Ghulam Hassan Inquilabi
An eminent & inspiring personality who stood for his principles even putting his career at stake.
By: Dr Zulfikar Siddiqui
Having little information about a historical personality is a serious problem and similar is the difficulty of having huge information about a particular person. And tragedy with some is that despite knowing a lot, they know too little about them. That is the case with a great but forgotten personality of Anantnag- Ghulam Hassan Inquilabi.
Ghulam Hassan Inquilabi; a reputed educationist, a stalwart politician, a recognized religious scholar, a noted social activist, a true statesman; precisely an institution within himself, and above all a real human being with a real human heart which was always pained for the suffering of the poor and downtrodden was born of a humble family of Islamabad, Kashmir in 1918 CE. He lived above every kind of limited outlooks and inhuman racialism having firm belief in the divine principles of Islam. He strongly believed in that the essence of ‘Tawhid” (Unity of Allah) as a working idea is human equality, human solidarity and human freedom. We know Jenab Ghulam Hassan Inquilabi as a man of upright character with solid principles of life which always remained as the guiding factors in his life.
Having received his basic education from Islamabad & Srinagar he left for Punjab (Lahore, Pakistan) where he completed his Bachelors from the erstwhile Punjab University with distinction. Owing to the discouraging family conditions he could not pursue his education further but his contributions in the different spheres coupled with his scholarly acumen and understanding of religion is recognized by one and all. His mastery of the English language & expertise on Shakespeare is unforgettable especially for his taught.
Over & above every good trait a human being can possess, his simplicity with unparalleled grandeur is a living lesson for all those living in salacious bungalows acquired at the cost of compromising their principles. He had learned from the Holy Scriptures and the philosophical poetry of Rumi & Iqbal the essence of living a modest & simple but principled life which to him was far better than an unprincipled King’s life that has to now & then negotiate for the petty worldly benefits.
Being a witness to tyrannies unleashed on his poor fellow countrymen made his nights sleepless and days restless. Despite being the lonely bread earner of the family he could not stop himself from joining those voices of the time which had already made a deep impression in the minds of the common downtrodden Kashmiri. He was always aware of the sordid tale of miseries, sufferings and exploitation of the people he belonged to. Studying Inquilabi Sahib provides deeper insight into the psyche of the people of Kashmir at a time when they were reeling under the tyrannies of the Autocratic rule (Shekhsi RaJ) besides reminding us how loss of Kashmir’s prestige and sovereignty was deeply embedded in Kashmir psyche that even at most hilarious and jubilant moments in the life of a common Kashmiri always pinpricked him and grimly reminded him of these tragedies.
Inspired by the other leaders fighting for the poor kashmiris he became the part of the galaxy of leaders whose conscience was alive to the problems of their times & had raised their voices against the autocratic, bigoted and discriminatory rule which Kashmiris were subjected to. His conscience never allowed him to sleep over the state of affairs prevailing at that time in the society.
Conscience among human beings is the most powerful force in the civilized world, as it does more to prevent wrongdoing than any laws and police forces. Every person, man or woman, rich or poor, tough or soft have their conscience awakened at some stage of life when they realize they have committed wrong or harmed others; but to Inquilabi sahib, it was just the pain of his country men who were subject to every kind of hardships & torture for none of their fault. This lively conscience did not allow him to remain off the politics but to join so that he plays his part for the mitigation of the sufferings of the poor and innocent masses. It was his strong belief that to die for something is worth more than living for nothing. Studying Inquilabi Sahib also reminds us of Socrates when he introduced the concept of conscience in Athens, the ancient city went up in rage at the behest of the Sophists who boasted of being the masters of worldly and divine knowledge and accused him of introducing new gods and corrupting the youth.
Among those leaders who had the pain of the sufferings of the simple, poor & innocent people of Kashmir at the hands of the autocratic rulers, Inquilabi Sahib’s towering and illustrious personality appeared to be a promising one. He was shining in the political spectrum engaged in fighting for the Kashmir cause but has earned its place on the table through sheer struggle and sacrifice. “You will succeed if you can win the hearts of the people”, there was his belief & philosophy, which he followed earnestly and honestly all along his political as well as non political career. Soon the qualities of his head & heart were recognized by all others in the then Mahaz-I Azadi (where he worked under ground) & later in Muslim Conference where he acted as its General Secretary.
Owing to his political differences with Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah on conversion of Muslim Conference into National Conference Inquilabi Sb deserted Shiekh Sahib and joined hands with Late Molvi Mohammad Farooq and acted as General Secretary Awami Action Committee for a long time. During his active political tenure Inquilabi Sahib was imprisoned for fourteen years and was tortured in the then infamous interrogative centres like Tilo Talaw and Bag-I Mahtab. He was falsely implicated in numerous sedition cases and for waging the war against the State. He was also implicated in the most infamous Hazrat Bal Murder and Mo-I Muqadus cases and was sent behind the bars. But this never deterred Inuilabi from raising the voice for the oppressed and their just cause. His voice remained resonating in the walls of Mujahid Manzil and stole the sleep of the autocratic ruler of the time.
Suddenly friends started becoming the foes for the simple reason of jealousies; a human tendency & weakness. Inquilabi Sahib’s raising the voice against the jungle Raj and the state of lawlessness and for the betterment of a common Kashmiri did not go well not only with the ruling class, for obvious reasons but even to some of his fellow colleagues of that time for the simple reason of jealousy. They did everything to silence this voice but could not withstand against his strong conscience and will power.
A well read youngster, from a modest family, who don’t fear to speak truth & fear Allah alone; with a strong hold on the English language became the victim of the malicious political jealousy at the hands of one of his senior neighbour politician who saw in him an imminent threat not only to his fraud person but also to his incompetent, inefficient and worthless son-in-law. Despite of his countless sacrifices which include his 14 & a half years of jail he was crushed under the high handedness of some of the local politicians who became the subsequent rulers of Kashmir on compromising the sacrifices of poor Kashmiris.
His contributions to the political history of the State of Jammu & Kashmir can be critically analyzed and opinions made but cannot be wished away nor can it be erased from the annals of history. His role & contribution as a seasoned and mature politician for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden cannot be ignored. With his political acumen, depth of character, and inimitable clarity, Inquilabi Sahib will be remembered with respect for all times to come.
In his last jail tenure he met Hazrat Ahad Sahib Sopori and received his blessings which made him to join the revered group of disciples of Hazrat Ahad Sahib Chingami at Islamabad, after he was released on parole. Inquilabi Sahib in association with his Peer-O-Murshid Hazrat Ahad Sahib remained completely away from the worldly affairs and dedicated his remaining life for the development of education in Kashmir.
Irrespective of trials & tribulations he had to face, Inquilabi Sahib had a great understanding of the value & worth of education. He had an undying & unflinching desire to help his countrymen to excel in the field of Education. He believed that it is the power of the pen alone which can bring the much desired revolution and can lift the standards of the people in general & downtrodden in particular. With this burning desire he joined the teaching profession soon after completing his education and worked tirelessly to help the young blood to come up with sound foundation.
His understanding of education was to impart the adequate knowledge to students and equip them intellectually and morally and prepare them for the struggle of life. He struggled for imbibing high ideals and cultivating high principles in the youngsters so that moral values and human considerations receive a great impetus. He as a humble teacher ensured that the youth should not be misguided, mislead and misdirected for the simple reason that they are at the highly impressionable age of their life.
His mission remained to inculcate in the student community the precious combination of undaunted intellectual courage with the sense of reality and the responsibility which can guard their powers from being squandered over unimportant and trifling matters.
In the establishment of Al’Sarwat Convent (a prestigious school in south Kashmir) in the year 1995 when the education sector was completely moribund, he initiated a movement of providing quality education in order to spread the light to dispel the darkness at the grass root level. The subsequent establishment of Al’Ahad B. Ed College proved his determination of a successful campaign against intellectual starvation, which is quite manifest from the fact that the college is producing highly skilled, competent and knowledgeable teachers for the society.
Inquilabi sahib always believed in the enlightenment and the mitigation of the severity of the painful sufferings of humanity in general. He left on 6th June, 2000 for the final abode (In’na Lil’lahi Wa In’na Ilaihi Rajauoon).
To keep his mission alive let us commit ourselves for the well being of the humanity and become the torch bearers of peace, tranquillity and prosperity which shall be the best tribute to the departed soul.
(The author is the Chairman of Al’Sarwat Educational Foundation Anantnag and can be mailed at [email protected])