JAMMU, MAR 4: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that a large majority of the Indian population, including Muslims, were against the partition in 1947 and it was primarily motivated by the political ambition of a handful of political leaders. The Progressive Writers’ Forum comprising Kaifi Azmi, Ismat Chugtai, Mohsin Bhopali and several other respectable Muslim intellectuals had vehemently opposed partition, he added.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a function at Jammu University here today, Dr Jitendra Singh, without naming Farooq Abdullah, brushed aside the “unsubstantiated” statement that Jinnah was against the partition of India and said there is a need to re-read the history,
The facts of history, Dr Jitendra Singh said, are quite the contrary and there are several references to indicate that Mahatma Gandhi was deeply anguished by the prospect of partition of India and in desperation, Gandhi had gone to the extent of making an offer to Mohammad Ali Jinnah that if Jinnah agreed to withdraw the demand for creation of Pakistan, Gandhi would persuade Congress Party to accept Jinnah as Prime Minister of India. However, he said, Jinnah was not impressed by this offer because he knew that it may not be easy for him to gain acceptability as Prime Minister of India and therefore he (Jinnah) insisted on the creation of Pakistan.
Referring to the role of Sardar Patel, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it is a miscarriage of history that while as Home Minister, Patel had a free hand to deal with all the other States of the Indian Union, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru did not give a free hand to Patel as far as Jammu and Kashmir was concerned because Nehru believed that he knew Kashmir better than others. If only Patel was allowed a free hand to handle Jammu and Kashmir in the same manner as he was handling other States of the Indian Union, the history of the Indian sub-continent would have been different and the part of Jammu and Kashmir presently under illegal occupation of Pakistan would also have been with India, he said.
When asked about the role of Sheikh Abdullah and National Conference in the years following Independence, Dr Jitendra Singh said, there were a number of opportunistic adjustments made, the climax of which was noticed during the finalisation of Indira-Sheikh accord of 1975.
The present situation in Kashmir, Dr Jitendra Singh said, is a cumulative outcome of a series of blunders and misguided experiments conducted by Congress and its allies who were at the helm of power, both at the Centre as well as in the State for over half a century.