J&K’s Accession: An insider’s account – Punarvasu Parekh

Pandit Ram Chandra Kak & Maharaja Hari Singh
JournalistThe failure of the Indian state to find a solution to the J&K dispute is rooted in its refusal to face the facts. – Punarvasu Parekh

“What Sheikh Abdullah was really gambling for … was an independent principality whose continued existence would be guaranteed by the Indian armed forces and whose solvency was secured by the Indian treasury. There was, however, no idea of a quid pro quo from his side. He did not expect to be called to account either in respect of the internal administration of the state or the utilization of funds supplied to him by the government of India.”

How prophetic these words penned way back in 1955 have been! As Indian soldiers shed their blood to protect J&K from troublemakers of all sorts and as the Indian treasury bleeds to keep it solvent, only to be greeted by chants of “Azadi” from stone-pelting mobs and demand for “greater autonomy” from local sundries, we realize how farsighted the author was in warning us that “Sheikh Abdullah stood only for his own aggrandizement and had no affection for India and no use for her except to the extent she sub-served his ends.” The Abdullah tribe has multiplied several times since then, but its genes and DNAs remain unchanged.

The author Pandit Ram Chandra Kak was the prime minister of princely state of Jammu & Kashmir during the period leading up to the state’s accession to India in October 1947. He left behind a document that records the devious political games played to transfer authority over this Hindu-Buddhist kingdom to Muslims, specifically to Sheikh Abdullah.

Radha Rajan is the editor of Vigil OnlineUnsurprisingly, the document is barely known in “secular” India; its only known public copy is in UK. In a monumental piece of investigative journalism, Radha Rajan presents this document in full, along with her analysis of the communal political game played by Congress leadership in general and Nehru and Gandhi in particular, which has converted Kashmir into a festering sore in Indian polity.

Pandit Kak’s document traverses familiar ground, though it does highlight some less known facts. Its chief merit consists in providing a clear and consistent exposition of the dilemma faced by the State of J&K over accession to India on the eve of independence, by a perceptive patriotic powerful insider who was privy to overt happenings as well as covert machinations in the state, who was in the centre of the storm facing winds blowing from all directions. It tells us why things went the way they did and how India could have averted the current impasse. From the document, Pandit Kak emerges as a man of learning and character, a sterling patriot who had the courage to suffer for his convictions.

In her comments on the selected passages from the document, Radha Rajan shows that what happened in J&K was not accidental, but a logical culmination of the attitudes and policies consciously adopted by Gandhi, Nehru and Congress towards princely states, especially those with Hindu rulers.

The question of accession to India came up before J&K twice in less than a year, though in very different circumstances. Its decision on both the occasions was the same, but for different reasons. Then again, Prime Minister Kak and Maharaja Hari Singh concurred in their conclusion, but not for identical reasons.

Late in 1946, the state was sounded out by the Government of India on the accession to India after the Cabinet Mission had completed its consultations with Government of India and Indian leaders in Delhi. At that time, partition was not on the horizon except as a remote contingency and the accession was envisaged only to the newly-to-be-created Dominion of India.

Sheikh Abdullah and Jawaharlal Nehru

Pandit Kak tells us that as regards welding India into a single unit, he was not opposed to accession pure and simple. But there was a problem: Sheikh Abdullah, Congress leaders’ (especially Nehru’s) complete identification with him and their refusal to see any other point of view than his.

Sheikh Abdullah started his political career in 1931 as one of the two protagonists of Muslim Conference, an unabashed self-professed communal body. Later he fell out with the other protagonist Ch. Ghulam Abbas and set up his own outfit National Conference. As Ghulam Abbas managed to get close to Jinnah and Muslim League, Sheikh Abdullah approached Pundit Nehru for support. This he received in ample measure and soon he found himself a leading luminary in Congress firmament and President of All India States’ Peoples Conference.

While paying lip service to Congress ideals, Abdullah never forgot his original aim and ambition: absolute control over the state. With the power and prestige of Congress behind him, he started resorting to coercion and bullying against those who disagreed with him, including dissident Muslim groups. Some residents of Srinagar were for years unable to visit other parts of the town for fear of harassment. A maulavi who favoured Muslim Conference was prevented from preaching at the mosque where he and his forefathers had preached for generations before. Hindus began to live in perpetual fear. During the so-called Quit Kashmir agitation in 1946, thousands-strong mobs would surround houses of respectable persons for hours together, terrorise inmates and hurl stones and filthy abuses not sparing women folk of the house. For this reason, he was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to three years of imprisonment by the state administration.

This was the man backed to the hilt by Congress and its leaders right from the beginning. Nehru, Maulana Azad, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and others visited Kashmir and participated in deliberations and demonstrations of National Conference, which often culminated in violence. After Sheikh Abdullah’s arrest Pundit Nehru insisted on visiting Srinagar despite being told that his visit would be most undesirable in the prevailing circumstances. Nehru was detained in the Dak Bangalow at Muzaffarabad, provided all the facilities possible and the state arranged for his return to Delhi when he so decided. Indeed, after a meeting with Sardar Patel in Mumbai where Gandhi also was present, Pandit Kak facilitated Nehru’s visit to Srinagar in July 1946. Yet, it seems, Nehru never forgave Maharaja and Pandit Kak for his detention.

Against this background, it is not surprising that the decisive factor which influenced Pandit Kak in rejecting accession was the attitude of the Indian National Congress as regards the affairs of the state.

Radha Rajan points out that in the attitude of the Indian National Congress towards princely states, there was nothing peculiar to J&K. It is strange but true that Congress under Gandhi who reached out to the likes of Ali brothers, Muslim League, Jinnah and even Britishers nurtured undisguised hostility towards princely states and sought to undermine them on every conceivable occasion. J&K is the best example to show that this hostility has cost the country dearly.

The issue of accession came up again on the eve of independence when partition had been agreed upon and princely states, which were to regain sovereignty after the lapse of the British paramountcy, were advised to join either India or Pakistan.

J&K again found itself on the horns of a dilemma. It was Jinnah or Nehru-backed Abdullah. Lord Mountbatten told Pandit Kak “you must consider your geographical position, your political situation and composition of your population and then decide.” Pandit Kak rejoined “that means you advise us to accede to Pakistan. It is not possible for us to do that. And since that is so, we cannot accede to India.”

India was divided on communal lines and the only rational course of action for any state before deciding on accession was to ascertain whether its people would support the accession. And with 76 per cent Muslim population, J&K could not be sure of the support of its people if it acceded to India. Accession to India was also hobbled by Congress’s infatuation with Sheikh Abdullah. Sheikh Abdullah was in prison at the time of independence. Top Congress leaders were insisting not merely that he be released forthwith, but also that a new constitution be drafted for the state with their advice and power transferred to Sheikh Abdullah. Accession to Pakistan was ruled out because Pandit Kak had no illusions about the nature of Islamic state that was coming up. In other words, Kashmir would not accede to Pakistan and could not accede to India.

Pandit Kak met Jinnah who advised him to join Pakistan and offered favourable terms. However, when Jinnah was told that J&K’s decision not to accede was final, he said so long as the state did not accede to India he would not mind if it did not accede to Pakistan. Of course, he had no intention of honouring this assurance. Less than ten weeks after its formation, Pakistan invaded J&K.

From Government of India side, V. P. Menon, secretary, Ministry of States, had a lengthy discussion with Pandit Kak in Delhi and it was decided that Menon would pay a visit to Srinagar after 15 August 1947 to discuss the future course of action. Pandit Kak, therefore, resolved that under the given circumstances, it would be ideal for all stakeholders if J&K became an independent state, maintaining good relations with India and Pakistan.

Maharaja Hari Singh came to the same conclusion, though for more grandiose, if irrational, reasons. He was dreaming not just of remaining independent, but also of ruling over a larger territory. Fuelling his ambitions was Swami Sant Dev, part of the assortment of swamis, gurus, astrologers and others claiming direct communion with the supernatural collected by Maharaja Hari Singh’s uncle and predecessor Maharaja Pratap Singh. Such was the influence acquired by the Swami on Maharaja that even Pundit Nehru paid him a visit when he came to Kashmir in 1946.

For all his supposed spirituality, the Swami did not neglect the mundane. He was keen to earn jobs, contracts and other favours for his large but non-descript followers and constantly made suggestions to the administration on behalf of his cronies. On most of the occasions, Pandit Kak found it hard to oblige him. The enraged Swami started looking for an opportunity to get rid of the “obstinate” prime minister.

The opportunity came when accession became a live issue. The Maharaja was convinced that after the departure of the British, with the potency of Swami’s supernatural powers, he would be able to extend his rule to new areas. In June 1947, he met with rulers of some adjoining princely states and planned a federation of J&K and some areas now in Himachal Pradesh. When Maharaja Hari Singh sought Pandit Kak’s opinion about his plan, the latter explained to him that it was a futile and impracticable idea; it was utterly unrealistic to imagine that forces which had compelled the British to leave India would allow the creation of a new empire in their midst.

Neither Maharaja nor Swami forgave Pandit Kak for this candid advice, the cold douche he administered to their towering aspirations. Machinations started to remove him from the office. Matters reached Sardar Patel who asked Pandit Kak to convey to the Maharaja that in those crucial days it was essential that the Maharaja and his Prime Minister pulled together, and if that was not possible the situation must be brought to an end immediately. In other words, Maharaja Hari Singh had to choose between swami and Kak. Inevitably, he chose the Swami.

From that point, it was a downhill journey. On 11 August 1947, Maharaja gave Pandit Kak “permission to retire.” It was followed by decapitation of the entire administration. Top officers including Chief Secretary, Chief of the Army Staff, the IGP, Governor of Kashmir, Director of Civil Supplies, the Chief Engineer and several other important officers were removed and replaced by people of little or no experience. Sheikh Abdullah was released in September and lost no time in spreading his tentacles. These developments disheartened and alarmed the citizenry. The result was that when Pakistan attacked the state around 22nd October, it was in no position to counter it. Its helplessness was aggravated by perfidy of the British officers and treachery of the Muslim soldiery.

Pandit Kak had to pay a heavy personal price for his love of truth and candour. Charges of trumpery were forged against him and he was denied permission to leave the state even though he feared for his safety. This enabled Sheikh Abdullah to have his revenge when he paraded Kak and his elder brother through the streets of Srinagar with their hands tied and residents asked to shower shit and filth on them. Kak was pressured to give statement against Maharaja Hari Singh rule. But he did not utter a single word against the Maharaja. Kak later migrated to Kasauli.

The Hindustan Times

With the benefit of hindsight, we can say that Pandit Kak’s idea of an independent state of J&K was not viable. Pakistan would not let it remain in peace. Given its location, onset of the Cold War and China’s ambitions, it would have been a hotbed of international intrigues and a constant source of anxiety to India.

Ideally, J&K should have been fully integrated into India, just like hundreds of other states, small and big. What we now have is a halfway house, an arrangement in which India has the worst of both the worlds. For all nationalist objectives, J&K is an alien state—the steadfast refusal of Sunni Kashmiri politicians to the return of Kashmiri Pundits, establishment of sainik colonies or even temporary facilities for Amarnath pilgrims should clinch the issue. However, India has all the obligations regarding its security and solvency.

Pandit Kak’s document tells us how we could have avoided landing in this position of no rights and all responsibilities. India could and should have insisted that accession of J&K to India would be on the same terms as that of any other state. There was no insurmountable reason why it should be on a different basis. There was no need for India either to accept Mountbatten’s suggestion to make accession conditional upon a plebiscite or transfer power to Sheikh Abdullah or agree to a separate constituent assembly for the state. The Indian army was fighting the state’s battle and the simplest thing was to set up a military administration as was done subsequently in Hyderabad. By the time the military operations ended, a lot of things would have become clear. Then again, there was no need to allow Sheikh Abdullah to oust Maharaja Hari Singh and elect a new Head of State when the issue was being debated in the UN Security Council.

The failure of the Indian state to find a solution to the J&K dispute is rooted in its refusal to face the facts. The two-nation theory was false and pernicious, but after conceding Pakistan Congress lost moral right to oppose it. The country was divided on communal lines and the logic of partition has to be accepted. The existence of a large Muslim population in India does not alter the reality that after the secession of the Muslim component, what remained was and is Hindu Rashtra.

How could India expect to retain the valley of Kashmir with a 95 per cent Muslim population contiguous to the entirely Muslim province of NWFP? Replying to this poser in 1950 by Gordon Walker, then secretary of state for commonwealth relations, Pandit Kak pointed out that it was wrong to assume that the status of the valley affects only its residents and therefore they alone could decide its future. From time immemorial, Kashmir has been cradle to a vital corpus of Hindu thought and rituals. For that reason all the Hindus in India and beyond have a stake in the fate of Kashmir. Kashmir has always been a part of the Hindu Holy Land (punyabhoomi) and the question of handing it over to those who are hell-bent on destroying its Hindu ethos does not arise.

To sum up, reading this book would be a sobering, painful experience for any patriotic Indian. It narrates a sordid tale of historical vicissitudes and human weaknesses from which no player emerges unscathed. But truth, however unpalatable, must be faced. For truth alone liberates from bondage of fear, from folly and its consequences. That is the significance of Radha Rajan’s book.

»  Punarvasu Parekh is an independent journalist in Mumbai.
» Radha Rajan is a political commentator and animal rights activist in Chennai. Pandit Kak’s original document (PDF) is available on Radha Rajan’s website Vigil Online.

Jammu and Kashmir: Dilemma of accession: A historical analysis and lesson by Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak

       Published by Voice of India, New Delhi.  Pages 140, Maps 2, Price Rs 300 

Order from Voice of India or Amazon


New Book: Jammu and Kashmir Dilemma of Accession: A Historical Analysis and Lesson – Radha Rajan

Jammu and Kashmir Dilemma of Accession: A historical analysis and lesson by Radha Rajan

Radha Rajan is the editor of Vigil OnlineJammu and Kashmir Dilemma of Accession: A Historical Analysis and Lesson authored by Radha Rajan analyses Prime Minister Pandit Ramchandra Kak‘s first-hand narrative of the tragic events which shook the Kingdom of Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and the Tibets in the critical years of 1946-47 when Pandit Ramchandra Kak was Prime Minister of the kingdom.

Prime Minister Kak describes the role played by the Indian National Congress in the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir from 1938 onwards and explains why the Kingdom could not accede to India in 1946 when the offer to accede was first made and again in 1947 when the Prime Minister came under pressure from several quarters to accede to Pakistan and to India. While V. P. Menon’s book for reasons unknown does not touch upon the critically important details which culminated in the tragedy of absolute power and total control over the entire kingdom being transferred to Sheikh Abdullah, it nevertheless provides critical insights and information which supplement Prime Minister Kak’s narrative; and read together, they provide all missing links in the official history of the tragedy.

Pandit Kak’s document is not available in India and while the original is with a family member, a copy of the original is housed in the India Office Library and Records, London. (A copy of the original is available on Radha Rajan’s website.)

Voice of India Publications through Radha Rajan’s book places this document for the first time since independence in the public domain in India.

ISBN 9789385485107, Voice of India, New Delhi,  Pages 140, Maps 2, Price Rs 300 

Order from Voice of India or Amazon

2 – Kashmir’s Jihadi Cauldron: Gandhi, not Nehru, lit the fire – Radha Rajan

Sheikh Abdullah & Jawaharlal Nehru

Radha Rajan is the editor of Vigil OnlineGandhi’s insistence that the territory of this bhumi belonged in equal measure … to Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Jews and Hindus, in that order, was taken seriously by post-independence Nehruvian secular India. Secular India stood by and watched Sheikh Abdullah’s son Farooq Abdullah implement his father’s Quit Kashmir slogan faithfully in letter and spirit from 1989 onwards. His son Omar Abdullah by declaring that he will not allow Kashmiri Pandits to be re-settled in a well-protected Pandit region of the Kashmir Valley and nor will he allow Sainik colonies to be set up in Srinagar has only stated his intention to keep it that way. … Amit Shah and Narendra Modi must put some steel in the spine of the government and work towards altering the arithmetic of religious demography which is influencing electoral politics in the jihadi state. The Kashmir Valley’s quota in Lok Sabha constituencies and state assembly constituencies is unnaturally weighted in favour of Kashmiri jihadis. – Radha Rajan

M.K. Gandhi in 1929Kashmir’s jihadi cauldron: Gandhi, not Nehru, lit the fire

This series which dismantles the edifice of Gandhi’s mahatmahood was necessitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unfortunate public exhortation to our armed forces fighting for their lives and the dignity of their uniforms to observe “restraint” in their operations in the Kashmir valley. Narendra Modi had just returned from his “pilgrimage” to South Africa and the atavistic connection between Kashmir and this Gandhi-bhakta was unmistakable considering Gandhi’s contempt for the army which too was detailed in Part 1.

The secessionist fire raging in Kashmir today was lit in 1946 by Gandhi who instigated Nehru to interfere in the affairs of the Hindu kingdom as if the Hindu nation were Gandhi’s patrimony and the Kingdom of Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet (Riyasat-e Jammu wa Kashmir wa Ladakh wa Tibet ha) were Nehru’s fiefdom. Gandhi also forced the Congress Working Committee to position itself against Maharaja Hari Singh while simultaneously legitimising the opportunist rise of jihadi Sheikh Abdullah in the kingdom’s polity during the turbulent period following the failure of the Cabinet Mission; the Cabinet Mission failed because after enthusiastically welcoming the proposals for transfer of power by the Cabinet Mission within three days of its arrival in India, Gandhi proceeded to sabotage the Mission step by calibrated step. How Gandhi with the same cold calculating mind as Sheikh Abdullah sabotaged the Cabinet Mission is the theme of the next article in the series unravelling the Mahatma’s political game of dice as he gambled away the territory of the Hindu nation. From 1917, when Gandhi officially took charge of the party, the INC resembled the Kaurava Court as Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Nehru and J. B. Kripalanichose to look down and maintain silence while K. M. Munshi and Rajaji walked away from the court even as the freedom struggle culminated in Hindu genocide in 1946 quickly followed by vivisection of the Hindu nation in 1947. If Gandhi’s actions had consequences then the silence and inaction of Patel, Rajaji and Munshi had consequences too.

When we deconstruct Gandhi’s so-called freedom struggle and examine the milestones which defined the struggle, we know that every political decision that Gandhi made on behalf of the Congress vis-a-vis the Muslim League and on behalf of all Hindus of the country vis-a-vis the Muslims, and every political action and agitation that he launched ostensibly against the British government and against Hindus who defied his passive resistance benefited only and only the Muslims and Imperial London; Hindus got nothing. If anything, Hindus suffered irretrievable losses to their homes, homeland, life, property and their nation’s territory; in 1947, with India’s independence, Hindus lost political power too in Nehru’s India. Imperial London watched Gandhi in South Africa very closely and manoeuvred Gandhi’s towering political ambitions precisely in the wanted direction and when the time was right, they pinned the halo of Mahatma around his head and sent him back to India in July 1914. The timing of Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa says it all.

The British government’s farsighted move to paratroop Gandhi from South Africa to India yielded spectacular results; the nation was vivisected and Mountbatten succeeded in leaving with Pakistan the critically vital territory of the kingdom’s northern areas which adjoined not only Afghanistan but also had a small but geopolitically important border with Central Asia.

Jammu & Kashmir Map

Mountbatten knew that Pakistan would automatically move into the western orbit for American and British aid in the economic and military spheres to keep abreast of India’s abundant natural resources and proven native genius and that was the West’s leverage to control the territory overlooking China, Afghanistan and Central Asia. And what remained with India of the Kingdom of Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet, Mountbatten nudged Nehru to take it the United Nations.

If Imperial London removed Tilak, Savarkar and Aurobindo to make way for Gandhi, Subhash Bose, K. M. Munshi and Rajaji, who unlike Patel were outspoken critics of Gandhi’s politics, were removed by Gandhi to make way for Nehru.

Why did Gandhi leave South Africa in July 1914?

Without going into details which are not germane to the theme of this article, suffice it to say that the South African government passed the Indian Relief Act on June 26, 1914 allegedly in response to Gandhi’s last and protracted passive resistance campaign which he launched in November 1913. As I have shown in my book Eclipse of the Hindu Nation, the Indian Relief Act gave very little to Indians but just enough to project Gandhi’s passive resistance as a very successful and “spiritual” weapon of engagement with colonial governments.

Imperial London was well aware that Tilak was due to be released from Mandalay in June 1914 and there was every danger that the Indian National Congress, which was in a limbo after the British government removed Tilak and Aurobindo forcefully from the political arena in 1908-09 while simultaneously decimating the nationalist faction of the INC which split in Surat in December 1907, would once again inevitably return to Tilak’s control. If Gandhi had to supplant Aurobindo and Tilak as leader of the INC with the same matchless moral authority and real power, then his stature would have to be muscularly and even artificially elevated to match the stature of Lokmanya Tilak. In January 1915 when Gandhi landed in Mumbai his Mahatmahood rested only on the public announcement he made in March 1906 that he was giving up sexual relations with his wife, and the manipulated success of his last passive resistance campaign which was touted to have made the racist South African government responsive to a non-violent ‘coolie’. Just so would establishment historians in India’s post-independence academe entrench the falsehood that the half-dhoti clad Mahatma brought the Empire down on its knees with his toothless smile and passive resistance.

The chimera of the success of Gandhi’s passive resistance

A clinical evaluation of Gandhi’s political activism in South Africa attests to clever manipulation of Gandhi’s ideas, actions and even the direction of Gandhi’s political activism by Imperial London (Lord Ampthill, William Wedderburn, Lord Hardingeand, Lord Minto among others), sundry Christian missionaries and the INC’s Empire loyalists Gopalkrishna Gokhale, Surendranath Banerjee and Sir Mancherjee Bhownagree.

Gandhi therefore had to be nudged to return to India with a halo around his head and the South African government readily gave Gandhi a cause to launch his last “successful” passive resistance campaign.

“Gandhi organized his satyagraha jointly against three laws: to protest the March 1913 ruling by Justice Searle in the Cape Supreme Court which de-recognized Hindu and Muslim marriages; the June 1913 Immigrants Regulation Amendment Act; and the notorious Three Pound Tax which came into effect in March 1911 and made it mandatory for every Indian family who did not wish to continue their contracts as indentured labour and chose to stay on in South Africa as ‘free’ Indians, to pay a tax of three pounds per head to the South African state. In this way, an ex-indentured family paid as much as 15, 20 or even 25 pounds, depending on the size of the family. Children of ex-indentured Indians were not spared, and boys above 16 years and girls over 13 had to pay this crippling tax. Clearly the South African regime was determined to precipitate a crisis. Gandhi’s last satyagraha in South Africa thus brought to the streets indentured and ex-indentured Indians along with vast numbers of the Indian community, making this his largest campaign in South Africa, and covering a large segment of apartheid laws in force against the Indian community. The coal miners from Newcastle in northern Natal were the first to down tools and join Gandhi in the strike, followed by workers across Natal. The satyagraha coincided with a general and paralyzing railway strike, and Gandhi was in a position to push the government into a corner, demanding immediate repeal of discriminatory laws in return for ending the non-cooperation movement. As a perfect prelude to what would become a pattern in India, first in 1922, and then in 1931, even as many Indians were brutally beaten up, killed in police firing, and as more and more Indians, particularly women, joined the strike, choosing to die for Gandhi’s satyagraha, the leader himself was simply lodged in jail. As protests mounted over his ‘arrest’ and over police brutality, Gandhi called off the civil disobedience movement. In this instance, Gandhi called off the strike at a time when it had gained optimum momentum and reached its peak, because he allegedly did not want to add to the troubles of the South African government which had already been brought to its knees by the general railway strike. So as a loyal citizen of the Empire, having demonstrated his ability to inflame passions and get ordinary, gullible people killed by repressive State power, he withdrew the strike and rendered the sacrifice of ordinary Indians completely futileGandhi’s unique ability to arouse and deflate human passions somehow always benefited the colonial government and increased his own grip over the organizations he headed” (Eclipse of the Hindu Nation, Chapter 3, Gandhi’s success in South Africa).

We must revisit Gandhi in South Africa to know exactly what he fought for, what were his weapons or tools of engagement with the South African government and whether he succeeded because of his moral worth and efficacy of his tools or because the South African government gave him a little of what he wanted so that they could pin a halo around his head and push him out of South Africa and into India where Imperial London had already planned a very large role for him in the INC to neutralise Lokmanya Tilak. This questioning must needs be done because the INC became a Kaurava Court only because even tall leaders of the Congress did not dare to publicly take down “Mahatma” Gandhi for fear of weakening the INC vis-a-vis a united, well-focussed Muslim League.

In November 1913, Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy of India, in a speech in Madras expressed sympathy with the Indian Passive Resistance struggle in South Africa, boosting Gandhi’s political and moral stature in India, which had already been enhanced by Gokhale’s towering praise for him after Gokhale returned from South Africa: “Only those who have come into personal contact with Mr. Gandhi as he is now can realize the wonderful personality of the man. He is without doubt made of the stuff which heroes and martyrs are made; Nay, more. He has in him the marvellous spiritual power to turn ordinary men around him into heroes and martyrs”. Hardinge, let us recall, at exactly the same time that he was mouthing fulsome praise for Gandhji had just sentenced Savarkar to two sentences of “transportation for life”. Imperial London and Empire loyalists had already begun to prepare the ground for Gandhi’s triumphant return.

The Indian Relief Act abolished the £3 poll tax, recognized marriages contracted in terms of traditional Indian (Muslim or Hindu) rites, and facilitated the entry into the Union of the wives of Indians already domiciled locally. However, Indians remained disenfranchised and were still not allowed to own property in the two former Boer Republics (Transvaal, Orange Free State), or to live in the Orange Free State. Further, restrictions on Indian trading remained in force. In short, the South African government did only the minimum necessary to boost Gandhi’s image as the non-violent deliverer of the Indian people. As Smuts himself stated in the Senate on March 11, 1914, Gandhi was allowed to function in South Africa as he did “because he never advocated methods of violence to overthrow the government“.

This would be Gandhi’s signature tune in India when under his leadership the freedom struggle led by Tilak and Aurobindo would turn retrograde and would eventually culminate not in independence but in the vivisection of the Hindu nation. By sabotaging the Cabinet Mission, Gandhi would not only push Jinnah over the edge in 1946 forcing Jinnah to declare “Direct Action” against ordinary Hindus, but Gandhi would also feed the jihadi monster in the shape of Sheikh Abdullah and thus light the jihadi fire which continues to burn unabated till today.

While Gandhi left the shores of South Africa on 18th July 1914 on SS Kinfauns Castle, he did not sail to India; he sailed to England where he stayed for the next six months. This vital piece of information is uniformly kept out of all history-writing. What was Gandhi doing in England for six months, which government officials and ministers did he meet, and what did they talk about, before leaving finally for India and landing in Mumbai’s Apollo Bundar in January 1915? One thing we do know. On 8th August, 1914, Gandhi was given a reception at Hotel Cecil, London by English and Indian friends: Jinnah, Lala Lajpat Rai and Sarojini Naidu were among those present at the reception. Five days later, on 13th August, 1914, Gandhi signed a circular:

“We, the undersigned have, after mature deliberation, decided for the sake of the Motherland and the Empire to place our services unconditionally, during this crisis, at the disposal of the Authorities. We advisedly use the word ‘unconditionally’ as we believe that, at a moment like this, no service that can be assigned to us can be considered to be beneath our dignity or inconsistent with our self-respect”.

This secretive pledge of loyalty and unconditional support to the Empire was signed by Gandhi, Kasturba and Sarojini Naidu and fifty other Indians. But significantly, Jinnah and Lajpat Rai, to their eternal credit, did not sign the loyalty and support pledge.

Champaran, Khera and the secret back-room deal

Gandhi’s Mahatmahood in 1915 when he returned to India, as shown, rested on weak foundations. Gandhi’s pledge of loyalty and support to the Empire must be understood in the light of the truth of Gandhi’s first major passive resistance movement in India after his return—in Champaran and Khera. To drive home the point to all Indians in general and to the INC in particular that passive resistance, humility and meekness alone were the only successful instruments of engagement with the colonial government, Gandhi and the British government in India struck a back-room secret deal. The deal was: the British government would make Gandhi’s passive resistance campaign for the farmers of Champaran and Khera a significant “success” and Gandhi in turn would use the success to portray the British government as benevolent and generous and use the success to recruit ordinary gullible Indians enchanted with his Mahatmahood to fight for Britain in World War I—a war that had nothing to do with India or India’s Hindus.

I hope to translate the spoken word into action (reference to the secret pledge of loyalty and support for WWI signed in London by Gandhi) as early as the Government can see its way to accept my offer, which I am submitting simultaneously herewith in a separate letter. I recognize that, in the hour of its danger, we must give, as we have decided to give—ungrudging and unequivocal support to the Empire, of which we aspire, in the near future, to be partners in the same sense as the Dominions overseas. I would make India offer all her able-bodied sons as a sacrifice to the Empire at its critical moment.

In Champaran, by resisting an age-long tyranny, I have shown the ultimate sovereignty of British justice. In Kaira, a population that was cursing the Government now feels that it, and not the Government, is the power when it is prepared to suffer for the truth it represents. It is, therefore, losing its bitterness and is saying to itself that the (British) Government must be a Government for the people, for it tolerates orderly and respectful disobedience where injustice is felt. Thus, Champaran and Kaira affairs are my direct, definite, and special contribution to the war.

I write this, because I love the English Nation, and I wish to evoke in every Indian the loyalty of the Englishman. I remain, Your Excellency’s faithful servant, M. K. Gandhi” (Excerpts from Letter to Viceroy, Delhi, April 29, 1918, N.A.I: Home, War (Deposit); October 1918 No. 26, CWMG, Vol. 17, pp 7-10).

“Further I desire relief regarding the Kaira trouble. Relief will entirely disengage me from that preoccupation which I may not entirely set aside. It will also enable me to fall back for war purposes upon my co-workers in Kaira and it may enable me to get recruits from the district.

I suggest that action in this matter be taken as a war measure. This will obviate the fear of the relief being regarded as a precedent. Pray understand that my offer is not conditional upon relief in either case. I merely ask for relief in the two cases in furtherance of the common object” (Excerpts from Letter to J. L. Maffey (Secretary to the Viceroy), Nadiad, April 30, 1918, CWMG, Vol. 17, pp 10-12).

The “common object” was to get Indians to fight and die for Britain in WWI.

The other enclosure contains my offer. You will do with it what you like. I would like to do something which Lord Chelmsford would consider to be real war work. I have an idea that, if I became your recruiting agent-in-chief, I might rain men on you. Pardon me for the impertinence. The Viceroy looked pale yesterday. My whole heart went out to him as I watched him listening to the speeches. May God watch over and protect him and you, his faithful and devoted Secretary. I feel you are more than a secretary to him. Yours sincerely, M. K. Gandhi. PS. The Reverend Mr. Ireland of St. Stephen’s College has kindly offered to deliver this letter into your hands. M.K.G.” (Letter to J. L. Maffey, CWMG , Vol. 17, pp 12, 13).

Gandhi’s INC was a social reform organization and explicitly anti-Hindu 

Thus the Mahatma’s halo which was newly pinned around his head in South Africa in 1914, with the manipulated success of his passive resistance campaign in Champaran and Khera by 1918, had become a permanent aura around his head. Gandhi had become invincible because the Mahatmahood bestowed upon him was a formidable shield. And it was this Mahatmahood which allowed him unchallenged and unquestioned authority to first de-Hinduise the Congress and transform it from a powerful political vehicle which the Congress had become under Tilak and Aurobindo’s leadership, to an impotent social reform organization which possessed neither the strength nor the sagacity to stop the Muslim League’s march towards creation of Pakistan. It was but a small step from de-hinduised Congress to anti-Hindu Congress.

It was also this Mahatmahood which enabled Gandhi to brew mischief, unrest and instability in several Hindu kingdoms in the name of civil liberties and temple entry at a time when he should have united all sections of Hindus to resist the Muslim League. Till the very end, it was Gandhi and Gandhi alone who drafted all resolutions of the CWC—the highest decision and policy-making body of the INC. It was Gandhi and Gandhi alone who made and executed all political decisions of the INC while the CWC was a mere puppet in the Mahatma’s hands.

After the arrest of the principal Congressmen in August of 1942, the unguided masses took the reins in their own hands and acted almost spontaneously. If many acts of heroism and sacrifice are to their credit, there were acts done which could not be included in non-violence. It is therefore necessary for the Working Committee to affirm, for the guidance of all concerned, that the policy of non-violence adopted in 1920 by the Congress, continues unabated and that such non-violence does not include burning of public property, cutting of telegraph wires, derailing of trains and intimidation. The Working Committee is of opinion that the policy of non-violence as detailed in the Congress resolution of 1920, since expanded and explained from time to time, and action in accordance with it, has raised India to a height never attained before. The Working Committee is further of opinion that the constructive activities of the Congress, beginning with the spinning-wheel and khadi as the centre, are emblematic of the policy of non-violence and every other Congress activity including what is known as the parliamentary programme, is subservient to and designed to promote the constructive activities as explained by Mahatma Gandhi.” (Congress Working Committee resolution on or before December 11, 1945, The Hindu 12-12-1945. The resolution drafted by Gandhiji was passed by the Congress Working Committee on December 11 the concluding day of its five-day session in Calcutta. CWMG, Vol. 89, page 25)

Not political freedom, not resisting impending vivisection, not cow slaughter but spinning wheel, khadi, cleaning latrines and temple entry was the Congress Creed. In the Congress Creed scheme of things, only Gandhi had the right to do politics; the tall leaders in the CWC played Bhishma, Drona and Kripacharya.

What we had to do was to prevent the Congress from turning into a Hindu communal organization. Anyone who had made India his home should be protected by the Congress. Hindus should never think that Hindustan belonged exclusively to them. The Parsis had come centuries ago, and the Syrian Christians were Christians ever since the time of St. Thomas. Every one of them had to be treated as an Indian enjoying the same rights as any other Indian” (Interview to Deobhankar, My Days with Gandhi, pp. 102-4, CWMG, Vol. 93, page 124).

But for me as a believer in non-violence out-and-out they (Sikh Gurus) cannot be my guides in life in so far as their faith in war is concerned.” (Guru Govind Singh, Sevagram, July 4, 1942, Harijan, 12-7-1942, Vol. 93, pp 72- 75).

When I was in detention in the Aga Khan Palace, I once sat down to write a thesis on India as a protagonist of non-violence. But as I proceeded with my writing, I could not go on. I had to stop. There are two aspects of Hinduism. There is, on the one hand, the historical Hinduism with its untouchability, superstitious worship of sticks and stones, animal sacrifice and so on. On the other, we have the Hinduism of the Gita, the Upanishads and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra which is the acme of ahimsa and oneness of all creation, pure worship of one immanent, formless imperishable God” (A Talk, Harijan, 8-12-1946, CWMG, Vol. 93, page 43).

There were some who described the Congress as a Hindu organization. They only betrayed their ignorance of the political history of India. At one time the Hindu Mahasabha was in the hands of the Congress and so was the Muslim League and others. Congress was not a Hindu organization. It did not serve Hindu interests to the exclusion of the other communities. It was hinted that the Congress leaders had come to consult him with regard to the interests of the Hindus. Had they done so they would have lowered the stature of the Indian National Congress in the eyes of the world. They had come to consult him, as an expert on the Hindu-Muslim question, as to how best to serve the national cause in the present crisis” (Speech at a prayer meeting, Srirampur, December 28, 1946, The Hindu, 2-1-1947; and Harijan, 26-1-1947, CWMG Vol 93, page 207).

In his Outside the Archives (pages 209-210, Sangam Books, 1984), Y. D. Gundevia, Prime Minister Nehru’s last foreign secretary, recalls a Friday morning in December 1963, when Nehru held his customary free-for-all meeting with secretaries, joint secretaries, all deputy secretaries and some under secretaries. There being no specific agenda that particular day, Gundevia asked Nehru what would happen to the civil servant if, after being attuned only to Congress policies so long, the Communists were, tomorrow, elected to power in New Delhi. Nehru pondered long over the question and then said, Why do you ever imagine the Communists will ever be voted into power at the Centre?” After a long pause, he said, spelling it out slowly and very deliberately, “The danger to India, mark you, is not Communism. It is Hindu right-wing communalism.” Towards the end of the meeting he repeated his thesis.

Rahul GandhiFrom Gandhi to Nehru to Rahul Gandhi, the Congress has remained anti-Hindu

The cable that has thrust Mr. Gandhi into a political storm refers to a conversation he had with U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer on July 20, 2009, at a luncheon party hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The passage in question says that while responding to the Ambassador’s query about Lashkar-e-Taiba’s activities in India, Mr. Gandhi said there was “evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community.” The cable then went on to say, “However, (Rahul) Gandhi warned the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community. The risk of a “home-grown” extremist front, reacting to terror attacks coming from Pakistan or from Islamist groups in India, was a growing concern, and one that demanded constant attention” (The Hindu, 22-12-2010). 

The cable also attributes (M. K.) Narayanan as saying India is also seeing the beginnings of Hindu extremist groups that use violence,” agreeing, the cable says, with the Director Mueller’s point that terrorists come from more than just Muslim backgrounds (The Times of India, 17-12-2010Why M. K. Narayanan and P. Chidambaram must be tried for treason).

The Muslims had Jinnah and the Muslim League; the Hindus had no one. First Gandhi, then Nehru and then Rahul Gandhi have spoken about Hindu political empowerment which they labelled “Hindu communalism” as being worse than jihad. Modi and Amit Shah must know there can be no Congress-mukt Bharat without Gandhi-mukt Bharat.

Gandhi sets Kashmir on fire

The kingdom of Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet was not a Muslim kingdom. The territories of the Hindus and the Buddhists in this kingdom dwarfed the Muslim population in the Kashmir valley. And yet, Gandhi and Nehru together encouraged the rise of Sheikh Abdullah in the Hindu kingdom. While the Muslim League towards the end of the 1930s decade had made it amply clear that their goal was Pakistan, Gandhi’s INC had lost sight of the political objective—political freedom from colonial rule and resisting the threatened vivisection of the nation. Gandhi had not only de-hinduised the INC, he was explicitly anti-Hindu. Gandhi’s anti-Hindu prejudices extended to Hindu maharajas and kings and to Hindu scholars and sanyasis. Briefly, while the Muslim League absorbed into itself all Muslim formations and organizations and faithfully represented Muslim religious and political interests and objectives, while the Nizams and Nawabs with the Muslim League stood united in their common desire to return Muslim rule over India after the British withdrew or at the very minimum create the Islamic State of Pakistan, Gandhi not only refused to address the genuine concerns of the Hindu princely states but went so far as to appoint Jawaharlal Nehru and the Nawab of Bhopal to oversee their affairs in the troubled times when the country was sitting on the tinderbox of imminent Muslim League violence.

Gandhi’s intense but barely cloaked animosity for nationalists like K. M. Munshi and N. B. Khare and for Hindu maharajas was his subjective preference and yet he imposed his personal opinions which were in some part unjustified and which for the greater part bordered on the fetish on the CWC and on the INC. This anti-monarchy fetish was certainly the product of Gandhi’s English “liberal” education in London and the pervasive presence of foreigners in his life which influenced his attitude towards Hindu kings and rulers. Western liberal education of the nineteenth and twentieth century was greatly influenced by the political trends in republicanism, charter of rights and democracy and the concurrent waning power of European monarchies and the power of the Church. It was fashionable in those times in Europe to be anti-monarchy and anti-orthodoxy and Gandhi subscribed to the fashion. The INC, instigated by Gandhi triggered unrest in 1938 in Mysore, Rajkot, Jaipur, Cochin and Travancore; there was unrest in Talcher and Dhenkanal too. In all these small kingdoms Gandhi precipitated a crisis either in the name of civil liberties or temple entry for harijans. Needless to say the Congress meddled only in those states ruled by Hindu princes and kings; they did not dare to take similar liberties with nawabs and nizams. The Congress passed the Haripura resolution in 1938 with the clause of self-imposed restriction on direct interference in the Indian States; much like Pakistan’s “moral support” for jihadis in Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress limited itself to moral support for the people in Indian States aspiring for civil liberties.

Just how accurate is the description of the CWC as resembling the Kaurava Court can be gauged from the by now familiar silence of Patel, Rajaji and Rajendra Prasad when Gandhi offered to hand over Hindu kingdoms to the Muslim League. Verily, the territory of the Hindu nation was Gandhi’s patrimony which is polite English for baap-ka-maal.

With reference to your letter giving me the purport of your conversation today with the Quaid-e-Azam, I wish to say in as clear language as possible that when in a Harijan article I reproduced Maulana Azad’s published offer to the Muslim League I meant it to be a serious offer in every sense of the term. Let me explain it again for your edification. Provided the Muslim League co-operated fully with the Congress demand for immediate independence without the slightest reservation, subject, of course, to the proviso that independent India will permit the operations of the Allied armies in order to check Axis aggression and thus to help both China and Russia, the Congress will have no objection to the British Government transferring all the powers it today exercises to the Muslim League on behalf of the whole of India, including the so-called Indian India.” And the Congress will not only not obstruct any Government that the Muslim League may form on behalf of the people, but will even join the Government in running the machinery of the free State. This is meant in all seriousness and sincerity. (Letter to a Muslim, August 8, 1942, CWMG, Vol. 83, pp 186-87)

Indian India was the Hindu princely states and so outraged was Sir C. P. Ramaswamy Aiyar, the Dewan of Travancore who called Gandhi’s preposterous offer a “very astute and menacing move”. Aiyar resigned from the Viceroy’s Executive Council and declared his intention to take “his gloves off and definitely and publicly to arouse the States to a sense of impending danger”.

During the extremely turbulent years of 1946-47 when everything was in a state of flux and no one could predict accurately how and when transfer of power would happen if indeed it would happen at all, several Hindu rulers and maharajas met Gandhi to probe his mind about what would be the fate of their kingdoms and provinces in the new dispensation. Among those who met Gandhi were the Deccan Princes and the Maharaja of Kapurthala. To them, like to all other princes and kings who met him, Gandhi had only one thing to say—become servants of your people. Etymologically the word may derive from ‘serve’ but the noun had acquired pejorative connotations and Gandhi, just as he had advised Morarji Desai to use the military to do only sanitation work, was now exhorting kings to become servants. This was the same Gandhi who took great exception to white people in South Africa referring to all Indians as “coolies”. Even in South Africa, Gandhi who was infuriated at being called “coolie” however referred to native Africans derogatorily as “kaffirs”. Because Gandhi was not born white and because he took great pride in being the son of the Dewan of Porbundar who also had a privileged English education in London, Gandhi aspired to be dark white in social esteem and political status within the British Empire. Readers are invited to pay attention to Gandhi’s insulting views on Indian “aborigines”, the Santhals.

Every Indian, without exception, is a coolie in the estimation of the general body of the Europeans. Storekeepers are ‘coolie storekeepers’. Indian clerks and schoolmasters are ‘coolie clerks’ and ‘coolie schoolmasters’. Naturally, neither the traders nor the English-educated Indians are treated with any degree of respect. Wealth and abilities in an Indian count for naught in that country except to serve the interests of the European Colonists. We are the ‘Asian dirt to be heartily cursed’. We are ‘squalid coolies with truth-less tongues’. We are ‘the real canker that is eating into the very vitals of the community’. We are ‘parasites, semi-barbarous Asiatics’. We ‘live upon rice and we are chock-full of vice’. Statute-books describe the Indians as belonging to the ‘aboriginal or semi-barbarous races of Asia’, while, as a matter of fact, there is hardly one Indian in South Africa belonging to the aboriginal stock. The Santhals of Assam will be as useless in South Africa as the natives of that country. You can easily imagine how difficult it must be for a respectable Indian to exist in such a country. I am sure, gentlemen, that if our President went to South Africa, he would find it, to use a colloquial phrase, ‘mighty hard’ to secure accommodation in a hotel, and he would not feel very comfortable in a first-class railway carriage in Natal, and, after reaching Volksrust, he would be put out unceremoniously from his first-class compartment and accommodated in a tin compartment where Kaffirs are packed like sheep. Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness. The aim of the Christian Governments, so we read, is to raise people whom they come in contact with or whom they control. It is otherwise in South Africa. There, the deliberately expressed object is not to allow the Indian to rise higher in the scale of civilization but to lower him to the position of the Kaffir.” (Eclipse of the Hindu Nation, Gandhi’s “Success” in South AfricaSpeech at a public meeting, Bombay, 27-9-1896, CWMG, Vol. 1, pp 407-17)

If Gandhi’s towering arrogance looked at native Africans with contempt in 1896, the same towering arrogance diminished the status of Hindu kings whom he advised to become servants of their people. There is a vast difference between Gandhi posturing to the world and choosing to call himself a “bhangi” and Gandhi condescendingly imposing the name “harijan” on people belonging to the scheduled castes, asking the Indian army to do sanitation work, advising soldiers of the INA who returned to India after the death of Subhash Bose to do farming and exhorting kings to become servants. Gandhi had no qualms about handing over Hindu kingdoms to the Muslim League and he had no qualms promoting Sheikh Abdullah against Maharaja Hari Singh.

Only a few years ago the Princes felt that they could not be safe except under the Paramountcy of the British Crown. It seemed to have dawned on most of them that that was not the correct attitude. This was but natural, for they were after all sons of the soil. He had said openly on another occasion that the people of the States were slaves of slaves which the Princes were.

If they became servants of their own people, if they took that attitude, they needed no terms with the Congress or with any other organization. The immediate need was an understanding with their own people. He made bold to take up that attitude, though his might be a lonely voice. In his opinion, the Princes, as servants and trustees of their people, were worthy of their hire” (Speech at Meeting of Deccan Princes, Poona, July 28, 1946, Harijan, 4-8-1946, and The Hindu, 1-8-1946, CWMG, Vol. 91, pp 369-70; Extracted from Pyarelal’s Deccan Chiefs in Conference).

The meeting was held in the Servants of India Society’s Library Hall. Among those present were the Rajas of Aundh, Phaltan, Bhor, Miraj (Senior), Jamkhandi and Kurundwad (Senior), Appasaheb Pant and Satawalekar from Aundh, Kore, Sathe and Thomre from Sangli, the Dewan of Bhor and representatives from Budhgaon and Ramdrug. N. C. Kelkar and Shankerrao Deo were also present on the occasion by special invitation.

Gandhi insulted the leaders of the Hindu princely states and sent them away dejected and uncertain about their fate. To add more insult to their already injured self-esteem and high status, Gandhi told them that unless they heeded Gandhi’s advice, their fate may well become worse in Nehru’s India.

I have eaten the Princes’ salt and I would not be false to it. As a faithful servant, it is my duty to warn the Princes that if they will act while I am still alive, the Princes may come to occupy an honourable place in free India. In Jawaharlal’s scheme of free India, no privileges or the privileged classes have a place. Jawaharlal considers all property to be State-owned. He wants planned economy. He wants to reconstruct India according to plan. He likes to fly; I do not. I have kept a place for the Princes and the zamindars in India that I envisage.”

There was no longer even a polite pretence that the Congress was a democratic organization. It was either Gandhi or Nehru who unilaterally decided all policies. Gandhi may have used the phrases “While I am still alive”, “In Jawaharlal’s scheme of free India”, “Jawaharlal considers” very naturally but it was an ominous portent of more dangerous things to come. During his negotiations with the Cabinet Mission, Gandhi stipulated that election of the 93 delegates from among Indian rulers of the princely states to the Constituent Assembly will be determined by the Nawab of Bhopal and Nehru. If the princely states, a majority of whom were Hindus, failed to come to an agreeable solution there will be no delegates to represent them and their issue must be transferred to the Advisory Committee referred to in Clause 20 of the State Paper. Gandhi usurped to himself the right to decide not only who would be the delegates to the Constituent Assembly on behalf of the princely states but also arrogated to himself the right to deny them agency to decide their future.

Even in that moment of acute anxiety for Hindu princely states, Gandhi did not have the vision to see an opportunity to reach out to them in solidarity and support; he saw in the meeting only a great opportunity to deliver what he considered was a well-deserved homily. It is striking that while he referred them to Nehru, he did not think he had to consult Rajaji or Patel who were more qualified intellectually to deal with this extremely complex and sensitive issue or that instead of the Muslim Nawab of Bhopal he could have requested a Hindu ruler to undertake the task. It must mean something that Gandhi had to be assassinated to give Patel the freedom and the space to integrate all princely states into the Indian Union; with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir which Gandhi handed over to Nehru as reward for filial obedience.

Sheikh Mohammed AbdullahGandhi and Nehru sow the seeds of separatism in Kashmir

Gandhi’s penchant for entrusting Nehru with all major political responsibilities had less to do with Nehru’s political ability and more to do with Nehru’s sagacity in staying on the right side of Gandhi. It was Gandhi’s “moha” for Nehru which drove a stake into the heart of the Hindu nation in 1946, when Gandhi subordinated the nation’s interest to Nehru’s personal whim in Jammu and Kashmir. Even as the INC was in the midst of the make or break negotiations with the Cabinet Delegation, trouble erupted in Jammu and Kashmir. Sheikh Abdullah, a commoner from the Valley saw a great opportunity in the generally troubled times, to realize his own towering Muslim ambitions in the turbulent years preceding 1947. Playing out the drama for civil liberties and ‘freedom’ that the INC had staged in Rajkot, Jaipur and other Hindu kingdoms, Sheikh Abdullah launched in May 1946, the ‘Quit Kashmir’ campaign. Abdullah was promptly arrested and incarcerated.

Nehru, in a significant political statement that Jammu and Kashmir was his fiefdom, attempted to enter Kashmir and was speedily detained by Ram Chandra Kak, the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Gandhi jumped into the fray and in a passionate letter to Jawaharlal Nehru, pleaded with Nehru to return to Delhi with the promise that the Congress would make Nehru’s cause in Kashmir, its own cause and Nehru’s honour, its honour. The CWC draft resolution, as usual authored by Gandhi contained the ill-concealed threat to the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir that Nehru would return to “retrieve his honour”, a threat which does not find mention in the official Congress Resolution. True to his promise to Nehru, Gandhi drafted the Congress resolution on Kashmir in the name of Maulana Azad, the President of the INC. Readers must read the resolution attentively to understand why Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Manohar Parikkar and Amit Shah can do nothing different in Jammu and Kashmir and why they can do nothing to Pakistan.

Recent events in Kashmir have been repeatedly considered by the Working Committee and the Committee have been greatly affected by them. They refrained, however, from expressing any opinion as they hoped that the situation could be handled satisfactorily by friendly mediation. Their approaches, however, to the State authorities had an unfriendly response, and the situation has progressively deteriorated, involving repression of, and suffering for, the people. Recently, the popular leader of the people and the President of the Kashmir National Conference, Sheikh Abdullah was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. This has added to the gravity of the situation and distressed and angered large numbers of people within and outside the State. When Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru went to Kashmir and was arrested there, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the then President of the Congress, asked him to come back in order to continue the valuable work he was doing for the Congress in connection with the negotiations with the Cabinet Mission. Maulana Azad had assured him then, with the consent of the Working Committee, that the Congress would make his cause in Kashmir their own. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru willingly returned, though not without misgivings. The Working Committee regret to find that his misgivings were justified. From all accounts received by the Committee, repression of an open as well as a subtle type is continuing, and the people connected with the Kashmir [National] Conference are being harassed in many ways. It is reported that while elections have been announced for the State Assembly, large numbers of names are being struck off the electoral rolls, and many prospective candidates for the election have been disqualified. No attempt is being made to liberalize the Constitution and to make it more democratic and responsible. In view of these reports, the Working Committee feel it necessary to send a deputation, consisting of persons of unquestioned ability and impartiality, to inquire into the reports of repression and suppression of civil libertiesThe Committee, therefore, earnestly recommend to Kashmir State that they should invite such a deputation. Recent events in Kashmir have a large significance affecting the rulers and peoples of all the States in India and Committee trust that the States will welcome the step that they are taking in regard to Kashmir. While noting with deep regret the sentence passed on Sheikh Abdullah, the Committee would consider his incarceration as a worthy sacrifice if it results in the achievement of the freedom for which he was labouring. The Committee express their sympathy for all those who have suffered or are suffering for the cause of freedom in Kashmir.”

Gandhi’s insistence that the territory of this bhumi belonged in equal measure (in diminishing order of equality) to Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Jews and Hindus, in that order, was taken seriously by post-independence Nehruvian secular India. Secular India stood by and watched Sheikh Abdullah’s son Farooq Abdullah implement his father’s Quit Kashmir slogan faithfully in letter and spirit from 1989 onwards. His son Omar Abdullah by declaring that he will not allow Kashmiri Pandits to be re-settled in a well-protected Pandit region of the Kashmir Valley and nor will he allow Sainik colonies to be set up in Srinagar has only stated his intention to keep it that way.

Amit Shah and Narendra Modi must put some steel in the spine of the government and work towards altering the arithmetic of religious demography which is influencing electoral politics in the jihadi state. The Kashmir Valley’s quota in Lok Sabha constituencies and state assembly constituencies is unnaturally weighted in favour of Kashmiri jihadis.

The J&K state has six Lok Sabha seats—three from Kashmir valley, two from Jammu and one from Ladakh.

The Legislative Assembly was initially composed of 100 members, later increased to 111 by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (Twentieth Amendment) Act of 1988. Of these, 24 seats are designated for the territorial constituencies of the state that were occupied by Pakistan in 1947. These seats remain officially vacant as per section 48 of the state constitution. These seats are not taken into account for reckoning the total membership of the Assembly, especially for deciding quorum and voting majorities for legislation and government formation. Hence the total contestable and filled seats of the assembly are presently 87.

The Kashmir Valley has 46 seats, the Jammu region has 37 seats and Ladakh has 4 seats.

Two women may be nominated as members by the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir if he is of the opinion that women are not adequately represented.

Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah must do the following:

  1. Alter the religious demography of the state in a manner which will loosen the Muslim stranglehold on the polity.
  2. Set up Sainik colonies in the valley with determination and resolve.
  3. Carve out a portion of the valley for Kashmiri Pandits and set up the Sainik colonies along the borders of Pandit habitations.
  4. Bring the tenure of the J&K state assembly in line with the rest of India; reduce the tenure from the current six years to five years as it prevails in other states of the country.

And as this government moves in this direction, Hindus must know and pass the word around that it was Gandhi and not Nehru who lit the jihadi fire in the Hindu kingdom of Jammu, Kashmir, Laddakh and the Tibets. – Vigil-Online, July, 2016.

Narendra Modi in South Africa

“Modi and Amit Shah must know there can be no Congress-mukt Bharat without Gandhi-mukt Bharat.”

See also

Hey Omar! Article 370 can be repealed! – K.N. Bhat

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Oct. 28, 1947

K. N. Bhat“The assertion by any citizen that J&K or any other state is not governed by the Indian Constitution may amount to an act of sedition. The seemingly unending Kashmir problem was born out of a single folly of a single man — Nehru stopping Sardar Patel from dealing with Kashmir. Through a series of more such follies, a Frankenstein of a state has been created that dares the nation even to discuss an issue relating to it.” – K.N. Bhat

J&K CM Omar AbdullaMark my words and save this tweet — long after Modi government is a distant memory either J&K won’t be part of India or Article 370 will still exist,” Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of India’s 15th state, tweeted in his response to a minister’s statement on the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir.

Audacity unlimited! And ignorance unbounded! The Chief Minister appears to be under the wrong impression that he can give talaaq and separate Jammu and Kashmir from India at will.

According to the Omar school of thought, Article 370 of the Constitution of India cannot be touched except with the consent of the J&K Assembly. And if that Article is abrogated, the status of J&K before accession would automatically stand restored. Should that mean that Dr Karan Singh, son of the last ruler of Kashmir, will be recognised as the ruler of J&K, and everything that happened after the accession would be void? No, that may not be acceptable.

On the eve of India and Pakistan becoming separate dominions, Indian Independence Act 1947, read with the Government of India Act 1935, gave the rajas and maharajas of British India three options: become part of India, become a part of Pakistan or remain independent states. Within the specified period — between August 15 and October 6, 1947 — 560-plus erstwhile rulers signed documents with the title “Instrument of Accession”, and thereby agreed to become part of the dominion of India. This was to be followed by instruments of merger, thereby becoming part of India and ending the original identity of the princely state — many princes executed both the documents one after the other, while some had hesitation to sign the merger treaty.

The process of merger in respect of all except J&K was completed in October 1949. At the insistence of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the agreement to pay compensation to the princes for merging with India — the privy purse — was given a constitutional status through the introduction of Article 291. The ruler of Jammu and Kashmir wanted to remain independent, but when the Pakistanis were about to capture his kingdom, the raja in distress executed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947 — the offer was accepted by Governor- General Lord Mountbatten the very next day with a gratuitous condition that after peace returned to the state, the people’s wish would be ascertained on the issue of accession. This was just a wish in view of the belated accession, not a precondition for accession authorised by law.

Hari Singh The Instruments of Accession were cyclostyled documents — the one signed by Raja Hari Singh was no different from the one signed by, say, Maharaja of Mysore. So much so the Kashmir king’s impressive string of titles — Shriman Inder Mahender Rajrajeswar Maharajadhiraj Shri Hari Singhji, Jammu and Kashmir Naresh Tatha Tibbetadi Deshadhipathi, Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir — had to be squeezed into the long enough blanks allotted in the specified form. So the document executed by Raja Hari Singh was just another Instrument of Accession with no special concessions or reservations.

In normal circumstances, merger of J&K with India  should have taken place before October end, but a brilliant self-goal scored by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in the form of a complaint to the UNO and the consequent UN intervention, prevented it. The merger had to be postponed until the dispute was settled — and that dispute is still pending.

Again, at the insistence of Nehru, Article 370, according special status to J&K, was added at the fag end of the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly. B.R. Ambedkar openly opposed the idea and refused to take part in drafting Article 370, while other members of the Constituent Assembly, according to Gopalasway, a member of the Constituent Assembly, condescended to this “gift from Nehru to his friend Sheikh Abdullah” in the firm belief that this was a temporary measure.

Recall the privy purse case. Indira Gandhi, following the split in the Congress, resorted to measures intended to project her as the only champion of the poor. One such gimmick was abolition of privy purse in 1970 — at that time the total burden on the exchequer on this account was about Rs 4 crore per year. A blatant breach of a constitutional obligation and of a solemn promise was sought to be committed by deleting Article 291.

But the move was defeated by one vote in the Rajya Sabha. Bitterly bitten by this humiliation, the Indira government got a presidential notification issued, derecognising the princes. That notification was struck down by the Supreme Court (1971). Soon thereafter, equipped with the needed numerical strength in Parliament, the 21st Amendment Act was passed. It was the shortest amendment reading, “Article 291 be deleted”. The Amendment Act was also challenged. However, the Supreme Court upheld the abolition of privy purse by deleting Article 291 after observing that Article 368 permits such an amendment. “We are concerned only with the legality not morality,” said the court (1983).

Arguments on the scope and interpretation of Article 370 may end before the Supreme Court of India, or may be not if the issue assumes international colour. But what is not in doubt is that the Indian Parliament can amend the Indian Constitution even by deleting Article 370.

Sheikh Abdullah & NehruThe amending power under Article 368 is plenary and in exercise of it Parliament can simply delete Article 370. Article 368(1) reads: “Not withstanding anything contained in this Constitution, Parliament may in exercise of its constituent power amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any provision of this Constitution in accordance with the procedure laid down in this Article.”

So long as the basic structure of the Constitution is not altered, Parliament’s amending power is unlimited — what is the Constitution’s basic structure is not defined, but a temporary provision like Article 370 cannot be part of it. No agreement or treaty can restrict the scope of this constitutional provision.

Once Article 370 stands repealed, the Instrument of Accession may become operational to the extent that it is consistent with the Constitution — the proclaimed allegiance to the Government of India Act 1935 would extend to its successor, the Constitution of India.

The assertion by any citizen that J&K or any other state is not governed by the Indian Constitution may amount to an act of sedition. The seemingly unending Kashmir problem was born out of a single folly of a single man — Nehru stopping Sardar Patel from dealing with Kashmir. Through a series of more such follies, a Frankenstein of a state has been created that dares the nation even to discuss an issue relating to it. With the passage of time the problem may only get aggravated. What should be done? To begin with, try to win the co-operation of the Kashmiri politicians and MPs from the rest of India to suitably amend and attenuate Article 370; failing this repeal it. Hopefully, well before the Modi government is forgotten, the Kashmiri people would have forgotten Article 370. – Deccan Chronicle, 7 June 2014

» K.N. Bhat is a senior advocate of the Supreme Court and former additional solicitor-general of India. He can be reached at knbhat1@gmail.com

Omar and Article 370


Maharaja Hari Singh: My religion is Justice – Bhim Singh

Bhim Singh“The Maharaja proved his conviction as a democrat and nationalist when he drove by himself with the Maharani and his son Yuvraj Karan Singh from Srinagar to Jammu to sign the Instrument of Accession. Mr. V.P. Menon had requested the Maharaja to come to Jammu to sign the Accession. Several historians and politicians have blamed the Maharaja for having delayed his decision to sign the Instrument of Accession before 14 August 1947. Had the Maharaja signed the Instrument Accession at that time, the same critics would have blamed him for hastening the process!” – Bhim Singh

Hari Singh BahadurSince time immemorial, there have been many kings and crowns. Many of them ruled with grace and dignity, yet not a single ruler in any part of the world had courage to declare his religion as justice. On 9 July 1925, immediately after being crowned as Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh declared, “My religion is justice”. This might have annoyed several religious persons, yet Hari Singh stood by his commitment. In 1927, Maharaja Hari Singh issued a Royal Decree introducing a great revolutionary legislation, State Subject, which now has been renamed as ‘Permanent Resident’.

What a great imagination the King of Kashmir had at a time when there was no religious conflict or inner tension in the state though 86% of the population fraternity from Gilgit to Kashmir belonged to the Muslim. This concept shows the unique farsightedness of Maharaja Hari Singh to save not only the land and properties of the residents of J&K, but also put in place a permanent mechanism to save the identities of the Ladakhis, Kashmiris, Baltis, Dogras, and others. Had there been no such legislation, the Kashmiris in particular would have lost not only their land but their cultural identity too.

It is a misunderstanding that the identity and the land of the residents of J&K are protected under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. This is totally incorrect. The identity and property stand protected under the unique law enacted by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1927.

Seal of Maharaja Hari Singh on the cover of the Civil ListThe High Court of J&K was established by another Royal Decree by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1928. The protection of civil and political rights of the residents of J&K was guaranteed by the Maharaja, authorizing the High Court and even Sessions Judges to issue writs, including the writ of habeas corpus, in J&K way back in 1928.

J&K was perhaps the first Princely state in India which enacted laws opening all public places, temples, wells etc. for every citizen, including the members of the depressed classes (Scheduled Castes). Maharaja Hari Singh declared the practice of untouchability as an offence and banned child marriage, prostitution, and use of drugs. The Maharaja issued an Ordinance putting a strict ban on the transfer of females from Baltistan to other areas.

Maharaja Hari Singh introduced the parliamentary system by holding election to the State Parliament called as ‘Praja Sabha’ in 1934. Great legal luminaries and political activists like Mirza Afzal Beg were introduced in his cabinet. J&K was the first state under the leadership of Maharaja Hari Singh which evolved an independent constitution which introduced the concept of elected representatives, members of Praja Sabha, and established an independent judiciary.

Jammu & Kashmir State in India.It was Maharaja Hari Singh who brought Kashmir on the map of world tourism. It was he who developed Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Dachigam for international tourism. Students of history may agree that not a single spot has been developed for world tourism in Kashmir since 1947.

The Maharaja having absolute power at his command ensured that his opponents were not harassed or harmed by the administration or police. Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah, Mirza Afzal Beg and several others who were agitating against the Maharaja were not harmed or subjected to any kind of oppression by the administration. There was not a single instance of custodial killing during the time of Maharaja Hari Singh or any other Dogra ruler during 101 years of their rule from 1846 to 1947.

In 1931, the police resorted to firing on an angry mob of protesters in Kashmir resulting in death of several people. The Maharaja suo moto ordered a probe under a British officer – the Glancy Commission. The recommendations of the Commission were implemented within a couple of months and the guilty policemen brought to justice. Can anybody compare the justice delivery system of the Maharaja with the rule of the so-called democrats today?

The Maharaja proved his conviction as a democrat and nationalist when he drove by himself with the Maharani and his son Yuvraj Karan Singh from Srinagar to Jammu to sign the Instrument of Accession. Mr. V.P. Menon had requested the Maharaja to come to Jammu to sign the Accession. Several historians and politicians have blamed the Maharaja for having delayed his decision to sign the Instrument of Accession before 14 August 1947. Had the Maharaja signed the Instrument Accession at that time, the same critics would have blamed him for hastening the process!

Sheikh Abdullah, the leading politician and leader of Kashmiri Muslims, might have joined with Jinnah to counter the Maharaja. The situation would not have favoured the sentiments of the people of Kashmir nor would it have worked in favour of the Union of India. It is a great tragedy that Indian intellectuals, particularly historians, have not realized the great wisdom of Maharaja Hari Singh.

Brig. Rajinder SinghThe Government of Pakistan led by Jinnah signed a no-war pact (Stand Still Agreement) with the Maharaja on 16 August 1947. Yet it was Pakistan which invaded J&K in violation of its agreement to grab Kashmir. The people of J&K stood as one to oppose the aggression from the Pakistani side. Brig. Rajinder Singh, a Dogra hero, sacrificed his life with 125 Dogra soldiers at the outskirts of Baramullah on 26 October 1947. The Maharaja had to hasten the process of joining India to save the people of J&K from the wrath of the Pakistani raiders.

The greatness of the Maharaja and his commitment to the cause of India is demonstrated when he swallowed all insults and humiliations to which he and his family were subjected after signing the Instrument of Accession. The Maharaja was forced to go into exile from his home state, J&K. During 14 years of exile in Bombay, the Maharaja never uttered a word on the subject despite heavy provocations and unlimited temptations by the Anglo-American Bloc to denounce the Accession. He died at the age of 66 years in Bombay leaving a clear message to the people of J&K that our future lies with India. – Vijayvaani, 23 Sept. 2012

» The author is a Senior Advocate; Chairman of the National Panthers Party; and Member, National Integration Council

San Francisco: Activism over Human Rights-wallahs on Kashmir – Sandhya Jain

Sandhya Jain“In fact, the current line of the Obama Administration, on pretext of securing a favourable settlement in Afghanistan, is to separate Kashmir from India. It is a continuation of the old Mountbatten agenda, whereby the British sought to secure a military operating base for future action against China. As inheritor of the British imperial mantle, Washington has revived the independent Kashmir file.” – Sandhya Jane

Prashant BhushanCoinciding with advocate Prashant Bhushan’s explosive espousal of plebiscite-cum-azadi for Kashmir Muslims (the only section agitating for azadi being Sunni Muslim leaders of the valley, and their paid foot soldiers), comes news of a campaign to whip up support among Human Rights groups in the United States for re-instatement of suspended Professors Richard Shapiro and Angana Chatterji, also activists on Kashmir.

Although the event never made news at the time, it transpires that both Prof. Angana Chatterji and her husband and fellow activist Richard Shapiro, were suspended on July 19, 2011, by the Academic Vice President (AVP) at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, where they serve as full time academics at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. The charges have not been disclosed.

Profs. Angana Chatterji (centre) & Richard Shapiro (right)The duo was last in the news in November 2010 when Indian immigration authorities denied Richard Shapiro entry in New Delhi and sent him back to the US. He was accompanying Angana Chatterji to Kashmir; she was allowed to proceed. Chatterji is an Indian citizen and permanent resident in the US; she is co-convener of an NGO called the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir (IPTK).

The deportation order is believed to have emanated from an article written by Shapiro in Greater Kashmir, titled, “Governing Kashmir: Critical Reflections on the Historical Present” (Sept 28, 2010).

In the impugned article, Shapiro wrote, “What is the logic of the Indian state to which Kashmiris are subjected?”

Viciously disregarding the truth that the Fundamental Rights guaranteed to citizens in the Indian Constitution do not extend to Jammu and Kashmir because the State Constitution and Assembly have refused to extend them to state citizens, Shapiro declaims:

“The people of Kashmir must be denied the rights guaranteed to citizens of India because every Kashmiri is considered a real or potential threat to India… Law and order demands the denial of democratic rights to the people of Kashmir. Freedom of assembly and movement, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of press, freedom of religion are the basic rights that make India a legitimate state, and it is precisely these rights that must be denied all Kashmiris because when Kashmiris exercise these rights it is considered evidence of the anti-national sentiment of Kashmiris.”

There is not even a trace of recognition that the miniscule Kashmiri Pandit community was denied the very right to life and liberty, much less freedom Kashmiri Pandits protest their exile from Kashmir.of religion, when it was genocided and ethnic-cleansed out of the valley a little over two decades ago.

Undaunted by his crude lies, Shapiro thunders, “If Kashmiris want to prove their loyalty they must sacrifice their human rights and civil liberties for the protection of ‘Greater India’. The Kashmiri cannot be loyal in the same way that a citizen of India is expected to be loyal, which includes the lawful right to organize to express dissent, to demand accountability on the part of government, to protest injustice and oppression in the streets, in the press, in institutions and organizations created to enable a vibrant civil society empowered to articulate its needs and concerns.”

Kashmir Pandits: Exiles in their own land.Shapiro hectors on laboriously, without regard to fact or legal position. Thus, he proclaims, “To focus on the unfortunate expression of anger and frustration through stone pelting by young men as evidence of a law and order problem and the violence of protestors is quite simply an affront to critical intelligence.” When young officers are critically wounded or passersby die in stone pelting, is it to be taken as an expression of peace and amity in the valley?

But Shapiro is not bothered by trifles like Truth. He plods on,

“Responsibility for violence rests firmly on the shoulders of the Indian state, evidenced in the unprecedented militarization of daily life in Kashmir, the long history of brutality with impunity, the systemic exploitation of the people and resources of Kashmir, surveillance, humiliation, the suppression of civil liberties and the innumerable atrocities against a civilian population understood to be ‘integral’ to India.”

Excuse me, the people of India feel Kashmir is the biggest drain on the exchequer and would like to know the extent to which the State contributes to the national kitty, as opposed to the doles it routinely receives. It is more than likely that a number of states are underdeveloped in proportion to the extent that Kashmir is pampered. A dose of fiscal discipline would give manufactured discontent a reality bite.

And in a manner startlingly similar to the private and later public fulminations of Sheikh Abdullah, Shapiro accuses the Indian State of ‘communalism’ and “systematic oppression of the approximately 140 million Muslims in India whose mistreatment does not disappear through incantations of Bollywood stars or recent Presidents of nation.”

His solution is on the familiar lines already touted by the National Conference, the People’s Democratic Party, and now (allegedly) the Home Ministry appointed interlocutors – remove the military and paramilitary forces from Kashmir; draw back and reduce troops to police the borders.

Finally, very much like Team Anna crusader with a personal agenda, Prashant Bhushan, by “allowing civil society to express itself without fear of reprisal toward determination of its own future… The obstacle to law and order in Kashmir is the same as the obstacle to justice, freedom, and cultural survival. That obstacle is Indian rule. The first step in removing this obstacle is immediate demilitarization of Kashmiri society” (emphasis ours).

It is for such great activists in academic garb – one an American, another an Indian citizen with permanent residency in the US and an American husband – that righteous indignation is being whipped up in US Human Rights circles. Their respective “work” in Kashmir is cited as reason to agitate on their behalf – though it seems likely that the suspension by the institution has nothing to do with India or their work to delink Kashmir from India.

Lord Mountbatten, Nehru & Edwina MountbattenIn fact, the current line of the Obama Administration, on pretext of securing a favourable settlement in Afghanistan, is to separate Kashmir from India. It is a continuation of the old Mountbatten agenda, whereby the British sought to secure a military operating base for future action against China. As inheritor of the British imperial mantle, Washington has revived the independent Kashmir file. It is part of the dogma surrounding the Clash of Civilisations Part 2.

Angana Chatterji is among the Indian intellectuals (sic) who embraced the seminar circuit of the notorious ISI-funded Kashmiri Islamist Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was recently arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Interlocutors Dileep Padgaonkar and Radha Kumar were also guests at anti-India seminars abroad. – Vijayvaani, New Delhi, Oct. 18, 2011

» Sandhya Jain is a senior journalist and editor of the Vijayvaani Opinions Forum