Sunday, November 28, 2010

They can file a charge posthumously against Jawaharlal Nehru too: Arundhati Roy

My reaction to today's court order directing the Delhi Police to file an FIR against me for waging war against the state: Perhaps they should posthumously file a charge against Jawaharlal Nehru too. Here is what he said about Kashmir:

1. In his telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, “I should like to make it clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the state to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view.” (Telegram 402 Primin-2227 dated 27th October, 1947 to PM of Pakistan repeating telegram addressed to PM of UK).

2. In other telegram to the PM of Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said, “Kashmir's accession to India was accepted by us at the request of the Maharaja's government and the most numerously representative popular organization in the state which is predominantly Muslim. Even then it was accepted on condition that as soon as law and order had been restored, the people of Kashmir would decide the question of accession. It is open to them to accede to either Dominion then.” (Telegram No. 255 dated 31 October, 1947).


3. In his broadcast to the nation over All India Radio on 2nd November, 1947, Pandit Nehru said, “We are anxious not to finalise anything in a moment of crisis and without the fullest opportunity to be given to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It is for them ultimately to decide ------ And let me make it clear that it has been our policy that where there is a dispute about the accession of a state to either Dominion, the accession must be made by the people of that state. It is in accordance with this policy that we have added a proviso to the Instrument of Accession of Kashmir.”

4. In another broadcast to the nation on 3rd November, 1947, Pandit Nehru said, “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given not only to the people of Kashmir and to the world. We will not and cannot back out of it.”

5. In his letter No. 368 Primin dated 21 November, 1947 addressed to the PM of Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said, “I have repeatedly stated that as soon as peace and order have been established, Kashmir should decide of accession by Plebiscite or referendum under international auspices such as those of United Nations.”


6.In his statement in the Indian Constituent Assembly on 25th November, 1947, Pandit Nehru said, “In order to establish our bona fide, we have suggested that when the people are given the chance to decide their future, this should be done under the supervision of an impartial tribunal such as the United Nations Organisation. The issue in Kashmir is whether violence and naked force should decide the future or the will of the people.”

7.In his statement in the Indian Constituent Assembly on 5th March, 1948, Pandit Nehru said, “Even at the moment of accession, we went out of our way to make a unilateral declaration that we would abide by the will of the people of Kashmir as declared in a plebiscite or referendum. We insisted further that the Government of Kashmir must immediately become a popular government. We have adhered to that position throughout and we are prepared to have a Plebiscite with every protection of fair voting and to abide by the decision of the people of Kashmir.”


8.In his press-conference in London on 16th January, 1951, as reported by the daily ‘Statesman' on 18th January, 1951, Pandit Nehru stated, “India has repeatedly offered to work with the United Nations reasonable safeguards to enable the people of Kashmir to express their will and is always ready to do so. We have always right from the beginning accepted the idea of the Kashmir people deciding their fate by referendum or plebiscite. In fact, this was our proposal long before the United Nations came into the picture. Ultimately the final decision of the settlement, which must come, has first of all to be made basically by the people of Kashmir and secondly, as between Pakistan and India directly. Of course it must be remembered that we (India and Pakistan) have reached a great deal of agreement already. What I mean is that many basic features have been thrashed out. We all agreed that it is the people of Kashmir who must decide for themselves about their future externally or internally. It is an obvious fact that even without our agreement no country is going to hold on to Kashmir against the will of the Kashmiris.”

9.In his report to All Indian Congress Committee on 6th July, 1951 as published in the Statesman, New Delhi on 9th July, 1951, Pandit Nehru said, “Kashmir has been wrongly looked upon as a prize for India or Pakistan. People seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale or to be bartered. It has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters of their future. It is here today that a struggle is bearing fruit, not in the battlefield but in the minds of men.”

10.In a letter dated 11th September, 1951, to the U.N. representative, Pandit Nehru wrote, “The Government of India not only reaffirms its acceptance of the principle that the question of the continuing accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India shall be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations but is anxious that the conditions necessary for such a plebiscite should be created as quickly as possible.”


11.As reported by Amrita Bazar Patrika, Calcutta, on 2nd January, 1952, while replying to Dr. Mookerji's question in the Indian Legislature as to what the Congress Government going to do about one third of territory still held by Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said, “is not the property of either India or Pakistan. It belongs to the Kashmiri people. When Kashmir acceded to India, we made it clear to the leaders of the Kashmiri people that we would ultimately abide by the verdict of their Plebiscite. If they tell us to walk out, I would have no hesitation in quitting. We have taken the issue to United Nations and given our word of honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation we cannot go back on it. We have left the question for final solution to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision.”

12.In his statement in the Indian Parliament on 7th August, 1952, Pandit Nehru said, “Let me say clearly that we accept the basic proposition that the future of Kashmir is going to be decided finally by the goodwill and pleasure of her people. The goodwill and pleasure of this Parliament is of no importance in this matter, not because this Parliament does not have the strength to decide the question of Kashmir but because any kind of imposition would be against the principles that this Parliament holds. Kashmir is very close to our minds and hearts and if by some decree or adverse fortune, ceases to be a part of India, it will be a wrench and a pain and torment for us. If, however, the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us, let them go by all means. We will not keep them against their will, however painful it may be to us. I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir, it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but everywhere. Though these five years have meant a lot of trouble and expense and in spite of all we have done, we would willingly leave if it was made clear to us that the people of Kashmir wanted us to go. However sad we may feel about leaving we are not going to stay against the wishes of the people. We are not going to impose ourselves on them on the point of the bayonet.”


13.In his statement in the Lok Sabha on 31st March, 1955 as published in Hindustan Times New Delhi on Ist April, 1955, Pandit Nehru said, “Kashmir is perhaps the most difficult of all these problems between India and Pakistan. We should also remember that Kashmir is not a thing to be bandied between India and Pakistan but it has a soul of its own and an individuality of its own. Nothing can be done without the goodwill and consent of the people of Kashmir.”

14.In his statement in the Security Council while taking part in debate on Kashmir in the 765th meeting of the Security Council on 24th January, 1957, the Indian representative Mr. Krishna Menon said, “So far as we are concerned, there is not one word in the statements that I have made in this council which can be interpreted to mean that we will not honour international obligations. I want to say for the purpose of the record that there is nothing that has been said on behalf of the Government of India which in the slightest degree indicates that the Government of India or the Union of India will dishonour any international obligations it has undertaken.”

Postscript: Can you see plain as day, what I see?


  1. No Sindhu... I am not able to see what you are seeing. What are you trying to imply in this post? That Arundhathi Roy is not at fault or that Nehru was at fault?

    This is the first of your posts, where you have written only 2 sentences, the rest is just citations.

    You realise that when Nehru said this, it was a different situation than now, right?

  2. Thamizh, I think I would like to interfere here; with apologies if needs be :) Arundhati Roy not at fault and Nehru at fault would be a contradiction. Secondly, please clarify what you meant by 'different' situation.


  3. No worries Arvind - always a pleasure to discuss with you.

    Well, I don't understand what Sindhu is implying in this post. Is she "supporting" Roy by saying "See, even Nehru said this" (OR) is she against Nehru, saying, "See Nehru was just like Roy too"..... What is the point?

    And everything is "different" about Kashmir, Arvind. What is not? It was a secular state which always wanted to be secular and accede to India.... Many Kashmiris are offended even if you question their indianness.... most of such people are either displaces, migrated, oppressed or killed.... The current situation is sad, and if people who don't understand the geo-political history of Kashmir make very misleading understanding of this issue - I'm afraid Sindhu might be one among them!... and are you too, Arvind?

  4. I personally believe that the people of kashmir have the right to determine their future. Which is why there should be a referendum held wherein the people will have a say as to whether they want to be with pakistan or india. Now that was the supposed idea which purportedly had been put forward by nehru himself.. Now why hasn't that taken place even after almost 60 years since independence. This clearly shows the maybe Nehru only spoke about the referendum but never worked towards it. Its only personal perception that infact Nehru should be held responsible for Kashmir problem. No doubt he was a great leader who lead us admirably after independence. But he left behind a horrendous problem as a legacy.

  5. I believe that the people of Kashmir should determine their future. Whether they want to accede to India, whether they have always wanted to be a part of India, whether all Kashmiris are proud to be Indians---is not really the point. The people of Kashmir are suffering. We want Kashmir to be a part of India to show off our secularity...we are just selfish as a nation.
    What matters? What do the Kashmiris want? And people like Roy who wants to give those people their freedom are silenced...which brings one back to one of our old arguments: India is not really a democracy. Democracy is a euphemism we use to veil our real intentions.

  6. To Prad and Sindhu... I beg of you to please learn some facts about Kashmir! I think you are simply repeating the loud leftist agenda, without facts.

    Here it is - Like all princely states before independence, Kashmir too was given the option of annexing with India or Pakistan. While Kashmir was weighing its options, it was clear Kashmir was going to accede to India, because the King of Kashmir and the majority people's movement was favoring going with India. The main reason for this is that Kashmir has always remained a place where Hindus and Muslims had co-existed peacefully for centuries. Clearly, Kashmir did not want to join a Islamic nation. But before Kashmir could formally make its decision, Pakistan infiltrated militants in Kashmir, causing riots. The King then asked for the Indian army to quell the riots, which the Indian Army did dutifully, following with Kashmir signed the Instrument of Accession to India. However, because Pak disputed the issue, India took the lead to take the issue of Kashmir to the UN! India was the one to propose a UN plebiscite in Kashmir in 1948! According to the UN agreement of the plebiscite, both countries (India and Pak) are supposed to pull their troops out prior to the voting. But Pak refused to pull the troops. So, the plebiscite never happened! We were the ones who wanted a voting in the first place.

    Indian wanted thhe plebiscite and Pak tried to avoid the plebiscite, because it was very clear that both the ruler (a Hindu Maharaj) and the Muslim leaders (Sheikh Abdhullah & National Conference) both wanted to accede to India, or the very least stay separate - going with Pak was never an option.

    So, after Pak stopped the first plebscite from happening, India proposed another plebscite for the second time, and Pak refused to cooperate again. So, that never happened too.

    By this time, Pakistani infiltration increased, and several lakhs of Hindus were killed or asked to leave Kashmir... These people are now camped outside Delhi and other places - Yes, Kashmiris are living like refugees in their own country. Only muslims remain, and if any muslim supports India or voices his freedom, they are threatened that they are "traiting islam" and they are either killed or displaced.... So, what you see now is not Kashmiri struggle, its pakistani militancy...

    Go to outskirts of Delhi and go to the Kashmiri refugee camps. They are the real Kashmiris.... Shall we take a vote of them too?

    The point is, people like you and Arundhati Roy are not allowing the government to take strong steps like in Punjab (Khalistan), Hyderabad, etc and quell terrorism, so that we can allow common people speak....

  7. To Sindhu.... Answer this question! The militants are killing civilians in hundreds and thousands.... How can this be a freedom struggle then? Do freedom fighters kill their own people?

    As recently as a month ago, Kashmiri militants entered a home and dragged two girls on the street and publicly shot both them dead at point blank range.... Is this freedom struggle?

    The militants have killed, raped, massacred and injured people in millions...

    By the way, why is Arundhathi Roy making noise when these innocent people are killed by militants? Why is she only making noise when Indian Army kills militants?

    Recently, Pervez Musharraf told publicly on TV that Pakistan trains the militants in Kashmir... India also says the same... US Intelligence says the same.... But you and Arundhati Roy call this terrorism, freedom struggle?

    But why are you worried about freedom for Kashmir... What about Punjab? Or Tamil Nadu which had a separatism movement legally until few decades ago (and still persists), or The Hyderabad Nizam, or Assam, or Arunachal Pradesh.... Why only Kashmir?

  8. Dear Thammizh,

    Sorry about the late reply. As usual, I am going to write a long post to answer your questions. Do read, and retort.