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Advocacy for Freedom: Quit Kashmir Movement


Dr. Sabzaar Kak
Abstract

The Quit Kashmir Movement of 1946 was the ever-biggest mass movement spear headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, leader of The National Conference and was characterized by spontaneous and sporadic revolts. Sheikh Abdullah appealed to people to contribute one rupee each towards a collection of 75 lakhs so they could buy back Kashmir's independent. Thus, the slogan “Quit Kashmir” was coined. However, in contrast to British India, where the British were asked to quit in 1942, here the target was the Maharaja. The movement was directed against the idea of feudal right, against a corrupt administration and the ruling Dogra caste. It was in no sense a Muslim struggle against Hindu Maharaja. But the happenings and speeches delivered during the movement left no doubt that it was directed against the Hindu ruler. It was the next major milestone after the the creation of All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference. It took a violent turn in many urban places across the state of Kashmir. The success and failures of the Movement are debated. But, the great significance of this historic movement was that it placed the demand for independence on the immediate agenda of the Kashmir’s freedom movement. Nevertheless, a very tangible evidence of public mobilization into this movement in some districts is accessible. But over the long period of time as of today, the public history sources on the Quit Kashmir movement in India are rare. Newspaper reports are also scanty. The archival documents contain only few police reports on public agitations versus police actions. In this backdrop, this paper attempts to shed light on the media discourse and mass mobilization of the Quit Kashmir Movement in Jammu and Kashmir state. I have critically examined various sources like newspapers, government reports and files, interviews of the leaders and gone through various books of distinguished authors.

Volume 12 | 03-Special Issue

Pages: 544-547

DOI: 10.5373/JARDCS/V12SP3/20201291