In the annals of history, October 27, 1947, marks a day of infamy for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as it symbolizes the genesis of a long and oppressive era under Indian occupation.
This day, known as “Black Day” in Kashmir, commemorates a tragedy born out of political deceit, injustice, and the denial of the fundamental right to self-determination for the Kashmiri people.
The backdrop to this unfortunate chapter in history begins with a mutual agreement between India and Pakistan, where Muslim-majority states were meant to accede to Pakistan. The population of Jammu and Kashmir, overwhelmingly Muslim, yearned to join Pakistan as well.
In July 1947, the genuine representatives of the Kashmiri people passed a historic resolution, unanimously expressing their desire for Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. Their rationale was rooted in religious, geographical, cultural, and economic ties to Pakistan, along with the aspirations of millions of Kashmiri Muslims.
However, their legitimate aspirations were denied by Maharaja Hari Singh, who ignored the public’s demands and delayed the accession of Kashmir to Pakistan.
Fearful that the Maharaja was contemplating joining India instead, Pashtun tribesmen entered Kashmir on October 22, 1947, to aid their Muslim brethren. This effort resulted in the liberation of a significant area, known today as Azad Kashmir.
In a completely unprovoked move, India deployed its army in Srinagar on October 27, 1947, citing a questionable accession agreement with Maharaja Hari Singh. This event is etched in history as the genesis of a dark era characterized by Indian repression in Kashmir, leading to the observance of Black Day.
To counter India’s unlawful intervention and military advance, the Pakistan army moved to Azad Jammu and Kashmir, initiating a war between Pakistan and India. By December 1947, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru sought the United Nations Security Council’s intervention to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
The UN Security Council passed resolutions in 1948 and 1949, calling for a ceasefire and the holding of a plebiscite under UN supervision. This plebiscite would enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide, through their votes, whether they wished to join Pakistan or India.
To this day, India has failed to conduct the plebiscite and has disregarded these UN resolutions. Instead, it has resorted to brutal tactics, state-sponsored terrorism, and demographic changes in IIOJK, all aimed at denying the Kashmiri people their right to self-determination.
The brutalities imposed by India have pushed Kashmiri youth to take up arms against their oppressors. Frustrated by ongoing injustices, a local freedom struggle commenced in 1989 intending to liberate Kashmir from India’s illegal rule.
Furthermore, on August 5, 2019, India unilaterally revoked Article 370 and 35-A of its constitution, which granted special status to Kashmir. More than three years later, India has failed to manage the repercussions of this unilateral action. Kashmiris, now more than ever, yearn for freedom, while Indian oppression has intensified, turning the region into a virtual prison for its residents.
Presently, India maintains almost 700,000 troops in Kashmir, rendering it the most militarized zone globally. These troops have been involved in numerous human rights violations.
The nightmare that began on October 27, 1947, persists for the people of Kashmir, who continue to suffer under the yoke of the occupying forces, their dream of self-determination deferred and their hopes for freedom unfulfilled. The international community must recognize and address this ongoing tragedy, working towards a just resolution that respects the rights and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Muhammad Wasama Khalid is a Correspondent and Researcher at Global Affairs. He is pursuing his Bachelors in International Relations at National Defense University (NDU). He has a profound interest in history, politics, current affairs, and international relations. He is an author of Global Village Space, Global Defense Insight, Global Affairs, and Modern Diplomacy. He tweets at @Wasama Khalid and can be reached at Wasamakhalid@gmail.com