I have been reading the ongoing debate over reading room with great interest. There have been some scholarly contributions to the debate generated by one of your columnists but now it has boiled down to a battle between followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed and others. The location of the reading room is not that important. Whether it was in an old and abandoned garage or in some house is not important; what is important to know that it was Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who as a teacher in MP school mooted the idea of having a place to sit for discussing the issue of getting jobs for Muslim youth according to their qualification.
The Reading Room was not at that time set up at all for launching a movement against Maharja Hari Singh. It happened later. The Reading Room was not some organized cohesive group but a group of some educated youth who were looking for jobs according to their qualification. Sheikh Sahib was appointed as school teacher when people like S.L. Raina and R,K. Zutshi having same qualification and less merit were appointed as lecturers in a college. So is true of Ghulam Ahmed Ashai he was MA Persian and was appointed as school teacher. The Reading Room got involved in politics only after Holy Quran Sacrilege in Jammu. And it was some Jammu youth who contacted the Reading Room for helping them in pasting posters against sacrilege of Quran. It is not reading room where from we count our struggle but we reckon it from the Silk Factory revolt. There are more important issues than the Reading Room for scholars to discuss and debate. Prof. Hassnain who joined the debate over Reading Room more than ten times should have joined the debate about how and why Muslim Conference that was secular organization was renamed as the National Conference. There is need for our scholars to look at the role of people who convinced Sheikh Sahib to change the Muslim Conference into the National Conference.
Nawab- Bazar Srinagar