Late Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed (1907–1972) ruled the State of Jammu and Kashmir as Prime Minister/Chief Minister for eleven years from 1953 to 1964.
He was educated at C.M.S Tyndale Biscoe School, Srinagar. Initially he started his career as a school teacher serving in far flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir like Skardu and Leh and later served in the Kashmir branch of the All India Spinners' Association. He organised the students and workers and set up their unions. He was arrested several times during the freedom struggle including a sixteen-month term in Reasi sub-Jail.
Within the National Conference party, he earned the title "Khalid-e-Kashmir" for his pioneering work to rewrite the fate of Kashmir. Historians call him the Architect of modern Kashmir.
I had the proud privilege of meeting this Architect (Bakshi Sahib) long back, sometime in the year 1962-63. I was a member of the deputation/delegation which had sought appointment with the 'Architect' to grant permission to publish a Hindi fortnightly 'Prakash', a rare venture to see getting through in a non-Hindi speaking state like J&K.
I recall we met Bakshi Sahib in his office somewhere near/in front of Polo Ground, (Srinagar). After we got in his chamber and he was apprised by his PA of our purpose to seek audience with him, he straightway shot a question: ‘editor kus chhu’(Editor kaun hai)? Someone from amongst us pointing his finger towards me, uttered politely: ‘yi janaab’, (yeh hai Janab) - MA (Hindi)pass first division.
The Architect stared at me for a while, perhaps to evaluate and judge my worth through his intuition. My age should not have been more than 21 at that point of time. Then he came up with yet another question: ‘Ath akhbaars manz ma rozi politics’(Is akhbaar mei koyi politics to nahi hogi)? ‘Na janaab, ye chhhu akh smaajee ta dharmik akhbaar’ (Nahi janaab, yeh to ek samajik aur dharmik akhbaar hoga), replied one of our learned members quickly.
The permission was granted and some advertisements, too, were offered. Publication of Prakash continued for several years but eventually had to be abandoned for want of adequate funds etc. The sponsor Brahmin Maha Mandal could not sustain the financial burden for long. Besides publishing the messages received from great Hindi writers and luminaries like Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Seth Govind Das, Mahadevi Verma, Upendra Nath Ashk etc. in the inaugural issue of Prakash, Bakshi Sahib’s beautiful message, too, was published on the front page of Prakash along with his photograph.
Dr. Shiben Krishen Raina
Currently in Ajman (UAE)
Member, Hindi Salahkar Samiti,
Ministry of Law & Justice (Govt. of India)
Senior Fellow, Ministry of Culture (Govt. of India)
Dr. Raina's mini bio can be read here: