After India got Independence, the state of Jammu and Kashmir decided to remain independent. Once the British left, a revolt started in Poonch and was supported by tribesmen from North West Frontiner Province, who decided to give a helping hand to their Muslim brothers. Faced with this threat, the Maharajah of Kashmir had to request help from India but the India would not intervene unless the Maharajah joined the Indian Union. So he signed the Instrument of Accession and the airlift of Indian troops began on 27th October. So instead of seeing the fruit falling into his lap , Jinnah saw it fall into India’s lap.
According to a new account, it was this war that saved the Indian Army since Prime Minister J. Nehru wanted to follow the principle of ahimsa and not have a defense policy at all.
The Kashmir war saved the Indian Army from being scrapped, seems strange? Well, a biography of Major General AA “Jick” Rudra of the Indian Army by Major General DK “Monty” Palit claims so.
According to the book, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru blew his top when Lt General Sir Robert Lockhart, the first commander in chief of India took a strategic plan for a Government directive on defence policy.
“Shortly after independence, General Lockhart as the army chief took a strategic plan to the prime minister, asking for a government directive on the defence policy. He came back to Jick’s office shell-shocked. When asked what happened, he replied, The PM took one look at my paper and blew his top. ‘Rubbish! Total rubbish!’ he shouted. ‘We don’t need a defence plan. Our policy is ahimsa (non-violence). We foresee no military threats. Scrap the army! The police are good enough to meet our security needs’,” the Daily Times quotes the book as saying.[‘Nehru wanted army scrapped’]
On the bright side if Nehru’s plan had worked, then there would be no Kashmir issue, no border disputes with China and no need of nuclear weapons. Instead we would all be debating if Urdu or Mandarin would be our national language.
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