Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Jayanti 2024

5 December 2024
Jammu and Kashmir    Regional holiday

Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Jayanti is celebrated in Jammu Kashmir on 5th December every year. It is celebrated in remembrance of Mohammed Abdullah Sheikh who was a Kashmiri politician who played a central role in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost Indian state.

Referred as "Sher-e-Kashmir" (Lion of Kashmir), Abdullah was the founding leader of the All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference (later renamed Jammu and Kashmir National Conference) and the 1st elected Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir after its accession to India. He agitated against the rule of the Maharaja Hari Singh and urged self-rule for Kashmir.

He served as the 1st elected Prime Minister of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir and was later jailed and exiled. He was dismissed from the position of Prime Ministership on 8 August 1953 and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was appointed as the new Prime Minister. The expressions ‘Sadar-i-Riyasat and ‘Prime Minister were replaced with the terms ‘Governor and ‘Chief Minister in 1965. Sheikh Abdullah again became the Chief Minister of the state following the 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord and remained in the top slot till his death on 8 September 1982.

The government of Pakistan in 1947 viewed Abdullah and his party as agents of Nehru and did not recognise his leadership of Kashmir. He spoke against the Pakistani government in the United Nations by comparing it with Hitlers rule, and he also endorsed Indian stand on Jammu and Kashmir. However, there was a change in Pakistans viewpoint with the passage of time. When he visited Pakistan in 1964 he was awarded a tumultuous welcome by the people of Pakistan. Among the persons who received him was Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas his once colleague and later political enemy who earlier in his book Kashmakash had denounced Sheikh Abdullah as a turncoat and traitor.