Tuesday, December 18, 2018
 News Details
Observe 22nd October as Black Day, 26th October as Accession Day
Straight Talk

By K B Jandial

Jammu has mostly got its priorities wrong and its commitment to certain principles and vital political issues, appears to be casual giving long rope to anti-Jammu and anti-India forces. Political parties including BJP that claims to represent hardcore nationalistic forces, too skirting the core issues and mostly unite Jammu on anti-Kashmir and regional discrimination issues.

Jammu rose after a long slumber to celebrate Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday publically with reasonable enthusiasm this year on 23rd September after 57 years of his death and 69 years after his birthday holiday was withdrawn by Sheikh Abdullah. More than birthday ‘politics’, there are important historic days that pass every year with little and low key observance. These are days that have left behind trails of miseries and agonies of tens of thousands of Dogras. There are some historic days that should have been observed as days of elation but bafflingly it was never to be so.

22nd October is one such historic day when Pakistan, within 68 days of its birth as an Independent Islamic nation, invaded the then Independent J&K State along with tribal militia to annex it forcibly in gross violation of India Independence Act, 1947. In fact, it had started attacking State’s border areas much earlier. Pakistan launched guerrilla warfare within a month of its creation. On September 3, 1947, Pak armed raiders entered in to the State and indulged in looting and killings at Kotha, 17 miles from Jammu. On next day, they again sent armed gang in Panjar area for looting and killing. On September 5, areas in the west of Poonch were raided and on September 13-14, Pakistanis entered Alibeg & Jatli, 14 miles from Bhimber. Raids were conducted at a village in Samba on September22 to steal cattle and livestock but locals foiled their attempt. Pakistanis gathered again and attacked another village Jhohar and set on fire some structures. On September28, they attacked a patrol party near Chak-harks in Samba area and in Rajpura area. On Oct 3, a group of Pathans entered into State territory and set on fire ‘Police Thana’ at Dhikote. On October9, they raided Manawar but fled away when challenged by State troops. Similar attacks were made at Pansar near Hiranagr, Nikhowal near Akhnoor and entered Punch jagir, several villages near Samb, Ramgarh and many villages of R S Pura for looting and killing between October10 -18, 1947.

Y R Gupta who himself is a victim of Pakistan’s first insurgency gives vivid account of these incursions, saying that these raids were designed to create terror among the people living near the border and in a way, were early acts of “terrorism”. Sharing some little known facts of Pakistan’s attacks, he said such types of attacks continued till Pakistan launched a full-fledged invasion along with tribal mercenaries on October 22, 1949, killing thousands of people and captured a large chunk of the J&K territory and almost reached near Srinagar. After Maharaja’s delayed accession to India on 26th October, 1947, Indian forces landed and pushed back the invaders from different sectors and by the time the ceasefire was enforced on Ist January, 1948 Pakistan had still occupied illegally over 78000 sq kms of State’s territory. They mercilessly killed and looted people. Religion was not an issue for them as they killed Muslims as well as non-Muslims. Maqbool Sherwani’s ‘crucification’ is a living example of their brutalities. In fact, first person who was killed by invaders was a Muslim from Muzaffarabad area. It had annexed districts of Dianer, Baltistan, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Mirpur, Poonch and Bagh having population of 25 lakh.

While Pakistan’s agenda was clear- annex J&K by force if Maharaja doesn’t accede to Pakistan on persuasion, it had fueled discord and then disharmony among Muslim-Hindu population including Maharaja’s loyalists who started betraying his Government. They engineered rebellion in State forces and injected communalism in Poonch and other areas that resulting in unfortunate killings. The Maharaja lost control of western districts like Mirpur and Poonch. Pakistan’s agenda was clear- annex J&K come what may. The present day Kashmir terrorism is continuity of this incomplete agenda.

To expose Pakistan agenda and create awareness among the present generation of the untold atrocities of Pakistan, 22nd October should have been observed as Black Day in the State but it is forgotten day for the society except for those who has suffered and carrying the painful memories of the holocaust. They hold small functions to remember and pay homage to those killed in this conflagration. Why can’t all political parties, social and cultural organisations join hands to observe 22nd October as Black Day? At least, tie a black badge on this day and express solidarity with those who suffered because of Pakistani invasion- either killed or uprooted. PoK refugees with addition of a new apolitical body - Jammu and Kashmir Youth Development Forum are organising functions on this day but are this sufficient? Why don’t political parties make it a sacrosanct & solemn occasion as Kashmir does to 13th July?

Similarly, 26th October is a greater historic day for the State as on this day on 1947 Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in favour of India and thus J&K became a part of India. It should have been a day of fulfillment and jubilation but intriguingly it was never to be so. While Dogras’ sentiments were understandably associated with the Maharaja and celebrated his birthday for the first time with public pomp and show, there is no public activity or preparation to celebrate Maharaja’s greatest decision- signing of Instrument of Accession and joining India that makes us proud. Without offence to anyone, Accession Day is a historic day in the political life of J&K and by all means more important than any birthday. There was near unanimity among all Jammu based political parties including Jammu provincial wing of NC and Congress to demand holiday on Maharaja’s birthday on 23rd September, none has come forward to even ask for celebrating Accession Day officially, leave aside holiday on this historic day. Why nobody wants to own this Day’s celebrations and organise public functions on massive scale throughout the State?

The Day doesn’t deserve an insignificant and poorly organised a party function with a handful of people assembling at the statue of Maharaja Hari Singh near Tawi Bridge to pay floral tributes to him for joining India. Comparison of such occasions will be unfair but the fact is that a splendid function is organised every year by the J&K Ex-servicemen League with support of Army and Administration, hardly two kms away at crossing behind Civil Secretariat to remember and pay tributes to Brig Rajinder Singh, Chief of Maharaja’s forces who laid down his life on 26th October, 1947 but held back the marching columns of invaders at Uri Bridge till his last bullet and breath in highest traditions of Army. Next day, Indian army reinforcement came and the invaders had to retreat. Brig Rajinder Singh is also called Saviour of Kashmir. About fifteen years ago not much was heard about Brig Rajinder Singh’s contributions but thanks to ex-servicemen League sustained efforts it is an impressive event.

If BJP too is dithering on this emotive nationalistic issue than no other Govt would ever take the call. BJP like earlier ruling parties is also quietly watching Kashmir observing 27th October as Black Day (against landing of Indian forces at Srinagar). It showed no guts to counter it even when BJP is in the Govt with PDP whose CM Mehbooba is credited with publically acclaiming accession of J&K with India. Addressing a Railway function last year at Anantnag before her election to Legislative Assembly, she had justified the decision of accession in the backdrop of unending bloodshed in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. She had said, “Sheikh Abdullah took the decision (No doubt, Sheikh was an ardent supporter of accession with India but decision was of Maharaja Hari Singh) to accede to a country, for preserving the unique identity of the State, where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians live together in harmony”. She drew a comparison with “violence-ridden” Pakistan, created in 1947 for Muslims. “Look at our neighbouring Pakistan where people belonging to the same religion (Muslims) live... We now realize how correct the decision to accede to India was.”

The State especially when BJP is in the Govt, should observe Accession Day officially to send a clear message to Pakistan and the world that issue of accession stood settled. To set the tone PM Modi should issue message of greetings to the people J&K for making right choice followed by Governor, CM and Ministers. Future generations must be made aware about the truth of accession.

Making Accession as closed issue by observing it officially it would puncture the thick smokescreen created around Kashmiris on this issue. Accession is one of the issues on which pro-Pak elements in Kashmir have been exploiting, supporting religion-based unity with Pakistan. Will PDP-BJP Govt make 26th October a big event this year?

(The writer is former Secretary Information, health, transport, CAPD departments and a member of Public Service Commission, feedback: [email protected])

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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