January 18, 2010

Adbee Markaz Kamraz (AMK)—a body of Kashmir’s literary figures and intellectuals on Saturday  January 16, 2010 organized a commemoration function to honor renowned singers Ghulam Hassan Sofi and Abdul Rashid Farash, Editor Daily Aftab Khwaja Sanaullah Bhat and Editor Srinagar Times Sofi Ghulam Mohammad who recently expired.
Speaking on the occasion, retired justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani said that all these people were gifted and had immense talent “but they lacked timely education of their respective fields.”

“I believe that all of the four had tremendous potential in their respective fields but their talent would have won worldwide accolade had they received proper training at proper time,” he said, adding, “Although two of these belonged to one field and rest of the two with other, a common thread which they share was that there were lack of opportunities which could have made them renowned figures across the world.”

Kirmani, who presided over the function, said that in a situation where people die every now and then, remembering other men means that society is aware about their responsibility.

“All four of them faced tough situation while they were alive. But it also shows maturity of people who are remembering them,” Kirmani said.

Responding to remarks that the foursome were ill-treated when they were alive, Kirmani said, “Why are we complaining when we have cases like Ghalib and Mehandi Hassan both of who faced tough situation in their lives. This happens in every society and we should not complaint about this.”

About Khawaja Sanaullah and Sofi Ghulam Mohammad, Kirmani said that they will be remembered for their contribution to the field of Journalism.

“Both are icons of Kashmir’s journalism while Ghulam Hassan Sofi and Abdul Rashid Farash are the people who gave recognition to the poets who otherwise would have remained unknown to everybody,” he said.

In her speech, Divisional Commissioner, Naseem Lanker said Baht and Sofi Ghulam Mohammad will be remembered by their journalistic instincts and Ghulam Hassan Sofi and Farash will always remain alive through their songs.
“They never went out of mind during their life. Their contribution made their presence felt,” she said.
The Divisional Commissioner also said that the people of valley must be fully concerned about their art and language.
“Educated owe a responsibility towards our mother tongue and culture. We should impart our language and culture in our children right from their childhood,” she said.

Director, Commercial Broadcasting Services, Bashir Arif lamented the ill treatment meted out to Ghulam Hassan Sofi when he was alive.

“During his last days he was in such a bad condition that he didn’t have money to buy medicines,” Arif said, adding “Same was the case with Farash who went from pillar to post for the transfer of his wife.”

“Farash would have been alive this time if his wife would have been at home. He died of excessive salt in the food. There was no one to take care of him,” he said.

Eminent Cartoonist, and Editor Srinagar Times Bashir Ahmad Bashir, who also spoke at the function, said that all these people were “courageous” who faced happily whatever came their way.

City Mayor, Salman Ali Sagar, President AMK, Aziz Hajini, General Secretary AMK, Syed Shuja’at Bhukhari, Senior faculty Member, Media Education Research Centre, Nasir Mirza, former civil servant Aijaz Ahmad Kakroo, prominent political and social figure Mohammad Yaqoob Vakil, Faculty member Islamic studies and Kashmir University Hameed Naseem Rafiabadi, noted artist Talha Jehangir and senior journalist Zahir-ud-din also spoke at the event.

Later, a novel by late Bashir Akhtar was also released at the function.

Among the audience, Secretary JK State Board of School Education Dr Sheikh Bashir Ahmad, noted Physician M Shafi, Broadcaster Shamshaad Kralwari, noted Playwright Mohammad Amin Bhat, renowned singer, Syed Shezad Ssim, noted actor Ayash Arif, senior journalist Riyaz Masroor besides people associated with media and art were present at the function.

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