Hari Singh, the first separatist

Print edition : November 08, 2017

“Sometimes I feel that I should withdraw the accession that I have made to the Indian Union. The Union only provisionally accepted the accession and if the Union cannot recover back our territory and is going eventually to agree to the decision of the Security Council which may result to handing us over to Pakistan then there is no point in sticking to the accession of the State to the Indian Union. For the time being it may be possible to have better terms from Pakistan, but that is immaterial because eventually it would mean an end of the dynasty and end of the Hindus and Sikhs in the State. There is an alternative possible for me and that is to withdraw the accession and that may kill the reference to the UNO because the Indian Union will have no right to continue the proceedings before the Council if the accession is withdrawn. The result may be a return to the position the state held before the accession.

“The difficulty in that situation, however, will be that the Indian troops cannot be maintained in the State except as volunteers to help the State. I am prepared to take over command of my own forces along with the forces of the Indian Army as volunteers to help the State. I am prepared to lead my Army personally and to command, if the Indian Union agrees, also their troops.”

(Hari Singh’s letter to Sardar Patel dated January 31, 1948.)

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