Shafi Shaida’s poetry collection Ammar released

He initiated work to include Kashmiri at primary level: Khayal

Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 17 2017 12:45AM | Updated Date: Dec 17 2017 12:45AM
Shafi Shaida’s poetry collection Ammar releasedPhoto: Mubashir Khan/GK

Noted writer and Sahitya Academy Awardee poet late Shafi Shaida’s updated and edited version of famous poetic collection Ammar (The Yearning) was released today at literary function to mark the Yom-e-Shaida.

The function was presided over by prominent writer Ghulam Nabi Khayal who recounted the huge contribution of Shaida for preservation of Kashmiri Language. “Not many people know that it was Shaida, who as cultural advisor to former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, took the initiative to include Kashmiri in school syllabus. He constituted a team comprised of himself, Prof Ghulam Nabi Firaq, Bashir Malik and myself,” said Khayal.  

“We presented the case of preservation of Kashmiri Language before CM. At that time the then Education Minister Muhammed Shafi Uri was also present who due to unknown reasons opposed the move. But ultimately we prevailed and CM gave the directions to include Kashmiri from Primary level in schools,” he said. “This will be his biggest contribution to society apart from his poetry,” he added. 

Khayal lamented the fact that politics consumed Shaida. “Politics is often for characterless and manipulative people. Shaida was not of that kind as he would hardly care for benefits that come with politics. When he wrote Khanyar poem eulogising the people who were killed in firing, he was still with government. He simply didn't care for anything,” said Khayal. 

“He could express feelings of people and had it not been politics we could have seen much more of his literary genius. Similar is his poem wherein he curses India.”

Minister for Education Syed Altaf Bukhari who couldn't make to the function due to delayed flight addressed the houseful gathering from phone. “Our biggest contribution to Shaida is that we should promote the Kashmiri language for which he took the initiative,” said Bukhari who promised that the entire infrastructure will be updated be it appointment of Kashmiri teaching teachers at various levels.

Farooq Nazki, prominent broadcaster and contemporary of Shafi Shaida recalled his close association with the late poet spanning over five decades. 

Two of Shaida’s poems were also sung by Mohsin Dilshad and Zahida Tarranum. 

Dr Aziz Hajini secretary Jammu Kashmir Academy of Art Culture and Languages which organised the function along with Shafi Shaida  Memorial Foundation said that Shaida was a poet par excellence and his poems captured the true emotion of people. 

“He was an advocate of preservation of language and culture. People know how hard it is. Recently there was a huge resentment from some quarters when posts of Kashmiri language teachers were advertised. There are similar challenges too but the current government is committed to do everything to preserve the language,” said Hajini.

On the occasion the Shafi Shaida Memorial Award 2017 was presented to Adbi Markaz Kamraz for their huge contribution towards preservation of language and culture. Various Momentos were also presented to the guests who included writers, bureaucrats and management of Tagore Hall.

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