Historian, author and Senior Fellow at the Centre For Policy Research, New Delhi, Srinath Raghavan, delivered an illuminating talk at Hyderabad earlier in October on the status of Kashmir. The 42-minute-long video clip has been already shared over 48,000 times and the talk has nailed several lies being spread by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his colleagues.
Some of the historical facts, available in the public domain for people to check for themselves, that he dwells upon are as follows:
1. It was Sardar Patel who first asked Pakistan to take Kashmir for Hyderabad. Pakistan had claimed both Junagarh, which had a Muslim ruler but a majority of non-Muslim subjects, and Kashmir, which had a Hindu ruler but a majority of Muslim subjects.
2. The Sardar told Pakistani delegations and said in his public speeches that Pakistan should actually be laying claim to Hyderabad and Kashmir, not Junagarh.
3. During a parliamentary debate in 1952, Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee accepted that referring the Kashmir issue to the United Nations was a cabinet decision and a collective decision and that he stood by it because he was a minister in the Union Cabinet in December, 1947.
4. Sardar Patel was the ‘architect’ of Article 370. The very first meeting between Kashmiri leaders and Indian leaders was held in Sardar Patel’s house. Negotiations continued for five months and when the outlines were finalised, the Dewan of Kashmir N. Gopalaswamy Iyenger wrote to Sardar Patel and requested him to write to Jawaharlal Nehru and inform the latter that the Dewan agreed to the clauses proposed. Iyenger wrote that Pandit Nehru would write to Sheikh Abdullah only after Sardar Patel cleared the draft in its entirety.
5. Sardar Patel then wrote to Nehru, who was in the United States on his first state visit, that he had discussed Article 370 with other leaders. “ I was able to prevail upon them…” is what Patel wrote to Nehru.
But on Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary today, Prime Minister Modi and his colleagues once again purveyed the lie that Sardar Patel was opposed to Article 370 and referring the Kashmir issue to the United Nations.
In the talk, Raghavan, a former Indian Army officer, also speaks at length on how it is absurd to allege that Article 370 was somehow instrumental for separatism, insurgency and violence.