Kashmir Muddle

News Today 26.08.2022

Sheikh Abdullah, who was the principal architect of Kashmir’s accession to India was dismissed from the position of Prime Minister of Kashmir on 9 August 1953, on New Delhi’s machinations. How could this happen when Nehru was India’s Prime Minister, especially because Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah were not only close political colleagues but also good friends? To be able to answer this question, one should look to the series of developments preceding his removal. On 26 October 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh took the decision on Kashmir’s accession to India, the State had ceded to India its authority only in three subjects ~ foreign affairs, defence and communications. In these matters the Government of India would have absolute power to take decisions which would be binding on Jammu and Kashmir, while in matters internal, it would enjoy autonomy. (Read More)

Immediately after the signing of the ‘Delhi Agreement’, Sheikh Abdullah proceeded to abolish the institution of hereditary monarchy and got the necessary resolution passed by the State Constituent Assembly on 21 August 1952. While abolition of hereditary monarchy in J&K was consistent with the Congress Party’s ideology, Sheikh Abdullah’s move to depose Maharaja Hari Singh and prepare for his possible impeachment for anti-State activities raised a political storm, particularly in Jammu. It seems, in retrospect, that the ‘Delhi Agreement’ was a part of the strategy that Nehru had adopted to satisfy Abdullah’s vision of Kashmir’s ‘autonomy’ as New Delhi did not want to alienate him at a time when the Kashmir issue was still on the agenda of the UN Security Council. But Nehru himself was not too keen on maintaining this ‘autonomy’ for Kashmir, especially after Sheikh Abdullah’s attitude towards Kashmir’s future became ambivalent as he was toying with the idea of an independent Kashmir which becomes evident from the report of the US Ambassador, Loy Henderson (September 1950), and this attitude developed further due to developments in J&K. (Read More)


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