Role of Shridhar Kaul Dullu in Ladakh War
Shridhari Kaul Dullu lived in Rainawari, a suburb of Srinagar. He was
renaissance figure in the contemporary history of Kashmir.
he was popularly called was trained to teach. He admired
became a Buddhist by conviction. Masterji knew that Ladakh was
seat of learning and culture so far as Buddhisim was concerned
Ladakhis were simple people. When he was transferred to this
region as ADI schools, he didnot grumble. He felt happy. Masterji
Ladakhis, their culture and simplicity. He created educational
among them and till his last days many Ladakhi students used to
him at Rainawari and seek his help in admissions. Ladakh’s
and political renewal is linked with his name.
gifted with unique insights into cultural and political
J&K. His magnum opus "Ladakh Through The Ages" amply reflects
this. He was
a good organiser for mobilising public and building public
crucial issues. In May 1948, during Ladakh campaign, he prepared
a report on
the defence of Ladakh. Braving the inhospitable terrain of
track, Masterji presented this report in person to Pt Jawahar Lal
Minister. So impressed was Nehru with this assessment that he
upon Masterji to get in touch with Gen. Cariappa, then C in C and
Baldev Singh, the Defence Minister of India.
Masterji found himself in a strange role. He had an appeal
across communities. This aspect and his great organising abilities
made him the
natural choice as organiser of National Guards for the defence
National Guards proved a decisive factor in turning the tide of
favour of India.
The fall of
Gilgit had caused serious concern and fear among Buddhists of
Actuely aware of the fate of non-Muslims in Skardu, Buddhists
raise their own defences for Leh till Indian Army could arrive.
the President of Young Buddhist Association, Mr K Poan Chewang
played a crucial role in this. They prevailed upon the emergency
administration at Srinagar to take immediate steps for organising local
people in a
militia, irrespective of religious affiliation as National
Fortunately DP Dhar was in-charge of Defence of Frontier. He had
understanding of the frontier security and wasted no time in getting
State government clearance. Wazir was directed to take necessary
implement this scheme and the Garrison commander at Leh was ordered
to train the
were sabotaged at the local level by the Tehsildar, Abdul
native of Skardu, Khaliq was alleged to be highly sectarian and a
League backer. He tried to give it a sectarian colour. Subsequently
government appointed Masterji as organiser of National Guards.
this mission toured extensively all over Ladakh impressing upon
to enrol themselves as National Guards. He asked the people to
perilous situation and undergo necessary arms training to
heavy punishment on the enemy. Initially people were slow to react.
utilised festival occasions to enroll them. His efforts soon bore
few weeks he raised about 500 volunteers. In the first week, fifty
underwent arms training. Masterji’s persuasive skills saw even
joining National Guards in the Ladakh countryside.
campaigning of recruitment was in full swing, the legendary Ladakh
hero, Lt Col Prithvi Chand and his able assistant Jamadar Bhim
reached Leh. They had come to train the National Guards recruits.
arrival infused new hope into the hearts of defenders of Leh.
persistent pressures of the Buddhist leadership and the personal efforts
in Delhi saw more military reinforcements reaching Leh. 2/8
numbering 150 came via Leh-Manali route. It was Masterji who as
National Guards arranged transport, food and looked after other
Masterji’s decision to shift the headquarters of the administration
Martselang, a village 25 miles south of Leh. This was to ensure its
those uncertain days Masterji’s presence in Leh had became
with high morale of the people. Whenever he stepped out of Leh
serious misgivings would arise among the people. A community hall
stands in his memory.
below here the note which Pt. Sridhar presented to Pt. JL Nehru
Minister of India. The note is an ample testimony of Master Ji’s
grasp of the
situation in Ladakh.