Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination: Remembering October 27


In the history of Kashmir, October 27th is observed as Black Day. On this day in 1947, India invaded Jammu and Kashmir without regard for the Indian Independence Act, the UN Charter, and, most importantly, the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The people of Kashmir desired to be part of Pakistan, which led to a struggle against Maharaja Hari Singh once the Indian military entered the region.

In reality, Maharaja’s rule over the state had already ended on August 15, 1947. Shortly after the invasion, India attempted to justify its illegitimate and unlawful occupation of the state through various propaganda methods, including the Instrument of Accession.

The date of October 27th is observed worldwide as ‘Black Day’ because 76 years ago, on this day, India forcibly took control of the State of Jammu and Kashmir without any legal justification. Since then, the Indian Occupied Forces have mercilessly killed innocent and unarmed Kashmiris, vandalized their properties, and committed other inhuman acts.

The accession agreement was hastily signed under duress, serving as the basis for India’s control over the region. The consequences of this decision have been deeply felt by the Kashmiri people to this day. The region has been heavily militarized, with a significant Indian military presence leading to a climate of tension, conflict, and numerous other issues. This militarization has had adverse effects on the daily lives of Kashmiris, including restrictions on freedom of movement, communication, and assembly, as well as numerous human rights violations.

An example of India’s oppressive ideology is how it brought the case to the UN in January 1948. According to several resolutions, it was decided that the future of the state of Jammu and Kashmir would be determined through a plebiscite under UN supervision. Initially, it appeared that India accepted UN resolutions, but later, they delayed and ultimately refused to conduct the plebiscite. In the mid-1950s, India began characterizing Kashmir as its integral part. After the Simla Agreement of 1972, India declared it a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India.

The political status of Kashmir has been a longstanding issue of contention between India and Pakistan, resulting in multiple wars and frequent border skirmishes. The people of Kashmir have often found themselves caught in the crossfire, with their voices marginalized in this broader geopolitical struggle. The aspirations of the Kashmiri people for self-determination and a say in their own future have been largely unmet and suppressed. The region has seen periods of unrest, protests, and even armed struggle to end India’s illegal occupation.

In recent years, the Indian government’s decision to revoke Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in August 2019, which granted special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, further escalated tensions in the region. This move was met with widespread protests and international concern and led to a complete halt in discussions between Pakistan and India.

The events of October 27th, 1947, marked a turning point in the history of Kashmir and have had profound and often oppressive effects on the lives of the Kashmiri people. This ongoing conflict, militarization, and political dispute have created a challenging environment in which the resilient and brave people of Kashmir continue to seek justice, autonomy, and their right to determine their own future. The situation remains complex, and finding a resolution that addresses all these issues and the rights of the Kashmiri people remains a significant challenge. Freedom is the right of every human being, and with the hope that one day their greatest dream may become a reality, the Kashmiri people continue their struggle every day without a break to break the shackles of Indian yoke.

The writer is a student of Peace and Conflict Studies at National Defense University, Islamabad and is currently serving as an intern at Kashmir Institute of International Relations.

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