Mohd Shabir Khatana
Eighteen years ago, Rajouri lost a great visionary and a popular political leader in the shape of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain who remained 5 times MLA and former Minister who had played a vital role in establishment of district Rajouri in 1968. Known for his qualities of crusader against casteism and a reason of bridging gap of communal divide, he left no stone unturned to change the fate of downtrodden sections of the society who are remembering him today and will also remember him till their last breath.
People have been observing his death anniversary on thirtieth of sepetember every year as Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain left this world on September 30, 2002 when he was Minister in Farooq Abdullah Government. But his good deeds are recognized by the people and even after 18 years of his death, he is remembered today because of his unique qualities and service rendered by him for the betterment of Society and the Nation. Before throwing light on his life, it is very important to know in details the family background of such visionary poltical leader.
Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain belongs to Dhakkar caste of Gujjar Community and as per historians, his ancestors had migrated from Gujrat and settled in various parts of the earstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir. His forefather namely Khokar Khan settled in village Bain Hill Sakri in Kotranka area of district Rajouri. Khokhar Khan had two sons namely Misri Khan and Buland Khana. Misri khan continued to live in Sakri but the second son Buland Khan shifted from Sakri to Tralla area of Rajouri. Buland Khan had a son namely Ghulam Mohammad who was known as great public figure of the area. Since Ghulam Mohammad had great relations with Maharaja and on the basis of this he was given the responsibility of Zaildar in the area who used to represent Maharaja Government in the area. After partition, he was given the responsibility of Nambardar on the basis of his efficiency and sincerity and he remained Nambardar till his death in 1984.
There was great tragedy in his life. When he was on his way to marry a girl of Chouhan family, the girl died on the same day but the barat did not return and he married younger sister of bride who had died ,namely Bhaggi Begum who gave birth to a boy namely Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain in 1928.
Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain received basic schooling from Peeri area, passed 8th from Government School of Shopian and completed Matriculation from Punjab University Lahore. He joined services as Panchayat Inspector and retired from Rural Development department as Block Development Officer . During his services career he helped the people a lot and performed his duties honestly with dedication and devotion up to the maximum satisfaction of general public.
After retirement from active services, Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain joined politics on the demand and desire of people of Darhal-Budhal constituency who wanted to see him as their representative in Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir.In this way he contested first election in 1967 and won it and after that he remained MLA 5 times and also worked as Minister in Farooq Abdullah Government during which he played vital role in overall development of the region.
When Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain took over as MLA, he launched campaign to get justice for people of Rajouri. It is pertinent to mention here that importance of Rajouri was tarnished first by Dogra rulers and then by elected Governments in Jammu & Kashmir either it was Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad or Mir Qasim Government, Rajouri was attached to either Reasi or Poonch and its central importance was ignored. Even before by Dogra rulers also when Rajouri was part of Bimber tehsil and thereafter during 1904 it was annexed to Reasi. Thus there was great injustice with the people of Rajouri who used to travel either to Bimber , Reasi or Poonch for redressal of their day to day problems .
The strong commitment, interest and desire of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain for getting the Justice done to the people of Rajouri gave fruitfill results in 1968 when on January 1, 1968 Rajouri was given independent district status by the Government of earstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. in this way there was great role and contribution of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain in providing district status to Rajouri.
In his political life, Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain always raised his voice against casteism. Despite belonging to Gujjar community he did equal justice with all the people of Rajouri in general and the people of Darhal Budhal constituency in particular ir-respective of cast , creed, race, Sect or religion on the analogy of sun because sun provides equal light to all ir-respective of any particular criteria . He was a secular leader and he never used to look people with the lens of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Gujjar, Pahari, Shia, Sunni etc. He favoured all in an equal manner by applying same yardstick and provided justice to all during his entire beautiful political career. It is well known fact that there was great Gujjar – Pahari divide in Rajouri Poonch which tarnished the image of the area for many decades but Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain launched crusade against this divide and bridged the gap between all which is testimony of his great public support.
People of Rajouri, especially peoples belonging to downtrodden community were ignored and no Government was favouring them for doing something for their upliftment but he worked hard and played vital role in uplifting all such communities and provided maximum possible justice to all of them. If all the downtrodden and depressed classes in Rajouri are living a standard life today, it is because of the sincere efforts of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain who fought for their genuine cause and got the justice delivered to these communities.
He had unique distinctions of having superior qualities which attracted others toward him like magnet attracts iron.He was leader of poor persons which is evident from the facts that all poor persons of whole erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir used to approach him for help in redressal of their grievances and he did not refuse to any one through out his political career.He was bestowed with sufficient motivation power, convincing power and extraordinary intelligence to deal with public as well officers. He had a sound philosophy which served the basis for development of all the people of his constituency. His good nature can be imagined from the fact that all his workers remained with him till his last breath and at present they are also with his son.He was expert in resolving the differences among the general public at his own level . He had a very good sense of humour which he used on so many occasions to control the tense situation .He had built such a strong impression in the mind of officers that they were ready to resolve any issue of any person of his constituency even in his absence. He had an ability to seek co-operation from the officers and also from the public and equal ability to co-operate all the concerned in resolving the various issues of General public of his constituency.
There is an important fact worth considering which would be proved true when history is pursued . Such a fact is that when a person is blessed by Almighty with a high responsible position or power and if such person did every efforts to do Justice with all those who have any link or dealing with such person by making proper use of such position or power then certainly some one from his next generation will be provided by Almighty Always with equal or more beautiful position or power for serving the Society but contrary to it if a person blessed with a responsible position or high power failed to do justice then none from his next generation will get such important position or power again.Keeping in view This fact if we shall consider the capacity, capabity , efficiency and desire to serve the society which have been blessed by Almighty Allaha to Chowdhary Zulafqal Ali the youngest son of Chowdhary Mohd Hussain then certainly every person of the society will be satisfied that Chowdhay Sahib did a great justice with the people’s of his constituency that is why his beloved son has now been blessed with such an extra-ordinary efficiency and desire to serve the society and the Nation in an efficient manner.
He is being remembered on his death anniversary and people used to recall the days when he was known as pro-poor people’s . His son Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, former Minister is following the footsteps of his father and is also known as leader of masses in whole Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir who has brought laurels for his area by his visionary approach in politics and by serving the society in a most efficient manner.
Mohd Shabir Khatana