Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad: The 'Kashmir Ratan' of India || by Bhushan Parimoo || LIVE IMAGE

Just some time back a deliberation was conducted on the suggestion of the like-minded people here in Jammu. Necessitated due to the consistent and intense devastating ongoing firing on Line of Actual Control and internationally marked and recognized border between India and Pakistan confined to this state. 

How long the gruesome phase shall go on and how to come out of it was confabulated as it has brought nothing but miseries to the suffers on both side of LOC , where State Subjects live beside International Border where too those who flee for life live during 1947 holocaust. The confabulation desired to find out of box solution; to find deliverance from being killed or maimed as a sitting ducks .

Civilians are not supposed to fight with empty hands or sticks should .By the middle of the current year about a thousand skirmishes have taken place and, each time it is called violation of ceasefire, with the resolve no more next time. 

This situation compels the common man ask once ceasefire is violated that means breach of agreement as such, it is termed null and void unless there is a secret understanding between them that appears to have been brokered at the cost of its citizens who are called to suffer in the name of Nationalism and Patriotism. 

During the deliberations ways were discussed that people rise in one voice in place of discordant notes.Every government without any exception assures to teach Pakistan a befitting reply besides misleading promises that it shall retrieve about 40% area of the state under the enemy's control. Some of the participants used political language loaded with warning; others created an atmosphere of deliverance with rhetoric speeches with expanded lungs. 

Both the Governments across use exchange of fire to keep cauldron of miseries simmering and at times boiling. Both parties blow cold and hot when it suits those at the helm of affairs. Under this painful scenario this get together was conducted It was suggested that people to people interaction should be allowed to develop confidence as both the Governments due to lack of confidence on each other failed to keep peace. 

There was also the opinion that conflict suits both the varying governments .One of the participants stressed no need for it, as the 'Kashmir Bharat (Hindustan) ka atoot ang hai' has been established since long. And this opportunity has been fritted away by those then at the helm of affairs. This writer responded to the participants that who said these words first. Every one fumbled, answer though far from the mark was though the bifocals of the ideology one owns here. 

First name cropped of Sardar Patel then as home minster of the country, called iron man of the India, to which it was cited he fumbled as far as Kashmir issue is concerned failed to send troops to retrieve Mirpur and Kotli on the request of Late Balraj Madhok. Another name came of late Sh Shyama Parshad Mukher ji, to fit the claim, his letter to Pt Nehru was cited wherein he had suggested do whatever Nehru wants with Kashmir, leave Jammu and Ladakh, away. 

That means he invented division of the Dogra Kingdom for which no role has been played by the RSS or Hindu Maha Shaba. The tragedy, however, is no one in India remembers, and few only know that the author who coined this patriotic phrase was none else than Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, the then Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir. 

People are made to confuse themselves all over the world when it comes to ponder over the dispute before UN Resolutions pending permanent solution on Jammu and Kashmir state .Different Political blocks have different views as per perception or their interests. These lines must find a place in Guinness book of records for largest number of time used by any country to justify its territorial legitimacy over Kashmir . 

John Calvin "Cal" Thomas is an American syndicate columnist ,pundit, author and radio commentator has rightly assessed that "One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician's objective. Election and power are". On February 6, 1954 Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad , the Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir state after returning from consultations in Delhi where it was agreed to implement July 1952 Delhi Agreement ,piloted the Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir resolution that ratified the accession of Kashmir with India by a unanimous sixty four members vote with eleven absentees in a House of Seventy five members. Of the eleven absentees, six were in prison at the time. 

He followed it with a triumphant speech: "Kashmir had irrevocably acceded to India more than six years ago and today we are only fulfilling the formalities of our unbreakable bonds with India". In this speech in Urdu, Bakshi used the phrase " atoot ang" for the ' unbreakable bonds with India'. Thus was born the phrase ' Kashmir Bharat (Hindustan) ka atoot ang hai'\ that the Indian political establishment across the board has mumbled ever since to claim India's territorial legitimacy over Kashmir. 

Most of the Indians who know who he was just recall that he was probably the most corrupt politician Kashmir has ever seen in post independence times. Indian psyche may rightly be fixated to believe that it was Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who brought Kashmir to India in 1947, but just have ignored to acknowledge that it was Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad who has retained Kashmir for India ever after. Perhaps it is the difference in this perception that lies between peace and present strife in Kashmir. 

India owes much to Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad but has only paid its political debt to Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. Call it paradox of history or historical amnesia , the 'devil' in Kashmir has become the 'hero' and one who ought to be the rightful 'hero' is simply remembered as 'Corrupt Bakshi'. It is time nation corrects the wrong and accords Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad the rightful place in the Pantheon of Kashmir saviors Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad proved to be an able administrator and is remembered as the "Architect of Modern Kashmir" because of his constructive work in the State. 

He set Kashmir on the road to progress, gave a practical shape to the ideal of "Naya Kashmir", and earned fame and goodwill at home and outside Kashmir. He had a unique knack of establishing a direct rapport with people at grass-root level land gained tremendous popularity among people of all regions. He was the man who provided free education from primary class up to University level, Provided 4 Anna per Kg rice, unheard those days in whole of subcontinent. 

Established medical and engineering colleges in Srinagar, similarly the Polytechnics, gave pronounced thrust to rural development activities under CD&NES and many other pro-people schemes. Above all he became a conciliatory bridge between Sher and Bakra followers who are till date at daggers drawn with attitude sometimes very inhuman are displayed. After all these falling outs the followers of both groups snapped relations which even went to nullifying marriages even when women involved have been in state of biological confinement. 

The dismal scenario was: No question to go in for mutual matrimonial relations till Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad arrived on the scene as Prime Minister .Marriage brokers would ask to which group, the families belonged in order to be conveyed to the other side. It was simply done to know, not only for better ties and their affinities but also to carry relation forward. Just one word would link them when they merely said Bakshi Sahabnis groupus who despite close relations or proposing marriage alliances would quote when asked to which group one belonged. Prompt response for forging the alliance was Bakshi sahabnis groupus though fact was otherwise. 

After recurrent fights between Sher and Bakra faction in late 30s onwards, relations were snapped between them.History has always been at the mercy of the sponsor. Paul Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda had proved If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State. 

Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad that he served as the Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Jammu and Kashmir between 1947-1953, and as the Prime Minster of the from 1953 to 1964. It is alleged that the transition from Deputy to the Prime Minister post involved a 'coup', resulting in the dismissal and imprisonment of Sheikh Abdullah, and remains controversial. Fact is after Mohammad Ali Jinnah, rejected to offer of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah conveyed though a delegation of emissaries' Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah thought better to throw his lot with India for better pound of flesh. 

To which the emissaries after return with failed talks with Jinnah, cautioned Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, not to do so as country has been partitioned on religious lines, so in the long run it will prove disastrous. He might have had the words of Mahatma Gandhi in his mind which he co expressed to Prem Nath Bazaz through a letter dated May15, 1934 " We are sowing as we have reaped. Seeing that Kashmir is predominantly Mussalman it is bound one day to become a Mussalman state. a Hindu prince can therefore only rule by not ruling i.e. by allowing the Mussalman to do as they like and by abdicating when they are manifestly going wrong.

This is the a deal. What is expedient is more than I can judge". Under this background, Mahatma Gandhi expressed Roshni Kee Keran he saw from Kashmir, comparing it with rest of Indian subcontinent ,for valley most of it remained event free to a larger extent. May be Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad had his own reason on these lines. 

Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah has his own game plan thus set aside all the arguments put forth. At last Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad in presence of Mohammad Saiq and others said well but in case you will change mind in future which he knew tendency to do so ,at least he shall not budge from the stand taken now. And he did stood by his words. He was to Kashmir what was Kamraj to India; both suffered t because of their loyalty syndrome .

Kamraj was axed by Nehru because he feared him , Bakshi was discarded because he never forgave him to be a party to send Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to jail .His fault was, he aborted the plan which would have brought more miseries to the people of the state. Needless to add Sheikh Sahib had desired to have trout fish in his dinner that fateful night, August 9, 1953, and the privilege to get it in late hours fell to the lot of the then Tehsildar Pandita, But let us not forget that It is Bakshi Sahib kee Meharbaani for ' Kashmir Bharat (Hindustan) ka atoot ang hai'.

This reminds us when Krishana Menon once on tour to state at the Srinagar Airport while being introduced asked Sogami, a Cabinet Minister from Sogam in Bakshi sahib's cabinet, how do you do Sogami? while shaking hand , not knowing English, Sogami simply replied: Bakshi Sahib kee Meharbaani!!!. The truth is that there is no India politician since 1954 till date who hasn't parroted the "atoot ang" phrase for Kashmir. 

However, the ultimate truth is that no one, repeat no one acknowledges its author, the Kashmir Ratan of India- Bakshi Ghulam Mihammad.

 Bushan Parimoo
(The writer is a Jammu based environmentalist and a regular contributor to this Website .)
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