By Col Jaibans Singh
26 Oct , 2016
October, 26, is celebrated as Accession Day in Jammu and Kashmir, across the country and the world. It was on this day that Maharaja Hari Singh, the last ruler of the state, signed the Instrument of Accession and legally acceded to India under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947.
The Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh was no different in content and spirit than what had been signed by other princely states, but due to some misconceptions the then Government of India agreed to conduct a referendum or plebiscite to determine the future of the state. This plebiscite or referendum was to determine the relationship between the state and the Government of India and not the accession of the state to India or Pakistan which was, in any case, legally accomplished in India’s favour by the by the Instrument of Accession.
The very next day on October, 27, the Indian army landed in Srinagar airport and, against great odds, saved the people of Kashmir from large scale massacre, rape, loot and arson in the hands of the mercenary hordes of Kabilies (Tribal’s of the North West Frontier province) sent by Pakistan under the leadership of its army to annex the state.
The Indian troops who fought the war had only the safety and security of the people of Kashmir in mind. They did not know or care about how politics would play out in the long run. Their only concern was to ensure that the barbarians were thrown out in the shortest possible time without causing any further damage. In this, they were singularly successful, but not without paying a heavy price including loss of lives of many soldiers.