Partition, a wound that will never heal!
In the darkest hours, the courtiers of the Maharaja of Kashmir, his associates and members of the council of ministers exerted their full pressure for Kashmir’s accession to India. Sardar Patel and Mahatama Gandhi too tried but the Maharaja was not prepared. He was not ready to accept the domination of Nehru. On the other side, Pakistani troops had reached the borders of Kashmir.
Meeting between the Maharaja and Shri Guruji:
The efforts of political leaders had failed. Time was getting delicate. In these conditions Sardar Patel sent a message to the RSS Chief, Shri M. S. Golewalker, through Mehar Chand Mahajan, requesting him to use his influence to prevail upon the Maharaja to accede to India.
Shri Guruji cancelled all his engagements and rushed to Srinagar from Nagpur by air via Delhi to resolve the ticklish and delicate question. Through the efforts of Mehar Chand Mahajan and Pt. Premnath Dogra, a meeting between Shri Guruji and Maharaja Hari Singh was arranged.
It was not a personal meeting. It was not a discussion on house, land, property or on the politics of votes. It was a historical meeting on the question of the integrity of the nation.
The Maharaja who remained unmoved by many national leaders bowed his head in front of a simple-clad staunch nationalist. He understood the importance of protection of his religion and nation.
The Maharaja sent the accession proposal to Delhi and Shri Guruji directed the RSS workers in Jammu and Kashmir to shed the last drop of their blood for the security of Jammu and Kashmir. After issuing these directions he returned to Delhi.
Shri Madhav Rao Mulle has given information about this historical fact in the book “Shri Guruji Samagra Darshan”. Shri Madhav Rao was Praant Pracharak of RSS in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
Maharaja’s concern was that ‘my state is fully dependent on Pakistan. All routes passed through Sialkot and Rawalpindi. Lahore is my airport. How can I have relations with India ?’
‘It is correct that there is no road, rail or air link with India but it can be set right quickly. In your interest and in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir state it is better for you to accede to India.’ We’re the words of Guruji.
In the end, the Maharaja presented a “Tosa” (superfine pashmina) shawl to Guruji. In the accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India Guruji had made an important contribution.
Why there is no mention of this important event in any recognised book of history? There are three reasons for it.
- First, the men of the RSS know how to serve the country. They never show interest in publicity. Hence naturally they remained aloof from the pages of history. Like many political leaders, Guruji did not write his autobiography.
- Secondly, it was the nature of the Congress to get history written. After achieving independence whatever books of history have been written on the freedom struggle, the place has been given only to the Congress revolution. Subash Chander Bose, Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, Dr Hedgewar and others have been sidelined. Under this trend, the above mentioned national contribution of Guruji has not found any mention in the books of history.
- Thirdly, the installation of Sheikh Abdullah as Prime Minister soon after the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India. In order to take the credit for the State’s accession to India the Sheikh lied, changed his stance many times and got many historical documents and files destroyed. It is said that the Sheikh even got destroyed Maharaja Hari Singh’s historical documents and his memoirs.
Initial security of Kashmir by RSS activists:
By the middle of 1946, the RSS Shakhas had flourished in the Kashmir valley. Educated youths came in contact with the Shakhas. And the majority of the Sangh activists in the Shakhas used to be Kashmiri Hindus.
The sacrifices rendered by the RSS activists for protecting Kashmir at the time of the Partition deserve special treatment and mention in the history of India.
Right on the morning of August 15, 1947, pro-Pak elements had started creating disturbances in Srinagar. The RSS activists accepted the challenge and finalised a scheme in the headquarters of RSS.
By 10 o’clock thousands of RSS workers and Hindus assembled near Amirakadal bridge. Even those who dubbed Kashmiri Pandits as cowards had to keep their fingers crossed when within a short time Pakistani flags were removed and a big procession was taken out in major streets of Srinagar.
Pro-Pak elements were challenged. The entire atmosphere reverberated with the slogan of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. The Hindu society felt encouraged and the Maharaja too realised the strength and devotion of the Sangh.
Two prominent Sangh Pracharaks, Mr Harish Bhanot and Mr Mangal Sen, established contact with Pakistani officers and, in the disguise stayed with them for a month, had collected all the information about the military activities of Pakistan and of the possible invasion, which was given to Prof. Balraj Madhok.
After getting all the information the Maharaja demanded 200 RSS workers so that they could be given arms for protecting the city. Realising the gravity of the situation, Mr Madhok promised to bring 200 RSS activists the next morning.
A prayer meeting was held and later activists were carried to Badami Bagh cantonment in an Army truck where some soldiers were ready. By the evening these youths had reached the battlefront. For two days these RSS soldiers with the other soldiers stopped the Pakistani troops till the arrival of the Indian Army.
Everybody knows about this historical sacrifice but none speaks about it. The Sheikh too knew about it. The same Sheikh who had left behind the people on hearing the news about the Pakistani invasion and fled, along with his family members, to Bombay. The Valley was saved first by the RSS workers and the Indian Army, not by the Sheikh.
Martyrs of Kotli:
By a mistake on the part of the Indian Airforce, boxes of ammunition were dropped on the other side of the Nallah which was within the firing range of Pakistani troops. How to evacuate those boxes? Who will get them? If the troops were asked to do it, it would have meant death for them. Who would then fight later? If the ammunition boxes were not evacuated, the Indian troops could be killed.
There was a need for a great sacrifice for evacuating these boxes. Army commander contacted, Mr Chander Prakash, who was Manager of Punjab National Bank, Kotli branch, was the organiser of the Sangh at that time. He listened attentively to the Army commander and told him “How many youths are needed”?
The Army officer said, “eight will do“.
Chander Prakashji immediately rushed to the town and Sought names of those who were ready to render sacrifice. More than 30 youths came forward. He picked seven youths and joined them himself as the eighth one.
Mr Chander Prakash reached the Army officer with the seven youths within less than half an hour. The eight youths reached the battlefront with the commander. They were informed about the work they had to carry out in evacuating the ammunition boxes without allowing the Pakistani troops to have any idea of it and in bringing those boxes up to the Indian troops.
After understanding their job, the eight youths marched forward to their destination.
While crawling the eight youths reached the Nallah on whose other bank lay the boxes. They swam across.
Each of them picked up one box. Gradually they re-entered the Nallah but could not maintain silence in the water. The sound of their movement reached the Pakistani troops.
The result was indiscriminate firing from the machine-guns on them. Under the rain of fire, the youths crossed the Nallah and were marching towards the Army camp.
Chander Prakash and Ved Prakash were hit by bullets. Both of them were injured and fell down but there was no time for others to take care of the two. After leaving the two wounded there, the six youths marched ahead with boxes on their backs. These youths succeeded in their mission and handed over the ammunition boxes to the Army.
They were worried about their two colleagues whom they had left behind. These six youths left for the spot for carrying back the wounded and followed the same route under the rain of bullets. They crawled to the place where the two wounded comrades had been left. But they got the bodies of the two comrades. They had achieved martyrdom in the service of their motherland.
But it had become difficult to escape easily from the continuous firing from behind. They had travelled a small distance when two more comrades received bullets and became martyrs there and then.
The youths returned to their camp. Four returned out of the eight. Each carried a body of the martyrs.
A big pyre was built outside the town. The four bodies were placed on the pyre with the Army salute.
The ammunition boxes were opened. The soldier was equipped with ammunition. The Indian troops launched a fierce attack on the Pakistani soldiers. Our soldiers fought chivalrously throughout the night. By the dawn, the Indian troops had captured the hillock and tricolour was unfurled.