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Jammu Kashmir Instrument Of Accession – How Kashmir Became Part Of India?

how Kashmir became part of India
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Kashmir, as you know, has long been a disputed land between India and Pakistan. However, it had once been an independent princely state even after India’s independence. So, how Kashmir became part of India? Read further to know more about when did Jammu and Kashmir became part of India, about the Jammu Kashmir Instrument of Accession, and who prepared an Instrument of Accession.

How Kashmir became part of India?

There had been a series of events that led to the amalgamation of Kashmir into the Indian nation. Given below is a detailed account of how Kashmir became part of India.

British withdrawal and partition of India and Pakistan

During the era of independence from British rule, the Muslim League put forward the theory of two nations. Thus, it was decided that the Indian subcontinent would be split into two parts, with the Muslim-majority areas joining Pakistan and the rest will join India. 

However, the 570+ princely states were given the option to join whichever country they wanted to. On 15 August 1947, 560 states joined India but Hyderabad, Junagadh and Kashmir did not join any country.

Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir

The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir remained independent for 73 days after India’s independence because its Dogra ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, did not want to lose his kingship by joining democratic India or becoming a part of the Muslim country Pakistan. The state already was experiencing rebellion in many parts against his Dogra reign which was considered authoritarian by the Muslim majority. 

Maharaja Hari Singh, Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Jammu and Kashmir tried for a standstill agreement between India and Pakistan for unhindered trade and travel but India refused to partake in it and it was ultimately signed only between Pakistan and Kashmir.

Pakistan invaded Kashmir

Soon after, on October 22, Pakistan invaded the Northwest Frontier Province and about 2000 armed men raided Muzaffarabad, moving swiftly toward Srinagar. By the evening of the next day, many Kashmiri areas fell into Pakistan’s forceful hands, like Domel, Garhi, Chinari and Uri. On 26 October, invaders killed 11,000 people in Baramulla.

Accession to Indian Union

Scared and helpless, Hari Singh fled from Srinagar where the invaders were swiftly arriving to capture him and the state. He requested the intervention of India’s armed forces to help control the situation in his meeting with VP Menon in Jammu. 

Hari Singh was informed that Kashmir cannot be helped by India unless it was an Indian territory, thus proposing to join India. So on October 26, the Instrument of Accession was signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, thereby making Kashmir an Indian state.

Jammu Kashmir instrument of accession

India sends troops

Next day, on 27 October 1947, Indian troops were sent to Kashmir in order to drive out the invaders within two weeks. But Pakistan refused to recognise the Jammu Kashmir Instrument of Accession and forcefully pushed back the Indian army to invade Jammu. 

The matter was then taken to the UN where a ceasefire was announced and its line on the border came to be known as the Line of Control, between India and Pakistan with 1/3rd of Kashmir still under Pakistan. That’s the answer to how and when did Jammu and Kashmir became part of India. 

What is Accession Day?

Accession day is celebrated in the state of Kashmir to commemorate the inclusion of Kashmir into India. It is observed on 26 October every year, since, on this day, Maharaja Hari Singh agreed to and signed the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India, who prepared an Instrument of Accession. And this day came to be known as ‘Accession Day’.

What is the Instrument of Accession?

The Instrument of Accession is a legal document under the provision of the Indian Independence Act 1947. The execution of this document signed by Hari Singh represented that he acceded his state to the Dominion of India, who prepared an Instrument of Accession.

Who signed the Jammu Kashmir Instrument of Accession?

The then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, the king of Dogra reign, signed the Instrument of Accession between Jammu & Kashmir and India in the Jammu district of the state on 26 October 1947. The accession letter was accepted by Lord Mountbatten, the Governor General of India back then.

Conclusion

This was all about the controversial journey of how Kashmir became a part of India. Recently in 2019, the government of India declared Jammu and Kashmir to be union territories and removed the special status given to the state. We hope that you found this article informational and that it helped curb your curiosity about what happened on Accession day.

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