By Rahula Sankrityayana; Victor Kiernan (transl.)

From Volga to Ganga; an image in Nineteen tales of the ancient, fiscal and Political Evolution of the Human Society from 6000 B.C. to 1922 A.D

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This was a grave error. Poonch, along with neighboring west Punjab and NWFP districts, was a prime recruiting ground for soldiers of imperial Britain’s Indian army. 23 The area was thus full of recently demobilized soldiers, who responded to the reprisals by evacuating their families to west Punjab areas beyond the boundaries of the princely state, then returning to confront the regime’s forces. The revolt was renewed in the aftermath of partition in August, this time with a definite pro-Pakistan character.

K A S H M I R 32 But the NC’s mass base remained an indeterminate factor, albeit potentially tilted toward India because of its leaders’ ideological affinities and personal relationships. The second factor was the unique situation of a Hindu autocrat who ruled a Muslim-majority population, but who nonetheless was the legal authority to decide the issue of accession. The lull in Kashmir was broken in the spring of 1947, when an uprising against the maharaja broke out in Poonch, an area in northwestern Jammu sandwiched between the Kashmir Valley to the east and Rawalpindi division of northwestern Punjab to the west.

The manifesto called for the abolition of parasitic landlordism without compensation, transfer of land to the tillers, and establishment of cooperative associations. 16 Almost six decades later, Naya Kashmir is a very distant memory for people in Kashmir. In June 2002 a third-generation Abdullah, the sheikh’s grandson Omar, formally took over as president of the NC—a party that retains the name but is in every other sense a debased, skeletal version of the historic National Conference—from his father, the sheikh’s elder son, Farooq Abdullah.

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