Minister for Finance and Culture, Dr Haseeb Drabu has called for uplift of Jammu and Kashmir’s artists and artisans, who, he said, are preserving the culture and language expression through their art. “We must revive, promote and preserve our rich heritage by mobilizing our cultural and social identities,” Dr Drabu said while addressing the inaugural session of 36th Annual Kashir Conference of Adbi Markaz Kamraz (AMK), here last evening. Minister of Law, Basharat Bukhari and MLA, Engineer Rashid were also present during the inaugural session. Dr Drabu announced setting up of Cultural Centres in different districts of the State with the support of cultural activists and groups. “My ministry is working on building cultural infrastructure including cultural centres in different districts. I have already decided to fund a state-of-art cultural centre in Baramulla with the support of Adbi Markaz Kamraz,” he said. He said during his six months of tenure as minister, he has found that Kashmir language is alive and has not reached the crisis level, which other languages are facing. “Kashmir language is alive and has not reached the crisis level which other languages are facing,” he said. Regretting the lack of proper research work on Kashmir and Kashmiri, Dr Drabu said; “We should come forward to have proper work on Kashmir and Kashmiri while finding the social incentives and market for Kashmiri speaking community.” Drabu expressed his concern about losing ancestral cultural traits and said that cultural philosophy of Kashmir should reach out to commoners. “We have lost the undefined social control which was edifice of social culture,” Drabu said adding “there is an urgent need of cultural dissemination at mass level while defining the role of individual.” “No solution lies with the Government for this cultural issue, it can only be redefined at individual and collective level,” Drabu said. Drabu said that language cannot be groomed by introducing language in schools institutes only. “It is not necessary to have Kashmiri language in schools and it will not matter till our society and family is lingo-culturally equipped,” he said. Senior journalist and President AMK, Shujaat Bukhari gave welcome address and noted broadcaster and writer, Avtar Krishan Rehbar gave the Presidential address. General Secretary AMK Muhammad Amin Bhat read out a brief report on the past activities of AMK for the promotion of culture and Kashmiri language. Known Kashmiri poetess Naseem Shifai, Secretary Tourism Farooq Shah, Secretary Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Cultural and Languages (JKAACL) Aziz Hajini also spoke during the inaugural session. On the first day, a theme paper was presented by Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq and reviews were presented by Farooq Fayaz and Mehmood-ur-Rashid. The comments were presented by B N Betaab, Muhammad Zaman Azurda, Hasrat Gadda, Aijaz G M Lallu, Shantiveer Kaul, Muhammad Shafi Pandit, Er Rashid, Bashar Bashir, Majrooh Rashid and others. Later, a book reading session of ‘Jahanamuk Panun Panun Naar’ by Late Akhtar Mohi ud Din was held. Other prominent poets, writers and delegates of AMK attending the conference included Muhammad Rafi Bhat, Ghulam Nabi Atish, Prof Shad Ramzan, Prof Ayaz Nazki, Neelofar Nehvi, Mushfiq Hussain, Prof Mashal Sultanpuri and AMK media secretary Khurshid Qureshi. AMK General Secretary Muhammad Amin informed that the organization was founded in 1971 and since then it has been striving to promote and encourage the Kashmiri language among the citizens of J&K and other parts, where Kashmiri speakers reside in abundance. In the past, AMK had organized similar conferences in Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Banihal and in many districts of the Kashmir valley. The conference is being organized in association with JKAACL, Radio Kashmir, DDK Srinagar, JK Tourism, Information Department, JKTDC, J&K Bank and Sahitiya Academy.
2015 Kashmir Despatch