Meet the eminent

Munshi Saeb's narrative and some factual inaccuracies



Reading Greater Kashmir in a distant land is a treat. You never get the feeling that you are missing your home. I pay sincere compliments to you for starting 'Meet the Eminent' series. Since politics is the  first thing that a Kashmiri learns, your choice of inviting someone who belongs to a political family of our State cannot be disputed. However, there seem to be certain inaccuracies in what the learned Munshi Sahib is reported to have said.
Muhammed Ishaque father of Munshi Ghulam Hassan was, no doubt , a pioneer and a founding father of  Kashmiris' struggle against the Dogra ruler and he alongwith Kh. GM Ashai and a few others had started the Reading Room Club which in the year 1931 was converted to a full fledged political party under the name of Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference. He was out and out a politician and it is a fact that he was one of the only two Kashmiris' who opposed the conversion of Muslim Conference to National Conference, the other gentle man was one Ghulam Nabi (if my memory doesn't fail me) of Syed Ali Akbar, Srinagar. Even the Jammu wing of the Muslim Conference, led by stalwarts like Chaudhry Abbas (Jammu), Muhammed Akbar Khan (Mirpur) and Ghulam Qadir Bandey (Poonchh) supported the resolution to convert the Muslim Conference to National Conference. Munshi Ishaque  opposed the accession of J&K with India tooth and nail and did not change this stand till the last. He was a great supporter of Plebiscite Front and when its founder president  Mirza  Muhammad Afzal Beg was arrested, he immediately filled in the vacant post of the president of PF which openly preached for the secession of the State from the Indian Union .
Maharaja Hari Singh had appointed Mr. Abdul Rahim (also from one of the earliest political families of the State) as a judge in the J&K State and he was most probably serving as a sub-judge in Islamabad (Anantnag) when the partition took place and he alongwith some well educated and well placed Kashmiris crossed over to Pakistan. All of them got good jobs in Pakistan and rose very high in the bureaucracy of the new  country. Granted that Abdul Rahim was the Commissioner of Rawalpindi but his appointment could have taken place only after the formation of Pakistan and his migration to that country, and then the question arises: when did he come to Srinagar and to whom did he make the offer of 'inner autonomy' and if Sheikh Abdullah had declined the offer and expressed his desire to  go to Delhi instead, it seems that the whole drama could have taken place somewhere around 24th Oct, 1947 and lot of water had flown down the river Jhelum by then.
It was widely believed those days that it was Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammed who had given a job to Munshi Ghulam Hassan in the Income Tax (then another State department ) office, only to placate the elder Munshi, who as a top functionary of the PF had to be contained. The Income Tax department was later taken over by GOI and Munshi Ghulam Hassan rose to be a Commissioner of Income Tax elsewhere in India. It was only Sheikh Abdullah who got him back to the State. To the best of my knowledge, he was never in politics and had nothing to do with any kind of political activity in the State. Lots of tales, those days, were attributed to grapevine viz a large number of PF leadership was on the payroll of Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammed and it was only the Bakhshi who was very keen to see that PF, not only survives but it actually grows and he was willing to bear the cost, for he knew he could remain in power as long as he succeeded in selling the 'growing threat' of the secessionist PF to his masters in New Delhi.
I too belong to a political family of the State and whatever I have written is just out of my childhood memory and whatever was being talked about in the family.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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