Ch Mohammad Hussain: Leader of masses in Pir Panjal

TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/1/2017 11:58:36 PM Edit and Opinion

15 years gone but his memories still alive


15 years ago, Rajouri lost a great visionary political leader in the shape of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain who remained 5 times MLA and former Minister and who played vital role in establishment of District for Rajouri in 1968. Known for his qualities of crusader against Castisium and a reason of bridging gap of communal divide, he left no stone unturned to change the fate of downtrodden section of the society who are remembering him today.
People are observing his death anniversary today 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 15 years of his death, he is remembered and his qualities are being discussed in the public domain. Before throwing light on his life, it is very important to know about family background of this public leader.
Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain belongs to Dhakkar caste of Gujjar and as per historians, they migrated from Gujrat and settled in various parts of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. His family ancestors also migrated from Gujarat and one Khokar Khan settled in Bain Hill Sakri in Kotranka area of district Rajouri. He had a son Misri Khan who continued to live in Sakri but his 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 he 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 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 returned and he married her younger 11 years old sister namely Bhaggi Begum who conceived a a boy namely Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain in 1928.
Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain received basic schooling from Peeri area then passed 8th from Government School Shopian and completed Matriculation from Punjab University Lahore. He joined services as Panchayat Inspector and retired as Block Development Officer in Rural Development Department. During his services, he helped people a lot and performed his duties honestly, dedicated and always adopted pro-people approach which was platform for him to get launched politically in the state.
He has seen difficulties in life. During 1947 partition, people faced tough time. Many people migrated towards Pakistan and Chowdhary Ghulam Mohhamad also migrated to Pakistan along with all family members including Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain. A family of Dewal headed by Ali Mohammad Zaildar of Delhi was also migrated to Pakistan when both families met and friendship of two Zaildars resulted in marriage of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain with daughter of Zaildar Dewal Ali Mohammad namely Begum Fatima (Mai Sahib) who was a humble lady and who shaped the political journey of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain. When guns turned silent, all these families migrated back to their ancestoral places and then Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain get job and started carier in government sector. His father remained Nambadar till his death in 1984 and after that his wife Begum Fatima took over as first lady Nambardar in District Rajouri and she remained Nambardar till her death in 2016.
After services, Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain joined politics on the advise of people who wanted to see him representative in J&K Assembly. He fought 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 they played vital role in overall development of the region.
When Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain took over as MLA, he launched campaign to get justice for Rajouri whose importance was tarnished first by Dogra rulers and then by elected governments in Jammu & Kashmir. Either it was Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad or Mir Qasim or Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Government, Rajouri was attached to either Reasi or Poonch and its central importance was ignored. Even before it in Dogra rules Rajouri was part of Bimber tehsil and after 1904 it was annexed to Reasi. There was great injustice with the people of Rajouri who used to travel either Bimber or Reasi to get their problem resolved.
The campaign of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain gave results in 1968 when on January 1, 1968 Rajouri was given independent District status by J&K Government. There was great contribution of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain in providing district status to Rajouri.
In his political life, Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain always raised voice against castiem. Although from a Gujjar community, he raised voice for all and get their problems redressed in state Assembly. He was secular and he never used to look people with the lenz of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Gujjar, Pahari, Shia Sunni etc. He favoured all and provide justice to all during his days of politics. 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 who won elections from support of all 5 times.
People of Rajouri and especially downtrodden community was ignored and no government was favouring them and doing something to uplift them but he worked hard and played vital role in uplifting these communities and provide justice to them. If downtrodden and depressed classes in Rajouri are living standard life today, it is because of the efforts of Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain who fought for their cause and gets the justice delivered to these communities.
Although Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain belongs to a Feudal system family, he never believed in feudal system. He always favoured democratic set up and lived a simple and honest life.
Today he is being remembered on his death anniversary and people used to recall the days when he was known as pro-poor leader. His son Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Information In J&K Government is following the footsteps of his father and is also known as leader of masses in whole the state who has brought laurels for his area by his visionary approach in politics.

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