J&K’s noted historian and critic, Mohammad Yusuf Taing calls himself scribe. Taing, awarded by Sahitya Academy for his literary works, has authored over a dozen books in both Urdu as well as Kashmiri languages. While being passionate about Kashmiri language, Taing describes it ” as our mother tongue” but calls Urdu as “our surrogate mother.” His books cover a whole range of topics including history, culture and Kashmir’s intrinsic literature. Moreover, Taing is credited for bringing to fore the forsake Kashmiri poetry of giants like GA Mahjoor and Rasool Mir. He is known for his proximity with late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. Dispelling the common notion that he had ghost-written Sheikh’s famous autobiography Aatish-e-Chinaar, Taing insists that he was just an amanuensis to what Sheikh wanted to say in the book. Read on the excerpts of a lively, at times heated, exchanged with MY Tanig held at Rising Kashmir newsroom on June 3, 2010.
As a historian how would you describe Kashmir?
n Well, Kashmir is no less than a dynamic civilization. A variety of cultures have crisscrossed in Kashmir owing to its geographical position. Therefore we (Jammu and Kashmir) are a different civilization than what is now called India or Pakistan. Kashmir has deeper influences from Central Asia; we even find Egyptian and Turk imprints on our existing cultural milieu, and our psychology and our aspirations cannot be detached from our past. Kashmir used to be part of Iran and we have many words in our mother tongue that have root in classic Egyptian culture. The influence of Persian language and culture on Kashmir is so much that Saidee and Haafiz of Sheeraz appear more Kashmiri than Persian poets. But, it’s unfortunate that except for few lines of Gani Kashmiri Perisa did not accommodate us; even Ghalib could not impress them.
In Kashmir history we see phases of both resistance and reconciliation. Where do you find Kashmir‘s poets and litterateurs especially during past two decades?
n When Mughal conquered Kashmir there were many local poets who chose to side with the power. We still hear of people who used to eulogize the emperor and his feats. That was then. Come to recent past, we see giants like Mehjoor plyaing second fiddle to Ghulam Muhammad Drabu of Rajpore, who had launched a smear campaign against Sheikh Abdullah, then the most popular resistance leader, Mehjoor has noted in detail in his desires how he would help Drabu against Sheikh. One cannot deny that poets like Mehjoor despite being poetic genius got official patronage. But what pains me more than these two aspects is the role played by our poets and other literary forces during past twenty years. It was for the first time in several centuries that over hundred thousand Kashmiris had been killed. It is the moral duty of a poet to represent the dominant sentiment; sadly none has done it so far. If you talk of poets and litterateurs we’ve seen more of reconciliation than resistance.
Some people believe that the autobiography of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was actually written by you. Is it true?
n No it is not true, The truth is I proposed to Sheikh that he should pen down his experiences for posterity and he agreed. But he sought my assistance. I worked as an amanuensis, which means Sheikh would dictate I would take the stuff home and get back with the tightened version. Though a great leader, Sheikh was not a professional writer. Yes, he would speak chaste Urdu but he needed someone to put together his thoughts.
But you have been claiming for long that you are working on a book that would reveal what has remained untold in Aatish-e-Chinaar. What is that? When should we see the book?
n Yes, I have certain hair-raising accounts. But this is not the time to publish. Many people are alive and you see the Abdullah dynasty is still in power. I have deep relations with that family; I don’t want to hurt them. But the details I have preserved for the posterity will hit the stands at an appropriate time. If Abdul Kalam Azad can leave a will that his diaries should be published thirty years after his death, I am a small fry, spare me little room.
You have been the Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Academy for Art, Culture and Language. Why Kashmiri girls are asked to perform Rouf in front of guests from New Delhi or abroad? Why not show Bhand-e-Pather (Kashmir‘s folk theatre) or Ladi Shah (a genre of satririst poetry sung over a jingle bell)?
n While I agree that Band-e-Pather I also believe that Bandh-e-Pather and Ladi Shah are unalienable part of our culture, I don’t see any harm in cultural performances as long as they remain limited to the portrayal of our own ethos. We still respect Habba Khatoon and enjoy her poetry. Who was she? An artist. What brought her to the palace of Yusuf Shah? Her art?
Sheikh Abdullah has struck so many compromises at different stages of his political life; do you still consider him a towering leader of state?
n Sheikh was released on 29 September 1946. That was the time when India and Pakistan were a reality, awaiting final announcement. During a public meeting Sheikh did not reply the question which way he would go; he sought time and said he wanted to study things. Historical details are witness to the compulsions under which Sheikh chose India. But some people wanted to convent Sheikh’s compulsion into a conquest. We too have Pharaohs heading different empires. If these Pharaohs think that they can crush our identity they are mistaken. They should know Kashmiris are irrepressible. It is the 4000 year old quest no power on earth can deny us what we want.
Did Sheikh hate Pakistan? What about 1975 accord?
n I told you about the compulsions. Then there is attitude of Jinnah, who had dismissed the revolt against Dogras as a “ruffian activity”. On the contrary, Nehru and Gandhi accommodated Sheikh concerns. In 1971 Sheikh saw Pakistan getting sliced and India assuming military superiority.
Pakistan is once again in a terrible mess but Geelani despite being a staunch pro-Pakistan leader chose to confront Pakistan over any secret compromise on Kashmir?
n Yes, Geelani is a hero. He is actually a romanticist. Certain political leaders appear heroic in conduct when choose to confront even their friends for the ideals they espouse.
Was Sheikh Ahdullah the only leader who mattered? What about other big names around him?
n Sheikh was a towering leader. The ones who rallied around him remained visible as long as they were around this great leader, once they parted ways with him history rendered them invisible.
How important is Mughal Road to us?
n Since Mughal have used this road it came to be known as Mughal Road. Powers that build or conquer something generally name it after themselves, hence the present name. The eleventh century poet Khemendar has recorded the name for the same road as a Lona Sarai. Lona for salt and Sarai for road. Being an off-coast region, we would not get the routine salt. The rock salt used to come via Lona Sarai.
Why is it that the Sheikh remained people’s messiah during his lifetime but turned a villain soon after his death?
n This happens with all the leaders of his stature. Gandhi was killed by the people he stood for Nehru too doesn’t have the same stature now what he had during his lifetime And do you think Jinnah died a happy death? That said, I still believe there are agencies always working in a conflict zone like Kashmir. These agencies create confusion among masses just to detach them from their leaders.
Historical manuscripts and excavations of Kashmir have all along been smuggled to Delhi ever since 1947. You had been secretary of state’s Cultural Academy for a long time, why didn’t you protest?
n I was the one who raised the cry few years back but I didn’t get support. Our Gilgit manuscripts were discovered in 1931. Pandit Nehru took these manuscripts in 1947 saying that those were not safe in SP College as there was every possibility of war with Pakistan. Recently, when SP Museum caught fire, I said that this was a conspiracy. At that time a non-Kashmiri was heading the Cultural Academy. He didn’t have the comprehension of the rich heritage of Kashmir.
You’ve recently claimed to be privy to some important documents to Kashmir‘s ancient period, but you want a guarantee that they should not be taken away from this land. From, whom do you seek a guarantee? You just said Nehru took away Gilgit manuscripts on a false pretext?
n If there is no proper guarantee they should lie with us.
You have been saying that Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah used to say on his death bed that Kashmir would one day bounce back to its oppressors. Could you elaborate this?
n Sheikh Sahib was not happy when he was close to death. He kept on saying that though he had led the people of Kashmir towards a particular direction but some people think they are cleverer and would oppress Kashmiris. He knew Kashmir has its unique identity. I think those who claim to be the masters of Kashmir have understood this fact given recent statements of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Mohammad Yusuf Taing as a proverbial case of ‘greatness thrust on him’ happened to zoom into the newsroom of the ‘Rising Kashmir‘ on 3/6/2010 where he was interviewed by an array of new breed of reporters, perhaps, affiliated with the paper. Questions that were posed to him ranged from past history of Kashmir to Sheikh Abdullah’s autobiography to the Sheikh’s personality to his contempt for Pakistan to Ali Shah Gilani to identity and Gilgit Manuscripts.
By Prof. M.L. Kaul
Taing, a historian
It is a misnomer to call M.Y. Taing a historian. Mere trotting out of names of some countries with which he shoddily tries to tag the past history of Kashmir does not make him a historian. The reporter who posed his credentials as a historian should have enquired of him about the number and names of volumes that he has painstakingly scribed on history of Kashmir. Some write-ups that he has written on stray subjects relating the history of Kashmir do not lend credibility to his credentials as a historian. A man of tremendous education rooted in the culture of outstanding erudition and scholarship, unbiased and unprejudiced harbouring a rational approach to the treatment of facts and issues in history can define a historian.
It is absolutely absurd and erratic to trace the past of Kashmir to Egypt and Turkey. Civilisations do influence one another, but that interactive process of course, creative does not uproot a particular civilisation and its allied mores, myths and traditions from its own inherent fertilising sources. When Egypt and Turkey are the reference loci, it can be asked which Egypt and Turkey, pre-Islamic or post-Islamic, have pointedly imprinted civilisational discourse and trajectory of Kashmir. Egypt as an ancient civilisation after the conquest of Islam stands imprisoned in the opaque vaults of Egyptian museums. Similar is the story of Turkey which was conquered by Muslims as a thriving terrain of a highly flourishing civilisation. It is a fact of history that a band of Sayyid-sufis from Central Asian regions, persecuted by their own rulers, poured into Kashmir for safety and refuge and launched rabid conversionary campaigns with the active aid and connivance of the Muslim state power. But, it can never mean that Kashmir prior to that catastrophe was a bleak desert in terms of culture and civilisation and Sayyid sufis as proselytisers, benignly humanised it, though none of them Plato, an Aristotle, an Abhinavgupta or a Kalhan.
To celebrate Kashmir as an Iranian colony or a colony of any other Central Asian Country is the reflection of intellectual disorder’ in Kashmir. Taing may pose himself as a volatile and fractious exponent of it, but its origins lie in the lurking fear that Kashmir has a robust past with a well-entrenched history of culture and civilisation that precedes the Rinchens, Shahmiris, Chaks, Mughuls, Afghans, Sikhs and Dogras. Gargantuan temple structures were razed and burnt and continue to be burnt and pillaged, books were ruthlessly burnt and continue to be looted and burnt, those with steely resolve refusing to accept Islam even at pain of death were forced out of their land of birth and continue to be, again, as a result of genocide, in permanent exile—all originates from the same abysmal fear of past.
As a direct consequence of ‘schizophrenic vision’ and ‘perverted logic’ Mohammad Yusuf Taing stands tip-top in the long line of those who project the Mughuls, Afghans, Sikhs and Dogras as usurpers of Kashmir. But, what we glean from the pages of Kashmir history is that Rinchen who ripped open the bellies of pregnant women of Ladakhis, his foes, was a fugitive from Ladakh and was granted shelter in Kashmir. He treacherously usurped the throne of Kashmir. Shah Mir hailing from distant Swat bordering Afghanistan was meted out the courtesy of a guest. He treacherously murdered the chief minister of Kota Rani, the then ruler and usurped the throne of Kashmir through fraud and chicanery. The chaks as Shias hailed from Dardistan. Their ancestor Lanker Chak was allowed entry into Kashmir by the then ruler, Suha Dev. His descendents, known to history as ferocious and barbarous, usurped the throne of Kashmir through political murders and wild intrigues. But, to a pack of votaries of so-called independence, the Sultanate period stands out as the dazzling island that ideally symbolises an eldorado Kashmir craves for.
It is indisputable that Kashmir has a profusely written record of history which establishes it as part and parcel of the cultural and civilisational mosaic of the Indian sub-continent. All vain attempts to Arabise and Central Asianise Kashmir will not fructify as roots of this civilisation are deeply embedded in the fertile soil of this country.
Hafiz Shirazee and Sheikh Saidee
Taing has made a special mention of Hafiz Shirazee and Sheikh Saidee whom he personally admires, celebrates and spots Kashmiri echoes in them. It is pertinent to draw his attention to what Dr. Iqbal, the last word on Islamic thought and wisdom, has to say about the Iranian Sufis. To quote Iqbal, ‘there is not least doubt about it that Sufism is a foreign plantation in the soil of Islam which has flourished in the mental atmosphere of Iranians’. ‘Ajamic Sufism’ is his hateful coinage for the Iranian sufis as a genre. He detests it as abominable monasticism and labels ‘wahdatul wujud’ as blatantly un-Islamic. He has let loose all the bitter barbs and riles from his armoury against Hafiz Shirazee in particular and other Iranian sufis in general. He calls Hafiz Shirazee ‘the theologian of the race of drunkards’ and ‘leader of the helpless’. He alerts Muslims not to touch him even with a barge-pole as he is an ‘imp’ of ‘deadly poison’. As per Dr. Iqbal, Hafiz Shirazee was a ‘sheep’ belonging to the race of Persians, who were brutally trounced by the ‘Arab Tigers‘. Sheikh saidee is no different. He belongs to the same race of Iranians, incorrigible deviants.
M.Y. Tang would be well-advised to carefully cultivate and re-form his proclivities and tastes for celebration of historically evolved tradition of native abilities, native imaginative faculties and native amazing capacities to think, craft and churn ideas. It is always better to be a part of that cultural and civilisational ambience which has been actively shaped and articulated by our ancestors since the primeval inception of our civilisational trajectory. That what was thrust on us by colonisers from Iran and Iraq through Qahran Va Jabran, (Baharistan) cannot be an essential of our heritage and identity perpetuated through the continuum of time and space.
Taing on poets and literattueres
He laments in high decibel that most of the poets and literattueres in Kashmir have not been carried away by a sense of false consciousness that has been deliberately generated on a wide scale about some historical developments of critical bench-mark. That a hundred thousand Kashmiris have been killed during insurgency is nothing but public posturing and playing to the galleries. He trots out with ease the same, concocted figure with a delusion of grandeur that has been manufactured and orchestrated by the chronic separatists who are brutally communal to their bonemarrow. As abject stooges of the failed state of Pakistan the Muslim separatists urged the people of Kashmir to donate their sons, mostly teenagers, to swell the ranks of Muslim Jihad and put a minuscule minority of Kashmiri Pandits in the front ranks of their firing line. The on-going proxy war waged by Pakistan is designed to annex Kashmir with a view to expanding its borders that are shrivelled and shrunk. The Kashmiri Muslim masses have been drawn into the vortext of war against the prevailing constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir state. They must in their creative introspection cognise the paramount fact that they have been in tight chok-hold of the state structures, all levers of political and economic power under their strangle-hold and as such are the sole mastes of the state. The secessionist war that they support and actively participate is totally unjust and uncalled for. Crying hoarse about their identity, being essentially religious in hue is under threat and erosion, they must realise that in pursuit of majoritarian politics and perpetuation of their permanent and unchallenged hold on politics and economics of the state have stealthily conspired with the sworn enemies of the Indian state to put the Kashmiri Pandits to a genocidal onslaught as a result of which they have been deprived of their native land and as permanent refugees are grossly discriminated in their own country. The Hindus and other ethnic groups of Jammu region have been starved of development funds with the result they are poor, backward and beleaguered. The Buddhists of Ladakh openly revolted against the Kashmiri Muslim rulers who were seen in league with forces working out the conversions in their region that infringes upon their essential identity as a distinct cultural minority.
Poets and literattueres sensitive to the situation and happenings can justify their position only if they take a holistic view based on realism and separate the grain from the chaff. Pluralism, accommodation and mutual co-existence are mantras of the modern civilisation. No exclusivist and parochial ideology tinged religious can ever succeed and thrive in its designs and application.
Taing on Sheikh Abdullah’s autobiography
The authorship of Sheikh’s autobiography has been a subject of raging debate. The days when the book was supposed to have been written marked the declining phase of the Sheikh’s life, his winter period. As per P.N. Bazaz, his close associate turned his bete noir, Sheikh Abdullah had no love lost for books. But despite that, the fact remains that Sheikh Abdullah had an iconic stature and enjoyed tremendous popularity with the people of Kashmir. The metamorphosis of Muslim conference into National Conference, now considered a betrayal, was a mile-stone in the political history of Kashmir. All sections and strata of Kashmiri society unanimously endorsed his political and economic agenda with the principle of secularism as its main sheet anchor. The national demand, as a miniature manifestos issued out after protracted deliberations under the signature of Sheikh Abdullah had five prominent Hindu signatories. The Pandit organisation of Yuvak Sabha unequivocally declared National Conference as its frontal political organisation. Yet, shockingly, Sheikh Abdullah without connecting all dots maliciously dubbed Kashmiri Pandit as ‘unpaid agents of India’s and ‘fifth column’ on the soil of Kashmir. Kashmiri Pandits, a very vocal minority with tremendous educational history and background, called his remarks as sad and unfortunate, but attributed the detestable aspersions cast on them to the Sheikh’s instinct of a raw Muslim. If Sheikh is the real author of his autobiography, his absolutely imprudent and unsavoury remarks about Pandits, a minuscule minority, bolstered a dismal culture of demonising small communities and more than most marked a full-length reversal of all that he had stood for through major part of his political life. If M.Y. Taing is its real author and not the petty scribe as he claims to be, such ignominious remarks are expected of him as he is a small time operator with his gaze ever rivetted to the cushy positions of pelf and power.
Taing on his own hair-raising account
His revalation of his own account of what has remained untold in the aatish-e-chinar, I am sure, will be much ado about nothing. If he has anything startling to reveal and divulge, he must do it here and now without qualms and without wasting much of time. There are people still breathing who can scan the content of each line of his that he writes. For the present, his statement to reveal all that what has not been told is a mere gimmick, pure and simple.
Taing on Sheikh Abdullah’s compromises
Sheikh Abdullah as an instinctive politician had dreams about Kashmir. But, I believe, he had more dreams about his personal ascendancy. His dream of independence upsurged phenomenally when he found whole of Kashmir devotedly adoring him like a religious icon. When Pakistan became a reality with the absolute Hindu majority allowing it to happen, their land being viciously vivisected for nothing, Sheikh Abdullah read a whole meaning in the entire development. If Hindus of India could allow Pakistan to take birth as a Muslim state, he thought they might have no serious objection to allowing Kashmir its independence at the mere exertion of political pressure cock-tailed with religious frenzy. Pakistan in pursuit of two-nation theory despatched regulars and irregulars to trounce Kashmir and annex it with Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh as the ruler of the state acceded to India and Sheikh Abdullah wholeheartedly supported it. The Indain army threw the raiders out and power was already in the hands of Sheikh Abdullah. Having kept Pakistan at bay, Sheikh forged and crystallised his strategies to materialise his far-fetched dream of independence. Those being the dark days of cold war he was immediately deposed and imprisoned.
Featuring the period spanning from 1953 to 1975 as ‘lost in wilderness’ Sheikh Abdullah as a hard-eyed realist entered into protracted parleys with the then Government of India and joined main-stream politics. The hiving away of a large chunk of territory from the state of Pakistan was a sufficient signal to Sheikh Abdullah that it was futile to bet for Pakistan that had enormously emasculated and shrunk. It was not a compulsion as Taing calls it. It was certainly a compromise that was necessitated by the prevalent political imperatives. Sheikh Abdullah made a compromise after due appreciation of his own position on Kashmir, the position that the Indian state had on Kashmir and the utility of Pakistan in furtherance of his own politics on Kashmir. When critiqued by die-hard Islamists on the 1975 Accord, Sheikh Abdullah resonantly shot back, ‘It needs a mightier power to extract Kashmir out of the prevailing political dispensation’.
Sheikh Abdullah, we have to admit, was fully tempered in the crucible of politics and thus had acquired tremendous finesse as a politician. His outstanding act of joining mainstream politics has a slew of lessons for myopic and skull-capped mullahs, sadly in strangle-hold of present day politics in Kashmir who are narrow in thought and vision and small in evaluating the maze of politics.
Taing on Gilgit Manuscript
Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru has numerous critics, real and imaginary, among poilticians, academicians, intellectuals and swarm of plebeians. But, lo, here is a man named Mohammad Yusuf Taing who is extra keen to rehabilitate himself in the anarchic politics of Kashmir by raising the issue of the Gilgit manuscripts that were retrieved from the custody of those who have a history of distorting, destroying and burning of knowledge. What wrong was there when Nehru, a lover of knowledge and books, got the Gilgit Manuscripts removed from the custody of a library housed in a building that got engulfed in a mysterious fire? Nehru was an immeasurably tall person who was extremely aware of the historical and political importance of the Gilgit Manuscripts. Those Manuscripts pre-eminently show-case the epic battle that Maharaja Hari Singh as the last ruler of Dogra dynasty in Kashmir had firmly waged against the Britishers who were extremely desperate to take over Gilgit which would serve them as a watch-tower to closely monitor the movement of the Russian troops advancing towards the Central Asian regions that were in close proximity to the borders of British India. The Gilgit Manuscripts are away from the hands of predators and stand safely deposited in the shelves of Archeological Survey of India.
Nehru’s act of shifting the Gilgit Manuscripts to the shelves of Archeological Survey of India perhaps dubbed as an atrocity has deeply irked Taing. But, way back in 1952 Sheikh Abdullah, his generous mentor, is reported to have got the famed Ranbhir Library at Jammu cruelly denuded of 300 books, tomes, manuscripts and documents and got them deposited at the Lal Mandi library in Srinagar. Again in the year 1975, the same Sheikh as the Chief Minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is reported to have depleted the same library at Jammu through a chaivinistic act of shifting an ouevre of sensitive and historically vital documents and administration reports to a library at Srinagar. Fida Mohammad Hussain, the then Director of Research and Libraries, is said to be the craven collaborator. How is it that M.Y. Taing is tight lipped, nay, deaf and dumb, about it?
The way the Ranbir Library at Jammu was vandalised by the powers that be earned well-deserved media attention and aroused much of public wrath. The Government of Mufti Mohammad Sayyid felt forced to appoint a committee headed by an eminent historian, Dr Hari Om to probe the reasons that necessitated the blatant chauvinistic act. Though the report of the commmittee stands long submitted, the precious collection of documents and reports are yet to be restored to the receptacles of the said-library at Jammu.
Taing on Ali Shah Gilani
Swayed by his poetic vein M.Y. Taing calls Ali Shah Gilani a romanticist. As a fellow-traveller of competitive communalism he has spirited away from drawing his actual portrait-Gilani is a first-rate Muslim fanatic who has destroyed Kashmir by giving legitimacy to gun, grenade and violence. As a blood-thirsty Muslim he has ellusive dreams of transforming Kashmir into a Muslim state. As part and parcel of a rabid organisation called Jamaat-e-Islami, Ali Shah whose ancestors migrated from Iran to Kashmir for shelter and sustenance has concertedly propagated Muslim Jihad against the Indian state that for him, despite a secular constitution, is Hindustan. As a thorough Islamist he is an inveterate enemy of secularism, mutual co-existence and democratic way of life. Hindus of Kashmir already demonised as ‘fifth column’ he got them looted, arsoned, tortured and brutally murdered through the terrorists belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen, the notorious terrorist wing of Jamaat-e-Islami. Not thoroughly splashed in the media the hair-raising murder of Girija Tickoo was the handiwork of the same brand of terrorists. She was abducted, raped for days on end and finally chopped into two equal halves on a wood-chopping machine. Gilani’s notorious thesis about Kashmir is that it will be a mono-chromatic Muslim state and part of Pakistan, though a failed state.
It is exquisitely ironical that Government of India has reportedly spent millions on his heart and urinary ailments. Leading the vicious militarised war against Hindus of Kashmir and the State of India he is provided a security cover by the same security forces who he screams at the top of his voice are an occupation force in Kashmir. The state government allows him to draw his pensions as an ex-member of the Legislative Assembly. One who wages war against the state is to be meted out the treatment that he deserves under the well-known constitutional provisions. Had he done it in a Muslim country he would have been mercilessly butchered or put behind the bars for torture and beatings.
Taing as the secretary of State Cultural Academy
The heinous charge that writers, intellectuals and literatteurs have laid at the doors of MY Taing has been the communalisation of the entire working of J&K Academy of art and culture. Moti Lal Saqi who has made immense contributions to the domain of Kashmiri language and literature has been a victim to the same communal ambience generated and patronised by MY Taing as its secretary. Saqi is bold enough to make a mention of the communal approach to the appreciation and evaluation of past of Kashmir. His diligent research on the subject of ‘bronzes of Kashmir’ was not included in the Kashmiri Encyclopaedia issued out by the Cultural Academy for sheer communal reasons.
As he enjoys patronage from the ruling dynasty in Kashmir he has been assiduously working for self-promotion at the cost of veterans who have added lustre to Kashmiri language and literature through their hardwork and creativity.
It could be asked why a comprehensive introduction by Prof. Toshkhani and ML Saqi is missing from the new edition of Parmanand, a very great poet of Kashmiri. Dr. Padam Nath Ganju was the first Kashmiri who had worked on Abdul Ahad Azad. The old edition of ‘Kulyat-i-Azad’ contained hundred and one pages of the said-work. But, now, in the new edition these pages stand dropped. Why? The latest edition of Nilmatpuran is denuded of an introduction by Dr. Karan Singh, an erudite scholar in his own right. Again, the Academy edition of Krishen Joo Razdan had an introduction by Dr. Baljit Nath Pandit, a renowned scholar of Sanskrit and Kashmir Shaivism. It has been dropped in the new edition of Krishen Joo Razdan. Abdul Ahad Azad’s epic work of ‘Kashmiri Zaban and Shairi’ has been tampered with and many portions from the original manuscript have been deleted for reasons perverse.