‘Political blunders by some leaders affected Kashmir movement’

History Of JK Doctored: Munshi Ghulam Hassan


Manasbal (Ganderbal) Dec 23: It was a journey through chequered history of Jammu and Kashmir when a veteran bureaucrat Munshi Ghulam Hassan revealed untold stories which “changed popular political discourse” of Kashmir.

During the maiden session of the Meet the Eminent Series organized by the Greater Kashmir Foundation here on Sunday, Munshi did not mince words to point out that “political blunders committed by some leaders of Kashmiris and conspiracies affected the Quit Kashmir Movement.” Munshi was the guest of honour at the Meet the Eminent.

Born in 1927, Munshi, a former chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Bank and ex-commissioner Income Tax is the son of Munshi Ishaq, one of the founders of Kashmir’s freedom struggle.

“Most of the self-appointed leaders in Jammu and Kashmir don’t know the political history of Kashmir. People of Kashmir have faced trepidation during the rule of Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs and Dogras. It took over 400 years for Kashmiris to unite and launch a movement for their respect, dignity and future in thirties. In 1931 Kashmiris irrespective of sect assembled at Khankha-e-Moula in Srinagar and passed a resolution to fight for right to self-determination,” Munshi said.

Munshi termed it as a golden period for Kashmir’s freedom movement. “Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah played a prominent role in it. He vowed to take the movement to its logical conclusion. At that time Accountant General’s office had only one Muslim officer. The public movement became so intense that Maharaja conceded to some demands of Kashmiris. He also formed the Galancy Commission. But the movement received a jolt when Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah decided to convert Muslim Conference into National Conference. With this Sheikh Abdullah gradually lost popularity,” Munshi said.

Munshi said after the formation of National Conference, Sheikh faced pressures from within and outside the party. “Succumbing to the pressure Sheikh Abdullah launched Quit Kashmir Movement. But it was too late. He lost political vision. Before accession, my father told me that Khawaja Abdul Rahim Divisional Commissioner of Rawalpindi came to meet Sheikh Abdullah. He offered internal autonomy but Sheikh’s response was lukewarm and said he has to first go to Delhi,” he said.

Munshi claimed that the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India was “already decided” before its actual execution. “Later the buck was passed on to the Qabalis. On similar pattern, the 1975 accord was also decided long ago and executed later. History of Jammu and Kashmir has been doctored,” he said.

Munshi said election is the root cause of corruption. “Corrupt officers divert their black money into elections. During 1977 elections, some people collected Rs 20 lakh for Sheikh Abdullah and in return he allowed construction of some hotels in Boulevard. They were also given soft loans. Corruption has become part of politics,” he said.

On the filling of Nallah Mar canal, Munshi claimed it was the “handiwork of an Indian agency.” “Some officials of a central investigating agency toured old city and termed it as a fertile ground for guerilla warfare. They asked for immediate filling of Nallah Mar canal. Few years later, a foreigner met the chief secretary Nasrullah and showed him some pictures of Nallah Mar and insisted to see it. But a road had already replaced Nallah Mar,” Munshi said.
A question answer session was also held at the end of the programme. On the occasion, noted columnist ZG Muhammad said the GK Foundation has started Meet The Eminent Series to “highlight contribution of those people of the State who have contributed their bit to the society.”
GK Columnist Ajaz-ul-Haque presented vote of thanks