Fight against darkness

Greater Kashmir

This is a biography of Masud Ahmed Choudhary written by a well known Urdu poet and writer Gani Gayoor. The book is in Urdu, printed and published at Adam Publishing House, New Delhi by Gujar Desh Charitable Trust, Jammu. The book contains 367 pages and has four main sections with different sub headings. The first section of the book throws light on the early life of Dr. Masud Choudhary, his schooling, college life and his educational journey to Aligarh Muslim University. The foreword is written by M. Yusuf Teng, the biographer of Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah. He has described him as a great visionary, social reformer and an educationist.

Masud Ahmed Choudhary hailed from Kalaban, a remote village of district Poonch. He had his primary and high school education at Kalban and Mehndar. He passed his graduation from MAM college Jammu. After passing his B.A, he joined Aligarh Muslim University to study law. It was at Aligarh that he was highly influenced by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University for his contribution towards the uplift of Muslims of India in the field of modern education. He was also impressed by the services of Papa Mian, Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah for the spread of education among Muslim women of India and their empowerment. Papa Mian was also from his native district Poonch who had migrated to Aligarh in connection with his studies and permanently settled there after joining AMU as a teacher.

After obtaining  LLB degree from AMU, he became the first law graduate in his community. He joined  BAR and started legal practice at session’s court  Poonch. But he had to leave this profession when he joined the police department as Dy. S.P in 1966 and held various important postings during his service. He was honored with many state and national awards in the department. He rose to the rank of Addl. Director General of police and called the day after putting in as more than 36 years of meritorious and distinguished service. After his retirement he was appointed as C.E.O  and later on as the founder Vice Chancellor of Baba Ghulam Shah Badsha University Rajouri.

In the second part of the book, the author has discussed the pivotal role played by Masud Ahmed Choudhary in establishing the Gujjar Desh Charritable Trust  Jammu. One thing which always lurked in his mind was to do something extra ordinary for his downtrodden people. He got motivated and his desire was further strengthened, when he was doing his Law course at AMU. His emphasis on modern education and uplift of his people, made him susceptible to criticism from various quarters of his community. But this could not deter him and he went on establishing Gujar Desh Charitable Trust, starting with KB public school. It was in August 1992, he got the Charitable Trust registered with Registrar of Societies. He wanted to make his dreams, a reality through this trust. Initially he started with establishing high school after the name of Brigadier Khuda Bakash. After acquiring extended land, the complex of the trust was further expanded, which now comprised of Hostel, Library, Museum, Auditorium and Centre for Culture and Heritage. The successful formation of GDC trust was a dream come true for Masud and was possible only due to his untiring efforts and hard work. The beautiful buildings of this huge complex having Mughal, Turkish and Rajasthani architecture are unique and monumental in its design. As the light awaits at the end of dark tunnel, so did Masud emerge like a shining star, to enlighten his era and beyond, at a time when darkness was at its zenith. He is a good organizer and closely attached with the art and culture.  As head of Jammu civil society, he organized a festival in the name of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, on 25th February 2011 and made this centenary program a grand success. This function was also attended by Salima Hashmi, the daughter of  Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

In the 3rd section, the author has discussed the creation and establishment of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Rajouri. In this part the author has recoded the impressions of his friends, acquaintances and the professors who have worked with him during his tenure as V.C. They carry with them a very high opinion about him for his tremendous contribution he has made, in laying the strong foundations of University and giving quality education to the students. They have been deeply impressed by his administrative capabilities and his keen desire to make this university as one of the best education centres of the country. They talk high of him for his qualities of being a voracious reader and researcher. Right from acquisition of the land to construction of buildings and basic infra structure like roads, water and electricity, it was due to his untiring efforts and hard work that he was able to start the admission of various courses in 2005, with in the shortest period of eight months, an unachievable target fixed by the then chancellor of university. This feat of his administrative acumen was no less than a miracle. Now the university is spread over 5000 kanals of land, with  thousands of trees, giving a marvelous look of University campus having a background of Dhanwar hills of Rajouri. The university has an engineering college, departments of arts and science including computer science and languages. It was in 2012, the then chancellor, presented the honorary degree of Doctor of literature (D.Litt) to Masud Ahmed Choudhary at a function in recognition of his contribution and services he has rendered to BGSB University.

A former parliament member and his friend from Rajouri who is going to pen down a book on Masud with the title of “ A Man who Moved the Mountains” has confessed that the grant of schedule tribe status to their community was possible only with the participation and efforts of Masud Choudhary, who was responsible for the collection of requisite data and records, and presentation of their case to GOI. This opened up new vistas and opportunities for the down trodden educated members of his community to compete in All India Civil Service Exams. And within last few years, a dozen of  educated youth from Rajouri and Poonch districts were able to qualify the exams and join these prestigious services.

There is repetition of few contents and statements in 2nd and 3rd part of the book. However, this book is interesting and worth reading; to know how a man from humble back ground and remote village of Poonch, by dint of his hard work, acumen and vision, reached to the pinnacles of his success and how a cop turned to be great academic.

Abdul Rashid Khan is former IGP.