“The enemies are only 50 yards from us. We are heavily outnumbered. We are under devastating fire. I shall not withdraw an inch but will to our last man and our round”.
– Major Somnath Sharma
A National Symposium & Exhibition on “MEMORIES OF 22 OCTOBER 1947” is being organised by the National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation & Museology(NMI), at SKICC, Srinagar, Kashmir. The National Symposium, a two-day event, is being held on 22 & 23 Oct 2020. The Exhibition will commence on 22 Oct 2020. Lt. Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Manoj Sinha will be the Chief Guest of the programme. Union Minister of Culture and Tourism (I/C) Prahlad Singh Patel will grace the occasion via web presence. The Chief Secretary, Jammu & Kashmir, B. V. R. Subrahmanyan and the Secretary, Ministry of Culture, CEO, DMCS and VC, NMI Raghvendra Singh will also be present on the occasion.
22 October 1947 has marked Indian history with evidences of betrayal and a legacy of valour. On 15th August 1947, India attained Independence after being subjugated to the colonial regime for almost two hundred years. At its birth as a young independent nation in 1947, one of the most protuberant difficulties India was forced to face was the choice given to the erstwhile Maharajas of India to be an independent country, or to a part of India or to be a part of Pakistan. To quote Raghvendra Singh, Secretary Ministry of Culture, ‘For Mohammed Ali Jinnah and his newly created Pakistan, it would completely negate his two nation theory if the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir decided to opt for India.’ On 22 October, 1947 Pakistan invaded Kashmir. The invasion, ‘Operation Gulmarg’ was result of months of planning and involvement of the topmost leaders of Pakistan including Pakistan’s then Prime Minister, Chief Minister of the North West Frontier, Members of Muslim League and Pakistan Army.
The Tribal Militia invasion of Kashmir backed by Pakistan army on 22 Oct 1947 unleashed a brutal series of plunder, rape, arson, looting and killing. The invasion marks the beginning of First Indo-Pak war and set in motion a chain of events that are still affecting the country. On 26 Oct 1947 the State of Jammu and Kashmir formally acceded to India and on 27 Oct 1947 Indian troops were airlifted to Kashmir. From 22 Oct 1947 onwards till the intervention of the Indian Defense Forces all days in Kashmir were blackened with the horrifying stories of mass plunder and vandalism where many lives were lost to the insatiable ambition of the invading Tribal Militia. During this need of hour many willing individuals rose up to the occasion and faced adversity with commendable will and bravery.
The evidences of the treacherous attack by Pakistan, stories of resistance and bravery of Kashmiris, narrative of Indian Army victory over the invaders need to be told to people. The two-day National Symposium on 22 & 23 Oct 2020 and the Exhibition commencing on 22 Oct 2020 is an attempt to deliberate upon the records and history of this deceitful attack and subsequent victory of India.
The National symposium is being attended by very prominent scholars and experts on the subject. The speakers are – Prof. RaghuvendraTanwar, Lt. General Syed Ata Hasnain(Retd), DrMukulitaVijaywagiya, Maroof Raza, Ajay Jugran, Lt. General Gurmeet Singh(Retd), Prof. Kapil Kumar, Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Iqbal Chand Malhotra, Ashutosh, Major General S. V. Thapliyal(Retd), AVM Arjun Subramaniam(Retd), Dr Ramesh Tamiri, Lt. General DeveshAgnihotri(Retd), Dr. DeepankarSengupta, SushantSareen, Lt. General PJS Pannu. Presentations being made at the Symposium represent a variety of pertinent topics, some of which are – ‘The Invasion of Jammu and Kashmir-October 1947: First Reports and People’s Response”, “Local Kashmiri Resistance to tribal Invasion of Kashmir in 1947”, “Battles for the Destiny of J&K”, “Contest of Narratives and Attempts in Cognitive Domains: An Analysis”, “Martyr MaqboolSherwani: Memory, Myth, Imagination”, “Motives, War & Brutalities: Pakistani Army-Kabailees Aggression in Kashmir”, “The British Role in Invasion and consequent de facto partition of Maharaja Hari Singh’s erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir in 1947 and the impact of those actions till 2020”.
The Exhibition on the ‘Memories of 22 Oct 1947’ comprise of graphic panels and videos showcasing a chronology of events as well as prominent narratives of the invasion on 22 Oct 1947 and subsequent unfolding of actions. The exhibition panels depict – The Treaty of Lahore, The Treaty of Amritsar, The Popular Will of 1947, Economic Blockade of Kashmir, 1947- Towards Accession, The Invaders Backed by Pakistan, Pakistani Militia Leaders, Plunder in Muzaffarabad, Baramulla, The Church Attack, MaqboolSherwani, the Hero of Baramulla, Instrument of Accession, Key Dates, The Gilgit Game, People’s Militia.
The National Symposium and Exhibition on the ‘Memories of 22 Oct 1947’ will outline shapes and contours of a future museum on the historical theme.