Saturday, 16 April 2016

We have Kashmir The Bastard signed the Act of Accession !!!

Anecdote 3 : Freedom At Midnight

Kashmir had denied to accede to India & as well as Pakistan. In October 1947, The Viceroy of India received Intel about the raiders inching towards Kashmir to take down the Maharaja & hence Kashmir in the territory of Pakistan. But there were many British troops who were still in an independent Kashmir and if not extricated could be the victims of the frightful massacre. But Mountbatten in no way wanted intervention of British forces, but if have to then it would be Indian forces. So after a Cabinet's Defence Committee , decision was made to land DC3, with its incumbent V.P. Menon, Col. Sam Manekshaw of Indian Army & an Airforce officer, on the abandoned dirty strip of Srinagar Airport. V. P. Menon was ordered to Srinagar to present the Cabinet's terms to the Maharaja while the officers accompanying him studied the Military situation. While they flew off, Lord Mountbatten ordered all India's Civil air transport to leave their passengers where they were and head for Delhi. Shortly before midnight of Saturday, 26October , another refugee joined the greatest exodus in history. Hari Singh, the Maharaja of Kashmir, too fled but to a pleasurable exile in his palace located in Jammu. After a difficult 17 you trip, Maharaja's entourage reached Jammu. The exhausted Hari Singh went immediately to his private quarters to retire & before going to bed he called his ADC to issue his last order as a ruling Maharaja. ' Wake me up only if VP Menon returns from Delhi' he said, ' because that will mean India has decided to come to my rescue . If he doesn't come before dawn, shoot me in my sleep with my service revolver'. As soon as they'd returned to Delhi, V.P. Menon and two officers who'd accompanied him to Srinagar made their report to another meeting of CDD. Mountbatten ordered VP Menon to fly to Jammu & on other hand ordered an airlift to stay flying troops at the dawn of following morning. Hari Singh would not die of a bullet in the first night of his flight. V.P Menon reached his bedside before the expiration of the ultimatum the Maharaja had given his ADC. With him, awaiting only Hari Singh's signature on the Act of Accession. V.P. Menon was back in his Delhi Home late on the evening of that same Sunday, 26 October. Alexander Symon, Britain's Deputy High Commissioner, joined him for a drink a few minutes after his return. Menon was jubilant. He poured them each a stiff drink. Then he pulled a piece of paper from his jacket & waved it gaily towards the Englishman.
' Here it is', he said, 'We have Kashmir The Bastard signed the Act of Accession. And that's we've got it, we'll never let out go. '
& India was true to V.P. Menon's promise. Soldiers were made to land in Srinagar with material to take over what by right belongs to their Nation.

                                  - Rahul Rai Khatri

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