The Dog of Manger

Indian army has been stationed in Kashmir on an unlawful occupation. The Kashmir dispute dates from 1947. The partition of the Indian sub-continent along religious lines led to the formation of India and Pakistan. However, there remained the problem of over 650 states, run by princes, existing within the two newly independent countries.

In theory, these princely states had the option of deciding which country to join, or of remaining independent. In practice, the restive population of each province proved decisive.

The people had been fighting for freedom from British rule, and with their struggle about to bear fruit they were not willing to let the princes fill the vacuum.

Although many princes wanted to be “independent” (which would have meant hereditary monarchies and no hope for democracy) they had to succumb to their people’s protests which turned violent in many provinces.

Because of its location, Kashmir could choose to join either India or Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir, was Hindu while most of his subjects were Muslim. Hari Singh played a vicious role and decided to join with India against the will of Kashmiris.

Hari Singh invited the Indian government for military deployment and fled to India. He signed the Instrument of Accession, ceding Kashmir to India on October 26. Upon this situation some Pakistani tribesmen entered the valley to fight for Kashmiris.

Indian and Pakistani forces thus fought their first war over Kashmir in 1947-48. When India was in a fix she cunningly referred the dispute to the United Nations on 1st January 1948. In a resolution dated August 13, 1948, the UN asked Pakistan to remove its troops, after which India was also to withdraw the bulk of its forces.

Once this happened, a “free and fair” plebiscite was to be held to allow the Kashmiri people to decide their future.

It was difficult to trust Indian promises but was adopted as the only available choice. On January 1, 1949, a ceasefire was agreed, with 65 per cent of the territory under Indian control and the remainder with Pakistan.

The ceasefire was intended to be temporary but the Line of Control remains the de facto border between the two countries.

In 1957, Kashmir was formally incorporated into the Indian Union. It was granted a special status under Article 370 of India’s constitution, which ensures, among other things, that non-Kashmiri Indians cannot buy property there. This article is also being badly violated for many past years.

Whereas in 1948 India took the Kashmir issue to the UN and was all for a plebiscite, by the 1990s it hid behind the Simla agreement and thwarted any attempts at UN or third-party mediation.

Over the decades the plebiscite advocated by India’s great statesman Jawaharlal Nehru became a dirty word in New Delhi. These developments have led many to believe that Delhi has squandered the Kashmiri people’s trust and allegiance. Because of Indian dishonesty Kashmir issue has still been unresolved.

On the hand we can find continuation of illegal occupation on Kashmir and even more dramatic is the move to send MS Dhoni to join troops in Kashmir.

MS Dhoni, the former India skipper, who is also a Lieutenant Colonel (Honorary) in the Territorial Army unit of the Parachute Regiment, is proceeding to be with the battalion. MS Dhoni will be with the unit, currently stationed in the Kashmir Valley as part of Victor Force, from July 31 to August 15, 2019. As requested by the officer and approved by Army Headquarters; MS Dhoni will be taking on the duties of patrolling, guard and post duty and would be staying with the troops.

MS Dhoni has taken a two-month sabbatical from cricket to serve his unit. According to Indian Army sources, Dhoni will undergo training with the jawans and live like any other soldier. Dhoni’s battalion, which is headquartered in Bengaluru, is currently posted in the Valley, according to these sources.

In 2015, Dhoni became a qualified paratrooper after having completed five parachute training jumps from Indian Army aircraft at the Agra training camp.

Dhoni’s services made me enjoy a story in a local magazine for children. The story was about a guard dog. The guard dog once decided not to eat dried chapatis and started a be violent on cattle. He sat into the manger and warned the cows not to eat the fodder. When cows argued that you have no business with our fodder. But the dog insisted on his plan. He said he would not eat and also would not allow any one else to eat. The cow tried best to convince the dog but all in vain. Ultimately the dog was hit by a cow and smashed out of the manger.

I don’t know why this dog came in mind when I read a news about Dhoni’s services for troops.


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