PVC Maj Som Nath & PVC NK Yadu Nath made extreme sacrifices to secure late integration of J&K
Today is Sardar’s Birthday who integrated India Union
Today is 31st October, the birthday of Bharat Rattan Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and India celebrates the day as National Unity Day / Rastriya Ekta Divas. Sardar was the architect of forming a big chunk out of 565 of Princely States of erstwhile British Indian Empire a part of India Democratic Republic in 1947.
J&K was also one of the such princely states which acceded after 14th August 1947 only on 26th Oct 1947 when the Pakistani raiders had already entered the territories of Princely state. Keeping in view situations in 1947 it will be fair enough to observe that the Indian forces played a very very nodal role after 27th Oct 1947 mobilization making extreme sacrifices but for which a large part of J&K State was saved from becoming ‘Pakistan occupied area of J&K ( POJK). Battle of Badgam (1947) & and Battle of Nowshera ( 1948) where 1st and 2nd Param Vir Chakras of independent India were earned by Major Som Nath Sharma & NK Yadunath Singh who also could be named champions of Integration of India.
It has been on this ( 2023) 23rd January which is observed as Prakaram Divas and was the 126th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled the model of a proposed memorial dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, to be set up in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and also named 21 islands of the UT Andaman and Nicobar after Param Vir Chakra awardees., Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always been taking leads over all other leaders and in this direction too he has been the first. The largest of the islands are named after the 1st PVC (Param Vir Chakra India’s highest gallantry award ) decorated soldier ( Maj Som Nath Sharma ) and the 2nd largest after 2nd PVC decorated soldier ( Nk J(Y)adu Nath Singh. Both Major Som Nath Sharma and Nk J(Y)adu Nath Singh had made the extreme sacrifice while defending the India borders in the State of Jammu & Kashmir in 1947-48 and both were non J&K state subjects.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lead NDA Government has been the first in initiating some ventures and reforms. As regards affairs concerning the erstwhile State of J&K too the present government in centre has been first to take constitutional initiatives like Presidential Orders as issued under C.O 272 Dated 05-08-2019 and Presidential notifications as issued vide. C.O 273 06-08-2019 worth undoing a number of otherwise myths that had taken roots since some wrong notions / explanations about 1947 Accession/ Constitutional relationships / constitutional provisions in relation to J&K were advocated / promoted by some political segments and that had not so far been rightfully & timely contested. True that the myths cultivated over decades had become the belief of some and hence the objective & intensions at the back of CO 272 & CO 273 may require some more time to reach the common man and government & those working for return of total peace & stability in J&K may have to work for more time with cool mind for carrying the spirits. One of myths reared was that Art 370 gave special status in the Constitution of India to Indian State of J&K & is a bridge between INDIA & J&K which totally wrong but had never been pointedly dismissed by any political government / political party till 2015. Before August 2019 it was only on 11-03-2015 that in reply to Rajay Sabha Question 138* Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs (Shri Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary) Government of India had in a written reply said “(a): In the Constitution of India, there is no mention of ‘Special Status to Jammu and Kashmir’. Article 370 provides for ‘Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir’.” Belief cultivated that Art370 provided special status to J&K State in Constitution of India and was a bridge between India & State was surely a myth. Of course Act 34 of Parliament of India as of August 2019 that split the erstwhile State of J&K into two UTs of J&K and Ladakh may have been questioned by some feeling hurt with the status reduced from State to a UT , they may be right to some extent but since GOI has already said in the Parliament as well as outside the Parliament that it has been due some compulsive conditions and soon UT of J&K will be given the status of State. So that should not be taken otherwise.
It is not out of place to mention here 16 out of 21 PVC Decorated Indian soldiers who have shown exemplary sense of valour & sacrifice have done so while fighting the enemy in / along J&K territories and out of 16 PVC awardees fifteen have been non- state subjects / non permanent residents of J&K State. But J&K governments have not felt immediate concern for honouring these soldiers / expressing special gratitude to such souls or their families.
To be continued
(The author is Sr Journalist & leading scribe J&K affairs [email protected]).