O P Sharma & Manoj Kumar
Name of the Book : Karan Singh, J&K
Author : Harbans Singh
Publisher : Brahaspati Publications, Dwarka, New Delhi
Year : 2018
Pages : 352
Price : Rs 695
This 352-page book in English entitled: ” Karan Singh, Jammu and Kashmir 1949-1967″ putting a searchlight on the very crucial phase of history of this sensitve J&K State was launched on March 8 this year , which is birthday of Dr Karan Singh. Authored by a son of the soil Hargans Singh from Samba, the book was released at a high-profile function attended by Dr Karan Singh, scion of the Dogra dynasty who was appointed inRegent by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1952, then elected as Sadar-i-Riyasat at the age of 18 years during 1952 till 1965 and remained as Governor from 1965 to 1967. This period was most exciting with far-reaching historical happenings. This book, based on authoritative documents, has aroused deep inquest among the people not only in the J&K State but beyond as well.
Many political and social issues have been brought into sharp focus and events highlighted to put them in proper perspective clearing lot of mist and misconceptions hovering over the horizon of border Jammu and Kashmir State which had linked its fate with India duly through Instrument of Accession by its ruler Maharaja Hari Singh and later popular endorsement through democratic system. Unfortunately, this State became a centre of conspiracies and conflicts leading to some misconceptions and controversy in the atmosphere charged with intrigues, internal and external.
The author deserves a compliment for throwing adequate light on many of the misgivings and mischief by elements inimical to the national interest aided and abetted from across the border for gaining their own political ends. The entire atmosphere was highly disturbed by the Pak armed intruders from across the border. A large part of Jammu and Kashmir State was forcibly grabbed during1947 and this illegal occupation still continues with worst kind of denial of democratic rights, socio-economic progress and absence of any opportunity for forward movement in any sphere of life !
The influx of the refugees from PoK and other areas posed yet another challenging task before the weak State administrative set-up. After Indepence, India was engaged in framing its Constitution while Jammu and Kashmir’s set-up was to be built anew in the changed political atmosphere.
Bold Political Plunge
Yuvraj Karan Singh, a youth of 18, was tasked to be Sadre-i-Riyasat, Head of the J&K State with Sheikh Abdullah leading the Emergency Administration as Prime Minister. Karan Singh was the choice of the Indian Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and the book reveals that he was initially opposed by a section of the people in Jammu region for working with the Sheikh and Nehru who allegedly nursed anti-Dogra stance. The Praja Parshid had been carrying on agitation for “one pradhan, one vidhan, one nishan (flag). The Sheikh had his own designs and political agenda. There were difficult conditions on the political, social, economic fronts and many new issues and problems were raising their head. At such a time Yuvraj Karan Singh took a political plunge and ultimately proved his deep political insight attaining some notable attainments.
The book narrates graphically each and every political twist and turns in Jammu and Kashmir during the period of 1949 to 1967. This is historical account of all major developments in which Karan Singhji played a pivotal role in shaping the developments in the history of the J&K State, which was founded by his forefather Maharaja Gulab Sing in 1846 and consolidated India’s northern boundary. After nearly one century rule of Dogra dynasty rule, it was during the regime of Maharaja Hari Singh, democratic roots emerged in J&K State too like other parts of the country and appreciably Karan Singh smoothly switched over to true democratic way of life.
Narrative in the book in a simple language and straight forward manner dive deep for facts makes it absorbing but profitable reading. There are 21 chapters giving deep insight of the important happenings and issues in details which certainly widen the vision of readers. The chapters: ” Prelude to Article 370 and ” The Making of Article 370″ are of particular interest; while, “Finally, the Constituent Assembly”, “Setting the Agenda”, “March of History” and as also ” The Crisis” , ” The Die is Cast” and “The Fall” put facts in proper historical perspective. The material in “A New Era” and ” Onward Journey” have added much value to the book as the Jammu and Kashmir is definitely set to chart unhindered on a new course on the path of peace, stability, strength and prosperity. It is noteworthy that the author has undertaken to put all historical facts in true perspective clearing many doubts and distortions.
Dr Karan Singh, a political thinker, scholar, statesman is a man of vision and many virtues having held many top prestigious positions and popularity but sadly bus to the well-deserved highest office in India ! He is a gem of a multi-facetted man.
“Karan Singh Jammu & Kashmir (1949-1967) ” is certainly a very well produced important and timely book by the Brahaspati publications, New Delhi while the son of the soil, Harbans Singh deserves compliments for focussing searchlight on the crucial phase of J&K State’s history for the benefit of the people across the globe.
This book will be pride possession of all the readers comprising of all sections of society including the politicians, academicians, researchers, students, administrators and in fact, each and every citizen. This new book is a proud addition to literature, a landmark historical account of all-important Jammu and Kashmir and also outstanding political thinker, statesman, scholar and above all A-grade human being.
(Starline Syndicate Service)