Remembering the unforgettable Legend: Sher-e-Poonch Yashpal Sharma

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader

                                                                                                                                                       John Quincy Adams

Romi Sharma (Actress, Author)  &     Pankaj Khajuria (Senior Correspondent)

Yashpal Sharma is called the ‘Sher-e-Poonch’ for his courage and willpower to transform and modernize the Poonch district of Jammu Division, Jammu Kashmir. He is also known and remembered as Chacha, Neta and Sharma Sahab. Remembering and paying tributes to a former MLC Yashpal Sharma on his first death anniversary itself is a privilege and pleasure to learn his life which he devoted towards the welfare of the society and interest of the nation.

Besides humility and people friendly as well as people friendly approach, he was blessed with true leadership qualities i.e. integrity, empathy, unrelenting resolve and the capacity to mobilize the common public within the inviolable ethical and ideological framework of politics. He was such a magnificent leader that he commanded love and respect across the section of the society, religion, cast and community.

Sher-e-Poonch Yashpal Sharma devoted his life to uplift the weaker section of the society including Refugees of 1947. But after the 1978’s Poonch Movement  Yashpal Sharma became widely known in political circles where he formed a movement in the college with the ideology of equality. There was resentment over selection in government jobs. He spearheaded a movement against the then government headed by chief minister Sheikh Abdullah.

Aftermath of Poonch movement, Yashpal Sharma became the talk of the town as his action had inspired the people of Poonch especially youth. During that particular movement the way Yashpal Sharma batted for the social fabric of Jammu Division and more importantly in Poonch district helped him to earn the title of ‘Sher-e-Poonch’. But his care for people of all faiths no new for those who had been knew him since his childhood days. Even in his early years as a student, he began mobilizing his peers around important social issues, and his efforts had a real and lasting effect on their lives. Sher-e-Poonch played a pivotal role by bringing equality and parity by involving women in the success of Poonch agitation of 1978. Thousands of women participated in this movement under YashPal Sharma’s capable leadership because he held the view that their equal participation is necessary for a robust democracy.

He had a deep understanding of the problems faced by people from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and had effectively proposed remedies to alleviate their suffering on occasion. It is worth mentioning that his Karmabhoomi (Poonch) has a number of concerns of national and international relevance, including the displacement of the Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) population in 1947, ceasefire violations across the Line of Control (LOC), and terrorism.

Since his childhood days Yashpal Sharma had been facing the life of hardship. He was born in Rawlakote on 2 Jan1946 and 1947 partition bloodshed forces to leave his native land. Being a law graduate and social researcher, Yashpal Sharma had the steely resolve and knowledge of the national and international legal framework necessary to tackle such issues. Throughout his extensive social and political career, he garnered the admiration and support of countless people owing to his boldness, integrity, and selfless dedication to others. In 1980, he was elected president of the Poonch Municipality and began major construction projects to modernize the city. Historic landmarks like Krishan Chander Park and Town Hall Poonch were built during his tenure as Chairman. His strategy of encouraging widespread engagement in government affairs remains a hallmark of his administration. The majority of the works were launched after the impacted populace was consulted.

Too maintain the spiritual and cultural history of Poonch district of Jammu Division, Sher-e-Poonch played a pivotal role and being a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) he kept tabs on how quickly the projects were moving along to ensure they were finished on time. Foremost, he has done tremendous work in maintaining the town of Poonch’s illustrious spiritual and cultural history. His belief to view their religious institutions (for the border people) as sites of healing and tolerance still inspires the people of Poonch.

Single story is not enough to do justice with the struggle of Sher-e-Poonch but it is an attempt to pay heartfelt tributes to stalwart whose actions, works and services shall inspires the people of Poonch and especially the youth of Jammu. Real tribute will be to follow his footsteps this will help our future generations to live in harmony and protect the humanity.
By remembering Yashpal Sharma services towards the people of Poonch, the demand to rename Poonch stadium as a Sher-e-Poonch Shri Yashpal Sharma Stadium has been raising for the last one year.
It is also a golden opportunity for LG Administration to honour the services of people’s leader and sentiments of people by making an announcement at earliest. It would be consider as the nicest gesture by the administration as government already honoring great personalities services towards the nation by renaming educational institutions.

To honour the services of Sher-e-Poonch and to help the youth to learn more from his action, Parivartan (Change we need) NGO is also instituting two annual awards in the fields of social service and sports category on his name  and aspirants can send their CVs for nominations on Email :[email protected], [email protected].