with robust commonsense, exemplary grit and courage and
skills, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad held the reins of government in the wake
of Sheikh Abdullah's deposition in 1953 for anti-national
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Battle for Restoration of Rights
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.
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.
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-à-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.