Citizen Journalist Vidyut Gupta
In the opinion of Ghulam Nabi Khayal, a noted Kashmiri opinion-maker and writer, it is because of the Treaty of Amritsar announced in March 1846, Kashmir Valley was merged with the mighty Jammu Kingdom.
Khayal has attacked the treaty and said that the this shameful deed was signed on 16 March 1846 in Amritsar between the East India Company and the King of Jammu Gulab Singh Dogra who is also known as Gulab Singh. The king purchased entire Kashmir against a sum of Rs Seventy-Five lakh. With this, the Dogra rulers annexed a Hindu Jammu and a Buddhist Ladakh with a Muslim Kashmir forcibly according to Khayal.
Khayal also referred to Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru views about the Treaty of Amritsar to prove his point. He said, both the leaders of the country had condemned the treaty by calling it a “sellout” and a “the document of slavery for the people of Kashmir.” He also referred to an eminent Urdu journalist and writer, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Mehr according to which “in 1846, the British rulers sold out Kashmir in a way that used to be adopted by the American colonizers during their early days while disposing off black slaves”.
While describing the founder of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Gulab Singh in crude language, Khayal said, “Gulab Singh Dogra was a tyrannical autocratic ruler and it was immediately after him ascending to the throne that he started in a barbarian way intimidating and harassing the Muslims of Kashmir whom this brute killer would skin alive publicly”.
The truth is far from what Khayal opines. It is well known and documented that Maharaja Gulab Singh was a person of progressive ideologies. He believed in secularism and during his times, he treated all the three regions of the state Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh equally. By calling him a cruel ruler, it almost seems that Ghulam Nabi Khayal has not read the history of state very well and lot of his opinions are inspired from hearsay. It does not suit a noted opinion-maker and a writer to employ crass language in an attempt to defame the glorious history of the Dogras, who created J&K State at a time when all the princely States of India fell one by one before the British.
Khayal further has said that the state of J&K is a fit case for a three-way split suggesting there is nothing common in the three regions of the state. He seems to have forgotten that since the king bought the state with his money and then further acceded to India, Kashmir became a part of India, whether or not Khayal likes it. India happens to be a country with more than just three religions with differing ideologies and yet has managed to stay together as a country forever.
The threeway point made by Khayal is acceptable to an extent however. There two regions of the state, which form a big percentage of the state’s population and long for separation from Kashmir to go ahead and live a dignified life under the Indian Constitution.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s and do not necessarily align with U4UVoice’s ideology.