Sheikh Abdullah is considered the most influential yet controversial political leaders in K-conflict. Revered by his party members and deplored by the majority of Kashmiri’s, Sheikh no doubt has been the man of interest , when one studies Cashmere conflict. Sheikh Abdullah, an alumni of AMU, along with Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas founded Muslim Conference in 1932 to lead the freedom struggle against the dogra regime. However, the freedom struggle soon was converted into Sheikh’s personal feudalism. On the 113rd birthdate of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, we produce following facts about the most condemned person of the valley.
1. Prajha Sabha
After the 1931 agitation, Maharaja Hari Singh appointed an English man B.J Glancy to submit its report about the recent events. The grievance commission submitted its report in March, 1932. It suggested an elected legislative assembly (Prajha Sabha). However, this assembly was just a mockery because even after its creation, the authority to make decisions solely remained with the Dogra despot. Furthermore, people without sufficient property and women were not allowed to vote. In fact, those who possessed property less that 400 rupees were not entitled to vote. As most of the Kashmiri’s were broken by the heavy taxation system leveid upon them by the Dogra regime (86%), none of them were entitled to vote for this Assembly. The assembly was formed in 1934. Even though Sheikh Abdullah knew that none of the Kashmiri’s will be allowed to vote he gave his concurrence to the Assembly.
2. Muslim Conference to National Conference
Sheikh Abdullah along with Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas founded Muslim Conference in 1932. However the working body of the conference collapsed within two years. In 1939, Sheikh Abdullah changed the name of Muslim Conference to National Conference. After the formation of Muslim Conference in 1932, Sheikh Abdullah met Prem Nath Bazaz in Chashma Shahi. There they formed a new political ideology of “Kashmiriyat” which they propagated through their newspaper “Hamdard”. Sheikh Abdullah saw no political growth in Muslim Conference , given that it’s funding was meager. He saw an opportunity in aligning with Indian National Congress. So he followed what Prem Nath Bazaz said. There the stone of conversion was laid which later took shape in 1939. In 1934, he refused the call of Muslim Conference to boycott the elections.
3. Golden Coin to Hari Singh
After Sheikh Abdullah launched the so-called Quit Kashmir movement against the Dogra despot. He was thrown into jail and sentenced for 3 years. However on 13 September, he went to Maharaja’s palace, presented him a golden coin in a silken cloth as a sign of loyalty towards him.
4. The letter of Apology
Though Sheikh Abdullah had launched a Quit Kashmir movement against the Maharaja in 1946, he was released on 29 September, 1947. Maharaja pressed on a written apology from the self-proclaimed Lion. Sheikh Abdullah wrote an apology letter to Maharaja Hari Singh on 26 September, 1947.
5. Plebiscite Administrator
In 1949, he did not resign to make way for the appointment of Plebiscite administrator. Not only in 49, but in 1950 he turned down the plan of Sir. Owen Dixon. He again refused to step from his prime minister-ship in 1953, when UN mediator Frank Graham submitted his plan for the appointment of Plebiscite Administrator. He could’ve easily stepped out and resigned from his Prime minister-ship but he did not.
6. Plebiscite Front
Plebiscite was founded by Lieutenant of S.M Abdullah in 1955. However Sheikh remained in the jail ,condescended the Plebiscite front but never actually joined it. However, when Plebiscite Front was merged into National Conference in 1975, he took its formal membership.
7. Death Anniversary
In early nineties, when Kashmir was simmering with the everyday encounters and killing, they celebrated 2 September, the Death anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah as “Yomi-Najat Day of Deliverance)
On the day of Sheikh Abdullah’s birth which falls on 5 December, Kashmiri’s observed a civil curfew lamenting the day he was born.
Sheikh Abdullah remains an important figure and a main reason for the India-Kashmir toxic quagmire. From all of us at Ink Bind, such a Sheikh may never be born in Kashmir.