It’s all baseless
Responding to B. A. Masood’s article Meeting the eminent in Greater Kashmir
MUNSHI GHULAM HASSAN
This is to set right the baseless contents in B A Masoodi’s article tarnishing my spotless service carrier tying it with Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad in the background of his paying money to some Plebiscite Front leaders. I was not given the job by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad though he was a close companion of my father, Munshi Mohammad Ishaq, in freedom movement before 1947 was obliged of the latter in many ways. Being a Law Graduate with first position I was appointed as Income Tax Officer by Sheikh Mo0hammad Abdullah Government in the year 1951. After the Income Tax Department was integrated with Central Government, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad got me transferred to Amritsar in Oct. 1955 on the baseless ground that I was hard in assessments of his followers. In absence of Muslim population at Amritsar I could not get residential accommodation on the pretext of being a non-vegetarian and had to stay in a hotel. Shri G.L. Dogra, the Finance Minister of our State used to come to Amritsar where his brother was settled. He used to contact me to find out whether I was comfortable though I had never met him earlier. A noble man, he indeed was.
In view of my residential problem he got me transferred to Jammu in the year 1956. In the year 1958 our Commissioner Headquartered at Patiala and on his way to Srinagar broke his journey at Jammu. Appreciating my performance he promised to transfer me to Srinagar. He was entertained to dinner by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and told not to transfer me to Srinagar. On his way back I received him at Jammu Airport and his first words were: “ Ghulam Hassan, Is your father a leader of Plebiscite Front” ? I replied, “Yes, Sir.” From his headquarter he issued orders transferring me to Udhampur though he recorded outstanding entry in my Character Roll (Service Book). In the year 1962, I was transferred to Srinagar as recommended by Dogra Sahib. In the year 1963, G.M. Sadiq became Chief Minister. At the instance of his Government, a Special Income Tax Investigation Circle was created to thoroughly investigate the cases of Bakshi Group and the cases of their associates suspected of tax evasion. I was posted as Income Tax Officer of that Circle. Bakshi Saheb approached Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes and got me transferred to Amritsar.
Sadiq Saheb’s Government desired to get the cases investigated by me but its efforts to get my transfer cancelled failed because Bakshi Saheb had presented me as the son of a pro-Pakistan leader and prejudicial to his family. Honestly speaking, I acted as Income Tax Officer judiciously and objectively. Bakshi Mohammad Yousuf, a gentleman indeed, met me and stated that their elders are not conscious of the clutches of Income Tax Department. On his promise that he would place all the cards on the table I assured him of a fair deal. He was satisfied but Bakshi Saheb had a contrary advice from his brothers which he regretted to have acted upon after the Income Tax Officer posted in the Circle did not let them rest as I was told by a close ally of Bakshi Saheb at later stage.
After my transfer to Srinagar, as recommended by Sadiq Saheb in June 1970, Bakshi Group cases were again in my jurisdiction. My friend Mir Nassarullah met me and was sorry for Bakshi Saheb’s actions against me. The sons of Bakshi brothers are a witness to my judicious treatment to their cases and are grateful to me. Sheikh Saheb’s Government borrowed my services on deputation in the year 1976 from Central Government where I was Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, and appointed me Commissioner of Sales Tax till the date of my retirement on Feb. 28,1985.
My rise in service carrier is attributed to my performance and not political legacy. Despite the presentation of my so-called anti-India political background, I, on the basis of outstanding merit was the only officer out of the State income Tax Officers transferred to the Centre where I was promoted to Class I Service (IRS) though I was the junior most. After retirement, I got two assignments as a Member of Service Selection Board in the year 1986 during the rule of Governor Shri Jagmohan, but I resigned during NC-Congress coalition government which diluted the jurisdiction of this statutory board and intended to abolish it which it did after my resignation. I was appointed as Chairman, Jammu & Kashmir Bank Ltd at the instance of Hon’ble Abdul Rahim Rather, an outstanding Finance Minister of the country, in recognition of my performance as Commissioner, Sales TAX for which I was awarded a State Award ( Gold Medal).
Pertinent to quote from “ My Life and years in Kashmir Politics” ( Page 27), authored by late D.D.Thakur under whom I also had the honour to work : “ Kh. Ghulam Hassan, Sales Tax Commissioner was a man of honesty and integrity on whom I had proposed to confer power of exempting penal interest. He came to me and requested that the power of exemption if conferred upon the Sales Tax Commissioner in revision was most likely to be abused which would take away the sting of the enhancement in the rate of tax”.
I hope B. A. Masoodi is satisfied that I was not a Bakshi made officer and it was not a reward in lieu of exemplary financial sacrifice of my father whose transport business was sacrificed at the alter of Quit Kashmir Movement, and he was left pennyless.
Incidentally I may mention that in June 1999, during Governor’s rule, R.K. Takkar, Chief Secretary, J&K, offered me the post of the Chairman, SSRB, but in the course of telephonic talk itself I declined the offer though he had requested me to think over it for about a week. In the year 2002 again during Governor’s rule I was offered the assignment of Executive Member of the Board for Relief to militancy affected people, chaired by the Governor, vide a D.O. letter of Mr. Habibul Hassan, Secretary to Government, but I declined the offer.
B. A. Masoodi is right in saying that I was not in active politics but can a conscientious human being be out of politics as a passive spectator of trials and tribulations which the people have been suffering since Oct. 27, 1947, when the birds from the heavens (Tairan Ababil) landed in a military plane at the airport.
Kh. Abdul Rahim, Divisional Commissioner, Rawalpindi was a native of Pakistan though of Kashmiri descent. He was not Moulvi Abdul Rahim Judge who was son of Moulvi Abdullah Vakil Saheb, a founder of political movement. Munshi Mohammad Ishaq was not a member of Reading Room party.
Moulana Masoodi Saheb’s close aide Sofi Ghulam Mohi-ud-din told me in the year 1983 that the former was writing a history of freedom movement and he quoted the following sentence from the chapter about Quit Kashmir Movement , “ Quit Kashmir Movement would not have survived a month if Munshi Mohammad Ishaq was not associated with it”. This observation is in line with his letter written to Munshi Saheb, referred to above. Moulana Saheb undoubtedly an honest person despite controversial political ideology was close advisor to Sheikh Saheb since 1932. He knew all the ins and outs of the movement. His write up would be a faithful record of events. I wish his decedents publish it.
Before I conclude, let me state that I am guided by the principles of my father who believed that the income in excess of requirements breeds vices and it should be given in charity. In his memoirs he has willed us to follow it. He, despite the fact that he lost his business due to his association with the freedom movement, he did not care to claim any compensation from the National Conference Government though nearest kith and kin of some leaders were given undue relief against the claims made for losses during Quit Kashmir Movement. I am sorry to occupy the space of this valuable paper which represents the voice of the people but I was forced to do so to retrieve my reputation.
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Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
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