‘Undermining Accession is Undermining Unity of Nation’-Panelists
JAMMU, Oct 17: Taking serious view of Omar Abdullah’s recent statement in the Legislative Assembly regarding accession followed by SM Krishna’s irresponsible statement Panelists termed “Und-ermining the accession of J&K to India is undermining the unity of the nation”. Terming the accession a settled issue, the Panelists regretted that the mistakes committed by India from the outset in handling the issue of accession of J&K and the distortions woven around it have only nurtured the secessionism and religious fundamentalism in the state. These views were expressed by the experts in a seminar-“Under-ming the Accession” organised by Panun Kashmir at Jammu Club here today. The seminar was organised by Panun Kashmir in continunation of series of programmes aimed at educating the masses about historical and legal aspects of the accession and contest the distortions about the issue that have served as fuel to the separatist movement in the state.
Deliversing his presidential address, Panun Kashmir Chairman Dr. Ajay Chrungoo said that accession of the state is being undermined from within and outside and undermining accession is undermining the unity of the country. Dr. Chrungoo termed it a distortion of history that Kashmir issue is the unfinished agenda of the partition as the partition on religious basis was applicable to the British India only and not the princely states.
Referring to the demand of the Right of Self Determination, Dr. Chrungoo said that it should be taken into the context of India. “Infact, the Indian Independence Act, passed by the British Parliament, was denial of the right of the self determination. The people of India were not given choice to choose either of the two dominions and even they were not asked if they favoured partition. The rulers of the states were empowered to decide the future of the subjects and the principles cannot be changed in between,” he asserted.
Tracing the history of underming the accession of J&K and as a result the unity of the country, Dr. Chrungoo said that when Sheikh Abdullah talked of plenary powers of the constituent Assembly of the state and the Indian establishment didn’t contest it on the ground that the constituent Assembly of the state was the creation of the constituent Assembly of India, it amounted to underming the accession. He added that when the political establishment over looked the assault of plebiscite front and accommodated its leaders in power after 1947, it sowed the seeds of secessionism.
Terming “Peace Process” with Pakistan as ‘negation of Indian Unity, Panun Kashmir leader said its structure is ill founded and had a dig at AB Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh for negotiating on that issues that go against the sovereignty of the country. “The idea of porous borders undermines accession as it is commitment not to defend borders. Giving parity to Pakistan in Kashmir is undermining accession. The idea of stake holders is gradually pushing the state to accept the idea of nationalities as the basis of the Unity of India and as such undermines all unity not only the accession of Jammu and Kashmir,” he regretted.
Referring to the appointment of the interlocutors, Panun Kashmir leader said that we have to understand their vision of nation. He said that Prof. Radha Kumar sees democratic set up in J&K independent of India Constitution and Sh. Dileep Padganokar was part of Kashmir Committee that endorsed Musharraf formula. He said that we should analyse and internalise these developments.
Dr Chrungoo termed defending the accession of J&K a sacrosanct responsibility of all Indians and exhorted the people to celebrate “The Accession Day”.
Delivering his keynote address, Prof. MK Teng, a constitutional expert and chairman Panun Kashmir Advisory, made it emphatically clear that the accession of Jammu and Kashmir was unconditional and irrevocable as the Maharaja Hari Singh signed the same instrument of accession that other larger princely states signed and the instrument of attachment was not applicable to the state as it was a post accession arrangement to consolidate smaller units in administratively viable units. He regretted that the facts have been hidden that fed the confusion.
Terming SM Krishna’s statement as unfortunate, Prof. Teng said that either he is ignorant or it was a deliberate attempt of that very campaign of falsehood to undermine the accession of the state. He added that even terming “Instrument of Accession” as a treaty amounts to repudiate it as the Indian Department of State framed the draft of the Instrument of accession and they didn’t ask any princely state about it. “All princely states signed unconditionally. They were given no choice. It was a unilateral process of integrating India. Treaty is alway a bilateral agreement and the truth has been hidden” Prof. Teng thundered. “The instrument of accession was executed by the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir state on the terms specified by the Dominion of India. Niether the ruler of the state, Maharaja Hari Singh, nor the National Conference leaders played any role in the determination of the terms, the instrument of Accession Underlined. The Instrument of Accession was a political instrument and the accession of J&K was a political act, which had international implications for it formed a part of the process of the creation of the state of India. As the Instrument of Accession, executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, was irreversible and irreducible, irrespective of the circumstances and events in which it was accomplished,” he added.
Prof. M.K. Teng said that on the eve of independence, Indian empire had two political structures, the British India governed directly by the British and the Princely States that were 562 in number and constituted one-fourth of the population and one-third of the territory of India. He added that the partition was applicable to the British India and the princely states were out of preview of partition but upto 1947 Britishers didn’t take any state as independent entity and lapse of paramountcy didn’t change their status. Terming the decision of the British to give the rulers of princely states choice to join the either of the two dominions a conspiracy to balkanise India, Prof. MK Teng said,” they were out of purview of partition not because of Congress but British and Muslim League wanted to. They had other intentions. There were 30 to 40 Muslim ruled states and they had an understanding with the Muslim League that they wouldn’t accede to India. They wanted India to Balkanise”.
Throwing further light on the Instrument of Accession, Dr. MK Teng said that under the IoA all the princely states were to frame their own constitutions but in May 1949 princely states took a decision that Indian Constitution Assembly will frame the constitution and the rulers of the princely states signed a proclamation to this effect and the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir also signed the same proclamation.
Accusing India of leaving its Northern Frontiers undefended, Prof. Teng said that Anglo-Sexan Muslim alliance are at the half of the Northern Frontline and other half is in the focus of Pak-China Axix. He said that Kashmiri Hindus formed the front line and now focus is on Jammu as the strip from Eastern bank of the Sindh upto the Western Bank of Ravi, including Shivalik Plains, in crucial and the voice from here should rise to reach common masses as Indian political establishment is carrying the reformist legacy of the British.
Prof. Hari Om, historian, prolific writer and chairman Gulab Singh Chair, University of Jammu in his presentation, accused India of making mistakes from the outset on the issue of the accession as even today the Indian establishment does not take Kashmir as a integral part of India.
Recalling the days of accession, Prof. Hari Om said that Mehar Chand Maharaja met Jawahar Lal Nehru and gave him the feedback of the ground situation in light of the tribal-invasion and implored upon him to accept the Instrument of Accession and save the state but JL Nehru didn’t relent even though Mahajan told him that he had the instructions from the Maharaja to go to Lahore to negotiate with AM Jinnha if he failed in Delhi. He added that after receiving the slip from another room, JL Nehru said that Sheikh Abdullah also says the same thing.
Prof. Hari Om rued it was the first mistake in handling the issue as out of prejudice Sheikh Abdullah was brought into focus though he had no locus-standi in the issue.
Terming the accession as the settled issue, Prof. Hari Om said that Maharaja had the absolute powers and the Indian Independence Act didn’t envisage any conditional accession. He added that the rulers had no role in attachin conditions but the authority to accept or reject it.
Challenging the likes of Omar Abdullah, SM Krishna and P. Chidambaram for their ignorance or distortions, Prof. Hari Om said that the history depends on facts and constitutional talks are not founded on commitments and there is not a single provision in the Constitution of India to allow the opening of a settled issue of accession. “Indian leadership has been woefully ignorant about the constitution and political history of Jammu and Kashmir. The recent statement of the Foreign Minister of India virtually endorsed the speech of Omar Abdullah on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. The comparison which he made of Jammu and Kashmir with Mysore is grossly misplaced. Mysore formed the part of the smaller princely states which joined together or with the provinces in which they were placed and a such had to sign the instrument of attachment which some also call as Instrument of Merga. The bigger princely states like J&K had to accede by signing the “Instrument of Accession”, he said. Hari Om said that when you talk about unique problem, unique history and unique solution, in fact, you attack the Indian Constitution.
He further added that the merer was applicable in the basis of lanuae and if J&K would have been part of merer policy, we would have either part of Himachal or Himachal would have been part of our state.
Referring to the issue plebiscite, Prof. Hari Om said that it means endorsement by the people or their representatives and the issue of plebiscite in J&K states settled as the Assembly of J&K endorsed the accession which is final, uncondition and irrevocable.
Taking a dig at the Centre government, Prof. Hari Om said that Delhi does not treat J&K as an integral part of the state as no action was initiated against Omar Abdullah while Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah was failed for 22 years for the same reasons and Farooq Abdullah was dethroned for has objectionable statements.
Prof. Hari Om said that Jammu is going to be Kurukeshtra as the battle of truth will be fought from the soil.
Speaking on the occasion Prof. ML Koul, a renowned writer and member PK Advisory, said that partition of India was because of the Muslims and present crisis in J&K is because the Muslims of the state are not comfortable with the secular India. He termed the present movement regressive and said that all adjectives are attached to the accession as these forces want to break India.
Prof. Koul said that there was no demand of special status at the time of accession and afterwards Sheikh Abdullah allianed with the imperialist powers and indulged in subversive activities.
Prof. Koul said that if JL Nehru had made some promises same JL Nehru retracted from them in light of the plethora of correspondence between political power of Britin and Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah that betrayed Sheikh Abdullah’s treachery.
Prof. Koul excuded confidence that Kashmiri Pandits and Panun Kashmir will fight for their rights and 45 percent population of the state will not accept the servitude to Muslims.
Sh. Omkar Nath Trisal, a veteran freedom fighter who has been a witness to the unfolding of events at the time of accession, termed the accession of J&K a settled issue an charged National Conference of renegading from the agenda of Naya Kashmir and advocating only the Muslim cause. He said that at the time of invasion, all the people of the state accepted accession unconditionally and fought the aggression as one people and even National militia People’s Army -fought the Invaders. He added that the issue of conditions was raked up late when Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah joined the imperalist game plan. “Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah talked of ideological unity of J&K with India at the time of accession. He talked about Naya Kashmir programme and not about a Muslim State. It is the greatest betrayal that subsequently Sheikh and National Conference advocated only Muslim cause”, he regretted.
She. Trisal said that Pandits cannot live in a Talibanised society where coexistence has been rejected and added that is the question for the academicians in Kashmir to ponder over how a society that claimed to be socialist turned into a fundamentalist and Talibanised society.
She. Kuldeep Raina, General Secretary Panun Kashmir, proposed the vote of thanks and the proceedings were conducted by Sh. Shailendra Aima, Vice-Chairman Panun Kashmir.