Thursday, January 21, 2016

URDU POET IFFTEKHAAR IMAM SIDDIQUI


                                                                       
           
IFFTEKHAR IMAM SIDDIQUI

Zindagi ke iss safar mein sainkadon Chehrey Millay
Dilkashi Unn ki Alagh Paikar Tera Apni Jagah ….
Tujh se Mil Kar Aanay waale Kal se Nafarat Moa’l li
Ab Kabhi tujh se na Bichhudoon Yeh Dua apni Jagah
…..
( Ifftekhar Imam Siddiqui )

He is Ifftekthar Imam Siddiqui. Urdu Poet , Journalist and writer. Presently confined to wheel chair/ Bed after he met with an accident . He lives in his single room flat on Grant Road in Central Mumbai.The man who edited oldest Urdu Literary Magazine SHAIR from Mumbai.

                                                                                 

Ifftekhar is the grandson of  well known urdu Poet Seemab Akbarabaadi who moved to Pakistan in 1948 but his son ( Ifftekhar’s father ) decided to stay in India and moved to Mumbai . The Family belongs to Agra where Ifftekhar was born . The ancestors of Seemab Akbarabaadi  migrated to India from BUKHAARA during the rule of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Apart from writing poetry Books ,Seemab has also  Translated Bhagwat Geeta( Krishna Geeta ) and  Holy Quran ("Wahi-e-Manzoom")into Urdu verses .

  Many Gazals of Seemab  Akbraabadi were  sung by late  K L Sehgal . I quote  couplets from one popular  Gazal:

“Ab kya bataoon main tere milnay se kya mila
Irfaan-e-gham hua mujhe, dil ka pata mila
Jab door tak na koi faqir aashna mila
Tera niyaaz-mand tere dar se ja mila
Ya zakham-e-dil ko cheer ke seene se phenk de
Ya aitraaf kar ki nishaan-e-wafa mila
“Seemab” ko shagufta na dekha tamam umar
Kambakht jab mila hamein gham-aashna mila”

SHAIR had its lovers in the subcontinent . The magazine had a large readership among urdu knowing Diaspora in Europe , USA and Canada. 

SHAIR was started by Seemab Akbarabaadi in 1930 initially from AGRA. The magazine was later edited from Bombay by Aijaaz Siddique son of seemab Akbarabaadi.Ifftekhar took over the editorship of the Magazine after the death of his father Aijaaz Siddiqui in 1951. For this , He moved to Mumbai permanently in 1951. His brothers Noaman Siddiqui and Hamid Iqbal Siddiqui assisted him in publication of SHAIR.It is now being published and managed by a Trust created by lovers of the magazine . Some couplets of Ifftekhar Imam Siddiqui are ……

(1)
Woh na hoga to kya kami hogi,
Bas adhoori si zindagi hogi;
Gham hi chaandi hai gham hi sona hai,
Gham na hoga to kya khushi hogi

(2)
Har Ek Din Udaas Din Tamaam Shab Udaasiyaan
Kissi Se Kyaa Bichhad Gaye Ki Jaise Kuchh Bachaa Nahin
Hai Shor-Saa Taraf Taraf Ki Sarhadon Ki Jang Mein
Zameen Pe Aadami Nahin Falak Pe Kyaa Khudaa Nahin

(3)
“ Iss Mein Koyee Shikavaa Na Shikaayat Na Gilaa Hai
Ye Bhi Koyee Khat Hai Ki Mohabbat Se Bharaa Hai
Chehare Mein Hai Aaiinaa Ki Aaiiney Mein Cheharaa
Maaloom Nahin Kaun Kisse Dekh Rahaa Hai”


( Autar Mota )



                    

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WHEN DR KARAN SINGH WAS INVITED TO EGYPT


                                                                              


Dr karan Singh with a team of Doctors from Egypt April 1974,

In April 1974 , a team of doctors from Egypt visited India to study India’s initiatives in Health and family Welfare . This team was highly impressed by Approach , Attitude and involvement of Dr Karan Singh the concerned Minister. 
Later over a Dinner , Dr Singh also spoke to the team for about two hours on the Ancient Egyptian Civilization from Neolithic period to Ptolemaic dynasty . He also spoke to them about the Influence of Vedic Civilization right up to Mediterranean shores.


The members of the team spoke to Anwar Sadat after they returned to Cairo. Anwar sadat sent a warmly worded letter of thanks to Dr Singh and also requested him to be the chief Guest for a convocation in university of Cairo.
 The facial expression of the Egyptian Delegation substantiates  what i intend to convey..
( Autar Mota )

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

OF TONGAS , BICYCLES AND HAPPY PEOPLE ...A SCENE OF AMIRAKADAL AREA OF SRINAGAR 1965


                                                                                 

                                                                                   


AMIRAKADAL SRINAGAR 1965..

I was once told by an Ex Senior State Govt Transport official that in 1947, apart from cars owned by Maharaja , there were just 31 Cars in private hands in entire J&K State as it used to exist at that point of time.I have no source to verify the authenticity of this statement . May be true .But from scores of old photographs that I happen to see day in and day out, I find Tongas and later Bicycles being the only mode of Transport in entire kashmir valley. We know about Tongas going to Anannatnaag and Baramulla from srinagar city apart from being the major source of public Transport in srinagar city till 1960. In this photo you can see  MASHQUI throwing water on roads  from a  leather bag hung on his shoulders . People walking carefree on roads .

 At top, a   summer season photograph of Amirakadal  area clicked in 1965 has been uploaded   . In the second photograph , You can see Tonga and Bicycles only.  In olden days,Tonga and Bicycle were the only mode of public  transport  in kashmir .

( Autar Mota )


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FATHER , SON AND HUKKA ( 1959 )


                                                                                    


FATHER , SON AND HUKKA ( 1959 )

There is a proverb in kashmiri” Kokkur Tatchhaan Poot Hetchhaan ..”

( What the cock does , the little chick keeps learning )..


A Gardener of Chashm e shaahi Garden Srinagar and his son try their hand at kashmiri Hukka or jejeer .

( Photo source ...Not Known . My thanks to the person who clicked it and the  then the person who uploaded it  on Net.)

( Autar Mota )
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HIS HOLINESS DALAI LAMA AND KASHMIR

                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                    
                                                                                   

                           ( Looking at a kashmiri shawl  at Kashmir Govt Arts Emporium in Calcutta 1957 )

      (  Looking at A silk carpet .In the above Photograph , His Holiness  is joined by  Kushak Bakula Ji from Ladakh visiting Kashmir Govt Arts Emporium in Calcutta in 1957 )


Not many people know that His Holiness Dalai Lama is all praise for kashmiri Handicratfts . Arriving  in November 1956,he  stayed  in India from November 1956 to March 1957. He visited many places and cities including Bodh Gaya . He had come to participate in 2500th Buddha Jayanti celebrations at the invitation of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.

 He finally sought asylum In India in March 1959 after Chinese occupation of Tibbet when Red army let loose repression and that brought untold sufferings to people .

                                                                          
                                                        ( With Pandit ji in 1959 )     

In 1957, during his visit to Calcutta , His Holiness expressed a desire to visit some shop selling kashmiri Handicrafts . He was taken to Kashmir Government Arts Emporium Calcutta . His Holiness took keen interest in shawls , wood carving items and carpets .He did buy some items and talked in detail to some kashmiri employees who were more than happy with his presence .He also presented a Buddhist Tangka to the Manager of Kashmir Government Arts emporium at Calcutta during this visit.
.
Adds Tara Dhar Hasnain:

“Tibet had a small community of Kashmiri Muslims, mostly traders, who  had settled there some centuries ago. They were respected, and well integrated into the local communities, and  were called 'khaches' ( from the word 'kasheer'). They were often given special privileges like  Trade concessions. But after the Chinese occupation of Tibet, from the late 50's, most of them returned to live in Kashmir.”


 Dalai Lama's love is universal. It is for Humanity at large  irrespective of caste or religion. During a visit to srinagar in 1975, His holiness desired to meet Muslim Tibetan refugees . He addressed them and advised them to live in peace and Harmony and respect Local Traditions a  and Laws .  He again met them in 1987.

                                                                              


                                             ( 1975 visit to  Tibetan Muslim Refugee settlement )
In 2012, His holiness again visited kashmir and addressed Tibetan Muslim community at a special function. He also presided over a function organised by the officials of the Tibetan Public school, located at Hawal in Srinagar. His Holiness also visited the Tibetan Muslim locality and had audiences with elders from Tibetan Muslim community . Three Photographs of Dalai Lama's srinagar visit in 2012

                                                                                
                                                                               

What a  lovely Human being he is ? A  saint in exile .


( Source  of Text..My close Relation Late Som Nath Taing From J&K Govt Arts Emporium ..Source Photo  Archives Photo Division GOI.)


( Autar Mota )

PS

About the Employee   (J&K Government  Arts Emporium ) appearing in the picture in top two frames  , Mr Khursheed Shahdaad  from srinagar adds:

"I can see in the picture late Haji Ali Mohd. Wani in black Achkan and Karakul cap with specs. Those days Mr Wani was an employee of kashmir Governments arts emporium in Calcutta."



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Monday, January 18, 2016

GHULAM MOHD SADIQ AND MIRZA AFZAL BEIGH IN A PHOTOGRAPH OF 1949


                                                                                




THE HAPPIER DAYS ...SEPTEMBER 1949...GOING TO RECEIVE PANDIT JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU...

KHWAJA GHULAM MOHD SADIQ AND MIRZA MOHD AFZAL BEIGH...
                                                                            

Mirza Afzal Beigh was a shrewd politician from Ananatnaag Kashmir.  In 1953, he was also arrested with Sheikh Mohd Abdullah in "Kashmir Conspiracy case ". As close associate of Sheikh Mohd Abdullah , he was his  principal Negotiator  of   “ Indira Abdullah Peace Accord “ of 1974 . He died in 1982. He was widely respected for his sharp wit and integrity. He was a competent lawyer.
                                                                            

                                          ( G M Sadiq  With V K Krishna Menon )

Ghulam Mohd Sadiq  looks young and cheerful .Rafiq Sadiq , his son , also had a cheerful outlook. That apart, Rafiq was not encouraged by his father to enter in political arena. Sadiq  was well read and never did a double talk or change his stance or posturing .. His personal assets bear testimony to his integrity. In 1971,  when Bangla Desh was born and  he was  on  his death bed in PGI Chandigarh,  he said :

“Time has proved that two nation Theory was wrong .”


Adds Ram Krishen Sadhu:

“They were always poles apart from one another but overall political considerations at the time of partition had temporarily bound them. I have officially observed them closely and found both of them very competent. But their philosophy of life was totally different from each other. One was a leftist intellectual wedded to national interest, the other was a conservative hard core politician engages  and a confidant of Sheikh Mohd Abdullah. The State had so many towering personalities at the political level unlike the pygmies of today. They had a towering stature even at the National level.
Sadiq Sahib's integrity was beyond question. Besides DPDhar I have hardly ever seen a politician in the valley so well read and well informed on any subject ranging from political thought to poetry to fiction to literature. About his integrity I have witnessed with what ease he got his closest relations investigated and removed from lucrative assignments in the Excise and Health Departments. Though intellectual and progressive and leftist, he was always immaculately dressed. I remember he would generally get his suits stitched in Delhi. Rafiq, peace be to his soul, a good friend of mine was a perfect gentleman. He had to pay a high price a few times when during his Dad's Chief Ministership he tried to interfere in some matters.”

(Autar Mota)

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WHO WAS ABDUL MAJID SALIK ?


                                                                                        


INDO PAK MUSHAIRA 1952 NEW DELHI...ABDUL MAJID SALIK FROM PAKISTAN RECITING HIS GAZAL..

You can see Josh Malihabaadi , Labhoo Ram Josh Malsiyaani , Kunwar Mohinder singh Bedi, Sufi Tabassum  and Tilok chand Mahroom ..

Who was Abdul Majid Salik ?

ABDUL MAJID SALIK ( 1895-1959 )

Abdul Majid salik was born at Batala in Gurdaspur District of Punjab in 1895. He was an accompalished urdu  poet and a well known journalist  journalist . He was drawn towards  Ahmadiya movement of Punjab  . In 1947 , he moved to Pakistan. His poetic collection 'Raah-o-Rasme Manzilha' was published in 1922. He was the editor of magazines 'Tahzeeb-e-nasvaan', 'phool'. 'Zameendar'. Later Salik was editor of Inqilaab. He also wrote a biography of Allama Iqbal titled “Zikr-i Iqbal”…

Salik was a close friend of Urdu Poet  Jagan Nath Azad.  When salik died ,Azad wrote a touching  poem' Maatam e Salik  '

Parven Kumar Ashakk ( Son of Urdu Poet Kanwal Hoshiarpuri ) from Pathanklote informs :

“Very few people know that Abdul Majid  Salik stayed in my city pathankote also in 1925 and edited  ‘Fanoos ‘a literary magazine. He was from Batala of course but he did stay in pathankot in 1925 1926 this is mentioned in  a book written by shorish kashmiri titled Maulana Zadar Ali khan. This book was  published in mid fifties from  Lahore by Chattan Publications.”

 I quote some couplets of Salik…

Kahin Hum Ko Dikhaa do ek Kiran hi Timtimaati si
Ke jis Din Jagmagaayegaa shabistaan Hum Nahin Hongay..
Agar Maazi Munnawar thhaa kabhi to hum na Thhay Haazir
Jo Mustaqbil Kabhi Hogaa Darkhashaan Hum Nahin Hongay


Bachay Bijliyon Ki Zad se vahi Taayaraan e daana
Jo Kadak Chamak se Pehly Nikal Aaye aashiyaan se
Nahin Kucch samajh Mein Aata Yeh ajeeb Maajara ha
Ki zameen ke Rehnay waalon ko Hidaayat Aasmaan se

( Autar Mota )






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WHEN HIGH LEVEL IRANIAN PRESS DELEGATION HEARD KASHMIRI SUFIANA MUSIC IN SRINAGAR



                                                                          



 (KASHMIRI SUFIANA MUSICIANS PREPARING FOR A CONCERT TO BE PRESENTED BEFORE THIS DELEGATION. YOU CAN SEE YOUNG  TIBBETBAQAL  SAHIB ..)


IN FEB 1953, TOP IRANIAN PRESS DELEGATION VISITED INDIA .THIS DELEGATION ALSO VISITED KASHMIR . 

This delegation was well received in kashmir.The members of this delegation visited Mughal Gardens, Dal Lake, Pahalgham , Gulmarg , Baramulla and Ganderbal. At Baramulla , they visited the Place where Maqbool Sherwani was  brutally killed  by Tribal raiders in 1947 . They were  told stories of   the Death and  Destruction that visited the Town during Tribal Raid  . They also heard stories of  killings and   Brutal rapes  by  tribal raiders at Mission Hospital Baramulla .
                                                                           
                                     ( The Delegation with Sheikh Mohd Abdullah )
                                                                               
                                  ( At Maqbool Sherwani's Memorial Baramulla )
                                                                          
                                    ( Listening to the story of  Brutal attack  of Mission Hospital Baramulla by Tribal Raiders in 1947 )

                                                                                 

                                         ( Visit to Jhelum Ghaat in  Srinagar City )

A special sufiana Music recital  by Mohd Abdullah Tibbetbaqaal and party was also organised in honour of the Guests from Iran.

About  Sufiana Music of kashmir  Prof Jaya Parimu adds :

“ In kashmir ,there have been some Sofiana Mousiqui  Gharaana's the doyen of these classical form of kashmiri /Persian singing style with their distinct characteristics that  have been performing despite being on the verge of extinction.
A few Gharaanas which have sustained the onslaught of neglect are......
(1). Sidhjoo Ramzanjoo Gharaana.

(2)Qaleenbab Gharaana

(3)Namtahaali Bijbihara Gharaana

(4)Baqaal Ghraana.

These were well known to me till 1990. Later on in 2009, I had a chance of listening to Saznawaaz (despite his Asthmatic breathlessness and  his son and others were on accompaniment. He belonged to Sidhjoo.....Gharaana.

I also attended young female and male students learning at Qaaleenbab institution of Mosiqui established by Ustad Qaaleenbaab's grand sons.

  At a private function, I  was thrilled to listen to Namathaali Bijbihara, a  programme of pure sofiana Mousiqui.
 I Haven't so far noticed Baqaal disciples . But yes ,   I may  add that Late Sheikh Abdul Aziz who wrote like Bhatkhande and Vishnu Digamber Notation of Muqaams (raagas) of sofiana as "KOSHUR SARGAM" and one Noor -Din also wrote book on sofiana Mousiqui. Both were ustad Baqaal's disciples.

No one has written a book on Gharaanas of Sofiana Mousiqui. Had I continued living in Srinagar I would have taken up this project after retirement. I suggested to  many of my students to go for this work as little is left with this art form.Saznawaz also passed away and one of his promising son had passed away during turmoil.


  Late Mohd Abdullah  Tibbetbaqaal had a sweet and sonorous voice quality. He always represented Sofiana Mousiqui outside Kashmir before dignitaries.I have been a great admirer of Sidhjoo Ramzanjoo style of singing.My library has many CD's of Muqaams of Saznawaz.With his death Sofiana Mousiqui lost a gem of a singer and player .Sofiana has a distinction of being a pure classical form of music with proper Raagas (Muqaams) and tala (rhythmic) system. Its instruments are Santoor,Sitar,Saz-i-kashmir and Dukra or tabla.Unique and distinct.Rich in its own way.Maximum names of Muqaams and Talas are like Indian classical music.It is a vast subject and has lost validity to some extent.Whatever is left is being revived as I see in Srinagar.We haven't heard another Baqaal style Mousiqaar also. Sad but an open truth.”

( Autar Mota )

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

A PHENOMENON CALLED " P N HAKSAR".. BUT WE FORGOT HIM ALSO.


                                                                                     
 
              ( P N Haksar Addressing media before going to Islamabad for talks.  Photo July 1973)


PARMESHWAR NARAYAN HAKSAR ( 1913-1998 )

P N Haksar was a product of London School of Economics , I say it with conviction that he stands among 100 most Influential intellectuals that shaped Nehruvian India . Here is why I believe so ……


(1) Immediately after partition of the country , From a Career Barrister , he moved to Foreign Services At Nehru’s behest . India’s Non Alignment Policy was essentially a result of so many behind the scene posturing and efforts of this Strategist.

(2) A Tilt towards Socialism and Secularism was implemented by him . Infact he created so many institutions for this purpose.


(3) Abolition of Privy Purse , Nationalization of Banks , Insurance and Foreign oil companies were purely his initiatives. These were born out of his deep rooted belief in Socialistic Framework for India .

(4) Strengthening Public Sector and Ushering an era of a mixed economy for the country were his concepts .

(5) He was the architect of the liberation of Bangladesh, Indo-Soviet Treaty and the Shimla accord with Pakistan. In the period 1967-73, he was Indira Gandhi's most important and trusted adviser.

 (6) His role in creation of institutions like Planning Commission , Indian Statistical Institute , Delhi School of Economics , Sindri fertilizer plant , Industrial Development Bank of India, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (now ICICI), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Indian Council of Agricultural Research , Indian Council of Medical Research, five Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management, chain of Councils of Social Science, Historical and Philosophical Research Centres , Sahitya, Lalit Kala and Sangeet Natak Akademis and many more remains unparalleled .

(7) Not many people know that Satyajit Ray’s Pather Pancheli was banned initially and not allowed to be taken to International Film Festivals .It was Haksar who pleaded Satyajit Ray’s case to Nehru. To Nehru he wrote , “My wife and I happened to see this film and we were both struck by its beauty. We felt it was the kind of film which should be entered at one of the international film festivals… I was informed that as the film showed India’s poverty, it was not suitable for being entered in foreign film festivals. What is wrong about showing India’s poverty? Everyone knows that we are a poor country. The question is: are we Indians sensitive to our poverty or insensitive to it? Satyajit Ray has shown it with an extraordinary sense of beauty and sensitiveness.” And Nehru Agreed .


(8) He was a connoisseur of Poetry, Music and Art apart from being a voracious reader of Books on Art , History , Poetry and world literature. He combined his love for Sanskrit and the classics in the language, with the capability to read, at an a great deal fast pace. Haksar remained a devoted believer in democracy and the freedom of expression.


(9) It is well known fact that he criticized the suspension of fundamental rights during the Emergency.


(10) He had the courage of conviction to advise Mrs Gandhi to keep Sanjay Gandhi at a proper distance  and not allow him to interfere with Country’s Policy planning .
Quotes from his Books and lectures :
1
“Life demands constant renewal. And our country is crying for renewal – political, economic, cultural and spiritual. Without such a renewal, our diplomats… might be reduced to… seller(s) of anti-earthquake pills of Lisbon.”

2
“India must not, under any circumstances, add to the stock of political capital of diverse elements in Pakistan’s military, civilian establishments and among the motley combination of political adventurers who play upon Indophobia-mixed Islamic atavism… And finally, the moment of defeat must never be converted into a moment of humiliation.”

3
“It should be clear to anybody that negotiations ‘from a position of strength’ cannot by their very nature be constructive, since they are intended to impose one’s will… on one’s partner. They rule out the possibility of achieving mutually acceptable, balanced results.”

4
" I have been prone to tears throughout my life. Inexpressible joy and sorrow turn into tears.Music evokes tears and so does the residue of incommunicable loneliness. Tears alone relieve that state. And if one can shed them in the presence of someone in whom one reposes confidence and from whom one has an assurance of love, tears make life less of a burden. "

                                                                 
                                               ( With Aziz Ahmed  from Pakistan )
In his article, PNH: Some Memories , K. P. Unnikrishnan writes:

“It is evident that Haksar’s range of reading was wide. Even though his friends estimate his library collection to be of 25,000 books on a variety of themes (from Aristotle and Shakespere to Iqbal to the Bhagavadgita), his mind was active, not accumulative. Endowed with a remarkable assimilative power, he brought his readings to the majestic trial of his judgement and after weighing and considering these in a detached manner, he would form a fiercely independent opinion unclouded by prejudice or passion.

Haksar’s writings show the multiplicity of his interests in natural science, diplomacy, statecraft, warfare, military strategy, philosophy, religion and poetry. His writings echo eloquently the hopes and aspirations, frustrations and thwarted ambitions, and fears and opportunities lost in an age in which he lived.”

About P N Haksar,K Natwar Singh writes:

“I wish to relate an incident which shows that in Haksar's company one is never bored and invariably learns something. Once I invited Anatoly Dobrynin, the longest serving Soviet ambassador to the US (24 years), to my house to meet Haksar. Dobrynin had accompanied Gorbachev to Delhi as one of his top foreign policy advisers, second only to Eduard Sheverdnadze.I had given Dobrynin a thumb-nail sketch of the phenomenon called P.N. Haksar - lawyer, diplomat, planner, guru, a Kashmiri pandit uneasy with Brahminical mumbo-jumbo, principal adviser to Mrs Gandhi till 1973, social scientist, public speaker, scholar, author, wit, well versed in Marxist-Leninist thought, a moral fifth column and chief architect of our success in 1971.
As Haksar walked up to greet my Soviet guest, Dobrynin's opening words were: "I am very glad to meet the man who outwitted Henry Kissinger." Haksar looked up and, in his most avuncular tone, said: "Am I expected to feel flattered?" That broke the ice.”
                                                                 
                                           ( Signing Peace Accord with Pakistan 1973 )
Haksar was married to Urmila Sapru daughter of Pandit Dina Nath sapru of Faizabad. Saprus were well off kashmiri Brahmins . Bishmber Narain sapru Hijr , well known Urdu poet , belonged to this sapru family from Faizabad .P.N. Haksar arrived in Britain to study at the London School of Economics. He was called to the Bar from Lincoln's Inn in the early 1940s. In London, he was an active member of Krishna Menon's India League along with other students, which greatly fashioned his socialist political outlook. Some admired Books authored by P N Haksar include :

“One More Life (Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 1990)

Premonitions (Bombay: Interpress, 1979)

Reflections on our Time (Delhi: Lancers, 1982)”


Dr Mulkh Raj Anand , Feroze Gandhi , Krishna Menon were Among his closest friends .

He died a lonely man after he lost his eyesight .He fell out with Mrs Gandhi over many issues essentially interference of Sanjay Gandhi in affairs of Planning commission . He never created any personal assets . Will our History accord some space to this forgotten Intellectual..


( Autar Mota )

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Friday, January 15, 2016

PANDIT SHAM LAL SARAF : A FORGOTTEN NATIONALIST AND FREEDOM FIGHTER FROM KASHMIR


                                                                                   
        
PANDIT SHAM LAL  SARAF

Jial Lal Kilam , Prem Nath Bazaz, Kashyap Bandhu , Sham lal Saraf , S N Peshin and Sardar Budh Singh were some well known Non Muslim Leaders who joined Sheikh Mohd Abdullah's Political Movement in Kashmir . Sham Lal saraf was first Tourism and Health Minister of Jammu and kashmir State after 1947.
He was a signatory to the NATIONAL DEMANDS DOCUMENT  Presented to Maharaja  of J&K in  1938. Other signatories to this document  were Sheikh Mohd abdullah , Maulana Masoodi , G M Sadiq, Mian Ahmed  Yar , M A Beg,Kashyap Bandhu , Prem Nath Bazaz, Jia Lal Kilam , Bakshi Ghulam Mohd  and sardar Budh singh. The document demanded restoration of freedom of speech , Recruitment of state subjects  in state  Jobs , elections and representation to people in Governance .

                                                                           

  (  Sham Lal Saraf , Girdhari lal Dogra  and  with Sheikh Mohd  Abdullah with  a delegation of Turkish Journalists that visited J&K in March 1952. Shri saraf is on extreme right  )

He was a member of constituent assembly of the state created by Sadar e Riyassat's Proclamation of 1951.

Adds Noted Urdu Writer Deepak Budki:

“ Son of Pandit Samsar Chand Saraf (Tickoo), he was born in Rainawari, Srinagar on July 4, 1904 and educated at CMS High School and S P College.He was married to Gunwati Budki, on March 20, 1923. He was a businessman and had two shops of handicrafts (Sudesh Arts & Crafts) one on Bund srinagar next to Shaw Bros, and one in Central market (115) which after he joined the Quit Kashmir movement were run by his brother-in- law. he was firstly associated with Hindu organization called Yuvak Sabha which later amalgamated with J&K National Conference which later associated with the National Movement of Congress nationwide. He was Member State legislature,from 1951 to 1962 and MP 3rd Lok Sabha for next 5 years. He was a Cabinet Minister from 1947 to 1962. Besides he was member of several associations and societies interested in social, cultural educational and religious movements.

During 1953 he got embroiled in confrontation with his mentor and leader Sheikh Mohd Abdullah who had delivered the notorious Ranbir Singh Pora speech after which the cabinet planned Abdullahs ouster. On the contrary Sheikh Abdullah charged him with frivolous allegations of corruption which are described by him in Atish e Chinar. The truth about corruption can be well gauged by the assets left by Abdullah and all other Ministers during Sheikh Sahabs and Bakshi Sahabs regimes as against by Shri Saraf who had just one incomplete three storyed house in Gugji Bagh.

I was fortunate to be close to him being his nephew. He would always emphasize that a person has three facets of his personality ie Physical, Mental and Spiritual and one must nurture all. He was a true Gandhian and held Nehru in great esteem, would not even bear a bad word against Sheikh Sahab. May his soul rest in peace.

I must confess that whatever I am is all because of his teachings that guided me to lead an honest life.He is survived by his daughter Sudesh Saraf (Zutshi) who lives in Delhi.”


 (Autar Mota )

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

JAGAN NATH AZAD , POET , SCHOLAR , AUTHOR BUT A SIMPLE AND COMPASSIONATE HUMAN BEING AS WELL.


                                                                                         




“ RULES ARE RULES . THESE APPLY TO ME AS WELL “

JAGAN NATH AZAD …. A REAL HUMAN BEING.


It was July month of 1990. Although Rainy season (Monsoons ) had started, Jammu was extremely Hot and Humid. I was posted as Assistant Manager at Canal Road branch a Public sector Bank. Capt. C K Sharma was my Manager . He was an Ex-serviceman , Very helpful, liberal and a daring officer that I ever came across in my entire Banking career. Armed   Militancy had arrived in kashmir. Painful migration of  Pandits from kashmir  valley had taken place and banks were always crowded . People demanding transfer of accounts , People demanding payment of Fixed deposits ( issued by Banks in kashmir valley ) that had fallen due and People coming with entire gold ornaments and seeking ( literally begging ) a locker . Stories of pain and suffering all around .

 Everyday I would hear something like this:

“ Jagar Nath Maahra sapudh swargvaas . Dapaan Loo lajjis or Jagar Nath left for his heavenly abode . He died of heat stroke .”
Or
“Omkar Nath Maahra Chhu Sheen Takhtas Pyaath Trovmut Raathh haspataalus Munz . Tuff chhuss na Vasaanaai . Ye chhus Ladkaa . Yimunn maahra Chhu Saddeikki Pyaath Sonna Footiejj .kenh Karyoos. Or Omkar Nath has been put on Ice slabs in the Hospital . His fever does not recede. He is omkaar Nath’s son. Their Gold jewellery is almost Lying on road. Please do something and give him a Locker “

Everyday I heard about two or three elderly kashmiri Pandits dying of heat stroke . Unaware of deadly heat ,these Pandits moved in midday sun. And to survive in alien land , they had to. Looking for a room , Going to Relief Counters ,Visiting Banks, Visiting schools for admission of children , Shopping for essentials and so many other daytime engagements .

One day a strange visitor came into my cabin. He was directed by my colleague S S Jolly to see me . Jolly knew him as a relative of the proprietor of SEWA MEDICATE Bakshi Nagar . Jolly knew nothing about Literature or Urdu Poetry or about Literary stature of the person he had recommended to me. . The moment I saw him , I immediately recognized him as Prof. Jagan Nath Azad. He had an elderly kashmiri Pandit with him . I do not know where and how they had met. I did not ask these details either . Offering them drinking water , I sought to know as to what he precisely wanted from me . And then he said ,

“ Do You have locker facility ? If yes, I want a locker to be given to this gentleman. He is known to me . He is extremely deserving person who lives in Geeta Bhawan presently. Unfortunately, he keeps moving in the city with his wife’s jewellery in his pocket. There is no security in Geeta Bhawan where the family lives presently , almost in open .He has been going to various banks for a locker but of no result. Some where I came to know that your bank has been providing lockers to people in distress . Please listen to him. He is a kashmiri. ”

Those days , KYC norms were not so stringent . To ascertain credentials of the person, I put three or four questions to him and opened his savings bank account introducing him myself . We had kept sufficient stock of special adhesive stamps ( for leasing out lockers to Public) with cashier so that people had not to go to courts to collect these stamps from stamp vendors . I made him to sign Locker agreement there and then. As per understanding with my manager , I would waive the prerequisite of the Fixed deposit for the locker in deserving cases . Everyday in the evening ,my manager Capt. C K Sharma , would confirm all in black and white reposing total faith in what I did during daytime.Something around 200 rupees were taken from the person as Advance locker rent and I handed over the key to him. He put the gold ornament packet in the locker. Azad sahib was all smiles . I looked at his face . Radiant , smiling and cheerful .

He did not consent to have a cup of tea that I tried to offer him. Mrs Dutta ( Dutta Photographers from srinagar ) was narrating her story of leaving everything in valley to save life. She had also come for a Locker .Azad sahib did not speak much but kept listening to Mrs Dutta . He then took out a cheque from his pocket and handed it over to me. It was a cheque for something around Rs2400/= drawn in his favour . It was crossed and marked “Payees Account only “. And he said:

“ This cheque has remained with me for about a month. Can it be encashed now ?”
“ Why not ? Right now I can pay you cash for this cheque? “
“ How ? It is marked Payees account only . It can not be paid across the counter I have to deposit it in my account with my bankers . They shall collect it.”
“ That is the procedure . As a special case we can pay entire cash to you right this moment . We can purchase this cheque at Par and later collect it. We must be only sure about the payee’s credentials . Exceptions are created in banking as well.“
“ How are you sure about my credentials ?”

“ Sir , You are Jagan Nath Azad . Scholar and authority on Allama Iqbal. You are a well known poet of the subcontinent. I have seen you many times in Srinagar . You worked in PIB as its srinagar Bureau chief . And then your Nazm on partition … Khudaa ke Ghar Pe kyaa beeti sanamkhaanon pe Kyaa Guzri…”

Azad sahib smiled at this and said:

“ I always thought that bankers have nothing to do with Literature least with Urdu. Such things give me a hope that Urdu will survive in India.”

He picked up the cheque from the table and kept it in his pocket. He then got up and shook hands with me . flinging a warm smile , he said:
“ I had come for this Gentleman only. So happy that you helped him. Keep doing this humanitarian work. I shall deposit the cheque in my bank account . let it get collected in normal procedure . Rules for Payment of “ Payees Account cheques “ apply to me as well. I can not claim to be an exception. Rules are rules . Thank you.”

This small meeting left a deep impression in my mind. A tall thinker , a poet , a scholar and an authority on Allama Iqbal accompanying a poor , desperate and hapless individual .

Later I came to know that Azad sahib never knew the man personally. Only Empathy , compassion and human feelings were the key factors for his coming to the bank and seeking a locker for the person. He had heard the person narrating his woes per chance . And for a Man who was respected and admired by all regimes/ Governments/ leaders in the subcontinent , Humanity ,compassion and sympathy were more dearer than any dogmatic religious belief .What a true human being  he was ?

In 1947, very reluctantly , he left Lahore. Left his dear city very late when almost all Non Muslims had moved out.

Possibly As sensitive Individual , he had felt the pangs of separation from the place of his birth and his beloved city Lahore . None other than him could understand the woes of a man facing smilar predicament. And in that brief visit , never did he seek a favour for himself. A job that I was more than ready to do. For his own cheque , he wanted rules to be followed .

After 1947, he kept visiting lahore for Mushairas , Literary meetings  and seminars. Let me add lines from a Poem that he read in Lahore when he visited the city for first time after 1947..

“Teri Mehfil se jo Armaan o hasarat le ke niklaa Thhaa
Voh Hasarat le ke Aaya Huun Voh Armaan le Ke aayaa Huun
Tumhaare vaaste aey doston Me Aur Kyaa laata
Wattan ki subah Aur Shaam e Gareebaan le ke aaya Huun..
Mein apne Ghar mein Aaya Huun magar andaaz To dekho
Ke apnay aap ko Maanind Mehmaan le ke aaya Huun


( Autar Mota )

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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