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