Letters and Editorials 7568 Views by Ameer Tarin

Was Nehru Anti-Indian?

On Pakistani Prime TV channel, April 5, 2012, Subramaniam Swamy President India’s Bhartiya Janata Party, an economist and published author, vehemently argued that the real problem was that his party did not recognise "illegal" decision of Nehru (promise of plebiscite to people and leadership of Kashmir). Swamy added that BJP did not approve of his decision to approach UN Security Council for conducting an impartial referendum for the right of self determination and a plebiscite. Swamy was asked to explain the basis for his statement that "Muslim majority Kashmir is ours as Hindu ruler Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India through an ‘instrument of accession’ ".

Swamy was reminded of the mirror situations of Hyderabad and Junagadh whose Muslim rulers had opted to join Pakistan and both princely states were occupied by a police action by India, the argument which Swamy preferred to avoid and did not answer. Swamy was also challenged that the ‘instrument of accession’ mentioned by him did not even exist.

Subramanian Swamy supposed to be an "intellectual and a scholar", defies logic and his obtuseness conveniently tried to justify Indian occupation of Kashmir and his political arrogance led to a notion that "Kashmir is India’s conquered land". Swamy’s myopic outlook cannot take notice of twenty seven UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir guaranteeing right of self-determination and the presence of permanent UN representatives across both areas of Kashmir. Moreover, Swamy fails to recognise the fact that more than one hundred thousand people are mercilessly butchered by Indian army and its commando forces, thousands more disappeared in torture chambers, thousands of women raped and hundreds of millions worth property razed and to top it all more than seventy percent people suffer from trauma and psychological problems.

The international community is showing all concerns about this long standing human problem and the sacrifices made by people of Kashmir on a large scale cannot be ignored to satisfy some individual or groups whims and wishes. In this connection the influential US senator John McCain who had visited Kashmir last year, responding to a question at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on April 19, 2012 said, “I think Kashmir is a long standing problem…..”Lot of people die; it’s a sad situation”.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1947–64), the first Prime Minister of independent India, and recognised diplomat statesman whose political decisions or power were never challenged, initially with clear intent befriended Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah to help him allow people of Kashmir to exercise their legitimate right to choose their political future. Nehru, unfortunately, was soon misled by a caucus of Kashmiri Pandits backed by India’s intelligence agencies and political intriguers with British-Indian background to poison him to take a somersault feeding him with concoctions and fabricated stories about non-existent threat to Pandits. Nehru, under duress, changed his mind to take a political U-turn to become instrumental in messing up Kashmir.

American historian Stanley Wolpert, in his book, Partition of India’ writes "when Jawaharlal Nehru was informed of what his high commissioner in Karachi (Pakistan) had proposed, he (Nehru) expressed amazement". India's first high commissioner, Sri Prakash told Lord Mountbatten that "for the sake of peace all around, the best thing India could do was to handover Kashmir to Pakistan." In a sharp letter to Sri Prakash, Nehru wrote, "I was amazed that you hinted at Kashmir being handed over to Pakistan....If we did anything of the kind our government would not last many days and there would be no peace....it would lead to war with Pakistan because of public opinion here and of war-like elements coming in control of our policy".

Wolpert further writes, "If Nehru had only listened to Gandhi, inviting him to arbitrate the Kashmir conflict with Jinnah, India and Pakistan might have been spared three wars and the tragic loss of countless lives, at least 50,000 of whom were Kashmiri". According to Wolpert, "Mountbatten's frenzied plans had blinded him (Nehru) to the wretched realities of partition's monstrous problems, the cause of so many deaths and sixty more years at least of fighting and hatred". It is interesting to note that Jawaharlal Nehru in a telegram to Liaqat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan on October 31, 1947 stated:

"Our assurance that we shall withdraw our troops from Kashmir as soon as peace and order are restored and leave the decision about the future of the State to the people of the State is not merely a pledge to your government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world".

The "war-like elements" Nehru referred to above point towards the minority Brahman fundamentalist forces of India who after Nehru’s death managed to get the foothold on the political power by playing with sentiments and emotions of lower caste Hindus and exploited these masses to the hilt using the religious sentiments. Nehru was very apprehensive and concerned about these forces who he thought were detrimental for the survival of India in the long run.

Pandit Nehru, days before his death in 1964 perhaps in good faith, allowed Sheikh Abdullah to visit Pakistan to negotiate Kashmir. The statement issued by Pakistani President Ayub Khan that Pakistan will accept any solution acceptable to Kashmiris presumably created political ripples and on the same day the sad news of Nehru’s untimely death was announced that many quarters believe were mysterious circumstances.

Another opportunity came in 1966 when Soviet Union negotiated to settle Kashmir in Tashkent and the parleys between Indian Prime Minister LalBahadur Shastri and President Ayub of Pakistan running smoothly did not see the light as in Tashkent during the same night of January 11, 1966 it was reported that Prime Minister Shastri is no more which many believed to be mysterious as well.

For maintenance of peace in the sub-continent and the world at large, the majority of Indian public supporting an amicable solution as per the wish of Kashmiri people must be encouraged. The international community must take the notice of dangerously poised upper-caste (Brahman) Hindu fundamentalist forces, inches away from gaining control on nuclear weapons of India, a warning that the world community must consider very seriously.


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