I met Dr. M.K. Teng when he was a Lecturer in Sri Pratap Government College Srinagar where I was a student. He would always hunt for good students and encourage them in their aspirational pursuits besides the regular studies. He was a political being from day one. He was one of the respected teacher-academician, and commanded respect with politicians for his incisive knowledge of Kashmir political affairs. He has written profusely on Government and Politics of India and political Development and Government in Kashmir. He has written several books and articles on politics of Kashmir.
Dr Teng”s special subject was the distinct constitutional position the Jammu and Kashmir that was accorded in 1950, when the Constitution of India was framed. It envisaged the exclusion of the state from the constitutional organization of India as well as its federal division of powers. Jammu and Kashmir, in spite of its accession to India, remained a state apart from the political organization of India— independent of its constitutional and federal imperatives. Teng”s attempt had been to trace the events from the Indian Constitutional and its federal division of powers. An attempt has also been made to analyze the constitutional relationship between the state and the Union of India over the years after the Constitution of India was promulgated.
He wrote extensively on the impact of the isolation of the state from the national mainstream and its effect on the integration of the state in the Indian political culture. Dr.Teng was a regular consultant for Chief Justices of the State in the constitutional affairs and was on the advisory panel of International Forum of Jurists. He was considered a friend, philosopher and guide by almost everybody who came in his close contact, by virtue of his wisdom, him being a man of deep culture and an affectionate friend.
Dr. Teng mentored many young politicians and academics, prominent amongst them are AR Kabili, Former MP-, AR Shaheen, Former Minister, late Prof AK Raina, a JNU professor, late Prof. Sheikh. He was in good friendship with Late AS Anand Former CJI, Prof. Bambri of JNU, Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat, Many MPs, late ML Fothedhar and former PM AB Vajpayee.
Author of about half a dozen books, two of which, namely Article 370 of Indian Constitution and India’s Northern Border (on which Indian government imposed a ban) and numerous research articles, he had a vast circle of friends who greatly cherished his company for discussions on political matters. He had extraordinarily clear and transparent ideas about the political scenario in the country. He lamented the deep-seated servile psyche of the Indian political leadership and the nation subjugated too long by foreign invaders and rulers and the worst was that this mentality had not left them even after India attained freedom.
After 1990 turmoil in Kashmir forced migration of Kashmiri Pandit Community from the Valley. Dr Teng migrated to Jammu. He became one of the key ideologue for promoting the Idea of India in Kashmir and for reversal of KP migration. He wrote many papers and spoke in number of conferences, seminars and met many dignitaries to represent the Kashmiri natives cause, their Human right violation, agonies and political deprivation in addition to their disintegration. He was a learned political scientist who wrote volumes on most of the political past hangovers. Besides, this he was prolific writer and his political wisdom was acknowledged by friends and foes in equal stride.
Rest in peace Dr. Teng!