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PHILOSOPHY > THE MIND OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Kashmir

 

Kashmir

Problem And Solution
WHAT IS the situation? It is stated that a rebel army composed of Afridis and the like, ably officered, was advancing towards Srinagar, burning and looting villages along the route, destroying even the electric power house, thus leaving Srinagar in darkness. It is difficult to believe that this entry could take place without some kind of encouragement from the Pakistan Government. I have not enough data to come to a judgment as to the merits of the case. Nor is it necessary for my purpose. All I know is that it was right for the Union Government to rush troops, even a handful, to Srinagar. That must save the situation to the extent of giving confidence to the Kashmiries…..
The result is in the hands of God. Men can but do or die. I shall not shed a tear if the little Union force is wiped out, like the Spartans, bravely defending Kashmir nor shall I mind….. Muslim, Hindus and Sikh comrades, men and women, dying at their post in defence of Kashmir, that will be a glorious example to the rest of India. Such heroic defence will infect the whole of India and we will forget that the Hindus, the Muslim and the Sikhs were ever enemies. (H, 9-11-1947, p. 406)


I am amazed to see that the Government of Pakistan disputes the veracity of the Union’s representation to the UNO, and the charge that Pakistan has a hand in the invasion of Kashmir by the raiders. Mere denials cut no ice. It was incumbent upon the Indian union to go to the rescue of Kashmir when the latter sought its help in expelling the raiders, and it was the duty of Pakistan to co-operate with the Union. But while Pakistan professed its willingness to operate, it took no concrete steps in that direction…..
A war will bring both the Dominions under the sway of a third power and nothing can be worse. I plead for amity and goodwill….. The understanding should however be genuine. To harbour internal hatred may be even worse than war. (H, 12-1-1948, p.509)