Peerzada Tayyab Shah – I

An active member of the Muslim Conference, Peerzada Tayyab Shah was, like many others, dismayed when the party was converted into the National Conference in 1938-39.

He started to take part in programmes organized by MA Sabir, a prominent journalist who had helped in creating the Muslim League. Others who had joined in included Mir Abdul Aziz, MA Hafeez, Abd-us-Salam Dalal and Agha Ashiq Husain.

The League pursued a policy of strict non-interference in the state units, but Congress leaders used to visit Kashmir frequently. To counter this, the group invited leaders of the Muslim League from the Punjab.

Professor Anayatullah also visited Kashmir and held a series of rallies which mostly turned against the National Conference.

The Congress responded by facilitating government employment for two League members. This led to much finger-pointing at the League, and glee among Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s supporters.

The Muslim League almost succumbed to the National Conference propaganda. It was at this crucial juncture that Tayyab Shah founded the Anjuman-e-Dars-ul-Islam at Habba Kadal, adding a school and a reading room soon after.

Due to Shah’s efforts, the reading room, distinct from the one set up by Molvi Bashir, Munshi Nazir and Ghulam Nabi Gilkar, and being more of a library for the school, received a continuous supply of pro-Pakistan newspapers from the Punjab.

He played a vital role in enlisting the support of Mirwaiz Yusuf Shah when the Muslim Conference was revived, and was given an important position in the party’s press and publication division, acting as its publicity secretary.

National Conference toughs tried their best to strangle the resurging MC, but people like Tayyab Shah put up a stiff fight, and held rallies across Kashmir.

Shah also found himself deeply involved in the Kashmir Muslim Students Union which was formed around the time of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s visit to the Valley.

-to be continued