Sardar Patel's Letter to C Parmeswaram

Sardar Patel's Letter to C Parmeswaram - Regarding Nehru's Visit to Kashmir

Date : 19th June 1946

Dear Friend,

I have received your letter of the 15th. The situation in Kashmir is difficult and delicate and Pandit Nehru himself has realised that some of his early statements were not based on accurate information, and hence he has not hesitated to rectify the errors publicly.

You know, he is a Kashmiri Pandit and he would naturally feel for them more than any other leader would do. But by nature and training, he is a democrat. His sympathies are always with the underdog. In Kashmir, there is Muslim majority and a large majority of them are comparatively very poor. The Kashmiri Pandits and the Hindus form a very small proportion of the population, and as they are comparatively better off, the poorer majority which is getting conscious, is trying to assert itself and the conflict of interests is creating a situation in which the minority finds itself in an unenviable position and lives in a state of perpetual insecurity and fear, resulting in demoralization. The State being a Hindu State, situated in Muslim surroundings, finds itself in a very delicate and difficult position to take strong action against revolt or lawlessness, as such action at once disturbs the communal atmosphere outside, a part from its repercussions inside the State. The extreme poverty and illiteracy of the masses present an unpleasant picture to a foreign visitor and the State is generally represented outside as extremely irresponsible and unprogressive.

Sheikh Abdullah is supposed to be very popular and his association with Pandit Nehru has been regarded as sufficient guarantee of his being against any separatist movement. Evidently, his present stand appears to be capable of double interpretation and perhaps inconsistent with the policy of the States People's Conference and therefore contrary to Pandit Nehru's views on this matter.

Pandit Nehru has left for Kashmir this morning and it is hoped that this unfortunate and regrettable movement will end in an honourable settlement and restore peace and harmony in Kashmir.

Yours sincerely,
Vallabhbhai Patel

Shri C. Parmeswaram

C/o. Kashmir Metal Mart,

Hari Singh High St.,

Srinagar, Kashmir

Ref. : Sardar Patel's Correspondence - 1945-50 Pg. 4

Topic : Nehru's Visit to Kashmir