Kashmir issue has finally came to an end after Modi government announced to revoke Article 370 and give it a status of union territory with state assembly. Kashmir, a land of beauty witnessed thousands of causalities, riots and chaos. It also witnessed state sponsored cross border terrorism, which results in losing life of thousands of civilians and army persons . So many movements were also observed by Kashmir under the leadership of various leaders time to time since India got freedom. Lets know about the the Key people related to Kashmir issue since India got freedom.
1. Maharaja Hari Singh :
When it was almost done and finalise that India would be freed from Britishers on August 15, 1947. It was also clear that India will be divided in two independent states Hindustan and Pakistan. On July 25, 1947 Lord Mountbatten, then Governor General of India called a meeting of 565 princely states to finalise their accession with Hindustan or Pakistan. 562 of them signed instrument of accession but three of them Jammu and Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagadh decided to be independent. Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir strongly denied to sign on instrument of accession. Jammu and Kashmir was a princely state under Hindu ruler with majority of Muslim population. Because of majority of Muslim population Pakistan was expecting that people of Jammu and Kashmir will favour Pakistan when it comes to referendum. On October 20, 1947 Pakistan sponsored Muslim tribal group attacked on Jammu and Kashmir. Around 20,000 Muslim tribals equipped with weapons left for Kashmir by Trucks. Some Pakistani army persons were also there in the group in plane unifom. Tribal group started to massacre the valley and occupied a significant portion of Kashmir area . Hari Singh felt that Jammu and Kashmir army is not capable enough to stop them. He then requested India to help them . Sardar Patel was in favour to send Indian army in support of Jammu and Kashmir but Nehru and Mountbatten denied. On other side tribals with support of Pakistan army continued looting, raping and massacre valley. In Baramula district thousands of women raped and killed brutally. On October 26, 1947 tribal group with support of Pakistan army were just 50 kilometers away from Srinagar. Now Hari Singh had no option to sign on instrument of accession. On October 27, 1947 Lord Mountbatten approved the accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India. In the morning of October 27, 1947 Sardar Patel ordered to send Indian army to Srinagar to stop looting and massacre. Indian army fought bravely and tribal group sponsored by Pakistan army had no option to go back. Finally Jammu and Kashmir became the part of India but a significant area which was captured by Pakistan sponsored tribal groups before India army was deployed is still under the control of Pakistan . This whole area is known as Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) . So it is clear that Hari Singh was most important character of Kashmir issue . He ruled the state from September 23, 1925 to June 1949 until the monarchy was not abolished. Lets discuss the personality of Hari Singh as a ruler of Jammu and Kashmir.
i) Hari Singh didn't want to go with Pakistan as he was well aware with the fact that Pakistan is a Islamic state and being a Hindu ruler he can't survive in Pakistan.
ii) Hari Singh didn't want to go with India because of democratic form of government . He feared that he will lose his power as a king because of abolition of monarchy .
iii) Hari Singh is appreciated by many as he was the person only because Jammu and Kashmir accessed with India.
iv) He is critised by many as because of his delayed decision, India lost a significant area of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan.
2. Lord Mountbatten :
Lord Mountbatten was last Governor General of India . He put a plan to free India at a cost of partition in two Independent states known as Hindustan and Pakistan . As per his plan India will be freed on August 15, 1947 at a cost of partition . He was about to finalise the new map after partition . But the main issue was there with 565 independent princely states . On July 25, 1947 He called a meeting of heads of 565 princely states and they were told to sign on instrument of accession . All the princely states signed on the instrument of accession except three Jammu and kashmir, Hyderabad, Junagadh . These three states decided to be independent . Mountbatten was a man of vision and was aware with the fact that no princely state can survive in between the two powerful states India and Pakistan . India was freed on August 15, 1947 with partition in two states Pakistan a Islamic state and Hindustan a secular state. After India got freedom Patel was in favour to access Jammu and Kashmir with military action but Mountbatten objected saying it is violation of United Nations guidelines . Even when Hari Singh approached to Indian government for military support against Pakistan sponsored tribal attack . Mountbatten express his inability to help because of United Nations guidelines . He finally agreed to send army only when Hari Singh formally signed on instrument of accession on October 27 , 1947. He is criticised by many as he didn't allowed to send Indian army until Jammu and Kashmir became the part of India . He is appreciated by many the way he handled the whole issue .
3. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel :
Sardar Patel is known as the 'Iron Man of India' because of his will power . He is the architect of united India as he is the person who integrated 565 princely states with India . By August 15, 1947 integration process of princely states was almost completed except few ones and Jammu and Kashmir was one of them. Both of the countries were trying their best to convince Hari Singh then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir for accession . But Hari Singh was on his stand not to be the part of any of two. Sardar Patel is criticised by many claiming he offered Kashmir to Pakistan . But it is far away from truth. If we will go through the historical speech of Sardar Patel after August 15, 1947. He strongly said that Jammu and Kashmir will be part of United India at any cost even by army action , if Pakistan doesn't accept democratic accession. Lets have his original speech in Hindi given after August 15, 1947 on Kashmir issue " जूनागढ़ में मक्खी भी नहीं मारनी पड़ी और दीवान ने खुद आकर कहा कि मेहरबानी करके हमIरी हुकूमत लेलो, हम नहीं चला सकते और नवाब वहां से उठकर कराची चला गया, फिर जूनागढ़ की बात क्या करोगे I कश्मीर में जो चल रहा है इस तरह तो लोकमत की क्या जरुरत है हम लड़ाई कर कश्मीर को लेले तो लोकमत की जगह कहाँ रही I हमारा सिपाही मरता रहे, हम पैसा खर्च करते रहे, गांव के गांव जलाये जाये, हिन्दू और सिखो को तबाह किया जाये तो वह लोकमत कहा रहा I तो आखिर हमें बन्दुक से लेना है तो लेंगे लेकिन हमने एक बात साफ की कश्मीर की जमीन हम छोड़ने वाले नहीं है "
He strongly favoured army action, when Pakistan sponsored tribal group attacked on Kashmir on October 20, 1947. But because of oppose of Mountbatten and Nehru it could not be done. Indian army was deployed in Kashmir only on October 27, 1947 and till then a significant area of Kashmir valley was captured by Pakistan.
4. Rajendra Singh :
Brigadier Rajendra Singh was Jammu and Kashmir chief at the time when Pak sponsored tribal group attacked. On October 20, 1947 Pak sponsored tribal groups equipped with weapons left for Kashmir. They were around 20,000 in number. Hari Singh then king of Jammu and Kashmir came to know about the attack but he was very much confident that Jammu and Kashmir army force is capable enough to stop them. Hari Singh called Rajendra Singh, then chief of Jammu and Kashmir armed forces. Hari Singh instructed Rajendra Singh to make armed forces be ready for attack. Rajendra Singh was aware with the ground reality. He said that Jammu and Kashmir armed forces are ready and capable enough to challenge and stop Pakistani attack but still we will lose. He said 70% of Jammu and Kashmir armed forces are Muslims and it is possible that they will change their side when it comes to a war for Muslim state. But Hari Singh believed that nothing like this is going to be happen. But when Pakistan attacked majority of Muslim armed forces changed their side in the name of Islamic state. Tribal groups were moving ahead massacring Kashmir and within three days they arrived near Uri. By the evening of October 23, 1947 Pak sponsored tribal group had arrived in Uri. They planned to move for Srinagar in the morning of October 24, 1947. Srinagar was just 60 Kilometers away from Uri. Now it was clear that within two days Pakistan will capture whole Kashmir valley. Hari Singh requested India for military help and Sardar Patel favoured. But Mountbatten and Nehru denied to help. Rajendra Singh had no option to surrender before Pakistan supported tribal forces. Rajendra Singh send Hari Singh to Jammu to ensure his safety. Rajendra Singh made a plan to stop Pakistan tribal forces. There was a pull over river between Uri and Srinagar and it was the only way from where one can arrive Srinagar. In the night on October 23, 1947 Rajendra Singh broken the pull connecting Uri and Srinagar. It was the turning point and Pak forces had no option to change their route to Srinagar. Now they had only one option to go through Baramula which takes almost two to three days. But unfortunately Rajendra Singh sacrificed his life while stopping Pakistani forces. But only because of his sense of humor and bravery Kashmir is a part of united India. He was honored with Maha Vir Chakra. He was also the first recipient of Mahavir Chakra.
5. Jawahar Lal Nehru :
Jawahar Lal Nehru was first prime minister of India and is one of the key people related to Kashmir issue. Even being a prime minister he never shown his personal interest in accession of Kashmir and other princely states. He is blamed for being liberal and indecisive on Kashmir issue. Here are the mistakes committed by Nehru on Kashmir issue and that's he is blamed.
* Integration of 565 princely states with India was a great challenge and that's why this responsibility was given to Sardar Patel. Sardar Patel favoured to access Jammu and Kashmir at any cost. But Nehru decided to be neutral.
* Sardar Patel strongly favoured to send Indian army in support of Kashmir when Pakistan attacked on October 20, 1947. But Nehru denied to do so. This is the reason why India had to lose Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
* He took Kashmir issue to United Nations on January 1, 1948 . Now the question is, was Kashmir a disputed. Definitely not ! Hari Singh had already signed on instrument of accession and Kashmir was a part of United India.
* Even after oppose from Sardar Patel and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee like leaders he favoured and add most controversial article of Indian constitution Article 370 . India had paid a lot for the mistake committed. 6. Shyama Prasad Mukerjee :
Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukerjee was the first person who openly and strongly opposed Article 370. Dr. Mukerjee was Cabinet minister in Nehru ministry when Article 370 was adopted by constituent assembly . He resigned from Nehru ministry to form a new political party 'Bhartiya Jansangh' . Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukerjee was arrested while trying to enter in Kashmir without permission . He was arrested and jailed in Srinagar. During his custody in Srinagar he died under mysterious circumstances. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Lal Krishna Advani like leaders never let to die Article 370 issue . Narendra Modi government has finally revoked Article 370 and dedicated it to Dr. Mukerjee.