Evolution of Political Movement
The evolution of political movement in Kashmir dates back to 1926, when local educated unemployed Hindu youth launched the 'Bread Movement' to demand jobs for the sons of the soil. The Maharaja had to enact the State Subject Law in 1927 reserving all State Government jobs for the original residents of the State besides forbidding sale, purchase or possession of immovable property by non-State subjects. By this time, unemployed educated Muslim youth initiated political activities in the Valley under the banner of 'Reading Room Clubs' with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah as their leader. The Reading Room Movement espoused the cause of the educationally and economically backward Muslim community. On 21 June 1931, at a meeting attended by prominent Muslim leaders including Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah, Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas (Jammu) and Mirwaiz Yusuf Shah (Grand Maulvi of J&K State), it was decided to begin work in coordination and led to the birth of the J&K Muslim Conference. Initially, the party worked towards sectarian ends. However, in the course of a decade, the movement became broad based to embrace within its fold, all the communities. On 10 June 1939, the party was renamed as J&K National Conference. The hardline Muslim communal elements like Mirwaiz Yousuf Shah and Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas floated a separate group with the same old label. Simultaneously, the National Conference leaders including Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah took a leading part in the 'freedom struggle of India' under the auspices of Indian National Congress (INC). Similarly, the Indian National Congress espoused the cause of Kashmiri people.