Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Thursday underlined the need for preserving and protecting the Kashmiri language maintaining that it was directly connected with “our identity.”
He said that Kashmiri language and culture was unique and rich and people have a reason to boast about it. Speaking at a function organized by Adbee Markaz Kamraz to release the 14th edition of “Anwar-e-Mohammadi” by Late Fazil Kashmiri, Mirwaiz said that the need was to strengthen the language at grass root level. “More than publishing the books in Kashmiri we should set our homes in order first as we have forgotten the mother tongue in our homes, which is a tragedy” he said adding that there was dire need to make Kashmiri language compulsory in all educational institutions. “Kashmriri subject has been started in government schools, but it should be taught in all the private schools as well.”
He said government should make the subject compulsory for students of 9th and 10th standards. “Government and civil society has to play a role in it. If they need our assistance we are at fore front do extent our support.”
Maintaining that school authorities were also responsible for not promoting the culture of Kashmiri language among the students he said, “After we send our kids to school, they forget the Kashmiri language which is very unfortunate for us. Even parents also hesitate to talk in Kashmiri with their wards.”
The Mirwaiz, who was the chief guest at the function, said that Kashmiri language was rich and had produced number of writers and intellectuals who played an important role in awakening the people. He recalled the contribution of Sheikhul Alam, Lal Arifa, Ghulam Ahmed Mehjoor, Dina Nath Nadim, Mirza Ghulam Hassan Beg Arif and Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki in shaping up various discourses in the society. Mirwaiz impressed upon people to not to forget their cultural heritage and mentioned that how Kashmiri Pandits had kept their language alive even in the remotest corner of the world.
He lauded the role of AMK in preserving the culture and language and assured that all the institutions under him would extend full support to their programmes.
Prof Zaman Azurdah who presided over the function said that entire society has to wake up to the challenge of preserving the language.
Earlier in his address, President AMK Aziz Hajni, while reiterating need for preserving Kashmiri language accused political of making tall claims in air. “They talk heights on papers only but do nothing on grounds. Kashmiri language represents our culture but unfortunately we failed to preserve it for our upcoming generations,” Hajni said.
Referring to the initiatives taken by AMK he said, “We held a meeting with government and are hopeful that they will make Kashmiri subject a compulsory 9th and 10th as well,” he said. “They have constituted a committee for this as well.”
Noted poet Farooq Nazki in his address hailed the role of Mirwaiz family in preserving the Kashmiri identity. Taskeena Fazil read out a paper on the life and works of Fazil Kashmiri whose 8th death anniversary was observed today.
Mirwaiz also presented this year’s “Fazil Memorial Award” to noted writer Prof Hamidi Kashmiri. Fazil’s son Zeeshan Fazil and AMK general secretary Shujaat Bukhari also spoke on the occasion.
A galaxy of writers and members of civil society including Mohammad Shafi Pandit, Mohammad Saleem Beg, Qazi Mohammad Amin, Dr Iqbal Nazki, Sultanul Haq Shaheedi, Shehzadi Simon, Shad Ramzan, Aijaz A Kakroo, Prof Hameed Nasim Rafiabadi, Nasir Mirza, Atiqa Bano, Z G Mohammad, Dr Javaid Iqbal, Anwar Ashai, Showkat Gayoor, Bashar Bashir, Ghulam Nabi Zaki, Farooq Nazaki, Abdul Qayoom Wani, Shakeel Qalandar and Shahidul Islam were present.