When America 'Cried' For Kashmir || by Bhushan Parimoo || LIVE IMAGE


What for? ; makes one to ponder and  induce guess work  on  many a probabilities for the reason about the unbelievably abnormal and unheard  behaviour of J. Klahr Huddle, diplomat member of the United States who was one of the Members of the UN Commission for India and Pakistan established by the Security Council to investigate facts and through mediation to smooth away the difficulties between the two countries on Kashmir Dispute  . 

Klahr Huddle cried bitterly, tears rolled down over his cheeks and he sobbed, as said, like a hurt child. On June 15, 1948, while deliberating on Kashmir issue in Security Council session at the headquarters in Geneva in the weather that was fine though but the atmosphere in the hall was tense and highly charged. J. Klahr Huddle was said to be well briefed and had grasped the issue in depth. In the entire Commission, he was the only member who had adequate secretarial assistance available to him for discharging his duties. None other had these privileges and yet he is the one whose point of view is still shrouded in a mystery? 

Who briefed him is wrapped in a guess work. Hydle was a seasoned American diplomat.  However, he had never served in Indian subcontinent. During the period he however served as United States Ambassador to Burma from October 1947 to November 1949.

 That American cried for Kashmir, very few know about it. Very few have shared it. Why this freak event has remained unsolved mystery till date needs an answer from historians and as well from the political scientists .Huddle neither served in the state at any given of the time in his service career nor was he a visitor or a  well know dignitary on the state list. Perhaps in the annals of the history of whites does one comes across a reference of such nature; a. diplomat weeping for others cause. 

Whites have been known to make others weep, create miseries hunger and exploit.  Even British did not weep in open to watch setting of sum over their Empire which they would often boast  by claiming that sun can rise from west instead of east but the sun of British empire will   never set. There are no known references where a white wept in open over a dispute involving other nations; It may be pertinent to recall that Huddle was  witness to holocaust of World War II , Pearl Harbour Attack and what followed thereafter the dropping of Atom Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Besides it, near India,  in Burma where he was ambassador  after the War , the Axis  were deep and fresh heart rending devastation, destruction of human life was writ large that time there. 

However, Huddle’s tears flowed on account of the agony that the famous Vale of Kashmir was in at the time.. Also what he wrote was hardly touched by holocaust. He hardly knew anything about Kashmir and its society. In fact he hardly knew valley, ever visited before stayed and studied it in first hand as the British have donet. As C.W.Nimitz, the Fleet Admiral of U.S.Navy  wrote that  the partition effected whose combined number  was one fifth of world’s population were victims of  a hasty separation

Absolute fact is that the  British  repented to  hand over Kashmir, thought it was circumstantial compulsion .Strategy demanded not to extent of Army’s  reach as such a buffer between British India and Russia was need of the hour  to buy the time. The British policy of Wait and watch for appropriate and convenient time to have this strategic important area. But in general it was  felt that there can be no question  that parting  away of the Kashmir Valley  was one of the  grandest political blunder of its day, and  one of which constantly   felt as long as the British held the Panjab .

Independent  of the vast addition to   Eastern revenues  by opening  out a magnificent field for English enterprises, Kashmir  would have  secured advantages in a military point of view  of the greatest  importance , by affording splendid and healthy  sites for a reserve army, which, on the shortest notice ,might have been  made available  for any emergency  in the  North-Western Provinces, but instead ,its noble prairies, plains and forests, scenery surpassed  by those of any other  country, have been sold to rulers whose end  and objective have been to reap and never sow” 

‘Few Englishmen could sit on the grassy banks, and witness the rare mountain beauty of Arabel without feeling that did Kashmir belong to England, for there is no spot among all its lovely scenery better suited for a picnic. To the English  it brought back recollections of similar mountain beauties”

 “ What could  have induced English to have  that fine valley handed to Gulab Singh” What a happy day for Kashmir it would be  when the old flag of  England  waved  on the rampant of Srinagar!” Britishers wanted land to protect its empire whose sun they thought will never set. As regards  it was widely held by them that ; ‘Everywhere in Kashmir you see the inhabitants indolent to a degree, filthy by their habits ,meaning ,coward, shabby, irresoulute and indifferent to all ideas of reform or progress”. 

 Soon a conspiracy was hatched which was made public through Daily Telegraph Calcutta wherein it was alleged  that Maharaja Partap Singh was  seeking help of Russain to dislodge Britisher.Daily Tribune followed the story. And as was game plan , Maharajas powers were seized but were, on understanding, restored after a few years. It was in 1935 lease of the Gilgit area for sixty years was obtained from Maharaja Hari Singh. Under what circumstance Maharaja yielded to persistent demand which Maharaja Partap Singh had out rightly refused and preferred to have power seized than sin by following the dictated lines is a matter of research.  

Maharaja Hari Singh had inherited detest about the British who were known for deposing the rulers of the states from day one from time to time.  Spies, intriguers were at work at their behest to ferment trouble to dislodge the rulers.As regards with Maharaja Hari Sigh before ascending to the throne was falsely implicated in a infamous sex scandal called Case of Mr A. Naturally he was averse and suspicious to every move British proposed. The British were  not to be trusted upon as Hari Singh was one who asked Resident not to keep Union Jack flag flutter on top of his residence insisting that it is the  state flag which  has right to flutter on top of the palace. 

Hari Singh never allowed the  Resident to have his winter office in Jammu but instead   he would stay in Sialkote  Panjab during Darbar winter office in Jammu.. Beside   Hari Singh was first to raise issue of independence in Privy Council besides many other irritants. Hence, independent J&K under Maharaja Hari Singh did not suit the British; and that is why according to some claims Lord Mountbatten did cajole Hari Singh  to cede to Pakistan, while he was still the Viceroy and the Governor General.

 The Allies desperately wanted Kashmir  to keep eye on USSR  and China who were engaged in the Cold War. The Allies knew that India will not oblige because of its proximity with USSR . Hence the Allies conceived every conceivable approach to grab Jammu & Kashmir, be it by way of war or in the ‘great game’ in the Security Council.  

 British had set about building it as a strategic outpost in the chain of their North Western defences. It had been linked with Peshawar by a new road. A local force called "Gilgit Scouts" on the model of Frontier Guides, led by British officers had been raised and a British Political Agent was posted at Gilgit to control the administered area and the States of Gilgit Agency whose rulers continued to owe allegiance to the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir as well. 

The State forces stationed at Gilgit had been withdrawn to Bunji on the left bank of the Indus about 35 miles South of Gilgit cantonment For this the Americans did not even mind crying the proverbial “crocodile tears” over Kashmir. Despite all these conjectures the mystery of Huddle tears remains enigmatic!

UN Photo

United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan

Members of the Commission for India and Pakistan established by the Security Council to investigate facts and through mediation to smooth away the difficulties between the two countries. Left to right: Dr. Alfredo Lozano, Colombia; Carlos Alberto Leguizamon, Argentina; Chairman Josef Korbel, Czechoslovakia; Harry Graeffe, Belgium, and J. Klahr Huddle, United States .

 Bushan Parimoo
(The writer is a Jammu based environmentalist and a regular contributor to this Website .)
(Feedback at: blparimoo@gmail.com)

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