Was Accession Fair & Legal ?

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Was Maharaja Hari Singh dithering in deciding whether to join India, Pakistan or stay independent in 1947? 

The way Quit Kashmir  call was initiated  and projected by National Conference leadership   surely  cultivated  bitterness in the mind of the  prince of J&K. In a way NC demanded that with the retreat of the British from India, the prince should also hand over the government to the people of J&K like the British crown was to hand over to Congress for India Dominion. And to add to this some of the  then Congress leaders in a way supported Quit Kashmir call given by Sheikh Abdallah. 

Acting upon their advice Maharaja Hari Singh appointed Sheikh Abdullah as the Prime Minister of J&K immediately on acceding  to India Dominion. Hari Singh could have taken such attitude of Congress leadership as an irritant and he had all reasons for that. More so there were leaders like that of J&K Muslim Conference to oppose National Conference. This could have delayed Maharaja’s decision. 

Such like indications do emerge from the contents of Hari Singh’s letter of 26th Oct 1947 addressed  to Lord Mountbatten ,GGOI. The letter says “I may Inform your Excellency´s Government that it is my intention to at once set up an interim government & ask Sheikh Abdullah to carry the responsibilities in this emergency with my Prime Minister”.  Otherwise what was there so pleasing for GOI in Hari Singh asking  Sheikh Abdullah to carry the responsibilities in that emergency with his Prime Minister since .

Mountbatten in his letter of 27th Oct 1947 addressed to Hari Singh had said ::  “My Government and l note with satisfaction that your Highness has decided to invite Sheikh Abdullah to form an interim Government to work with your Prime Minister”.

Where the final boundaries of New Dominion of Pakistan were not finally settled by 15th August?

As per Section – 4 Schedule –II  of Indian  Independence Act of July 1947  the  districts provisionally  included in THE NEW PROVINCE OF WEST PUNJAB.{ West Pakistan }  were  (i) from the Lahore Division : the districts of Gujranwala, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Sheikhupura and Sialkot. ; (ii) from Rawalpindi Division : the districts of Attock, Gujrat, Jhelum, Mianwali, Rawalpindi , Shahpur and (iii)  from  the Multan Division : the districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Jhang,- Lyalipur, Montgomery, Multan and Muzaffargarh.  A crude / rough border line for Pakistan  had  been drawn up by Lord Wavell Viceroy of India prior to his replacement with Lord Louis Mountbatten in February 1947.As per  provisional  borders of upcoming  West Pakistan , the Princely state of Hari Singh was to in a way have no immediate working  surface road  link with Indian Punjab. 

In June 1947, the British Government had appointed Sir Cyril Radcliffe  as Chairman of the  Boundary Commission for  Bengal and  Boundary Commission for  Punjab. The Commission was advised  to “demarcate the boundaries of the two parts of the Punjab on the basis of  contiguous majority Muslim areas and non Muslim  areas ; some other undefined factors that could be kept in view  like “natural boundaries, communications, watercourses , irrigation systems, as well as socio-political consideration. Each commission had 2 representatives  each from  Indian National Congress and Muslim League.  Radcliffe reached India in 2nd week of July 1947 { May be 8 July } .

Radcliffe  wanted more time  but  was prevailed upon by Mountbatten for accepting to  finish the task  by 14/15 August. But the final Radcliffe Award keeping Gurdaspur District  except for the sub-division of Shakargarh  out of West Pakistan  was announced after 15th August 1947. It was only after this that a direct regular working  link with India dominion was  available to J&K. The Radcliffe Line became the border between India and Pakistan around  17 August 1947.Although there was no condition for  doing accession only before 15th Aug, still it was  not done immediately even after 17th August by Hari Singh since by then the local environments  for Hari Singh had not remained  even as congenial as they were before 14th august 1947.

Daya Sagar

Jammu

Dayasagr45@yahoo.com 


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

KO SUPPLEMENTS