Saturday, 20 June 2020

129 - The Disputed States I : Jammu & Kashmir (Demographics 1941)

At the time of independence in 1947, British India had almost 565 Princely States, constituting 23% of the total population and covering nearly 40% of its Area. These states varied greatly in size and population. The biggest in population was Hyderabad with a population of over16 million, while Jammu & Kashmir was the largest in area at 218,685 km2, slightly bigger than Hyderabad but with far less population of 4 million. The smallest 200 states had an area of less than 25 km2 each. 

These states were autonomous in many respects but not fully sovereign states and were part of British India under a subsidiary alliance. According to the Indian Independence Act the princely rulers were given the choice to either accede to India or Pakistan, but were expected to take into consideration the geography of the state and ascertain the wishes of its people. All of them joined India or Pakistan with more or less without much trouble, except three states which were Jammu and Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagadh. 

The subject of this post is Jammu and Kashmir, the state that caused most of the trouble and laid the foundations of a conflict that is still raging among three countries with full force. It all started due to some ambiguities in the principle of the accession of states and also on the unclear policies of India and Pakistan related to princely states. I am sure had they decided the future of states in clear terms, this conflict could have been avoided. Both Muslims League and All India Congress should have agreed to a clear and well-defined formula about the accession of states to either of the two countries. Perhaps this ambiguity was deliberate on both sides and both sides were trying to draw maximum advantage out of the situation. 

The Maharaja of J&K, Hari Singh failed to make up his mind and take a clear about the future of his state. This delay created a lot of tensions within and without the state. Rising communal tensions in Punjab were effecting the environment inside the state as well. The Muslims in the western districts were agitating against the government and Poonch was in open rebellion by August, 1947. The major disturbance broke out in the Jammu area when RSS and Akalis organized a mass attack on the Muslims and a very large number of people were killed, variously estimated between 20,000 to 100,000. Now the die was cast and soon on 24 October, people declared independence in Poonch district and formed Azad Kashmir Government. On 24 October, rebels in Poonch formed Azad Kashmir Government. Meanwhile, Pakistan, a country in transition and with armed forces in process of re-organization and short of all kinds of arms, ammunition and equipment, used tribal lashkars to tilt the situation to its own advantage. The lashkars started pouring into J&K on 22 Ocotober and quickly captured large areas and by 26 October reached Barmulla just 30 kms from Sringar, key to the Kashmir valley. At this point, Hari Singh finally decided to join India and the next day India started airlifting its troops to Srinagar airfield and other spots in the states. A large part of the state was liberated but fighting continued throughout 1948 and India regained large areas, including important towns like Rajouri, Noushera and Kargil etc. Rest as they say is history.

The purpose of this post is to familiarize my readers to the distribution of religious communities prevailing in 1947. That will help them in understanding the situation in 1947 and the subsequent history. As you will see in the map given below there were show you the location of Muslim princely states. It is interesting to note that just two of these three dozen Muslim states, Kashmir and Kapurthala were having a majority Muslim population but ruled by a Hindu and a Sikh ruler respectively. 

The Princely States of India in 1947.

Jammu and Kashmir was a big state and divided into three main administrative regions, all having overwhelming or clear Muslim majority, as the tables and maps would explain. 

State Of Jammu & Kashmir

 

Area

Population

Muslims

%

Hindus

%

Sikhs

%

Total

218,685

4,021,616

3,101,247

77.11

809,165

20.12

63,137

1.57


Jammu & Kashmir: Muslim Population (Provinces)


Jammu & Kashmir: Hindu Population (Provinces)

The tables and maps given below provide the details of the population in the districts of Jammu and Kashmir provinces. 


Jammu Province – Districts

No

District

Area K2

Population

Muslims

%

Hindus

%

Sikhs

%

1

Jammu

2,969

431,362

170,789

39.59

248,173

57.53

9,151

2.12

2

Kathua

2,648

177,672

45,214

25.45

131,823

74.19

431

0.24

3

Udhampur

13,125

294,217

128,327

43.62

164,820

56.02

445

0.15

4

Reasi

4,631

257,903

175,539

68.06

80,725

31.30

1,541

0.60

5

Mirpur

4,212

386,655

310,880

80.40

63,576

16.44

12,111

3.13

6

Chenani Jagir

246

11,796

2,205

18.69

9,581

81.22

10

0.08

7

Poonch Jagir

4,212

421,828

382,722

90.73

24,137

5.72

12,111

2.87

Total

32,044

1,981,433

1,215,676

61.35

722,835

36.48

35,800

1.81



Kashmir Province – Districts

No

District

Area K2

Population

Muslims

%

Hindus

%

Sikhs

%

1

Baramulla

8,587

612,428

590,936

96.49

12,919

2.11

8,458

1.38

2

Anantnag

7,585

851,606

778,684

91.44

66,815

7.85

5,654

0.66

3

Muzaffarabad

6,234

264,671

245,858

92.89

5,846

2.21

12,922

4.88

Total

22,106

1,728,705

1,615,478

93.45

85,580

4.95

27,034

1.56


Frontier Districts

No

District

Area K2

Population

Muslims

%

Hindus

%

Budh.

%

1

Ladakh

118,472

195,431

154,492

79.05

455

0.23

182

0.09

2

Astore

4,225

17,026

16,878

99.13

113

0.66

30

0.18

3

Gilgit (Leased )

3,832

22,495

22,296

99.12

108

0.48

70

0.31

4

Gilgit Agency

38,005

76,526

76,427

99.87

74

0.10

21

0.03

Total

164,534

311,478

270,093

86.71

750

0.24

303

0.10


Jammu & Kashmir: Muslim Population (Districts)

Jammu & Kashmir: Hindu Population (Districts)

Jammu & Kashmir: Simple Majorities (Districts)

To provide more detailed picture tables and maps are given below to show the population distribution in tehsils. Due to the unavailability of the map of Kashmir showing the boundaries of tehsils, I could make a map of  Jammu Province only. This map is based on the Census Atlas of 1971. The Kashmir region has gone under more drastic changes, so I could not make a tehsil map of Kashmir Province. Anyway, Jammu with a more diverse population is more important to our study. Kashmir in all districts and tehsils is overwhelmingly Muslim. 

Jammu Province

No

District

Area

Population

Muslims

%

Hindus

%

Sikhs

%

1

Jammu

2,969

431,362

170,789

39.59

248,173

57.53

9,151

2.12

Jammu

896

155,541

56,344

36.22

94,094

60.49

2,974

1.91

Samba

847

90,464

35,883

39.67

52,479

58.01

1,966

2.17

Ranbirsinghpura

406

96,958

45,949

47.39

46,725

48.19

3,478

3.59

Akhnur

821

88,821

32,613

36.72

55,325

62.29

733

0.83

2

Kathua

2,648

177,672

45,214

25.45

131,823

74.19

431

0.24

Kathua

580

47,378

17,038

35.96

30,131

63.60

70

0.15

Jasmergarh

479

58,376

16,122

27.62

41,887

71.75

347

0.59

Basohli

1,615

70,624

12,054

17.07

58,511

82.85

14

0.02

3

Udhampur

13,126

294,217

128,327

43.62

164,820

56.02

445

0.15

Udhampur

992

53,028

11,178

21.08

41,549

78.35

166

0.31

Kishtwar

7,821

60,484

35,320

58.40

24,931

41.22

123

0.20

Ramban

1,522

75,802

53,670

70.80

22,018

29.05

47

0.06

Ramnagar

1,359

60,074

7,750

12.90

52,260

86.99

32

0.05

Bhadarwah

1,432

133,189

108,907

81.77

24,032

18.04

77

0.06

4

Reasi

4,632

257,903

175,539

68.06

80,725

31.30

1,541

0.60

Reasi

2,545

117,059

64,144

54.80

52,501

44.85

316

0.27

Rajouri

2,087

140,844

111,395

79.09

28,224

20.04

1,225

0.87

5

Mirpur

4,212

386,655

310,880

80.40

63,576

16.44

12,111

3.13

Kotli

1,486

111,047

101,239

91.17

8,391

7.56

1,417

1.28

Mirpur

919

113,203

104,361

92.19

6,529

5.77

2,225

1.97

Bhimbar

1,807

162,415

105,280

64.82

48,666

29.96

8,469

5.21

6

Chenani Jagir

246

11,796

2,205

18.69

9,581

81.22

10

0.08

7

Poonch Jagir

4,212

421,828

382,722

90.73

24,137

5.72

14,877

3.53

Bagh

831

101,091

91,892

90.90

1,148

1.14

8,051

7.96

Sadhnuti

901

108,226

90,125

83.27

13,800

12.75

4,301

3.97

Haveli

1,240

110,733

103,198

93.20

5,198

4.69

2,334

2.11

Mendhar

1,240

101,689

97,507

95.89

3,991

3.92

191

0.19

Total

32,045

1,981,433

1,215,676

61.35

722,835

36.48

35,800

1.81


Kashmir Province

No

District

Area

Population

Muslims

%

Hindus

%

Sikhs

%

1

Baramulla

5,587

612,428

590,936

96.49

12919

2.11

8,458

1.38

Handwara

5,796

274,582

265,594

96.73

5,497

2.00

3,473

1.26

Baramulla

1,527

162,902

155,135

95.23

5,051

3.10

2,630

1.61

Badgam

1,263

174,581

169,847

97.29

2,371

1.36

2,355

1.35

2

Anantnag

7,285

851,606

778,684

91.44

66815

7.85

5,654

0.66

Khas Tehsil

1,923

333,828

285,185

85.43

46,432

13.91

1,819

0.54

Pulwama

1,162

156,528

149,752

95.67

4,287

2.74

2,487

1.59

Kulgam

1,522

157,374

150,637

95.72

6,450

4.10

283

0.18

Anantnag

3,677

203,821

193,110

94.74

9,646

4.73

1,065

0.52

3

Muzaffarabad

6,234

264,671

245,858

92.89

5846

2.21

12,922

4.88

Muzaffarabad

1,413

125,585

112,768

89.79

3,963

3.16

8,810

7.02

Uri

1,346

80,223

75,111

93.63

1,494

1.86

3,617

4.51

Karnah

3,474

34,463

33,579

97.43

389

1.13

495

1.44

Total

44,212

3,432,592

3,206,196

93.40

85,580

2.49

54,068

1.58


Jammu Province: Muslim Population (Tehsils)

Jammu Province: Hindu Population (Tehsils)

Jammu Province: Simple Majorities (Tehsils)

Kashmir: Current Political Divisions

It was very difficult for Congress and its followers and Hindu masses in large, to accept the decision of partition. However, they accepted the decision to divide mother India and lose almost one fourth of its land mass to Pakistan and did not resisted it beyond a certain point, obviously in the larger interest of the whole region. But as far as the issue of Kashmir is concerned they are using all means in the their power to keep this region and its hapless population under their control. That is indeed a little puzzling. As I mentioned earlier, both parties should have agreed to a clear formula regarding the accession of the princely states before the independence to avoid this tragic mess. I would have advocated the same formula which was applied in the neighbouring Punjab. That would have given the two Hindu majority districts of Jammu and Kathua to India and two tehsils of Udhampur district (Udhampur and Ramnagar to India) and the Chenani Jair as well. Even some areas in the south east of Ladakh, adjoining Himachal Pradesh could have been given to India. That should have satisfied both the parties and have saved 1.5 billion people from a very dangerous and extremely damaging conflict. But that was not to be and now we can look at the future without much optimism. 

For the demographics of Indian controlled Jammu & Kashmir, kindly visit the following link:

http://pakgeotagging.blogspot.com/2015/03/demographics-of-jammu-kashmir.html

You are most welcome to add any more information or point out any mistake in data or maps. 

Tariq Amir

Doha - Qatar

June 20, 2020.