Had Nehru been in the country, would the proposal for special status for Kashmir be presented in the Constituent Assembly? - Newztezz Online


Friday, August 25, 2023

Had Nehru been in the country, would the proposal for special status for Kashmir be presented in the Constituent Assembly?

Before going abroad, Nehru finalized the provisions related to the state of Jammu and Kashmir in a meeting with Sheikh Abdullah. At the same time, the meeting of the party's executive and prominent leaders called at the behest of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was quite stormy.

The different thinking of Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the question of Kashmir has always been discussed. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar have been directly blaming Nehru for the Kashmir problem. Regarding Article 370 also, the party has been believing that Patel was against it. These days the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is hearing petitions challenging the validity of the abolition of Article 370.

On behalf of the Central Government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has mentioned Sardar Patel's disagreement regarding this provision in his arguments. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar have been repeatedly repeating that the issue of the princely state of Kashmir was kept separate from the Sardar and the country is still bearing the brunt of it. The party considers Nehru's gift of special status to Kashmir under Article 370. What is its reality?

Nehru said Patel's contribution in Article 370!

Lal Krishna Advani, who was at the helm of the BJP at one point of time, has mentioned this incident in detail in his autobiography. According to Advani, “It was a matter of early 90s, I went to the Parliament Library in search of records related to this subject. At the same time, I found a record of a surprising comment made by Nehru, in which he said that Sardar Patel had contributed to this provision (Article 370). In his long statement on Kashmir in the Lok Sabha on 24 July 1952, Nehru tried to justify Article 370 on the argument that since the matter had been referred to the United Nations, the whole process was untenable. He further said that the matter of the status of Jammu and Kashmir in the Constitution was settled in November 1949 itself and Sardar Patel was looking into the matter throughout.

Nehru was abroad when Article 370 was introduced in the Constituent Assembly

Advani further learned that Nehru was right, because at the time the Constituent Assembly adopted this article, Nehru had gone abroad and Sardar Patel, as Deputy Prime Minister, was handling all government affairs, but from this There is an interesting anecdote attached, which has been written in some detail by Sardar Patel's then private secretary V. Shankar in his two volume book, "My Reminiscences of Sardar Patel".

Nehru-Sheikh's prepared proposal was strongly opposed

Shankar wrote, “Sheikh Abdullah did not trust the Government of India. He accepted the constitutional relationship with the Indian Union, but wanted to keep three matters of his choice-defence, foreign affairs and communications-with the government of Jammu and Kashmir. Abdullah also wanted that the Constituent Assembly of the state should have full freedom to frame the constitution. Before going abroad, Nehru finalized the provisions related to the state of Jammu and Kashmir in a meeting with Sheikh Abdullah and handed over the task of furthering those provisions through the Constituent Assembly to his minister Gopalaswami Ayyangar. Before sending the article to the Constituent Assembly, Ayyangar read out its proposals at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting. There were voices of furious protest from all sides, and Ayyangar felt himself all alone, except for an ineffective supporter, Maulana Azad.

The party was in favor of special status within a limit

According to Shankar, “There was a large section in the party which was looking forward to any suggestion of discrimination between Jammu and Kashmir and other states of India and there was a proposal regarding the granting of special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Wasn't ready to go beyond a certain limit. Sardar Patel himself was in favor of this view, but due to his natural policy of not interfering in the decisions of Nehru and Gopalaswamy, he did not present his views.

Frustrated with the harsh treatment meted out to him at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, Ayyangar finally reached out to Sardar Patel and requested him to rescue him from this situation. The meeting of the party's executive and prominent leaders called at the behest of Sardar was very stormy. There was fierce opposition to Gopalaswamy's proposal. Maulana Azad was silenced by making noise. Later, after a lot of persuasion, Sardar Patel was entrusted with the task of improvising due to international complications.

That silence of Sardar Patel!

Shankar wrote, “I was surprised by Sardar Patel's silence on Gopalaswamy's draft proposal. To be honest, I was annoyed at Sardar Patel's attitude and when we reached his residence during the mid-day break, I was calm and dejected. From there I went straight to my office room. Maniben (Sardar Patel's daughter) came to invite me for lunch. I refused and told him about my mental agony and said that for the first time I feel that Sardar Patel has betrayed. When Maniben told this to Sardar, Sardar said that at least come to the dining table for a conversation.

Patel said that if Nehru was there, he would have got it removed

Then Shankar reached to him. Sardar said, “So you are angry with me that I accepted Gopalaswamy's formula? I was very worried about this situation. Gopalaswami had acted according to the advice of Nehru. If Jawaharlal was here, I would have talked to him and got it removed, but how could I do so with Gopalaswamy, who was just following orders. If I had done so, people would have said that I am paying my revenge to his confidant for his (Nehru's) absence. Gopalaswami had sought my help. So how could I have disappointed them in the absence of their chief?"

Patel said no one is permanent

Shankar wrote, “Then I said that if it is so then why did you humiliate the whole country and states whose Constituent Assemblies were abolished as per your policy and advice. He accepted the validity of this criticism but at the same time pointed out the sensitivity of the international status of the state (Jammu and Kashmir) and its relationship with the country. We felt that the present situation has to be considered keeping in mind the possible consequences and it happened under that formula. He said that neither Sheikh Abdullah nor Gopalaswamy is permanent. The future of the country will be determined by the decision power and determination power of the Government of India and if we cannot trust our own power then we are not fit to exist as a nation.

No comments:

Post a Comment