Random Thoughts

Kashmir, Nehru and Sardar

Prime minister Narendra Modi while moving motion of thanks for the president’s address to the parliament mentioned the roles of of Nehru and Patel in the Kashmir imbroglio. I was reminded of an incident of my student life. It was in 1954. I was a student of B.Sc. class. One of my teachers was Prof Jawahar Lal Wakhloo. He belonged to Srinagar, Kashmir. The name of his wife was Vijayalakshami. She hailed from the distinguished Kak family. Prof B.N. Mulkerjea, the head of the department would say in lighter vein, “but not brother and sister.”

I used to talk with him occasionally about the situation in his home state. He was a very forthright and intelligent person.

Once I met him after they had returned from home after summer vacation. I asked him about the situation there. He responded in annoyed manner. He told,” We are in such a miserable state that in case a plebiscite is agreed upon, even Hindus would opt for Pakistan. I was taken aback. I asked him, “Sir, Muslims opting for Pakistan is understandable. But Hindus having preference for Pakistan is beyond my comprehension.” He replied, “ Look Conditions are such there that even well off Hindus feel insecure. In case of dispute even a daily wage earner threatens, I will report to Bakshi. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was the prime minister of Jammu & Kashmir. Prof Wakhloo added, In case we merge with Pakistan, we would be accorded the status of minority. We shall be entitled to the rights and privileges of minority. In Indian Kashmir, we are in minority, but belong to the majority community of the country. We are caught in an unenviable situation. We have no rights, neither the rights and privileges available to majority community nor the security cover available to minority community.

According to Prof Wakhloo, Kashmir story is as follows. Prime minister Jawarlal Nehru had apprehensions that the home minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was in favour of the merger of the princely state Jammu &Kashmir with Pakistan. He went to Mahatma Gandhi and emotionally implore him to persuade Sardar not to proceed with the idea. The Mahatma called Sardar and told him, “Jawahar is emotionally attached to Kashmir. You please leave it to him.” Since then Jammu and Kashmir affairs became a desk of external affairs ministry (Nehru), instead of home department (Sardar Patel) inspite of being an integral state of the union,

Thus according to my professor, had Nehru not insisted, Jammu and Kashmir might have been ceded to Pakistan.


More by :  Ganganand Jha

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