Lord Mountbatten declared on June 25, 1947, “The Indian Independence Act releases the States from all their obligations to the Crown. The states will have complete freedom – technically and legally, they become independent. They are free to join any of the dominions, but while doing so must keep in mind the geographical proximity and the demographic features of the population.”
India used the argument of geographical proximity and demographic facts to annex Junagarh and Hyderabad states despite the fact that the rulers of these two states wanted to join Pakistan. But in the case of Kashmir, this argument was reversed by India.
The Indian attack on Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, October 27, 1947, was the most horrific event in the history of Indian colonialism, which has left the region in a state of perpetual instability and violence.
On this day in 1947, the leaders of so-called secular India rushed their troops to Srinagar at night, trampling under their hats the fundamental political and democratic rights of the Kashmiri people for which the Indigenous people themselves fought together, over the years, against the British rule.
As declared by impartial observers, this shameful act of aggression hindered the smooth and full implementation of the agenda of the partition plan in the Indian subcontinent and laid a terrible foundation for a deadly conflict that threatens peace and stability in South Asia.
In Srinagar, Kashmiri people resisted the landing of Indian troops. That is why the Kashmiri people on both sides of the LOC and Kashmiris’ residences worldwide celebrate October 27 every year as “Black Day.”
Deep in the collective memory of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, this bloody path of colonialism continues to haunt Kashmiris even after seven decades. The open aggression against the state of Jammu and Kashmir led to decades of conflict, which led to two full-scale wars between India and Pakistan and a protracted struggle for freedom against the region’s illegal Indian occupation.
The unresolved conflict, on the one hand, continues to erode relations between the two nuclear neighbors and, on the other hand, is a grave threat to the Kashmiris, the worst victims of the bloody conflict, after which it has now turned into a dangerous aspect that the BJP-led Indian fascist government has deprived the region of its special status, which was surviving from 70 years and was patronized by Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
Over the years, New Delhi has used repressive state equipment, Machiavellian conspiracies, and colonial tactics to seize the fundamental freedoms and liberties of the people as a tool to crush the ongoing freedom struggle in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the most important of them being silencing political opposition in the region.
Despite their promises on Kashmir, successive Indian governments and rulers have resorted to shameless fraud and deception to thwart the legitimate demand of the Kashmiri people suggested by the world’s highest forum, the UN-sponsored referendum. The right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination was unanimously accepted through various decisions. Resolutions calling for a free and fair referendum in the region were supported by the Indian representatives in the UN Security Council, especially the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the first to approach the high forum on the issue.
After discussing the issue, the United Nations set up a committee (United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan), followed by a series of resolutions in 1948 and 1949, which upheld the right of Kashmiris to self-determination. Meanwhile, the United Nations has proposed a comprehensive roadmap for a peaceful resolution of Kashmir’s dispute. Still, even after 73 years on the line, the Indian state is reluctant to implement the roadmap.
Instead of creating a conducive environment for an amicable settlement of the conflict in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, India has resorted to a serious delay tactic to delay holding a referendum in the region. In the wake of persistent widespread resistance in Kashmir, New Delhi has deployed more than half a million troops and paramilitary forces to quell the independence struggle and consolidate its illegal control over the region. It has led to carnage over the last 30 years, mass destruction of thousands of Kashmiris, especially the youth, at the forefront of the struggle for independence.
However, in the wake of the illegal and unilateral measures taken by India on August 5 last year, these atrocities escalated and turned into further complications. After a year of lockdown and telecommunications siege, the people of Occupied Kashmir are forced to live in constant fear and anxiety. In the last 14 months, India has illegally arrested 13,000 Kashmiri youths, tortured many of them, executed minors, and crushed peaceful demonstrations by force, including the use of pellet guns against peaceful protesters. The pressure was exerted, and houses were demolished, and the entire neighborhoods burned down. Numerous new rural laws, particularly the reinterpretation of the country’s old domicile law, have raised concerns about demographic change in the region.
Furthermore, the Indian government’s colonial resettlement policies, which are a reflection of Israeli policies, have created a sense of fear among Kashmiris, who feel incredibly insecure and uncertain even in their own homes. Unfortunately, the bloodshed that India started in occupied Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 continues unabated. Indian forces are killing Kashmiris on both sides of the ceasefire line. Unprovoked shelling by Indian troops on this side of the ceasefire and attacks on civilians is another dark and dangerous aspect of this long-running conflict, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including women and children. If left unresolved, the conflict will surely cost more lives and create unrest in the troubled region.
In this situation, the first and foremost responsibility of the international community is to take notice of the long military occupation and to play its due role in pressuring the Indian government to resolve the dispute in accordance with the relevant council resolutions, which promised the people of Jammu and Kashmir their right to self-determination. Meanwhile, effective measures are needed to end the immunity granted by the Central Indian Government to the occupying forces and prevent the Indian government from pursuing colonial resettlement policies that would further lead to political, economic, and regional backwardness of the Kashmiri people. The United Nations’ peacekeeping force should take the plight of the Kashmiri people seriously and call for the implementation of its decisions.