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Kashmir’s literati pledges to work for protection of Kashmiri language and culture

AMK’s two-day conference turns out to be a grand Lit Fest

Srinagar, Oct 16 (KNS): Literati from across the Jammu and Kashmir state Sunday pledges to redouble its efforts for preserving and promoting the Kashmiri language and literature keeping in view the cultural onslaught it was facing from different directions.
The resolve to work towards reintegrating the language into the day to day life was made by over 350 delegates from Kashmir valley, Pir Panchal, Chenab valley and Jammu at Bandipore. They had converged at Adbee Markaz Kamraz’s 38th annual two-day conference that saw intense discussions on various aspects of language and literature. While thanking the government for introducing Kashmiri languages in 9th and 10 classes they appealed authorities to remove bottlenecks and make language teaching student friendly. “Kashmir and state in general was facing a critical time as an attempt was being made change its cultural foundation through different machinations” the participants felt.
While the inaugural session was presided over by noted writer and broadcaster Farooq Nazki, former IAS officer Mohammad Shafi Pandit presided over with Secretary J & K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages also in the presidium. AMK president Shujaat Bukhari outlined the future goals of organization saying, “this was just not an organization but it represented the concept of Kashmiri identity”. “Our headquarter in Kanispora Baramulla which is being completed soon will not be just an office but the epicenter of the cultural renaissance” he said. In his annual report AMK general secretary Mohammad Amin Bhat highlighted the enormous work the organization has done. “We are sanguine that the Kashmiri language is now back in 9th and 10th class and our efforts bore fruit” he said. “AMK has evolved as an institution and the way it is encouraging young writers is something we should be proud of” said Mohammad Shafi Pandit. Nazki too hailed the organization for its tireless effort to bring Kashmiri language back in the school curriculum.
In his key note address on “Prof Mohiuddin Hajini and Kashmiri identity” Justice (retd) Bashir Ahmed Kirmani said that Hajini was just a Kashmiri. “His life can be divided into four spheres. His person, he as a translator, as a researcher and as a writer and language activist. But the under current was that he was a real Kashmiri. If you remove that then only a skeleton remains” he said adding that Hajini’s sense of belonging to his motherland was exemplary. “He strived for exemplifying Kashmir and was proud of his heritage that is why he dedicated his life to Kashmir and Kashmir”. But, Kirmani said some more work needs to be done to explore Hajini. “Prof Hajini was an epitome of simplicity but at the same time he was a hard task master who ploughed through his ideas and thoughts and made people to follow him” said Prof Zaman Azurdah. Prof Shad Ramzan, Saleem Beg, G R Sufi, Prof Altaf Pandit, Syed Shakeel Qalandar, Piyarey Hatash, Abdul Ahad Hajini and many others took part in the scintillating discussion that followed in open house debate.
The session “Protest in Kashmiri poetry” drew lot of fireworks after a young scholar Dr Nissar un Nabi read a paper on the subject. Moderated by Showkat Sufi the discussion led to heated arguments with divergent views making it much more interesting. Nissar highlighted the protest which can be seen in Kashmiri writings. He quoted Rehman Rahi, Amin Kamil, Fayaz Tilgami, Aziz Hajini and many others. However, he was criticized for lopsided view and the discussants pointed out shortcomings in his paper. Session was presided over by Rafiq Raaz and Afaq Aziz, Zarif Ahmed Zarif, Aseer Kishtwari and Ayaz Rasool Nazki were discussants. Mushtaq Ahmed Mushtaq, Aziz Hajini, Shad Ramzan, Farooq Nazki and many others joined the discussion which many said was engrossing and productive.
Another important discussion on day two was on “Problems in teaching of Kashmiri in schools”. Director Education Dr G N Ittoo presided over the session while as Director Academics J & K Board of School Education Dr F A Peer, Prof Bashar Bashir, Prof Mohammad Rajab Sofi, AMK vice president Farooq Rafiabadi were in the presidium. “We are committed to implement the government decision of introducing Kashmiri in 9th and 10 classes in letter and spirit” said Dr Ittoo assuring full support in this regard. Dr F A Peer also assured the discrepancies in Kashmiri teaching and books would be addressed by the board. Dr Riyaz ul Hassan, Dr Nissar Nadeem and Shabir Hussain Shabir highlighted the problems in teaching of Kashmiri. An interesting debate ensued on the subject.
The valedictory session witnessed some emotional moments as AMK’s prestigious award “Sharf-e-Kamraz” was given to prominent writer Dr G M Aajir who has been one of the founders of organization. Prof Mushtaq Siddiqui vice chancellor Islamic University of Science and Technology gave away the awards. “I want to dedicate this award to four pillars of AMK—Prof Mohiuddin Hajini, Prof Rashid Nazki, Mohammad Ahsan Ahsan and Atiqa Bano who are no longer in this world” said the humble writer. Literary Forum Bandipore also got this award received by its president Mubashir Nazki. AMK also started the “Best Book Award” for writers in north Kashmir and this year’s award dedicated to Late Ali Mohammad Shahbaz was bagged by Abdul Khaliq Shams for his book “Gulshan e Anbia”. Special number AMK journal Prave, dedicated to Prof Mohiuddin Hajini was also released besides “Tawi Aend Paek” by Piyarey Hatash. “We will explore the possibility of setting up Kashmiri language department at IUST” said Prof Mushtaq Siddiqui. Principal Secretary Higher Education Asgar Samoon was also honoured at the conference for his support to Kashmiri language. (KNS)