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The towering Gujjar leader

The towering Gujjar leader

Ibtisaam Choudhary
Ch. Wazir Mohd Hakla who served for Gujjar Community belonged to famous Hakla Sub Caste of Gujjars which is an off-shoot of panwar or parmar dynasty.
He was born about 102 years ago in one of the border villages of Jammu and Kashmir state Bandichechian of district Poonch. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth with all facilities of domestic comforts. He was a social reformer who always valued the importance of education.
Ch. Wazir Mohd Hakla brought about a lot of economic, social, political and educational awakening among the Gujjar Bakarwal community but under the impact of 1947 partition of country all those activities came to halt for sometime but with the attainment of freedom from the British rule these activities were restarted by Hakla Sahib due to the establishment of democracy in India. Hakla observed that some influential people who were at the helm of affairs, were not treating Gujjar Bakarwal community well, so he launched a campaign to educate Gujjar Bakarwal community educationally, socially, economically and politically and rendered untiring services for the all round upliftment of this community till he breathed his last.  He tried to unite them and aware them of their rights and importance in civil society. Ch. Wazir Mohd Hakla was a secular, Gujjar intellectual and undaunted social reformer. He was a writer, historian and a renowned personality not only in Jammu and Kashmir but was recognized at the national level also.
He did exemplary achievements by uniting Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Jain Gujjars of India. He enlightened Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Jain Gujjars of India, educationally, politically, socially and economically by conducting several conferences in different states of India at several occasions and inspired them to march on the path of progress in all walks of life. He addressed crowded conferences of the Gujjar community and made them aware of their problems and demands which the successive governments had failed to solve and continued his struggle for the solution of their just problems from the governments of the time and to some extent got them solved.
He was the first Gujjar personality of J&K who participated in the first ever Gujjar conference at Himachal Pardesh on 1958 when the government of India conferred scheduled tribe status upon the Gujjars of Himachal Pardesh. While addressing the audience from all over the India. Mr  Hakla demanded that the scheduled tribe status should also be conferred upon the Gujjar Bakarwals of J&K. As a result of it,  the movement of scheduled tribe for Gujjar Bakarwal of J&K started at that time.
To remove the backwardness of Gujjar Bakarwal community of J&K Ch. Wazir Mohd Hakla  first put forward the idea of granting them the status of scheduled tribe and started a great movement to achieve goal of grant of Scheduled Tribe status for Gujjar Bakarwal and the movement continued even after his death which was granted at last.
On 11 June 1965 the Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Muslim Gujjars of India held a great sammelan under the banner of All India Gujjar Samaj Sudhar Sabha at Badarpur, Delhi which was chaired by Ch. Wazir Mohd Hakla of Poonch J&K state who in his presidential speech had put the demand before the Govt. of India to grant Scheduled Tribe status to Gujjars Bakarwals of J&K on the basis of poverty and backwardness. He appealed the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Jain Gujjars leader to extend full co-operation to Gujjar Bakarwal of J&K to achieve their objective. After this sammelan the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Jain Gujjar leaders of other states of India extended full support to their movement.
People still remember and appreciate his works and services which he rendered for the growth of Gojri literature and language. He had played a great role in broadcasting Gojri programmes from Radio Kashmir Srinagar and Jammu stations. To popularize Gojri language Ch. Wazir Mohd Hakla got his message published in many magazines and newspapers. He searched and collected many pieces of lost Gojri literature from here and there and then published in print media, so that people might read and benefit from them thereby giving the Gojri language and literature a new file shape. He had started a movement for the spread of Gojri language. He made a research on Gujjar history and apprised the community of importance of Gujjar history.
To honor the services of Ch. Wazir Mohd Hakla in the field of politics, social activities and literary exploits, govt. of Jammu and Kashmir, named road from Darungli Nallah to Bandichechian village of Poonch Distt. with 10 km length as “Choudhry Wazir Mohd Hakla Road” similarly govt. high school Bandichechian (Poonch) was named as ‘Choudhary Wazir Mohd Hakla Govt. high school Bandichechian Poonch.  The  govt. of  J&K had named ‘Choudhary Wazir Mohd Hakla Conference Hall’ and established a library after his name ago in Poonch city in 1992.

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