The significance of October 27: Darkest day in the history of Kashmir

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Raies Mir

The October 27, 1947 day, will always be remembered by over thirteen million Kashmiris all across the world as the Blackest Day in the Kashmir history. The misfortune that afflicted Kashmiris on this day has not only made their lives miserable it has also endangered peace and security in the region with clear implications of a threat to world peace. It is therefore, reasonably understandable that on this day Kashmiris look to the world community longingly to come to their help in a big way to rescue them from their plight so that peace and security is ensured in the region, which will certainly be a long-leap forward towards the quest for universal peace.

This day, 75 years ago, the Indian armed forces landed, for the first time, on Srinagar airport with the assigned task to rob Kashmiris of their birth right of self-determination, in blatant violation of the terms of Partition Plan, the relevant provision of the Indian Independence Act, the UN Charter and Universal declaration of Human Rights.

The Indian Independence Act was passed by the British Parliament on July 18, 1947 under which the Indian British Colony had to be divided into two sovereign states, the Hindu Majority areas, state of India and the Muslim Majority areas, state of Pakistan. The objective of the partition plan of June 3, 1947 was to divide the provinces in the west and Bengal in the east, leaving Muslims majority areas in Pakistan and those with Hindu majority with India. Of the main routes by which Kashmir could be reached, two roads passed through areas which could be expected to be allocated to Pakistan: the first via Rawalpindi to Srinagar and the other via Sialkot, Jammu and the Banihal Pass. A third route, which was no more than a dirt track existed via, the district of Gurdaspur which comprised four Tehsils of Shakargarh, Batala, Gurdaspur and Pathankote. From Pathankote the route passed over Madhopur across the Ravi River to Kathua in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Under the terms provided in the first schedule of the Indian Independence Act, all the Gurdaspur district, with a 51.14 percent Muslim majority had been assigned to Pakistan, which meant that all these routes would have fallen under the control of Pakistan. This would have totally isolated India from Kashmir, had there not been a Mountbatten-Radcliffe-Nehru combines’ perfidy to alter the boundary award and give Gurdaspur district to India. Thus, the Indian military occupation of a major part of Jammu and Kashmir blatantly violated both the first schedule of the Indian Independence Act and the terms of reference of the partition plan.

The Indian naked military aggression also trampled the provisions of the UN Charter, which clearly states that, “member (states) shall settle their disputes peacefully and refrain from the use or threat of force and interference in territorial unity and political independence of any state”.

The universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on December 10, 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, mandated that “all human beings are born free and equal. Everyone has the right to the life, liberty and the security of person. There must be no slavery, servitude, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading, treatment or punishment… No one should be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile and everyone has the right to fair trial. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and the right to leave any country…

All these human rights, given protection in this Declaration, are being flagrantly violated by the Indian troops. Kashmiris are kept deprived of their right to self-determination. They are being killed, tortured and deprived of their property. The women are harassed, dishonoured and even imprisoned. Hundreds of innocent people have been indiscriminately arrested on fake charges. Freedom of expression, movement, within their soil and abroad, has been denied to them. They are being kept in slavery and servitude for the past 74 years.

Along with the military invasion, the Indian government had coerced the then Dogra Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Dogra ruler, Hari Singh, to accede to India. For this purpose, an accession document, drafted in New Delhi, was presented to the Maharaja to sign it. It is highly controversial whether the Maharaja did sign the document or not. There are cogent arguments by authors of repute totally rejecting the Indian claim that the document was duly signed by the state ruler. The strongest opponent of this claim is the renowned British author, Alistair Lamb, who in his two books on Kashmir, has dwelt at length on the falsity of this claim and insisted that it was never signed by the state ruler. He has proved that the document was actually signed one day after the Indian invasion as the occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India preceded the signing of the document and had no legal basis.

All the same, the then Indian government sent a fake document to the then Governor General of India, Mountbatten who while accepting the accession, wrote to the Maharaja that in the case of any state, where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question of accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the state”. He added that the question of Kashmiris’ accession “should be settled by a reference to the people”. Thus he signed the document provisionally, pending the final disposition of the state by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

It is also a historical truth with facts that the so-called Boundary Commission, headed by the British Barrister, Cyril Radcliff that had demarcated the partition line, under a conspiracy split a Muslim majority area, Gurdaspur in the Punjab, and handed it over to India, providing foot way to Indian military and also terrestrial access to Jammu and Kashmir while there is no other surface route for India to Jammu and Kashmir. Which obviously shows that the demarcation was against the rules of two Nation Theory while the Gurdaspur and Jammu and Kashmir was to go with Pakistan.

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