Nehru: We don't need a defence plan!

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.

4 Comments

  1. That Nehru did not want a defense force sounds like a strong statement. He might have aired that thought, but realpolitik soon helped him recaliberate his thoughts on the subject.

    His initial assessment was that many of the immediate threats (NW Frontier, China etc) to the new state of India were no longer valid, and therefore India might not need a strong defense force.

    Nehru’s statement should be read in the larger context of the partition of the country, which also involved partitioning the army, air force and navy. They worked out a formula for this also.

    And yes, the first undeclared war between India and Pakistan that began in September of 1947 would have led to Nehru’s re-assessment of his earlier take about the role of defense forces in India. By 1950 there were various defense related plans underway in India.

    Kamla

  2. well everyone knows that nehru and his family are the cause of most of indias suffering, his socialist ways and wierd phylosophy and love for lady mountbatten are all too well known
    1 kashmir messup
    2 nehru rate of growth 3/4 %
    3 beechka ideology -Non Aligned Movement and Harold Laski
    4 love china and coco island mess
    5 indira and her stalinist government
    and license raj and institutionalisation of corruption
    6 simla accord and acceding won territory while not demanding pows or gilgit baltistan
    7 Appeasmenet and Radicalisation of minorities
    8 Attempts to de hinduise India
    need i say more

  3. Sue: Yes, something along the lines of Plot Against America 🙂

    Kamla:This is the first time I am also hearing such statements attributed to Nehru. Cannot believe that he would be so naiive to make such a remark.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *