The First War of Indian Independence- 1857: reclaiming of the Indian nations’ voluntary unity against imperialism
Contributed by Javed Inayat via email.
A slave nation cannot establish a classless society, abolish exploitation and bring about equality among men (people). For such a nation, the first and foremost task is to break the chains of imperialist domination that bind it. In other words, revolution in a slave country has to be anti-imperialist and anti-colonial. (Collective Works of Bhagat Singh, p.15)
A close examination of anti-imperialist history of India indicates that the First War of Indian Independence – 1857 provided the voluntary bases for the unity of all Indian nations in their struggle against British imperialism. The historical events that followed the First War of Indian Independence testify that both the voluntary bases for the unity of different people and the anti-imperialist struggle in India were lost out to the Indian elite (the present Bharati and Pakistani ruling classes) – the loyal servants and the products of imperialism, and the tools of oppression of the diverse and different nations of India. Consequently, the national question in India remains unresolved and the goal of Indian Independence Movement continues to be unaccomplished. The reclaiming of the Indian nations’ voluntary unity in their contemporary struggle against national oppression and imperialism would, this paper suggests, be a right course to take for bringing the revolutionary struggle in India back on its track.
A Historical Background
It was not the first time in 1857 that a war was fought against British imperialism in India. Dr Safdar Mahmood, a Pakistani writer, enlists about 24 unsuccessful wars of resistance fought against British imperialism in India before the First War of Indian Independence. These wars include the War of Bengali Independence (1757). The Four Wars of Mysore’s Independence (last in 1799), the Marathas War of Resistance (1803/4), the Gurkha war (1814 – 16), the War of Sindhi Independence (1843), the War of Punjabi Independence (1845/6), the War of Kashmiri Independence (1846). Above all and most importantly the Pukhtoons’ direct war against imperialism started soon after the fall of Punjab and continues till today with the exception of a short break.
These aforementioned wars fought against British imperialism by different people for the independence of their natural ancient homelands in India are not recorded in history books as Indian wars. Simply, because there was no India in any unified or homogeneous term as one country, one nation, or one people as many people are being misled by the one-nation theorists or puppets of imperialism to believe it. There also did not exist, for the people of India , any common geographical identity, such as ‘Indian’ as the British colonialists had perceived it at the time of setting up their East India Trading Company in 1599. What existed in India at the time were different people having different natural ancient homelands ruled by local Rajas, Maharajas, Ranies, Nawabs, Sultans, Kings, etceteras. John Keay (2000), an English historian, calls it “indigenous regimes” – sovereignties belonging to natives or natural ancient countries. These ancient
countries fought many wars against the British imperialism during the first one hundred years of British colonial expansionism in India , that is from 1757 to 1857.
The history of British colonial expansionism in India during the first one hundred years stands witness to barbarous exploitation, looting plundering and killing of every people by the British imperialism. Above all, these wars of British colonial expansionism witnessed the destruction of the boundaries of natural ancient homelands of every people, and the manufacturing of forced unity (a kind of prison house) amongst the annexed Indian nations. Thus, the Indian nations were enslaved and bound in the chains of British Imperialism. Moreover, an imperialist policy of bringing about subservient feudal, capitalist and service classes from indigenous population to guard the colonial structure and to serve the interest of imperialism was in operation. This is a brief background of the First War of Indian Independence- 1857.
The Indian Independent Movement
This paper does not intend to go into the events of the First War of Indian Independence as they are well recorded on the pages of history books. On the contrary, it suggests that the First War of Indian Independence- 1857 appears to be a collective product of all unsuccessful wars fought by different people against British imperialism before 1857 and covers a vast area from Burma to Afghanistan and from Nepal to Baluchistan .
The First War of Indian Independence laid down the bases for two historical developments for the future to take course with a common geographical identity, India . Firstly, it forced the British imperialism to suspend its policy of annexing “indigenous regimes” at least for another 90 years. As a result, there were two India : British-India, the product of British wars for its colonial expansionism, and Princely States India also known as States-India, the escaped indigenous regimes from British wars of annexation. Secondly, it also laid down the seeds for an Indian Independent Movement to be developed in the future, covering a vast area from Burma to Afghanistan and Nepal to Baluchistan .
What most have been said or written about the Indian Independent Movement is actually the history of Indian Independent Movement of British-India, especially the history of one-nation theorists (Bharatis) or two-nation theorists (Pakistanis). This is an incomplete picture of the Indian Independent Movement. There is a big jigsaw puzzle to be filled into this history of India . The missing jigsaw puzzle consists of the Indian Independent Movement in States-India. A brief description of the Indian Independent Movement in British-India could assist in drawing a comprehensible picture of the Indian Independent Movement in States-India.
Indian Independent Movement in British India
The events of the First War of Indian Independence revealed the people’s power sprouted from the voluntary unity of all Indian nations against imperialism. This revelation provided a strong possibility for the development of an anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movement based on the voluntary unity of all ancient countries in India . Faced with such a threat, the British imperialism intended to introduce colonial Indian nationalism in British India in order to thwart anti-imperialist resistance and to preserve the Indian nations’ forced unity which was structured during its colonial expansionism- from 1757 to 1857. The term colonial Indian nationalism is used here to describe an Indian nationalism that preserves forced unity of Indian nations and serves the interest of colonialism and imperialism.
The Indian National Congress was set up with the British official inspiration and blessing as an instrument for diluting the emerging anti-colonial and anti imperialist Indian nationalism. “A[n]… English civil servant founded Congress in 1885. Acting with the blessing of the Viceroy, Octavian Hume had sought to create an organization which would canalize the protests of India’s slowly growing educated classes into a moderate, responsible body prepared to engage in gentlemanly dialogue with India’s English rulers” (Collins and Lapierre in K. Lal 2001:22). This was the objective background for the formation of the Indian National Congress in British India .
In the process of serving their imperialist masters, the Indian National Congress led by British reared and nourished capitalist and service classes, became the instrument for the manufacturing of one-nation-theory or Bharati ideology popularly known as Akhand (unified) Bharat- a notion of indivisible sacred India within the framework of the British introduced paradigm of colonial Indian nationalism. This notion can also be called as modern Brahminism based on the philosophy of Arya-Hindu-Bharatav arsa, which denies completely the existence of natural ancient homelands of different people in India . Ideologically and politically Bharat stands, in the name of secularism and Indian nationalism, for the Union of India without Indian nations having any right to consent or dissent.
This is the prevailing political situation in Bharat today. Any idea suggesting more than one nation in India is seen as anti-national, anti-people, and anti-Indian and it deserves to be crushed and destroyed violently. This is the ideological hotbed that crops the hatred against two nation theory, Pakistani ideology, or any other national liberation movement in Bharat.
This Brahministic and colonialist character of the Bharati State in India can be judged by looking at “Framing Geelani, Hanging Afzal (2007)”: a collection of letters with reference to the Kashmir liberation movement. This book is written not by any revolutionary, Muslim, or Sikh, but Nandita Haksar– a Brahmin pundit and a human rights campaigner in Bharat. This book explains how the police, the army, the media, the courts and other agencies in Bharat operate under the influence of modern Brahminism.
On 13 December 2001 Bharati Parliament was attacked. Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri patriot, was arrested, tortured and forced to ‘confess’ at a media conference. He was denied the opportunity to defend himself-he did not have a lawyer. The court found that evidence against Afzal Guru was fabricated and documents were forged. The Bharati Supreme Court ruled that Afzal Guru was not involved in the attack or part of any group. Despite these rulings Afzal Guru was sentenced to death to “satisfy the collective conscience of the society” (2007:192). It is not only the people of Bharati Occupied Kashmir who stand against the Bharati oppression, the people of Assam , Nagaland, Manipur, Rajputana, Jharkhand and Tripura are also engaged in the movements for their independence and they are making great sacrifices in their struggle against Bharati occupation. The root cause of blood spilling in Central Punjab has yet to be analyzed properly.
In many aspects the situation in Pakistan today is not different from that in Bharat. The birth of Bharati State in India is a result of “one nation theory” and one-nation theory caused the birth of Pakistani State based on “two-nation theory”. Both theories are offspring of the colonial Indian nationalism and the British colonial policies to rule India by using religious differences. For this purpose the puppet Nawabs of British imperialism had set up the Indian Muslim League in British India in 1905; and a Brahminism-Muslim conflict, often described as Hindu-Muslim conflict, was set in train.
In the process of serving their imperialist masters, the Indian Muslim League in British India emerged as a resistance force to one-nation theory or modern Brahminism by constructing its own two- nation theory based on religious identity of non-Muslims and Muslims in India . The two-nation theory defines itself in the form of the Pakistan resolution of 1940. “The [ Pakistan ] Resolution ,” as stated by John Keay (2000:496), “called for a constitution whereby areas in which Muslims are numerically in a majority, as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India , should be grouped to continue Independent States in which the constituent elements shall be autonomous and sovereign.” It is important to note that the Pakistan Resolution neither demands for the partition or division of India into India and Pakistan , nor it stands for the division of any ancient homeland, country, or state. On the contrary, it shows clearly that Pakistan
would be in India and the states having Muslim majority would be independent and sovereign states.
Although, the Pakistan Resolution fails to recognize the rights of Indian states having numerically non-Muslim majority which appears to be an ideological flaw, it presents a logical resistance to one-nation theory or modern Brahminism. The two-nation theory recognizes, clearly, the existence of different people having Muslim majority with their rights to independent and sovereign states in India . However, the leadership of the Muslim League betrayed Indian states having Muslim majority by changing the Pakistan Resolution into Muslim nationalism. This Muslim nationalism is developed in Pakistan to preserve the chains of imperialist domination – the forced unity of different people in Pakistan .
The Pakistani rulers’ denial of different nations’ rights recognized in the Pakistan resolution, laid down the basis for the birth of Bangladesh in East Bengal . The unresolved national question of oppressed nations in New Pakistan can also be seen from the emergence of PONM: the [P]akistani [O]ppressed [N]ations’ [M]ovement. PONM stands for a new constitution of Pakistan to secure the rights of different nations guaranteed in the Pakistan resolution of 1940. The struggle of Kashmiri people against the Pakistani occupation in both parts of Pakistani Occupied Kashmir that is the Pakistani Occupied Northern Kashmir and the Pakistani Occupied Southern Kashmir is a historical phenomenon. These prevailing situations in Bharat and Pakistan indicate that the so-called ‘Indian independent movement’ led by National Congress and Muslim League in British India was a form of colonial nationalism. Modern Brahminism in Bharat and Muslim nationalism
in Pakistan – the offshoots of colonial nationalism are no more than fascist methods of preserving forced unity of Indian nations.
This means that Bharati and Pakistani states are new forms of British Raj and prison houses of the Indian nations. These prison houses of Indian nations were built with the power of the sword of the British imperialism. All colonial institutions; the armies, the police, the law, the judiciary and the civil service, which were structured by the British imperialism to guard these prison houses, are still intact. This is not the complete description of so-called ‘Indian Independent Movement’ in British India . The history of anti-colonial Indian nationalism in British India gives us some insight into the real nature of Indian Independent Movement and identifies the means for breaking the chains of imperialist domination in India .
Anti-Colonial Indian Nationalism in British India
After the collapse of the First War of Indian independence, the Ghadar Party carried the first main political phase of a revolutionary struggle against British imperialism. The Hindustan Socialist Republic Association, led by Shaheed Bhagat Singh, developed the second main phase of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle in India . However, the question of internal nature of the national question in British-India did not arise till 1930.
In 1930, Mohammed Iqbal, the Indian poet and philosopher suggested two options in his famous khutbah (sermon)-e-Allahbad about the internal nature of the national question in India. Iqbal visualized the independent states for nations having distinguished languages, cultures and histories as a permanent solution to the Indian question or a separate homeland for the Indian Muslims consisting of states having Muslim majorities (Pro. Mohammed Arif Khan – Pakistan to Iqbalistan). This idea of a separate homeland for the Indian Muslims visualized by Iqbal in 1930 provided the base for the Pakistan Resolution of 1940. It can be concluded that Iqbal suggested the idea of ‘independent states for the nations in India ’ in the context of Indian history and the idea of ‘a separate homeland for the Indian Muslims’ in the context of one-nation theory based on modern Brahminism. It is important for this analysis to note that Iqbal did not see a separate
homeland for the Indian Muslims outside India , and he did not intend to surrender his Indian identity.
We have no guidance from Shaheed Bhagat Singh on the question of internal nature of the national question in India raised by Iqbal in 1930 because Shaheed Bhagat Singh did not have an opportunity to address this question. He was martyred on 23rd March 1931. However, we have his clear thoughts about the nature of a revolutionary struggle in a country or state that is bound in the chains of imperialist domination mentioned at the outset of this paper. In the light of Bhagat Singh’s these thoughts, it is important to examine the Marxist analysis on the internal nature of the national question in India put forward by the Communist Party of India before the creation of Bharat and Pakistan in British India. In April 1946, P. C. Joshi submitted a memorandum of the Communist Party of India to the British Cabinet Mission. It reads:
We suggest that the Provisional Government should be charged with the task of setting up a Boundaries Commission to redraw the boundaries on the basis of natural ancient homelands of every people, so that the demarcated province become, as far as possible, linguistically and naturally homogeneous national units. The following are the national units that will come into existence after demarcation of the boundaries and after the dissolution of the Indian States: Tamilnad, Andhradesha, Kerala, Karnataca, Maharashtra, Gujerat, Rajasthan, Sindh, Baluchistan, Pathanland, Kashmir, Western Punjab, Central Punjab, Hindustan, Bihar, Assam, Orissa. The people of each such unit should have the unfettered right of self-determination, i. e. the right to decide freely whether they will join the Indian Union or form a separate sovereign state or another Indian Union .
(Jacob, T. G. (ed.) 1988. National Question in India )
This Marxist analysis corroborates the claim put forward by the Kashmiri Workers Association ‘Britain’ that the very label “India” should not be understood or used in any sense of single political entity, country, nation, or people. This is a peculiar historical condition of India that requires a peculiar model for its revolution. The Chinese or any other model of revolution doesn’t match with the peculiar historical conditions of India . The present structures to maintain the unity of nations in Bharat and Pakistan , as mentioned above, are the product of British colonial expansionism.
This aforementioned Marxist analysis on the national question in India rectifies flaws made in Pakistan Resolution of 1940, provides a hammer to break the chains of colonial Indian nationalism and recognizes the people of Central Punjab as a nation with their right to a sovereign state. This analysis tears apart the heart of one nation theory, Hindu nationalism, or modern Brahminism, the mother of all religious nationalisms in India . Above all, it provides the voluntary base for the unity of all Indian nations in their contemporary struggle against imperialism.
The above stated Marxist analysis of the national question in India also help s us in our understanding of the political cunningness of Bharati and Pakistani ideologues who describe the creation of Bharati and Pakistani states in British India as a division of India into India and Pakistan . How can a common geographical identity be divided into parts, which loses the identity of its one own part? We have many examples before our eyes, such as divided Ireland , divided Korea , divided Punjab, divided Bengal, and divided Kashmir . Each divided part of a nation, country or people always carries its identity. The answer to these questions lies in the fact that there never has been, nor there is an India as a one nation, one country or one people.
By examining the Marxist analysis on the national question in India put forward by the Communist Party of India in 1946, it can be understood how one-nation theorists hijacked the common geographical identity of all Indian nations. More importantly, it exposes, on the one hand, the paradigm of colonial Indian nationalism that denies the right to self-determination of every nation in India and reflects, on the other hand, the nature of anti-colonial Indian nationalism evolved in British India that recognizes the right to self-determination of every nation in India . This anti-colonial Indian nationalist character of the Indian Independent Movement in British India has to be kept in mind when looking at the Indian Independent Movement in States India.
Indian Independent Movement in States India
As mentioned above, the events of the First War of Indian Independence- 1857 forced the British colonialists to suspend their policy of annexing “indigenous regimes” in India . British imperialism adopted a new policy of forcing indigenous rulers to submit their sovereignties to the British Raj by making submissive agreements and then to maintain them. Previously, these submissive agreements with ancient countries in India had been made only to annex them when favorable situation arose. After the First War of Indian Independence, these submissive agreements with 565 states were almost maintained by the British imperialism till 1947.
The area of India consisting of these 565 states is known as Princely States India or States India having some very small states and some very big states like Junagarh, Hyderabad and Kashmir . States India consisted of one third of all India and one fourth of its total population. The Indian Independent Movement in States India developed on two levels: on the Indian states level and on the Indian States people’s level.
On the Indian States level, the States rulers represented the Indian Independent Movement in States India. During the Round Table Conference held in London from 12th November 1930 to 19th January 1931, 57 representatives from British India represented British India and 7 representatives from States India represented States India. On the Indian States people’s level, the All India States People’s Conference was, on the behalf of the hundreds of Indian States, encouraging direct political dealing between the States India and the British Raj.
The All India States People’s Conference was a political organization of States India and its first session was held in Mumbai ( Bombay ) in 1927. Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, the head of Kashmir ’s National Conference was also vice-president of the All India States People’s Conference on the eve of the transfer of the political power and prison houses of the Indian nations in 1947. The All India States People Conference was struggling to secure the collective independence of States India from the British Raj. However, the British imperialism had its own designs against States India to protect its imperialist interest in India and the interests of the ruling classes of Bharat and Pakistan .
The policy of annexing “indigenous regimes” that was suspended after the First War of Indian Independence was fully put into operation again after 90 years. Fraud, deception and military aggression were the means of the British colonialists to eliminate and destroy States India completely from the map of India . The Kashmir case presents an example of this barbarous act of British colonialism in annexing States India.
The Kashmir Case
Kashmir ’s written historical record goes back 5000 years. Up to 1586 AD, except for a brief period, Kashmir has been an independent country. During this period of its independence Kashghar, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khatan, Khurasan, Kabul, Baluchistan, Punjab, Multan, Sindh, Qanuj, Bengal, Lankan Islands, Bombay and Jullunder all of these areas were conquered and ruled by the rulers of Kashmir. All of these areas are now under China , Afghanistan , Pakistan , and Bharat. These Kashmiri conquests do not mean that the people of Kashmir have any expansionist and aggressive designs against these areas. The purpose of mentioning these Kashmiri conquests is to make a point for those who want to know what the Kashmir is, who the Kashmiris are and where the boundaries of Kashmir are.
Kashmir constitutes an area of 84, 471 square miles that existed as a single political entity within its recognized boundaries on 15th August 1947 or before the Bharati and Pakistani military invasions of Kashmir took place in 1947/8.
There is a Kashmiri nation with different nationalities and different faiths inhabiting the aforementioned geographical entity of Kashmir . These different nationalities having different languages and cultures include Gilgiti, Ladakhi, Balti, Broshisky and Traiabi. Traiab is a new name for Jammu province which existed on 15th August 1947 and includes Poonch. (Traiab means the land of three rivers, i. e. Jhelum, Chenab and Ravi ).
These areas and people, with the exception of a period of foreign occupation, more or less have always been parts of Kashmir . However, the current unity of Kashmiri nation and nationalities exists in the context of their historical and a just common struggle against exploitation, oppression and Bharati and Pakistani occupation of Kashmir . The right to self-determination of every nationality in Kashmir with a right to secede from the centre has to be recognized in their contemporary struggle against foreign occupation.
On 15th August 1947, one hundred one-year rule of British imperialism in Kashmir ended with its independence for 73 days. Bharat invaded Kashmir on 27th October 1947 followed by Pakistani military invasion in May 1948. On 1st January 1949, Kashmir was divided, occupied and annexed by Bharat and Pakistan under the direct guidance of British imperialism. This forced division and forced occupation of Kashmir by Bharat and Pakistan backed by U.S. imperialism continues till today.
Kashmir: as a protected colony of British imperialism
Before the fall of Punjab to British imperialism in 1846, the people of Kashmir including Traiab were fighting for their independence from the Punjabi occupation. Raja Gulab Singh from a local non-Muslim Dogra family was ruling Traiab with the help of his brothers to serve the Punjabi occupation. With the arrival of British colonialists in Punjab , Raja Gulab Singh changed his loyalty from serving Punjabi occupation to the British imperialism.
After the fall of Punjab, Kashmir State was rewarded for the sum of Rs. 50 lakhs through a sale deed called “The Treaty of Amritsar: 16th March 1846” to Raja Gulab Singh who had help ed British against Punjab . The Kashmiris saw an opportunity to assert their independence from Punjabi occupation and to confront Raja Gulab Singh. This was the first war of Kashmiri independence against a Kashmiri ruler backed by British imperialism.
With the help of his masters, the British imperialism, Raja Gulab Singh defeated the Kashmiris and he became Maharaja (big Raja or King) of Kashmir State practically in November 1846. With this began a new period of barbarity, cruelty and plundering of the Kashmiri people under the despotic rule of Maharaja Gulab Sing and his male heirs.
In 1857, the dying Maharaja Gulab Singh and his son Ranbir Singh were help ing their British masters to crush the First War of Indian Independence. Freedom fighters from British India were forbidden to seek asylum in Kashmir . 200 freedom fighters reached in Jammu City of Traiab for asylum. They were arrested and handed over to the British, probably to be tortured and murdered. Most importantly, the puppet ruler of Kashmir sent his army comprising 2000 infantry, 200 cavalry and six guns to assist the British imperialism in the siege of Delhi .
When the First War of Indian Independence was being crushed in a blood bath blowing freedom fighters up in the mouth of cannons in British India, the oppressive rule in Kashmir , backed by the British imperialism, was also taking its cruelest form. The cruelest oppression of the Dogra Raj in Kashmir was bagaar (forced labour). Kashmiri peasants, particularly Muslim peasants were arrested, and subjugated to forced labour. Whether it was work to move official goods or building roads, Muslims peasants did such work without pay. On many occasions these peasants died as a result of hard work and fatigue. When such Muslim peasants were physically useless they were murdered by being thrown from mountaintops.
Under these conditions of cruelest oppression, the Kashmiri people rose up once again in 1931. On the 13th of July that year the state forces massacred Kashmiri people in Srinagar and this day has become the “Yaum-e-Shuhada- e-Kashmir”, the day of Kashmiri martyrs. This uprising spread gradually in many other parts of Kashmir . British army invaded Kashmir again to crush the uprising and strengthen the regime of their puppet Kashmiri ruler in their protected colony. In Mirpur, another city of Traiab , Walait Ali known as Batoo and Sadiq Shah, the leaders of the uprising of peasants were arrested and hanged. They are known as “Shuhada-e-Mirpur”- martyrs of Mirpur.
To take this war of Kashmiri independence forward, the need for a political party was felt, and the Kashmir ’s first main political party the “Muslim Conference” was formed in 1932. From the very beginning the leadership of the Muslim Conference was taken over by the Muslims of the ruling classes. Because of the sectarianism of the ruling non-Muslim Dogra family, the Muslims of the ruling classes had lesser status than their non-Muslim peers.
The progressive elements in the lower middle classes pressurized the Muslim Conference for a national freedom and for the unity of the poor people having different faiths. As a result, the Muslim Conference was changed to the National Conference in 1939. On this occasion slogans for the unity of poor Muslim peasants and poor non-Muslim peasants were raised loudly. It was also declared publicly that the Kashmir’s national movement would remain independent of British India , especially, of the Indian National Congress and the Indian Muslim League.
When progressive intellectual and political cadres realized that the leadership of the National Conference was working for the interests of the ruling classes, they left the National Conference and formed Kisan Mazdoor (Peasants Labourer) Conference. Meanwhile some leaders of the National Conference revived their previous party, the Muslim Conference. This was the political situation in Kashmir at the time when the British imperialism was preparing to transfer its prison houses of Indian nations to its loyal and puppet classes in India .
Azad Kashmir Movement
At the time when the British imperialism was preparing to transfer its colonial institutions to colonial Indian nationalists, the Indian National Congress in British India was standard bearer of one-nation theory – the theory of Bharat with the labels of secularism and democracy. The Indian Muslim League had demanded Pakistan on the bases of the two-nation theory. The Communist Party of India, on the other hand, demanded right to self-determination, independence and sovereignty for every nation having an ancient homeland in India . Under these circumstances, on 12th May 1946, the Kashmir Kisan Mazdoor Conference raised the slogan of Azad Kashmir having no contradiction whatsoever with the analysis of the national question in India put forward by the Communist Party of India in April 1946.
The Kashmir Kisan Mazdoor Conference laid out a concrete programme to establish an “Azad Kashmiri Riasat” (a free Kashmiri state) in India apart from Bharat and Pakistan with an aim to build a classless society free from feudalism, capitalism and foreign oppression. This is the beginning of the Azad Kashmir Movement and it continues in one form or the other till today.
There were three other main political forces in Kashmir who also stood for an independent Kashmir having no connection with Bharat , Pakistan , or British India . Maharaja Hari Singh, descendant of Maharaja Gulab Singh intended for the independence of Kashmir to maintain the tyrannical rule of his family. National Conference, in its manifesto called “Naiyya Kashmir” (New Kashmir), planned for a socialist Kashmir having Maharaja Hari Singh as a constitutional head of the independent Kashmir state. And Muslim Conference influenced by the politics of Kisan Mazdoor Conference adopted “Azad Kashmir” resolution in June 1946 with an aim of changing an arbitrary Kashmir state into a republic Kashmir state.
On 15th August 1947, under the Indian Independent Act of 1947, with the creation of two new dominions Bharat and Pakistan in British India, Kashmir became an independent and sovereign state and Maharaja Hari Singh lost all rights his family used to claim to rule Kashmir under the “Amritsar Treaty of 1846”. When Mountbatton, the British ruler of “free Bharat”, was working actively to annex Kashmir for Bharat by making favorable adjustment in the boundaries when partitioning Punjab , there was a big peasants’ revolt-taking place in Poonch and Mirpur against the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh.
Azad Jumhuria Kashmir
(Free Republic of Kashmir )
“Of the 71, 667 citizens of the state of …Kashmir who served in British Indian forces during World War II, 60, 402 were…from the traditional recruiting ground of Poonch and Mirpur” (Schofield, 2000:41). These trained retired army-men were sons and brothers of poor Kashmiri peasants who organized themselves to get independence from the oppressive rule of Maharaja Hari Singh. This uprising is known in history of Kashmir as Poonch ni Baghawat, the Poonch Revolt. On 3rd October 1947, over one hundred political workers including the leaders of the Muslim Conference gathered and decided to provide a political direction to the Poonch revolt.
On 4th October 1947, they set up a Provisional Republic Government of Kashmir (Azad Kashmir Government), under the leadership of Khawaja Ghulam Nabi Gilkar Anwar, with its headquarter in Muzaffarabad. The Azad Kashmir Government deposed Maharaja Hari Singh from the throne and declared Kashmir as an “Azad Jumhuria Kashmir ” (Free Republic of Kashmir). “With the termination of paramountcy of the British Crown (on 15th August 1947),” reads the declaration of Azad Jumhuria Kashmir, “the ruling family of Kashmir have lost whatever rights it claimed under the Treaty of Amritsar, under which Kashmir was transferred by the British to Maharaja Gulab Singh, a forefather of the present ruler, for a paltry sum of Rs. 50 lakhs and that the people have set up a Provisional Republican Government with headquarters at Muzaffarbad.”
“The declaration of Azad Jumhuria Kashmir was,” according to Pundit Prem Nath Bazaz (1992:624), “broadcast on the radio Pakistan and the people of Kashmir welcomed it with great enthusiasm.” This is how the civil war in Kashmir broke out between the people of Kashmir under the leadership of the Azad Kashmir Government and the tyrant Maharaja Hari Singh on the dispute over the sovereignty of Kashmir . This war of Kashmiri people for their right to sovereignty is also known, in history of Kashmir , as Azad Kashmir Movement. All peasants and their army-retired sons and brothers who had been fighting against the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh in Poonch and Mirpur accepted the leadership of the Azad Kashmir Government. Hence, the rebels became the freedom fighters and they organized the people’s liberation army known as Azad Kashmir Fauj (Army). The Azad Kashmir Army set itself towards Srinagar , the capital of Kashmir .
Bharat and Pakistan, newly born dominions in British India, did not like Kashmir becoming a third independent state in India, but they did not have any power to thwart Azad Kashmir Movement from becoming victorious. It was the British imperialism that still enjoyed the actual power in Bharat and Pakistan . The British imperialism still controlled directly the most powerful colonial institutions of Bharat and Pakistan – the armies of both dominions. The Azad Kashmir Movement became, suddenly, the target of the British imperialist revived policy of annexing remaining natural ancient countries in India .
Bharati Military Invasion of Kashmir
The armies of Bharat and Pakistan were under direct command of the British army-generals and the British army-generals of both the armies were under the direct command of their British General, Field Marshal Auchinleck based in Delhi , Bharat. Of course, all the British army generals and the British civil bureaucrats in Bharat and Pakistan were obliged to act according to the guidance and instructions of Mountbatton, the representative of the British Crown in India and a British ruler of “free Bharat”.
It was the British military and the British civil bureaucracy of Pakistan who organized a tribesmen invasion of Kashmir lead by a Pakistani officer, Major Khurshid Anwar on 22nd October 1947. George Cunningham, the British governor of the North-West Frontier (Pakhtunkhawa) reveals the British design against the Azad Kashmir Movement and his role in organizing the tribesmen invasion of Kashmir by making following notes in his diary: “My own position is not too easy. If I give my support to the movement (invasion), … thousands more (tribesmen) will flock to it and there may be a big invasion; if I resist it, I have to bear the brunt (from whom?) if the movement (invasion) fails (to achieve its goal) through lack of support” (Schofield, 2000:50). In Italics are writer’s notes to prompt the readers.
There were three main objectives of tribesmen invasion of Kashmir . First, it aimed to block the march of the Azad Kashmir Army from entering into Srinagar . Second, it intended to overthrow Azad Kashmir Government in order to divert its struggle from Azad Kashmir Movement into the annexation of Kashmir in the name of accession. The third main objective of the tribesmen invasion was to provide a pretext for the Bharati military invasion of Kashmir . The march of the Azad Kashmir Army towards Srinagar was blocked in Baramula. The Azad Kashmir Government was, in the absence of its founder president, overthrown on 24th October 1947 in the name of its re-constitution. The tribesmen invaders accomplished their goal within five days and most of them fled from Kashmir after the Bharati invasion of Kashmir took place.
On 25th October 1947, a day after the overthrow of the Azad Kashmir Government, Mountbatton, the British ruler of “free Bharat”, called an emergency meeting of the Bharati Defense Committee in Delhi . “From henceforth the Indian (Bharati) side, and its British sympathizers like Mountbatton,” asserts Alastair Lamb, “publicly ignored all that had to do with the Poonch revolt” (1994:85). It would be more correct to say that the Bharati rulers, their Kashmiri puppets ant their British masters like Mountbatton publicly ignored the Azad Kashmir Movement following the tribesmen invasion. The events that followed the emergency meeting of Bharati Defense Committee indicate that Mountbatton had already completed all the preparations for his planned military invasion of Kashmir secretly. There is no evidence to suggest that the decision taken in this emergency meeting to invade Kashmir was in response to any request for military assistance made
by the Maharaja Hari Singh or his representative.
However, available record shows that Mountbatton insisted for the procurement of a document showing Kashmir ’s accession to Bharat before the invasion takes place. Surely, he wanted to justify his military invasion against Kashmir . Immediately after the meeting, V. P. Menon, the States minister was sent to Srinagar by air to obtain the signature of illegal and deposed Maharaja Hari Singh on the proposed accession document. V.P. Menon returned to Delhi next day, on 26th October 1947 empty handed to report Mountbatton that “[t]he Maharaja was completely unnerved by the turn of events and by his sense of lone help lessness. There were practically no State forces left and the raiders had almost reached the outskirts of Baramula” (Schofield, 2000:53).
The British organized tribesmen raiders were later to become known as ‘Pakistani raiders’; a terminology frequently used by the Bharati rulers and their puppet Kashmiri politicians. The terminology of ‘Pakistani raiders’ is still being used for both purposes; to describe the tribesmen invaders and to conceal the contribution that Azad Kashmir Army made in the Azad Kashmir Movement.
The empty handed return of V.P. Menon from Srinagar shows that the Maharaja Hari Singh preferred his defeat in the hands of Azad Kashmir Army to surrendering sovereignty of Kashmir to Bharat. Without signing any document showing his intention of acceding to Bharat, the deposed and illegal ruler of Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh fled from Srinagar on 26th October 1947 because he lost out completely to the Azad Kashmir Army in the civil war. However, he was unaware of the fact that the tribesmen invaders in Baramula had blocked the Azad Kashmir Army’s march towards Srinagar . Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, the head of the National Conference also fled from Srinagar on 26th October 1947 having afraid of imminent threat of ‘goats’ ruling ‘lions’ and he took the refuge in guest room of the Pundit Nehru’s house on York Road in Delhi . The term ‘goats’ is, popularly, attributed to the Muslim Conferences and ‘lions’ to the National Conferences.
On 27th October 1947, Bharati army invaded Kashmir under the command of British army-generals on the pretext that Maharaja Hari Singh had requested for military help against the Pakistani tribesmen invaders and signed an accession document. Many researchers have established beyond any doubt that the illegal, deposed and fugitive Maharaja Hari Singh did not sign any accession document before the Bharati military invasion of Kashmir took place. “In contrast to what Mountbatton had originally advised,” Alastair Lamb (1994) claims, “the actual Indian (Bharati) intervention in Srinagar took place before the Maharaja had signed anything indicating his intention to accede to India (Bharat).” This means that the claim that Maharaja requested Bharat for military help against the tribesmen invaders and signed the accession document was false. Therefore, the rulers of Bharat, lead by Mountbatton, committed a crime against an independent and
sovereign Kashmiri state by launching an illegal invasion against it.
Azad Kashmir: the base camp of Azad Kashmir Movement.
The events that followed the Bharati military invasion of Kashmir show that the tribesmen invaders accomplished the objectives of their incursion and fled from Kashmir killing, looting and plundering Kashmiri women on their way home while Kashmiri men were fighting against Bharati invasion and occupation. The Azad Kashmir Government confronted the Bharati invasion and re-established its sovereignty, which was undermined by the tribesmen incursion. The Azad Kashmir Movement was further strengthened when the people of northern Kashmir (Gilgit-Baltistan) set up a Local Revolutionary Council on 31st October 1947 and accepted the leadership of the Azad Kashmir Government.
It was the Azad Kashmir Army and the people of Kashmir who liberated one third of Kashmir from the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh and the Bharati military invasion. This liberated one third area of Kashmir was called Azad Kashmir because it became the base camp for the Azad Kashmir Movement. The Azad Kashmir Army not only defended Azad Kashmir successfully for a very long time against the Bharati invasion and occupation, but it also made the defeat of the Bharati occupying army in Kashmir certain.
From the very beginning, the British ruler of “free Bharat”, Mountbatton knew very well that it was not possible for Bharati army alone to crush Azad Kashmir Movement. Because the Azad Kashmir Army, the vanguard of Azad Kashmir Movement, became a popular army in Kashmir and poor peasants were feeding and supporting it. Therefore, Mountbatton had to revise his original plan of annexing Kashmir for Bharat to divide it between Bharat and Pakistan .
For this purpose, Mountbatton offered the share of the Kashmir cake to the ruling classes of Pakistan during his visit to Lahore on 1st November 1947 provided Pakistan help ed Bharat in its war against Azad Kashmir Army. During his visit to Lahore , “Mountbatton opened his discussion,” according to Alastair Lamb (1994), “…by explaining the Indian (Bharati) plebiscite proposal which was now on the table, essentially the holding of the vote following the withdrawal of the Azad Kashmir Forces”. Here, it is important to note that Mountbatton did not use any terminology of ‘raiders’, ‘invaders’, ‘tribesmen invaders’, or ‘Pakistani invaders’. The term ‘withdrawal of the Azad Kashmir Forces’ used by Mountbatton must be understood as a euphemism for the ‘defeat of the Azad Kashmir Army’. Hence, with the willingness of the Pakistani ruling classes, a military plan was prepared for the Pakistan army to occupy Azad Kashmir, the base camp of the Azad Kashmir Movement.
Pakistani Military Invasion of Azad Kashmir
(An act of stabbing Azad Kashmir from the back)
In order to defeat Azad Kashmir Army, General Gracey, the British Commander-in- Chief of the Pakistan army mapped out the division of Kashmir with a Line-of-Military- Occupation (LoMO) as Naushera, Poonch and Uri. On 20th April 1948, according to Major General (R) Akbar Khan (1973), General Gracey submitted his military plan to the Government of Pakistan to occupy Azad Kashmir implying Azad Kashmir Movement, Azad Kashmir Government and Azad Kashmir Army as terrorist forces. Accordingly, the Pakistan army invaded Azad Kashmir in May 1948 and gradually turned Azad Kashmir into two occupied parts of Pakistani Occupied Kashmir: Pakistani Occupied Northern Kashmir and Pakistani Occupied Southern Kashmir.
It took about nine months of back door or track-two diplomacy and misusing of the United Nations to stage an imperialist directed war drama over so called the Kashmir’s accession dispute between Bharat and Pakistan . On 13th August 1948, Bharati and Pakistani rulers agreed to make a “cease-fire” and hold plebiscite in Kashmir under the supervision of the Untied Nations. This agreement is also known as United Nations’ resolution on Kashmir . Supplemented by another resolution of 5th January 1949, it misleads people to believe that the Kashmir dispute is an accession dispute between Bharat and Pakistan . If these United Nations resolutions on Kashmir are put into practice they accomplish the total annexation of Kashmir in the name of accession – an imperialist agenda against the Azad Kashmir Movement.
Bharati rulers signed and Mountbatton supported the United Nations’ resolution on Kashmir with two conditions attaching to it. First, Pakistan will not recognize Azad Kashmir Government as a legal and representative government of the Kashmiri people. And second, Pakistan will d isb and the Azad Kashmir Army. Instead of recognizing Azad Kashmir Government as a gesture of goodwill towards the people of Kashmir against the common enemy: modern Brahminism, the Pakistani rulers turned Azad Kashmir Government into a puppet government of their own.
The Pakistani rulers also d isb anded Azad Kashmir Army to comply with the conditions put forward by Pundit Nehru and Mountbatton. The writing of Mohammad Ayub Khan (1967:31) shows that the Azad Kashmir Army was d isb anded against the consent or approval of the Azad Kashmir Government. The writings of Sardar Mohammed Ibrahim Khan (1966), Mohammad Ayub Khan (1967) and Major General (R) Akbar Khan (1973) indicate that the Pakistani rulers d isb anded Azad Kashmir Army with the help of a Pakistani officer, Major General Akbar Khan. Major General Akbar Khan had disguised himself as a Pakistani volunteer help ing his Kashmiri brothers who were fighting Bharati occupation and infiltrated into Azad Kashmir Army. Sardar Mohammed Ibrahim Khan, a gallant Kashmiri at the time but a naïve and inexperienced 2nd president of the Azad Kashmir Government, placed Major General Akbar Khan as a commander of the Azad Army by the name of general Tariq only to walk
into a trap laid by the British Commander-in- Chief of the Pakistan army.
Azad Kashmir Movement and the United Nations
By a close analysis of the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir, it appears that the United Nations was used as an instrument to legitimize the illegitimate Pakistani and Bharati occupation of Kashmir . It means that the United Nations was used to clean the gandagi (filth), the British imperialism produced in Kashmir during its acts of crushing the Azad Kashmir Movement.
On 1st January 1949, the Line-of-Military- Occupation, in the name of ‘cease-fire-line’, was finally imposed on the people of Kashmir . The ‘cease-fire’ in Kashmir came about under the so-called ‘Truce-agreement’ of the United Nations Resolution of 13th August 1948. Two British generals leading Bharati and Pakistani armies against each other in ‘the Kashmir war’ signed the ‘cease-fire’. General Gracey on the behalf of the Pakistan army and General Roy Bucher on the behalf of the Bharati army put the paradise of Kashmir on fire by signing and imposing the Line-of-Military Occupation of Kashmir .
Under the imperialist designed external aggression, the Azad Kashmir Movement was defeated and ‘democratic, secular and nationalist forces’ lead by Pundit Nehru in Bharat and by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah in Kashmir prevailed under the direction, guidance and leadership of Mountbatton, the representative of British imperialism and joint commander of the Pakistani and Bharati armies. The doors for the opportunist Muslim Conferences to buy official employment in exchange for patriotism in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir were also opened wide.
The Line-of-Military- Occupation imposed on the people of Kashmir is almost the same line that General Gracey had planned out and had submitted to the Government of Pakistan on 20th April 1948. This is how; Kashmir was divided, occupied and annexed by the ruling classes of Bharat and Pakistan under a plan hatched by the British imperialism. The ruling classes of Bharat and Pakistan usurped Kashmir ’s independence and sovereignty by means of fraud, deception and aggression. In the process of this imperialist staged war drama between Bharat and Pakistan and setting both countries against each other over Kashmir, the role of the ruling classes of Bharat and Pakistan appears to be no more than tools of imperialism. They have, in the name of secularism and Islam respectively, followed and acted upon the directions and guidance of their imperialist masters.
The defeat of Azad Kashmir Movement resulted into three occupied parts of Kashmir : Bharati Occupied Kashmir, Pakistani Occupied Northern Kashmir and Pakistani Occupied Southern Kashmir. The current label of Azad Kashmir attached to Pakistani Occupied Southern Kashmir is only a remnant of the first phase of the Azad Kashmir Movement.
This is a brief description of the first phase of the Azad Kashmir Movement catapulted by the events of the peasants’ revolt of 1931 and launched by the Kisan Mazdoor Conference on 12th May 1946. The leaders of the Muslim Conference hijacked the Azad Kashmir Movement on 4th October 1947 by setting up the Azad Kashmir Government. In order to crush the Azad Kashmir Movement, the British military and civil bureaucracy ruling Pakistan and Bharat divided Kashmir and imposed Bharati and Pakistani occupation on the people of Kashmir .
These accounts of the Azad Kashmir Movement reflect the fate of many other states, which suffered in States India in the hands of Bharati and Pakistani rulers and British imperialism. These accounts give an insight into the fact that there was no unified or homogeneous Indian Independent movement in India for a unified or homogeneous country, nation, or people. The Kashmir case shows clearly that there were two different Indian Independent movements in two different Indias . There was an Indian Independent movement in British India that recognized the rights of Indian nations having ancient homelands; and there was also another Indian Independent movement in States India that stood for sovereign rights of States in States India. The Kashmir case also help s us in our understanding of why Indian Independent Movement in States India was crushed and destroyed under the direct guidance of the British imperialism.
Azad Kashmir Movement and Imperialism in India
Having Kashmir case studied as an example, some basic questions arise in relation to the Indian Independent Movement in States India and the interest of imperialism in India . Why did British imperialism design an aggression against the Azad Kashmir Movement? Why British imperialism had to destroy States India from the map of India ? What was the imperialist interest involved in the destruction of States India? All these questions can be answered in Mountbatton’s own words, which he wrote in his letter of 8th August to Earl of Listowel. It reads:
The Indian (Bharati) Dominion, consisting nearly of three-quarters of India , and with its immense resources and its important strategic position in the Indian Ocean , is a Dominion, which we cannot afford to estrange for the fate of the so-called independence of the States.
This self-explanatory statement help s us in our understanding of the imperialist interest involved in the Bharati and Pakistani wars for the annexation of Kashmir . This statement also help s us to understand why the European Union and the United States regard Bharat today as their strategic partner. Bharat is, as visualized by Mountbatton, a vast market with immense resources to be exploited by the big imperialist powers. Bharat is also, as a successor of the British Raj, playing an imperialist role in India and in the Indian Ocean and this makes her strategic partner of other imperialist powers. Therefore, the role of Bharati State in India is no less than role of a colonialist power that preserves the chains of imperialist domination in which the Indian nations were bound by the British imperialism. Pakistan is, currently, a front-line state in imperialist war against ‘terrorism’ and it had, previously, been a front-line state in U.S.
war against Soviet Union . This shows that the forced division and forced occupation of Kashmir by Bharat and Pakistan continues to serve the interest of colonialism and imperialism in India .
However, many Bharatis and Kashmiris are misled by Bharati state cultural industry to believe that it was a Bharati war in Kashmir for the defense of ‘democratic, secular and nationalist’ forces against the Pakistani communal invaders. Many Pakistanis and Kashmiris are also misled by the Pakistani media to believe that Pakistan is a legitimate party to the Kashmir dispute on the bases of two-nation theory. These arguments have no historically justifiable base and they appear to be in a total denial of the Azad Kashmir Movement and they meant to cover up the Bharati and Pakistani wars for the annexation of Kashmir .
Kashmir:as an annexed colony of Bharat and Pakistan
The historical events mentioned above indicate that the Kashmir dispute is not a dispute between Bharat and Pakistan . Both the occupiers have not any justifiable claim over Kashmir or any part of it. The Kashmir dispute, it appears, is a dispute between the people of Kashmir and the ruling classes of Bharat because the ruling classes of Bharat are occupying Bharati Occupied Kashmir without having any legal, constitutional, or democratic right. The Kashmir dispute is also a dispute between the people of Kashmir and the ruling classes of Pakistan because the ruling classes of Pakistan are occupying both parts of Pakistani Occupied Kashmir: Pakistani Occupied Northern Kashmir and Pakistani Occupied Southern Kashmir without having any legal or democratic ground. Therefore, it is completely wrong and misleading to call Kashmir as a “disputed state” and the term must be refuted vehemently. Kashmir is not a disputed state, but a divided and
The historical events leading to the forced division of Kashmir between Bharat and Pakistan , and the subsequent treatment of all its divided parts by both the states are clear indication that Kashmir is an annexed colony of Bharat and Pakistan . Undoubtedly, there are some Kashmiri political parties in all three occupied parts of Kashmir , which for the interests of the Kashmiri ruling classes are serving foreign occupation and imperialism by singing their masters’ voices. Many political parties of Bharat and Pakistan are also encouraging occupying forces by setting up their branches in Kashmir and by recruiting Kashmiri activists by the means of bribery and corruption as members of their political parties.
There are branches of Bharati political parties in Bharati Occupied Kashmir, the product of Bharati occupation of Kashmir , growing like mushroom. There are also branches of Pakistani political parties in Pakistani Occupied Northern Kashmir and Pakistani Occupied Southern Kashmir, the product of Pakistani occupation of Kashmir . The basic objectives of these branches of the Bharati and Pakistani political parties in Kashmir are to confuse the divided and occupied status of Kashmir, mislead the Kashmiri people, and legitimize the illegitimate occupation of Kashmir by their respective countries.
Despite all these atrocities committed and being committed against the people of Kashmir , there is a discontent and a struggle in Pakistani Occupied Northern Kashmir and Pakistani Occupied Southern Kashmir against the Pakistani occupation. There is also a big discontent and a big struggle in Bharati Occupied Kashmir against the Bharati occupation.
The Second Phase of the Azad Kashmir Movement
There is a 60 years old struggle of the Kashmiri people for their independence, sovereignty and reunification of the Kashmir State – in search of the lost track of the Azad Kashmir Movement. Khawaja Ghulam Nabi Gilkar Anwar, the founder president of the Azad Kashmir Government, consistently fought to defend the cause of Azad Republic of Kashmir till his death. Maqbool Butt Shaheed, the leader of the Kashmir national liberation movement, was hanged by the Bharati state in 1984, a job that Pakistani state had intended to accomplish in early 1970s.
There is a history of great sacrifices the people of each occupied part of Kashmir have made during the last 60 years in their struggle against Bharati and Pakistani occupation of Kashmir . There is a long list of revolts in Pakistani Occupied Northern Kashmir and Pakistani Occupied Southern Kashmir against the Pakistani occupation. More than 80,000 Kashmiris have laid down their lives in Bharati Occupied Kashmir since the martyrdom of Maqbool Butt Shaheed in 1984. There are more than half a dozen political parties in each part of occupied Kashmir struggling for a free, united and independent Kashmir without having any connection with the Azad Kashmir Movement. They lost the track of the Azad Kashmir Movement. In these conditions, the struggle of the Kashmiri revolutionaries like Khawaja Ghulam Nabi Gilkar Anwar, Maqbool Butt Shaheed, and the Kashmiri Workers Association ‘Britain’ for tracking the path of Azad Kashmir Movement constitutes the
second phase of the Azad Kashmir Movement.
The Azad Kashmir Movement contains historical, political and ideological bases for the development of a revolutionary movement in Kashmir initiated by the Kashmir Kisan Mazdoor Conference in 1946. The Azad Kashmir Movement has to be re-organized by the working classes of Kashmir against all forms of colonialism and imperialism. Since 1982, the Kashmiri Workers Association ‘ Britain ’ has been struggling to persuade various political parties inside Kashmir to launch the third phase of the Azad Kashmir Movement without having any success. Therefore, the Kashmiri Workers Association ‘ Britain ’ has now decided to launch a third phase of the Azad Kashmir Movement from a position of Kashmiri workers in Britain .
The Azad Kashmir Movement also forms a part of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements in India and the world over. As it has been established above that Kashmir is a divided, occupied and slave country; “a slave nation,” according to Bhagat Sing, “cannot establish a classless society, abolish exploitation and bring about equality among men (people). For such a nation, the first and foremost task is to break the chains of imperialist domination that bind it. In other words, revolution in a slave country has to be anti-imperialist and anti-colonial”. The Azad Kashmir Movement stands for a Kashmiri revolution, which will break Bharati and Pakistani occupation of Kashmir as a first and foremost task.
However, it seems necessary to assert that it is the U.S. imperialism, which has cultivated the poisonous Kashmir dispute between Bharat and Pakistan with the blood of the people of Bharat and Pakistan . The supervisory role of the U.S. imperialism on so-called present “peace process” between Bharat and Pakistan is very obvious. This “peace-process” is designed to fulfill the strategic needs of global-colonialism by sanctifying the “Line-of-Military- Occupation” in Kashmir, and legitimize the forced and illegal occupation of Kashmir by Bharat and Pakistan . This is a new imperialist clamp of global-colonialism being tightened not only against the divided and occupied people of Kashmir but also against the people of every enslaved nation in India.
In conclusion, there has never nor there is an India in the sense of one country, one nation, or one people. As John Keay (2000:7) writes, “[d]espite the pick-and-preach approach of many nationalist historians (one-nation theorists), geographical India is not now, and never has been, a single politico-cultural entity.” Before the imperialist domination of India , there were “indigenous regimes” many of them destroyed by the British imperialism. British imperialism manufactured, during the first one hundred years of its colonial expansionism, the unity of different people in India under the power of the imperialist sword. This was called British India .
The First War of Indian Independence- 1857 forced British imperialism to suspend its policy of annexing indigenous regimes and this caused the emergence of two India : British India and States India. British imperialism introduced colonial Indian nationalism in British India to maintain the forced unity of Indian nations and to dilute anti-colonial Indian nationalism. The colonial Indian nationalism gave birth to the ideologies of Bharat and Pakistan based on religion- the fascist methods of preserving forced unity of Indian nations.
In 1947, the creation of Bharati and Pakistani states in British India meant the transfer of prison houses of Indian nations to Indian capitalist, service and feudal classes, the loyal products and servants of the British imperialism. Since 1947, we have witnessed the brutal and barbarous corollaries of Bharati and Pakistani ideologies resulting in the annexation of States India by both the ruling classes of Bharat and Pakistan , and in maintaining and preserving the forced Indian nations’ unity, inherited from the British imperialism.
A study of Kashmir case has shown us how an independent and sovereign state in States India was changed into an annexed colony of Bharat and Pakistan to serve the interest of imperialism in India . We have witnessed Bangladeshi war against the Punjabi establishment in Pakistan for the liberation of East Bengal . We have witnessed that the national liberation movements in all occupied parts of Kashmir, Sindh, Baluchistan, Nagaland , Assam , Manipur, Rajputana, Taripura etcetera are being developed. These developments taking place in Bharat and Pakistan suggest that the national question in India remains unresolved and the goal of Indian Independent Movement also remains unaccomplished.
In the context of anti imperialist struggle in India , the Indian Independent Movement, therefore, represents the aspirations of the every Indian nation for real independence from imperialist domination, colonialism and all forms of subjugation. It means the independence of every Indian nation to join the Indian Union or divorce it. It signifies the independence of every Indian nation to form a separate sovereign state or to join another Indian Union. This is not a new interpretation of the Indian Independent Movement being put forward by the Kashmiri Workers Association ‘ Britain ’.
The basis for this interpretation of the Indian Independent Movement was laid down in the First War of Indian Independence and the concrete programme for it was submitted by the Communist Party of India to the British Cabinet Mission in April 1946. However, a distinction has to be drawn between the role of the Communist Party of India and the Communist Part of Bharat, in the name of India, which betrayed not only the working classes of all Indian nations but also annexed and enslaved Indian nations.
The end-product of the opportunistic role of the Communist Party of Bharat is before our eyes. The rights of nations having natural ancient homelands in India and the voluntary bases for their unity against imperialism were lost out to the ruling classes of Bharat and Pakistan and to their imperialist masters. Moreover, the one-nation theorists hijacked the Indian nations’ common geographical identity, ‘Indian’, to conceal their modern Brahminism.
In view of these findings, it would be a right course of political action to encounter modern Brahminism and liberate the common geographical identity of all Indian nations by initiating a preliminary claim of three India that exist today, i.e. Bharati India, Pakistani India, and Bangladeshi India. The people of these Indian countries have and carry the different aspects of the Indian Independent Movement in their histories. The contribution and sacrifice they have made in the Indian Independent Movement must be recognized and commended.
The term ‘ India ’ is not a unified, homogeneous or a natural ancient country that is opened for partition or division. On the contrary, Kashmir, Punjab, and Bengal are the natural ancient countries, which were partitioned or divided and these countries deserve the attention from the Indian revolutionaries. By blaming two-nation theory for the so-called partition of India , the opportunist Marxists ignore the one-nation theory or Bharati ideology as a root cause of it and they become, in the name of secularism, the champion of modern Brahminism. Consequently, they become tools of oppressing the national liberation movements in India including the national liberation movement of Kashmir . The role of the Communist Party of ‘Bharat’ is very clear on opposing the national liberation movement of Kashmir .
The prevailing situations in India show that Bharat is playing an imperialist role in India while Pakistan is a front-line state in India in imperialist global war on ‘terrorism’. At the same time both the countries are prison houses of annexed and enslaved Indian nations. It is not a question of uneven development of capitalism in India , but the chains of imperialist domination in which powerful Indian nations, backed by imperialist powers, enslave and oppress weak Indian nations.
Therefore, it appears to be a correct course of action for all enslaved Indian nations to reclaim the voluntary basis of their unity in their contemporary struggle against colonialism and imperialism. It means that the Indian Independent Movement must be interpreted in the interest of the people of all nations in India . It also means that the history of India should not be left at the mercy of one-nation theorists or two nation theorists to interpret it in the way that suits them and their imperialist masters.
A Way Forward
Four facts are to be recognized for reclaiming of the Indian nations’ voluntary unity against colonialism and imperialism. Firstly, there is a “ Bharati State ” in India : a state that represents, in the name of democracy, secularism and Indian nationalism, all the characters of modern Brahminism. Secondly, Bharati State has its power base in Gangetic plain and Maharashtra and oppresses other Indian nations in Bharat. Thirdly, the Bharati State , as a new form of the British Raj, is playing an imperialistic role in India and in Indian Ocean as Mountbatton envisaged it in 1947. And finally, there is a Pakistani State in India : a state of “Punjabi Establishment” that serves the interest of imperialism and oppresses other Indian nations in Pakistan in the name of Islam.
A trap can also be seen in raising slogan of “people’s resistance against globalization in South Asia or Sub-continent”. It is like talking about “people’s globalization” to escape from the duty to internationalism. As long as imperialism and its structure of colonialism exist whether this structure is in the form of colonialism, semi-colonialism, or global-colonialism, there can be no escape from the duty to internationalism.
It means that there will be no people’s globalization without the total defeat of colonialism and the total victory of internationalism. Similarly, there will be no way forward for the people’s globalization in India as long as the imperialist- made chains of colonialism exist in both India : Pakistani India and Bharati India where powerful areas such as Gangetic plain in Bharat and Punjab in Pakistan dominate and enslave weak nations. Revolutions in slave countries, such as Kashmir, Sindh, Baluchistan, Nagaland , Assam , Manipur, Jharkhand, Rajputana, Taripura have to be anti-occupation, anti-colonial and anti-imperialist.
Azad Kashmir Movement Zindabad
All Indian Nations’ Voluntary Unity against Imperialism Zindabad
III. Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:13 am (PDT)
Dear G M Lakho sahab,
It is very true that human beings had separated from other animal families due to freedom of thoughts and free enquiry and also to doubt. Historically, it is also true that religion has always been sided with the forces oppression. Religion originates from fear and its popularity is due to the promise of life after death. Human beings are curious about what will happen to them after death. It is very deep rooted psychological problem of humanity. Since human beings have been developed their minds, their lives are thinking based. By the way human beings never have lived as religious society nor religion has taught them how to live in human society. Human is not a religious animal but a social animal. Religion is and has been a creation of human society at a certain stage of human history. Religion has been changing but basic foundation is same, basic theme is same and will remain the same.
Every religion has created its own set of belief system which makes it different from each other. Every religion has its own God which is different from other religion,s God. All religions claim that they believe in one universal God, it is some how true but only in oral statement, practically every religion teaches its own version of God, who performs certain duties for its followers. The God who is related to one religion, seems like opposing the followers of other religions as claimed by almost all religions. As human beings have to live in a society, most of people do not have faith based God, majority wants to get solved their problems by their God. Mostly people do believe that God actually controls their lives and God is the only authority who can solves their economic, social, political problems as religious groups and parties teach them. Poverty has been created by certain economic system but religious parties keep telling people every
thing is created by God, no need to worry about all these problems in human society, after all it is temporary life we need to struggle for eternal life. If some one is rich it is all God given, if some one is poor it is God given, no need to complain about all these things.
God himself is the greatest authority, he is a perfect one, man is a smaller thing. God is opposite to man, whatever God does, man can not do that. Man has to worship God so that man,s submissive attitude makes him happy. Man prays for God and feels emptiness and becomes more submissive and obedience. It is understandable that why every powerful person loves to behaves like God. Powerful authority plays a God role and represents God on earth. Religious groups and their leaders do believe that they are the only one who have special relationship with God, so that people must believe their pious politics and must not question their legitimacy.