I knew Prof. Hamid Anwar Dhar, who passed away recently, for the last 42 years, during which he had been very kind and helpful to me. I joined the University of Kashmir as a student in the Department of Kashmiri in 1979 and Prof Hamid taught at the Department of English those days. Though I had heard his name when my elder brother was a student of the Department of English and myself a school going kid in the early 70’s of the last century.
I had my first interaction with him during a debating competition held by the Dean Students of Welfare University of Kashmir where he in addition to his duties in the Department of English would look after the cultural activities and inter-college and inter-university debating competitions.
From that occasion I got an opportunity to come closer to him and to get benefitted from his capabilities as an inspiring English Language teacher, and an able administrator who had the guts to face difficult moments while discharging his administrative duties.
During my student life we had only three permanent teachers in the department of Kashmiri - Prof. Rehman Rahi, Prof.Rashid Nazki and Prof. Shafi Shauq. The curriculum for M.A Kashmiri programme was designed and devised with the help of the department of English that was headed by Prof. T.J Raman then. I would frequently go to the department of English and Iqbal Institute (where Prof. M Amin Andrabi, a formidable scholar of language and literature worked) as I had developed a strong relationship with the teachers of the department of English and Iqbal Institute through Prof G.R Malik. I benefited from the departmental library as well as their personal libraries. Prof Hamid suggested to me many a time books on critical approaches to literature and some works of fiction that helped me correct my taste and to have a better understanding of literature. I would always eagerly look at him when he spoke in English. His pronunciation was always pleasantly accented and looked natural and spontaneous. He was fully aware of the nuances of the English language and that his drafting skills were marvelous.
Prof. Hamid was a great human being and a humble soul. A helpful person and an upright officer. He would never compromise on the academic principles he stood for. He would go to any extent to help the students in their studies and to solve their varied problems. I am reminded of the days when I was appointed as a lecturer in the school education department in 1986. After the interview for the said position was held I was given to understand that my selection as a lecturer in the school education department has been recommended by the Public Service Commission to the education department. I shared it with Prof. Hamid on the stairs of administrative block of the university and requested him to help me get orders of my appointment from the secretariat as I was in desperate need of a job. Prof. Hamid told me to accompany him to his chamber where he wrote a brief note to Naseema Lankar ji (his better half), who was a deputy secretary in the planning department those days. He wrote to her, “please help him and oblige”. I went rushing to the secretariat and met Naseema Ji who helped me and I got my appointment orders within two days. Later on I joined the university of Kashmir as a lecturer in the department of Kashmiri and Prof. Hamid was delighted to see me on the faculty of the university.
I remember one more incident when Prof. Hamid was working as Controller of Examinations University of Kashmir. He had appointed me superintendant for the conduct of M.A Political Science (private) examination and I was threatened by a candidate, appearing in the examination, to be ready for facing severe consequences if I did not allow him to copy. I reported it all to Prof. Hamid and he instructed me that on the next day of the examination I should not be harsh to the examinee and that he would come to the department for inspection on the next date of examination. Hardly 15 minutes had gone past when the next day examination of another paper had begun and Prof. Hamid dropped in the examination centre and caught the said examinee red handed and later on he was rusticated for three years .
I pray to Almighty Allah for granting him the highest place in Jannah and for letting his soul rest in eternal peace. I convey my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family , especially Naseema Ji and her daughters, and also to Dr. Waheed .
(Majrooh Rashid is a former Professor and HOD Department of Kashmiri, University of Kashmir)