Kashmir's Accession to India

 

BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Kashmir’s Accession to India
unravelling the truth
BY D.N. DHAR
Review by Bilhan Kaul
Title Kashmir's Accession to India: Unravelling the Truth
Author D. N. Dhar
Publisher Aravali Books International,
ISBN 8181500814, 9788181500816
Length 317 pages
About the Book
From very early Times in history, Kashmir has, invariably, been maintaining its unique identity. King lalitaditya was the man who defeated the Forces of Mohammad-bin Qasim under the command of Junaid when he was marching to invade Kashmir. Even two serious attempts by Mahmud Ghaznavi to invade Kashmir were foiled by Karkuta kings. Bloody Battles were fought by the people of Kashmir against Alien Sayids who were direct descendants of Prophet Mohammad. They even rose in a rebellion against the Mughal rule. Afgans were vanquished and turned out of Kashmir. The treaty of Amritsar was challenged by these self-respecting people. There has not been a proper appreciation of unique personality of Kashmir.

Besides for the last many decades, very vital questions of Kashmir's accession to India were kept under wraps. These were the minutes of the Cabinet Defence Commitee, which took very important Decisions like airlifting Military assistance to the people of Kashmir who were resisting Pakistani attack on their own and accepting the accession of Kashmir to India. How the airlifting was opposed by the Service Chiefs who were all Britishers, how the onward march of Indian troops beyond Uri was stopped, how the encirclement of Punch by the enemy continued for a long time, how the Kashmir case was sent to the U.N.Security Council, why the bridges at Muzaffarabad were not blasted and other important questions continued to be a mystry because the minutes of the Cabinet Defence Committee were declared as classified documents. These continue to be classified in India even now. But the India Office Library has declassified those documents. The author has unravelled the Truth by procuring the photo copies of these documents from London.

The work is well documented. It abounds with rich reference material.

This work will prove a valuable asset to Research scholors, Teachers and students of universities in the disciplines of History, Political Science and Sociology. It will Help parliamentarians and politicians to appreciate Kashmir problem in right perspective.
Book Review by Bilhan Kaul:
Since Kashmir is in perpetual conflict yet another book on how accession with India came to pass has hit the stands.

Kashmir’s accession to India unravelling the truth is another contribution in the same direction.

D.N. Dhar is not completely unknown author. He has written books before but he is yet to hit the straps as for as truth on Kashmir is concerned. This is due to fact author varies his opinion and thinks to be moderate is ultimate truth. But such opinion can be dangerous. That is not to say that the details given in the book are wrong. But the details which the author trots out have been repeated several times. And the problem is he has nothing new to say. One impressive innovation is he has identified foreign Sayyids as trouble makers. He asserts Kashmiri nationalism was peculiar and gives due to Sheikh which is due to him in any case.

But the author does not direct the argument properly. We can say since Kashmiris have been converted the secular movement in Kashmir was always battle between nativity and foreign elements. And as memory wore off slowly foreigners succeeded in eradicating local from the Kashmir soil. So battle as such is not between religions in Kashmir, it is war between what is local and who is foreign?. Since we permit to view political developments according to our personalities so each of us has different stories to tell. In the process foreign religious imperialism is not given due. That is not to say D.N.Dhar does not recognize it but in his endeavor to be profound he misses the point. For example, the author says in one chapter “conclusion” reshi order of Nund Reshi made a tremendous impact on Kashmiris, further saying that reshi order of Nund Reshi had members from both Muslim and Hindu Community . But author fails to appreciate that new converts thorongd to Nund Rishi in numbers to show local solidarity. The argument is flawed because Muslim were new converts who had not forgotten their roots.

So converts viewed him as their own. It was foreigners who wanted to separate the Kashmiris on religious lines. At that time it was difficult to do so. But as subsequent events have proved in the long run they have succeeded in their design and Kashmir is in perpetual conflict.

So when Britishers or Jinnah is mentioned as players one always sees the risk of deliberately repeating old truths on Kashmir.But since D.N. Dhar’s book is about accession we can say with certainty as D.N. Dhar has done that Sheikh, Pt. Nehru and Britishers were principal players. Sheikh was impressed with Nehru’s flamboyance and Mountbatien hated Jinnah’s obstinacy.Sheikh had vast following which was rooted in Kashmiri ethos. So to be with Indian Union was not difficult for Kashmiris as was made subsequently. But overtime religious hold of foreigners on Kashmiris got better off them.Kashmiris consciously or unconsciously got more islamised with passage of time. And results are for all of us to see. True, it is imperative to project those who have been converted to forget their native roots.

In that direction D.N. Dhar makes a point. But is afraid to state it explicitly. And that truth is Kashmiris have not recovered their Gods after the alien subjugation of Kashmir.

D.N. Dhar gives Marxist touch to his opinions. One such case in point is land reforms in Kashmir. Land reforms were necessary but it could not have been done on the basis of robbing the Peter and paying the Paul. No doubt D.N.Dhar is a hardworking author who means well. But to mean well has been perceived as weakness in Pandit community by certain elements opposed to the community. Hence, whenever D.N.Dhar writes another book he should keep it in mind.
About the author:
The author is an Eye witness to Events which took place in Kashmir in 1947. He was associated with progressive students movement which was part and parcel of National Movement in Kashmir. He also took part in the resistance campaign which was launched in response to a call given by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to rally in Defence of their motherland when the Pakistani hordes had crossed the international border and were advancing to capture the summer Capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, the City of Srinagar.

Dhar has written extensively on Kashmir. His prominent works are :
- Artisan of Paradise-A Study of Art and Artisans of Kashmir, From Ancient to the Modern Times.
- Dynamics of Political change in Kashmir-From Ancient to Modern Times.
- Kashmir-The land and its management.
- Kashmir-A Kaleidoscopic view, and the present work.
- Kashmir's Accession to India-Unravelling the Truth.

The author is the founder member and the member on the Executive of the Himalayan Research and Cultural Foundation, New Delhi.

After seeking Master's Degree in Economics, he joined Teaching profession and headed the Department of Literarcy Programme in Kashmir. Subsequently he joined Kashmir Civil Service and served the state in various capacities.
About the reviewer:
*Bilhan Kaul is a freelance writer and hasbeen a regular contributer in various magazines and newspapers.

The writer has written extensively on forced conversion and believes it to be the root cause of the conflict in Kashmir. A Central Government Employee presently lives in Janipur, Jammu (India).
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