My Language, my wealth

We teach them other languages leaving out our own

Faizaan Bhat
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 9 2018 10:38PM | Updated Date: Dec 9 2018 10:38PM
My Language, my wealthRepresentational pic

Kashmiri language is our identity. Unfortunately speaking Kashmiri is seen as a taboo in the young ones. It is seen as a language of non-elite. 

Sir George Abraham Grierson, compiler of “Dictionary of Kashmiri Language” (1932) writes that “Kashmiri is the only Dardic language which has rich culture and literature”. It is the language of more than sixty lakh people. Pandit Ram Chander Koul Abhay in his article “Old language – Pine Word, and eminent poet Dr. Shri Nath Tickoo Shastri in his article “Evolution Of Kashmiri Language” published on 5 July, 1942 in Hamdard, prove that Kashmiri is more than eight century old language. Buhler, writes that he saw an old Kashmiri manuscript in Lahore museum which was written between 980 – 1004 in 1974. Shrivera in his Rajtarangini writes that “ Mehmood Shah Khilji, King of Melwa gifted Kashmiri King Budshah clothes called Duradum. In return Budshah gifted a self composed Kashmiri poem to him”. Such is the rich historical legacy of Kashmiri. Historian Ashraf Wani in his book "Islam In Kashmir" writes that Quran in Kashmiri was written before Islam's advent in Kashmir back in eleventh or twelfth century.

Kashmir has been house of great philosophies, religions, cultures and languages. As per scholar Farrukh Faizan Mir in her book “The Inscrutable Art of Translation (A journey into Mehjoor The Poet of Kashmir) “The debate between Monendar (Greek ruler who ruled Kashmir from Shalakha present day Sialkot) and Nag Sen, Philosopher was translated centuries ago”. Mahmood Gami’s Yusuf Zulaikha was translated by Fredrich Buckhard in 19th century. Since then many translations have been done from Kashmiri to other languages and from other languages to Kashmiri like Bible in 1827, Euclid (Mathematics) in 1898, Maulana Yehya’s Quranic commentary, P. Koul’s Ramayana, Wahab Parray’s Shahnama Firdousi, A.M Lone’s Gorky’s Mother, Nikolai Gogoi’s Inspector General by Somnath Zutshi, Chekhov’s Three Sisters, Gallows’s Julius Fucik by Aziz Haroon, and Punjab’s Baba Farid’s sufi poetry by Rehman Rahi, Omar Khayam by Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Tolstoy's War And Peace by Muzzaffar Azim, Triloki Nath Raina and T.N Koul's translation of Mehjoor, Mustaque B. Barq’s “Verses Of Wahab Khar” and “Voices of Mystic Kashmir” and many other works.

Kashmir has produced great literature beside translations in Kashmiri. Kashmir has produced great Kashmiri poets like Shinti Kanth whose poetry collection “Mahayana Prakash” is known as the first collection, Sheikh Noor Ud Din Noorani and Lal Ded’s Vaakh, Bansur Katha by Avtar Bhat, Mahmood Gami, Habba Khatoon, Mehjoor, Azad, Nadim, Kamil, Rahi, G.R Renzu, Begum Renzu, Ab. Sattar Aasi, Shahnaz Rashid, Nighat Sahiba and others. 

Kashmiri Poets like Mehjoor have been praised worldwide. D. Satyarthi, folklorist and close aide of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in a journal article in “Viswa Bharti” writes that “when I showed poetry of Mehjoor to Tagore, he said “your (Mehjoor) and my ideas are same and if you had known Bengali or English, I would say that you borrow ideas from me, I am surprised by your poetry.” Tagore called him “Wordsworth of Kashmir”. A film was made on him by Balraj Sahini in 1971. He even started first Kashmiri newspaper “Gaash” in 1940s. Besides poetry, textbooks have also been written in Kashmiri like on constitution by Prof. Fazili, Ilmi Muyushat on Sociology by Prof. Soz, Aadam Mor on Anatomy by Mirza Arif Beg etc. Biographical sketches like Azad – John Keats, Amin Kamil’s Kathi Manz Kath (Light amidst Darkness), Sattar Ranjoor's Meini Kath in four volumes etc. Novel’s like Akhtar Mohiuddin’s Ded Dug, G.N Gouhar’s Mujrim etc. Novels and biographical are still in infancy in Kashmiri. Travelogues like Cheenuk Safar by Mirza Arif, Slavamir by Akhtar Mohiudin etc. Short Story writers like Deepak Koul, G.R Santosh, Mohiuddin Reshi etc. A number of Books have been written on the literary criticism and literary history of Kashmiri by many scholars like Abdul Ahad Azad’s “Kashmiri Shayiri aur Zubaan 3 volumes” know as major literary criticism, Avatar Krishan Rehbar, Shafi Shoq, Naji Munawwar and others.

To propagate Kashmiri literature many organisations were formed like Kashmir Cultural Front which was later named as Cultural Congress and Cultural Conference by G.M Sadiq which was factioned by Mirza Arif Beg into Kashmir Bazm E Adab. Though the group tried to appropriate politics as per their own narrative. Presently, many organisations like Jammu Kashmir Fiction Writers Guild are propagating Kashmiri and other literature.

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