A homage on the Martyrdom Day 23rd June 1953
The Sacrifice Supreme
Prof. Chaman Lal Sapru
He was ‘Shyama’ (Divine Mother’s) ‘Prasad’ born). So he remembered three times the Mother, before he left this mortal frame. First he remembered the mother who gave him birth and next he remembered the Mother India (Bharat Mata) for whose sake he sacrificed his life and lastly he remembered the Divine Mother Shyama, who embraced him and took him to his heavenly abode.
I was a college student at the time Dr. S.P. Mookerjee died in mysterious circumstances in Srinagar. When the news of his death was broadcasted on the radio, hundreds of Kashmiri youth, mainly RSS, workers, assembled in Srinagar and protested against the mysterious death of the great patriot leader of the country. It was by chance I happened to meet one Kashmiri Pandit constable on night duty outside the room of Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Govt. Hospital, Srinagar, where Dr. Mookerjee was brought from the special jail (a bungalow near famous Nishat garden, converted into a sub jail). The constable told me that Dr. Sahib was quite hale and hearty but seemed to be tired and in early hours of the fatefully-day he felt uneasy and called me, I helped him in taking water and during the restless moments he uttered only thrice MA, MA, MA (Mother, Mother, Mother) and later fell down and became unconscious. We attendants rushed to the nearby emergency room and informed medical attendants about the condition of Dr. Sahib who after examining him whispered among themselves. We could understand that Dr. Sahib was dead. Here I may add that a Hindu nurse attending Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee mentioned later that a wrong injection was given to him which proved fatal.
Dr. Mookerjee was a staunch believer in a united and powerful India. He was shocked to see his motherland divided on two-nation theory and how could he allow the designs of the Imperialists to see Kashmir, the crown of our ancient lands being snatched away through the agents of Imperialists. I had the privilege of hearing the arguments of his counsel. Barrister U.M. Trivedi, in the J&K High Court presided over by Justice Jia Lal Kilam, The crux of the argument of Shri U.M. Trivedi was that the Constitution of India defines the legal territory of the country and J&K State is an integral part of India. Any citizen of the country can move freely from any corner of India to any part of this ancient country. So why restrictions to the entry to the State and why a permit system.
I heard prominent lawyers commenting during the two days argument on the detention of Dr. S.P. Mookerjee under habeas-corpus that Doctor Sahib will be free and Hon’ble court will issue the order for his unconditional release. But nature had something else in store and Dr. Mookerjee was to be released by the Almighty from his physical bonds next day.
Dr. Mookerjee’s bungalow, turned into a small jail on the banks of Dal Lake, commanded an awe-inspiring look. In front of the Bungalow across the Dal Lake were visible two famous shrines named Sharika Chakreshwari on the Hari Parbat and oldest Shiva Temple on the famous Shankaracharya hill.
Dr. Sahib would gaze for hours of these two ancient Siddha Peethas of Srinagar and pray to Lord Shiva and Divine Mother. He prayed for a strong and united India.
His dete-ntion at Srinagar provided invisible strength and inspiration to us who were fighting for treatment at par of our state of Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of the country with rest of the states.
The history will record in golden letters the supreme sacrifice made by him for the country on the Kashmir issue after Guru Teg Bahadur Maharaj who laid his precious life to save the Kashmiri Pandits from being tortured by tyrant Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
After Dr. Mookerjee’s martyrdom the agitation to have Ek Pradhan, Ek Vidhan and Ek Nishan gained momentum in the State, particularly in the Jammu region, under the able leadership of Pandit Prem Nath Dogra and in our Valley we too protested time and again under the dynamic leadership of Pandit Makhan Lal Aima “Harkara” and made the presence of nationalists forces felt in the Valley too. We, the hard core of youngmen, alongwith Shri Aima were arrested. But the fire kindled by the martyrdom of Dr. Mookerjee could not be suppressed by undemocratic State Government. Finally Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was exposed and leaders like Rafi Ahmad Kidwal and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who were humiliated by Sheikh, compelled Prime Minister Nehru to put Sheikh behind the bars. But the Central Government did not take adequate measures to curb the anti-nationalist and separatists activities in the Valley. Jamiat-i-Islami started a planned programme of educating the young ones by starting pro-Pakistani private schools and after two decades the educated youth of the Jamiat-run schools received armed training across the border. The think tank of Iran and the Gulf as well as Saudi money poured in which strengthened the militancy and the Central Government offices in J&K as well as Kashmiri speaking (patriotic) Hindus became the soft targets and millions of them are today refugees in their own land.
It is high time to order an inquiry into the circumstances which led to the mysterious death of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee and make public the finding of Kohli Commission and other inquiry commissions appointed to go into the grievances of the minority (Hindu) community of J&K State, which is at present the worst suffer even after 62 years of Independence.
The Kashmiri Hindus in particular worship Dr. Mookerjee and Guru Teg Bahadur more so in this hour of turmoil.