Saavn ki barish mein tasveer jo humne kheenchi thi,
Woh aaj bhi maray kamray mein deewar pe latakti rehti hai

Nazir Ahmad wrote this Urdu couplet when he was an eighth class student.

Now, Sagar Nazir, he has been nominated for the coveted Yuva Puruskar by the Sahitya Akademi. The nomination is an acknowledgement of the literary contribution he has made for the promotion of Kashmiri language.

The Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, is an organization dedicated to the promotion of literature in the languages of India.

The Sahitya Akademi organizes national and regional workshops and seminars, provides research and travel grants to authors, publishes books and journals and presents the annual Sahitya Akademi Award of Rs 13000, in each of the 24 languages it supports, as well as the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement.

Sagar, 32, is a Kashmiri poet. He lives in Chukar, a non-descript village in Pattan area, 30 kms away from Srinagar. Sagar was interested in poetry since his childhood. He did his schooling in his native village but did not continue his education after the secondary classes.

“I was not much interested in attending the school,” Sagar said. Once he started writing, Sagar did not stop; he went on with the flow till he came up with his own poetry collection in 2014, Thaer Angnech, a Kashmiri medium book. The book was published by Farhan Publishers Sopore. This book speaks about the rich culture Kashmir has. Finally, this book earned Sagar the Sahitya Akademi award.

“When I started writing couplets, I used to write them in Urdu but I soon switched to the Kashmiri medium,” Sagar said. “Kashmiri is our own identity, so I decided to pen down in this medium only.”

Ghulam Qadir Shaad Daradpuri a prominent poet was Sagar’s inspiration. “I grew up following him. I wanted to be like him.” Later, under the apprenticeship and mentorship of a noted poet Mohammad Ahsan Ahsan, Sagar polished his poetic knack.

Pertinent to mention, only five other people from the valley had made it to this prestigious award earlier. “I am very happy that my contribution was acknowledged and endorsed by the academy. It will definitely encourage me and I will be able to contribute more.”

Sagar is also a cultural activist. He heads a forum, Sagar Cultural Forum, where he encourages new budding poets and literary figures and also organizes different cultural events.

Also, one of Sagar’s Nazm, Meeras, is widely acknowledged and endorsed. It has been translated into six other languages. Governor Satya Pal Malik has also congratulated him and other recipients for his success.

The others who made it to this list from the state are Vijay Sharma and Naji Munauwar. They were conferred with the Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Pursakar Awards for 2019 and Sunil Kumar was conferred Sahitya Akademi’s Yuva Puraskar Award, 2019.

Vijay Sharma has received the Award for his Dogri Poetry Larjaan while Munauwar has got the Award for his Kashmir poetic collection Shurin Hund Naji.

Sunil Kumar has received Award for his short story “Sees” in Dogri language.

– Umar Mukhtar


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