Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Gandhi responsible for soldier deaths in Kashmir

The deaths of Lance Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh have angered the nation. Their bodies were mutilated and one of them was beheaded. They are the latest in the long list of Indian soldiers who died in Jammu & Kashmir fighting Pakistan.
In October 1947 Hari Singh Dongra, Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir, signed the Instrument of Accession after he was unable to fight Pashtun tribesmen sent by Pakistan. Jammu & Kashmir became part of India and Pakistan invaded it soon afterwards. India and Pakistan fought a war in Kashmir. In January 1948 Pakistan’s treasury was empty. India had stopped payments to Pakistan. India would have won the war and Pakistan would have vacated Kashmir. Governor General Louis Mountbatten wanted Kashmir to go to Pakistan. He wanted Pakistan to get its share of treasury with Reserve Bank of India. Nehru and Patel were not ready as that money would have been used by Pakistan to fight India. Mountbatten met Gandhi. Gandhi agreed to what Mountbatten said. Nehru and Patel defied Gandhi. Gandhi went on fast. Nehru and Patel succumbed to pressure and handed over 55 crore rupees to Pakistan. Pakistan survived bankruptcy and continued war in Kashmir and kill Indian soldiers.
How was Mountbatten able to influence Gandhi? Gandhi had said India can be divided over his dead body. He had fasted for various reasons at different times. When Mountbatten told him about India’s partition and asked him not to oppose it he did not go on fast to oppose partition. When Mountbatten wanted him to help Pakistan he fasted.
The war continued in 1948 and ended in January 1949 with a UN mediated cease fire. India had expected UN to ask Pakistan to vacate Kashmir and that did not happen. After that there were three wars and many firings along the line of control. Many Indian soldiers have died due to wars and firings and also due to adverse weather conditions in Kargil and Siachen.
In 1999 Saurabh Kalia and five others were captured, mutilated and tortured by Pakistanis. India did not make an issue of violation of Geneva Conventions. Saurabh Kalia’s father wanted Indian government to do something but his entreaties fell on deaf ears.
There are some who speak in favour of Pakistan and offer crazy explanations and justifications. Praveen Swami on Last Word said Pakistan beheaded Indian soldier as a tit-for-tat for India erecting an observation post. That does not make sense. If Pakistan wanted to retaliate they could have erected an observation post on their side. He said Indians have beheaded Pakistanis in the past. Pakistanis have not spoken about it.
Too many Indians have died in Kashmir. We shall ask Pakistan to vacate the territory they illegally occupy within 90 days and write to China to hand over the territory they transferred to them in 1967. If Pakistan does not oblige we shall follow with sanctions like USA did with Iran. We shall close our high commission and deputy high commissions in Pakistan. We shall stop trade with Pakistan and ask USA and other countries to stop trade with Pakistan.
We need to critically evaluate our leaders. They have got praise for many things. We should not hesitate to blame them for their wrongs. Gandhi has to be blamed for his fast and subsequent deaths of Indian soldiers in Kashmir.

Updated: January 12, 2013 — 7:43 am

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