BY ADV. S.M IQBAL
Any nation, or a community, mourns the loss of the personalities who made a contribution in its development, culture, or history.
Eulogies are written for their extraordinary feats. But then there are those who make history but remain unknown; who lead their lives far from the limelight, yetleave an indelible impact on the society in which they spend their lives.
One of the same kind, a great personality belonging to the Shopian region was Malik Muhammad Ahsan Shah, whose life and achievements, and the vision he held for the greater common good of the community, was unparalleled in this area.
He was born in a middle class family in 1928. His father, Malik Noor Shah was a man of knowledge and a famous hakeem; which as a professional legacy was carried forward by his other son, Malik Abdul Ahad Shah. Malik Ahsan Shah continued his studies, and in 1944, he graduated with first division from the University of Lahore.
After the completion, he took keen interest in the problems and issues faced by a common man. He actively participated and involved many other persons for the social, educational and economic uplift of the people of Shopian.
For the establishment of national high school at Shopian and to land for its construction and development, he toiled hard and made it possible; it benefits the people of Shopian and its surroundings till date.
For some period, being influenced by the mass movement, he was appointed as Tehsil secretary for the National Conference. On seeing his physical, mental and intellectual capabilities and the honesty and dedication with which he served people, he was appointed as SHO, Akhnoor, Jammu.
He was a man of good disposition and with a captivating persona. At that time, famous movie production of Lahore “Taa’osi productions”, invited him to the industry.
The owner and producer of the “Taa’osi productions”, Akhtar Sahib, on his visit to Kashmir, selected Malik sahib as assistant director in Lahore. But he was not willing to shift from the valley; also on reaching Lahore, Akhtar sahib breathed his last.
Malik sahib also worked as Panchayat inspector in the department of rural development. Later he got promoted first as Block Development Officer (B.D.O) and after that as Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD). He was also appointed as project officer on special grounds. He was sent to Budgam and afterwards to Bandipora . He was also sent on special programmes and projects to Poonch and Rajouri.
In Gurez, he was the first to introduce walnut trees, and also for the first time he planted Chinar with his own hands. Malik sahib also proposed a special scheme to overcome the dearth of milk production in the valley, which led to the local level white revolution here, and it was acknowledged by the government itself. It can be stated that he was the pioneer of the white revolution in the valley.
In his tenure, he worked with the luminaries in the bureaucracy like Wajahat Habibullah He had family like terms with many notable artists, poets and intellectuals like Gulam Ahmed Manto, Gulam Nabi Shaida, Abdul Qadir Dewan, Abdus Salam Chapoo, Nazir Ahmed Turay. In his youth, he was also known as a fine hockey and football player.
He cared and invested a lot on the education of his children, made sure they pursue higher studies and that is why they carried his legacy forward and got appointed on high posts to serve the people and society of this area.
Among his sons, Abdul Qayum Malik, Executive Engineer (R&B), Shabir Ahmad Malik, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dr. Nasir Ahmed, Physician Specialist and his youngest son Tariq Ahmad, who is a reputed businessman and active member of trade federation, Shopian.
His only daughter, who works in education department is married to the renowned personality, Dr. Khalid Abbas, who is the son of the Mirwaiz of Shopian, Late Abdul Hameed.
Malik Sahab died on 30 January, 2022, at the age of 94. He was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard at Shopian.
Adv. S.M Iqbal is Senior Advocate Practicing in District Court Shopian
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.