Srinagar, November 21 (Vijay Kumar) – J&K Minister for Higher Education, Abdul Gani Malik ON Saturday asserting that the University of Kashmir is “global headquarter of Kashmiri language,”
Addressing academics and students at a seminar in the
He said, “It is an indisputable fact that this highest chair of learning is a global epicentre of Kashmiri language. The academics, writers, government and civil society have to therefore work in close coordination to promote Kashmiri in the educational institutions and elsewhere.”
The three-day annual seminar titled “Trends in contemporary literary criticism” is organised by the varsity’s Department of Kashmiri. “If there is any injustice being done to this language, it is our responsibility to do justice and promote this language at different levels. If this seminar comes up with different recommendations about the promotion of the language, we will be glad to consider them for implementation,” Malik said, adding, “It is essential to make Kashmiri language, literature and curriculum more relevant to the contemporary times.”
He asserted that the government would do everything to promote the Kashmiri language. “We will ensure that Kashmiri is taught in an effective manner in colleges and higher secondary and sufficient staff is available for the same,” he said.
The former KU vice-chancellor, Prof Hamidi Kashmiri, said it was essential to examine the objective behind criticism when it comes to literary works. “We often see the criticism based on personal observations. It is essential that before criticizing, we understand the purpose behind it. If it adds to our knowledge, then it is okay,” he said, adding, “It is important to examine as to why we lag behind in literary criticism and why we have not been able to produce adequate critics, though a few are doing their job.”
Former KU professor and Gyan Peth Awardee, Prof Rehman Rahi, gave a detailed account of the writers who have contributed to the promotion of Kashmiri language and literature. He, however, said that
Noted Urdu writer, Taranum Riyaz, who was the guest of honour, dwelt at length on the importance of literary criticism. “Criticism forms an important part of literary arena. It is with criticism that we are able to approach and understand different subjects in a better way,” she said.
She said the activities like seminars can go a long way in educating people about the importance of Kashmiri language and literature. “I am happy that the Kashmiri department organised this seminar. And I hope it will hold the next seminar on the life and works of Habba Khatoon,” Taranum said.
The KU registrar, Prof Syed Fayyaz, said the varsity was committed to promote Kashmiri language and literature. “A lot needs be done in this regard. We however, understand our responsibility keeping in view that the Kashmiri department is the heart of this university,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Head, Department of Kashmiri, Prof Shad Ramzan, said the colleges and higher secondary schools in the Valley, where Kashmiri is taught, lacked adequate staff to teach the subject. “It is a matter of concern that not many posts are being advertised in Kashmiri at the colleges and higher secondary level,” he said.
He lauded the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Riyaz Punjabi, in promoting Kashmiri language. “It is because of the Vice-Chancellor that the Kashmiri language has been introduced at the B.Ed level as well. And it is because of him that the Kashmiri department is getting space in a new building,” Prof Shad Ramzan said.
On the occasion, several publications of the Kashmiri department and Kashmiri writers were released. Aush te Alawe, a collection of short stories by Rahim Rehbar, was among them.
Faculty members at Kashmiri Department, Qazi Zahoor and Dr Mafooza Jan conducted the proceedings and delivered vote of thanks respectively.