Kashmir which includes Jammu and the area presently administered by Pakistan was part of Punjab and was ceded to East India Company in 1846, and the Company ‘sold’ it to Golab Singh for 50 hundred thousand Rupees by a sale deed executed at Amritsar. Ladakh and other areas were annexed by him later. Great grand son of King Golab Singh, King Hari Singh, on 26 October, 1947, signed a letter to accede his estate to India. This request was accepted by Governor General on 27th October, 1947.
India (Government Offices) has a track record of working less than 200 days in a year with numerous rising, falling, birth and death days besides religious festivals. Yesterday was a holiday in Kashmir to mark the signing of accession letter. The question is where we are today after over 65 years?
It is unfortunate that in the face of all the protests, agitation and terrorism in Kashmir and rest of country, obviously sponsored by Pakistan, one fact is not emphasized.
India a tropical country parched by demand of water, can not exist without Kashmir. It depends upon its water resources. There are many other issues but this question is a question of survival. Even if India has to post army in every street in Kashmir, it will be forced to do it because it is not a question of principle but survival. At least it has become one. This is in addition to security and other issues.
See the above picture of Ganges at the Haridwar, shot few years ago (perhaps 2006) in summer before rains. Vehicular traffic was diverted on to river bed which hardly had few small streams as water was held up in the city. Unfortunately this aspect of the problem is not reflected anywhere in relation to Kashmir. I did search the net, but could not find it.
Hindu word is a mis-spelled variation of Indu the name of Indus river and source of civilization on this continent. Indus river starts from Tibet and after passing through Ladakh, it travels right through POK, to finally submerge in Arabian Sea, near Karachi. How can there be an Indus civilization without Indus River (or its major tributary Chenab) or sovereign control over it? Off course there are other tributaries of river as well. but situation is getting worse. Water is more precious than what it used to be.
It appears that these questions also need to be addressed and understood besides other legal and political questions involved in the controversy called ‘Kashmir Conflict’, if it is to be resolved.
© Sandeep Bhalla