Great Indians - Sheikh Abdullah
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Sheikh Abdullah
(Champion of Muslims)

Sheikh Abdullah was the foremost champion of the rights of Muslims of Kashmir. He was the founder of Kashmir Mulsim Conference.

He was born in 1905, during British Rule. From the childhood he had a leadership quality. He became a champion of the rights of the Muslim majority of Kashmir during the British rule. He went to jail in 1931. He opposed joining Pakistan and supported the idea of a secular Kashmir.

After Independence, Sheikh Abdullah became the Prime Minister of Kashmir in 1948. He was in favour of Kashmiris in Kashmir and wanted independence for Kashmir. He supported Jawaharlal Nehru in the beginning, but developed difference with him for Kashmir’s support. So he was dismissed and imprisoned in 1953. Most of his time, he spent under detention, as he refused to pledge his loyalty to India. He spent 11 years in detention. He was then released from detention in 1964. After prolonged thinking over years, he worked out the basis of a possible solution to the Kashmir problem with Nehru.

After Nehru, when Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister, Abdullah persuaded her to allow Kashmir a form of autonomy. He was sent on a foreign tour to Muslim countries to gain goodwill. But it did not workout. His tour was seen as seditious as India’s relations with Pakistan had further deteriorated and Kashmir became a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Abdullah died on 8th September 1982 at the age of 76 in Srinagar, Kashmir.