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Now silent, Sheikh Abdullah’s NC played pivotal role on Accession Day
History barely kind to anyone!
10/27/2020 12:26:35 AM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Oct 26: On October 26, when Accession Day was being celebrated all across, the stoic silence maintained by the National Conference on the occasion was intriguing. The party didn’t issue a single statement and the tech-savy party vice-president Omar Abdullah stayed away from twitter.
As it is a known fact that in order to appease the separatist camp in Kashmir, the party is trying to give wide berth to its role on October 26, 1947, history on the contrary is barely kind to anyone.
Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah his autobiography recalls the event of accession – dedicating the whole chapter over this historical event that changed the dynamics of politics in the Indian sub-continent.
Sheikh says that when the tribals from Pakistan entered the Valley, they decided to destroy the city bridges leading to the airport. “This would impede the movement of the Indian troops when they landed. Getting the wind of this, we posted the National Conference workers at bridges and other installations to protect them. Reports of ravages by the raiders had sent waves of anger among Hindus and Muslims throughout the Valley. They rose to defend the State’s honour under the National Conference banner.”
Sheikh maintained further that it was obvious that Pakistan was determined to kill the conscience and dim ‘our’ minds and in the ensuing darkness take away our freedom. “So our priority was to protect our nationhood. For that we needed help from India. But there was the rub! The Maharaja had not formally acceded to India. Another obstacle was Gandhiji. Opinion was divided on whether he would permit sending troops or not. Being in Delhi where I had gone to seek Indian leaders’ help. I discussed the issue with them. I said that if India failed the Kashmiris, it would be failing the very same ideals that both sides cherished. Gandhiji in his kindness granted my request, and gave permission for the troops to go,” writes Sheikh Abdullah.
He goes further and states that Maharaja was so disturbed that on his arrival in Jammu on October 26 he instructed his courtiers to wake him up only if and when VP Menon, Secretary Ministry of States , returned, for that would indicate that India has agreed to the accession. Alternatively, he should be shot in head in his sleep. Sheikh Abdullah writes that the Indian government sent Menon with the Instrument of Accession. On October 26 itself, he got the Maharaja’s signature on it. On his arrival in Delhi he was personally received by Patel, who took him straightaway to Jawahar Lal’s residence. “I was also there then. Jawarhar Lal lived at 11 York Road, where I was his guest.”
Sheikh Abdullah writes that Menon and Mehar Chand Mahajan went into the inner room for talks with Nehru and Mahajan said: “Send the Army and execute the accession and give the National Conference whatever authority it needs. But do send the troops by air today itself, or else we will go to Jinnah and sign the agreement.”
Sheikh writes that after listening to this, Nehru was outraged. “I said it was no time to lose one’s cool but to act promptly. Even a slightest delay would spill a disaster. What was the use of being wise after the event? I told him that the National Conference supported the accession. He softened and darted in telling Mahajan that the National Conference approved the accession. The instrument was signed. Later Mahajan wrote: I shall always be grateful to Sheikh Abdullah for his help at the crucial juncture. His timely consent saved Kashmir from acceding to Pakistan,” writes Sheikh Abdullah in one of the chapters of his autobiography on page 292.
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