27th October continues to be a dark day for Kashmir, when military might trampled over civilian rights. A symbol of political treachery sold by India as military help, not to secure the commoners in Kashmir, but to secure a despotic king, Hari Singh, who in the following years was to be replaced by proxy rulers in democratic packing. Who landed the first Dakota with Indian soldiers in Kashmir is immaterial, what is important that India used the Srinagar airstrip on 27th October to force a silent invasion into Kashmir, that continues to hold a grip only by military force.
It all started with the unending Dogra oppression and arduous taxation forced primarily on the majority Muslim population. The revolt against Hari Singh began in early 1947 in Poonch. Fearing rebellion by the Muslims in Poonch who owned firearms because many of them served under the British army, Maharaja Hari Singh in June 1947 ordered the surrender of firearms most of whom were confiscated by force and were later handed over to the minority Hindus of the region. What followed was more gruesome. The Times (London) in its report (‘Elimination of Muslims from Jammu’, Part II, 10th August 1948, p. 5) wrote ” 2,37,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated…… by all the forces of the Dogra State, headed by the Maharaja in person and aided by Hindus and Sikhs.” Other sources put the massacre toll to be more than 5 lakh, subsquently changing the entire demography of Jammu region.
The Poonch rebels angered by the massacres started organizing an armed mutiny against the Dogra Maharaja of which India took an advantage and declared the landing of its troops who were already at the Srinagar airfield from 17th October, camouflaged in civilian trucks and taken control of the Airport there. (Alastair Lamb, Kashmir, a Disputed Legacy 1846-1990 ).
Forgetting is a luxury, oppressed can’t afford. We as students of KU must be conscious about the fact that this event of invasion and militarization brought all the sufferings we are facing till this day. And we pledge that we will always stand against this military might & never bow down till the last Indian invader leaves Jammu Kashmir. FREEEEEEDOM…