Updated: Saturday August 10, 2019/AsSabt Thoul Hijjah 09, 1440/Sanivara Sravana 19, 1941, at 04:24:20 PM
Ugly (Instrument of Accession) of Raja Hari Singh over Jammu and Kashmir
“ Whereas the Indian Independence Act 1947, provides that as from the fifteenth day of August, 1947, there shall be set up an Independent Dominion known as India, and that the Government of India Act, 1935 shall, with such omission, additions, adaptations and modifications as the governor-general may by order specify, be applicable to the Dominion of India.
And whereas the Government of India Act, 1935, as so adapted by the governor-general, provides that an Indian State may accede to the Dominion of India by an Instrument of Accession executed by the Ruler thereof.
Now, therefore, I Shriman Inder Mahander Rajrajeswar Maharajadhiraj Shri Hari Singhji, Jammu and Kashmir Naresh Tatha Tibbetadi Deshadhipathi, Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir State, in the exercise of my sovereignty in and over my said State do hereby execute this my Instrument of Accession and
1. I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of India with the intent that the governor-general of India, the Dominion Legislature, the Federal Court and any other Dominion authority established for the purposes of the Dominion shall, by virtue of this my Instrument of Accession but subject always to the terms thereof, and for the purposes only of the Dominion, exercise in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir (hereinafter referred to as "this State") such functions as may be vested in them by or under the Government of India Act, 1935, as in force in the Dominion of India, on the 15th day of August, 1947, (which Act as so in force is hereafter referred to as "the Act").
2. I hereby assume the obligation of ensuring that due effect is given to the provisions of the ACT within this state so far as they are applicable therein by virtue of this my Instrument of Accession.
3. I accept the matters specified in the schedule hereto as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislatures may make laws for this state.
4. I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of India on the assurance that if an agreement is made between the Governor General and the ruler of this state whereby any functions in relation to the administration in this state of any law of the Dominion Legislature shall be exercised by the ruler of this state, then any such agreement shall be deem to form part of this Instrument and shall be construed and have effect accordingly.
5. The terms of this my Instrument of accession shall not be varied by any amendment of the Act or of the Indian Independence Act, 1947 unless such amendment is accepted by me by an Instrument supplementary to this Instrument.
6. Nothing in this Instrument shall empower the Dominion Legislature to make any law for this state authorizing the compulsory acquisition of land for any purpose, but I hereby undertake that should the Dominion for the purposes of a Dominion law which applies in this state deem it necessary to acquire any land, I will at their request acquire the land at their expense or if the land belongs to me transfer it to them on such terms as may be agreed, or, in default of agreement, determined by an arbitrator to be appointed by the Chief Justice of India.
Nothing in this Instrument shall be
deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of
8. Nothing in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this state, or, save as provided by or under this Instrument, the exercise of any powers, authority and rights now enjoyed by me as Ruler of this state or the validity of any law at present in force in this state.
9. I hereby declare that I execute this Instrument on behalf of this state and that any reference in this Instrument to me or to the ruler of the state is to be construed as including to my heirs and successors.
Given under my hand this 26th day of OCTOBER nineteen hundred and forty seven.
I do hereby accept this Instrument of Accession. Dated this twenty seventh day of October, nineteen hundred and forty seven.
Excerpts from 'The Myth of Indian Claim to JAMMU & KASHMIR –– A REAPPRAISAL'
by Alistair Lamb
THE INDIAN CLAIM TO JAMMU & KASHMIR
The formal overt Indian intervention in the
internal affairs of the State of Jammu & Kashmir began on about 9.00 a.m.
on 27 October 1947, when Indian troops started landing at
The State of Jammu & Kashmir was a
a) an Instrumen t of Accession of Jammu & Kashmir
b) the acceptance of this Instrument by the Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten, on 27 October 1947; plus
c) a letter from the Maharajah to Lord Mountbatten, dated 26 October 1947, in which Indian military aid is sought in return for accession to India (on terms stated in an allegedly enclosed Instrument) and the appointment of Sheikh Abdullah to head an Interim Government of the State; and
d) a letter from Lord Mountbatten to the Maharajah, dated 27 October 1947, acknowledging the above and noting that, once the affairs of the State have been settled and law and order is restored, “the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”
In both pairs of documents it will be noted that the date of the communication from the Maharajah, be it the alleged Instrument of Accession or the letter to Lord Mountbatten, is given as 26 October 1947, that is to say before the Indian troops actually began overtly to intervene in the State’s affairs on the morning of 27 October 1947. It has been said that Lord Mountbatten insisted on the Maharajah’s signature as a precondition for his approval of Indian intervention in the affairs of what would otherwise be an independent State.
The date, 26 October 1947, has hitherto been
accepted as true by virtually all observers, be they sympathetic or hostile to
the Indian case. It is to be found in an official communication by Lord
Mountbatten, as Governor General of
the Maharajah signed, are simply not true.
It is now absolutely clear that the two documents
(a) the Instrument of Accession, and (c) the letter to Lord Mountbatten, could
not possibly have been signed by the Maharajah of Jammu & Kashmir on 26
October 1947. The earliest possible time and date for their signature would
have to be the afternoon of 27 October 1947. During 26 October 1947 the
Maharajah of Jammu & Kashmir was travelling by road from
The key point, of course, as has already been
noted above, is that it is now obvious that these documents could only have
been signed after the overt Indian intervention in the State of Jammu &
Kashmir. When the Indian troops arrived at
An examination of the transactions behind these four documents in the light of the new evidence produces a number of other serious doubts. It is clear, for example, that in the case of (c) and (d), the exchange of letters between the Maharajah and Lord Mountbatten’s reply must antedate the letter to which it is an answer unless, as seems more than probable, both were drafted by the Government of India before being taken up to Jammu on 27 October 1947 (by V.P. Menon and Jammu & Kashmir Prime Minister M.C. Mahajan, whose movements, incidentally, are correctly report ed in the London Times of 28 October 1947) after the arrival of the Indian troops at Srinagar airfield. The case is very strong, therefore, that document (c), the Maharajah’s letter to Lord Mountbatten, was dictated to the Maharajah.
Documents (c) and (d) were published by the
Government of India on 28 October 1947. The far more important document (a),
the alleged Instrument of Accession, was not published until many years later,
if at all. It was not communicated to
Even if there had been an Instrument of Accession, then if it followed the form indicated in the unsigned example of such an Instrument published in the Indian 1948 White Paper it would have been extremely restrictive in the rights conferred upon the Government of India. All that were in fact transferred from the State to the Government of India by such an Instrument were the powers over Defence, Foreign Relations and certain aspects of Communications. Virtually all else was left with the State Government. Thanks to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution of January 1950 (which, unlike much else relating to the former Princely States, has survived to some significant degree in current Indian constitution theory, if not in practice), the State of Jammu & Kashmir was accorded a degree of autonomy which does not sit at all comfortably with the current authoritarian Indian administration of those parts of the State which it holds.
Not only would such an Instrument have been
restrictive, but also by virtue of the provisions, of (d), Lord Mountbatten’s
letter to the Maharajah dated 27 October 1947, it would have been conditional.
Lord Mountbatten, as Governor-General of India, made it clear that the State of
Jammu & Kashmir would only be incorporated permanently within the Indian
fold after approval as a result of some form of reference to the people, a
procedure which soon (with United Nations participation) became defined as a
fair and free plebiscite.
Why would the Maharajah of Jammu & Kashmir not
have signed an Instrument of Accession? The answer lies in the complex course
of events of August, September and October 1947 out of which the
The patently false dates of documents (a) and (c)
alter fundamentally the nature of the overt Indian intervention in Jammu &
Kashmir on 27 October 1947.
THE INDIAN CLAIM TO JAMMU & KASHMIR
CONDITIONAL ACCESSION, PLEBISCITES AND THE
REFERENCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
While the date, and perhaps even the fact, of the
"consistently with their policy that in the case of any State where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question of accession should be decided in accordance to the wishes of the people of the State, it is my Government’s wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people."
The substance of this was communicated by Jawaharlal Nehru to Liaquat Ali Khan in a telegram of 28 October 1947 in which Nehru indicated that this was a policy with which he agreed.
The point is clear enough. A reference to the
people would be entirely futile unless it contained the potential of reversing
the process of accession. If the people opted for
Indian apologists have since endeavoured to argue
that the plebiscite proposal was personal to Mountbatten (which we can see it
was not) and that it was in a real sense (ex gratia) and in no way binding on
subsequent Indian administrations. The fact of the matter, however, was that
the plebiscite policy had been established long before the
Plebiscites (or referenda-the terms tended to be used
at this time as if they meant the same thing) had been held on the eve of the
Transfer of Power in August 1947 in two areas. In the North-West Frontier
Province, which possessed a Congress Government despite a virtually total
Muslim population, and in Sylhet, a Muslim majority district of the non-Muslim
The value of the plebiscitary process continued to
be appreciated in
Junagadh was in many respects the mirror image of
"we are entirely opposed to war and wish to avoid it. We want an amicable settlement of this issue and we propose therefore, that wherever there is a dispute in regard to any territory, the matter should be decided by a referendum or plebiscite of the people concerned. We shall accept the result of this referendum whatever it may be as it is our desire that a decision should be made in accordance with the wishes of the people concerned. We invite the Pakistan Government, therefore, to submit the Junagadh issue to a referendum of the people under impartial auspices."
In Indian eyes, in other words, Junagadh’s
Thus when the
"I should like to make it clear that [the]
question of aiding Kashmir...is not designed in any way to influence the State
to accede to
On 28 October 1947 the Governor General of
The concept of impartial supervision of the
determination of sovereignty had been present from the outset of the run up to
the Partition of the Punjab and
Between 28 October and 22 December 1947 there took place a series of Indo-Pakistani discussions over the Kashmir question, some with the leaders of the two sides meeting face to face, some through subordinate officials and some through British intermediaries acting either officially or unofficially. While frequently acrimonious, the general tenor of the negotiations was that some kind of plebiscite should be held in Jammu & Kashmir. At a meeting on 8 November 1947 between two very senior officials, V.P Menon for India and Chaudhri Muhammad Ali for Pakistan, a detailed scheme for holding a plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir was worked out, with the apparent blessing of the Indian Deputy Prime Minister, Vallabhbhai Patel, in which the following principle was laid down:
that neither Government [of
The 8 November scheme aborted; but the underlying principles remained on the agenda. There were two major questions. First: how and in what way should the State be restored to a condition of tranquility such as would permit the holding of any kind of free and fair plebiscite. Second: who should supervise the plebiscite when it finally came to he held. On both questions, after exploring a number of devices including the employment of British officers to hold the ring while the votes were being cast, the consensus in the Governments of both India and Pakistan by 22 December 1947 was that the services of the United Nations, either through the Secretary General or the Security Council, offered the best prospect for success, though Nehru continued to express in public his reservations about “foreign” intervention.
At this point Lord Mountbatten, the Governor
General of India, explained to Liaquat Ali Khan, the Prime Minister of
Pakistan, that the best way to get Nehru to decide finally in favour of
reference to the United Nations was to permit India to take the first step,
even if in the process Pakistan would have to submit to some measures of Indian
“indictment” to which Pakistan would have every opportunity to make rebuttal at
the United Nations. Liaquat Ali Khan, so the records make clear, accepted this
proposal. On this basis, on 1 January 1948,
The Presentation of the Indian case, the Pakistani reply, and the series of debates which followed over the years, have all tended to obscure the original terms of that Indian reference. This was m
ade under Article 35 of the Charter of the United
Nations in which the mediation of the Security Council was expressly sought in
a matter which otherwise threatened to disturb the course of international
relations. The issue was an Indian request for United Nations mediation in a
dispute which had transcended the diplomatic resources of the two parties
The Security Council of the United Nations
responded to this request by devising a number of schemes for the restoration
of law and order and the holding of a plebiscite. These were duly set out in
United Nations Resolutions which, though never implemented, still remain the
collective expression of the voice of the international community as to how the
The situation in the State of Jammu & Kashmir remains unresolved, and it remains a matter of international interest. Given the background to and terms of the original Indian reference to the Security Council it cannot possibly be said that, today, Jammu & Kashmir (or those parts of it currently under Indian Occupation) is a matter of purely internal Indian concern. The United Nations retains that status in this matter, which it was granted by the original Indian reference, and the Security Council still has the duty to endeavour to implement its Resolutions.
DON’T FORGET THAT, “KASHMIR WILL BE PAKISTAN”