HAROON RASHID BHAT
We are human beings, we have emotions, values that make us distinct from other entities. Google can be an informer but it can’t replace the role of a teacher in the teaching-learning process” These golden words were spoken by Professor Aziz Hajini on the occasion of Award Ceremony Organised by the school education department in collaboration with Academy of Art Culture and Languages JK on 29th of December 2018 in the Tagore Hall Srinagar. In the middle of the speech, he also used the terms like Google teacher, Google professor, Google Guide in a humorous way. The main intention was to bring forth the importance and role of a teacher in this changing world order where information can be accessed through modern machines/computers. That program was initiated by then PDP-Government under the title “Ramdhan Special”
It was his deep attachment towards his native language that he preferred to deliver the speech in Kashmiri. While addressing the audience, he quoted many verses of Lad-Ded, Sheikh-Ul Alm. He was instantly translating them into Urdu to communicate their interwoven message to all sitting in the hall. Professor Talat Parvaz –VC of Kashmir University was the Chief Guest of the function. Though, he couldn’t understand the whole content of the speech but seeing the magical impact of his brief speech among the sitting audience. He remarked, “Hajini Sahab’s, your speech motivated me to learn this beautiful language having a rich cultural legacy”. That was his faith and motivational power.
He rendered his services under various capacities. As the research officer in the State Education Department, he played an important role in reintroducing the Kashmiri language in the school education which was previously thrown out of the Syllabus. When he was appointed as the Deputy Director Academics, he motivated some of his friends and scholars especially Ghulam Nabi Aatash to compile the Kashmiri Books for class 1st as to 12th. Keeping in view the popularity of TV shows in propagating and promoting the Kashmiri language, he launched a series with DDK Srinagar to teach the Kashmiri language. That particular program became a very popular show and many people learned to write Kashmiri scripts. Apart from this, he had a great time in Radio Kashmir Srinagar and Doordarshan. He served as a news-reader for a long time in Radio. He also worked as newsreader cum translator in DDK Srinagar, anchored many programs for Radio as well as for DDK-Srinagar
Other than government jobs, he remained vibrantly active, connected, and devoted to the literary movements. He did a lot of works for Adbi Markaz Kamraz and remain connected with it throughout his life. He was thrice elected its President. Being convener of Sahitya Academy and Secretary of Cultural Academy of Art, Culture, and Languages, his contributions in the development and preservation of Kashmiri Literature were exemplary. During his tenure in the Cultural Academy, many books were published and translated. He authored many books including poetry and criticism. Some of which gained national awards. In 2015, his book Aaini Khani (A collection of critical write-ups in Kashmiri) won the best book award through Sahitya Academy. The book has been translated into three languages viz. English, Urdu, and Hindi and now being translated into Punjabi and Tamil. The book has been published in three editions. His first Naat Anthology starting from Sheikh-Ul-Alam was published by Sahitya Academy, it is also published in two editions. His other book ‘Ham Kaal Kashir Shayari’ anthology of contemporary Kashmiri poets has been translated into three languages. Acknowledging his role as an academician, author, and poet, he was appointed a member of the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, and a member of the National Book Trust in 2012. From 1998 to 2000, he was appointed president of Kashmir Theater Association an NGO, and between 1998 and 2008, served as general secretary of the Adbi Markaz Kamraz. He also participated in literary seminars abroad such as the US, the UAE, and Canada exploring his native culture and language. He always admired the Sufi poetry of Lal-Ded followed by all-time greatest poets like Sheikh-ul-Alam, Shams Faqir, Soch Kral, Wahab Khar, Wazi Mehmood, Niama Seab, and our 20th-century contemporary poets like Abdul Ahad Zargar and Samad Mir etc. He often quoted their verses during his talk. He used to say “Sufi poetry is heart and soul of Kashmiri literature”. His demise has left a huge void hard to be filled. May Almighty Allah give the departed soul eternal peace and endurance to his family to bear this irreparable loss! He worked relentlessly to uphold our indigenous culture and identity. Now, it is up to us to retain his legacy.
Haroon Rashid Bhat is a teacher and columnist , can be reached at