We can never solve our significant problems from the same level of thinking we were at when we created the problems. -- Albert Einstein
After reading news about Kashmir, we are prompted to know something about the facts that we have either forgotten or not have been supplied to us.
It is written on the walls, perhaps that parts of Kashmir have become just like the integral parts of India and Pakistan, the countries that hold the disputed region of Kashmir in part. But we should know here the compulsions of India's national leaders at the time of independence. In those days the nation of India was in fact on the paper only. Many unpleasant resolutions were required to be taken, the partition of India being one of them.
The British Government had declared the nation of India independent after partitioning it into two parts: India and Pakistan. As parties to the partition process, both countries had agreed that the rulers of princely states would be given the right to opt for either Pakistan or India or-in special cases-to remain independent.
Just after independence, Kashmir was a lucid problem, as it was one of the biggest princely states. Maharaja Hari Singh had not given his mind about how, when, and in which country he would be acceding his state of Kashmir. Naturally he was reluctant to lose his independence.
Adding fuel to the fire, the Nawab of a tiny state of Junagadh (Gujarat) had fled to Pakistan. He had either voluntarily or by force signed the accession of his state of Junagadh (presently a district in Gujarat) with Pakistan. As the entire population of Junagadh was Hindu, Nehru and Sardar Patel took a stand that the voice of the majority of residents should prevail over the signature of a King or a Nawab.
Thus Junagadh was made a part of India.
Then came the Kashmir Issue. Here, forced by the Pakistan-backed aggression, the Maharaja of Kashmir signed the document of accession of his state of Kashmir with India. It is believed that Lord Mount Baton had acted positively for India.
In Kashmir, however, the case was quite reverse than the state of Junagadh. The King was Hindu and the population was Muslim. Pakistan reminded Nehru and Sardar Patel about their earlier stand in the case of Junagadh. The borders between India and Pakistan had become lucid in those days. It resulted into the Pakistan sponsored war of 1948.
The hard fact was that the Indian Army was not yet completely, properly, divided among two new nations. Ironically the Jawans who fought the 1948 war were technically of the same army. Ironically enough the helpless fellow Lord Mount Baton was still the commander of that undivided Army.
Under such circumstances, Nehru had to accept UNO's proposal to ask the people of Kashmir about in which country they want to be acceded. That was the proposed referendum.
Almost one third of the then Kashmir is occupied by Pakistan and the rest is by India. (Certain parts of the then Kashmir are under the control of China, too).
The referendum was to be held in united Kashmir. It is a matter of debate why both the nations, Pakistan and India had not held the agreed referendum till the date. Though from our side we can say that we have successfully held free and fair elections in Kashmir.
After sixty years the issue of Kashmir is not settled yet.