AMK Creates Waves in Jammu, Organises Historical Conference

February 10, 2010

Kashmiri spoken in 9 out of 10 Jmu distts: Azad, It’s our identity: Rather. 

Jammu, Feb 09:  Union Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad Tuesday said Kashmiri language was alive in Jammu region where it was spoken in nine of all ten districts except Samba.

“This is what makes it imperative to promote Kashmiri in educational and literary institutions of Jammu as well,” he said speaking at a one-day All India Kashmiri Writers Conference at Abhinav Theatre at Jammu, which was organized by Adbee Markaz Kamraz and Jammu and Kashmir Academy for Art, Culture and Languages.

Azad was chief guest on the occasion while Minister for Finance, Abdur Raheem Rather presided over the function. Both jointly inaugurated the conference.

Referring to the Kashmiri language, Azad said: “A Kashmiri Pandit will be more comfortable with a Kashmiri Muslim than his co-religious non-Kashmiri Hindus.”

“The culture is changing all over India. Westernization is overshadowing everything taking place in life of an individual. Our elderly persons now live in old-age homes than with their children,” said Azad.

According to Azad, the closeness with any country depends on the similarity of its languages.

Speaking before a jam-packed hall, Azad said: “Our state in spite of being small is a bunch of colorful flowers of various religions and languages.”

Urging the civil society to come forward for the preservation of Kashmiri language, Azad said: “Lal Arifa and Nundreshi promoted the language. Now it is our turn to promote it.”

Azad praised the role of Adbe Markaz kamraz in the promotion of the Kashmiri language.

Azad also called for the preservation of Urdu language and termed it a priority. “The language bridges gap and is a connecting force between different religions and sects.”

Azad said: “Language bridges gaps and acts as connecting force between different religions and sects.”

Referring to the strain in the relations of India and Pakistan, Azad said: “Politicians of India and Pakistan may speak a lot of bitter things against each other but the language binds them together.”

Azad said preservation of languages should be a priority.

“Urdu is not only the language of Muslims. It was used by many other religions including Hindus but the new generation not even knows the script of Urdu,” said Azad.

Minister for Finance, Abdur Rahim Rather termed Kashmiri language as “our identity” adding the literary circles of the State had to play a leading role to safeguard it.

Rather hailed the efforts of AMK for preserving the Kashmiri language. “It is because of the active role the AMK has played that Kashmiri language is still in a good condition. The efforts of AMK persuaded Farooq sahib (Abdullah) to implement Kashmiri language at the school level, which was a historic moment.”

Rather said he would advocate for the preservation of Kashmiri language on behalf of the government and promised to promote it at every step. “Together with the education minister I will not only implement Kashmiri language in the 9th standard in Kashmiri schools but also apply it in the Kashmiri speaking areas of Jammu province,” he said.

He said he had an inclination toward art and literature but found himself indulge in politics.

Earlier, President Adbi Markaz Kamraz, Dr Aziz Hajni gave a brief introduction of his organization and said the conference had been organized to sensitize people about Kashmiri as a language.

“The fact that Kashmiri is spoken by 40 to 45 per cent of people in Jammu shows how important it is to promote the language in this region as well,” Hajni said.

He said that one of the main objectives of holding the conference was to pass some Kashmir-centric resolutions for furthering the cause of Kashmiri as a constitutionally recognised language.

Speaking on the occasion Secretary of the Cultural Academy, Zafar Iqbal Manhas announced that the long cherished dream of setting up of Tehzeeb Mahal at Srinagar would become a reality in 2010.

“Chief Minister is taking a keen interest in this project,” said Manhas.

About Kashmiri language, he said that the Cultural Academy was already doing its best to promote all languages of the State and Kashmiri too was getting its due.

Earlier, the Kashmiri writers collectively passed resolutions for the overall development of Kashmiri speaking people.

The resolutions included opening of Folklore Studies Centre at Jammu and Kashmir Universities, teaching of Kashmiri language from first primary to 10th standard, provision of flight announcements in Kashmiri language, translations of international publications of repute into Kashmiri, airing and broadcasting Kashmiri programmes from Radio Kashmir Srinagar, Radio Kashmir Jammu and Doordarshan Kendra Sriangar and Jammu, digitization of Radio Kashmir archives and shifting of Kasher channel from Delhi to Srinagar among many other demands.

A Kashmiri ‘mushaira’ was also organized on the occasion wherein many poets of repute recited their latest poetic collections.

The poets who recited their verses during the ‘mushaira’ included Prof Rehman Rahi, Farooq Nazki, Shahbaz Rajourvi, Brij Nath Betab, Muhammad Zaman Azurda, Naseem Shefai, Shahnaz Rashid, Ghulam Nabi Gowhar, Ayub Dilbar, Sagar Sehrai, Bashir Arif and Nighat Nazar among many others.

The function was attended by prominent personalities including Minister for R&B, G M Saroori, CPI (M) State Secretary, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami, MLA Sangrama, Syed Basharat Bukhari, former Director General Culture, Muhammed Yousuf Taing and Secretary Education, G A Peer among many others.

 Noted journalist and AMK general Secretary Syed Shujaat Bukhari who conducted the proceedings said that the objective of conference was to deliberate upon the problems language was facing in Jammu region. AMK vice president  Shahnaz Rashid presented vote of thanks. A galaxy of writers, intellectualls, poets and scholars attended the conference.

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