Jawaharlal Nehru is a significant player in Indian history of the 20th century. There can be no two opinions that Nehru was an intellectual giant, as is borne out by his books and writings. Nehru became Prime Minister of India in 1947 and continued until his demise in 1964. This period of his reign as Prime Minister showed that he was ill-suited to the game of power politics and his understanding of the role of nations was, to say the least limited. An example is the Kashmir problem which has now bedeviled the subcontinent. Nehru was a Kashmiri pandit, and he thought he was better suited to handle the Kashmir issue.
When British power ended on 15 Aug 47, the states were given the option to either join India or the newly created state of Pakistan. Kashmir, however, wasn’t under the jurisdiction of the Home minister, as Nehru wished to deal with it himself. The issues were compounded by the Maharaja of Kashmir Hari Singh, who decided he wanted to remain independent. Pakistan in the meantime encouraged tribal warriors from the North West to attack Kashmir. Still, Nehru didn’t wake up and waited for Mountbatten’s advice, for the instrument of membership duly signed by the Kashmir ruler. Every day a village or township would fall to the invaders, and soon the whole northern Kashmir was lost.
They would have pushed further and taken Srinagar as there was hardly an opposition, however their love for sex and Kashmir females and the opportunity to pillage and loot halted them. Still, Nehru diligently waited for the instrument of accession. How nice it’d have been if Nehru had followed the dictum that offense is the best form of defense and sent in the Indian military when the tribal’s had just started their advance into Kashmir.
Being innocent and having a lesser idea of the politics of power he just waited and waited. The Pakistan aided tribal’s reached Srinagar, and that is the time the Maharaja panicked and signed the instrument of accession. His inability to react to a fluid military situation and excessive dependence on the advice of Mountbatten resulted in vast tracts of the valley being occupied by the raiders and hopelessly lost forever. It had been only when Srinagar airport was almost occupied that the green signal was given to the Indian military to move in and a DC3 with Lt Col Rai and troops from the Sikh regiment landed in the valley. Nehru, however, was an intellectual and had no tolerance for any prolonged war.