As stated earlier, stung by the redistribution of landholdings, it sought to make the terms of the Accession the issue, and defying the democratic-federal principles enshrined both in the Constitution of India and in their reflection in the trust reposed thereof by Abdullah, it announced a programme ostensibly aimed to strengthen national unity. At its first session, it called for:
An education system based on “Bhartya culture” (read Hinduism); the use of Hindi in schools (in full knowledge that, other than Kashmiri, Urdu was the language predominantly used by educated Kashmiri Muslims; indeed, from about the first decade of the twentieth century, the wholly artificial cleavage between Hindi and Urdu had begun to be deployed by communalists on either side to press their claims to “true” national allegiance; The denial of any special privileges to minorities; Full integration of Jammu & Kashmir into the Indian Union.
On the other side, in letters exchanged over a period of time between Abdullah and Nehru, the shape of an agreement between the State and the Union was taking shape.
That came to be called the Delhi Agreement (1952). It stated:
Commitment to Article 370
That the State Legislature would be empowered to confer special rights on “state subjects” (a right that had been won through the anti-Maharaja struggles of 1927 and 1932—a form of privilege restricted to permanent residents of the State in property ownership and jobs);
That Kashmir would have its own flag, although subordinate to the Union Tricolour;
That the Sadar-e-Riyasat (later on Governor of the State) would be elected by the State Assembly, but would take office with the concurrence of the President of India;
That the Supreme Court of India would, “for the time being,” have only appellate jurisdiction in Jammu & Kashmir;
That an internal Emergency could only be applied with the concurrence of the State Legislature.
Late in the same year, the riposte to this from the Hindu right-wing came in the form of the following slogan—one around which the Jana Sangh sought to mount its attack on the terms of Accession. And the slogan was:
Ek desh mein do Vidhan,
Ek desh mein do Nishaan,
Ek desh mein do Pradhan,
Nahi challenge, nahi challenge.
(We will not accept two Constitutions, two flags, and two prime ministers in one and the same country.)
This communalist right-wing putsch against the principles on which the State had accepted to accede to India began to find resonance also within section of the Congress Party. To Nehru’s great chagrin but helplessness, his candidate for the first President of India, Rajagopalachari, was rejected in favor of Rajendra Prasad (who was soon to lock horns with Nehru on the Hindu Code Bill, and to go to the Somnath Mandir, once ravaged by Ghazni, among many other chieftains of old, to effect renovations on State expense—a move wholly in conflict with the secular foundations of the Republic).
Other collateral tendencies began also to surface, such as bespoke scant regard on behalf of the Union of India for the federative principles. In his despondent letter to Maulana Azad, dated 16 July, 1953, Abdullah complained about the usurpations underway, in contravention of what terms had been agreed upon:
We the people of Kashmir, regard the promises and assurances of the representatives of the government of India, such as Lord Mountbatten and Sardar Patel, as surety for the assistance rendered by us in securing the signatures of Maharaja of Kashmir on the Instrument of Accession, which made it clear that the internal autonomy and sovereignty of the Acceding States shall be maintained except in regard to three subjects which will be under the Central government (namely, Defence, Communications, and External Affairs).
When the Constituent Assembly of India proceeded to frame the Union Constitution there arose before it the question of the State. Our Representatives took part in the last sessions of the Assembly and presented their point of view in the light of basic principles on which the National Conference had supported State’s Accession to India. Our view-point drew appreciation and Article 370 of the Constitution came into being determining our position under the new Constitution.
Abdullah pointed out that although it had been agreed that the “Accession involves no financial obligations on the States” such demands were being made; and “the changes effected on several occasions in relationship between India and Kashmir greatly agitated the public opinion.”
And on the other source of perceived menace: “A big party in India (the Jana Sangh) still forcefully demands merger of the State with India. In the State itself Praja Parishad is threatening to resort to direct action if the demand for the States’ complete merger with India is not conceded.”
Abdullah’s anguish at what seemed gathering storms on two fronts—the subversion by the Union of the terms of Accession, and a Hindu communalist putsch to undo Article 370, found poignant expression in a speech he had meant to deliver to an Eid gathering on august 21, 1953 (twelve days after his government was dismissed and Abdullah arrested and incarcerated). In that he wrote:
…there is the suggestion that the accession should be finalized by vote of the Constituent Assembly.” “It is the Muslims who have to decide accession with India and not the non-Muslims. . . .The question is: must I not carry the support of the majority community with me? If I must, then it becomes necessary that I should satisfy them to the same extent that a non-Muslim is satisfied that his future hopes and aspirations are safe in India. Unfortunately, apart from the disastrous effects which the pro- Merger agitation in Jammu produced in Kashmir (the valley) . . . the Muslim middle class in Kashmir has been greatly perturbed to see that while the present relationship of the State with India has opened new opportunities for their Hindu and Sikh brothers to ameliorate their lot, they have been assigned the position of a frog in the well. . . . What the Muslim intelligentsia in Kashmir is trying to look for is a definite and concrete stake in India. [emphasis added]
As stated, the dye had been cast, and his great friend Nehru had him arrested on the suspicion that he had been hobnobbing with the Americans for support to secede from the Union and declare Independence. Although there might have been grounds for such a suspicion, to this day no proof is forthcoming.