Table of Contents
   Index
   About the Author
   Preface
   Foreword
 KASHMIR: PAST
   Kashmiri Hindus: Origin ...
   Sultan Zain-ul-abidin
   The Sayyids as Oppressors
   Chak Fanatics
   The Mughals
   The Afghans
   Sikh Rule
   Dogra Rule
 KASHMIR: PRESENT
   Post-1947 Scenario
   Jammu and Ladakh ...
   Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad
   Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq
   Sayyed Mir Qasim
   Sheikh Abdullah Sows Seeds ...
   Farooq Abdullah ...
   Ghulam Mohammad Shah ...
   Rajiv-Farooq Accord
   Proxy War Declared
   Muslim Fundamentalism
   Terrible Plight of Minorities 
   13th November, 1991
   Epilogue
   Appendix
   Download Book 

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad

Invested with robust commonsense, exemplary grit and courage and
Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad
astounding administrative skills, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad held the reins of government in the wake of Sheikh Abdullah's deposition in 1953 for anti-national activities undermining the unity and integrity of the country. The fact remains that Bakshi had to face unprecedented challenges from the forces of disintegration and secessionism, which got a new lease of life after Sheikh's dismissal in 1953. In fact, Sheikh Abdullah spearheaded the movement for separatism, secessionism and disunity leading to the instability of the state. Though a man of extraordinary courage and political acumen, yet Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad seemed to fight back secessionist forces half-heartedly. Most of the secessionists, they say, were on his pay-rolls. Heading the government for full eleven years, he won both laurels and brick-bats from his admirers and opponents.

Plebiscite Front formed in 1955 as the rallying centre for secessionist forces posed a formidable challenge to the political authority of Bakshi, yet he remained in saddle with the tightest grip over the state machine. His capabilities to face crisis- situations got established when he stabilised his government mobilising all without minding their hue. He had a unique knack of establishing a direct rapport with men at grassroot level and that led to his tremendous popularity with the people of all regions. Bakshi was known for his broad-mindedness, benevolence and munificence.

The policy of espousing the Muslim cause and fostering the Muslim interest touched its apogee in the times of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad. It is he and he alone, who, Muslims in general believe, is supposed to have raised them from dust, given them a wash and robed them in glitz and glamour. All corners in the Valley were rummaged for Muslim graduates, who were put to the Training College, Srinagar for the Diploma in Teaching and soon after the completion of the course were directly installed as Headmasters over-riding the merit, achievements and claims of the veteran Kashmirian Hindu teachers, waiting in the wings for a push-up, a promotion. The processes of supersession started by Sheikh Abdullah touched a new high in Bakshi's tenure generating a simmering discontent in the Kashmirian Hindu teachers and Hindu employees in all departments of the government

Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad with the least academic achievements had scant respect for merit, academic brilliance and talent. He had no qualms when he got the fairly senior Hindu teachers officered by the Muslims, just beginners and with no worth the name achievements. He was well aware of the unpleasant situations which got developed when the Muslim headmasters actually felt embarrassed to sit in chairs in presence of their Hindu teachers, who had taught them. Not heeding it, Bakshi went on humiliating the veteran teachers by promoting the junior most Muslims as their officers.

The onus of rendering incalculable damage to the cause of education in the State of Jammu and Kashmir squarely rested on Bakshi, who was out to appease the Muslims every way. Violation of all norms as a weapon to promote the Muslim cause was generally resorted to and over the years it got evolved as the only standard norm dominating all departments of life. Dr. K.G. Sayidain, an internationally famed educationist, had to suffer Bakshi's wrath when he expressed his inability to apply communal policy to recruit lecturers in the Department of Higher Education.

Bakshi torpedoed the list of lecturers prepared by Dr. Sayidain on the plea that the Muslims, who were not available then, were not represented and hence ignored. The dauntless and unflinching scholar in his capacity as the Adviser to the Department of Higher Education stuck to his guns and defended his decision not to recruit third class M.A.s and M.Sc.s in various colleges of the state. Dr. Sayidain was categorical in teaching his Minister, G.M. Sadiq, that the goals of Muslim education in the state would be best served by putting the learners under the charge and care of academically brilliant teachers, no matter what their religion was. But both Bakshi and Sadiq failed to swallow the secular approach to the issues of education and made the brilliant educationist to depart from the educational scene of the state, thus rendering it an incalculable damage.

The Kashmirian Hindu teachers seething with discontent geared themselves up for a constitutional battle. The goon-brigade reared and raised by Bakshi led an operation against the prominent Hindu teachers roughing them up and putting them to a great humiliation. It was a matter of shame for the Prime Minister as to have stooped so low for organising such an operation against the veteran Hindu teachers, who were instrumental in changing the educational scenario of the state. Despite repression, the Hindu teachers did not flinch and highlighted their case of blatant discrimination on communal grounds by knocking at the doors of the Apex Court of the country.

Harbouring deep-seated hatred for standard norms and criteria, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was brash enough to flout and scrap any such recommendations and decisions as would not benefit the Muslims of Kashmir. The State Public Service Commission as an off-shoot of the state constitution functioning under the chairmanship of General Yadu Nath Singh conducted the first K.C.S. examination for the selection of the candidates to fill up the slots in the state administration. Not a single Muslim could pass the written test and those who passed and were cleared for appointment were three Kashmirian Hindus and three Hindus from Jammu province. Strangely, but as expected, few of the brilliant young men were appointed to administrative posts for which they were duly selected after undergoing all formalities. Subversion of decisions and recommendations of bodies and committees formed under law was a usual practice of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, who pursued the same pro-Muslim policy-stances at the expense of the Kashmirian Hindu minorities.

Bakshi had all the grains of a despot in him. His whim was his will. Nobody dared challenge his whim or will. In that despotic whim, Bakshi started the ominous practice of appointing the Muslims and men of that brand only directly to the gazetted cadres in contravention of all rules and norms. Most of them, of course, were influential, wielding a political clout, but were not indispensable. This type of measure over the years got perfected as a usual practice for recruiting below average Muslims to all types of cadre posts damaging the legitimate interests of old hands already in service. That the Muslims are to be appeased was the standard policy of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad. He appeased them by showering all manner of concessions on them. The Muslims availed of the concessions from free education to free rations, but as ungrateful they hated him the most apparently for his pro-India politics.

Harassment and kidnapping of the Kashmirian Hindu girls continued even in the time of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad. Cultureless Muslims bordering on barbarity and far removed from the light of civilisation have been raising the ugly and uncouth slogan - 'We want Pakistan without Pundits but with Panditanis' (Kashmirian Hindu women). No sane Muslim, which perhaps is a rare commodity, has ever expressed his deep sense of resentment against the barbaric content of the slogan, which would be a source of extreme joy and glee to Muslims, whether literate or semi-literate, a street hawker or a man in corridors of power. It being the back-drop of the Muslim psyche, numerous cases of intimidation and molestation of the Hindu women were almost a daily occurrence. Normally such situations were tolerated and if a case here or a case there was ever reported, police authorities dragged their feet from registering it as the men involved used to be invariably Muslims, who as a matter of state policy were to be shielded and protected. The goons thus emboldened were a menace for the community of Hindus.

Lifting of girls from the gates of the educational institutions was a common-day affair and the law-enforcing agencies conniving at the criminal acts, never acting by bringing the criminals to book and standing as mute witnesses to the sordid spectacles. An ordinary, low grade employee basking in the sun of political patronage, committed the heinous crime of dumping a Hindu girl into a vehicle at the gates of a reputed academic institution in broad-day light with scores of policemen witnessing the scene. The girl saved herself by raising a hue and cry. No FIR was filed and no punitive action taken against the employee working in Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad's private office.

Not that Bakshi had any love lost for the Kashmirian Hindus, whom he consigned to a dust-bin but somehow he handed over a minor Hindu girl to the care of her parents at a time when the Muslims in their full frenzy were demonstrating, mobilising funds and the Mullahs confirming that the girl had already entered into a marriage contract with the Muslim boy. Without much prevarication, putting his foot down, he ordered the pro-Muslim police to deal with the situation firmly. Earning the wrath of the fanatic Muslims, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad saved the situation from further deterioration and he did it on the plea that such developments were sure to damage the Muslim interests at national plane.

The blatant discrimination of the Kashmirian Hindus in all walks of life touched all time high in Bakshi's time. Honour and dignity of the Hindus was at stake. The Muslim goons enjoying political patronage ruled the roost. The Kashmirian Hindus called on the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and brought their woeful plight to his notice. Taking it seriously, Pandit Nehru, while addressing the National Conference workers at Bakshi's private office, certainly made a reference to the Kashmirian Pandits who through their merit and hard work had come to top positions in the country. A rod to the foolish and a nod to the wise. Bakshi never took the nod and continued with his policy of discrimination and neglect unto the Kashmirian Hindus.

Marathon Battle for Restoration of Rights

With their cup of patience full and brimming, the Kashmirian Hindu teachers determined to fight the blalant discrimination based on sheer communalism filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India. They, mustering their meagre resources, sought the legal aid of Messrs M.C. Seetalvad, Ashok Sen and Ramamurty only to highlight the woeful conditions of the entire Hindu community, which was labelled as the creamy layer of the Kashmirian society and hence as per the misconceived stipulation was to be shorn of all constitutional rights and given the treatment of aliens in their own home-land. The rulers given to the appeasement of the Muslim majority ignored all the petitions, representations and pleadings of the teachers, who had been ridden rough-shod, humiliated and subjected to scornful insolence. As citizens of India, no despot could deprive them of the right to seek justice for the wrongs perpetrated on them. It was thus that the first writ petition Trikoni Nath Vs the State of Jammu and Kashmir was born.

The writ petition sent shock waves throughout the length and breadth of the Valley of Kashmir, nay the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir. The number of teachers involved was the entire Muslim teaching community of the state. They in recognition of their religious denomination were pushed over the heads of numerous Hindu teachers, who failed to reconcile to the cruel and unjust treatment they were subjected to only on religious grounds.

The government fought the case and justified the promotions primarily on the basis of backwardness. 'Was it social backwardness or economic backwardness?' It, however, could not decisively establish and assert. Social and economic backwardness could not encompass all the Muslims for all times to the exclusion of all the Kashmirian Hindus wherever and whenever there was a promotion. The Apex Court could not digest the argument of the state government communally motivated to espouse the cause of the Muslims. It referred the case to the State High Court for purposes of determining the criterion of backwardness, whether social or economic or both.

Court processes being dilatory dampened the spirits of the Kashmirian Hindu teachers. But they took it as a battle waged for restoration of normal democratic rights conferred on citizens in all forms of democratic dispensations and continued with it despite harassment and money constraints. Finally, the case came up for discussions and the lawyer, Mr. Ramamurty, representing the Hindu teachers, made the government prosecutors and the Education Secretary eat dust by devastating the entire argument justifying the Muslims as a backward community. Justice Bah-ud-din was visibly carried over by the argumentative knack of Mr. Ramamurty, who convincingly argued that the government policy vis--vis backwardness of Muslims was discriminatory against the Kashmirian Hindus. Yet, when the judgment was delivered, the State High Court laboured to smoke screen and side-line the essential issue and digressed where it was expected to be exact and precise. The Supreme Court of India was not satisfied with the verdict of the State High Court and castigated Justice Bah-ud-din for begin inexact and inaccurate where he had to be exact and accurate to meet the ends of Law and Justice.

The Supreme Court, however, delivered the judgment on the suit Triloki Nath Vs the State of Jammu and Kashmir quashing all the previous orders of promotion based on communally motivated criteria fixed from time to time. The judgment ipso facto upheld seniority as a fundamental factor and criterion for promotions. The factor of backwardness devised by the Muslim rulers only to trample upon the basic rights of the Kashmirian Hindus was struck down as extra-constitutional.

The government apparently implemented the judgment, but devised a cunning way of allowing all the Muslims to continue to hold their offices as 'in-charge' headmasters or tehsil education officers and as per the contents of the judgment they had to be reverted to their original position of teachers. The posture of the government only subverted the entire judgment vindicating the rights of a community of teachers, who were not Muslims.

The Kashmirian Hindu teachers had once again to knock at the doors of the Supreme Court of India. A suit was filed challenging the validity of the government orders seeking to defend the reverted lot of the Muslim officers by the conferment of 'in-charge' status on them. Reason dictated that if 'in- charge' officers had to be appointed, the teachers who stood vindicated by the Supreme Court judgment were legally eligible for conferment of such a status. Thus another suit S.N. Challo Vs the State of Jammu and Kashmir was born.

The suit dragged on at least for four years. In the meantime, the government out to subvert the court judgment resorted to the method of 'interviews' designed to pull down the merit and academic credentials of the Kashmirian Hindu teachers. Seeing through the game of the Muslim rulers aided by the Islamised bureaucracy, the Hindu teachers boycott the interviews whole-hog, thus turning turtle the cart of the Muslims working to smother and undo the legitimate interests of a community facing worst- ever discrimination and persecution.

The Supreme Court was informed of the sly and underhand measures devised by the Islamised state with a view to rendering the entire judgment as infructuous and inoperative.

Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq had already taken over the reins of the government. Despite his progressive and Marxist credentials, he had been responsible for the creation of a sordid state of affairs engulfing the community of teachers, who had lost their fundamental right to live as dignified citizens of a secular democracy. He somehow appeared to be convinced to sort out the mess created by the Supreme Court judgments and the Islamised bureaucracy straining every nerve to subvert it. He and his State Minister of Education held parleys with the aggrieved lot only to discover a via-media for saving the Muslim teachers from facing reversion. G.M. Sadiq all the time was ambivalent and non-committal, not mustering guts to work against the Muslim interests, which he had assiduously garnered at the cost of other ethnic groups. His Minister of State, Noor Mohammad, was openly out to destroy and negate the judgment. He insisted upon the Kashmirian Hindu teachers to attend the interviews and assured them that the 'bulk' would be appointed to higher posts. 'In-charge' appointments and 'interviews' were the two devices which the Islamised bureaucracy with the connivance of the rulers that be contrived and banked upon to retrieve the Muslims from the prospects of facing demotion by virtue of the Supreme Court judgment.

Under a terrible pressure from the governmental machine, the pioneer of the whole constitutional battle, Mr. T.N. Tiku, was for attending the interviews, which by the majority of the Kashmirian Hindu teachers was deemed only as a ploy to subvert the Supreme Court judgment. The tussle between Mr. Tiku and rest of his colleagues finally resulted in his bowing out. Mr. Tiku 2 broke but did not fall. He pioneered a movement and led it with zeal and acumen. He launched a marathon battle against the forces masquerading as secularists only to expose their non-secular hues. Mr. S.N. Challoo took the lead in carrying on the battle to its ultimate logical end.

Another writ petition Makhan Lal Waza Vs the State of Jammu and Kashmir was launched against men in corridors of power paying lip service to the Constitution of India and the State Constitution, but practically working for their subversion and destruction, thus creating conditions for the negation and substitution of Rule of Law by the Rule of Jungle. The Supreme Court was irked by the string of writ petitions against the State Government, which was all reluctant to implement the historic judgment exploding the myth of Muslim backwardness. Eminent Jurists like M.C. Seetalvad and Ashok Sen vigorously pleaded the case of the Kashmirian Hindus leaving the court convinced of the communal tredtment meted out to them and also pleading for striking down the promotions based on communal grounds and the Supreme Court of India did strike down all the promotions as unconstitutional making it clear that 'backwardness' needed be categorically defined and 'interviews' were not the only criterion for promotions.

Reversions followed. All those who were superseded were promoted. Over 700 supersessions were removed and 300 demotions were apparently effected. The government policy of violation of rules and regulations for feeding and meeting the ends of pure communalism got exposed and the rulers at state level lost face and suffered an exposure for the lip-service that they had been paying to secularism and the cause of democracy. What has been astounding is that it was not a handful of Muslims who were feeding and fanning communalism, but the entire state apparatus was working strenuously to entrench blatant communalism and sectarianism in the polity of Kashmir.

The writ petitions filed by the Kashmirian Hindu teachers should not be taken as those which are normally filed by the citizens of India for restoration of their justifiable rights. The petitions represented the culmination of the unjust and blatant discrimination they had been subjected to since 1947. The first ever petition was filed by Pandit Gopi Nath Koul against the state government in the times of Sheikh Abdullah, but was rejectcd on sheer flimsy grounds. Communalism as an entrenched policy of the Jammu and Kashmir Government led to the hounding out of other ethnic groups, which raised their solid voice against their neglect and discrimination. The communal criteria for recruitment, admissions and trainings were devised only to benefit, and favour the Kashmirian Muslims leaving other ethnic groups high and dry, deprived and uncared for.

The writ petitions suffered a maze of judicial processes for more than a period of five years, which proved quite trying for the Hindu teachers in particular and the Hindus in general. The fallout of the petitions was quite predictable. The Muslim majority as a result of unbounded and extreme hostility created agonising conditions for the Hindus who were blatantly harassed and intimidated and the powers that be ramming it home to them that they would not be allowed to grab everything in Kashmir. What was that which the Kashmirian Hindus had grabbed was never explicitly explained and as a last resort they fuelled the communal fires to mobilise the Muslims against the Hindus. There were protests, strikes, demonstrations, and all manners of reactions. The Muslim teachers stopped working in schools mobilising the Muslim students against the Hindu teachers. Every school was turned into a battle-ground. It was a well-manipulated move only to desist the Kashmirian Hindu teachers from pursuing the petitions in the Apex Court and also pressurising them not to demand the implementation of the Court verdict after it was delivered.

In the process an organisation of the Muslim backwards suddenly got formed with the patronage from powers that be. Mr. Mahi-ud-din Kak was its president and Saif-ud-din Soz, then a school teacher, its general secretary. The agenda pursued by the organisation had communal and sectarian overtones only to thwart the Kashmirian Hindus from seeking justice. What was the significance of the organisation when the case was already in the Apex Court of the country? Court alone was the forum where the case could be fought not by muscle power, but by reason, cogency, rationality and argumentation. As the case was violative of all Constitutional provisions, the Muslim Backward organisation emerged only to exert pressure on the Kashmirian Hindus to withdraw the case or face consequences. That was the role-model of the organisation, which turned every school in cities, towns or villages into a battle-ground for waging war against the Hindus by raising religious battle-cries, thus lending momentum to the worst-ever hate-campaign against the Hindus. The war waged on the Kashmirian Hindu teachers with schools run by the state government as the battle-ground was carried on in full knowledge of the powers that be. It had their absolute blessings. The rulers provided the organisation with money and patronage for pursuing a relentless campaign against the Kashmirian Hindu teachers, who were characterised as the enemies of Islam. The organisation of the Muslim Backwards had all the Jamaat-i-lslami teachers in its front ranks with other ranks of teachers owing allegiance to left parties, Congress and National Conference following their direction and lead. Saif-ud-din Soz was stated to be associated with Jamaat-i-Islami pursuing rabid Muslim communalism and hate against the Hindu minorities. He is on record to have threatened to snap the thread of accession to India if the Supreme Court judgment was implemented leading to the reversion of the Muslims.

Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq acted under the relentless and constant pressure of the organisation of the Muslim Backwards, which operating under communal motivations had mobilised support from all government departments. He allowed the monster of communalism to grow in size leading to a vertical crack in the genuine teachers organisation embracing broad sections of teachers upholding secular agenda. Objectively speaking, G.M. Sadiq did not and could not contribute to any such act as would inflict damage on the Muslim interests or jeopardise them in any manner. He could be personally held responsible for the polarisation of the two religious communities by upholding the Muslim cause entirely to the detriment of the miniscule minority of the Hindus.

Under the government patronage, a Backward Muslims conference was held at Tagore Hall for full three days. Among others the conference was attended by the State Minister of Education, Noor Mohammad. The Director of Education attended the conference lending his full patronage to it. The expenditure was said to be met by the government. The fact remains that the ends of the conference were not fully met as various proposals cropped up for a possible solution to the crisis generated by the processes of the writ petitions. The government practically under the tight leash of the Muslims was in a quandary. If it implemented the Court verdict, the Muslims pampered throughout and fed on a staple fare of concessions, got estranged and if it threw the verdict into a dust-bin, the Kashmirian Hindus would go only to knock at the doors of the Apex Court for the implementation of the verdict. But, unmindful of the disinherited community of Hindus, the government led by rabid Muslims was entirely indifferent to implement the Court decision and was desperately in search of ploys and alibis to circumvent law and ends of justice. The Kashmirian Muslims were never taught to be the citizens of a country which had a Constitution upholding Rule of Law. What the Muslims did was to subvert Rule of Law only to pave way for the Muslim precedence at the expense of other ethnic groups.

The Kashmirian Hindu teachers promoted as a result of the marathon constitutional battle fought and won were never given independent charge of educational institutions and were put only as appendages to the Muslim officers, who practically did not face demotion or reversion. The governments of various hues went on contriving and devising means to perpetuate the third-degree status of the Kashmirian Hindus by allowing the Muslims to usurp all types of jobs over-riding the claims of other ethnic groups. Sheikh Abdullah, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, G.M. Sadiq and Mir Qasim - all pursued the same policy of pampering the Muslims at the cost of other citizens, ignoring them and perpetuating their poverty levels. Court verdicts exposing the communal motivations of the rulers that be never proved a deterrent in any manner.

Notes and References

1. Mr. Bahu-ud-din was the Chief Justice of J&K High Court. He resigned when transferred to Sikkim. He is now the chief exponent of the Muslim militants in Kashmir.  2. T.N. Tiku was a brilliant teacher, who served the cause of education in Kashmir. But, his claims to higher positions were always overlooked by the myopic Islamic bureaucracy. He led a movement for restoration of  justifiable rights. He was manhandled and roughed up by Bakshi's goon brigade and Jamaat hoodlums for fighting a constitutional battle. The Muslim terrorists, who had been his students, put his house at Sopore to flames. This is how his services to the Muslims were recompensed.  3. Refer to Supreme Court judgments for more details.

Kashmir: Past and Present

 

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