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      Shri Masud A. Chaudhary: Man with a Mission

Not all men and women are the same stuff. Equally important is the fact some individuals are born to rise above the ordariness of life to do things that are inspirational and have the compelling force to make history, to unmake history and to re-write history.

Shri Masud Choudhary in with Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad
Shri Masud Choudhary in discussions with Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Hon'ble Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare

Showering praises on someone wouldn’t make him different from others unless deeds do the speaking. Mere rhetoric would either end up as hyperbolically sycophantic or would invite ridicule and mockery. As I write about Shri Masud Chaudhary, his insight and vision and his contribution to his fellow species I am aware of all these considerations and more.

A formidable challenge for me as I venture out to write about this larger-than-life personality is where should I start, what should I reduce into words and what should I dispense with. However, I am making this modest attempt not under an obligation to do so but in a state of helplessness to stay silent when I have strong conviction that such people need to be recognised and rewarded for whatever they have been doing without much ado and without any chest-beating to catch public attention.

Nothing would be more appropriate in this modest exercise than to look upon Shri Masud A Chaudhary as an individual, first. Disarmingly modest, soft-spoken, fiercely straightforward, downrightly realistic, compassionate to the core and untouched by hypocrisy, Shri Masud spent his childhood in the remoteness of a border village just perched on LoC in Poonch district of Jammu & Kashmir. Crossing all barriers of all- pervasive backwardness, illiteracy and poverty he made it to Aligarh Muslim University (1964-1966) where he did his Bachelors in Law. Back home at Poonch, he started his career as a practising lawyer which shortly gave way to his induction In Jammu & Kashmir Police as Deputy Superintendent of Police. As the years passed, he proved himself and demonstrated his acumen as a seasoned, mellowed and experienced police officer. Climbing up the police hierarchy, he superannuated as ADGP.

Shri Masud Choudhary in discussions with Shri N.N. Vohra, Hon'ble Governor, Jammu & Kashmir

There are very few police officers in Jammu & Kashmir who equal or outmatch his achievements. Profusely decorated and acknowledged, he is recipient of President’s Medal for Distinguished Services among several other recognitions and citations that include President Police Medal for Meritorious Services, Sher-e-Kashmir Police Medal for Distinguished services (Maiden Recipient). He has also received several other awards that include Fakhar-e-Quom’ by Adabi Sangat Kashmir 1999, Fakhar-e-Jammu & Kashmir by Citizens forum J&K Jammu 2004, and The ANN Kashmir Images Excellence Award (2007-2008) As Institution Builder. Crowning this all is that he happens to be the leading light of a number of civic society initiatives such as Patron-in-Chief of Gurjar Desh Charitable Trust, and (Life Trustee) of a leading NGO of Jammu & Kashmir dedicated to the uplift and welfare of gujjar tribals of Jammu & Kashmir and elsewhere, Member J&K State Advisory Council for Higher Education, Patron Jammu Civil Society for Art & Literature, Founder Chairman Foundation for Social Security & Sustainable Development, Jammu, Life Member of Indian Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi , Life Member of Civil Services Officer Institute, New Delhi and Life Member of Indian Institute of Public Administration New Delhi.

Something, not exactly unexpected, happened when he was handpicked as the founder Vice Chancellor of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri after he superannuated as ADGP. This was an uphill task that he executed in picture-perfect manner with great insight and vision. Such was his drive, passion and energy that the university at a forsaken and far-flung became operational within barely 08 months of its initialization duly recognized by AICTE, UGC and mandatory statutory bodies. Buildings sprang up in wilderness, road connectivity became available to not only the newly created campus but also to a string of villages that skirted the campus site and electricity illuminated what was once the abode of wild animals. He was instrumental in establishing a Biodiversity Park at this university which has been recognised as lead Botanical Garden of northern India.This amazing feat was hailed from all sides and Shri Masud became a hotly debated name in academic circles. A fitting culmination came to this laudable achievement came when he was most deservedly conferred D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) by BGSB University in its first convocation. This was the climaxing of a career that will be an inspiration for some and envy for many others.

Shri Masud Choudhary in discussions with Shri P.S. Ahuja, Director, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur (H.P.) India

Loved and adored by the poorer sections of the society for all that he has contributed towards their uplift and welfare, his ability to lead and to resolve conflict situations came forth when he was chosen by the entire gujjar community of neighboring states like Himachal, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Madhaya Pradesh to project the problems of the gujjar community at the national level. Rightly coming his way was the honor of being Chief Guest on the occasion of Inauguration of Gujjar Bhawan at Panchkula in 2008. This demonstrates his popularity and respect that transcends across several northern Indian states, particularly among the weaker and disadvantaged sections of the society. He was also the Chief Guest at the function of unveiling of the statue of Late Shri Rajesh Pilote at Gurjar Kalyan Parshid at Chandigarh in 2002.

In the larger perspective, Shri Masud enjoys both respect and recognition. Power and authority which he has seen aplenty haven’t ever polluted his mind. Work has always remained the most sacred form of worship for him. Hardly will you find him sitting idle. He is either absorbed in his thoughts revolving around improving the quality of life of fellow human beings or busy handling self-assigned jobs ranging from fighting illiteracy and backwardness among weaker sections of society, arranging to find them medical facilities, struggling to see the girl child getting parity with her male counterparts, voicing the rising tide of resentment among the poor gujjar tribals against the exploitative politics of the day that has rendered them marginalised in the society. He is conscious about the fact that culture and heritage of a community are its real life and blood. He has thus been busy preserving and protecting the fast-vanishing culture and heritage of gujjar community in particular and all other endangered minorities in general. Such a person is a text book to be studied and deeply researched. So, a person like him getting honoured with D.Litt (Honoris Causa) takes the respect and repute of this highest academic recognition to the next higher level.

Stretching this narrative any farther would be like opening a book chapter by chapter and reading it page by page. In fact, that is neither the intent nor the purpose of this profile note. What is earnestly intended is to introduce Mr Chaudhary as a person, have a look at his life and surroundings, and take an overview of his contribution to the society thereby charting the way that took him to the heights of glory and highest public esteem. And if that be what it is, I think my pen must rest here and shouldn’t go a dot beyond.


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