Often I call BJP/RSS as Ungrateful Indians because they are completely and utterly ungrateful to those who fought and gave India a government and constitution that has kept her from going into anarchy. India owes a great deal to these leaders for giving the country a solid start. And among all these leaders the biggest debt is owed to Nehru, even more than Gandhi.
Nehru was from a family who had settled in Delhi and UP for generations but was originally from Kashmir. Nehru loved Kashmir to the level of obsession. And because of his love for Kashmir he did something that was wrong and unjust and for which he is still blamed for by Pakistan and a lot of Indians do not even know his contribution, let alone acknowledge it.
So let us rewind to 1947 and and partition of India. The Indian Independence Act of 1947 in its schedules had provisionally allocated districts to each India and Pakistan, while agreeing that the final award will be through a Boundary Commission. In this Act the whole of Gurdaspur district had been marked for Pakistan (Wikipedia incorrectly mentions only one tehsil to Pakistan, the actual act can be check on British Government website here).
The Boundary Commission had to work out final boundary based on the finer details and rules of allocation on the lines of the Government of India Act. The Commission consisted of the Chairman Cyril Radcliffe and two judges of Muslim League and two judges of Congress. Whatever disputes would arise would be settled by Radcliffe. The Commission was supposed to work in utmost secrecy and there should have been no leaks about anything, but that was not the case and all the fingers usually point to Mountbatten. All the disputes of Boundary Commission apart from Chittagong Hill Tracts were in favour of India, and at great disadvantage of Pakistan. This again is usually credited to Mountbatten, because of his friendship Nehru. For example, Firozepur and Zira Tehsils with Muslim majority and continuous link to Pakistan were finally allocated to India after Raja of Bikaner found that his canals would go through Pakistan before coming back in India, obviously Mountabatten barely knew the Raja of Bikaner but both knew Nehru very well.
Another such contentious dispute was of Gurdaspur district, the northern most district of Punjab and the one touching the border of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani judges allege that originally Gurdaspur District was allocated to Pakistan, not only because it was a Muslim majority district but also because it was continuously Muslim inhabited. Of the four Tehsils in Gurdaspur, three had clear Muslim Majority. Only Pahtankot was the one with Non Muslim majority. But Pathankot could not be included in India because it was an isolated Non Muslim majority Tehsil. For Pathankot Tehsil to go to India, another larger Tehsil would have to go to India to allow for continuity purposes. Hence all four Tehsils were kept in Pakistan according to the schedule in Indian Independence Act.
When this reached Nehru he asked Mountbatten to allocate Gurdaspur and Batala Tehsils of Gurdaspur District to India and let Shakargarh remain in Pakistan. Like Firozepur and Zira the excuse that Mountbatten gave to Radcliffe and Radcliffe gave to others was that the water for Amrtisar district goes from these Tehsils, hence they should be allocated to India. But if you look at the map below, you would laugh at such an excuse because Amritsar was surrounded by Muslim majority areas on all sides, not just Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Sheikhpura and Lahore but also Kapurthala state was a Muslim majority state with around 60% Muslims. But Raja of Kapurthala had already signed to join India and unlike Nawab of Junagadh Indian Government forgot to ask him what his population wanted.
That was the reasoning that Radcliffe gave for award of Gurdaspur and Batala to India. But the real reason Mountbatten wanted Gurdaspur and Batala to be in India was because of his friend Jawaharlal Nehru, and Nehru’s love for Kashmir. What is coming next is controversial and is not common in history books, but does make appearances off record. I believe it because it is presented with an extremely solid logical argument, and story has been there since I was a kid in Kashmir. Hence it is not an invention to save Nehru from J&K because it dates back far before these illegitimate and ungrateful children of Hindu Mahasabha came and started demonising Nehru.
To reach Kashmir Valley and Srinagar, there was no road except the traditional route along Jhelum which was over a hundred kilometers away from the closest Non-Muslim majority district. While Jammu too was connected to Sialkot for both Railways and Roads, but there was a possibility to connect Pathankot with Kathu and Jammu by having a bridge over Ravi. Although there would still remain a need to connect Jammu with Kashmir Valley. The map below is from 1955 which shows the Jammu-Srinagar highway still under construction, hence the highway signs fade away giving way to a single lane road laid during 1948 war (and it comes with warning of being unsafe in winters and night).
The only land link for Jammu and Kashmir was through larger Gurdaspur District, and not just Pathnkot Tehsil. Gurdaspur and Batala Tehsils were required as well. If these were not there, a land link to J&K would not be possible, meaning that even if the Raja of Jammu and Kashmir wanted to join India despite the Muslim majority nature of his state, he would not be able to because there was no land link to India.
It was this favour that Mountbatten gave to India because of Nehru that J&K is in India. Had it not been Nehru’s foresight and his friendship with Mountbatten this would not have been possible. Because the only border Kashmir and India would have been through a very very difficult Himalayas. Even today if the Gurdaspur District was not in India and we had constructed the Himachal Pradesh and Leh route (which is world’s highest altitude and is maintained by military rather than civil), coming to Jammu would be through Leh and Srinagar.
This is Nehru’s great favour to India. The only and only reason of J&K is in India is because of Nehru. He had foresight to include Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Batala Tehsils in India, without which J&K under no circumstances could be in India. So let us show respect to the man.
Coming to Patel, he was of the opinion that the partition happened on religious grounds, hence it was only right for Jammu and Kashmir to stay with Pakistan rather than India. He wanted Hyderabad to stay with India rather than join Pakistan and J&K to go to Pakistan, there are several reports publications and studies to confirm this, they can be accessed
here, here and here.
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