British Conspirators hatched Tribal attack on Kashmir
Sanjeev K. Sharma
Claiming that the Centre never let the leadership to develop in Jammu region, Major General Goverdhan Singh Jamwal (retired)-last General of Maharaja Hari Singh (last Dogra ruler of erstwhile J&K State) said that Centre always cared more for Kashmir and pumped a lot of money there at the cost of Jammu interests.
The only officer of erstwhile J&K State Forces, who got elevated to the rank of Major General in Indian army after the accession of J&K with India, had an exclusive interaction with the Excelsior wherein he made starling exposures about big conspiracies in J&K perpetuated by the British.
The nonagenarian General talked about the conspiracy behind the 1947 attack on Kashmir by Pakistan and said that planning for the attack was made much before Pakistan was born.
“The conspiracy was hatched by the British in the month of June-July 1947 when Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of British India, asked Maharaja Hari Singh to join any domain (India or Pakistan) before August 14 that year,” General Jamwal said.
He further said that Mountbatten obviously wanted Hari Singh to join Pakistan but the Maharaja did not even meet him. This upset the last Viceroy of British India who in turn told his Field Marshal at Delhi that Hari Singh will never join Pakistan “so do the alternative”.
“Getting green signal from Mountbatten his Chief of Staff, Major General Ismay directed his men in Pakistan to ‘go ahead’ and the Governor of Frontier along with his officers started preparations. The Operation Order was prepared and 10 battalions, of 1000 trained soldiers each, were made ready to attack Kashmir. In short, I would say that it was a British plan (Operation Gulmarg) made by the British Commander in Chief of Pakistan,” the General informed.
He also said, as Gilgit was strategically a very important area in Asia, the British too had an interest in it. “World War-II was over in 1945. The British thought that in possible World War-III there would be new powers like China and Russia. So they planned to make Pakistan a separate nation to act as a wall against these new powers and preparations for that were underway in the years 1946-47. The British were not interested in direct attack on Kashmir by Pakistan army because Commanders in Chief on both the sides were British and direct attack would have made India think that the British had deceived India. So the attack by Pakistan was shown as the one by Tribals,” Jamwal informed adding that he will soon pen-down a book to expose all these facts, which were deliberately hidden from the world till date under some conspiracy.
He said, when Kashmir was under attack by the so called Tribals, Mehar Chand Mahajan, the then Prime Minister of Maharaja Hari Singh moved to Delhi and informed about all these developments to V. P Menon, the then Political Reforms Commissioner to the Viceroy in British rule.
“When Menon brought this to the notice of Mountbatten, the latter wasted a day by asking Menon to check ground reality in person. In the meantime, Pakistan moved deeper inside the then Kashmir. When Menon and Manekshaw (first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal) visited Kashmir, they found situation very bad and asked Maharaja Hari Singh to move to Jammu immediately to sign the instrument of accession. While enemy was about to reach Baramulla, Mountbatten insisted Maharaja to first sign the instrument of accession to get military help from India and in this way one more day was wasted,” the General said adding had that vital time not wasted much of men including Brigadier Rajinder Singh and much of Kashmir would have saved.
General Jamwal cleared much misinformation spread against the Maharaja and said, to keep J&K an independent State was a ‘compulsion forced on Maharaja’ as Hari Singh loved his subjects irrespective of their religions and castes.
“Being a responsible custodian of his subjects, the Maharaja had never thought of joining Pakistan as it was a fundamentalist territory, as has been proved even today. And, on the other hand India was not even ready for a talk on the accession of Jammu and Kashmir as the then helmsmen including then Home Minister of India, Vallabhbhai Patel were preferring to keep Kashmir in cold box as they were awaiting the merger of Hyderabad and Junagarh with India,” Jamwal maintained adding, moreover, J&K was a State purchased by Hari Singh’s ancestors for Rs. 75 lakh.
General Jamwal also said that the then Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru wanted Maharaja to bow before Sheikh Abdullah and Hari Singh out rightly rejected this.
Jamwal further said that it was Nehru who gave Kashmir to Pakistan by moving to the United Nations.
Ghansara Singh & Gilgit:
General Goverdhan Singh also said that in the year 1947 Brigadier Ghansara Singh was the senior most Brigadier of J&K State Forces after Major General H.L Scott.
“Ghansara Singh took over as Governor of Gilgit on August 1, 1947 but General Scott was part of the conspiracy to handover Gilgit to Pakistan. Scott accompanied Ghansara to Gilgit to join the taking over ceremony of Gilgit agency from the British. He (Scott) had connived with Major Brown, Commander of Gilgit Scouts, to take over Gilgit and accede it to Pakistan if the Maharaja acceded J&K to India. It was the conspiracy that was accomplished when Hari Singh acceded J&K to India on October 26, 1947,” the Major General said adding that on October 31, 1947 Brown arrested Ghansara Singh and imprisoned him in Pakistan’s Attock Fort Jail for over two years along with many others.
“Scott was ‘in the know’ of all this conspiracy while R.C Kak, the then Prime Minister of J&K too was a party to it and preferred to keep J&K independent rather than joining India. Not only this, several key persons around Hari Singh were for acceding J&K to Pakistan,” Jamwal maintained.
Abrogation of Article 370:
General Jamwal said that J&K was a State established by the sacrifices of Dogras and acceded to India by a Dogra ruler.
“But things changed after accession and victimization of Dogras began right from that time. Abdullahs and Muftis never gave Jammu and Ladakh their dues. Had Sheikh treated Jammu and Kashmir without any discrimination, he would have been a Messiah for the State but he and the subsequent Kashmiri rulers suppressed Jammu and Ladakh and proved themselves as failed leaders,” he said.
“In Dogra rule more attention was paid towards the interests of Kashmir people but as Kashmiri leadership came to rule, they failed to reciprocate. I will like to say that under all these circumstances the abrogation of Article 370 was a much needed development which is being whole heartedly welcomed by the people of Jammu and Ladakh. It is the time for the Centre now to compensate Jammu for the losses it had suffered due to discrimination in the last over seven decades,” Jamwal said.
Aspirations of People:
When asked about the aspirations of Jammu people, the General informed that people of Jammu are basically gentlemen and not crook. They never want anything undue but should be given their dues. He said that self respect along with economic development, tourism and educational development and system of governance are the urgent aspirations of Dogras. He also said that people of Jammu now need a civil secretariat exclusively for their region.
General Jamwal had joined the last civilian batch of J&K State Forces as a Commissioned Office in September 1947 at Srinagar when he was 19 years of age. He was attached to 4 Kumaon Regiment at Urusa in Uri sector of Kashmir during 1947-48 Indo-Pak war wherein he had a narrow escape when he was hit by a splinter. Next operation in which Jamwal participated was in Khemkaran in Punjab as a Commanding Officer of 9 JAK Rifles in 1965 which foiled Pakistan’s plan to attack Delhi. 100 brand new Paton Tanks of Pakistan were destroyed in the operation. General Jamwal retired in the year 1984 as Military Secretary with the then President of India, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.
General Jamwal was born in village Suchani, now in Samba district and his father Thakur Kartar Singh served in Judiciary while his mother Godavari Devi was a housewife and she was from Udhampur. After schooling from Rajput School, Goverdhan Singh joined Prince of Whales College, now GGM Science College. He was married to Savitri Devi Pathania of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. She sadly passed away in the year 2009. General Jamwal has two daughters Kiran and Rita and a son Bobbie who was very close to the former US President, Bill Clinton and was his Golf partner but sadly Bobbie is no more today.
Message to People:
The last General of Maharaja Hari Singh said that people of Jammu should learn to live together and shun their egos. He also said that Jammu people should not mix their social life with political life.