The book is a political biography of one of the multiple selves of Kashmir. It presents the birth and evolution of various struggles including a big mock struggle that Kashmiri people undertook with some modicum of agency and some sponsorship from outside. It trades some fiction amidst a huge mass of indispensable facts about Kashmir and its paradoxes, its glory and misery and its convoluted destiny. Moreover, no part of this posthumous manuscript has been put in final form by the author during his lifetime.
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The book is a political biography of one of the multiple selves of Kashmir. It presents the birth and evolution of various struggles including a big mock struggle that Kashmiri people undertook with some modicum of agency and some sponsorship from outside.
It trades some fiction amidst a huge mass of indispensable facts about Kashmir and its paradoxes, its glory and misery and its convoluted destiny. Moreover, no part of this posthumous manuscript has been put in final form by the author during his lifetime. Nevertheless, it is more an interpretation of the notes by the editor than an autobiography in the strictest sense.
Its editor, Mohammad Yusuf Tang, frankly admits the limitations of the book. Besides, he also admits the lack of knowledge of historical methodology. Although this book can be countered by another book by using well documented historical sources, however, my focus will be on certain important historical events which altered the course of the history of Kashmir. Sheikh Abdullah deliberately chooses to remain silent on many issues in his book to hide his failures which had a far-reaching impact on Kashmir polity and on which I am going to discuss through well-referred sources.
Changing of Muslim Conference into National Conference The consciousness that arose against dictatorial oppressive Dogra Raj ultimately concretized in the formation of the first ever known political organisation of Jammu and Kashmir namely All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference under the presidency of Sheikh Abdullah.
First, let me contest his justification for conversion of Muslim Conference into National Conference. Sheikh Abdullah claims that Muhammad Ali Jinnah on his visit to the valley in June had given his suggestions favouring to conversion. According to him, Jinnah had declared it an obligation of Kashmiri Muslim leadership to consider non-Muslims as a wheel of their political van. Moreover, Sheikh Abdullah claims that in , he received similar suggestions from Allama Iqbal about the formation of a united political front as he had received from Jawahar Lal Nehru earlier .
Therefore, there arises doubt regarding such a type of suggestion from Dr Iqbal during The fact of the matter is that Dr Iqbal had already voiced his feelings in about the role of a single party for the Muslims of Kashmir.
As Sheikh Abdullah does not refer to any letter which he usually did where Iqbal could have suggested him to change the nomenclature and constitution of the party, he might have thought of getting away from a witness. First, that Prime Minister Gopal Swami Ayanger promised him that if they succeeded in bringing a common nationalist platform, the government might be forced to adopt revolutionary steps responsible government and two ministers would be inducted from the joint platform into the government.
Secondly, now some non-Muslims want to work for political activities. The question arises over here that why would Swami Ayanger promise to introduce responsible government to make the political position of the Muslims stronger in the state thereby increasing risks in near future of ending oppressive Dogra Raj.
Neither were non-Muslims interested in joining hands with the Muslims of the state as the Maharaja was already unduly pampering his religious community at the cost of dominating Muslim population. In other means, it could be interpreted in this way also that Muslim League could propagate its idea and programme in the state. These conditions were agreed upon by Sheikh Abdullah and his group in order to facilitate a smooth transition of conversion of Muslim Conference into National Conference.
Actually, Sheikh deliberately chooses to remain silent for known reasons. It had a far-reaching impact and it altered the course of the history of Jammu and Kashmir. The conversion led to the disunity among the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir State with Chaudhary Abbas taking Muslims of Jammu region all along with himself in the revived Muslim Conference. Moreover, the consequences of the conversion could be seen during the course of the movement. During the course of Quit Kashmir movement, all the leaders of Muslim Conference were jailed along with people associated with National Conference.
Sheikh Abdullah was the only leader released at the behest of Nehru, Patel, and Gandhi to facilitate the accession drama. Here I argue that if the leaders of Muslim Conference too had been released, Sheikh would not have dared to endorse the accession openly and the situation would have been different. Also, Muslim Conference had already passed a resolution on 19 July in favour of Pakistan . Role in handing Kashmir to India Sheikh Abdullah got many chances to reconsider his decision of joining the Indian Union during and after the Quit Kashmir movement.
However, these talks broke down in the light of Poonch rebellion which ultimately led to tribal revolt. To honour them on their release from jail, a public gathering was organised by National Conference in the lawns of Pather Masjid. Now Pakistan has become a sovereign country, the leadership must ponder over the situation and they must re-think their policy what to do next. Maulana Masoodi was clear what he was advocating. He was recognising public mood that Kashmir should access with Pakistan.
Sheikh Abdullah said in the same gathering that Maulana Masoodi has been in jail for quite some time. He has been released yesterday and does not know the ground realities. He had already decided to side with India. Fourthly, a deputation of Muslim League reached Kashmir to hold talks with Sheikh Abdullah and other Kashmiri leaders. They had been sent by the Pakistani Government to impress upon the leadership to access with Pakistan.
The delegation offered Sheikh Abdullah complete internal autonomy and also the right to secede. He was assured by the Pakistani authorities that Kashmir would be granted complete internal autonomy Defence, Communication and Foreign Policy would remain with Pakistan if Kashmir acceded with Pakistan.
It was told by Sheikh Abdullah to Munshi Isaaq in person in clear terms . The people of the state gave immense sacrifices keeping the spirit of freedom alive for these years. Sheikh surrendered parts of Kashmir autonomy just to obtain crumbs of power, an impression which Sheikh failed to remove until the end of his life. Tariq Abdullah is the person who went with Pakistani delegation in and gave an anti-India speech in United Nations in favour of the right to self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
His return from London and to give him a huge post in the administration was an indication that Sheikh Abdullah has decided to bury the coffin of Plebiscite Front. Sheikh Abdullah did not even minced words in condemning Congress for betraying the accord-the way it was reported by the All India Radio. Though it created doubts in his mind but alas. References  S.
III, P. He can be reached at arfaat gmail. Disclaimer : Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position of Oracle Opinions. Share this:.
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