5b) Blunder-11 : Refusing J&K Accession when Offered

Blunder–11 :
Refusing J&K Accession when Offered

Maharaja Hari Singh had first offered J&K’s accession to India in September 1947. Had the accession been accepted, the Indian army could have been deployed in Kashmir well in advance of the invasion by the Pakistani-raiders, preventing both the creation of the PoK, and the terrible tragedy of loot, killings and rapes.

Inexplicably, Nehru refused the accession! He first wanted Sheikh Abdullah to be freed and installed as the prime minister of the State. That was not acceptable to the Maharaja. Was it not queer? Rather than the state agreeing to merge, it was the nation being favoured with accession that was laying down conditions! Absurdity unlimited! But, that was Nehru!!

In sharp contrast you had Jinnah offering a signed blank sheet along with his own fountain pen to Maharajas of  Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Bikaner to put down their conditions for accession to Pakistan, saying: “You can fill in all your conditions.”

States Narendra Singh Sarila in ‘The Shadow of the Great Game’: “Mountbatten added: ‘He [Patel] has also attacked Nehru for the first time saying “I regret our leader has followed the lofty ideas [Lofty or silly! And, certainly against the national interests.] into the skies and has no contact left with earth or reality”’...This outburst probably reflected Patel’s frustration with Nehru at the time, for refusing to accept the Maharaja of Kashmir’s accession to India unless and until a government under Sheikh Abdullah was installed.”

It was undemocratic and irresponsible of Nehru, and an illegal act, not to have obtained the concurrence of the cabinet before taking such a major decision of not accepting J&K accession. It is quite likely that Mountbatten had dissuaded him from accepting accession, as the British wanted J&K to accede to Pakistan.