Farhat: A Refreshing Personality

Farhat Gillani is no more. We lost a poet, playwright, translator, news anchor, feature writer, Broadcaster and a pleasing television personality. He vigorously fought cancer for the last many years.

Popularly known as Farhat Gillani, Mohammad Aslam was the son of renowned Persian poet, Mubarak Shah Fitrat. He spent most of his childhood time in Khanqah-e-Moula itself, in his ancestral house . His youth was spent in Hawal and he passed away at his current residence at Sheikhpora.

He was a poet of Kashmiri language, wrote many articles and radio talks in Kashmiri as well as Urdu. He worked with Press Information Bureau, Government of India and worked with senior people like Jagannath Azad. Under Jagannath Azad’s guidance Farhat Gillani organised a spectacular event, a photo exhibition on Sir Mohammad Iqbal’s life. He also published a weekly magazine called Pragaash featuring fine arts and news about fine arts in Jammu and Kashmir.

He was known for his translations and translated some important ghazals of Shah-e-Hamadan which are set to Sufiana music by many Sufi masters. He regularly broadcast Naatiya Kalam on radio and television. These talks became the talk of the town. He had to stop these because of his health issues.

He started his writing career very early with PIB. The two of us compiled a book ‘Dharti ke Laal’ figuring prominent Urdu writers from Kashmir. This book was serialised in the Urdu daily Mazdoor.

He wrote children’s literature and books on Panchayati Raj in Kashmiri for which he got national awards. He was the most popular social figure for his Persian background in some circles. Television and Radio remained his favourite medium of expression.

While in service he was associated with weekly Ahang and weekly Salsabeel.

He was a popular personality in Sufi circles and its proponent. He was well versed with sufiana music and understood its niceties and nuances though he did not play any instrument himself. His booklet of hundred pages was published by information bureau entitled ‘Renaissance of Fine Arts in Kashmir’ was well received in literary circles.

During 1990s, for a brief period, he joined the famous Urdu newspaper Daily Aftab of Srinagar.

His death will be mourned by a cross section of society for his pleasantness, kindness and generosity.