Indian Leaders

“I should like to make it clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the State to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with the wishes of people, and we adhere to this view”.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian Prime Minister’s Telegram to British and Pakistan Prime Ministers, October 27, 1947.

” And let me make it clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about the accession of a State to either Dominion, the accession must be made by the people of the State. It is in accordance with this policy that we have added to proviso to the instrument of accession of Kashmir”.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian Prime Minister’s broadcast to nation from All India Radio, November 2, 1947.

“Even at the moment of accession, we went out of our way to make a unilateral declaration that we would abide by the will of the people of Kashmir as declared in a plebiscite or referendum. We insisted further that the Government of Kashmir must immediately become a popular government. We have adhered to that position throughout and we are prepared to have a plebiscite, with every protection for fair voting, and to abide by the decision of the people of Kashmir”.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian Prime Minister’s statement in Constituent Assembly of India, March 5, 1948.

“The Kashmir dispute was specially discussed at some length. It was their firm opinion that this should be settled in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State with a view to promoting their well-being and causing the least disturbances to the life of the State. The most feasible method of ascertaining the wishes of the people was by fair and impartial plebiscite. Such a plebiscite had been proposed and agreed to some years ago. Progress, however, could not be made because of lack of agreement in regard to certain preliminary issues. The Prime Ministers agreed that these preliminary issues should be considered by them directly in order to arrive at agreements in regard to this. These agreements would have to be given effect to and the next step would be appointment of a Plebiscite Administrator”.
Joint Communiqué by Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India, August 20, 1953.

“It is not the intention of the Government of India to go back on any commitment it has made. We adhere strictly to our pledge of plebiscite in Kashmir – a pledge made to the people of Kashmir because they believe in democratic Government… We do not regard Kashmir as a commodity to be trafficked in”.
Krishna Menon Representative at UN General Assembly, Press statement in London
(The Statesman, New Delhi, August 2, 1951)
“No doubt we have offered to have a plebiscite taken when the conditions are created for the holding of a proper, fair and impartial plebiscite. But if the plebiscite produces a verdict which is against the continuance of accession to India of the Kashmir State, then what we are committed to is simply that we shall not stand in the way of Kashmir separating itself from India”.
Gopalaswami Ayyangar’s,
Ex-Prime Minister Jammu & Kashmir Princely State
May 27, 1949.

“On the question of accession, the Government of India has always enunciated the policy that in all cases of dispute the people of the State concerned should make the decision.”
Gopalasawami Ayyangar,
Ex-Prime Minister Jammu & Kashmir Princely State
January 15, 1948.

“… As the Security Council is aware, the Government of India is fully committed to the view that , after peace is restored and all people belonging to the State have returned there, a free plebiscite should be taken and the people should decide whether they wish to remain with India, to go over to Pakistan, or to remain independent, if they choose to do so”.
Gopalasawami Ayyangar,
Ex-Prime Minister Jammu & Kashmir Princely State
February 3, 1948.

“… When the emergency has passed and normal conditions are restored, she will be free, by means of a plebiscite, either to ratify her accession to India, or to change her mind and accede to Pakistan, or remain independent. We shall not stand in the way if she elects to change her mind. That, I think, is the proper description of India’s attitude.”
Gopalasawami Ayyangar,
Ex-Prime Minister Jammu & Kashmir Princely State
February 6, 1948.

” It is therefore clear that the admission of representatives from any particular State into the Indian Constituent Assembly did not necessarily imply accession. As I have said, Kashmir had this right to representation ever since April 1947; it acceded tentatively, in October 1947 so that the accession came after the grant of the right and not the other way round”.
Sir Benegal Rau,
India’s Ambassador to the United States
February 7, 1950.
“The Constituent Assembly* cannot be physically prevented from expressing an opinion on this question if it so chooses. But this opinion will not bind my Government or prejudice the position of this Council.”
Sir Benegal Rau,
India’s Ambassador to the United States
March 29, 1951.

“We do not seek to go behind the UNCIP resolutions or to ignore the vital elements of principle contained in them… We have always adhered to the UNCIP resolutions…. We cannot be a party to the reversal of previous decisions taken by the United Nations Commission with the agreement of the parties.”
Mrs. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit,
India’s Ambassador to the United States
December 8, 1952.

“Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this……India became a colonising power soon after its independence from the British”.
Suzanna Arundhati Roy, Indian civil society activist and winner of Booker’s Prize.
October, 2010

“I want that the situation be normalized, Army be withdrawn, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act be also withdrawn and then try to persuade the people of Kashmir to stay with India. And yet, if the people want, then there could be a plebiscite, and if the people of the Valley want separation, they be allowed to separate.”
Prashant Bhushan, Indian lawyer and civil society activist.
12 October, 2011