The much hyped recently held ‘Qul Hind Mushaira’ organized by Kashmir’s tourism department has drawn flak from state’s noted poets, accusing that the organizers ‘humiliated’ them in the event.
The All India Mushaira, bringing together some of the most popular Urdu poets of the country was held in Srinagar on November 19. Titled as ‘Ek Shaam Kashmir Ke Naam’ was attended by 16 prominent poets of the India including Waseem Barelvi, Rahat Indoori, Munawar Rana.
The state poets who participated in the event Wednesday accused that they were ‘maltreated’ by the organizers of the event. Rukhsana Jabeen, a known Urdu poet and the radio broadcaster while talking to KNS said that the discrimination was done on the grounds of ‘honorarium’.
“The tourism department has paid more than 25 to 40 thousand rupees to the non-local poets while as a mere amount of three thousand has been promised to us.” Jabeen further stated that as the poets who came from other states of India have been given to and fro air tickets and the expensive gifts besides luxurious accommodation, while as the state poets were completely ignored during the event.
Jabeen said, “We were told to get the Pheran from home while as the expensive pherans and karakul caps were gifted to outside poets. I told them that I am not participating in the dance competition and that there is no costume for the Musharia.”
According to the reports received by Kashmir News Service (KNS), a prominent state poet Pratipal Singh Betab was denied the travel fare and was told that Rupees five thousand as honorarium is being provided to him and that he has to bear all the other costs out of that amount. “Betab didn’t participate in the event, though his contribution in the field of literature is enormous,” said local poets here.
The local poets who participated in the event stated that Humdam Kashmiri was invited to participate in the event but the organizers later told him that he has to only lit the candle in the event and not to recite his poetry. “He left the event in the mid-way.”
Rafiq Raaz, a known Urdu poet of the state, while talking to KNS stated that the accolades were given to the poets in front of the state poets and no respect was given to them. “They (organizers) told me to get the Pheran for the event myself and I out rightly rejected that. They even didn’t send us any invitation. They informed us via email and phone.” Raaz further stated that the honorarium has not been provided to the local poets despite the huge sum was provided to the non-local poets. “Those poets have no literary background; they are just the Mushaira poets.”
Farooq Nazki said that he rejected to don the Pheran as according to him it was not the appropriate dress for the event. “No amount has been provided till now and it was really sad that Betab and Humdam were ignored,” he added.