“Million March” is to be held on October 26 in London: calling for the independence of the State of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India. October 26 is the day when the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir became part of India in 1947. The rally will be led by former Prime Minister of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry. It will begin at London’s Trafalgar Square and end at Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron’s office at 10 Downing Street where a petition would be submitted urging the United Kingdom to push India to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio with Pakistan.
When the British left India, the princely states of the Indian subcontinent had the option to join either India or Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir was one among the 560-odd princely states whose political future was to be decided by its ruler. Initially, the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir chose neither India nor Pakistan. On October 22, 1947, Pakistani tribal raiders invaded Kashmir. Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, sought help from the Indian government. Indian government agreed to help only if Jammu and Kashmir State decided to join the Union of India. On October 26, 1947, the state of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the Union of India through Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, which was accepted by the then Governor General of India, Louis Mountbatten. The next day, i.e. October 27, 1947, Indian troops landed in Srinagar and stopped the aggression being displayed Pakistan.
The Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh was similar to the ones signed by other princely states in India. Additionally, the accession was also supported by National Conference, the largest political party of Jammu and Kashmir, headed by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah.
The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir endorsed the accession on November 17, 1956, and finalised the constitution for the state. Part II, Section 3 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir states, “The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India”. It meant that the accession of Jammu and Kashmir State with the Union of India was complete and irrevocable.
Further, Section 4 states, “The territory of the State shall comprise all the territories which on the fifteenth day of August, 1947, were under the sovereignty or suzerainty of the Ruler of the state.” It implies that the parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir held by Pakistan and China are illegally occupied. Part XII, Section 147 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution asserts that Section 3 of the constitution cannot be altered by any bill or amendment.
Pakistan has fomented trouble in Jammu and Kashmir State since its formation in 1947 and it continues to do so through insurgency and terrorism not only in Jammu and Kashmir, but in all of India. The most recent instance is the ceasefire violations along the international border and line of control in J&K.
On “Million March” day, Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah says, “I have no problem propounding an ideology, but rather than sitting in cosy capitals like London they should come here and do it”. It is regrettable to hear such remarks from the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister – saying that he has no problem with this ideology. What is this ideology about? It is about secession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from Union of India. In other words, it is nothing but sedition. Is the Chief Minister implying that seditious activities in Jammu and Kashmir are fine? This lackadaisical attitude by the J&K State government (irrespective of who is in power) towards such elements has led to such a state of affairs, where the separatists roam freely and create trouble. We witnessed that lately during the flood rescue and relief operations in Kashmir valley. Also, more than a couple of times, the ISIS flag has been displayed in the so-called peaceful protest, which is alarming.
While those advocating secession can participate in a “Million March” or whatever anywhere in the world, the secession of Jammu and Kashmir is not going to happen. Happy 67th Jammu and Kashmir Accession Day to the people of the nation, particularly the citizens of the state!
P.S. Folks who are participating in or supporting “Million March”, don’t forget to shout “Hum Kya Chahte, Azadi”.
(Published in Newslaundry)