After Akbar’s invading army faced an ‘oppressed’ hatred—“Pogi moghul”—for being the first alien arm-twisters in the valley, the koshur slang only progressed with political shades and slurs throughout its “Naya Kashmir” resurgent phases. 

As the two political pals rose to address the monarchy-liberated masses in Kashmir’s Red Square in the late forties, the celebrated Persian couplet glorified more than a rising sun in the blood-drenched subcontinent. 

The veering verse was a wakeup call for Khawaja Abdul Rahim, aka Rahim Wazi. 

Like other underground workers of the Muslim Conference then, this Pakistani loyalist was changing secret houses to save his skin from Abdullah’s hounds and henchmen. 

Rahim’s tribe was on the run, so were those who tuned to Pakistan News Station on their “incriminating” radio sets.

The manhunt against the votaries of the two-nation theory had only turned lethal with the dawn of emergency rule in Kashmir. 

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The line of distinction was clear: National Conference for accession with India, and the Muslim Conference for Pakistan. 

This distinction in Abdullah’s “Naya Kashmir” not only banished the MC tribe to Pakistan and overseas, but also earned them the present-day styled “anti-national” tag.

Meanwhile, as the search continued throughout the old-city, Rahim couldn’t run a long distance. 

Years later, he came out of the clutches of confinement as a tortured man — whose prison tale is full of chilling details.

“Hot iron pressed on butt and thighs and blazing hot potatoes in the mouth,” thus goes the torture tale.

It took days for one to be able to speak the means of torture used by what the authorities called, ‘The Peace Brigade’. 

Peace Brigade

The brigade was headed by Koutwaal-e-Shahar, Sheikh Ghulam Qadir aka Qeadir Ganderbeal — Abdullah’s favourite cop from his hometown, Ganderbal. 

Under his watch, the brigade would grill and grind Kashmiris returning from the other side. Some chroniclers even accuse the pack of stealing gold coins and karakuls — the special scalp caps brought as gifts from across.

Their job of street wandering and task to smell any smoke for resistance, earned a tag for them that surpassed their official title.

‘Khuftan Fakeer’ and their monthly salary of Rs 29.15 added a nickname to their honour, ‘Kuntreh Pandah’.



Apart from Khuftan Fakeer, Abdullah had another volunteer force at his disposal: The Mujahid Manzil’s street dustmen — whose hotheadedness would take them at the front of hammer fists in any arena against the tallest leaders rivals. 

Their stage name ‘Searr Weal’ brandished their act of collecting ‘Surr’ that is the splits of raw rice and sell it to those who used to grind and mix it for adding weight to spices.

By 1952, the unchallenged Abdullah saw a split in ranks after announcing a new cabinet. Ghulam Mahiuddin Karra rebelled against him after his name didn’t surface in the council of ministers.

Karra formed Political Conference with ‘Seven Point Program’ or ‘Fitri Rohjaan’, reflecting accession with Pakistan. 

The forum included Mirwaiz Ghulam Nabi Hamadani, Abdul Rehman Shegu, Abdul Aziz Naqash aka Bailal, the husband of Abdullah’s niece, among others.

The stage was set at Sehyaar, Aali Kadal. A Pakistani Ladishah had sung for the time: ‘Sehyaari Seah draai darr meadaan / Jaayi jaayi che mangaan Peakistaan’ (Lions of Sehyaar are out to hunt/ Seeking Pakistan all over the place).

To quash the forum, an offensive followed and most of the rebels were jailed. 

A few months later, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad—who back then was Abdullah’s ‘Man Friday’—deputed one of his cousins to break ice with Mirwaiz Ghulam Nabi Hamadani in the jail. 

Arrangements for the captives’ release were on the cards. As Hamadani couldn’t say no to Bakshi’s emissary, the forum which had stood up against Abdullah ended up earning a name: ‘Gauga’—meaning hue and cry. 

Later, Bakshi’s musclemen, and ramrods drunk with power, would earn the name Gauga, for their brazen and bizarre behaviour.

Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad as PM of Kashmir.

Bakshi’s successor, GM Sadiq, earned another telling tag for his opportune politics, rendering Article 370 hollow by facilitating constitutional coups in Kashmir.

After serving the purpose, Sadiq’s short reign earned him and his associates the title of ‘Demi Goagi’.

After Sheikh Abdullah came out of the jail in the mid-70s and signed an accord with Nehru’s daughter, he became a ‘Potato Grandpa’ from a figurehead overnight.

A decade later, Abdullah’s son, Farooq Abdullah and his loyalists would earn a resounding tag ‘Kashirr’, a grainless corn, from his brother-in-law, Gul Shah’s defector camp. 

On their part, NC men would denounce Shah and Co. as ‘Chealim’—smoke pot—for being Delhi’s new “pets and puppets” in Kashmir. 

At around the same time, the fabled ‘Sher-Bakra’ wasn’t only defining the political affiliation but the means of pride and honour of representing the one.

But the dawn of explosive 90s changed it forever. In Kashmir’s landscape of politics and rivalries, the labels no longer stayed sarcastic, or a resort to embarrassing the other. 

They now became a brand new identity based on the binary.

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