Article 370: Why Nehru had Mridula Sarabhai detained

Extract from the Book *My Years with Nehru – Kashmir* written by B N Mullik, the Director of IB. Mullik repeats a few times how Mridula Sarabhai worked against Indian Interests and at a point of time even J. Nehru could not protect her from Law. From Pages 92-93 of the book:


Sheikh Abdullah’s greatest supporter in Delhi, as mentioned earlier, was Mridula Sarabhai. Single-handed she carried on an unrelenting propaganda against the Bakshi Government and the Government of India (without mentioning Pandit Nehru), the IB and the Security Forces in Kashmir, calling them the conspirators responsible for the Sheikh’s incarceration. One must give credit to her tenacity and single-mindedness for the way she pursued her efforts and, in the end, did actually succeed in converting a large number of MP’s and other eminent personalities to the view that the prosecution against the Sheikh should be withdrawn. She knew human psychology and was well-versed in methods of propaganda and she knew that if one repeated an allegation a hundred times, people might start believing that there was some truth in it. Pandit Nehru, of course, was always kind and tolerant to her, though on many occasions he told me that she was completely misguided. But he felt that in free democratic India even such persons should be given the freedom to canvass their views. When the Sheikh was released temporarily in January, 1958, Mridula immediately joined him in Srinagar and helped him in his propaganda work. Nobody could accuse Mridula Sarabhai of any anti-Indian feelings, but, unfortunately, she never realised that she was being exploited by extremely anti-Indian and pro-Pakistani people who used her house, her car, her telephone, her money, and almost everything she possessed in order to carry on n conspiracy against India with the help of Pakistan. Even Pir Maqbool Gilani’s escape to Pakistan was probably within her knowledge. She, however, met one redoubtable opponent in Pandit Pant and all her pleadings and propaganda left him cold. Ultimately, the Home Minister had to take cognizance of her activities, which were becoming more and more pronouncedly anti-Indian, and order her detention under the Preventive Detention Act. Though Pandit Nehru himself was most reluctant, he agreed to this step because there was no other alternative and all his personal efforts to correct her had failed.


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