Kashmir carpets to embellish new Parliament building
Budgam: The new Parliament building in the nation’s capital is slated to be decorated with the renowned traditional handmade Kashmiri carpets, which are now being completed by artisans in a remote Budgam district village.
For the past year or so, a group of 50 weavers and artisans in Khag in this central Kashmir district have been striving to finish the project that was given to them by a New Delhi-based company.
The Narendra Modi government’s enormous Central Vista renovation project calls for the construction of a brand new edifice, which will house the Winter Session of the Parliament, the government has maintained.
After submitting the samples, the company placed an order for 12 carpets for the new Parliament building, according to Qamar Ali Khan of Tahiri Carpets, who spoke with Greater Kashmir.
Khan said that making carpets for the Parliament was an honour and a source of great delight for his family, who has been in charge of the carpet-making and export business for 32 years.
“Our handmade carpets were renowned across the world as a kind of art. But, regrettably, there has been a reduction as a result of numerous factors. Now, we hope it is revitalised, and this effort aids in that,” he said.
The carpets that would be used to decorate the new Parliament building would be up to 8 feet broad and 11 feet long.
“These carpets will be arranged in a circle. Each carpet has a different width. It changes, getting wider at first before getting wider yet, the minimum is four feet,” Khan said.
According to him, the carpets are one of a kind and integrate three classic Kashmiri Kani shawl motifs.
“Fifty weavers are working on the project, and 12 families are involved in all aspects of it, including providing the raw materials, designing, and weaving,” Khan said.
He claimed that more than 90 percent of the project work had already been finished and the remaining 10 percent would take another 20 days or so.
“The real work began after the carpets had been designed, which took around three months. We intend to complete it this month. Nine carpets have already been provided by us to the company. The carpets must first be cleansed and given a few finishing touches before being used,” Khan said.
He expressed hope that the project would significantly raise awareness of Kashmir’s rich cultural legacy and provide the art form with the much-needed drive.
“Those who engage in the carpet-weaving industry often receive Rs 150–225 per day in compensation for their efforts. The 50 weavers employed on this initiative make between Rs 600 and Rs 700 per day,” Khan said.
He said that they were now anticipating more orders, which would eventually help the traditional art.
The goal of placing these carpets in India's top constitutional edifice is to showcase the craftsmanship of Kashmiri handicraft workers to people all over the world.
Kashmiri artists and carpet dealers are delighted for this to happen.
Weaver Parvaiz Ahmad expressed hope that after the project is finished, the weavers would receive additional work and their just compensation while also appreciating the jobs the initiative had created.
“We anticipate receiving better payments and more of these projects. This has aided us in better managing our day-to-day lives,” he said.
Locally known as ‘Kal Baffi’, hand-knotted carpets have their earliest known origins in the 15th century and have since developed to a high level of perfection.
According to a legend, Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin sent carpet makers from Persia and Central Asia to Kashmir to instruct the locals.