Price of Nehru's Mistakes in Kashmir

Whatsapp Forums Blame India's First Prime Minster Jawaharlal Nehru for the Kashmir Problem

Price of Nehru's Mistakes in Kashmir
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The Kashmir problem is in existence for 71 years now between India and Pakistan. Are the alleged mistakes by Nehru responsible for the issue remaining unresolved till today?

These days there is what appears to be an orchestrated campaign against India's first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The turf is the Whatsapp where in choicest words he is being blamed for  leaving behind problems which are bleeding the country today also.  The  main problem constantly refered to is the Kashmir problem.

As is well known the  princely state of Jammu & Kashmir chose to stay independent when Pakistan was created and India was liberated in August, 1947. This was a decision which Maharaja Hari Singh  took because as a Hindu king he did not want to join Pakistan but was hesistant to join India because Muslims where in a majority in his state kingdom. He wanted more time to arrive at a decision. He requested both the neighboring countries to guarantee his independent status.

Ironically it was Pakistan which signed a standstill agreement with the King and then proceeded to launch its tribals to create mayhem in Kashmir valley. As the tribals were   looting and killing they were soon joined by the Pakistani army. A full scale invasion was underway. The  king's  forces  were no match for the Pakistani onslaught and were rapidly marching towards the state capital Srinagar. The panic stricken King turned to India asking for help to combat the invaders. 

India advised him to first acceed to the Indian Union and then officially help can be provided. The hapless King signed the Instrument of Accession and that is how Jammu & Kashmir became a part of India. The Indian army entered the State and pushed back Pakistani troops to the present Line of Control between the two countries following cease fire by the two nations under the auspices of the United Nations. This resulted in division of the State with around 60% remaining with India and 40% is now in illegal occupation of Pakistan.

The premature announcement of ceasefire  and refering the issue to the UN are the two main grouses held against Nehru. It has till now not been satisfactorily explained as to why a ceasefire was announced when Indian troops were successfully pushing the invading Pakistani troops back into their own country. Also what was the need for Nehru to accept the advice of the then Governor General Lord Mountbatten to refer the matter to UN for resolution.

The loss if territory and the non resolution of the matter till date has kept the issue alive and it has now taken a totally different dimension.

Pakistan is now openly sponsoring and facilitating the intrusion of well trained terrorists into the Kashmir valley. Almost everyday there are gunfights between the terrorists and Indian security forces in which the former get eliminated. Security forces also suffer casualties. Pro Pakistan  elements  have also come together and are openly advocating separation of J&K  from India and joining Pakistan.

The situation in the Valley is tense from last many years. There are no talks between India and Pakistan to  resolve  the issue. Pakistan has successfully forced itself upon Kashmir by invading it. Also under the plea that it is a Muslim majority state is demanding that it should become part of Pakistan.

The issue is burning from last 71 years  taking a heavy  toll of thousands of human lives on both sides and huge financial expenditures and losses. 

If only Nehru had not committed the  two mistakes there would perhaps have been no Kashmir problem today. Or did he act in the best interests of the country in the circumstances as they must have prevailed then.

However the Whatsapp forums are going to continue coming hard on him. Right or wrong is the readers personal decision.

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1. Please go through the following news item which is relevant:- Article-I 2. In addition, please also go through the following (academic) article which discusses the major difference of opinion between Nehru and Patel in respect of the status of Kashmir:- Article-II


In a decision making process all the various alternatives are considered. What is important is that that the ultimate deision once made is agreed to by all. We are also seeing the decisions taken in a different envuronment from today's perception. Sardar was a practical person while Nehru was a pacifist with a global vision.Their appriaches xwere bound to be different.


Your points are well taken. Especially why ceasefire was declared. But even if whole of Kashmir was recaptured perhaps Pakistan would still be doing what it is doing today. The despatch of troops to Srinagar was a cabinet decision following the signing of Instrument of Accession by Maharaja of Kashmir. It may look odd but J&K was an independent country when it was attaked by Pakistan and that is why India wanted a legal reason to send its troops.


Nehru's foreign policy was full of blunders. Kashmir policy was a major one. He first hesitated to send soldiers when the Pakistani tribesmen under Paki Major-General Akbar Khan attacked the valley. Sardar Patel managed to send the Kumaon Regiment and Sikh Regiment just in time to save Srinagar Airport. Later, when the Indian Army was capturing the lost cities one by one, Nehru suddenly took the matter to UN and it declared a ceasefire, causing 1/3rd of Kashmir under Pakistani occupation. Not only that, Nehru also talked about referendum. Later Nehru committed similar blunder and handed over Aksai Chin to China. He also accepted China's occupation of Tibet causing India to lose a buffer state. Last but not the least, Nehru and Krishna Menon were the main reasons for the debacle of Indian Army in the hand of PLA in 1962.


It is not right to say that Sardar sent troops and Nehru did not. It was a cabinet decision following the signing of the Instrument of Accession by the Maharaja of Kashmir. Also there is lot of motivated criticism of Nehru and the deliberate division between him and Sardar. However everyone else is entitled to their views.


Nehru was not a visionary. He was definitely made a trap by Lord Mountbatten. And it is a very well known fact that he had an affair with Mrs Mountbatten and some how India has to pay a huge amount for his personal mistakes. The problem is there for last 71 years and it is making the country bleed till date. He definitely did an irreparable damage and History will not spare him for that. Other than he broguht dynasty in democracy and also caste politics. These two are other major problems. So rightly said, he has done a deep damage to country for his personal gain. He was a wrong choice as the first PM.


Nehru surely was a visionary. He built many institutions and nurtured democracy in its infancy which has lasted till today and in future also. Nehru was too strong a personality to do a wrong thing just because of his relationship with Lady Mountbatten. Also he did not start a dynasty. It was started by Indira Gandhi.


I beg to differ with you. Nehru aws a visionary and nurtured democracy and build institutions which have strengthened the country. Also he did not start dynasty as he was succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri. The dynasty is of Indira Gandhi. Also Nehru was too tall a personality to take adverse decisions just because he was friendly with Lady Mountbatten. Rest is speculation.