Fifty years ago, we were just toddlers….
Fifty years ago, we were just playing with stones, trucks and dolls….
Fifty years ago, we just tried to learn our ABCs…..
Fifty years ago, we were just wondering for our bread and butter…….
Before a recent decade, during the darkest nights, our parents had to hide us in their chests in order to escape the claws of fissiparous tendencies of nefarious designs looming over our heads…..
Now, Bhalessa has grown up and the only passion in lives of the masses is to look for a sea change in their lifestyle in hitherto heritage.
Before I apt to go for a brief discussion on the life and achievements of the people who keep Bhalessa on Driver’s seat. I mention here that Bhalessa before 50 years of slavery was ruled by people of outside regions thereby we remained under agony, we remained ignorant of the rights and duties. No education, no leadership was the order of the day.
Interestingly, some people started movements to bring change in the lifestyle of the masses.
I put in place the exemplary services rendered by the then Director Education Ghulam Rasool Azad who owing to his social and Political movement- The cohesive social order seemed to be revealed. We are all taking fruits of the the main root of our terrain-who contributed richy or the educational advancement, economic development and in diverse fields of his activity.
I mention the names of those who contributed immensely for the popularization of Bhalessa’s social political and developmental convas were, Ghulam Rasool Azad, Munshi Mohd. Anwer, Munshi Ram Chand Parihar, Gahulam Nabi Rather, Master Anoroud Singh, Hari saran Jaildar, Habib ullah Malik, Prof. Umer Din, Abdul Aziz Batt and Talib Bhalessi.
Over time there seemed less political or social awakening among the elites, the area was little progressed, there was no education rather primary schooling to the people. People used to go to Bhaderwah for their primary studies.
The political staire was also lacking as people represented a low income strata and economy was poor. The people seemed out of such activism. Hari Saran Zaildar of Batara was regarded as a chief Chowkidar of the hamlet. The first teacher was Anirud Singh of Khaljugasar who was educated from Bhaderwah.
Some families over time migrated from Kashmir. The whole Chenab valley and Bhaderwah Jagir was ruled by Rana’s and Thakurs. The area of Bhalessa was a part of Bhaderwah Jagir and Bhaderwah was regarded as a main centre of decentralization.
It is learnt from our elderly that they used to go Bhaderwah for ration to feed them.
Owing to the close proximity with Bhaderwah, people maintained healthy relations with Bhaderwah.
However, many families in Kashmir have migrated from one part to another in search of habitation and livelihood. One such family was the Batt family which migrated to the Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh while a few factions stayed in Bhalessa’s Soti village. The family at Soti took up peasant work. Ghulam Rasool Azad was born in the year 1916 to this peasant family. There were only two schools then in Bhalessa – the Primary school Kilhotran and the Bhaderwah Amar Singh school. Rasool’s father Kh. Khazra Batt sent him to both.
In 1935, Ghulam Rasool Azad passed the graduate entrance examination from Jammu Centre. He graduated in Mathematics. He did his post graduation from Punjab University in 1943. Munshi Mohamed Anwer was also enrolled in Bhaderwah Ghulam Rasool Azad’s Kashmir Policy
The history of the state lacks absurdly the evidence of viewpoints made by majority of unsung heroes of the state on the trouble torn Kashmir. Their Kashmir policy, handling the situation of communal disharmony over time, the pages of history are absurdly lacking the mention of such epitomes of peace who played acted as a catalyst for the cementing Hindu Muslim amity during a course of time.
Ghulam Rasool Azad was very sensitive over the issue on Kashmir. As a freedom fighter, he pleaded the cause of minority community and shouted for Hindu Muslim relations. The fact reveals that he is not in the history owing to his belonging from improvised Jammu region. Even sheikh sahib himself once that if Kashmir region can produce leaders like Azad, like of Jammu region, it may go a long way to help in achieving the slogan of Naya Kashmir.
Azad opposed the prevalent Propaganda of heartedness disseminated by the political forces of that time.
Moreover his policy on Kashmir was quite clear that he advocated that that the issue should not be put in isolation.
Azad being a renowned journalist wrote in his owned weekly “Dahr” where he opposed the foreign imperialism and the atrocities and discrimination meted by the Muslim minority. He opined that Kashmir is a commodity discovered from where? Is it discovered from Aligarh to Jamsheedpur to Ranchi, Ahmedabad to Kanpur or Jabulpur to Sagar or Nagpur, from Indore and samba ?
As per his analysis, the issue has been discovered from the central departments and military, department of posts and Railways and Banks and has finally discovered here in Jammu and Kashmir where the Muslim minority is being harassed and there is of late discrimination meted to them, Azad pointed in his weekly “The Dehr”. He was sensitive over the central government’s faith towards the minority of Bihar, UP, Delhi, Bangal, Maharashtra, Gujrat and Orrisa and suggested the centre for Justice with the community. He was of the opinion that be it the central government or the stations of chauvinism, these be stopped and ultimately the Kashmir issue will be stopped. However, such an ideology of Azad, was endorsed by the BJP leader Sh. L.K Advani on 21st of June 1990 in Calcutta during his speech like this: “ Over the years, instead of looking upon the Muslims as part of Indian masses, the congress by its actions, has segregated the community and turned it into an instrument of electoral politics by talking about the so called “Muslim Voters”.
Mr. Advani appealed the community in Calcutta to consider the Muslim as Part of Indian nation.
Ghulam Rasool Azad’s Perception of Kashmir Problem:
He advocated that Kashmir issue should not be taken in isolation. It is deeply connected with the insecurity and deprivation of the muslims of India who are most deprived, the most discriminated and the most oppressed and suppressed community in the country.
Military in Kashmir is the symbol of the assertion of Muslim Identity in India. It should be recognized and dealt with as such.
Azad asserted the elimination of internal factors responsible for the problem, the problem actually was a discrimination and injustice confronted to the minority community. He advocated that the external factors like of Pakistan’s interference can be ended only if the Government of India can take care of the internal factors responsible for the Kashmir issue. Azad viewed that even if all the militants are wiped from the valley and there is no militancy left in the state, the Kashmir problem will still remain with ferociousness on account of the unprecedented sacrifices made by kashmiri’s till a just political solution is arrived at and stopping the bullet for bullet policy adopted by Militants and Indian soldiers.
In a letter to Ghulam Nabi Azad on 30th August 1992, Azad wrote:
“We are all sick. The most painful events and aweful situation in the state have made us all sick and most miserable and every one longs for a solution of the Kashmir problem, an honorable and Just Political solution”.
It was a time when former Governor of the state, Dr. Karan Singh and his wife visited the spot at Hazratbal Kashmir where forty day’s encounter ended between Militants and Indian Soldiers. Azad endorsed the former Governor for this visit, while endorsing Dr. Karan Singh for his visit to Hazratbal, Azad writes on 3rd November 1993 to him as like this:
“Kashmir issue is neither “Hamara Androoni Mamla” or “Our integral part” as such, nor terrorism sponsored by Pakistan nor can the two nation theory of 1930, 1940 or 1947 be applied to the Kashmir of 1993”.
Azad further writes,” Kashmir is neither Punjab nor Afghanistan, It is Kashmir” (Jammu and Kashmir only).