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SHEIKH’S SPEECH: 1946

Extracts from the ‘Quit Kashmir’ speech of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah
May, 26, 1946

The tyranny of the Dogras has lacerated our souls. The Kashmiris are the most handsome people, yet the most wretched looking. It is time for action. To end your poverty, you must fight slavery and enter the field of Jehad as soldiers. The fight slogan of our struggle is not only for our State but for the whole of India. India is fighting against Imperialism. The slogan was given on the banks of River Ravi … Then came the slogan of ‘Quit India.’ The British gained hold of India by the force of arms and by treachery.
The rulers of the Indian States who possess one-fourth of India, have always played traitors to the cause of Indian freedom. The demand that the Princely Order should quit is a logical extension of the policy of ‘Quit India.’ When the Indian freedom movement demands the complete withdrawal of British power, logically enough the stooges of British Imperialism also should go and restore sovereignty to its real owners – the people. When we raise the slogan of ‘Quit Kashmir,’ we naturally visualise that the Princes and Swabs should quit all the States. I am sure this demand applies similarly to a State like Hyderabad where the people will, I am sure, raise their voice, ‘Quit Hyderabad.’
Those Hindus who think along with Mr. R.C. Kak that the Dogra rule should remain, should never forget that we are treated in Kashmir as a bought-up race without distinction of religion.
Handcuffs jingle. They do not make us afraid. God will dive us faith in victory. The voice of truth will prevail. Prophets have spoken for the truth, which has always triumphed finally.
Sovereignty is not the birthright of a ruler. Every man, woman and child will shout ‘Quit Kashmir’. The Kashmiri nation has expressed its will. I ask for a plebiscite on this question.

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