For the record, Sheikh Abdullah earned ‘Sher-e-Kashmir’ title for his popularity

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Old 08-Dec-2015
Post For the record, Sheikh Abdullah earned ‘Sher-e-Kashmir’ title for his popularity

A controversy has been kicked off following the revelation by the Jammu and Kashmir Government that there are no records available to show that Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who led a rebellion against monarchy in the first half of the twentieth century, was ever conferred the title “Sher-e-Kashmir” (Lion of Kashmir).
The point that the government and Deepak Sharma, who filed the RTI query seeking information about the title Sher-e-Kashmir, have missed is that such titles are earned by popular figures and not conferred. It’s not a Bharat Ratna or Padma Vibhushan or other such awards which are conferred on those who excel in their fields.
As a matter of fact, there are no records available to show whether Mahatma Gandhi was ever conferred the honorific title of “Father of the Nation”, though it is known that Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore first called him Mahatma. But even that title was never conferred on him.
In the first half of the twentieth century, when India was struggling for independence and Muhammad Ali Jinnah had set his sights on a separate nation for Muslims, Sheikh Abdullah was the political contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah, though he was younger to both of them. All three had honorific titles. Gandhiji carries the prefix Mahatma (a great soul) and honorific title Father of the Nation. Jinnah is better known as “Qaid-e-Azam” (great leader) and Baba-e-Quom (Father of the Nation) in Pakistan. Sheikh’s popularity earned him the titles of Sher-e-Kashmir and “Baba-e-Quom”.
The Archeological Survey of India and the Indian Council of Historical Research were unable to find out from their records any conferment of Mahatma or Father of the Nation to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. “Father of the Nation” when translated in Urdu reads “Baba-e-Quom”.
Sheikh Abdullah, the tallest leader that Kashmir has produced so far, was called “Lion of Kashmir” by his admirers. When he died on September 8, 1982, the next day almost all major national daily newspapers carried the news under the banner “Lion of Kashmir is no more”. It was almost the same tone in which first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had announced the death of Mahatma Gandhi: “Father of the Nation is no more.”
So it is futile to search for the records of legal conferment of such titles, which are generally generated for leaders loved and respected by masses.

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