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.
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.
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.
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.