Sheikh Abdullah Desired To Die In Jail, Not Home, Says Soz

SRINAGAR: Senior Congress leader and former cabinet minister, Prof Soz termed it a tragedy that Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah is being deprecated. He, however, said Sheikh was half-hearted to give his consent to the transitory nature of Article 370.

A rare photograph showing Sheikh M Abdullah in the Royal Palace at Srinagar in late 1947.
A rare photograph showing Sheikh M Abdullah in the Royal Palace at Srinagar in late 1947.

“A class of ungrateful people given to sectarian thinking now want to deprecate Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah for his unwavering commitment to the J&K State’s accession to India but also to his commitment to the internal autonomy of the State,” Soz said in a statement, terming it “a tragedy of sorts!”

Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, he said, had made the point clear to no less a person than Sardar Patel on October 17, 1949, that he would not be a party to the provisions made for making Article 370 of the Constitution of India, temporary and transitory.

“The Sheikh would not have cared for Gopala Swami’s pleading on behalf of Sardar Patel but Maulana Azad, Nehru’s attaché, created difficulty for him,” Soz has stated. “At this juncture of our chequered history, one wishes that the Sheikh had not cared for the advice of Maulana Azad and gone ahead with his threat to resign on 17th October 1949, from the Constituent Assembly.”

Sadly, however, Soz said, Maulana manoeuvred the Sheikh’s ‘half-hearted’ consent to the transitory character of Article 370. “This created a permanent unease in the mind of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah,” he said. “It is why Kashmir’s knowledgeable scholars, including Mohammad Yousuf Teng, now assert that during his last year in life, the Sheikh wished to ‘die in Jail’, rather than at his home.”

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