How Did Jammu and Kashmir Become A Part Of India? 9 facts on Accession Day
Hello Defence Lovers, Accession Day is celebrated on October 26 every year to commemorate the day when the last Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in 1947. The agreement made the former independent princely state of J&K join the Union of India.
Kashmir: A topic of debate
- Before Independence, Kashmir was an independent princely state under the realm of Maharaja Hari Singh.Even after all these years, Kashmir has remained a subject of debate between the governments of India and Pakistan. Separatist leaders such as Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have condemned the day as ‘Black Day’ and asked the residents to hoist black flags in protest against the Indian Army posted in Kashmir.
- Recent development: J&K appeals to Modi to celebrate Accession Day .As reported by the Tribune on October 24, a joint statement signed by several prominent people — including bureaucrats, judges, police officers and the civil society — to the PM and J&K Governor called to celebrate October 26 as the official Accession Day.
- It claimed that constitutionally, legally and politically, the accession made by Maharaja under the India Independence Act, 1947, was final and irrevocable.
- “It was a sovereign act as prescribed under the India Independence Act, which did not have any provision of “conditional”, “temporary” or “interim” Accession,” it reads.
9 facts on how Kashmir was included in India
Here are the series of events that led to the state of Jammu and Kashmir being a part of India.
1. Post-Indian independence
- Kashmir was plagued with repeated invasions by the Pathan tribesmen after Indian independence in August 1947. Hence, Maharaja Hari Singh wrote to Lord Mountbatten seeking military help.
2. Mountbatten’s advice
- Mountbatten replied saying, “it is my government’s wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Jammu and Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader, the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people”. This remark is said to have sowed the seed of the Kashmir dispute.
3. Attempt to a plebiscite
- Following Mountbatten’s advice, the Indian government attempted a plebiscite, or referendum, for the Kashmiri people to decide if they wanted to stay a part of India, Pakistan, or remain an independent state.
4. The everlasting debate
- The plebiscite could not take place as the Pakistani government and a part of Kashmiri residents questioned the legality of India’s accession to Kashmir, which up till now remains a point of debate.
5. Instrument of Accession
- Following this, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession at Amar Palace in Jammu on October 26, which India’s last Governor-General Lord Mountbatten accepted on October 27.
6. Agreement with Pakistan
- Hari Singh had earlier signed a ‘standstill’ agreement with Pakistan for uninterrupted trade and communication in Kashmir.
7. Pakistan’s charges
- The Pakistani government contested the accession stating that it was fraudulent and that Singh was forced to sign the agreement with India.
8. The debatable Accession Day
- The exact date of Accession has also been debated on. While Indian historian Prem Shankar Jha said that the accession document was signed on October 25, British researcher Andrew Whitehead pointed out that it happened a day later.
9. Final nail in the wall
- Early in the morning on October 27, the Indian Army’s first Sikh battalion was airdropped in Srinagar where they resisted the Pathan invasion and officially completed Kashmir’s accession to India.
Source- India Today