Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today stressed on the need to preserve the rich culture and heritage of the State.
Addressing a function here after giving away Best Book awards organized by J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages, the Chief Minister said J&K has a rich treasure of art, culture and literature which should be restored, preserved and taken to the future generations. She complimented the Cultural Academy for successfully organizing the Ramadhan programmes across the State and also for its efforts to preserve, promote and maintain the cultural leanings of the society.
Mehbooba Mufti appealed people to come forward and donate pieces of art and heritage to the Academy so that the same are preserved for and shared with posterity.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister announced setting up of an art gallery at the Hariniwas Palace so that the pieces of art are properly preserved and people get an opportunity to witness these rare artifacts in an ordered manner.
Those awarded today include Narinder Bhasin for Dogri, Muhammad Zahid for English, Ch Fazal Mushtaq for Gojri, Dr. Ashok Kumar for Hindi, Prof Rattan Lal Shant for Kashmiri, Lobzang Jamspal for Ladakhi, Maqbool Sahil for Pahari, Dr. Manojit Singh for Punjabi. Aseer Kishtwari was also awarded in Urdu for his book-Awliyae Jammu wa Kashmir.
The Chief Minister also honoured well know writer Ghulam Nabi Gowher and Bashir Makhdoomi for having donated several manuscripts to the Cultural Academy.
In her address, Minister of State for Culture, Priya Sethi said culture gives direction to a society and connects our past to our future. She extended Ramadhan and Eid greetings to the people. Jnanpith awardee, Rehman Rahi and Vice President, Cultural Academy, Zaffar Iqbal Manhas also addressed the gathering.
Chairman, Legislative Council, Haji Anayat Ali; Minister for R& B, Naeem Akhtar; Minister of State for Housing & Urban Development, Asiea Naqash; Vice Chairman, Wakf Board, Peer Muhammad Hussain; Chairperson, Women’s Commission, Nayeema Ahmad Mahjoor; several legislators; Director, Libraries & Research, Mukhtar ul Aziz; writers, academicians, cultural activists and people in large numbers were present on the occasion.
Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated an exhibition of rare Islamic manuscripts organized by the Academy.
Put on display at the exhibition are some rare and exquisite Islamic manuscripts and copies of Holy Quran. These include a hand written Quranic manuscript of 1300 hijri, Quranic manuscript written during the reign of emperor Jehangir, Quranic manuscript written in gold blended ink, correspondences of the Holy Prophet (SAW), commentary of Holy Quran in local calligraphy by Fataullah Kashmiri of 1237 and other hand written commentaries of the Holy Quran dating back to early times.
The Department of Libraries & Research had also put some rare Quranic manuscripts on display during the exhibition. Prominent among those were a rare manuscript in Tuluth style with walnut wood binding dating back to very ancient times.
The Chief Minister evinced keen interest in the manuscripts put on display and directed taking measure for their proper upkeep and maintenance.