THERE WAS ANGER AGAINST NEHRU FOR NOT LETTING North West Frontier Province JOIN INDIA!
Nehru had not only stopped Congressmen from participating in the refrendum but also supported Mountbatten's plans of only two options for the refrendum--i.e--either India or Pakistan. It must be noted that, then, Congress ( Khudai khidmatgar) had a majority in the newly elected state assembly of NWFP and there was no need for refrendum according to this party. Congress wanted to abstain from refrendum but the group of KHIDMATGAR CONGRESSMEN wanted third option of Independence. But this was opposed by Nehru under influence of Mountbatten, though MK Gandhi supported KHUDAI KHIDMATGAR. Thus, the Congress party, Khudai Khidmatgar included, refrained from taking part in the Plebiscite.
Muhammed Iqbal Chawla writes:----
"As the last Viceroy of India, Mountbatten presided over the transfer of power which involved both independence and the division of the subcontinent in 1947. While dividing India it was decided that the wish of the people through the democratic process is sought, for or against, inclusion within Pakistan. In the two major Muslim majority provinces of Bengal and Punjab this was determined by the vote of their representatives in the legislature. In the provinces of the NWFP, Baluchistan and Assam however this was determined by a referendum. The Congress had opted to abstain from the referendum in the NWFP, and its outcome was a heavy mandate for Pakistan but even after that the ruling Congress Ministry refused to resign. Mountbatten refrained from using his discretionary powers to dismiss Dr Khan Sahib’s ministry, consequently, the Government of Pakistan, after it came into being, dismissed it, for it believed that the Congress party had lost every legal or moral foundation to be in power as the people had given a clear verdict in favour of Pakistan and against the Congress government in the Referendum.------------------The author takes the position that Mountbatten, despite the controversy with which he is regarded in Pakistan, played an instrumental role in the accession of NWFP to Pakistan. This was by no means a forgone conclusion in the wake of the Muslim League’s poor showing in the 1946 Frontier Provincial elections.His decision that a referendum should be held enabled the Muslim League to galvanize popular sentiment for inclusion in Pakistan, despite the presence of a Congress ministry----"
Congress abstaining, along with Khudai Khidmatgar, a farce and a shameful farce , this referendum was. And the key reasons were:
A: It was not based on adult franchise, Voting was restricted
B. Not all Pakhtoons were allowed to participate in the referendum that would seal not only their fate but that of their brothers in Afghanistan
C. The tribal Pakhtoons were not allowed to vote. In the population of 3.5 Million only 0.6 Million were allowed to vote
D. 6 Tribal agencies were barred from it
E. The States of Sawat, Dir,Amb, and Chitral were also not allowed to participate
Any referendum that disenfranchises such a large number of population can never be called a legitimate exercise of “self determination”. It has no political, legal and moral authority whatsoever.
As Khudai khidmatgar of Abdul Ghaffar Khan boycotted the Plebiscite, the lone contender in the fray, the Muslim League, won the vote by default, as only 0.6 Millions (17%) out of 3.5 millions of the population were allowed to vote in the Plebiscite and only 51% (2,92 lakhs) of this voted. Muslim League got only 51% votes. The remaining votes of 49% were double stamped. Remember, 83% or nearly 29 lakhs did not participate and Muslim league had got only 51% of 17%, who were asked to vote.
Population : 35 Lakhs
Number of people allowed : 5,72,799
Polled votes (51%): 2,92,118
For Pakistan (51.5%) 2,89,244
For India 2,874
51.5% of the allowed Voters , Voted for Pakistan.Is this the result of a referendum that sealed the fate of Millions of Pakhtoons? With the disenfranchisment of 29 lakhs, it can’t even be called a majority vote.
No one understands Nehru's motive, other than influence of Louis Mountbatten and his wife. Ever since PAKHTOONS have been a thorn in the flesh of Pakistan. Pakistan never had its writ run over seven tribal areas of FATA.
Had third option been allowed to Khudai Khidmatgars of an independent state , they would have participated in the Plebiscite. Then, they would have got 90% votes due to Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and then NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE would have been Independent state. In any case, once the elected assembly had the majority, the need for refrendum was not understood. Like Bengal and Punjab, NWFP assembly should have decided on the fate of PATHANISTAN. But Nehru ditched Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.
As Wali Khan, son of late Abdul Ghaffar Khan wrote:
” In the ends, thus, one keeps coming back to the same conclusion that the British were keen on putting an Islamic halter round the socialist order in the north and were not prepared to permit any hurdle, Khudai Khidmatgars’ or whatever, in their way. In fact they were convinced that unless they removed all the nationalist and anti imperialist forces from their path would not be able to consummate their design.”
Was JL Nehru acting as a British agent ?
You do make a point. I do not think the decision was guided by India,s interests but Mountbatten,s schism. Nehru should have thought about East Pakistan----- if it could be part of Pakistan, then, sure, NWFP could have been part of India or atleast a BUFFER STATE between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nehru should have supported the call for independence of the Pathanistan.
Thanks for sharing the info. JN had committed many such mistakes. perhaps at that point of time, the decision would have been right. I am not sure. Above all of these, the biggest blunder is to make the Indian democracy as dynastic one! as far as the question, no doubt he acted as an agent for the Brits.
This blog is in English because it is the only international language----Britain might have done a lot of wrong but they did a number of goods to this country-----foremost is CONVERSION of SQUABBLING PRINCIPALITIES into an Indian Nation. Then, English Language has made us the world leaders in IT. India's apolitical armed forces is another British contribution. There are so many other things. Let us NOT be critical for the sake of it.
Dear Kaye Sharma Sir,
You are absolute right in your assessment of British strategy. Nehru was NOT concerned about Indian interests. His was a personal agenda. He was too much under the influence of Edwina to think rationally for India. I reject the theory that geographical separation forced him to allow NWFP to go to Pakistan. It is only in Hindsight we are saying this. In 1947, there was NO need for refrendum for NWFP when Congress had won with thumping majority under Abdul Ghaffar Khan. Even MK Gandhi supported him for an independent PATHANISTAN---but Nehru and his cohorts have cleverly masked these facts of history. Out of 35 Lakh people, only 5.72 Lakhs were allowed to vote on refrendum-------Even this became a farce because, only 2.92 lakhs voted. Disenfranchisement of 29 Lakh people was a big joke by Mountbatten and Britain and Nehru played a key role in ensuring Muslim League victory by asking Congress to abstain. This was the reason Major Mehr Dil Mahsud thought that Nehru had cheated his people and he wanted to slap him. Have a look at this photo above. Such facts have been masked from India's partition history and Nehru has been glorified at the cost of India. Result is the Kashmir problem.
Thanks for your wonderful views.
Thanks. You see India's partition history is full of many half truths and lies to mask Nehru's blunders or his well though out negative actions at the cost of India.
Just think, if there was a friendly NWFP state as a buffer between Pakistan and Afghanistan, what would have been the dividend to India? Have a look?
1. There would have been NO tribal invasion of Kashmir and Kashmir problem would NOT have been there.
2. With PATHANISTAN between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan would not have been a close ally of USA and thus it would have lost advantages of NOT only US aid but also USA would NOT have overlooked its Nuclear ambitions.
3. Even if Russian had come into Afghanistan, USA won't have been able to intervene in Afghanistan---in fact, there would have been NO TALIBAN or AL QUAIDA or even Ossama Bin Ladden.
4. A friendly state of PATHANISTAN , ruled by KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS, would have kept Pakistan under check.
All those who visualise NWFP as "WOULD- HAVE- BEEN- INDIA's- BANGLA DESH"----speak only in hindsight. Tribal people have become RADICAL and EXTREMIST only after they were TALIBANISED by Pakistan with the close assistance of CIA. Had they been ruled by their own people, history would have been different.
Thanks for your appreciation.
Welcome and thanks for your observation-----India's Independence and partition history has been mired by untruths and lies to project Nehru as the greatest leader-----he did it to prepetuate his dynastic rule.
Thanks for visiting. Well! There are many skeleton in the Congress cupboard of misconstrued History. Many truths have been masked and Nehru Family has been projected as the great nationalist----It is a biggest farce of India's post independence History.
Dear Uncle, another informative article by you. These things will always be brushed aside the carpet. Anyway i hope this party goes out.
An amazing revelation from the sad history of partition, and the untold blunders. There is no doubt when the British carved out Pakistan they ensured that its geo strategic boundaries would leave them a dependable ally to counter Russia in the region. The British trusted the muslim as a loyal friend of the west. No doubt Mountbatten would have influenced this move and Nehru blundered--as you say-- it could be for many reasons. For Nehru Kashmir was his beloved trophy, NWFP was far from his mind. Contiguity was the other defeating factor which could not have been wished away. Yes independent NWFP,an Indian friendly state could have been one contingency!?
But the biggest loss to India was the loss of Lahore --a sikh state gifted to Pakistan in return of Gurdaspur to India. India was left with no entry into Kashmir, its providence that pak blundered in their tribal grab of Kashmir.
If things went wrong as Nehru accepted in partition in 1947 one year earlier than what was earlier conceived. This is where Mountbatten influenced Nehru, the Viceroy was in a hurry to become the sea lord in England..
A very revealing blog---but in hindsight NWFP with India would have been untenable ; whereas undidvided India may have been a possibility, may be !!!!!!!!!!