Selling the sinking Boat (Kashmir Chapter)

Today I will talk about the ceding of the throne of Jammu & Kashmir after the Tibet disaster.

Firstly a little briefing about the 600 states which were merged into India:

When British left India, the sub-continent was divided into 3 zones. The territory directly under the rule of British India was divided into India / Pakistan on the basis of the demography. However there were more than 800 princely states which were given freedom. By diplomatic efforts of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, all 600 states which lie under India’s jurisdiction were united. The trouble came from 3 regions:

State of Junagadh: The Hindu king wished to be independent. It was rumored that the king there was more interested in dogs than actual citizens.

The Nizam of Hydrabad: The Muslim ruler wished to join Pakistan. It would have been a major security concern for India to have a landlocked independent state in the heart of its territory. So ignoring Nehru’s instructions Patel intervened and marched into the state.

The state of J&K: The Hindu king Raja Hari Singh ruled over the Muslim subjects, because if the distrust for Pakistan, he decided to remain independent. Nehru honored this decision.

Now the crushing defeat of India against China raised Pakistan hopes. They send across the light infantry with a hope that locals will join hands and give it a face of popular revolt against the senile king. The march of Pakistan was unhindered and the king flew immediately to seek India’s support.

Now the interesting developments happen. The home minister (Patel) was not allowed to join in. All the terms which the king wanted (before the onset of the emergency) was accepted to and a few additional concessions were doled out.

1) There shall be a prime minister of J&K instead of the usual CM?
2) The state placed under foreign ministry instead of the home ministry. (Nehru personally looked after the foreign ministry and wanted Patel out of the whole matter)
3) Host of sops. Like free food, development plans, infrastructure projects.
4) Indians from other parts of the country cannot go and buy property. So the rules of the mainland were not applicable. Few of the Jan Sang members who protested this were arrested in Jammu for entering the state of J&K without permission.
5) Usually the area of governance of centre and state are divided into central state and concurrent list. In the concurrent list both centre and the state have powers to enact laws, but in case of a conflict, the centre rules. However it was the reverse for J&K. The state had more power and jurisdiction.
6) In UN India proudly announced that it will do a referendum to know the people’s wish. Even after repeated reminders this promise was never fulfilled and added to India’s long list of foreign affairs disaster.

It makes no common sense to bend over for a state which urgently needed your support.