Remembering Nazir Ahmad Masoodi
He is the longest serving civil servant in the history of Kashmir with a service record of 44 years.
PROFILE BY DR.A.H.SHAH
It was the intervening night of 20th and 21st July 2011 that the State lost one of its most able administrators, a truly professional civil servant and above all one of the finest human beings that the state has produced in the recent past - Jenab Nazir Ahmad Masoodi, the former Principal Chief Conservator & Secretary Forests. At 93 he finally breathed his last. It was indeed the end of an era.
He was one of those rare persons who was an eye witness to the popular national uprising against the tyranny of despotic Dogra rule. He in fact actively participated in the movement - writing and spreading pro-movement literature, mobilising the student community against the Dogra rule and organising student meetings. Yet, like his illustrious elder brother Moulana Mohd Syeed Masoodi, he too remained one of those unsung heroes who preferred to stay away from the limelight.
5Th, and youngest son of the Sufi Saint Peer Ahmad Shah Masoodi, he was born in 1920 in the beautiful village of Lawaat, PaK which at that time was the hub of religious and spiritual education in the entire Neelum Valley of District Muzaffarabad. He discontinued his elementary education and migrated, along with his extended family, to Srinager on the advice of Muffakr –e- Kashmir Moulana M Syeed Masoodi. He was one of the first Muslim students to complete his BSc from SP College, Srinagar. He later underwent DDR training at the erstwhile Indian Forest College, Dehradun and was appointed in the Department of Forests. He was appointed as Commissioner of the State Anti-corruption commission, which was the last post he held before finally retiring from active service. He is the longest serving civil servant in the history of Kashmir with a service record of 44 years.
Mr Masoodi was far more than a just professional Forest officer. His contribution to the initial Policy formulation for the protection and preservation of the state Forests has been immense and unforgettable. The most significant contribution of Masoodi Sahib has been the bill which he got passed with the help of his friends in the state Legislative Assembly for the nationalisation of the Forests. This prevented the large scale exploitation of the forests by both local as well non state subject entrepreneurs.
According to a cautious estimate, around ten thousand people got permanent and casual jobs because of him, during his tenure in different capacities as the head of the Single Line administration in North Kashmir as well as head of State Forest Department. According to his own statement he was given the authority by late Sheikh Muhammed Abdullah, then CM, to recruit the poor and hapless people belonging to the remote areas of Poonch, Rajori, Tangdhar Machil and Keran as a part of the policy of the government for social emancipation and rural empowerment.
Jenab Nazir Masoodi is a household name in the entire north Kashmir because of his philanthropic social work. After Shiekh Sahib took over as the head of civil administration in 1947, Masoodi Sahib was given the additional assignment of the Area Administrator of Karnah - a vast, sensitive and strategically important area. As administrator he had jurisdiction over half of north Kashmir which in those times included Kupawara, Lolab valley, and Langate area of erstwhile Tehsil Uttar Machipura (Handwara). His contribution in establishing the institutions of single line civil administration in the frontier areas has been remarkable.
As in the field of administration, so did he contribute in the realms of social mobilisation and cultural and educational awakening of the rural masses. Having keenly studied culture, literature and history, Masoodi Sahib always thought of bringing about social uplift, cultural awareness and educational development of the ethnic Pahari community, to which he belonged. He conceived and founded the Jammu & Kashmir Pahari Cultural and Welfare Forum while still in service. Immediately after his superannuation he became the Chairman of the Forum replacing Advocate Noorullah Quraishi who voluntarily relinquished the post as mark of respect to the most revered person of the community. Under his dynamic leadership the whole community was mobilised from Ponch-Rajouri, Uri and Keran – Karnah and thus the Pahari speaking community came to be recognised as a separate linguistic entity constituting the third largest ethnic group in the state following Kashmiris and Dogras. The airing of programmes in pahari language both form Radio Kashmir and Door Darshan Kendar, Srinagar, setting up of Pahari section in the J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages etc., all are the results of the leadership of Massodi and his colleagues in the Forum.
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Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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