Timeline of the Kashmir conflict (1846–1946)

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The following is a timeline of the Kashmir conflict during the period 1846–1946.

1846–1930: Early princely state[edit]

  • 1846: Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) State is created for the first time with the signing on 16 March of the Second Treaty of Amritsar between the British East India company and Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu. It is an addendum to the Treaty of Lahore signed one week earlier on 9 March 1846 which gives the terms of surrender of the Sikh Darbar at Lahore to the British. The Sikhs cannot pay part of the demand made by the British; Gulab Singh steps in on their behalf to pay 7,500,000 Nanak Shahi Rupess,ruling currency of the time, and in return receives Kashmir Valley, part of the Sikh territories, to add to Jammu and Ladakh already under his rule. Gulab Singh accepts overall British sovereignty. Kashmir Valley is a Muslim majority[1][2] region speaking the Kashmiri language and a distinct culture called Kashmiriyat.
  • 1857: The War of independence, The Subcontinent fractured into hundreds of states.

1931–1940: Political mobilisation[edit]

  • 1931: The movement against the repressive Maharaja Hari Singh begins. It is brutally suppressed by the State forces. Hari Singh is part of a Hindu Dogra dynasty, ruling over a majority Muslim State. The predominantly Muslim population was kept poor, illiterate and was not adequately represented in the State's services.[3] The Glancy Commission appointed by the Maharaja publishes a report in April 1932, confirming the existence of the grievances of the State's subjects and suggests recommendations providing for adequate representation of Muslims in the State's services; Maharaja accepts these recommendations but delays implementation, leading to another agitation in 1934. Maharaja grants a Constitution providing a Legislative Assembly for the people, but the Assembly turns out to be powerless. The 1931 protest led to the Quit Kashmir movement against the Maharajah in 1946 by the Kashmir leader Sheikh Abdullah, and eventually to the Azad Kashmir movement which gained momentum a year later.
  • April 1932: Glancy Commission recommends the establishment of a legislative assembly, called the Praja Sabha. It would have 75 members, with 15 official representatives, 33 elected representatives and the remaining seats held by the Maharaja's nominees. Of the 33 elected seats, 21 are reserved for Muslims, 10 for Hindus and 2 for Sikhs.[4][5]
  • June 1932: All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference founded by Sheikh Abdullah in collaboration with Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas to fight for the rights of State's Muslims.[6][4]
  • September 1934: The first elections for the Praja Sabha (the state's legislative assembly) are held. The Muslim Conference wins 14 of the 21 seats reserved for Muslims.[7] Soon afterwards, the younger leaders of the Muslim Conference plead for broadening the party to include all the people of the state.[8]
  • May 1937: Sheikh Abdullah elected president of the Muslim Conference. He demands responsible government.[9]
  • July 1937: By-elections held for the Legislative Assembly. Muslim Conference emerges victorious.[9]
  • August 1937: High Court reduces the prison sentence of three Muslims convicted of cow slaughter to one year. Protests by Hindu in Reasi, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Jammu and Bhimber.[10]
  • September 1937: Srinagar session of the Legislative Assembly. The Muslim Conference members boycott the proceedings citing their demands.[9]
  • January 1938: Sheikh Abdullah's first meeting with Jawaharlal Nehru in a Lahore railway station. Abdullah's efforts to secularise the Muslim Conference supported by Nehru.[11][12]
  • January 1938: Muslim Conference Working Committee meets in Jammu. Maulana Sayeed Masoodi moves a resolution to rename Muslim Conference but withdraws it in the face of opposition.[13]
  • March 1938: At the annual session of the Muslim Conference, Sheikh Abdullah proposes amendments to the Constitution, including renaming of the party. Masoodi and Raja Mohammad Akbar introduce a resolution. Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas and Abdul Majid Qureshi request time to study the proposal.[13]
  • May 1938: Second elections for the state's Legislative Assembly (Praja Sabha). Sheikh Abdullah campaigns on the platform of renaming the Muslim Conference. The party wins 19 seats, all the contested ones.[14][13] Two other independent candidates that won are said to have joined the Muslim Conference later.[15]
  • May 1938: Hindu Progressive Party launched, pledging support to Hindu–Muslim unity.[14][13]
  • June 1938: Sheikh Abdullah introduces the resolution for renaming the Muslim Conference to National Conference in the Working Committee of the party. The resolution carries with fourteen of the twenty members supporting. Four members oppose the resolution: Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas, Abdul Majid Qureshi and Chowdry Sheikh Abdullah Bhati from Jammu and Master Abdul Aziz from Muzaffarabad.[16][17]
  • 10–11 June 1939: Under Sheikh Abdullah's leadership, a special session of the Muslim Conference changes its name to National Conference and throws it open to people of all religions,[6] 175 delegates vote in favour and 3 delegates against.[18] At the same time, the National Conference joins the All India States Peoples Conference, a Congress-allied group of movements in princely states.[19]
  • 23 March 1940: The Lahore Resolution is proposed by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and seconded by Sikandar Hayat Khan and Fazlul Haq. Referring to British India, it states "That geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority, as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute Independent States in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign". There is no mention of "Pakistan", an acronym invented by Chaudhury Rehmat Ali in England, but the Lahore Resolution later becomes known as the Pakistan Resolution.

1941–1946: Emerging conflict[edit]

  • 1941: Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas breaks off from National Conference and revives the old Muslim Conference. The Muslim Conference becomes a client of the Jinnah-led Muslim League.[20]
  • 1941: 71,667 Kashmiris join the British Indian Army for the World War II, seven-eighths of them Muslim, mainly from the Poonch-Mirpur area.[11]
  • May 1946: Sheikh Abdullah launches the "Quit Kashmir" movement against the Maharaja. He is arrested. Jawaharlal Nehru attempts to go to Kashmir to defend Abdullah. He is arrested and forced to leave the State.[11]
  • October 1946: Muslim Conference launches a `Campaign of Action' demanding the end of autocratic rule by the Maharaja. Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas imprisoned.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Figures II". jammu-kashmir.com. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  2. ^ "2001 census". kashmirstudygroup.net. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  3. ^ Prem Nath Bazaz, Struggle for Freedom in Kashmir , New Delhi 1954, pp.140–166
  4. ^ a b Schofield, Kashmir in Conflict 2003, p. 18.
  5. ^ Mridu Rai, Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects 2004, Ch. 5, Sec. v (Constructing Kashmiriyat).
  6. ^ a b Guha, Opening a Window in Kashmir 2004, p. 80.
  7. ^ Copland, Ian (1981), "Islam and Political Mobilization in Kashmir, 1931–34", Pacific Affairs, 54 (2): 228–259, JSTOR 2757363
  8. ^ Parashar, Kashmir and the Freedom Movement 2004, p. 103.
  9. ^ a b c Kapoor, Politics of Protests in Jammu and Kashmir 2014, p. 219.
  10. ^ Kapoor, Politics of Protests in Jammu and Kashmir 2014, p. 220.
  11. ^ a b c d Hiro, Longest August 2015, Chapter 6.
  12. ^ Kapoor, Politics of Protests in Jammu and Kashmir 2014, p. 221.
  13. ^ a b c d Kapoor, Politics of Protests in Jammu and Kashmir 2014, p. 222.
  14. ^ a b Parashar, Kashmir and the Freedom Movement 2004, p. 114.
  15. ^ Hussain, Sheikh Abdullah – A Biography 2016, p. 248.
  16. ^ Parashar, Kashmir and the Freedom Movement 2004, p. 115.
  17. ^ Kapoor, Politics of Protests in Jammu and Kashmir 2014, p. 223.
  18. ^ Khan, Freedom movement in Kashmir 1980, p. 376.
  19. ^ Parashar, Kashmir and the Freedom Movement 2004, pp. 142–143.
  20. ^ Snedden, Kashmir: The Unwritten History 2013, p. 327.
  21. ^ Korbel, Danger in Kashmir 1966, p. 203.
  22. ^ Korbel, Danger in Kashmir 1966, p. 23.