Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed ruled the State of Jammu and Kashmir as Prime Minister for eleven years from 1953 to 1964. His personal style was a combination of excellent administrative skills, exemplary courage, and robust commonsense. Jammu and Kashmir made tremendous all-round progress under his leadership.

     Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed was born in 1907 and was educated at C.M.S Tyndale Biscoe School. He started his career as a school teacher 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. In 1927 he joined Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah in the agitation for securing civic and political rights for the State's Muslim population, which was suffering under the autocratic rule of the Dogra rulers, culminating in the formation of the Muslim Conference in 1930.

     Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed displayed a great talent for organization and capacity for sustained hard work during the years of struggle. He organised students and workers, set up their unions and went to jail several times during the freedom struggle - including a torturous sixteen-month term in Reasi sub-Jail. For his bravery and organisational prowess he earned the sobriquet "Khalid-e-Kashmir" after Khalid-bin-Walid, the great Muslim general.

     By 1938, people of all communities had joined the demand for responsible government, which had spread all over the State and the Muslim Conference's name was altered to National Conference. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed worked underground during this period, keeping a step ahead of the State Police. In 1946, during the "Quit Kashmir" movement, he escaped to British India when a warrant was issued for his arrest. He visited many places mobilizing public opinion in favour of the Kashmir agitation. After Mahatma Gandhi's visit to Kashmir the warrant against him was withdrawn and he returned home after seventeen months exile.

     In October 1947, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah was released from prison and made Prime Minister. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed became Deputy Prime Minister and was entrusted with the Home portfolio.  In 1948 during the Sheikh's absence from the State to represent India's case at the UN, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed took over as the Chief Administrator. In August 1953, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah was dismissed and arrested, and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed became Prime Minister of the State and also President of the National Conference by majority vote of the State Cabinet.

     Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed proved to be a great administrator and is remembered as the "Architect of Modern Kashmir" because of his constructive work in the State.  He had a unique knack of establishing a direct rapport with people at grass-root level which gained tremendous popularity among  people of all regions. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed set Kashmir on the road to progress, gave a practical shape to the ideal of "Naya Kashmir", and earned enormous fame and goodwill in and outside Kashmir.

     On the political front, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed had to face a stiff challenge from the Plebiscite Front which was formed in 1955 but he remained in the saddle with a tight grip over the state machinery. In May 1963 the Congress lost three important Parliamentary by-elections, including a "prestige" contest in which a Union Minister was defeated. Perturbed at the reverses, the AICC, under the Kamaraj plan, decided that some Congress Union Ministers and State Chief Ministers should resign and give all their time to party work. The final selection was left to Jawahar Lal Nehru. After eleven continuous years of Prime Ministership, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed was persuaded to offer just a token resignation in order to strengthen Nehru's hand even though he did not belong to the Congress party. In a move that typifies the strange relationship between Kashmir and New Delhi, his resignation was accepted along with those of five State Chief Ministers and six Union Ministers.

     The eleven years of the Bakshi's Premiership have  been the longest continuous stint by any  Prime Minister or Chief Minister and are generally acknowledged as the Golden Period of the State's post-independence history. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed  had steadfastly resisted any attempt to undermine Jammu and Kashmir's special status within the Union of India and was the last leader to hold the title of  "Prime Minister" of  Kashmir.

     In 1964 Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed  headed the opposition to the Government of  Chief Minister Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq. In the late summer of the same year the majority of the legislators compelled him to move a vote of no-confidence against the Government but  he was arrested and detained under the Defence of India Rules despite the support of the majority of MLA's in the State Assembly which was prorogued by the Governor.

     Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed was released on health grounds in December 1964. In June 1965 he made an announcement that he had decided to retire from politics. His popularity, however, remained undiminished and in 1967 he was elected to the Lok Sabha on a National Conference ticket defeating the ruling Congress nominee by a big margin. He remained a member of the Lok Sabha till 1971.

    Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed passed away in July 1972 leaving behind the foundations of a modern, vibrant Kashmir unshackled from  ignorance,  hunger, poverty and backwardness.