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With #Article370 being abolished, a quick thread on the man who started it all - Syama Prasad Mukherjee - and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's dubious involvement in his "death".
Syama Prasad Mukherjee (stylized Mookerjee in many places) was one of the first leaders of the precursors to the RSS and BJP — Hindu Mahasabha and Jan Sangh. Although he was part of the first Nehru cabinet , the two did not really see eye-to-eye on many matters.
Foremost of them being the application of Section 370 on Kashmir. In the initial years of Independence, Kashmir, apart from having their own separate flag and constitution, also had a separate Prime Minister, the “Sadr-e-riyasat”.
Mukherjee strongly opposed this citing that there cannot be true integration of Kashmir as long as it is governed by Article 370.
His slogan, “Ek desh mein do vidhan, do pradhan, aur do nishan nahi chalenge” (“We won't allow two constitutions, two heads of state, and two emblems in one country”), became the hallmark of the movement that stirred throughout India from 1948 to his death in captivity in 1953.
On 26 June, 1952, he gave a rousing speech in the parliament calling for total abrogation of the special status and for proper integration of J&K with the mainland, selected excerpts from the same being:
He then spearheaded nation-wide protests to demand total abrogation of Section 370, holding rallies, and traveling all over the country.

In the first quarter of 1953, he had a lengthy tripartite correspondence with Nehru and Abdullah.
He planned on travelling to J&K to take this to the root, but was captured once he crossed the border in May, put in a bungalow doubling as a prison, and died there in June. His death has been the subject of speculation for long.
Agitation all over the country and demands into an independent enquiry on his death, citing malicious intent on the part of Nehru and Abdullah, were ignored by the government. He already had health issues but was likely not given the due medical care.
However, Nehru declined any such malicious intent and provided what reads like a defensive statement desperately trying to compensate for something, guilt maybe.
In a letter dated 29 Jun, 1953 to Abdullah, he mentioned that the only lapse by the J&K govt was in informing the public about the poor health of Dr. Mukherjee in a timely manner, emphasizing that he should publish a statement that the latter was being kept in great conditions.
He reiterated the same in further correspondence with BC Roy.
However, the letters mentioned by Nehru, purportedly written by Dr. Mukherjee to his family and friends are nowhere to be found. In 2004, late Atal Bihari Vajpayee asserted that Nehru and Abdullah was in cahoots to allow Mukherjee safe passage to (but not back from) J&K.
During the captivity of Mukherjee, Nehru had visited Kashmir and met with Abdullah, but did not deem it necessary to check on Mukherjee.
And his statement that “even Shaikh Abdullah didn’t know about the death until 7 a.m next morning” seems fishy. That would imply that for 4 hours, nobody checked on Dr. Mukherjee. And if Abdullah came to know of it at 7 AM, why was the news broadcast on AIR 5 hours later?
In a reply to Mukherjee’s mother, dated 5 Jul, 1953, Nehru made it clear that he had decided there was no negligence.
He claims that the Abdullah govt had nothing to hide.

But then he rejected all offers to set up a independent commission on the pretext of it being “unusual” claiming that “facts are not very intricate or difficult to discover”.
Mukherjee's close aide, Balraj Madhok, recounts in his book Portrait of a Martyr, that Mukherjee was not allowed most amenities that are due to political prisoners. While he was allowed to stroll around the bungalow, visits from friends or reporters were not.
His correspondence was also intercepted and censored, so any information therein will be sullied.
All of this raises the same set of questions:

1. Why was he not arrested before getting into Kashmir if he did not have the required permit?
2. Why did Nehru not meet with him or try to get him freed since Abdullah listened to him (at least did till then)?
3. Why was his communication with the external world being censored? Prior to his capture, he was speaking freely to the entire nation.

All of this points to a deeper conspiracy that we might never know the truth of unless some hitherto unknown information comes to light.
Over the last 3 days, I have read a good chunk of Nehru's correspondence with various leaders during 1948-1953, especially pertaining to the Kashmir issue.

I am in awe of the person - he was astute, amazingly fecund, and strong-willed.
But his problem was the same as is with ultra-smart people.

He was sure that his was the only right way.

I do not buy into the staunch RW claims that he was a traitor. He literally did everything keeping the interests of the nation in mind, including 370
But he was so sure of his own decisions that he never paused to think if there was another way. That perhaps, someone else had a better solution. And therein lay the seeds of a 7 decade long conflict and oppression in J&K, leading us to the present day.
All of his letters (Vol 1 to 80+) can be found on Archive.org.

E.g. Vol 18 is here archive.org/details/HindSw…
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