To be precise, Modi and Shah implemented the “One Nation, One Constitution” doctrine to the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State in its entirety.
London quit India on August 15, 1947. JL Nehru, who was made interim Prime Minister of undivided British India in 1946 by London, continued to hold that office even after August 15, 1947. He continued to function as Interim Prime Minister of India till January 26, 1950. Believe it or not, but it is also a fact that Lord Mountbatten, who became Governor-General of India on February 21, 1947, continued to hold that position till June 21, 1948. It’s a different story that August 15 is celebrated as Independence Day throughout India.
Both Nehru and Mountbatten messed up things in the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir. This, despite the fact that the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, a nationalist of nationalists, acceded his state to the Indian Dominion on October 26, 1947, as per the constitutional law on the subject. The Indian Independence Act of 1947 had said that rulers of the Indian States or princely states alone had the power to decide the fate of their respective states and they had to exercise a choice between the Indian Dominion and the newly-created Pakistan taking into account the contiguity factor. It nowhere talked of people; it only talked of Rajas, Princes, and Nawabs. Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession the princes of 560-odd other Princely States had signed. There was no difference between the Instrument of Accession signed by Hari Singh and other Princes.
Nehru’s bungling instinct again resurrected on October 17, 1949. That black day, the Indian Constituent Assembly adopted Article 306A (370) as a Temporary measure.
Nehru and Mountbatten left no stone unturned to create a religious problem in Jammu and Kashmir or promote separatism on the score of religion. Nehru involved communalist of communalists, Sheikh Abdullah of Kashmir, in the accession business throwing to the wind the Indian Independence Act of 1947. Nehru accepted the Hari Singh’s offer of accession only after Sheikh Abdullah, who had no locus standi in the matter, said yes to the offer. It happened on October 26, 1947. The following day, Mountbatten endorsed the accession but only after betraying India or stabbing India from the back. In his forwarding letter, he talked about the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It was again a negation of what the Indian Independence Act had provided for. Not just this, on November 1, 1947, Mountbatten promised plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to MA Jinnah at Lahore. This was yet another act of betrayal.
Nehru not only involved Sheikh Abdullah The Separatist in the accession business but he also made sure that the then Home Minister, Sardar Patel, should not handle Jammu and Kashmir. To be more exact, Nehru didn’t allow Sardar Patel to handle Jammu & Kashmir; he himself handled it as if Jammu and Kashmir was a foreign country. Sardar Patel should have put his foot down, but he didn’t do it for reasons best known to him. Had skillful and effective Sardar Patel, The Iron Man of India, who integrated all other 560-odd princely states into India, handled Jammu and Kashmir, things would have been totally different and the nation would not have suffered huge losses all these years in terms of men and money in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.
Not content with the involvement of Sheikh Abdullah in the accession business, exclusion of Sardar Patel from affairs Jammu and Kashmir and Mountbatten’s plebiscite offer, Nehru ordered ceasefire when the Pakistani forces, regular and irregular, were on their run and took the matter to the United Nations. His mind-boggling ceasefire helped Pakistan to annex and convert 100% one-third of Jammu and Kashmir territories, called PoJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Nehru’s bungling instinct again resurrected on October 17, 1949. That black day, the Indian Constituent Assembly adopted Article 306A (370) as a Temporary measure. There was hardly any discussion on it. It was applied to Jammu and Kashmir on January 26, 1950, when the Indian Constitution was enforced across India, barring Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 empowered the solitary State of Jammu and Kashmir to have a separate constitution and separate flag and also to exercise residuary powers. But Nehru was still not happy. On May 14, 1954, he once again stabbed India from the back and at midnight. That day, he applied Article 35A to Jammu and Kashmir w.e.f. May 14, 1944. That day, India was under London, Jammu & Kashmir a princely state and Pakistan had not come into being. 35A was applied to the state without the knowledge of the Indian Parliament, the supreme law-making body. 35A declared all non-Kashmiris persona non-grata or aliens in the state. So much so, 35A barred even the President of India (First Citizen) and Prime Minister of India (the chief executive) from acquiring an inch of land in Jammu and Kashmir.
All those who succeeded JL Nehru, barring Lal Bahadur Shastri and Narendra Modi, did nothing whatsoever to undo the Nehru-Mountbatten wrongs. Instead, they all treated Muslims in Kashmir a race apart; they all allowed politics of separatism based on religious fanaticism to flourish in the tiny Kashmir Valley. Shastri knew what ails the nation in Kashmir. That’s the reason that he scrapped in 1965 the offices of Sadar-e-Riyasat (President) and Wazir-e-Azam (Prime Minister) in Jammu and Kashmir and introduced the offices of Governor and Chief Minister. He also brought the state under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, Comptroller and Auditor-General and Election Commission of India the same year. However, it was PM Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah who on August 6, 2019, fulfilled the most cherished dream of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Sardar Patel, Lal Bahadur Shastri, nationalists in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and the nation as a whole.
PM Modi and HM Amit Shah not only changed the 173-old political map of Jammu and Kashmir by creating UT of Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Ladakh but also changed the 69-year-old political status of the state. Their masterstroke scrapped divisive and discriminatory Article 370 and Article 35A and brought both the Union Territories under the ambit of the Indian Constitution. To be more precise, they implemented the “One Nation, One Constitution” doctrine to the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State in its entirety. Indeed, Jammu and Kashmir won independence on August 6, 2019. The nation would always salute PM Modi and HM Shah for their act of statesmanship. I salute both of them; they converted India into Bharat that eventful day.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.