Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) is working on a “calculated campaign” with the aim of reversing the “march of history since 1947 and restore Hindu Raj” in Jammu and Kashmir, top Kashmir expert and constitutional lawyer A G Noorani believes. He sees the demand for a holiday on Hari Snigh’s birthday and the subsequent resignation of Dr Karan Singh’s son Vikramadatiya Singh from ruling PDP, as part of the same campaign.
“Gulab Singh was not the founder of the State of Jammu and Kashmir,” the acclaimed author and lawyer, who was part of the Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah defence in the Kashmir Conspiracy Case, wrote in a long essay in reputed magazine Frontline, a Hindu group publication. “It was the East India Company.”
Noorani has written that the dynasty is being “justly hated and despised” for its “sordid record” since it purchased Kashmir for Rs 75 lakh in 1846 from the East India Company under the Treaty of Amritsar. “He accomplished this through treachery to his masters, the Sikh rulers in Lahore, in collusion with the British. Conceived in treachery, Dogra rule was established by military force,” the author said.
The author of many books on Kashmir has established the fact that Gulab Singh was keen to “reconvert them en masse to Hinduism” in1850 but “high priests of Hinduism at Benares refused to give their blessing to the plan.” He has said the “ethnic cleansing, rather genocide” of his own subjects in Jammu in 1947, was continuation of the same theme.
Much later after 1947, Noorani had written the last Maharaja’s son Dr Karan Singh was openly seeking trifurcation of the state. He had termed the state an “administrative monstrosity” that lacks any “sanctity”. Dr Singh, who supported a holiday in the name of his father, had suggested “a unilingual Kashmiri-speaking State” with Jammu merging with Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh becoming a Union Territory.
The Kashmir expert, known for his unchallenged interventions in Kashmir’s contemporary history has said that the crafting of alliance with PDP has emboldened the right wing BJP. “It has since begun making demands it could never have dared to make before,” the author wrote. “The demands to declare Hari Singh’s birthday and October 26 public holidays are conceived in that disruptive spirit. Kashmiris cannot possibly accept a communal despot as a hero.”
The author has termed the Articles 370 and 35A as major challenges. He in-fact terms it as “an existential threat” for Kashmir, which, he believes, is “beyond Mehbooba Mufti’s capacity to meet”. He foresees Delhi eventually dealing with the National Conference alone. “The crafty Farooq Abdullah, side-lining Omar, has taken command,” Noorani wrote. “An emotional Farooq now flamboyantly hoists the autonomy flag while taking care not to alienate the Centre.”