by Tahir Bhat
SRINAGAR: On Thursday, Kashmir lost Professor Hamidi Kashmiri, one of the well-known academician, poet, writer, literary critic and former Vice-Chancellor Kashmir University. He was unwell for some time and he breathed his last Wednesday night. He was 86. He is survived by a son and a daughter.
Born in Bohri Kadal Srinagar in 1932, Professor Hamidi after completing his education joined Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art Culture and Languages. Later, he joined the higher education department as a teacher.
Hamidi joined University of Kashmir’s Urdu department in 1969, and after he became a professor, he finally headed the department.
He also held the Shaikh-ul-Alam Chair at Kashmir University for two years.
Two years before his retirement in 1990 Prof Kashmiri was appointed as the Vice Chancellor University of Kashmir, said Prof Zaman Azurdah. “Those were the most uncertain times,” Prof Afzal Qadri said. “He fought odds to keep the University operational and that was a huge contribution.”
Hamidi Kashmiri is a recipient of the Ghalib Award and Sahitya Akademi Award (2005).
In 2010, Hamidi was honoured with the prestigious and highest civilian award Padma Shri by the Government of India for his lifetime contribution in poetry.
“He started his journey in the literary world with fiction writing,” Prof Azurdah said. “His short stories were published in the literary magazine Beeswein Sadi.”
Azurdah said Hamidi is credited with fifty books, Iqtishafi Tanqeed Ki Sheryat, Ainame Ibraaq, Mahasir Tanqeed, Riyasati Jammu Aur Kashmir Urdu Adab, Jadeed Kashir Shayeri and Shiekh–ul-Aalam Aur Shayeri being some of the notable ones.
“After that Hamidi sahab moved towards poetry and remained associated with it till his last days,” he said. “Hamidi has also made his mark as a noted critic. He has also written about modern Urdu poetry.”
Hamidi was a known Urdu critic. In fact, his PhD thesis was about the European impact on the modern Urdu poetry.
“He worked on famous writers and poets like Dr Sir Mohammad Iqbal, Nasir Kazimi, Mir Taqi Mir, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and also wrote a book titled ‘Iqbal and Ghalib’,” Prof Zaman added.
“We would usually conduct Mushairas (a poetic symposium) in which Hamidi Sahab used to join us,” said Prof Zaman.“Hamidi brought a new way of literature in culture. He had created a gate of opportunities for youth in Kashmir who were interested in this field.”
Recalling his contributions as an academician, Prof Zaman Azurdah said Hamidi worked to the best of his capabilities with a complete sense of commitment and dedication. His loyalty to his friends, colleagues and the institutions he worked with had no parallel.
Hamidi had been affiliated with many national and state Urdu literary organizations. He had represented Kashmir at numerous literary seminars and mushaira sessions and earned a high reputation among the Urdu literary circles for his distinct literary style of expression.
He was also the editor of a literary journal Sheeraza published by the Academy. The Academy publishes Sheeraza in different languages with d\separate departments.
“After his retirement as VC KU Hamidi Sahab had started journalism. He had started a magazine Jahaad in which many local and non-local writer used to contribute,” said Prof Zaman Azurdah. “He will be always remembered for his contribution to the Urdu literature. His death is a huge loss to the literary world.”
Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed grief over the sad demise of Padma Shri awardee Prof. Hamidi Kashmiri, a noted writer, poet and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kashmir.
In his message, Governor has prayed for peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family in its hour of grief.
Meanwhile, Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, has deeply mourned the demise of the noted writer, poet, novelist and former Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University, Prof. Hamidi Kashmiri.
In a statement, Ganai said late Prof. Kashmiri will always be remembered for his immense contribution in the fields of literature and education. He also extended his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family members in their hour of grief.
PDP President and former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has condoled the demise of a well-known litterateur, poet, novelist and critic, Prof Hamidi Kashmiri who passed away this morning.
In her condolence message, Mehbooba Mufti recalled the contribution of Prof. Hamidi Kashmiri towards literature, particularly Urdu criticism which she said earned him a distinctive place even on the national level. In his demise, the Urdu literature has lost a doyen and the State has lost a shining star, she said in her message.
The PDP President has conveyed her sympathies to the bereaved family of Prof. Hamidi and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.
Former Minister and senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar has also condoled the demise of Prof Hamidi Kashmiri a well-known critic, litterateur, poet and novelist.
In his condolence message, Akhtar said that he was pained by Professor Hamidi Kashmiri’s demise and in his death, Jammu and Kashmir lost a brilliant academician who made a lasting contribution to state ’s education.
He added that Prof Hamidi Kashmiri will be remembered for his immense contribution in the field of Urdu criticism as well as being an institution-builder.
Akhtar has commiserated with the bereaved family of Prof. Hamidi and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.
The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President G.A. Mir has expressed profound grief over the passing away of Prof. Hamidi Kashmiri Former VC of Kashmir University and conveyed his deepest condolences to bereaved family.
In his condolence message, G.A. Mir said Prof. Hamidi Kashmiri was most valued educationist and institution, who has contributed enough to reform the education system in the Kashmir University, describing him as an illustrious son of the soil.
A recipient of the Ghalib, Sahitya Akademi and Padma Shri Awards, Late. Hamid Kashmiri was a noble soul, and an upright personality,Mir added and said the passing away of Prof. Hamid Kashmiri is a great loss to the State, which cannot be replaced by anything.
Executive Committee of Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) condoles the demise of former Vice-Chancellor of Kashmir University Prof. Hamidi Kashmiri.
In a statement Executive Committee members of KUTA while paying glowing tributes to the departed soul have lauded his remarkable contributions as an academician and Vice-Chancellor of the Kashmir University.
“All members have prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul in Jannat-ul-Firdous besides courage and patience to his bereaved family members to bear his separation,” KUTA in a statement said.