Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India was the will of the people of the state, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma on Thursday said.
Sharma was inaugurating an exhibition at the National Archive Museum here commemorating 70 years of the state’s accession to India.
The exhibition has on display war diaries with operational details of the Indo-Pak war of 1947-48, original letters, telegrams, documents, and citations.
All these have been publicly shared by the Ministry of Defence for the first time.
“The purpose of curating this (exhibition) is to show the young generation how Kashmir became a part of India. It (The accession) was the will of the people of Kashmir,” Sharma said.
“Maharaja Hari Singh, when he signed this instrument (of accession), only after that, I repeat, only after that, the Indian forces went to that area. This needs to be showcased,” he said.
Sharma said the people of Kashmir have been “sometimes questioned” but they have accepted the Gandhian thought and philosophy and want to be in India.
“..and that has been rightly showcased by this exhibition through the pictures,” said Sharma.
He urged the youth to visit the exhibition to know more about the accession of then ‘riyasats’ (princely states) to the Indian Union.
“This is what our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is of ‘ek bharat, shreshta bharat’ (United India, superior India),” he said.
Asked about the presence of divisive elements in the state, Sharma said the prime minister and the people of Kashmir had been giving them befitting replies over the years.
“And more such replies will follow,” said Sharma.