Both treaty of Amritsar (1846) and instrument of accession to India (1947) were identically colonialist in nature, providing
the same popular outrage. British government had sold a whole nation for a price cheaper than that of potatoes and Dogra’s
transferred Kashmir as a personal property to India. One difference however was that the first took
place in the colonial era and required no legitimacy, the second occurred in the post colonial age after the coming into force
of the United Nations charter.
By the end of 1946, it was clear that British India would be divided into two important states of India and Pakistan. This was confirmed by the declaration made by the British government on June 3, 1947
and on August 14 and 15, respectively came into existence two independent states of Pakistan and India, Pakistan comprising
of the Muslim majority areas and India of Hindu majority areas of British India.
Princely states (including Kashmir and 500 other semi independent states) were given the option to join India or Pakistan or to declare complete independence. The authority to make that decision
was given to the rulers of these states with the provision that they take into full consideration the wishes and aspirations
of their people as well as the geographical contiguity and economic requirements of their states.
After the partition of sub continent, the state of Jammu and Kashmir presented a grim scenario. The Dogra forces committed excesses and
encouraged widespread loot and plunder in Poonch and Mirpur. It is estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 civilian Muslims were killed
by Dogra forces in Jammu province. These grave developments naturally provoked
the traditionally armed tribesmen of Sarhad province (Pakistan) to come to rescue of their coreligionists in Kashmir. The Maharaja fled and appealed to India for help, India, coveting the territory, set one condition on its armed intervention.
The condition was that the Maharaja must sign an instrument of accession to India. He reportedly did so on 26 October and India flew its already ready troops into the state next
The Government of India's feeble claim of the provisional and temporary accession of Kashmir to India by the Maharaja is rejected by historians. A leading historian, Professor
Alastair Lamb in his article entitled, “A Reappraisal” records: “It is now absolutely clear that the two
documents: the Instrument of Accession and the letter to Lord Mountbatten, could not possibly have been signed by the Maharajah
of Jammu and Kashmir on 26 October 1947. The earliest possible time and date for their signature would have to be the afternoon
of 27 October 1947. During
26 October 1947 the
Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir was travelling by road from Srinagar to Jammu. His Prime Minister, M.C. Mahajan, who was negotiating with the Government of India and the senior
Indian Official concerned in State matters, V.P. Memon, were still in New Delhi where they remained over night and where their presence was noted by many
observers. There was no communication of any sort between New Delhi and the travelling Maharajah. Memon and Mahajan set out by air from New Delhi to Jammu at about on 27 October; and the Maharajah learned from them for the first time the result of his Prime Minister's negotiations
in New Delhi in the early afternoon of that day.
The key point, of course, as has already been noted above, is that it is now obvious that these
documents could only have been signed after the overt Indian intervention in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. When the Indian troops arrived at Srinagar airfield, that State was still independent. Any agreements favourable
to India signed after such intervention cannot escape the
change that the false date 26 October 1947 was assigned to these two documents.
The deliberately distorted account of that very senior Indian official, V.P. Memon, to which reference
has already been made, was no doubt executed for the same end. Falsification of such a fundamental element as date of signature,
however, once established, can only cast grave doubt over the validity of the document as a whole.”
Though long planned and swiftly executed, the annexation of Kashmir could not be a simple affair for India. If the instrument of accession had been signed before the arrival
of Indian troops, firstly it was executed by the Hindu ruler of a Muslim majority state at a time when his people had rejected
him and were in open revolt against him. Secondly, the signing of the instrument of accession was a violation of the principle
of partition as the decision of princely states was to be made by the majority of the people. Thirdly, when the Muslim rulers
of the states of Junagarh, Manavadar and Mangrol executed instrument of accession with Pakistan, India rejected the action on the ground that the majority of the people
of these states consisted of Hindus. Indian troops marched into these states and annexed them by force. Hyderabad opted for Independence but India occupied the state on the plea that the Muslim ruler of Hindu majority state had no
right to remain independent. Fourthly, Kashmir was geographically
far more contiguous with and economically far more dependent on Pakistan than India. Hence Kashmir had, in principle, to choose only between complete Independence and joining Pakistan. Lastly, Sheikh Abdullah backed the accession on the ground that it was conditional and had to
be ratified by the will of the Kashmiri people ascertained through a fair and impartial plebiscite. The Indian leaders not
only accepted this principle but committed themselves to it in all possible ways and overstressed it time and again in their