Kashmir: Historical Perspective of the Black Day


By Sajjad Shaukat

27th of October is celebrated every year on both sides of the Line of Control and all over the

world by the people of Jammu and Kashmir as the Black Day, because, in gross violation to law

and ‘Partition Plan of the Indian Sub-continent’, India forcibly landed its military in princely

State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on 27 October 1947.

On July 19, 1947, majority of people of Jammu and Kashmir passed a peaceful resolution, and

decided to join Pakistan in accordance with the British-led formula of partition. But, Dogra Raja,

Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K, in connivance with the Indian Prime

Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten, joined India.

The design to forcibly wrest Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the

announcement of the Radcliffe Boundary Award. It gave the Gurdaspur District—a majority

Muslim area to India to provide a land route to the Indian armed forces to move into Kashmir.

There was a rebellion in the state forces, which revolted against the Maharaja. Lord Mountbatten

ordered armed forces to land in Srinagar.

In this greatest human tragedy, Cyril Radcliff, head of the Boundary Commission was also part

of the conspiracy. Therefore, in blatant violation of the Partition Plan, and against the popular

will of Kashmiri Muslims, India announced the accession of Jammu and Kashmir under a

controversial Instrument of Accession, though it was a Muslim majority state, having a natural

tendency to accede to Pakistan owing to its geography, peoples’ aspirations, culture and religion.

Right from the day, the people of Kashmir did not accept India’s illegal occupation and started

an armed struggle with the total support of public in 1947. The armed men from tribal areas of

Pakistan entered into Jammu and Kashmir to support peoples’ movement. Under the pretext,

India started a war against Pakistan.

When Pakistan responded militarily against the Indian aggression, on December 31, 1947, India

made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene, and a ceasefire ultimately came into

effect on January 1, 1949 between the two countries.

It is mentionable that the Security Council adopted resolution 47 (1948) of 21 April 1948

which promised a plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to

determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out

of its promise of holding plebiscite. Instead, in March 1965, the Indian Parliament passed a bill,

declaring Kashmir a province of India-an integral part of the Indian union.

No doubt, the UN Security Council through its successive resolutions impliedly nullified Indian

occupation of Kashmir, declaring it as a disputed territory. It approved a ceasefire, demarcation

of the ceasefire line, demilitarization of the state and a free and impartial plebiscite to be

conducted under the supervision of the World Body. Although the ceasefire and demarcation of

the ceasefire line were implemented, but demilitarization of the occupied territory, and a free and

impartial plebiscite under the UN supervision remain unimplemented till date, while the Kashmir

dispute keeps on lingering.

As a result of the demarcation, about 139,000 square kilometers area of Jammu and Kashmir

remained with India, while 83,807 square kilometers constituted the territory of Azad Jammu

and Kashmir. Indian rulers announced till 1957 that they would provide the Kashmiris the right

to decide their future. The promise still remains unfulfilled, and the struggle for Kashmiris’

inalienable right to self- determination continues.

After the failure of all peaceful means to settle the Kashmir dispute, the Kashmiris started a

massive uprising in 1989 to end the Indian status quo, and secure their genuine right of self-
determination. This public movement gathered momentum with the passage of time, and forced

India to come to the table of negotiations with Pakistan in 2004. The dialogue process between

the two countries continues till date, but without yielding substantive results with regard to the

solution of Kashmir dispute. The reason is India’s non-seriousness and its intransigence on the

issue. Since initiation of the peace process, New Delhi has been missing no opportunity to halt it

on one pretext or the other.

The perennial Indian state terrorism, particularly since 1989 when Kashmiris stepped up their

liberation struggle has made the life of Kashmiri people miserable. However, various sorts of

state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary

forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been manifested in brutal tactics

like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the

houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and

killing of persons through fake encounter.

Indian occupation forces have been enjoying unbridled powers under the protection of draconian

laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Disturbed Areas Act in the India-held Kashmir,

and have broken all records of human rights violations. During the last 24 years only, the trigger-
happy forces have martyred 93,935 thousand Kashmiris, widowed nearly 23,000 thousand

women, orphaned 107,461 children and molested or gang raped more than 10,000 thousand

Kashmiri women. Thousands of innocent youth have been subjected to disappearance in custody,

and their whereabouts remain untraced. Besides these cruelties, the occupation authorities have

usurped all kinds of freedom, and frequently impose restrictions on the people and pro-liberation

leadership to suppress the sentiment of dissent in the territory. India is also hell bent upon

changing the demographic composition of the region to convert Muslims into a minority.

It is due to these reasons that Kashmiris observe 27 October as the Black Day. The observance is

aimed at drawing the world attention towards the miseries of Kashmiri people, and to appeal the

international community to take cognizance of the urgency of resolving the Kashmir dispute in

accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations. It is also meant to sending a loud and clear message

to India that Kashmiris reject its illegal occupation of their homeland, and they are determined to

continue their struggle till getting rid of Indian subjugation.

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