SHEIKH MUHAMMAD ABDULLAH (December 5, 1905 - September 8, 1982)

LION OF KASHMIR: And that is how he was known, a towering personality, the undisputed, unchallenged, unrivalled and betrayed political leader till he breathed his last. Sheikh Abdullah’s only achievement as Prime Minister for six years of rule was the abolition of feudal land ownership, 'Land to tiller' as it was referred to, a step to hit the Pandit landowners and Dogra Rajputs very hard, who carried on entertaining grudge to sabotage and scuttle his every political move thence-forth.
The history continues..............
NEHRU-SHEIKH UMBILICAL CORD
 
Nehru discarded him to shred the 'umbilical cord’ to smithereens and would "shuttle him from one jail to another for the next twenty-two years. The coup on August 09, 1953 authorized by Nehru justifying the action that ‘Sheikh had autocratic methods which resulted in the loss of the majority of his cabinet, caused trauma to the electorate’. This is somewhat puzzling for the people of Kashmir to comprehend and fail to understand asking, why on earth did Sheikh keep on trusting Nehru or what was the compulsion? He had the whole population behind him for all his rights and wrongs and that is where he derived his strength from, but that did not seem to be enough and he failed to understand that Nehru mesmerized him to legitimize his plan to answer any questions those would be asked on an international level; had Nehru simply banked on Hari Singh´s purported Instrument of Accession. Moreover, people of Kashmir were pained to see Sheikh's continued and persistent trust reposed in someone who stabbed him in the back many times over.
 
Pandit Nehru's trump card, mesmerised and beguiled Sheikh Abdullah, a key source to sedate local population to stay indifferent and unconcerned to landing of Indian 1 Sikh at Srinagar airport. Sheikh, perhaps, wasn't aware that Maharaja Patiala's elite force was already there in Srinagar guarding the airport much before landing of 1 Sikh or invasion of Pathan tribesmen or even purport accession document was signed. People's attention diverted to:  hamla awar khabardar, hum kashmiri hain taiyaar (O invader! beware! we kashmiris are ready to face you) Sheikh taken for a ride, paid huge dividends to Pandit Nehru.
 
SHEIKH CRIED OVER NEHRU´s SUSPICIOUS DEATH
Towards the end, perhaps, realising his mistake Nehru dropped all fabricated cases of treason against Sheikh who in spite of his long jail terms respected and revered him more than anyone else in India. 1962 war with China was the greatest blow and as believed Nehru now wanted to settle Kashmir issue and improve on good neighbourly relations with Pakistan which Nehru thought was inching towards a closer diplomatic and military relation with China.
 
The evidence is rife and well documented that Sheikh Abdullah was emotionally attached to the ideals of Pandit Nehru who made him believe that Kashmir based on the principle of secularism and democracy will help carve out an independent Kashmir and Indian ethos based on same principles will guarantee Kashmir´s well being and security. The argument gives credence to the fact that towards the fag end of his life, Nehru asked Abdullah to visit and negotiate a settlement with President Ayub Khan of Pakistan. A positive response from Ayub Khan was too much for exciting Sheikh to encounter and within hours Pandit Nehru´s unfortunate untimely death dashed Abdullah´s hopes. No one had ever seen Abdullah crying in a manner as at the deathbed of Pandit Nehru at Teen Murti (Nehruís official residence). As believed, Sheikh cried because he had been assured a definite solution to Kashmir by Pandit Nehru. It is widely believed that Nehru was killed by Indian army.
 
Initially a nationalist, frequently imprisoned by Maharaja from 1931 and literate among illiterate Muslim majority made him very popular and the people as a whole visualized through him a very rosy political future. Abdullah had a master’s degree in Chemistry from Aligarh Muslim University, joined Government service as a teacher but soon gave up the job to join political struggle against Maharaja. It is said, he was introduced to Jawaharlal lal Nehru in 1930 who offered him a hand of friendship which cost Kashmiris very dearly. A charismatic leader, Sheikh Abdullah a dream like situation, was a crowd puller and in spite of his weaknesses was revered, loved and admired for the inherent qualities, right or wrong, as a leader. Apparently, an independent Kashmir as his dream and to achieve this objective he backed wrong horses. Unfortunately, he lacked political acumen, had no vision and was oblivious about the intricacies of politics. It is on record that he trusted a shrewd politician Pandit Nehru who made him believe to be his bosom friend and that is where he made wrong decisions and was betrayed. The caucus of opportunists around Sheikh Abdullah, an old lion now, convinced him of a political defeat and forced him to commit his life's blunder by signing infamous 75 accord and accept whatever was being offered by Government of India. Unfortunately, Sheikh's political history that could have been written in golden words was archived never to be mentioned again.
 
Spearheading attacks from two-faced, white collar Pandits in the valley, Abdullah faced another formidable opposition from Hindu-dominated Jammu region. Disgruntled officials in Hari Singh’s administration and deprived Hindu landowners formed an organization Praja Parishad that always managed to give Abdullah a tough time. A special mention must be made of a school teacher Balraj Madhok, a Hindu fundamentalist of Jana Sang party, vehemently opposed to Muslims all over India in general and Kashmiri Muslims in particular who did not spare a moment to unleash scathing attacks on Abdullah and Kashmiri Muslims.
 
Unlike Maharaja Hari Singh, Sheikh Abdullah was in two minds. The former showed resilience to stay independent till the last moment but for the unfortunate intrusion of Pathan tribesmen from North West Frontier Province the course of history would have been entirely different. The Maharaja was so adamant that he even refused to entertain Mountbatten of Burma and managed to send him back to India empty-handed. Maharaja and Nehru did not see eye to eye as Nehru was stopped and arrested by Maharaja’s forces at Kohala to bar him from entering Kashmir. Maharaja an impediment, Nehru laid a trap to entice Sheikh and leave the job of tackling the Maharaja to V P Menon supported by Mehar Chand Mahajan with the blessings of Lord Mountbatten. Nehru also received unsolicited help from Mohammad Ali Jinnah and other leaders of Pakistan by ignoring Abdullah’s stature and importance in the equation that allowed him to be used by Nehru. Abdullah suspected and given to understand that Kashmir acceding to Pakistan surely meant his ouster from Kashmiri political scene and dominance of Pakistani feudal lords to marginalize the Kashmiri population monopolizing the entire economic structure. Pandit Nehru succeeded with verbal promises and a few gestures of political statements to hoodwink Sheikh as the latter used his leadership to control the malleable mindset of Kashmiris to gain time for an Indian military stronghold on Kashmir. A firm military grip on his ‘ancestral home’ was enough for Nehru to dispense with his expendable friend accusing him of sedition or treason. Sheikh sensing the betrayal messed up his political future with empty roars in Kashmir and behavior of a tamed Lion elsewhere in India:
 
"The existence of Kashmir did not depend on Indian money, trade, or defense forces, and did not expect any strings to be attached to Indian aid and threats. The taunts would not intimidate into servile submission". Sheikh received an overwhelming public support that he did not seem to respect or understand, and unfortunately sold Kashmir cheaply second time after the British traded Kashmir for a paltry sum to Maharaja Gulab Singh in the year 1846.
 
DESPERATE SHEIKH
 
"Abdullah" did try to convey his intended political compulsions based on friendship, mutual trust and above all sincerity but the message seemed to have filtered through, for thoughtful Nehru always looked focused in different directions. Abdullah not being a visionary failed to understand the international situation towards the beginning of 1940's when United Kingdom faced with acute economic slump had virtually decided to quit as they could not afford to keep their foothold in India any longer. Sheikh Abdullah's support for Maharaja Hari Singh for latter’s effort to keep both India and Pakistan away by offering to sign 'standstill agreement' could have paved the way for a sovereign independent Kashmir. Under the circumstances if Abdullah were a seasoned politician he would wait to keep Maharaja engaged in domestic politics allowing him to rule as sovereign head of the state especially when International political support was visible. The subsequent development of relation between him and Nehru sent alarming bells to Pakistani leadership who were rather emotionally attached to Kashmir. The disappointed Chowdhry Ghulam Abaas another Kashmir leader and Kashmiris who had become part of the newly created Pakistani army (notable among them were the mastermind of Pathan invasion Major Khursheed Anwar, and Akbar Khan with a pseudonym General Tariq if taken into confidence, would have joined hands and a strategy evolved would culminate into a situation that would leave Kashmir undisturbed both by India and Pakistan and Pathan invasion would have been out of question.
 
[photos courtesy Alia Mubarak]
INFAMOUS ACCORD
 
The bye-bye hand-shake of that infamous 75 accord, on the right, Sheikh Abdullah accepted the post of Chief Minister and it is widely believed that he was rather forced, by political opportunists and greedy people closely related to him, to accept anything that was offered smearing his name and consigning his glorious past to history. And on the left, a golden opportunity missed by a whisker due to incapability of political maturity displayed by Sheikh and his lieutenants.
 
Sheikh Abdullah had no cards to play when he concluded an Accord with Indira Gandhi and became Chief Minister on February 24, 1975. At the outset, on August 23, 1974, he had written to G. Parthasarathy: "I hope that I have made it abundantly clear to you that I can assume office only on the basis of the position as it existed on August 8, 1953." Judgment on the changes since "will be deferred until the newly elected Assembly comes into being".
 
SHEIKH´s WARNING
 
Sheikh Abdullah's warning in 1952, that "any suggestion of altering arbitrarily this basis of our relationship with India would not only constitute a breach of the spirit and letter of the Constitution, but it may invite serious consequences for a harmonious association of our State with India", fell on deaf ears and from Nehru to Jagmohan all left no stone unturned to erode the relationship that Sheikh Abdullah had, apparantly, developed with his mentor, Nehru.
 
By 1953 Sheikh Abdullah realized India's other intentions and started objecting to any interference from Indian Government. He reminded Nehru of his promise of independence for his country and this fragile and temporary friendship did not last very long and Nehru in his first opportunity arrested Sheikh Abdullah on 9th August, 1953 and installed a puppet regime of Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad. Sheikh Abdullah was released in 1970 and the geographical political change in the sub-continent, through emergence of Bangladesh in 1971 brought a lot of disappointment for Sheikh Abdullah and the people of Kashmir. This time he was again hoodwinked not by Nehru but his daughter Prime minister of India Mrs Indra Gandhi by making him sign an accord known as "75 accord".
 
OPPORTUNITIES - PAKISTAN AND TASHKANT
 
After 11 years of imprisonment, Nehru allowed him to visit Pakistan and negotiate the return of Azad Kashmir(Pakistan held Kashmir) and if Pakistan agreed then India would also leave Kashmir that India was holding. As is said before, Sheikh Abdullah was least bit a politician and showed his immaturity when he came out of President Ayub's office after the meeting facing the international media. He announced that he was satisfied with the negotiation he had with Pakistani President and would rush to Delhi to speak to Nehru. That statement was the last nail in the coffin and few hours later the unfortunate news came about Pandit Nehru's sudden death (May 27, 1964) and circumstances which many believe were mysterious.
 
There came another opportunity for Kashmir to see the light of freedom through this dark tunnel and that was provided by Tashkant Decleration. India and Pakistan dicided to settle the dispute through the mediation of Soviet Union, it was decided to hold discussion and these were held in Tashkant on January 10, 1966 between Pakistan President Ayub Khan and Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Kashmiri people had very high hopes so had the international community whose attention was focussed on Tashkant but all the hopes were dashed the same night in Tashkant as the news came that Lal Bahadur Shastri is dead and again many believe those circumstances to be mysterious as well.
 
SHASTRI FAMILY SUSPECTS A POLITICAL MURDER
 
Late Lal Bahadur Shastri´s family have made several appeals to the governments in India to conduct an inquiry into the death of their father in Tashkant in suspicious circumstances. The sons Sunil and Anil Shastri both in politics have impressed upon government of India that even their mother always believed that "he was killed". Anil Shastri, as reported in Hindustan Times, said his entire family on the invitation of Soviet Union Premier Alexei Kosygin visited USSR in a special aircraft to see the area and surroundings of the place of demise of their father. "There was negligence with regard to his place of stay. Why was he put up in a far-off hotel that was about 15 km from the main city? And there was no phone or call bell in his room. My mother wanted to meet the cook incharge in Tashkant to prepare food for the visiting Prime Minister but was told that the cook was not available". The family since has been asking for declassification of the files for years but these several requests have fallen on deaf ears.
 
MORAR JI DESAI IN KASHMIR
Sheikh Abdullah´s son-in law Late Gulam Muhammad Shah greets Indian Prime Minister Late Morar Ji Desai of ´urine therapy fame´ and Sheikh Abdullah looks on. On visiting a down town Srinagar area, an embarrassing Mr Desai was greeted by innocent Kashmiris with an ocean of 'green flags' and with the chants "Pakistani Ghazi (Pakistani hero) is here".
 
Gul Shah Padshah
Minister for Food and Supplies, Shah making a point to explain, to the first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prashad, his method of distribution of food and supplies to the people of Kashmir while Prime Minister Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad looks on.
 
The politics at Rawalpindi
As is said, the General at Rawalpindi had agreed to leave Kashmir held by Pakistan providing India reciprocates by leaving their part, but the delegation had to return to India, the following night, as the mysterious sudden death of Pandit Ji dashed everybody's hopes.
 

CREDIBILITY OF "INCREDIBLE INDIA"

One morning of Dec-Jan 1990, notorious Indian CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) knock at the door of Abdul Ahad Bhat of Batmaloo, Srinagar and demand the TV set to watch their favourite program "Ramayana". The lady of the house opens the door to find uniformed armed infantry men staring at her with the demand and the next minute she collapses and is rushed by her relations to the hospital to be declared dead. In Kashmir "incredible India" does such miracles on daily basis.
INDIAN ARMY's CRIMES IN KASHMIR UPDATED

International Forum for Justice and Human Rights:
The number of gun pellet injury victims, especially youth, mounts to 877. Men women and children invalid for life, click photo to enlarge.
 
DAMAGE INDISCRIMNATE
  • 308 hit in the face by pellets
  • 73 have lost eyesight
  • 174 men and children lost arms
  • 100 have legs amputated
  • 222 received body injuries
 
Special Director General of Police, Coordination, Law and Order S. P Vaid shares information on incidents with Rising Kashmir Reporter Mir Liyaqat Ali.(December 18, 2016)
 
MORE DAMAGE BY INDIAN INSTALLED VAID
  • 5084 people have been arrested
  • 500 have been detained under (Public Safety Act)
  • 30 schools have been set ablaze in last five months
  • 250 to 275 militants operating in the Valley
 
TIMES OF INDIA (May 21, 2016)
Around 1.8 million of Kashmir´s population show significant amount of mental distress.

 
KASHMIR RESOLUTION 47
 
KASHMIRIS BETRAYED
Kashmiris betrayed by India and mushroom political non-entities used Kashmir for their petty economic interests and down the line we have Abdullahs, Bakshis, Sadiqs, Mir Qasims, Abdullahs’ progeny and this new breed of Mufti dynasty. The fact remains that Kashmiris have suffered enough and the time is not far when the blood of more than one hundred thousand people will result in a fulfilled dream of breathing fresh air in the atmosphere of an independent Kashmir
The people of Kashmir are grappling with the notion to understand their ´LION´ to remain faithful to Pandit Nehru even after being put behind bars and later banished from the State for more than two decades.
 
V N Datta
 
A renowned Indian scholar and an acclaimed writer commented on Sheikh Abdullah in the following manner: "Nehru’s backtracking on verbal promises, a provoked Sheikh’s utterances in public culminated into a fait accompli coup that silenced him through a direct order issued by Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, a sinister conspiracy of personal vendetta hatched in the state to topple Abdullah's government. The ground for his arrest was the fear that he would declare the state independent, and the quintet that pulled it off comprised Kaul, Mullick, Bakhshi, Karan Singh and that consummate wirepuller, D.P.Dhar. Despite the decade long judicial proceedings against the Sheikh, there was nothing to prove, and the trial had to be called off. Sheikh was released and all this was not enough for him to learn a lesson."
 
MORE THOUGHT
 
Nehru-Abdullah Agreement in July 1952 (the Delhi Agreement) confirmed that "the residuary powers of legislation" (on matters not mentioned in the State List or the Concurrent List), which Article 248 and Entry 97 (Union List) confer on the Union, will not apply to Kashmir. The order of 1986 purported to apply to the State Article 249, which empowers Parliament to legislate even on a matter in the State List if a Rajya Sabha resolution so authorizes it by a two-thirds vote. But it so amended Article 249 in its application to Kashmir as in effect to apply Article 248 instead. Any matter specified in the resolution, being a matter which is not enumerated in the Union List or in the Concurrent List. The Union thus acquired the power to legislate not only on all matters in the State List, but others not mentioned in the Union List or the Concurrent List - the residuary power. In relation to other States, an amendment to the Constitution would require a two-thirds vote by both Houses of Parliament plus ratification by the States (Article 368). For Kashmir, executive orders have sufficed since 1953 and can continue till Doomsday.
 
YET, all hell broke loose when the State Assembly adopted, on June 26, a resolution recording its acceptance of the report of the State Autonomy Committee (the Report) and asked "the Union Government and the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to take positive and effective steps for the implementation of the same." On July 4, the Union Cabinet said that the resolution was "unacceptable... would set the clock back and reverse the natural process of harmonizing the aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir with the integrity of the State" - a patent falsehood, as everyone knows.
 
Another gross case illustrates the capacity for abuse. On July 30, 1986, the President made an order under Article 370, extending to Kashmir Article 249 of the Constitution in order to empower Parliament to legislate even on a matter in the State List on the strength of a Rajya Sabha (Upper House) resolution. ´Concurrence´ to this was given by the Centre's own appointee, Governor Jagmohan. G.A. Lone, a former Secretary, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, to the State Government described in Kashmir Times (April 20, 1995) how the manipulation was done in a single day against the Law Secretary's advice and in the absence of a Council of Ministers.
 
Serious discussion with Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and S D Mujahid. Later Bakshi, the right hand man and a great source of strength, sensed his wavering political mind jumped the queue to sideline his mentor and leader to become a darling of Pandit Nehru. Still later, Pandit Nehru dumped Bakshi using "Kamraj Plan" to install other puppets down the line to keep the fragile grip over Kashmir.
 
Hard memories of the past when in November, 1947 Nehru visited Kashmir and was greeted by Sheikh Abdullah with garlands and very warm hugs and same Mr Nehru ousted him from Prime Ministership and put him behind bars on August 9, 1953 first for eleven years and later externed him from the State. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad is also seen with a garland but he, it seems, is being ignored by Nehru and the same Mr. Bakshi was installed as Prime Minister after Sheikhs arrest. Kashmiris never considered Nehru to be their leader. Indira Gandhi right behind astutely observing the situation.
 
Begum Akbar Jehan
Begum Abdullah has been very influential in political decision making. As is said father, an old Lion, was not inclined to allow his doctor son to indulge in politics and reluctantly agreed on the proposal. Doctor son persuaded his mother to put pressure on father, a spent-force, to declare him an heir apparent and helpless Lion succumbed to family´s self-indulgent nature to put last nail in the coffin of Abdullah's political legacy.
 
Sheri Kashmir
Sheikh Abdullah loved, admired and held in esteem for qualities believed to be inherent in him to deliver and free the nation from slavery. The overwhelming support Sheikh Abdullah received from all corners, Ladakh-Srinagar, Gilgit-Baltistan and international support to some extent was unprecedented, unfortunately did not seem enough for him to have a dream materialised. His indifferent obstinate nature lost him his sincere and selfless supporters and these all were replaced by political opportunists and sycophants.
 
SIGNING LAND REFORMS BILL
An ´outstanding feat´ performed to harden the stance of traditional opponents, the land owners, that gave them a reason to think that their future is at stake and connived to entertain a grudge against Sheikh to scuttle his every move. The bill sent alarming bells to 4% elite group of Kashmiri Pandits who panicked and used Pandit Nehru to put Kashmir where it is now. The group has ever since been busy with intrigues and schemes to undermine the peaceful co-existence of different communities to the State of Kashmir.
 
MOULVI ABDULLAH VAKIL
Moulvi Abdullah Vakil introduced Sheikh Abdullah, a young rebel, who later fought against Maharaja Hari Singh to free his people from the shackles of bondage but fell into a trap laid by his bosom friend Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. READING ROOM Fateh Kadal chosen as the venue for launching indomitable Sheikh starting his speech with reciting the Quranic Verses to infuse new blood into the struggle against Maharaja that allowed him to take a shape to become an undisputed leader and master of the destiny of people of Kashmir.
 
SELFLESS FREEDOM FIGHTERS AND LOVERS OF KASHMIR
The selfless stalwart feedom fighters, the likes of Muhammad Omar Keng, Ghulam Qadir of Pulwama, Sula (Sultan) Galdaar, Gaffar Gujri, Muhammad Abdullah Lone, Jalalludin (Kanj), Khaliq Joo Siraj, Abdul Rahman Siraj of Zaina Kadal, Pir Ji brothers, Muhammad Sikandar, Rahman Saudagar of Nawhatta and scores of others with unflinching courage gave unstinting support and financial help to their 'Lion of Kashmir' but were ignored and sidelined soon after the dream merchant tied his knot of umbilical cord with Nehru´s.
 
The master diplomat, promised a plebiscite in Kashmir on several occasions and in 1953 to negotiate a settlement on Kashmir engaged his Pakistani counterpart, Mohammed Ali Bogra in talks with no visible end used the opportunity to exploit his neighbor’s alliance with the U.S, formalized in November, 1953 when Islamabad joined SEATO in September 1954 and Baghdad Pact or CENTO in 1959. Nehru changed his mind using as pretext, the American military aid to Pakistan and announced that it (the aid received was meant for a threat from the Communist block and not India) had altered the context of the Kashmir problem. So in the beginning of 1954, he conveniently declared: "We have reached the point of no return for the plebiscite."
 
"Sheri kashmir ki sadaqat sey dunya ko hiladayngey"
The people of Kashmir always thought Sheikh Abdullah to be a force to reckon with and firmly believed him to face any challenges that would thwart the ambition of seeking independence for his country and people. The overwhelming people's support Abdullah mustered made him an undisputed leader to take individual decisions. He was a leader no doubt but lacked vision and political acumen. The trickiness of Pandit Nehru was too much for him to comprehend and even uptill his death could never believe a friend like Nehru to take him for a ride and dump him.
 
UN Office at Gupkar road
Nearly two million people on the streets of Srinagar mourning their leaders death, a witness that he was loved, admired and thought to be a saviour. Soon after people dejected and frustrated, realising their leaders failure to deliver, took to arms and came out in open against the occupying powerand the fight spilling blood continues till date.