Sunday, 9 November 2014

Praznath (the identity)--a short film by Vivek Sinha

"Praznath (the identity)" - a short film, by Vivek Sinha, is the story of a young and successful Kashmiri Pandit boy who wants to return to his ancestral home in Srinagar.
Ishan Bhat (a Kashmiri Pandit) has completed his engineering in Computer Science from IIT Delhi. During his last days at college he bags a lucrative job offer in the US. However, Ishan decides to settle at his ancestral home in Srinagar instead. He hires a taxi on his way from Jammu Railway Station till Srinagar. The taxi driver is Basheer, a Kashmiri Muslim. So why did Ishan turn down a job offer in the US and opt to settle at Srinagar? How do Basheer and other Kashmiri Muslims react to Ishan's decision to settle in Kashmir? What will he do at Srinagar? Does he succeed in his objective? What happens after Ishan reaches Srinagar?
"Praznath (the identity)" seeks to answer these questions.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Birthday present for my daughter

A few months ago I was on a quiet saunter with Stuti, my daughter, when I crossed the neighbourhood shopping complex. Holding my hand she pointed towards the sweets shop asking for a chocolate. "Which one?" I asked. "Ummmm.....okkkayy.....this....i will settle for this one," she said finding it difficult to zero in on one particular type.
Chocolates are her weakness and if permitted then she could have them for lunch!!! But, Stuti knows that I allow this indulgence of hers only to an extent. She always gets upset with my objection to her over-indulgence in chocolates. "Chocolates are so tasty....why don't you give me a whole bag of chocolates to eat everyday?," is her response every time I object. "You will spoil your health if you eat too much chocolates," I try to reason out with her, every time.
Well, that day I was happy that she asked for only one chocolate. I happily bought one for her, playfully tore away it's wrapper and gave the chocolate bar to her. And we walked ahead.
A few minutes later, Stuti, while still eating the chocolate said, "You know teacher says that during earlier times our planet earth was very beautiful but we have now made it verrry dirty."
"Hmmm....okay," I nodded, glad that my daughter showed concern towards the environment at such young age. She was merely five years old, then.
As if suddenly, I realised and looked at her. I realised that I had thrown the chocolate's wrapper on the road instead of disposing it off in a dustbin. I apologised to her. She smiled and we turned back to pick up the wrapper from the road side.
Several months have passed since this incident, but I still vividly remember this and 'am writing about it today. Why?
Well, today Stuti has turned six years old and I could not think of a better B'day gift than to take a pledge that I will never ever commit any act that dirties our environment and the Mother Earth. Years later, when I will be no more, it is the earth, the rivers, the mountains, the environment that will still be with Stuti and I wish they remain clean so that my daughter stays in good health.
Happy Birthday Stuti!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Jammu Kashmir and our armed forces

Journalism lessons from an "Aam Aadmi" in Uniform 

Vivek Sinha
It was a cold and foggy winter night of January and he stood guard at the barricades near India’s Parliament in Delhi. His mandate was clear and simple: Provide security to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who was sitting on a dharna demanding dismissal of a few personnel in the Delhi Police. 

Yes, he was one of the men in uniform and yet was unmindful of all kinds of slogan mongering by the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) men that bordered verbal abuse on the police personnel. A constable in the SSB (Sashastra Sema Bal), he stood his ground, bereft of the happenings in his immediate vicinity and braving the biting cold of Delhi along with the vitriolic barbs by AAP men.

Just a few days back he had returned from Jammu Kashmir and was scheduled to be on his way back to his home town in West Bengal when this sudden dharna by the incumbent Delhi Chief Minister made him report for duty.

“How come you are interested in knowing my side of the story?  See all media cameras are focused towards the men on dharna,” the constable said when I quizzed him about his personal views about the ongoing protests by incumbent state government of Delhi. 

The sarcasm in his voice was striking.

“Well, I wish to understand issues in its totality…I wish to know the other side of the story as well…tell me about the ground realities in Jammu Kashmir as well..,” I said, undeterred by his sarcasm and boasting about myself as to how I was a “bit different” from other journalists.

“How many times have you chased a news story beyond the confines and comforts of Delhi?” the constable interrupted my intellectual babble.

I was stunned by this plain speak.

Hitherto, it has been the preserve of Editors who put up this question in newsroom meetings to shake Reporters out of their comfort zones.

But here, five minutes into the conversation and I was rendered speechless by a constable---an Aam Aadmi in uniform.  

However, this discussion was not to win a debate, rather to understand the psyche and difficulties faced by our security forces and police personnel during their line of duty while defending our country.

“You journalists make an issue out of non-issues …and this whole process eclipses the real concerns of our country…,” the constable went on.

“And what are those concerns?”  I asked interrupting him.

“A few months back when I was posted near the holy cave of Amarnath in Jammu Kashmir, there was a planned terrorist strike at our post,” the constable said, “…after a heavy exchange of gunfire we killed seven terrorists.”

“And next morning the talking point in media was a demonstration in Kashmir Valley that demanded removal of AFPSA--Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. Experts and senior Journalists debated if it was the right time to repeal this Act… Not even a single word was said about the deadly encounter or how this terrorist attack was aimed at disturbing the fragile peace in Jammu Kashmir...," the constable went on.  

By this time a small crowd of police and security personnel had gathered around us who were listening intently to our discussion.

“The media has presented a grossly distorted picture of Jammu Kashmir,” said another constable of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) joining our discussion. He further explained that security people fire only when it’s the last resort, “… despite this we have been painted as aggressors who are in Jammu Kashmir only to kill and plunder.”

Another senior officer explained that a lot of locals across Jammu Kashmir support and respect the security forces. “It is just a handful of elites from the Kashmir valley who have hijacked the entire discourse about the state of Jammu Kashmir. Even the mainstream media plays into their hands, which is really unfortunate.”

I could not agree more. Some research, later on, about mainstream media’s style of coverage of  Jammu Kashmir threw some startling facts and presented a picture of vicious cycle of propagation of falsehoods. 

Delhi-based Journalists who often set the national agenda rarely visit Jammu Kashmir to get a first hand information about the ground realities and most often rely only on local stringers (rookie reporters hired on an ad-hoc basis by media organizations) to get “news” about the state.

Most often, these local stringers who are based in Srinagar and have dubious credentials pass biased and prejudiced opinions of the separatists as “news feeds”. The newspaper and news channels pick up these “prejudiced news reports” which they pass on as the “reality of Jammu Kashmir”.

Yet again, these "news reports" get picked up by other local news channels and newspapers in other parts of the country and broadcasted and published further. In effect, this ensures a distorted viewpoint about Jammu Kashmir being propagated across the country. A viewpoint that suits and benefits the Separatists from Kashmir Valley. 

Another interesting trend was the extreme obsession of mainstream media with events only in the Kashmir Valley, thereby ignoring the popular public sentiment across Jammu and Leh regions.

But then how does all this affect the morale of security forces?

“We Can, We Will and We Are fighting the terrorists across Jammu Kashmir. Our security forces are fully capable of defeating all anti-national forces but how do we fight the perception battle that is constantly being tarnished by certain sections of the media,” the officer questioned me. “How do I motivate my soldiers to fight anti-national elements and risk their lives when question marks are constantly raised over the misuse of AFPSA and on our motives,” the officer continued. He added that security forces open fire only when it is the last option and when they are at the receiving end of constant firing from terrorists. 

“We too are the Aam Aadmi of India, we too have a family, yet we risk our lives to keep the country secure. And what do we expect in return? A simple recognition of our work will go miles in boosting our morale,” the constable said looking 

World over security forces receive adulation from their countrymen for their sacrifice, yet unfortunately in India we have purposefully chosen to undermine our own security force, oblivious of the perilous ramifications it can have for our country.

Uninformed remarks on Jammu Kashmir by Prashant Bhushan----- AAP's "intellectual" may fail to dent the spirit of our security forces but it certainly helps feed into the vicious cycle of Separatists propaganda about the state.     

I looked at my wrist watch that said it was 1:30 AM and tightened the woolen muffler around my neck to beat the intense cold that was getting severe every minute. 

“Please excuse us, we need to get back to our duty now,” the constable said smiling.

“Thank you for your time and thanks for making me remind of my duty,” I said shaking hands with them.

Before I could take leave I promised the SSB personnel, and importantly to myself, that very soon I will go to Jammu Kashmir to take stock of the ground realities and apprise the country about the real picture in Jammu Kashmir.

“Yes, this will be real Journalism,” I told myself as I headed home.

(First written and published in January 2014 during the infamous protests of Shri Arvind Kejriwal--the then Chief Minister of Delhi) 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Communist AAP

(First written and published in January 2014 during the infamous protests of Shri Arvind Kejriwal--the then Chief Minister of Delhi) 

An Open Letter to the Chief Minister of Delhi

Dear Mr. Arvind “anarchist” Kejriwal,

I am forced to write this letter to you just because you have been misusing my name and continue to do so for your own parochial designs and to further the devious Maoist agenda of destabilizing my beloved India.

Yes, I am an Aam Aadmi (common man) who enjoys no VIP privileges who likes to spend time with his family and takes pride in the democratic institutions of this country. I may criticize the government and its functioning time and again, yet I am fully aware that the Indian Constitution offers me enough safeguards to correct the procedural lapses or wrongs (if any) without undermining country’s democracy and without creating anarchy in the society. One such safeguard is the process of electing a government through which anonymous Aam Aadmi(s) cast their vote and elect representatives to run the government.

After your high voltage dharnas for the creation of Jan Lokpal along with your Guru Anna Hazare you entered the political arena of Delhi, brandishing the broom (Jhadu) in your hands. You had then said that your Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will offer a clean government in the state of Delhi and promised to make our lives simpler and better. A lot of Aam Aadmi(s) took your promises on face value and voted for AAP such that your party in its electoral debut won 28 seats thereby making it the second largest party in Delhi’s assembly.

What happened next and how you formed government along with the support of Congress party is of common knowledge and I will not waste your “precious” time in reiterating those issues.

My biggest concern is about what’s happening now.  

“Yes I am an anarchist and I will spread anarchy,” you said soon after sitting at the dharna near Parliament. Your dharna which began on this 20th day of January 2014 is to raise issues for the Aam Aadmi, like me.

Mr “anarchist” Kejriwal let me make it very clear that we the Aam Aadmi are not as gullible as your scores of AAP volunteers whom you can and do fool, all the time. No Aam Aadmi voted for your party to undermine the democratic set up of this country. 

The Constitutional systems and its safeguards remain rock solid and strong. The earlier Congress government did not follow these robust processes in letter and spirit thereby causing huge dissent among the Delhi’s Aam Aadmi. So when this Aam Aadmi voted for you they had expected that you and your party’s ministers along with your gullible volunteers will follow the existing Constitutional processes in the right form and in letter and spirit.

No Aam Aadmi had ever said that the Constitution should be re-written or the spirit of democracy be subverted in the country. You and all your ministers sitting on a dharna just before the Republic Day celebrations, smacks of your devious designs. It is now clear that your ultimate aim is to destabilize India in the name of Aam Aadmi.

Mr “anarchist” Kejriwal this Aam Aadmi, whom you seem to have made your own patent property is a true patriot who can lay his lives to save this country from anarchy. Even the Police personnel who are your favourite punching bag are indeed true patriots. You may mock the sacrifice of Delhi Police’s Mohan Chand Sharma by calling the Batla House encounter as fake, but the Aam Aadmi understands that your denunciation of Mohan Chand Sharma is only to gain political benefits. Mohan Chand Sharma will remain a hero who laid down his life for the security of Aam Aadmi.  

Further, what are you trying to prove through your dharna? That the Indian Constitution has not worked at all? Or that the democratic institutions such the Parliament or Legislative Assembly or the Judiciary or the Police should be subverted and be replaced by vigilante mob of Maoists?

I take strong exception to your using the Aam Aadmi’s name to further the Maoist agenda of systemic upheaval of democracy in this country.

You were fully aware that the Delhi Police was not under the state government of Delhi when you took oath as Delhi's Chief Minister. Yet, despite this your ministers repeatedly issue diktats to the Delhi Police personnel and subvert law. Your government may have differences with the Delhi Police but then there are several provisions within the Constitutional ambit whereby you can make your voice heard. By sitting on a dharna and mocking at the Republic Day Parade you stand exposed Mr “anarchist” Kejriwal. Only the traitors like the Maoists deplore National festivals such as the Republic Day.  

The stench of your arrogance is becoming unbearable now. The Aam Aadmi has now understood that you and all your ministers are grossly incapable of governance. We now know that you and your coterie of supporters are professional protesters who are taking orders from Maoist commanders such that India could be destabilized. 

But the Aam Aadmi of this country will never let this happen and we definitely will defeat this Maoist design.  

So your dream of creating “anarchy” in India will remain a dream.

Yours trul
Vivek Sinha 
(an Aam Aadmi of India)

Web-link to this letter published in weekly Organiser

It's time for India to bring back PoJK (Pak occupied Jammu Kashmir)

Vivek Sinha

I vividly remember that day in school when a simple exercise about map explanation turned out to be a big shocking experience for me. The assignment was to draw the external boundaries of various Indian states and mark important cities therein.

Each student chosen to draw the boundaries of one Indian state would also mark its major cities and explain the state’s historical, geographical and political importance to the whole class.

I was to explain about Jammu Kashmir.

“This is Jammu Kashmir and this is the state’s capital city Srinagar,” I said pointing my little fingers towards Srinagar on the map.

“…the famous 'silk route' passed through this state which served as the world’s major trade route since ancient times. Jammu, Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad, Gulmarg, Mirpur are other important cities of this state. The state has famous pilgrimage centres such as the Sharada Peeth, Amarnath Shrine and Mata Vaishno Devi….” I went on with my erudite explanation about the state.

“So, where do you want to go in Jammu Kashmir?” the teacher asked.

“Hmmm….well, I want to go to Sharada Peeth,” I said after a brief pause.

I had read that Sharada Peeth was the great centre for learning and was the place where our Vedas were first written, but this seat of high learning was now in ruins and shambles. Yet, being a student I felt a strong connect with Goddess Saraswati's abode--the Sharada Peeth, and wanted to visit the shrine.

The teacher smiled and said, “Yes that is a noble thought but you need to have a passport to go go get a passport.”

“Passport? Why do I need a passport to visit an Indian city?” I said in exasperation.

“Well, the Sharada Peeth is part of a large region that is with Pakistan and is now known as Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK)…so you must seek Pakistan’s permission by taking a visa to visit any place in the PoJK,” the teacher explained.

“B...but how can this be true… see this is the map of Jammu Kashmir and here are Sharada Peeth, Srinagar, Jammu, Gilgit-Baltistan, Gulmarg, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad which are all within the territorial limits of this state and a part of India so why do I need a visa and a passport…,” I blurted out.

“Yes this is true but then this truth exists only on paper…in reality a huge portion of our Jammu Kashmir is still with Pakistan which is known as the Pak occupied Jammu Kashmir…so cities such as Gilgit-Baltistan, Sharada Peeth, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad are all under Pakistan’s illegal control ever since India’s independence. And we in India have still not been able to get control over this entire region...,” the teacher elaborated as I listened with stunned silence.

When this incident took place I was a student of standard sixth and found it hard to believe and digest that India has not been able to take back its own region from Pakistan.

This was several years back.

Much water has flown through the Jhelum and Indus rivers of Jammu Kashmir since then, but I still find it hard to digest why India has not been able to wrest back its own region-- the PoJK, from Pakistan.

Ironically, Pakistan that has committed worst forms of human rights violation with the people of Gilgit-Batistan, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, destroyed the centre of learning--Sharada Peeth, and many other parts of PoJK, celebrates a “solidarity” day for “Kashmiri people” on February 5.

The Pakistani establishment commemorate this day to reaffirm their commitment to support all kinds of terrorist activities on the Indian side of Jammu Kashmir.

Pakistani politicians, ministers and terrorist leaders take a pledge on this day to provide arms and ammunition to separatists and terrorist outfits operating across Jammu Kashmir to help them continue their proxy war against the Indian security forces and Indian establishment.

This year also the Pakistan National Assembly passed a resolution expressing moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Jammu Kashmir. In fact, in the garb of providing support, the Pakistani authorities provide covert funds to Separatists and for various kinds of terrorist activities across the state.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm in India, the Ministry of External Affairs need to take up these issues at the diplomatic level with Pakistan. It is high time that the mist be cleared about Jammu Kashmir's accession to India and everybody should know that we do have a watertight case against Pakistan on Jammu Kashmir.

Consider this: The accession of Jammu Kashmir with India happened through the same process as that of other Princely States so no questions can be raised about the region being an integral part of India. Even the oft-repeated claims of Plebiscite in Jammu Kashmir had become invalid after United Nations said that Pakistan never fulfilled the mandated preconditions before a referendum could be held in the state.

Further, on February 22, 1994 both houses of the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) passed a unanimous resolution reaffirming its stand to take back the region of Jammu Kashmir occupied by Pakistan.

“On behalf of the People of India…(we) firmly declare that the State of Jammu Kashmir has been, is and shall be an integral part of India and any attempts to separate it from the rest of the country will be resisted by all necessary means... and demands that Pakistan must vacate the areas of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, which they have occupied through aggression and resolves that all attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of India will be met resolutely,” reads the Indian Parliamentary resolution of February 22, 1994 in clear terms.

Hari Singh, erstwhile Maharaja of the then princely state of Jammu Kashmir had on October 26, 1947 signed the instrument of accession with the government of India. With his signature on the instrument of accession and India's acceptance of that letter, the entire state of Jammu Kashmir became an integral part of India and that includes Gilgit-Baltistan and other Pak-occupied regions of Jammu Kashmir. And it is in these regions wherein the revered Sharda Peeth lies. Sadly, this pious pilgrimage site where our Vedas were written is in ruins. It is time that the world knows about Sharda Peeth and its importance for Hindus. It’s time that we initiate processes to bring back the remaining portion of Jammu Kashmir to India.  Annual pilgrimage to the revered Sharda Peeth in the PoJK could be a beginning point.


How deliberate historical fallacies created myths about Jammu Kashmir’s accession to India

How deliberate historical fallacies created myths about Jammu Kashmir’s accession to India

Vivek Sinha 

History, in India, is a strange subject and historians even stranger. The subject is reviled by students who perceive it to be dull and boring. This, in effect, encourages rote learning of the subject and bereft of any meaningful discussions--so very essential to acquire historical knowledge. And historians, especially the “Eminent Leftist Historians” of India are well aware of this fact. Yet they have, by design, let history-learning remain that way in schools and colleges.

Strange as it may sound, but then this dull and boring ‘history-teaching-and-learning’ devoid of any discussions and factual analysis suits the agenda of our “Eminent Historians”. How?

Well, boring it may be, yet history provides a sneak preview of what has happened in our past, helps guide actions in the present and sets the course for future road map.

A basic tenet of history writing remains that it should be based on facts and empirical evidence. This indeed is a tedious task and historians sift through volumes of evidence to simplify the past and based on the facts uncovered, write history for books and textbooks.  

In schools, a vast majority of students take more interest in science, maths, economics, finance or other such subjects and show only a cursory interest at historical developments of the yesteryear. Almost always, students do not go beyond the words of our “Eminent Historians” to cross-check facts or scrutinize the evidence on which a dictum has been pronounced. Neither have efforts been made to change this. Certain major events, thus, get etched in an individual's memory for a long-long time. 

India’s “Eminent Leftist Historians” are well aware of this and have hence unleashed their devious agenda towards historical analysis and distorted all historical discussions in the public sphere.

And nowhere does this manifest more than in the case of Jammu Kashmir—an erstwhile princely state during British rule in India.

Ask any well-educated person about the date of accession of Jammu Kashmir with India, and the answer appears nowhere close to facts or to reality. In all likelihood one would hear: “Well, the State of Jammu Kashmir acceded to India some time during 1950s!!!” And mind you, these replies come from those armed with heavy-duty college degrees, sitting pretty at powerful positions both in the public and private sectors who form the crux of opinion makers. Also, after you pop the question about Jammu Kashmir’s accession to India the discourse will quickly veer towards plebiscite, the ongoing disputes and how this became the “Kashmir issue” and so on.

Okay, let’s first have a hard look at the facts.

The state of Jammu Kashmir acceded to the Indian Union on October 26th, 1947. Yes you read it right. There is no typo either on the date--October 26, or the year--1947.

Hari Singh, the erstwhile Maharaja of Jammu Kashmir signed the “Letter of Accession” on October 26th 1947 which was counter-signed by the then Governor General Lord Mountbatten on October 27th 1947.

“…and whereas the Government of India Act, 1935, as so adapted by the Governor General, provides that an Indian State may accede to the Dominion of India by an Instrument of Accession executed by the Ruler thereof…, therefore, I Shriman Inder Mahinder Rajrajeswar Maharajadhiraj Shri Hari Singhji, Jammu & Kashmir Naresh Tatha Tibbet adi Deshadhipati, Ruler of Jammu & Kashmir State, in the exercise of my Sovereignty in and over my said State do hereby execute this my Instrument of Accession and…..I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of India…(and)…I hereby declare that I execute this Instrument on behalf of this State and that any reference in this Instrument to me or to the Ruler of the State is to be construed as including a reference to my heirs and successors. Given under my hand this 26th day of October, nineteen hundred and forty seven.” Hari Singh, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir State signed on this Letter of Accession. 

This happened on the night of October 26th, 1947 and on the wee hours of October 27, 1947 Mountbatten accepted this letter of accession. 

“I do hereby accept this Instrument of Accession. Dated this twenty seventh day of October, nineteen hundred and forty seven,” reads the letter of acceptance signed by Lord Mountbatten, Governor General of India.

Moreover, the Government of India Act 1947 clearly mentions that once this Letter of Accession was signed by the ruler of the princely state it stood as a final settlement that could not be challenged either by the Indian or Pakistani governments or even by the British Parliament. All princely states acceded to India or to Pakistan on this same letter format.

Importantly, these are all public documents (the letter of accession by Maharaja Hari Singh and its subsequent acceptance by Mountbatten) that are available for scrutiny by anybody.

This is just a glimpse of the level of orchestrated distortion in the present historical discourse in India wherein the “public perception” about the date of accession of Jammu Kashmir has been successfully distorted by Leftist historians so much so that a vast majority of Indians have been deliberately confused about exact date of state’s accession.

Let us also analyse the facts through which this confusion has been created. 

Along with the acceptance of accession letter Mountbatten also sent a separate letter to Maharaja Hari Singh.

In his letter, Mountbatten said, “…it is my government’s wish that, as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader the wishes of the people be ascertained.”

Both “Leftist Historians” and Kashmiri Separatists have been taking refuge in this letter citing it as evidence that people of Kashmir should have a right for self-determination. Yet again facts have been blatantly ignored all these years.

Yes, Mountbatten did write a letter but then did it have any legal status? The Leftist historians do mention about Mountbatten’s letter to Maharaja Hari Singh and its talk about ascertaining people’s wishes but choose to remain comfortably silent over whether it has any legal basis. The letter merely talks about Mountbatten’s "wish" to ascertain people’s view in Jammu Kashmir. It had and has absolutely no legal basis. Also, did Mountbatten write similar letters to other princely states about his wish? The answer is No. Then why did Mountbatten write a letter only to Maharaja Hari Singh?

And look at its after effects. Any discussion about Jammu Kashmir quickly veers towards plebiscite and here too talks centre on Indian government’s commitment to give the people of “Kashmir” the right to self-determination. It is conveniently brushed aside that Jammu, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad have historically and culturally remained under the princely state of Jammu Kashmir for several centuries and on October 26, 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the letter of accession then the whole of Jammu Kashmir becomes a part of India including the Pakistan-occupied regions such as Gilgit-Baltistan, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad etc. So, rather than discussions and debates over how to take back those areas from illegal Pakistani occupation what we discuss is the legal status of Jammu Kashmir’s accession to India.

In fact, these “Eminent Historians” have further demonized Hari Singh for all of Jammu Kashmir’s ills simply because the Maharaja delayed State’s accession to India. And the reason given for this delay is that Hari Singh’s plan was to remain independent of either of the two dominions India and Pakistan.

Yet again, this is devoid of any empirical evidence.

Nowhere it’s brought out that it was Maharaja Hari Singh who foiled the devious designs of Mountbatten to make Jammu Kashmir accede to Pakistan. Or, why was India’s then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru being adamant over his demand that Maharaja pass over Jammu Kashmir to National Conference leader Sheikh Abdullah (father of Farooq Abdullah and grandfather of Omar Abdullah, National Conference leader of Jammu Kashmir) before signing on the Instrument of Accession.

Maharaja Hari Singh knew that Sheikh Abdullah was a rank opportunist who enjoyed support only among the Sunni Muslims of Kashmir valley and was leveraging his friendship with Nehru to usurp power in Kashmir. There was huge bitterness towards Sheikh Abdullah in large swathes of regions that included Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad, Jammu and Ladakh. Even in Kashmir valley the Gujjar and Shia Muslims did not consider Sheikh Abdullah as their leader.

In fact, all evidence clearly points out that Maharaja, on one hand, was trying to fend off the cunning manoeuvres of Mountbatten while on the other he was reasoning out with Nehru that Sheikh Abdullah was not the representative of the people of Jammu Kashmir. Nehru, on his part, was least bothered about state’s accession rather was overly keen to prove his “secular credentials” before the world. Amidst all this machinations Maharaja could not sign the treaty of accession with India before August 15, 1947.

Yet, Maharaja did enter into a Standstill Agreement with Pakistan on August 12, 1947. “…it is suggested that existing arrangements should continue pending settlement of details,” Hari Singh wrote in his telegram to Pakistan.

The Pakistan’s government accepted this Standstill Agreement by sending a telegram on August 15, 1947.

“Your telegram of the 12th. The Government of Pakistan agree to have a Standstill Agreement with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir for the continuance of the existing arrangements pending settlement of details and formal execution.” This was the text of reply from Government of Pakistan sent on August 15, 1947.

This Standstill Agreement meant that status quo was to be maintained between Jammu Kashmir and Pakistan. Despite this Pakistan chose to invade Jammu Kashmir and let loose its Army on the hapless Kashmiri people to kill, rape and plunder. 

All these facts have been conveniently brushed aside, thanks to the cosy relationship between our Leftist Historians and Congressmen who have over the last several decades created a smoke screen and beneath it the bogey of “Kashmir issue”.

None of the Leftist historians have ever conducted a detailed study as to why did Jawaharlal Nehru insist on having Mountbatten, a Britisher as the Governor General even after India won independence. A detailed study and analysis could throw some light on Mountbatten-Nehru nexus.

All this must change sooner rather than later. And the first step is to know and remember that the State of Jammu Kashmir acceded to India on October 26th, 1947.

Prosecute all who plotted false case against ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan

Editorial by Vivek Sinha In this era of mediocrity, excellence and passion are rare to find. If it does exist in an individual ...