Kashmiris Have Not Done Enough To Propagate Mother Tongue: Kaul

Kashmiris Have Not Done Enough To Propagate Mother Tongue: Kaul

14 October 2012
Rising Kashmir
Tawseef Ahmad

Srinagar: Discussions, agreements and disagreements over various aspects of Kashmiri language marked the second and concluding day of National Kashmiri Conference- the writers meet here on Sunday. The Conference was organized by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi here at Radio Kashmir auditorium in which prominent writers and poets from across the valley participated. While most of the participants were unanimous in hailing the literary contribution of the writers of the 14th century but differed in contribution of the present day writers. The second day witnessed four sessions in which writers from all over the valley expressed their thoughts about Kashmiri language. While presenting his paper, Shantiveer Kaul, a Kashmiri writer (now based in Delhi) said Kashmiri’s have not done much to contribute to their mother tongue after 14th century. Kaul’s paper on “Kashmiri language in global scenario” generated a debate among the participant writers and the audience as well. Kaul said the reason for present condition of Kashmiri language is that “we have not done enough for its propagation and revival.” “Our language has a long history but it is unfortunate that we could not carry forward the legacy from our ancestors. We could not write classical literature, and we lack reading class. We are literate in one sense but in the other sense we can say that we are pre-literate society where we have not been able to preserve and propagate our mother tongue,” Kaul said. He further said that in the 14th century Kashmir was laced with high class writers but after that we were not able to produce a single novelist. “We did not produce a single novel that could have been recognized in the whole world. We are lacking in classical literature,” he said. However many prominent writers present in the conference disagreed with Kaul. Zareef Ahmad Zareef said it is not true that Kashmiris have not done enough but it is the question of translation that has become an impediment in its propagation. English language has reached newer heights because it is a global language and is translated in many other languages. “We are not able to translate our literature otherwise our writers are no less than acclaimed literary minds in the world. If we are able to translate Kashmiri language in other languages, our writers can achieve what has been impossible till date,” Zareef said. He underscored the need to identify and propagate the literary contribution of those poets of Kashmiri language, which for various reasons are in “oblivion”. “We have to discover all the literary treasures hidden as of now. The society as a whole has to play a role in this initiative,” he added. He also posed questions to the audience and said we should introspect whether we were allowed to spread our wings. We have been snatched of our mother tongue, Zareef said. During the session the writers also presented their views on topic “Why I write”, wherein they spoke about their experiences and what compelled them to write. Majrooh Rashid while speaking on the topic said, “I write because I can feel what has happened and what is happening. I am writing and will continue to write till I keep feeling.” Moti Lal Kemmu, Naseem Shafaie and Aseer Kishtwari also spoke on the topic. The concluding day also witnessed a session on “Short Story Reading” by writers like Nisar Naseem, Shamas-ud-Din, Mehfooza Jan, R K Bhat and Mohi-ud-din Reshi. The writers during the two-day conference stressed on the need to introduce Kashmiri language in all Higher Secondary Schools of the valley. They said subjects like Urdu and English are being taught from primary to university level, so Kashmiri subject should also be introduced in all the higher secondary schools. People speaking Kashmiri, the writers said, constitute at least 70 percent of the population of the State, so it becomes mandatory to introduce this subject in the curriculum at least up to the higher secondary level. All participant writers during the two-day conference thanked Sahitya Akademi for organizing such event aimed at the revival of the Kashmiri language. Convener, Kashmiri Advisory Board, Dr. Aziz Hajini while reiterating his views said it is the responsibility of every individual to work towards propagation and preservation of the mother tongue-Kashmiri. Renu Mohan Bhan while expressing satisfaction over the conference presented vote of thanks. Bhan said there is no dearth of intellect in the state. “It is very unfortunate that I cannot speak Kashmiri language as I have lived away from my birth place. But I am trying and working for its propagation,” Bhan said. Marghoob Banihali, Mohd Zaman Azurdah, Syed Yaqoob Dilkash, Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Muhammad Ahsan Ahsan were also present on the occasion.