What percentage of today's generation would make any such sacrifices? Of those who now sit back and browse BRF in comfort, what percentage would even bother to write a letter to an editor? Look on the thread that I started long ago (if its still there) or the one that Raghu started, to see the answer to that one. <P>So until these things improve, I think its criminal to waste bandwidth criticizing those who went before us.
N, agree and disagree. We chose to read it differently. Was Nehru idealistic? Absolutely. Is that wrong? Absolutely not!! Was he realistic? This is highly "relative to prevailing cirsumstances" and hence what may seem today as completely unrealistic was the best choice Nehru had than and vice-a-versa. Did Nehru jump the gun by telling the Kashmiri maharaja that sure, we will protect you now and will also allow plebicite for the Kashmmiri's out of his idealism of freedom fighting? Absolutely!!<P>And we can discuss, agree and disagree till the cows come home. I can only end by saying that all Indian leaders did what they THOUGHT was the best course of action. Some of them were right, others not so.
Just to set the record straight;<P>1. The fact that it was Mountbatten's idea to take Kashmir to the UN is not in dispute and is borne out by many other versions of events. The question really was why did Nehru so readily ( i use the word readily because he took the case to the UN promptly on January 1,1948 ) acquiesce to this suggestion, idealism and belief in internationalism notwithstanding. The article in fact scotches such a rationale for Nehru's actions. If not this reason then what was the rationale for Nehru . That is still not clear, unless the pressure from Mountbatten (and lady Edwina)was intense and Nehru succumbed to constant exhortations - one need not ascribe malice to believe this , simply that Nehru did not have the fortitude to stand up to the belief that this (the accession ) was a fait accompli and as such there was no dispute (the stand that GOI takes now)to take to the UN.<P>2. It is credible(and confirmed from other sources I have read) that the British C-in-C's Lockhart and Bucher deliberately disobeyed orders from the Indian PM , their superior, and if they had taken an oath to defend the Independent Dominion of India, this would have been tantamount to treason. In my opinion, they should be tried posthumously, to drive home the point that such actions are not looked upon kindly by the Republic of India (albeit belatedly).<P>What is not independently confirmed(AFAIK) is the precise nature of the orders that Nehru as PM gave the British C-in-C. If it was the age old question of hot pursuit of the tribals (todays terrorists) to their bases in what eventually became POK, it is not credible to assume that it would have drawn the ire of a tired and exhausted atlantic alliance - essentially Britain and US. Certainly, contrary to what Narayanan Guru says, no nation would come rushing in then (as now) in support of marauding tribesmen, although it took 54 years for the international community to call a spade a spade and that they were and are murderous terrorists.<P>As always i maintain an accurate historical record is important for many reasons. It punctures attitudes based on unctuousness, victimhood and many other spurious rationale. Even if the truth is adverse to India's cause it is important that the true version of what transpired is taught to future generations of Indians, so that they can draw the correct lessons of what not to do in future.<P>Kaushal
N guru I entirely disagree for once.<P>what everyou say about the decision in 1948 can be said of the inaction with respect to current non pro active GOI. As matter of fact its much more easy to descend on India / Pakistan with the pretext of rougue Nuke nations.<P>yes those were difficult times for India, but the british could rule India only because by and large Indians are law abiding.<P>Similar situations prevailed for other countries as well in 1948, China, Vietnam, justcome to mind.<P>Besides If the west decended on Paki side USSR would end up in India's camp even china might have sided India.<P>N Guru, you are clear in your vision but I always noticed a little soft corner to the Gulab wallah.
N.,<BR>At the risk of being flagged for "piling on" --<BR>Note that none (certainly not me, certainly not those advocating action in Kashmir in 1947-48, etc) advocated crossing the IB into Pakistan, or capturing Lahore etc. <P>The issue was/is different: whether the IA should have halted its advance to RETAKE POK, which was rightfully ours. <P>The IA certainly did retake a substantial part of the territory, since the Pakistanis had come within the outskirts of the Srinagar airport. My grouse is that the IA was stopped 48 or 72 hours too early. If you could retake Srinagar suburbs and more, why stop when you did -- since there was no discernible external pressure then?<P>Also, please read Madhok's book about the detailed battleground issues -- why take Abdullah's advice, and thereby prevent the IA commander (an Indian colonel, forget the name) from retaking at least HINDU MAJORITY (at the time of the accesssion) areas from where the Hindus had been driven out? Sometime in early 1999, I had posted pages from Madhok's book about how various such towns fell -- and even he concedes some towns were certainly not saveable, but faults Nehru for needlessly giving up on some areas that certainly were either saveable in 1947 or retakeable in 1948.<P>To reiterate: the issue is not crossing the IB, but simply retaking lost ground. Even there, I am not talking about taking back Gilgit or the frontier areas, but only those cities which were in the Jammu region (which now are a part of the sliver of PoK that they call Azad Kashmir).<P>Why go to the UN? That is a different issue altogether, and I once again fault Nehru for taking the lead to go to the UN. <BR>Did he realistically assume the UN would support the Indian cause wrt PoK? <BR>Even if he did, he bungled in terms of the process itself. Go and read how the Indian and Pak delegates at the UN acted -- let me give you a hint: what do you read now, "we can drink and shoot the breeze and more with our Paki friends, the Indians are moralistic [or worse]" -- only, it was much "worse" and more costly.<BR>Gopalaswami Aiyangar was no match for the Pak delegate wrt the "practice of diplomacy."<P>Even this, this begs a question: Pak has flouted with impunity the UN resolution, and has resettled PoK -- yet Nehru agreed to Art 370 nonsense, and hence India is unable to settle JK with Indians! Why, and what about the culpability for that?<P>Bottom line: Kashmir being Nehru's ancestral land, emotion often got over hard reality. JLN went by Adbullah too much, and would not let Patel handle Kashmir. Heck, even the airdrop into Srinagar happened only because Patel clandestinely prepared for that without telling Nehru.<P>And, remember: did the UN actually take action against any country in a similar position? Embargoes were only from the 1990s etc -- that is, after the USSR disintegrated so that non-vetoed UNSC votes were possible.<P>About critizing with the benefit of hindsight: it has its own benefits, for "those who forget history are condemned to repeat it." Let us examine the past and the errors, so we are wiser in the future.
Arre Bhai,<P>HICAF kis liye hai?
Also: why, even assuming the above constraints on IA were true, was the IA army advance within PoK stopped? Many articles, including at least one by a participant in the leading advance, have noted that with another 48 hours much more if not all of PoK could have been captured -- or that at least the geography could have been changed so that the Indians did not hold the disadvantageous positions (e.g., at Hajipir).<P>I am qualified enough only to comment on the military aspects of the war. As far as the situation on the ground Kashmir was concerned, there was not much that could have been accomplished in 48 hours. or maybe even 2 months. The advent of winter had made sure that both sides have more or less settled down. Hajipir was in indian hands Ten days before ceasefire. But we would not know that we lost it till months after the ceasefire. L P Sen recounts in his book in detail the circumstances behind its loss. (Blame Henderson-Brooks for it )<P>There are roughtly three main sectors in J and K.<P>Uri-Tithwal front had come to a standstill as far back as August 1948. the next five months of fighting saw a stalemate and in stray cases, even withdrawals from Indian side. Poonch side too, the border had stablished.<P>Jammu-Rajauri : The link up to Poonch was completed and the front too more or less stablised.<P>Leh-Skardu : Probably this was the only front where much was left to be done. An Indian offensive in the coming months/year could well have seen Skardu and Gilgit being liberated. but this assumes that more months of preparation and effort before the operation was launched.<P>Also The fact that the IAF was not allowed to operate over J and K as it pleased is wrong. The IAF had full freedom to operate. but did it have the means?<P>Lastly I dont think the Indian Armed Forces was in a condition to undertake a campaign on mainland pakistan (s of kashmir). operations with J and K , yes, but against Pakistan as a whole...No way!
I'd be interested in knowing why no one seems to have picked up Narayanan's arguments about the conditions in India at the time. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>...At this time, India faced serious situations in Hyderabad and everywhere else - a massive riot had just subsided, but was likely to explode again if there was full-scale war with Pakistan. The Princes were likely to declare independence if they got the chance. The whole nation was barely holding together...<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Is there a reason to avoid looking at the context in which such decisions are made?<P>People seem to have a fascination to play "what if" games, devoid of any connection to reality. Adopting the economists famous, "..all other things being equal..." viewpoint, we then proceed to show how idiotic, foolish, stupid etc. our past leaders were, and by implication, to show how brilliant, clever, educated etc. we are!<P>It rarely seems to cross the mind of our 20-20 hindsight geniuses that perhaps the social, political and military context in which our past leaders operated may not exactly have been the cakewalk that our geniuses think. <P>We certainly need to understand our past, but when people purport to write "history", with their oh-so-clever method of focusing solely on single issues, thus ripping them out of context and allowing all sorts of "20-20 hindsight" contextual ideas to be superimposed on them, then what we end up with is nothing more than the usual standard whine fest. <P>Why bother?
Ye yun hota to kya hota wagairah hum log jitni jaldi apne dimaag se nikaale utna achha.<BR>Just my humble opinion. Good to analyze effects of what happened and how to rectify situation. Who was to blame etc will not serve any purpose esp. since it is practically impossible to gain access to all info that was in the hands of decision makers. Any information that has surfaced since cannot be relied upon completely. Dont get me wrong i have my own ideas bout who was to blame and what should have been done. Good thing is all the culprits are dead and buried for sure.
kgoan and others,<P>Narayanan's comment about the conditions then prevailing in India -- Hyderabad action -- is not fully relevant. Why?<P>Because I am not talking about 1948 -- but October/November of 1947. The Hyderabad action was much later, so it is not like the IA could not operate in Kashmir because of forthcoming Hyd action. Plus, except for some renegades, the rest of the princes/kings had already decided by that time. So the "unity at stake" issue is not relevant in Oct/Nov 1947.<P>Sure, times were tough -- so should Patel have not taken the Hyderabad police action? The same arguments could have been applied in that case too, but did not constrain Patel. After all, Hyd was a "sovereign nation" so the UN embargo type argument is relevant there also, right? But such fears did not prevent Patel.<P>Read also about how Patel had to fight with Nehru regarding Hyd action. <P>You can say "but Hyd was not a border state, it was an interior, land-locked area" -- to which I say, what about Junagadh.<P>Also: did the UN ever take any such action against a newly independent nation, at that time?<P>It is not "armchair experts" criticizing leaders with hindsight. It was leaders even at that time doing so. Why else did Patel defy Nehru, and start making arrangements for the air lift? Why did Patel have to fight Nehru's doubt to liberate Hyd?<P>Nor is the intent to prove how much better we are relative to the leaders therein. It is simply to assess the actions of leaders, and compare with other actions taken by contemporaries. I admit we all have our biases, and my feelings about Nehru (vis-a-vis Sardar Patel or Indira Gandhi) are well known, or can be easily inferred -- especially as they relate to defense issues. (I will not even mention his follies wrt China, because that is a totally different issue that has been beaten to death in BRF.)<P>Let me also note that it was Jaswant Singh himself who has lamented Nehru's actions, on Kashmir and other issues wrt Indian defense. Are Sardar Patel and Jaswant Singh, among others, to be called armchair critics? <P>Jagan,<BR>I read an interview in Rediff in 1999 (maybe right around Kargil time) of a Sikh officer who lamented that he had to retreat back about 18 kms to what then became the CFL/LoC. I also relied on a report, based on the Anglo Indian nominated MP's (Mr. Frank Anthony) suggestions to LBS (to not make the mistakes of Nehru, and prematurely halt the Indian advance).<P>I also rely on Balraj Madhok's detailed analysis of the various towns, and the battles for them -- and what was lost due to political inaction or errors.<P><BR>Countries have to suffer the consequences of errors made by and inactions of less than stellar leaders. History is full of what ifs. One such for Indians to ponder is what if Patel as opposed to Nehru had been chosen PM by Gandhi.<P>These what ifs are never falsifiable, nor provable by empirical fact. Supporting arguments can only be made using related data, and ultimately it becomes a matter of beliefs.
Glad to cause some thinking <P>1. Jagan's statements about the ground realities in J&K confirm my opinions of how realistic it was then to win those glorious victories that we would all have liked. FAce it, guys! In 1947 we did not have dozens of airborne divisions and attack helicopters and armies of tanks and mountain guns. Without those, as we saw in 1999, there is no easy way to dislodge savages sitting on ridges pointing rifles. <P>2. The context of India's actual internal situation, and the actual power of its armed forces as a force for all-out war (rather than border defense and riot control) is vital, if one is to understand the constraints faced by decision-makers at the time. <P>3. The Hyderabad action came later, but the situation in Hyderabad was festering in October 1947. So its a good question to ask why Indian forces were out in J&K fighting in the barren mountains for the cause of people who were waffling about India or Independence, when Indian citizens were being brutalized right in the middle of India in Hyderabad. <P>And decision-makers had to balance those kinds of questions. <P><BR>4. In reviewing India's "Kashmir Policy" it is useful to obtain some global historical context. <P>In 53 years, we estimate (source: ABV speech, Sep. 13, 2001) that 53,000 humans have been killed in J&K by the terrorist violence. <P>This sounds horrible, until you compare it with the casualty figures of other conflicts around the world. A friend (nothing to do with India) sent me the following link: <BR> <A HREF="http://www.zmag.org/globalwatch/chomskymit.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.zmag.org/globalwatch/chomskymit.htm</A> <P>with the following remark: <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>its by Naom Chomsky, about sep. 11 and other things..you might find it interesting (he's definitely not a CNN fan). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I recommend its reading, not for Mr. Chomsky's political opinions, but for his estimates of the number of dead in various terrorist wars. <P>53,000 is not a tiny number, but it is certainly not large in the above context. <P>As horrible as the J&K war has been, spend some time thinking about what was avoided. If the GOI had ordered IA to go retake POK in 1947-48, the death toll would easily have crossed 500,000 in just that part of the operation. With totally unpredictable results. <P>5. Finally, I agree with Kaushalji's statement that one has to learn the hard facts of past events. However, I do not share his view of the UN/West's passivity in those days. Look at the record of interventionism: <P>a. Suez Canal conflict. <BR>b. Congo<BR>c. Korea<BR>d. Vietnam (yes, Vietnam was a UN operation!!)<P>India could very easily have joined that club of nations which have never seen peace or freedom of any kind. In those days the deployment decision cycle was pretty short, and mercenary forces (like today's Ready-Freddy UQ forces) were plentiful. There was not much hesitation to go in and kill ThirdWorlders or overthrow governments. <P>Not much later, the US/UQ overthrew governments in Guatemala, Iran, Dominican Repuplic, Sierra Leone... <P>Our policies avoided any of that. There are some things one compromises to get that kind of stability - and one of them, unfortunately, is the willingness to go to all-out war.
This will be my final post here.<BR>N, kg, Let us take this offline.<P>Two comments.<BR>1. Jagan,<BR>As you note the Uri-Tithwal sector stabilised in summer 1948. But it need not have, in 1947 Oct/Nov! I repeat, my gripe is not about summer/fall 1948 or later, but only wrt the initial stages ending with early 1948 -- and the casual manner in which Nehru decided to sacrifice the Hindu areas of Jammu (reminds one of his "farewell to assam" attitude).<P>2. N, counter argument to the activist UN.<BR>Right around that time, in yet another partition -- The UN did not intervene in Israel/Palestine.<P>It took a few years before the UN decided to intervene around the world.<P>Also: intervention is likely only when the territory of one country is invaded. But the crossing of the IB was not contemplated -- no one spoke of taking Lahore, or Rawalpindi, or Sialkot. So that is that.<P>About Hyd action, not much force was needed. See archives in BR. Plus, even then, the forces from the north were not moved. So action in Hyd was not an excuse for JK inaction in 1947.<P>PS: <BR>a. I have edited my preceding post while you were posting.<BR>b. I have lost everything on my HDD, due to a disk crash. Gone is your email, so will you please email me? There is some interesting stuff to talk/take action.
Prof. Raghu - kindly email me firstname.lastname@example.org<P>I have to agree and disagree with Narayanan, and agree with Jagan.<P>In 1947-48 there was no possibility of going for Sialkot etc. Till a few months earlier, Indian Army had been British-Indian Army. We did not have the senior officers with experiance; the army was torn apart by Partition; the country was aflame with riots; so many integration issues were outstanding, etc etc. For the first time in 200 years there was a true Indian government in Delhi, and just become independent was a tough enough job without the Kashmir War. There was no land link to Kashmir when the war broke out - the logistics alone were crazy. I think these points have been debated before. <P>We could not have done anything major before the spring of 1949: my gripe is that it was over on December 31, 1948 as the GOI decided to negotiate rather than fight. On the other hand, when we consider our attention span for wars is down to a few days, that GOI sustained a 15 month war is in itself amazing.<P>Narayanan, you are very angry and bitter about the US-Pakistan, very pessimistic, and if I may suggest without offending your very considerable talent for analysis, seeing things too darkly.<P>The Indian community has gotten it together, and exercises much more power in Congress than Pakistan. It is simply that as Americans (yes, they are of Indian origin but are Americans) they have to get first<BR>things settled first.<P>The US cannot take down Bin Ladin/Taliban without bases in Pakistan. The US has clearly told India in many different ways that after they take care of that, they will take care of Pakistan. India has accepted this argument, as well it should. In six short weeks the US has done more to cripple fundamentalism than we have done in 13 years, and they are just starting. <P>That was the point of the FT article I posted - sorry I did not know it had alrfeady been discussed. The US is offering us a strategic partnership on par with Japan - you can ask for anything except missiles and nuclear weapons. Ofcourse they will want things in return, lots of things. Realistically, that is the way things work. We complain how the US has never taken our concerns into account. If you study the history of Indo-American relations, for 54 years we did not take US concerns into account. In 2001, we have, for the first time, seen things from the US angle, and the US has responded to see things from our angle.<P>I know a lot of people, not just N, are angry the US is backing Mushy Bhai. Who else is there to back? That country is a terrible mess, and compared to the people running around there Mushy is an angel. We cant just insist the US abandon Mushy and Pakistan. If they did, who would suffer first? We would. Do we really want Pakistan to fall apart? Has India given any thought to what happens to our security situation with a disintegrated Pakistan? We havent been able to defeat the Kashmir insurgency for 14 years because we are so pathetic: even Advani is saying "we never crossed the LOC in 1999" as if that proves we are saints instead of being too scared to cross. After threatening Pakistan last month we have been backing down all over the place. Now imagine that you have half a dozen states in former Pakistan - they will be taken over by the fundamentalists in short order, and we're going to be in worse trouble than we are.<P>Once Afghanistan is in reasonable order, you see the US will go after the ISI and the fundamentalists. Noone in Washington is so stupid as to get rid of a few thousand extremists in Afghanistan while leaving 2 1/2 million in Pakistan to breed. If you ask what are they going to do about Pakistan, I dont know and I think they are just starting to work out what they need to do.<P>They have done one thing: those Pakistani nukes will never see the light of day. The US is absolutely dead serious that if those nukes move from storage, it will do everything neccessary to stop them. I hear rumors from responsible people that the US already has an outer ring of security around at least one main facility.<P>The Americans have been very uneasy and on a deeper level very unhappy ever since commun ism failed. They are a messaniac people. Now they have a new mission, and are happily telling everyone it make take years - no, a lifetime - no, many lifetimes! Lets let them do their job. They've broken the back of Taliban power in northern Afghanistan within 9 weeks of the Twin Tower bombing, and done so without losing a single plane, and perhaps losing a few SF people we dont know about. This is a historic achievement and it benefits us too.
Prof Raghu,<P>My assessment is as on the day of the ceasefire, i.e. end of 1948. What you said was true to some extent. There have been many lost oppurtunites that could have let us see completely different LOCs if we had not lost them. But, I should elaborate that the reason these oppurtunities were lost is that (as generally believed) we did not have too many resources to provide. A few of the cases<P><B>1. Diversion to Poonch</B>: This happened in the reallyl early days of the war. When the tribals were routed from outskirts of Srinagar. The Indian troops chased them all the way to Uri. And it was believed that they would have gone all the way to Muzafarabad if not for a controversial order to divert to Poonch from Uri. If you look at the map, the road from Srinagar to Uri goes onto Muzaffarabad along the Jhelum. the diversion to poonch asked the army to turn 90 degrees into a different front. The decision was justifed at that time to help relieve poonch which was on the verge of falling. This happened in November 1947.<P><B>2. The Fall of Skardu</B>. Skardu was in Indian hands till August 14th 1948. If Skardu had held out till ceasefire, the entire area of gilgit province would have been in Indian hands. The Siachen problem would not have been there, nor the problem of land ceded to china. India was not able to reinforce Skardu either by land or by air as it had operational commitments in the Uri/Tithwal area. This lends credence to my belief that we could support an offensive only in one or two areas in J and K let alone outside J and K. the Airsupport at that time was devoted to supplying Leh/Kargil.<P><B>3. Haji Pir </B> The Entire Haji Pir Pass bulge was lost, due to an inexperienced decision by the brigade commander to evacuate the posts for the winter. And this happened a fortnight before the ceasefire!. When afeter the winter (and the ceasefire) our troops went to reoccupy them, the Pakistani troops were already sitting there!. Roughly put, we took haji pir after a hell of a fight by 3 Gorkha Rifles unit. but lost it without a fight. The bulge that resulted can be seen in this map just north of Poonch.<P> <P>Another good map is here<BR> <A HREF="http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/kashmir_area.jpg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/kashmir_area.jpg</A> <P>It is not to blame the military commanders or the political commanders. But i bel;eve that the above incidents show that we were really running short of resources, in terms of ground troops or air support logisitics
Since there does not seem to be much to argue about in the premise inherent in the title of this thread , discussion seems to have centered on the feasibility of a Indian attack on Pakistan to counter the inherent Indian disadvantages of not having an all weather road to Srinagar (at that time). The relevant passage in the lead post reads;<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><P>Nehru observed that a regular war was being waged on Indian territory from<BR>bases in Pakistan. The talks with Pakistan held out little promise of a<BR>settlement. <I> note the basic tactic on the part of the TSP has not changed over the decades</I><P>It might, therefore, be necessary to take a political decision to conduct a<BR>limited strike into Pakistan. <P><B>The Indian army should be prepared to enter the Sialkot, Gujarat and Jhelum<BR>districts of Pakistan in order to deny the raiders the assistance they were<BR>getting at their bases. </B><P>Mountbatten, in his capacity as chairman of the defence committee, stated<BR>flatly that no directive should be issued on these lines. <I>the notion that a member of the british royal family is going to give unbiased advice to his former colony is breathtakingly naive to understate the case</I><P>The proper course would be to refer the whole matter to the UN which, he said<BR>disingenuously, would promptly direct Pakistan to withdraw the raiders. <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>The interesting point here is that despite his supposed idealistic leanings , that Nehru was not above considering an attack of Pakistan when faced with the loss of his beloved ancestral land. AS to the feasibility of such an attack circa 1948, an idsa article has this to say;<BR> <A HREF="http://www.idsa-india.org/an-sep-1.01.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.idsa-india.org/an-sep-1.01.htm</A> <P><B>On the whole, however, the fledgling Indian Army performed well at the tactical level. The actions in Kashmir unfolded along the Burma theatre format. The Indian Army sought to secure a series of air heads in Srinagar, Leh and Poonch. The Indian Air Force (IAF) flew in troops in a fire fighting mode that was able to stem the tide of the Pathan Lashkars intent on loot and mayhem. A series of operations to lift the seige of Poonch, Skardu and Leh was launched. The absence of an air head in the Skardu garrison led to its eventual capitulation after a six-month-long seige (the longest in recent military history).4 Availability of air fields enabled the successful lifting of the seige at Leh and Poonch. The securing of the Zojila Pass by tanks of the 7th Cavalry was a brilliant tactical stroke by Gen Thimmayya.5 However, at the end of the day, the glaring lack of any national strategy or operational level design was painfully evident in this campaign. We were then quite low on the learning curve. Our tactical performance had been good but our military leaders had yet a long way to grow and mature at the level of Operational Art.</B><P>Kaushal
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>However, at the end of the day, the <B>glaring</B> lack of any national strategy or operational level design was painfully evident in this campaign. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Kaushal: the bold-faced word is the one where I disagree. Then, as now, the solution to the Kashmir issue was the destruction of Pakistan's army from its HQ on down. If the J&K war had gone on for another year, not much would have been gained for India, because of the external factors not considered in these expert analyses. <P>We've considered such MMQ-ing from the expert Sunil DasGupta (any relation of present Dasgupta?) who declared that the use of infantry to retake the Kargil heights was criminal folly. <P>OK, not in 1947, and not now.. no one has any "national strategy" and no one has "mastered the learning curve" to eliminate savages sitting on mountain ridges at 18000 feet shooting at innocents on the roads below. The Americans are trying precision aerial bombing, and even in 2001, they are not entirely successful. Even modern tanks can't operate in such places.. helicopters don't fly high enough. <P>In 1947-48 it was a major daredevil achievement to get Spitfire fighters into the Leh airfield - that had been declared impossible by the British experts, but IAF pilots did it anyway - it saved the entire northern part of the present "Indian J&K", and in the 1980s. <P>The "national strategy" in 1947-48 was to try to keep 600 former city-states and former British colonies united, despite 25 different languages, 5 major religiouns, and several racial heritages. It was no time for military adventures which would have emptied the treasury in short order. <P>So I am glad that the leaders of India at the time decided with however broken hearts, to stop at the present LOC and appeal to justice at the UN, like nations were supposed to do. It was the right thing to do. <P>The PRC would have fought on - and sent a million conscripts to their deaths and shelled the towns ahead of them to smithereens. Our leaders instead decided to turn to more pressing events inside the nation. Correct priorities. <P>Because of that, today India is united and reasonably at peace with itself, and democracy and some sort of rule of law have survived, and in fact seem to be getting stronger. Those who tried to live by the sword and ignore all sense of right or wrong, the Pakis, have in those 53 years slid into a swamp, and today they are losing the last vestiges of their national freedom, a terrorist slum forced to turn against its own children to please their new foreign masters. <P>And, every time I look at Pak or PRC, I say: "There but for the grace of GOI go I"
This link was sent to me in a private message by Karthik Krishnamurty about a month ago<P><A HREF="http://ttp://www.kashmir-information.com/Storm/" TARGET=_blank>Kashmir- the storm center of the world</A><P>Check this chapter: <A HREF="http://www.kashmir-information.com/Storm/chapter8.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.kashmir-information.com/Storm/chapter8.html</A>
Yes, but how tough is it to get out of this? All that one has to say is: "Sorry guys, you murdered most of the voters in Jammu and Kashmir, and we are not idiots to let the murderers vote on what to do with the land of the victims." <P>Pakistan rejected the notion of a legal, negotiated settlement the moment the first invader crossed the border of Jammu-Kashmir in 1947. By so doing, they tried to solve by force and dispute - clearly showing that they knew they were legally in the wrong. And Pakistan has tied 4 or 5 times since, by force. Thus they have absolutely no standing in the matter except that they are still occupying POK, and are liable for what they did to the part sold to PRC. <P>This is the fundamental principle that holds good to this day. <P>If the present government, with all its "Befitting Replies" and "Restraint" and its nuclear deterrent, does not have the spine to articulate this, why waste time blaming dead leaders? <P>So far, other than the convoluted mumblings about "cross-border terrorism" and "some nations in our neighborhood are supporting terrorism", I don't hear anything from the Indian Embassy experts, the Indian Media experts, the Indian-American Professors of International Relations, or any such worthies. Not to mention the GOI. <P>Sure, its easier to whine like ninnies about the past than to stand up and act in the present. <P>Its simply our good fortune that the Pakis are such idiots, and compensate for all our wimpiness.
N.,<BR>I hope your comment about whining and blaming the past leaders is not directed at Shri Balraj Madhok.<P>I have previously posted extensively about his role in 1947-48. Suffice to say if you read other chapters in his book (and I have personally checked on this with a knowledgeable person, well after Madhok's fall out with the current day BJP leadership) you will realize he acted -- and was one of the stalwarts in ensuring Srinagar and the rest did not fall into Pak hands before the arrival of the Indian troops.<P>Whoever you criticize, Madhok should certainly not be the target. And I am sure you do not intend that to be the case.<P>Madhok is one of the few who can legitimately criticize J.L. Nehru -- without being called an armchair expert. His actions unfortunately have not received the exposure they deserve -- not surprising, since he was a leading organizer of the RSS in Kashmir before 1947. (The fact that his later [post 1977] actions were not admirable do not change what he did before.)
It can be fairly surmised that Kashmir had reached something of a stalemate by late 1948 when it was taken to the UN. The primary questions in this thread are whether it needed to be taken to the UN and whether diversionary attacks across the IB were desirable and whether a CF was inevitable.<P>Jagan's posts are quite persuasive in that a CF was inevitable given the nature of the stalemate. This does not address the nature of the force required to cause a diversion in Pakistan, sufficient to relieve the pressure in Kashmir. This strategy, which Sastry used in 1965 was clearly successful then. The question, really is what level of force was required for this to be successful and whether this level of force was available. <P>In regards to the third question, we must ask what was to be gained by going to the UN?<P>For India, it was the naive hope that diplomacy would reverse what was militarily gained. The impact of diplomacy on fledgling post-colonialist states is clearly enunciated in the original article. It is hard to argue against this theses, if we had exhausted all other available means.
The point I have been belaboring right from the first post which has been deliberately overlooked by those who take a contrary viewpoint is that the idea of taking the Kashmir issue to the UN was not initiated by a single Indian leader (including Nehru who according to this narrative had given orders to Bucher to prepare for an attack on pakistan). It was originally mooted by Mountbatten but for reasons which had little to do with the well being of India. He did it because he did not want British officers on both sides fighting each other. In fact Bucher did nothing when ordered by Nehru to prepare. Not only that he tipped off the Americans that India was about to embark on a campaign.<p>The issue here is the process by which the decision was arrived at (to take Kashmir to the UN). Clearly it was done at the behest of Mountbatten and no Indian leader was in favor of such a move. It was Mountbatten who put considerable pressure on Nehru. The question then becomes why an Indian leader should accede to the wishes to the erstwhile colonial master. <p>It is important to study the manner in which decisions are arrived at so that such a process is never repeated again (we all know there is considerable danger of that happening as we speak).<p>kaushal
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sunil sainis:<BR><STRONG>Arre Bhai,<P>HICAF kis liye hai?</STRONG><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> I am with Sunil here<P>HICAF= <B>History</B> and Current Affairs Forum.<P>This thread is going there - please continue on HICAF
Firstly, thank you Kaushalji for starting this thread, among other things it is a much needed reprise from the info overload of the Afghan war.<P>So what was the net effect of having approached the UN back then? Did it preclude a war of intrusion into Pak? If so, then war plan or not, all mounbatten wanted was Nehru to mention Kashmir at the UN.<P>Mountbatten says to defence comittee that going to UN will result in Pak withdrawing. However, the comittee decides to do both UN apporach AND military. How did a comittee manage to arrive at such a decision? No one thought it was possible that one (UN) would rule out the other? What was the reason for this state of blindness/delusion? Was there a cross-the-board understanding of the functioning of the UN? (was it even possible at that time?) more importantly, who was in the comittee? did mountbatten gather momentum for his "UN will make Pak withdraw" by painting a grossly incorrect picture of UN?
Puneet, you bring up valid questions, answers to which are haunting the Indian leadership and the people to this day, and to which none of us have complete and satisfactory responses. Despite some intense interest in this topic as evinced by the high quality of the participation, the admins have chosen to exile this thread to outer Siberia, where we all know the interest is less by an order of magnitude. I suppose everything that has happened a minute ago, a year ago or a decade ago is history and should be banned from the strategic forum. Somebody should look up the meaning of strategic and rename the forum a tactical forum , where the appropriate use of humor seems to be more a weighty topic than the reasons why we are in such a pickle in Kashmir 54 years after the instrument of accession was signed. Needless to say I find the rationale for this kind of arbitrary censorship to be entirely unsatisfactory.<P>For reference purposes, I cite a list of documents from a couple of sites, <A HREF="http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/documents/documents.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/documents/documents.html</A> <A HREF="http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/sasia.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/sasia.htm</A> <A HREF="http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/aug/17arvind.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/aug/17arvind.htm</A> <BR>"So what was the net effect of having approached the UN back then? Did it preclude a war of intrusion into Pak? If so, then war plan or not, all mounbatten wanted was Nehru to mention Kashmir at the UN. "<P>Response – The move to send the question to the UN was a gambit by Mountbatten at the behest of his superiors (Atlee and Bevin ) to forestall potential Indian victories in the field. There is no question that Britain never intended Kashmir to fall into Indian hands and Atlee was more than a mite annoyed when Maharajah Hari singh signed the instrument of accession in India’s favor.<P><BR>"Mountbatten says to defence comittee that going to UN will result in Pak withdrawing. However, the comittee decides to do both UN approach AND military. How did a comittee manage to arrive at such a decision? No one thought it was possible that one (UN) would rule out the other? What was the reason for this state of blindness/delusion? Was there a cross-the-board understanding of the functioning of the UN? (was it even possible at that time?) more importantly, who was in the comittee? did mountbatten gather momentum for his "UN will make Pak withdraw" by painting a grossly incorrect picture of UN? "<P>Response – Mountbatten surmised that Indians would have a very naïve idealistic view of the UN and that he could persuade them that it would be for the best.Whether he was right in his surmise is of course a question for debate to this day. In fact it is clear that Nehru had serious misgivings about taking the issue to the UN right from the start. Idealistic he may have been, but nobody can say Nehru was anybody’s fool. While he distrusted the UN option, he may have had his hands tied because it is possible he was faced with a near mutiny from his british C-in-C who literally refused to obey orders. Of course the real question is why India (Nehru) did not fire the blighters the moment he had wind of their footdragging and promote Indian officers in their place.<P>BTW, the cabinet committee was chaired by Mountbatten.<P>Kaushal
Kaushal: The last question you raise is quite interesting. What was the officer corp like, right after independence? <P>Was Nehru fearful of a coup d'etat wherein the British Governor General with Mountbatten could take over the nation? Was this a realistic threat so soon after independence?<P>Do you recall when *exactly* the matter was referred to the UN, and whether this was before or after Gandhi's assassination. IOW, did Gandhiji's assassination factor into moves that seem to have forced Nehru's hand.<P>Was there a third option -- for Nehru to resign as PM in the face of treason from within -- giving Patel a carte blanche to purge these foreign actors?
Kaushal, but one of the advantages of being moved to Siberia is that the thread survives longer.<P>"Kiran" -- nice alias there!<BR>One thing that comes from having graded papers for more than a decade is that sixth sense of knowledge about similarities in writing, whether they be substantive or style-related! <P>From the link above, posted by Shiv:<BR>"the Government of India formally appealed to the U.N.O. under Chapter 35 of the U.N. Charter on December 31, 1947 ..."<P>Qns (curiousity related): <BR>1. Why or how can the Gandhi assassination be thought of as having influenced Nehru's action wrt the UN? <P>2. How many UNSC resolutions have not yet been implemented thus far, because of any reason?
What was the officer corp like, right after independence? <P>Response - See the star studded cast of army chiefs in BR <BR> <A HREF="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORCES/Army/Army-Chiefs/Chiefs-Army01.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORCES/Army/Army-Chiefs/Chiefs-Army01.html</A> <P>Gen. Thimmayya and LG LP Sen (sp.) were involved in Kashmir. <BR> <A HREF="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1950s/Kuriyan.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1950s/Kuriyan.html</A> <P><BR>Of course Thimmayya later went on to become COAS (and had a celebrated tiff with Krishna menon, who despised the officer corps). I am not sure whether Nehru had any antipathy or mistrust of the Indian officer corps. If you come across evidence I would like to examine that. In any event there was no lack of talent among the officer corps.It is just that the brits never appointed an Indian above a certain rank. Therefore it could be said that Indians lacked top rank command experience , but i have difficulty with this rationale, since each level has to exhibit the requisite kind of leadership.<P>Was Nehru fearful of a coup d'etat wherein the British Governor General with Mountbatten could take over the nation? Was this a realistic threat so soon after independence?<P>Response - I do not believe that was a realistic threat. At least I have not read of any such threat.<P>Do you recall when *exactly* the matter was referred to the UN, and whether this was before or after Gandhi's assassination. IOW, did Gandhiji's assassination factor into moves that seem to have forced Nehru's hand.<P>Response - Kashmir was referred to the UN by India on Dec.31,1947. see for instance <BR> <A HREF="http://kashmir-information.com/Storm/chapter8.html" TARGET=_blank>http://kashmir-information.com/Storm/chapter8.html</A> <P>Was there a third option -- for Nehru to resign as PM in the face of treason from within -- giving Patel a carte blanche to purge these foreign actors? <P>Response - In the book 'freedom at midnight' there is mention of confrontation between Patel and Mountbatten. On another occasion there was a serious difference of opinion between Patel and Nehru. In the meantime Gandhi was assassinated and they decided to patch up, but I believe, Patel did submit a written letter of resignation at one point, which he subsequently withdrew.
Kaushalji, those links are a goldmine! I was amazed at the actual text of the complaint to the UN. Somehow I get the feeling that its wording was heavily influenced by mountbatten. Forget about the basics of debating, the thing came across as an apology from the word go, like a justification for military action(just the fact that India was supporting J&K), that the accession was legit, etc. The overall picture sadly is of some kind of ignorance of how such a presentation might be percieved. What is even more shocking is the pattern in the rediff news article. I hope we are not counting on getting the proxy aggravators to crap in their pants by throwing neverending legal facts at them, coz they're not listening anyway. Its all about forests and trees.
The thought about Ghandi is now a moot one. Wondered if Nehru felt that he didn't have a powerbase to revive the independence movement if the British staged a putsch.<P>If there was no fear of a British Takeover, why didn't Nehru call their bluff and courtmartial them? In the end, didn't the buck stop with Nehru?
<B>If there was no fear of a British Takeover, why didn't Nehru call their bluff and courtmartial them? In the end, didn't the buck stop with Nehru? </B><P>This is the 64 million $ question to which we have no definitive answer. At the very least one can ask why the British CinC's were not fired. The plausible answer is it would have been politically difficult to do so given that Mountbatten was still the titular head of state and Nehru had no authority other than that granted to him by the transfer of power from the Brits. Of course the real mistake was to ask Mountbatten to remain as GG, instead of asking him to pack his bags and leave, and the same of course applies to the British officers left behind.<P>Kaushal
And, to add to Kaushal's post above, this is where the "personal" equations come in.<P>(The couplet in the Madhok book, cited in the link above, is indeed on target -- the personal foibles and follies of one man can indeed change history of a nation for a long time.)
An interesting newsitem on India's membership in UNSC and nehru's views onthe same(and unrelated matters). I am struck by the fact that he did not feel the need to discuss such an important subject with the Cabinet or Parliament before deciding unilaterally that this was not in the best interest of the Indian nation .<P>Kaushal<P>================================================= <A HREF="http://headlines.sify.com/284news4.html" TARGET=_blank>http://headlines.sify.com/284news4.html</A> <P>'Nehru blocked India's way to UN Security Council' <P>New Delhi, Nov 25<P>India, now making all-out efforts to become a member of the UN <BR>Security Council, would have joined the powerful body on the strength <BR>of support from both the Superpowers way back in 1955. <P>But the move was scuppered by none other than Jawaharlal Nehru <BR>himself who was keen to get first China accommodated in the UN body <BR>to avoid rancour with its powerful Himalayan neighbour, important <BR>documents contained in the recently published Volume 29 of Selected <BR>Works of Jawaharlal Nehru reveal. <P>During the course of a conversation between Nehru and Soviet leaders <BR>on June 29, 1955, Bulganin had said, "...We propose suggesting at a <BR>later stage India's inclusion as the sixth member of the Security <BR>Council.'' <P>To this, a cautious Nehru replied: ''Perhaps Bulganin knows that some <BR>people in the USA have suggested that India should replace China in <BR>the Security Council. This is to create trouble between us and China. <BR>We are, of course, wholly opposed to it.'' <P>In a stand that smacked of his pacifist demeanour, Nehru contended <BR>that New Delhi was opposed to pushing itself forward to occupy <BR>certain positions because ''that may itself create difficulties and <BR>India might itself become a subject of controversy.'' <P>If India was to be admitted to the Council, it involved raising the <BR>question of the revision of the UN Charter, went the reasoning of <BR>India's first Prime Minister. <P>''We feel that this should not be done till the question of China's <BR>admission and possibility of others is first solved. I feel that we <BR>should first concentrate on getting China admitted...In our opinion, <BR>this does not seem to be an appropriate time for it(revision of the <BR>Charter).'' <P>In a note on August 1, 1955 on his visit to the erstwhile Soviet <BR>Union and other countries, Nehru reiterated his stand: ''Informally, <BR>suggestions have been made by the US that China should be taken into <BR>the UN but not in the Security Council and that India should take her <BR>place in the Council. We cannot, of course, accept this as it means <BR>falling out with China and it would be very unfair for a great <BR>country like China not to be in the Council.'' <P>Nehru even went to the extent of saying that India was not anxious to <BR>enter the Security Council ''at this stage'', even though as a great <BR>country she ought to be there. <P>''The first step to be taken is for China to take her rightful place <BR>and then the question might be considered separately.'' <P>The Volume also highlights Nehru's rare sensitivity and compassionate <BR>concerns for individuals and his refusal to rely heavily on police <BR>reports about them. <P>An interesting instance is of an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) <BR>student, Irfan Habib, later a distinguished historian, who was denied <BR>a government scholarship because of his ''links'' with leftist <BR>groups. <P>Taking up Irfan's cause, Nehru dashed off a missive to the then AMU <BR>Vice Chancellor Zakir Hussain on August 12, 1955. <P>Irfan ''had been for some time past and was still a member of the <BR>Communist Party and had participated in a number of activities as <BR>such and through associated organisations. Also that some action had <BR>been taken against him by the University some time back. <P>'Irfan admitted all this...One must not judge young people too <BR>seriously and youthful enthusiasm must not be ignored. Anyhow, in the <BR>balance I feel that we should decide in favour of Irfan Habib as a <BR>special case. My main reason for so thinking is that he is a young <BR>man of intelligence and, I believe, integrity and both these <BR>qualities will no doubt influence his future growth.'' <P>Another example is of an Argentine national, Di Tella, who was in <BR>India to marry an Indian girl and was asked to go back because he <BR>held Marxist views. <P>In a note to the Home Ministry on June 1, 1955, he wrote: ''But this <BR>individual apart, I do not like the way we dispose of human beings on <BR>such trivial evidence based on the ideas of some policemen about <BR>Marxist views.'' <P>Nehru's concern for young Farooq Abdullah, then a medical student in <BR>the Jaipur Medical College, is vividly expressed in a letter of July <BR>17, 1955, which also lays down the norms of behaviour for public <BR>figures. <P>''Some people foolishly imagine that because we have had differences <BR>with Sheikh Abdullah, therefore we are not favourably inclined <BR>towards his son or family. This, of course, is not only absurd but is <BR>just the reverse of how we feel. Personally, because Sheikh Abdullah <BR>is in prison, I feel, rather,a special responsibility that we should <BR>try to help his sons and family.'' <P>UNI
Nehru took Kashmir to UN at Mountbatten’s insistence <BR>Agencies<BR>New Delhi:The first India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir in 1947-48 was a<BR>“unique war” insofar as the armies of the two newly-independent nations was<BR>controlled by a third country - Great Britain. The manner in which governor<BR>general Lord Mountbatten and the British Commander-in Chiefs of the two rival<BR>armies influenced the course of the war is revealed, for the first time, in a<BR>new book entitled War and Diplomacy in Kashmir -1947-48 by retired senior<BR>diplomat Chandrashekhar Dasgupta. <BR>The book, which will be released later this month, is based on declassified<BR>British documents of that period, and throws considerable new light on many<BR>aspects of a war whose repercussions continue to be felt more than fifty years<BR>after it was fought. <BR>Dasgupta, who served as India’s ambassador to China (1993-96) and to the<BR>European Union (1996-2000), has unearthed some fascinating details of the role<BR>played by the British top brass who had officially relinquished the Raj in 1947<BR>but retained control over the Indian (and Pakistani) armed forces in the months<BR>after Independence. Among the more dramatic facts that his research revealed<BR>are: <BR>* The Commander-in Chief (C-in-C) of the Indian Army (General Sir Rob Rockhart,<BR>followed by General Roy Bucher) had prior information from Pakistan about the<BR>tribal movements in Kashmir but did not pass it on to Prime Minister Jawaharlal<BR>Nehru. <BR>* Nehru had issued instructions to strike at bases in Pakistan (as India did in<BR>1965) but Lord Mountbatten thwarted the move. <BR>* Nehru did not want to take the Kashmir issue to the United Nations; he did so<BR>at Mountabatten’s insistence. <BR>* The C-in-C throughout the period took instructions from his British superiors<BR>- Field Marshal Auchinleck, then Lord Mountbatten, then the British High<BR>Commissioner - and not from the Indian government. <BR>* The C-in-Cs of the two rival armies were constantly in touch and shared<BR>information. <BR>* Secret exchanges between the C-in-Cs on a possible truce took place. <BR>* In 1948, the United States accepted the fact that Kashmir was part of India. <BR>Dasgupta’s book also reveals that contrary to popular impression that<BR>Mountbatten was pro-India, the governor general played a key role in forcing<BR>Nehru to take steps that were not in India’s interest. Asserting that “he may<BR>have been a friend of India but he was certainly no foe of Pakistan,” Dasgupta<BR>contends that Mountbatten’s primary objective was to serve British interests -<BR>and the British at the time were against the idea of all of Kashmir being a<BR>part of India. <BR>Speaking about the forthcoming book, Dasgupta said he spent years<BR>researching and writing it for two reasons: First, he was curious to know how<BR>the fact that the British were in control of the armed forces of two sovereign<BR>nations affected the course of the war; and second, because of the “tremendous<BR>paucity” of material on the interaction between military and diplomatic<BR>developments at that time. <BR>Dasgupta did much of his primary research at the India Office Library and<BR>the Public Records Office (which stores records of the British Foreign Office,<BR>Defence Ministry, PMO, Cabinet papers, Chiefs of Staff Committee et al) in<BR>London, and started writing the book following his retirement from the Indian<BR>Foreign Service last year. <BR>While the book also gives a diplomatic background to the military<BR>developments and traces the evolution of Britain’s Kashmir policy and the role<BR>it played in the UN Security Council, the real “eye-opener” in the book, the<BR>author feels, is the secret exchanges between the British generals commanding<BR>the armies on either side of the post-Partition border. They reveal how they<BR>carried out - or deliberately failed to carry out - government instructions. <BR>In the years after Independence, the Indian Army has often blamed the<BR>civilian leadership (Nehru and his cabinet) for failing to carry the 1947 war<BR>into Pakistan and for taking the issue to the United Nations. However, it was<BR>not the fledgling civilian government of a new independent India, but the<BR>military brass of the old imperial Britain that took these decisions -<BR>decisively influencing the denouement of a conflict that continues to haunt the<BR>warriors and diplomats in both New Delhi and Islamabad to this day. (Courtesy:<BR>Thenewspapertoday)
British<BR>Please don’t do it again to us – Kashmiris<P>Tony Blair is in South Asia, second time since the US<BR>war against terrorism, on a mission to calm down the<BR>stand off between the nuclear India and Pakistan. It<BR>appears that this time Kashmir issue will have an<BR>important place, if not at the top of his discussions<BR>with the Prime Minister Atal Bhiari Vajpayee and<BR>President Pervez Musharaf. While hopes and aspirations<BR>of 14 million Kashmiris, including over half a million<BR>in Britain, along with billions around the world have<BR>reasons to rise, for it is the first time after<BR>decolonisation that South Asia is becoming focus of<BR>the big powers activism, I feel a strange nervousness<BR>running deep through my bones. The roots of these<BR>feelings I can see clearly going back in our Kashmir<BR>history. Although the possibilities are bleak for this<BR>article to reach to the readers during the above<BR>visit, its relevance lives on as the role of British<BR>looks set to become crucial in the weeks and months,<BR>possibly years to come in handling Kashmir issue. <P>First Time <P>16th March 1846, Fredric Currie and Brevet-Major Henry<BR>Montgomery Lawrence, under the directions of the Right<BR>Honourable Sir Henry Hardinge, G.C.P.,<BR>Governor-General, on the part of the British<BR>Government and Maharaja Gulab Singh in person, signed<BR>a treaty at Amritsar in Punjab. According to this<BR>treaty Kashmir was transferred in independent<BR>possession of Raja Gulab Singh and the heir male of<BR>his body’. The Treaty consisting of ten articles<BR>contains no mention of the people of Kashmir. Article<BR>3 reads ‘ In consideration of the transfer made to him<BR>and his heirs by the provisions of the foregoing<BR>article, Maharaja Gulab Singh will pay to the British<BR>Government the sum of seventy-five lakhs of rupees<BR>(Nanukshahee; royal Nanuk = about £300,000), fifty<BR>lakhs to be paid on the ratification of this Treaty<BR>and twenty – five lakhs on or before the 1st of<BR>October of the current year, AD 1846.’<BR>The treaty was also signed and sealed by H. Hardinge. <BR>Till October 1947 Gulab Singh and three heirs male of<BR>his body ruled Kashmir. While communalist view of<BR>Kashmir history would have us believe of this period<BR>as most cruel and suppressive against the ‘Muslim<BR>Kashmiris’, an honest read of the Maharaja dynasty<BR>reveals that it was not a great deal different from<BR>his predecessors – the earliest known Kashmiri ruler<BR>was Raja Daya Karan in 2180 BC. With a few exceptions,<BR>all Rajas, Kings and Sultans were authoritarians<BR>regardless of the religions they owned while at the<BR>top. However, since British were supposed to be<BR>representing a more civilised and caring system of<BR>government, reading history of their involvement<BR>naturally raises the expectations about their<BR>treatment to and recognition of the ‘people’. In<BR>Kashmir they did not live up to expectations. This<BR>treaty continuously haunts Kashmiri psyche and<BR>politics as the ‘sale deed’. <BR>This was the first time British did it to Kashmiris.<BR>The very existence of people was not recognised let<BR>alone their rights. <P>Second Time <P>Came 1940s and with that an end to the British rule in<BR>South Asia. Hopes rose once again in Kashmir that this<BR>time the protectors of democracy would recognise and<BR>acknowledge the popular struggle in Kashmir to<BR>transform authoritarian rule based on the Amritsar<BR>Treaty. Hopes did not survive. British failed once<BR>again to take into account the will of Kashmiri<BR>people, expressed through half a dozen political<BR>parties in Kashmir for a democratic independent<BR>government in Kashmir. Instead lord Mountbatten<BR>delivered a firm advise to the reluctant Maharaja<BR>against his manifested intentions for independence,<BR>which he shared with the majority of Kashmiris of all<BR>religions and identities from Ladakh to Gilgit<BR>Baltistan. This was the second time that British<BR>failed to acknowledge the people of Kashmir. This time<BR>their existence was recognised but wishes were not<BR>respected. The consequences were disastrous not only<BR>for Kashmiris but for the very independence and<BR>development of the South Asian people who till this<BR>day are paying for the ‘Kashmir Problem’. For it was<BR>only after the ruling out of the independence option<BR>originally provided in the ‘transfer of power<BR>mechanism’ that Indian and Pakistani politicians<BR>intensified their campaign to capture Kashmir through<BR>any means. This they did in October 1947. First<BR>through political pressure and then failing that<BR>through military invasion in an independent state.<BR>From 16th August when all treaties between the<BR>princely states and the British Crown were lapsed, to<BR>the 1st of January 1948 when UN brokered a ceasefire<BR>between the aggressor armies of India and Pakistan,<BR>Kashmir existed as an independent country minus<BR>international recognition. I do not understand why the<BR>‘liberals’ in the west do not challenge their<BR>governments, particularly British, when they say that<BR>Kashmir is a ‘bilateral’ issue between India and<BR>Pakistan and that we can help resolving it only after<BR>are asked by the respective governments. This was<BR>second time that British did it to Kashmiris. Indeed<BR>the Indian and Pakistani occupation in Kashmir has<BR>more similarities with the Russian invasion in<BR>Afghanistan or the American in Panama etc. than with<BR>attacks on US power symbols. The International<BR>community and the international law in whatever form<BR>and shape it exists should take note of this and must<BR>make it clear to the Indian and Pakistani rulers.<BR>Particularly, the BJP’s efforts to equate Kashmir<BR>struggle with terrorism must be challenged. The<BR>atrocious acts of violence against the Kashmir<BR>Assembly and the Indian Parliament as well as such<BR>incidents as the Chattisingpura a few years back in<BR>which 35 Kashmiri Sikhs were killed require an<BR>independent international investigation. <P>Third & Fourth Time<P>While there is substantial evidence that the Kashmir<BR>National Conference, the largest political party along<BR>with the Kashmir Muslim Conference, next in size, had<BR>ideological ties with the Indian Congress and Pakistan<BR>Muslim League respectively, neither demonstrated any<BR>intentions to accede India or Pakistan until after the<BR>armed invasion and occupation. The struggle in Kashmir<BR>at the time of British departure was primarily over<BR>sovereignty. This was a popular, peaceful and<BR>democratic struggle. Kashmiris did not take up no arms<BR>even after the massacre of over two dozens unarmed<BR>demonstrators out side of a court in Srinagar on 31st<BR>July 1931.The struggle was massacred while in its<BR>infancy by the invading armies both in the command of<BR>a British General. It was after this invasion approved<BR>by the British that Kashmir which Gandhi described as<BR>‘an island of peace amidst a sea of blood’ joined the<BR>sea. This was for the third time that the British<BR>failed to recognise democratically expressed wishes of<BR>the Kashmiri people. Indeed they were ‘transferred’<BR>once again from the great grand son of Maharaja Gulab<BR>Singh to the rulers of India and Pakistan. The Kashmir<BR>state, which existed as a distinct and for the most<BR>period independent entity from 2500 BC and as princely<BR>state since 1846 out side of the British India with<BR>all the governmental institutions in place waiting for<BR>taken over democratically by the people of Kashmir was<BR>disintegrated by force and British participated in it.<P>India and Pakistan both agreed before the world around<BR>the UN tables to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir for the<BR>final settlement of Kashmir issue. However, for a<BR>variety of reasons both failed snobbishly to fulfil<BR>their commitments. What the UN and international<BR>community did to incorporate the wishes of Kashmiris?<BR>Nothing – the fourth time but this time British did<BR>not do it on their own. Around this time in Kashmir<BR>Mohammed Maqbool Butt repeatedly questioned and<BR>criticised the role of the international community and<BR>UN in a series of public meetings across the ‘Azad’<BR>(free) Kashmir (a joke with freedom and with<BR>Kashmiris), particularly after the 1965 war between<BR>the two aggressors in Kashmir and the subsequent<BR>Tashkent agreement. Till then not a single party<BR>existed with armed struggle as an option. All demanded<BR>right to self determination through plebiscite. <P>The sources of Kashmiri Militancy<P>Maqbool Butt along with several nationalists was<BR>branded as ‘agent of the enemy’. Pakistan arrested,<BR>interrogated and imprisoned him and many others as<BR>Indian agents and India as Pakistani. Maqbool Butt was<BR>hanged on 11th February 1984 in Tihaar prison Delhi by<BR>the government of Indira Gandhi, daughter of a great<BR>Indian leader and first Prime Minister of India Jowar<BR>Lal Neru, a Kashmir by origin. Despite several<BR>requests his body was not handed over to his family.<BR>He is still buried somewhere in Thiaar prison.<BR>Remember Baghat Singh and his comrades? There bodies<BR>were also not given to their families – by the British<BR>government. How then you expect that people will not<BR>get angry and frustrated to the extent that they start<BR>hating life – of their own and others? While we in<BR>large numbers in the POK respect and appreciate<BR>democracy and secularism in India. For it has been far<BR>better managed than what we have experienced in<BR>Pakistan, our other occupier. But democracy in<BR>Kashmir? My foot. Indeed the democratic set up has<BR>made significant progress in POK with compare to that<BR>in IOK where sufficient evidence indicates regression.<P>By the late sixties and through seventies the politics<BR>of independence in the Pakistani occupied Kashmir and<BR>amongst the Kashmiri diaspora became a serious cause<BR>of concern for the Pakistani rulers. A people they<BR>told the whole world as ‘theirs’ through shared<BR>religion were demonstrating strong sings of resentment<BR>and frustration. The students and middle classes were<BR>spearheading this trend with clear though rhetorical<BR>references to democracy, justice and socialism.<BR>Maqbool Butt him self ‘confessed’ that the only crime<BR>he had committed was to challenge the forces of<BR>ignorance, slavery, exploitation and suppression. He<BR>also stated before the Pakistani and Indian courts<BR>that the struggle for liberation in Kashmir will not<BR>die with him if that is what they want. People of<BR>Kashmir are engaged in a struggle that is just and<BR>legitimate. It is also the struggle of the Indian and<BR>Pakistani masses who suffer because of their rulers’<BR>expansionist plans. Professor Nazir Anjum spread the<BR>same massage through his poetry:<P>1. How lovely is the slogan of Kashmiris. (Recently he<BR>has changed it to ‘not only a slogan but it is our<BR>faith) that every inch of Kashmir belongs to its<BR>inhabitants.<P><BR>2. They call suppression the peace and loyalty to what<BR>is actually rage <BR>How unwise are they who confuse mere hissing sounds<BR>with the morning breeze <BR>Wakeup my Kashmir! some power hungry are calling<BR>occupiers as the masters of your fate. <P>Initially only a few intellectuals and some students<BR>responded to the message for freedom. But gradually it<BR>spread. What is the level of support for independence<BR>in POK at present? Can’t tell. For the participation<BR>of pro independence in elections, which do take place<BR>in Ak regularly even when the election season<BR>disappears behind the brown uniforms in Pakistan, is<BR>constitutionally banned. Even for employment or<BR>publishing a newsletter the allegiance to the<BR>Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan is an essential<BR>requirement. Biraderieism (clans) remains the most<BR>crucial factor with the exploitation of religion the<BR>next shaker and mover in the AK (Azad Kashmir)<BR>elections. While no study exists it would be an<BR>interesting research to test the claim that the<BR>exploitation of religion in the Kashmiri (as well as<BR>in South Asia?) has been not a phenomenon attached<BR>exclusively to the ‘fundamentalist’ parties. In<BR>Kashmir strong evidence exists that the so-called<BR>‘moderate’ parties such as the Muslim Conference<BR>initiated it. The jihaadis came out only when felt<BR>marginalisation and extinction. <P>However, Kashmiris, particularly youth, in the Indian<BR>occupied Kashmir, more specifically in the Valley, at<BR>this point although largely disillusioned with the<BR>Indian democracy and secularism, were still optimistic<BR>about bringing a change in government through<BR>democratic means. No guns are militant slogans as yet.<BR>Also the role of biradrie or clan identities seems<BR>less prominent over there. Instead it was the<BR>religious contradiction with the Indian state which<BR>gradually became the core of expressing resentment and<BR>anger over the politics of corruption led by the<BR>National Conference, particularly since its take over<BR>by the present chief minister Farooq Abdullah, son of<BR>the legendary Sheikh Abdullah, the school teacher and<BR>lion of Kashmir in the united Kashmir. In the 1987<BR>State Assembly elections the youth of Valley actively<BR>stood as candidates and/or campaigned for Muslim<BR>United Front (MUF). The idea of independence and the<BR>name of Maqbool Butt had little significance in the<BR>IOK at this point. The trust and confidence in<BR>democracy however could not survive for long. While<BR>the candidates and their supporters were busy counting<BR>at polling stations, the all India radio was<BR>broadcasting the results. Indian National Congress and<BR>the Kashmir National Conference felt the need for this<BR>worst rigging in IOK elections despite the clear<BR>indication that MUF will gain at the most twenty seats<BR>in a house of seventy-five. The results were drastic<BR>and unexpected even for the politicians who dominated<BR>the scene for over half a century. The anger and<BR>frustration took to the means which all suppressed<BR>people of the world at various phases of their history<BR>turned to. They decided to snatch the democratic right<BR>through militancy when democratic means were slammed<BR>to their faces. Once coming face to face with the<BR>armed forces, which generated resentment for decades,<BR>they went far behind the issues of elections. They<BR>demanded to change the very roots, which harboured<BR>militancy and denial of the democratic rights of a<BR>very peaceful and harmonious people. They demanded<BR>withdrawal of the Indian forces and the right to<BR>self-determination which they claimed was still<BR>pending at UN. It was this background against which<BR>Kashmiris in IOK rose into revolt against the Indian<BR>occupation. However, their focus was primarily at the<BR>Valley and more specifically on its Muslim population.<BR>For backing they looked across the ceasefire line in<BR>POK. Here Pakistani authorities were closely watching<BR>the constant rise in the nationalist politics. Now<BR>several pro independence groups were operating openly<BR>rejecting the Pakistani occupation and challenging the<BR>constitutional restriction on pro independence<BR>associations and campaigning. The strongest of the<BR>nationalists groups was the JKLF. Formed in Birmingham<BR>Britain, this was a result of the crackdown on the<BR>nationalists in POK after the hi-jacking of the Indian<BR>plane Ganga, by Hashim and Ashraf Qureshi from IOK<BR>under the instructions of Maqbool Butt. By now a<BR>significant Kashmiri community was developed in<BR>Britain including hundreds of politically aware and<BR>active Kashmiris who participated in various campaigns<BR>from the peasants revolt against Maharaja in 1930s<BR>through 1947 revolt, Anti Mangla Dam Movement 1960s,<BR>Ganga crackdown 1970s and so on. While JKLF declared<BR>Maqbool Butt as its head (by now arrested in IOK),<BR>practically it detached itself from the politics of<BR>the national liberation. Gradually it expanded in the<BR>leadership of Amanullah Khan to several towns across<BR>Britain, mainly amongst factory workers and few<BR>intellectuals. In the first week of February 1984, an<BR>Indian diplomat was kidnapped and then killed in<BR>Birmingham. A massive rounding up of hundreds of the<BR>JKLF members and sympathisers followed this. Two<BR>Kashmiris are still serving their time in Britain with<BR>a campaign for their release claiming many flaws in<BR>their cases. While the campaign has not achieved any<BR>significant success in their release, it has given<BR>birth to the Kashmir Justice Party in the Birmingham<BR>local elections and also stood for the last<BR>parliamentary elections gaining over fifteen thousand<BR>votes in two constituencies. This is also one of the<BR>many sources of Kashmiri political activism and the<BR>rise of Kashmiri identity in Britain, separate and<BR>away from the Pakistani or Punjabi identity which has<BR>been ascribed to British Kashmiris by the British<BR>State and academia. Currently the Kashmir National<BR>Identity Campaign is working for the recognition of<BR>British Kashmiris in the British State and Society<BR>with nine local authorities recognised Kashmiris as<BR>distinct ethnic community in the ethnic monitoring<BR>system. The campaign is however deals exclusively with<BR>the issues of British Kashmiris as British citizens in<BR>Britain. As alluded above Maqbool Butt was hanged a<BR>week after the killing of Rovindera Mahatrey, the<BR>Indian diplomat in Birmingham. <BR>The reaction against the hanging of Maqbool butt was<BR>huge in Ak, Britain and Middle East. I was in Karachi<BR>Univeristy and it was for the fisrt time that a<BR>non-political animal like myself became interested and<BR>engaged in the independence ideology and movement.<BR>10,000 Kashmiris demonstrated in London. In Srinagar<BR>however nothing significant happened apart from some<BR>public meetings organised by the ‘cells’ Maqbool Butt<BR>created during his underground interaction with a few<BR>hundred Kashmiris. Larger demonstrations were erupted<BR>in the ‘border’ villages. But the 1987 elections<BR>changed everything. This was the time when in the<BR>Valley Maqbool Butt and his ideology of “independence<BR>through armed struggle” rose like the morning sun over<BR>the cities and villages of the IOK, especially in the<BR>Valley. Unaware of the realities across the ceasefire<BR>line and the treatment pro independence Kashmiris<BR>received at the hands of their ‘Muslim’ Pakistani<BR>rulers, these young Kashmiris, including the present<BR>head of JKLF Yasin Malik, came to POK singing ‘Sarhad<BR>Paar Jayengey Klash n kov layengey’ (we will go across<BR>the border and bring klash n kov). Despite the fact<BR>that the then JKLF chief Aman ullah Khan’s links with<BR>the Pakistani authorities and his politics was always<BR>suspected by many progressive and radical Kashmiris in<BR>POK and in Britain, he enjoyed the status of Maqbool<BR>Butt’s number two by the majority of nationalists. <BR>It was revealed only at a later stage that Pakistani<BR>Intelligence Services (ISI) had a significant role in<BR>launching the movement in the Valley. JKLF Britain<BR>suffered its first major split over the question of<BR>the independence of the independence movement in<BR>Kashmir. Those questioned the role of Pakistani rulers<BR>were expelled and the Daily Jang London exploited the<BR>situation to confuse British Kashmiris further. For<BR>JKLF was viewed by the British Kashmiris as the hope<BR>for the future of Kashmir. However, both groups of<BR>JKLF and other pro independence groups in AK such as<BR>NLF, NSF, PNP, NAP, KFM carry a significant weight<BR>particularly in ‘Azad’ Kashmir and in UK. JKLF along<BR>with Shabir Shah’s people League and Hashim Qureshis<BR>Jammu Kashmir Liberation Democratic Party are the main<BR>pro independence groups in IOK with Hizb Ul<BR>Majuahideen and some others also supporting the<BR>unfettered right of self-determination. <P>Liberation of the liberation struggle? <P>Various sources show that during the last decade of an<BR>increased interaction between the people across<BR>ceasefire line, Kashmiris on both sides have learnt a<BR>great deal about each other and the actual agenda of<BR>the Indian and Pakistani rulers as well as about the<BR>Kashmiri leadership. Surveys and opinion polls<BR>conducted by the Indian Magazines such as ‘The Out<BR>Look’ and international/ American media like CNN<BR>indicate that an overwhelming majority favours<BR>independence for Kashmir and is more than willing to<BR>workout a peaceful and democratic framework to achieve<BR>it. Before considering the allegation by the BJP<BR>against the Kashmiri struggle, one must not overlook<BR>the above background against which this struggle has<BR>shaped and risen. One and the main reason that this<BR>strand of Kashmiri struggle remained marginalised has<BR>been the reluctance of international media and<BR>academia as well as politicians to engage with<BR>Kashmiris and the hegemony of the Indian and Pakistani<BR>states and intellegentia over Kashmiri and Kashmiris<BR>in and out side of Kashmir. The classical example of<BR>this is Britain itself. Here while Kashmiris form one<BR>of the largest South Asian groups after the Indians,<BR>they are not even recognised as such. The Asian media,<BR>which is dominated by the Indian, and Pakistani<BR>middles classes originating mainly from the urban<BR>centres in South Asia show a strong resistance to the<BR>demands of British Kashmiris for recognition. Asian<BR>Age, the News International and Eastern Eye all<BR>present Kashmir issue from the viewpoint of either<BR>India or Pakistan. Five English dailies from IOK are<BR>hardly consulted. Instead the reports are used from<BR>the Indian and Pakistani, often official sources. <BR>In Kashmir, however, Kashmiris on both sides of the<BR>control line have shown a strong commitment to a<BR>democratic solution to the Kashmir problem based on<BR>their national identity and aspirations. Today the<BR>democratic forces make up the bulk of Kashmiris across<BR>the division line and religious identities as well as<BR>amongst the million strong diaspora in America and<BR>Europe. In POK the pro independence parties other than<BR>JKLF have also grown substantially. An environment to<BR>initiate a democratic process for the resolution of<BR>Kashmir imbroglio has it seems finally arrived. First<BR>requirement for such an initiative to take off is a<BR>clear message to the governments of the India and<BR>Pakistan that while militancy against their occupation<BR>needs monitoring they too have to take concrete and<BR>practical steps to create a space for democratic<BR>activism in their respective ‘Kashmirs’. First move<BR>towards this can be the withdrawal of the Indian<BR>militant forces from the residential, business and<BR>civic areas. Then to create a ‘peace line’ across the<BR>ceasefire line with a cross border movement of<BR>Kashmiris. The restrictions on the movement of<BR>Kashmiris between the Pakistani Occupied Gilgit and<BR>Baltistan and Indian occupied Ladakh as well as<BR>between the POK ‘Azad’ Kashmir is also must. This<BR>should be followed by the reversion of all such<BR>legalities which put restrictions on the freedom of<BR>speech and expression and participation in employment<BR>and elections of the pro independence Kashmiris. All<BR>political prisoners including those in Britain should<BR>be released and given opportunities to participate in<BR>the rehabilitation process in Kashmir. For the<BR>majority of these imprisoned Kashmiris are far more<BR>democratic, progressive and articulate than the<BR>Kashmiri rulers of Farooq Abdullah and Sardar Qayuum<BR>brand. The road from here can then be discussed and<BR>monitored with the involvement of all Kashmiris<BR>regardless of their creed, colour, language or<BR>political inclination. Religion is as much an issue in<BR>the liberation struggle in Kashmir as Britain is a<BR>Christian country. Kashmiri Muslims are very committed<BR>to their religions but never liked the use of religion<BR>by the political parties. The past decade has changed<BR>this to some extent. The flight of the Kashmiri<BR>Pundits from the Valley and exclusion of the non<BR>Muslims from the current struggle combined with the<BR>communalisation of the Kashmiri society in 1947 with<BR>the Indian and Pakistani invasion need serious<BR>understanding. However, whatever knowledge I could<BR>gain Kashmir is still the place where the respect for<BR>all religions and a strong potential for a progressive<BR>democracy exists. <BR>However, Kashmiris alone are not in a position to<BR>arrange a conducive environment required for peace and<BR>democratic politics. For the Indian and Pakistani<BR>armies which invaded Kashmir under the command of<BR>British generals and the pretext of ‘protecting’<BR>Kashmiris from the other side, are not only still<BR>there, their number as well as anger is increased many<BR>folds. Kashmiris need help from all those who<BR>genuinely care for peace and democracy around the<BR>world. Britain, US and other influential powers surely<BR>has the intellectual, technological, political and<BR>economic skills, resources and abilities to provide<BR>that help. However, this requires the immediate<BR>recognition of Kashmiris a party, perhaps the primary<BR>party to the Kashmir dispute. Currently this does not<BR>seem the case. British foreign minister Jack Straw as<BR>reported on BBC Radio 4 on 3 Jan 2002 at midnight, is<BR>the latest British politician to describe Kashmir as a<BR>bilateral issue. Can we blame young and old Kashmiris<BR>in Kashmir as well in Britain think that in relation<BR>to Kashmir issue Britain always had its economic<BR>interests ahead of its commitment to the principles of<BR>justice and democracy? Indeed the democratic and<BR>progressive Kashmiris find themselves suffocated in<BR>this atmosphere of allegations, but can not do much<BR>unless Britain show a tangible change in its policy on<BR>Kashmir. If our Prime Minister Tony Blair shares his<BR>foreign minister’s perspective on Kashmir then<BR>possibilities of ignoring the wishes of the Kashmiri<BR>people once again appear very strong. I have lost<BR>count that how many times will be this that Britain<BR>did not take the wishes of Kashmiris into account.<BR>That is why I feel nervousness running deep in my<BR>bones on Tony’s visit. And that is why I would like to<BR>ask our Prime Minister, on behalf of the five hundred<BR>thousand British Kashmiris and 14 millions inside<BR>Kashmir, please do not do this to us, Kashmiris, this<BR>time round. Initiate a serious process to resolve<BR>Kashmir issue with Kashmiris at its core. This is the<BR>only ground on which in my view, he would not feel too<BR>uncomfortable while delivering ‘tough massage’ to<BR>Bajpayee and Musharaf to have a ‘calming influence’<BR>over the hot ceasefire line dividing Kashmir. Let us<BR>hope that Tony Blair will recognise the Kashmiris in<BR>South Asia as a people (based on the State Subject<BR>Legislation of 1927, approved by the Maharaja Hari<BR>Singh in response to a long campaign around ‘Kashmir<BR>for Kashmiris’ and on his return the British<BR>Kashmiris, on the basis rooted in the history and<BR>cotemporary situation in South Asia and also due to<BR>the limitations of the other identities ascribed to<BR>British Kashmiris, particularly from POK, in meeting<BR>the community, linguistic and socio-psychological<BR>needs of British Kashmiris.
acharya , the above diatribe is filled with flasehoods, most of which seem to be deliberate and not unintentional. For example, the following passage<P><B>From 16th August when all treaties between the<BR>princely states and the British Crown were lapsed, to<BR>the 1st of January 1948 when UN brokered a ceasefire<BR>between the aggressor armies of India and Pakistan,<BR>Kashmir existed as an independent country minus<BR>international recognition. </B><P>This is of course rubbish. Maharaja Hari Singh was the de facto ruler of Kashmir both before and after August 1947,ever since Gulab singh bought it from the British (who gave them title to that land i wonder). His despotism was no worse than that of the Nizam of Hyderabad, who ruled Hyderabad almost ever since the collapse of the Moghal empire in the early 1700's. On October 26, 1947, Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession even though he was explicitly told by Sardar Patel, that India would not object if he acceded to Pakistan. So kashmir joined the Indian Union on october 26, 1947 and not january 1948 as the author asserts.<P>One point is important to make. britain will always take the side of pakistan when it comes to kashmir, as it does today. The records of the India Office in London, recently released (see the original post and others in this thread) clearly indicate the Atlee was both perturbed and disappointed when he learned that the maharajah had signed the instrument of accession with india. Suddenly the Maharajah became an intransigent and oppresive person in the eyes of the British. never mind they got along famously with him and his forbears(after selling the territory to Gulab singh - selling pieces of territory which did not belong to you in the first place was common practice by the British and other larcenous european powers)for a hundred years . Atlee was adamant that India should not send troops into the state on October 27. But i do not recall him saying anything derogatory about the tribals invading the state 2 weeks before. Does this all seem vaguely reminiscent of what is happening today. It is the same double standard - turn a blind eye (till sept 11) to the terrorism of the jehadis but make a hue and cry about anything india does to defend her territory. I think Tony Blair should be given a polite hearing and essentially a mind your own business message, when he starts peddling his gratuitous advice.<P>Kaushal
Some Important Events Enlisted:<BR>> <BR>> 1949, October 17: Article 370 of the Union<BR>> Constitution adopted.<BR>> <BR>> 1952, July 24: Prime Minister Nehru announced<BR>> special<BR>> position for J&K under Delhi Agreement; Parliament<BR>> told Kashmir's accession to India is complete in law<BR>> and in fact. <BR>> <BR>> 1954, February 6: Constituent Assembly ratified<BR>> accession of the State to India. <BR>> <BR>> 1954 May, 14: (Indian) Constitution (Application to<BR>> J&K) Order issued by the President under article 370<BR>> extending Union Constitution to the State with<BR>> exceptions and modifications. <BR>> <BR>> 1955 December, 10: Soviet leaders Bulganan and<BR>> Kruschev arrived in Srinagar and declared that<BR>> Kashmir<BR>> question as one of states of India has been settled<BR>> by<BR>> people of Kashmir. <BR>> <BR>> 1956 March, 16: China's Chou En Lai said that the<BR>> people of Kashmir have already expressed their will<BR>> regarding accession to India. <BR>> <BR>> 1956 November, 17: State Constituent Assembly<BR>> adopted<BR>> Constitution, interalia, declaring State as<BR>> inseparable part of India. <BR>> <BR>> 1956 November, 20: Former British Prime Minister<BR>> Attlee says " Kashmir has definitely opted for Union<BR>> with India." <BR>> <BR>> 1956 November, 17: State Constituent Assembly<BR>> adopted<BR>> Constitution, interalia, declaring State as<BR>> inseparable part of India. <BR>> <BR>> 1956 November, 20: Former British Prime Minister<BR>> Attlee says "Kashmir has definitely opted for Union<BR>> with India." <BR>> <BR>> 1962 April 27: Soviet delegates to Security Council<BR>> said "Question of Kashmir as integral part of India<BR>> has been decided by the people of Kashmir." <BR>>
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