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SHEIKH ABDULLAH: 1945

Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah’s statement on the ministerial crisis in the Kashmir State on
April 22, 1945.

Recently the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Working Committee reviewed the farcical character of the diarchic experiment and decided to withdraw Its representative from the Council of Ministers. Accordingly, Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beg resigned from the Ministership, and returned to the opposition benches.
The Prime Minister, backed by his clique of irresponsible bureaucrats, resorted to the base tactics of attempting to bribe and disrupt the ranks of the National Conference itself. In so doing they had resorted to Machiavellian ways, and Mian Ahmad Yar, the Leader of the whose appointment had taken place by direct command of the Maharaja, an
Assembly Party has fallen prey to them. His representative capacity just does not exist. Thus the Maharaja has not on y put an axe on the elective system of appointing popular ministers, on the lines of his diarchic experiment, but has become a party to the conspiracy against the popular movement in the Kashmir
Such an attack on the rights of the people, and the unity of their representative organization, has come at a time when the minds of the people of Kashmir are already exploring the new perspective opened up by the attempts at constitution making of the Cabinet Mission. The question of the treaty rights of the Princes has become a moot point between the peoples of the State, the Princely Order, and the Paramount Power. For us in Kashmir, the re-examination of this relationship is a vital matter, because a hundred years ago, in 1846 the land and people of Kashmir were sold away to the servitude of the Dogra House by the British for 75 lacs of rupees. The then Governor of Kashmir resisted the transfer but was finally reduced to subjection with the aid of British. Thus the sale deed of 1846, misnamed the Treaty of Amritsar, had sealed the fate of the masses of Kashmir.
For the last fifteen years since the inception of our freedom Movement in 1931, we have attempted to give a fair trial to all reforms believing that readjustment of human relationships will take place with the extension of the democratic framework to all fields of our national life. Thus we believed that we could come in line with the rest of the world in the era of the Atlantic Charter and tl1e revision of basic relationships with the dawn of the independence of nations
But once again the last act of His Highness has exposed the continuance of tile “feudal master governing the serfs” mentality. This state of affairs cannot be allowed to last The resurgent spirit of the people challenges it in the name of human dignity.
No sale deed, however sacrosanct can condemn more than four million men and women to the servitude of an autocrat when the will to live under this rule is no longer there. The people of the Kashmir are determined to mould their own destiny, and we appeal to the members of the Cabinet Mission to recognise the Justice and strength of our cause.

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