Recently Arundhati Rai, the woman who wrote 'God of small things' and won the Booker prize made a comment at a symposium that that Kashmir was never part of India. She also added that the people of jammu and Kashmir do not want to be part of India.The veteran writer Kushwant Singh in his column commented that perhaps the lady was not aware, as to what she was referring as Kashmir has 3 distinct parts and it is only in one part that an insurrection sponsored by Pakistan is on. The other two parts of Kashmir namely Ladakh and Jammuare both non Moslem and do not want to secede from the Union of India.
But all said and done it is worth examining whether Jammu and Kashmir was ever part of India or not. History records that Jahangir the Mughul emperor visited Srinagar and was enthralled by its scenic beauty. So obviously Jahangir was not a tourist, but the ruler of India visiting a part of his empire. Kashmir thus continued to be part of the Indian empire.
During the rein of the Sikh Maharajah Ranjit Singh a military expedition under General Zorawar Singh was launched and the state of Kashmir incorporated as part of the Sikh empire. Thus the connection of the state of Jammu and Kashmir has always been with India and it has been part of the Indian empire.
In 1947 when the British left India, Lord Mountbatten recognized Kashmir as a part of the
Thus when Arundhati talks of independence for Kashmir she is perhaps not aware of the facts or is it that she is practicing selective amnesia. Again out of the 3 regions of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, two important regions want nothing to do with independence and are happy to be part of the Indian union. There was talk of charging Ms Rai with sedition, but I think that shows a negative mind set. It is best to counter her views with cogent arguments. The fact remains that Arundhati has not written anything of note for the last couple of years after her book which won the prize, so obviously she wants to remain in the lime light. Though she wrote one book lately, yet it is unnoticed. Thus what better method than to stir up a controversy and hog the lime light!!!