Second, in all the IoAs signed by the leaders of Mysore, Manipur, Tehri Garhwal, and Udaipur, Lord Mountbatten signed his acceptance of the instruments and mentioned the date of adoption in green ink – just as he did when he accepted the J&K IoA.  In addition, the general faded appearance of this document – just like the other IoAs I have taken over – clearly indicates its vintage. Some scholars have questioned the official date of the Maharaja`s signing of the accession document. They claim that it was signed on October 27 and not on October 26. However, the fact that the Governor General accepted membership on October 27, the day Indian troops were flown to Kashmir, is generally accepted.   An Indian commentator, Prem Shankar Jha, argued that the accession did take place on September 25. It was signed by the Maharaja in October 1947, shortly before leaving Srinagar for Jammu.  Making technical details as minor as the base to challenge the authenticity of the IoA J&K may not do much to advance the debate, as the crash can be seen in at least one other IoA, of which I was able to obtain a copy from the National Archives. For example, in the Mysore IoA, the adoption date was first mentioned as the „ninth” day of August in black ink. Lord Mountbatten seems to have entered the correct date, namely the „sixteenth”, attaching his signature. The correction is done in green ink – the same color he used to sign his acceptance of every IoA I looked at. In the case of the status quo agreement with Mysore, the Dewan signed the signature portion of the Secretary of the Dominion Department of Foreign Affairs. Therefore, the designation of V.
P. Menon had to be entered manually at the end of this document. It will not be an exaggeration to describe IoAs and status quo agreements as the common threads that link the various administrative jurisdictions to a Union. Instead of storing them and giving researchers access only on request, the National Archives should work with the government to display them in a museum that people can visit at will. Citizens have the right to know more about these building blocks that have become India. While the IoA and status quo agreements in the case of Mysore, Manipur, Tehri Garhwal and Udaipur indicate that they were written on behalf of the rulers of these states and the Dominion of India, in the case of J&K, both documents are written in the name of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.  Is this strange title to be understood to mean that the residents of J&K had agreed to join when they had not even been consulted on the matter? Such sophistication does not help an informed debate on the subject. Given the difficult circumstances of 1947 and the large number of documents that had to be signed from all over the country, such discrepancies are very likely, especially in a newly created department that was staffed and had set itself an almost impossible deadline to ensure India`s integration. When the MHA did not respond to my request for copies of the IoAs, I submitted an ITR request to the Lok Sabha Secretariat to have access to the same documents and CA-L debates. I stressed that the IoA should be submitted to the CAL and that the Lok Sabha, as the successor body to the CA-L, should have kept copies of these documents.
The CPIO of the Lok Sabha has not yet responded to my request for an ITR. I then obtained access to the Library of Parliament and located the CA-L debates for the period 1947-1948.  While indian government law had established the accession procedure for princely states (for the undivided Dominion Of India, as envisaged at the time), the provisional constitutional order made, among other things, a significant change to its provisions. Section 6 of the Indian States Accession to the Dominion by the Government of India Act has been amended to include several amendments. Paragraph 6 of the new section 6 required that copies of the instrument of accession be placed on the table of the Dominion Legislative Assembly shortly after its adoption by the Governor General. Eventually, the Dominion legislature became known as the Constituent Assembly Legislature (CA-L) when it held legislative functions outside of its primary mandate, namely the drafting of a constitution for India. Third, the attached status quo agreements are an additional element that confirms the authenticity of the Jammu and Kashmir IoA. The author has deciphered the pages of history very well in the context of the accession documents. All the merit of this well-informed article.
Each of the 140 princely states that have signed IoAs with the Dominion of India have agreed to the same terms as J&K. All these leaders first joined the Dominion, which was limited to the same three subjects. The remaining powers were retained by them, just as the Maharaja of J&K had tried. However, some of them eventually signed merger deeds to form larger administrative units such as Matsya Union, Vindhya Pradesh, PEPSU, Travancore and Cochin, etc., and eventually accepted the administrative system established in the new constitution. The Yuvaraj of J&K, which exercised all the powers conferred on it by the Maharaja, issued a proclamation on 25 November 1949, in which it declared that the constitution of India, which was soon to be adopted, would govern the relations between J&K and the Union only to the extent that its provisions applied to J&K. Article 306a – which later became Article 370 – set out the terms of this relationship. It is interesting to note that the provisions of article 370 should be temporary and temporary. Menon`s volume contains a detailed account of these developments. Subsequently, Noorani and others studied in detail how the protection afforded by Article 370 was compromised from the outset.
I do not intend to go into these details in this short article. The most important point of the instrument of accession was that its leader and official leader Singh decided and declared that the state of Jammu and Kashmir would join the „Dominion of India”, with the clear result that henceforth „the Governor-General of India, the Dominion Legislature, the Federal Court and any other federal authority established for the purposes of the Dominion” will be legally empowered, any function relating to the State of Jammu and Kashmir conferred upon it by or under the Government of India Act 1935. Foreign affairs, the implementation of treaties and agreements with other countries, including the surrender of criminals and accused to parts of Her Majesty`s Dominion outside India. Hanwant Singh, the ruler of Jodhpur, as well as the ruler of Jaisalmer, did not see much future in India and opposed the Congress and began negotiations with Jinnah. He proposed to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer to join Pakistan on any condition of their choice by giving their leaders blank sheets of paper. Jaisalmer refused to sign, arguing that it would be difficult for him to side with Muslims against Hindus in case of communal problems. The atmosphere in Jodhpur was also very hostile to membership in Pakistan and would likely lead to communal violence in the state. Mountbatten also pointed out that this would violate the two-nation theory.
Convinced by these arguments, Hanwant Singh reluctantly agreed to join India. U.S. Representative Warren Austin supported this view in the Security Council, where he said that with Jammu and Kashmir`s accession to India, that foreign sovereignty had passed to India. Dominion naval, military and air forces and all other forces established or maintained by the Dominion means all forces, including those established or maintained by an acceding State, which are affiliated with one of the dominion armed forces or which operate with any of the dominion armed forces […].