Professor Aziz Hajini- an unfathomable loss

September 16, 2021
Professor Aziz Hajini- an unfathomable loss

Saleem Beg

I have known Hajini saheb for about two decades. Our association started within the sphere of cultural activities that we were undertaking as part of our professional obligations. But then over a period of time with the linkages and networking with other men of great passion and vision, we became a part of the thought process where our concerns enlarged and expanded to the issues related to the society at large. Hajini sahib came from a background where he had made a mark, rated as a good writer and a respected academic. That would in the normal circumstances, as in many co-academicians, mean a career, an occupation for life. But then he was made for taking bigger challenges. Seeing the distressed state of our mother tongue he turned into an activist, protagonist for preserving our language. This became a struggle and the purpose of his life. Having turned into a campaigner, he naturally looked at the vulnerabilities of our community at large.

Among our fraternity, a sense of loss gave birth to a movement that raised a bigger demand. This is when Kashmir was pushed into a quagmire and an existential threat. Till then many of us who were satisfied with the smiling welcome and appreciation of our work in the field of culture were alarmed with the uncertain and bleak future for all that was good about our society. Our frequency of interaction expanded exponentially at a stage and time when we realized that the medium of culture remained the only available tool and hope for retaining dignity. In our common world, the dimensions of Culture broadened and included the use of arts, literature, and traditional knowledge systems within the context of actions, campaigns, and movements. At its core, we realized that our work is a way of reclaiming our dignity, and celebrating our work as individuals and communities. Assertion of cultural identity became particularly powerful because it served multiple purposes. It inspired many of us to own our lives and invest in our communities while building capacity for local leadership.

This is the context of our deep sense of loss in the demise of Professor Hajini. A void like this can only be filled with some divine intervention and that is what will sustain us for times to come.


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