Art exhibition on Persian language connects youth with works of unsung Kashmir poet

Exhibition depicted personal archives of poet, M Amin Darab; his many contributions that were not highlighted so far
Art exhibition at Amar Singh Club concluded on Saturday
Art exhibition at Amar Singh Club concluded on SaturdayBy Aman Farooq

Srinagar, Nov 20: In an attempt to connect the younger generation of Kashmir with the Persian language and scholarship, an art exhibition on the personal archives and books of Persian poet, Mohammad Amin Darab was displayed at Amar Singh Club, Srinagar.

The organizers said that the aim of the exhibition was to revisit and help in the revival of Persian in Kashmir. The event, which concluded on Saturday, was curated by INTACH, Kashmir, in collaboration with Help foundation and Drabu family.

During the five-day long event, 73 rare manuscripts, including 11 books, were displayed at Amar Singh Club. All the manuscripts and books are written by Mohammad Amin Darab.

While speaking to Greater Kashmir, Saleem Beg , Head of INTACH, Kashmir said that they have organized this event in a bid to make the current generation well-versed with Persian literature. We are aiming this through the personal archives of this great poet.

“This will help in shedding some light on the contribution of Mohammad Amin Darab. There are many things about his contribution that are not highlighted and here we aim to do the same by putting these things on display. He has written some amazing documents like Nikah Namay at that time and had expertise in Qitah-i-Tarikh (chronogram) ‘ Naats’ and ‘ Manqabats’,” Beg said.

Aman Farooq for Greater Kashmir

He said that Persian has been part of Kashmir’s administration, literature, and academics for 500 years and the new generation has lost the touch with it.

“Through this platform, we wanted to bridge that gap and let the young generation know the scholarly contribution of such personalities. Through this exhibition, we also got to know how this poet got all his education from home and made a great contribution to our literature. It also tells us how home-schooling has been part of our family culture for ages” he added.

Beg also thanked Drabu family including Nighat Shafi Pandit who played a vital role in making the event possible.

Muhammad Shafi Pandith, Ex-Chairman PSC who was also present at the exhibition said that there has been a good response to the event. 

"It tells a lot about the fact that people of Kashmir are still interested in this and they want to connect back to their roots of the past," Pandith said. 

To mention, Persian has been part of Kashmir for around 5 centuries. The language was an official language of courts and commerce in J&K. over the period of 5 days, scores of students, scholars, and Persian experts visited the exhibition and express happiness about the event.

“It was a great experience as a student. We got to know about things that we never imagined are part of our culture. It made us more interested in the Persian language.  We hope such events will be organized in the future also which will help us know our literature and overall culture more closely,” said a group of students at the event.

The visitor praised the interesting collection of manuscripts and other literature at the exhibition. Among the highlighted manuscripts was a chronogram of Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon and a congratulatory message from traders of Srinagar to Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh on his accession to the throne in 1923. There were also a number of elegies of prominent scholars, including on the death of Muslim scholar and jurist Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri. The organizers said that such events will continue to be part of their efforts to revive the Persian language.

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