Monthly Archives: January 2010

Kashur (كأشُر)- Kashmiri Language

By Aasif Nissar
Kashmiri is a language which is primarily spoken in Kashmir. Kashmir as per UN is disputed piece of  land on earth its one part is being occupied by Pakistan called as Azad Kashmir and the other one is in India.Kashmiri language is the language from Dardic sub-group of Indo-Aryan group of languages.The Kashmiri language is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India, and is a part of the Sixth Schedule in the constitution of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Along with other regional languages mentioned in the Sixth Schedule, as well as Hindi and Urdu, the Kashmiri language is to be developed in the state. Some Kashmiri speakers frequently use Hindi or English as a second language. Since November 2008, the Kashmiri language has been made a compulsory subject in all schools in the Valley up to the secondary level.By origin it is a Dardic language, but it has become predominantly Indo-Aryan in character. Reflecting the history of the area, the Kashmiri vocabulary is mixed, containing Dardic, Sanskrit, Punjabi, and Persian elements. Religious differences are evident in vocabulary and choice of alphabet. Muslims employ Persian and Arabic words freely; they also use the Persian form of the alphabet to write Kashmiri, although the Persian alphabet is not truly suited to the task, because it lacks symbols for the many Kashmiri vowel sounds. Kashmiri language is spoken with different sounds.Now a days kashmiri language is loosing its gravity. It is almost being all ignored by its native speakers. It is being considered off age and out of modern era.But the government has made an effort to it by making it compulsory subject despite it most of schools have refused to consider it as compulsory subject.Many of writers have put their efforts to evaluate their native language which is being considered as off age language. I am in confusion when I was born my mother used to play with me in same medium then how come it has become off age? do you have an answer if so please send me.

(sources: wikipedia)


Posted by on January 23, 2010 in Uncategorized



Kanger- A fire pot is used in Kashmir to beat the season of winters in Kashmir. It is habbit of the people of Kashmiris to use Kanger in the winters. Back to the past, Kanger was the only source for the Kashmiris to keep the

Decorated Kanger

Decorated Kanger

ir body warm while winter.A kanger,(Also known as kangri or kangar) is a pot filled with hot embers used by Kashmiris beneath their traditional clothing to keep the chill at bay, which is also regarded as a work of art. It is normally kept inside the phiren (Overcoat type garment), the Kashmiri cloak, or inside a blanket. If a person is wearing a jacket, it may be used as a hand-warmer. It is about 6 inches (150 mm) in diamater and reaches a temperature of about 150 °F (66 °C).The kanger is usually taken under Pheran.

This hot Kashmir firepot (Kanger) is usually taken inside Pharen, the traditional trademark Kashmir outer garment, a loose long robe with wide open sleeves usually made of course thick woolen cloth and held close to body mostly with both hands both while sitting, standing or walking. Kashmir people have a unique habit of doing all work quite comfortably in winters while sitting on a flat surface having a hot Kanger inside their Pharen keeping them warm. All Kashmir handicraft artisans do almost all artistic work quite efficiently sitting indoors in closed quarters while holding a Kangri under their Pharan.Today the kanger has lost its glory because of the latest technology.Today kanger may normally used by the people of kashmir to beat season of winter in Kashmir.

(Sources:- wikipidia)

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Posted by on January 9, 2010 in Uncategorized


Theatre in Kashmir

Image by Karan Kapoor

The word theatre means a “place for seeing.” The two most common types of theatre plays are comedy and tragedy, symbolised by the theatre masks. The first recorded theatrical event was a performance of the sacred plays of the in 2500 BC in Egypt This story of the god Osiris was performed annually at festivals throughout the civilization, marking the beginning of a long relationship between theatre and religion.Drama (literally translated as action, from a verbal root meaning “To do”) is the branch of theatre in which speech, either from written text (plays), or improvised  is paramount. And the companion word drama is also Greek, dran meaning to do. Classical forms of drama, including Greek and Roman drama, classic English drama including William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe.Theater in kashmir has its own history,if we take a look on the chronicals of kashmir we find the words about theater are wrtten there, which depicts that the theater of kashmir has attained its glory in the twelth century. This golden age of drama in Kashmir lasted 1500 years. It started from the beginning of the Christian era to the fifteenth century. But very little of the dramatic literature has descended to, and that too only in Sanskrit. Yet it is known that theatre was inseparably associated with royal glamour. There also existed a performatory tradition in the vernacular, which, unlike the elite drama, was based on the spontaneous folk imitation of elemental life. These include birth, calamities, death, and rebirth. All of these are in connection with celebrations and festivals of sowing, reaping, and threshing. The Nilamata Purana advised that the descendants of Kasyapa should mark occasions with song, dance, and music, and that a public performance was a form of religious obligation.An improved form of Kashmiri folk theatre was the Pethir. This is a satirical comedy in which several actors exaggeratedly represented individuals, classes, or supernatural beings with the purpose of ridiculing human follies, frailties, and cruelties. Pethirs on social themes, with musical interludes and boisterous harlequins, are still known as Bandi Pethir. This is a genre preserved through the efforts of Mohammad Subhan Bhagat. The impresario of a Pethir repertoire, called the magun, could assume more than one role, improvising dialogue and action on stage to make the audience laugh. A Pethir was performed in any open place where the audience could sit or stand in rings and have full view of the players from all sides. It relied mainly on dialogue and changes of costume to appeal to spectators. The task was particularly difficult for a magun. This can be understandable as Nur-ud-Din writes, Pethir byon byon tiakoy magun i.e. `Characters are various while the magun is one`. Some Pethirs on religious and mystical themes have been preserved through folk memory. Sivilegin i.e. `Siva`s Marriage` and Akanandun are perhaps the most popular which can be traced in Kashmiri folk songs. Sivilegin is the dramatic representation of Parvati`s birth, youth, and marriage to Siva. Akanandun is the story of man`s complete submission to the will of God. A Brahman is given the boon of a son after much worship, but when the child grows into a handsome boy, the Brahman`s surrender to God`s will is tried when he is asked to kill his son and cook the flesh for the sadhu who had prayed for him.

Bhand Pather is very popular with the common masses, because they have retained its singular patrons to date. Pather, in Kashmiri language means a drama, while Bhand is the performer or actor. The Bhands usually do not have any ready made or pre-decided theme and the performer shows his originality by improving according to the circumstances and the material available. No stage property or green rooms are need for the Bhand Pather art form. The music instruments used in Jashan form of art comprise Surnai, which is a Kashmiri version of the Indian Shehnai, Peshrao, big Dhol and Nagara.

With the establishment of the Jammu and Kashmir Cultural Front after India`s independence, theatre received serious attention. Several plays were written and staged to strengthen the Front`s political viewpoint. However, it did not receive any encouraging response from the common masses, its desired audience. The historical programme of `Land to the Tiller` had been successfully implemented, centuries-old feudalism was being abolished by the new government and, as such, the revolutionary anti-establishment message of the `progressives` was an anachronism. In 1950, a new repertory, Kala Kendra, emerged but after presenting two plays on the socialistic pattern, Tabiri khab i.e. `Interpretation of the Dream“ and Son gam i.e. `Our Village`, it returned to the old religious and romantic drama like Krishnajanam i.e. `Krishna`s Birth` in 1952 and Habba Khatun in 1956. The Sri Pratap College Dramatic Club appealed to a wide audience with its productions, which also deviated from the revolutionary theatre.The theater has given so many playwrights,actors,directors and others related to the theater,they have been hounered so many times with differnt and leveled awards. Theatre personalities of Jammu and Kashmir are honored in diffrent region since.

Today directors like M.K Raina – who is one of the India’s best directors who has gained glory in the same field. Who is the very well known director in India. Who is graduate from National School of Drama. Who has worked on so many projects in Kashmir as well as in remote areas of India. Its not only him who has achieved best in His fields but their are also other actors  and directors who have created a space for their own.Today the word Theater in Kashmir has widen,  it has enhanced its function since the improving situation in valley.The theater in Kashmir is not owned or played by the age groups of 30’s or 40’s but also the youngsters. Day by day theater in Kashmir is making its way widely.It is making space in the hearts of all age groups. The director like Hakeem Javeed  on the project to polish the talent of the valley’s children.Hakeem Javeed was attached with a amature theatre group from 1978 to 2000  and from 2000 till date he starts to work on Children Theatre with the help of state’s well known NGO HELP FOUNDATION and it is only one organization who revive children theatre in state It was grate  attempt by Hakeem Javeed who Direct a big and famous historical Play SUYYA with children in 2006 and first of its kind the group organize a big children theatre festival in the year 2008  in the mega festival 13 children groups participated  and at least 200 child artist took part in the festival at lease 15000 audience witness  the performances of children from all over state.Educational Children

theatreWorkshops are going on. There are also other theater groups in Kashmir which is working to preserve the theater and theater activities in Kashmir.Directors like Nisar Naseem,Yousuf Shahnaz, Ayash Arif,Arshid Mushtaq,M.Amin Bhat,Yasir Bahwani have played thier best in the field of theater. Some among them have reached the National level and are bieng appreciated.We hope this dedication towards theater in Kashmir will continue in future.



Posted by on January 7, 2010 in Kashmir


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The Kashmir is very well known as “spiritual place”.According to folk etymology, the name “Kashmir” means “desiccated land” (from the Sanskrit: Ka = water and shimeera = desiccate).Kashmir was one of the major centre of Sanskrit scholars. According to the Mahabharata, the Kambojas ruled Kashmir during the epic period with a Republican system of government from the capital city of Karna-Rajapuram-gatva-Kambojah-nirjitastava. shortened to Rajapura, which has been identified with modern Rajauri.Later, the Panchalas are stated to have established their sway. The name Peer Panjal, which is a part of modern Kashmir, is a witness to this fact. Panjal is simply a distorted form of the Sanskritic tribal term Panchala. The Muslims prefixed the word peer to it in memory of Siddha Faqir and the name thereafter is said to have changed into Peer Panjal.The Mauryan emperor Ashoka is often credited with having founded the city of Srinagar. Kashmir was once the leaning seat of Buddhism. The metrical chronicle of the kings of Kashmir, called Rajatarangini, has (erroneousy) been pronounced by Professor H.I. Wilson to be the only Sanskrit composition yet discovered to which the appellation “history” can with any propriety be applied. It first became known to the Muslims when, on Akbar’s invasion of Kashmir in 1588, an amalgamated version was presented to the emperor. A translation into Persian was made at his order. A summary of its contents, taken from this Persian translation, is given by Abul Fazl in the Ain-i-Akbari. The Rajatarangini was written by Kalhana in the middle of the 12th century. His work, in eight books, makes use of earlier writings that are now lost.By the early 19th century, the Kashmir valley had passed from the control of the Durrani Empire of Afghanistan, and four centuries of Muslim rule under the Mughals and the Afghans, to the conquering Sikh armies. Earlier, in 1780, after the death of Ranjit Deo, the Raja of Jammu, the kingdom of Jammu (to the south of the Kashmir valley) was captured by the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh of Lahore and afterwards, until 1846, became a tributary to the Sikh power. Ranjit Deo’s grandnephew, Gulab Singh, subsequently sought service at the court of Ranjit Singh, distinguished himself in later campaigns, especially the annexation of the Kashmir valley by the Sikhs army in 1819, and, for his services, was created Raja of Jammu in 1820. With the help of his officer, Zorawar Singh, Gulab Singh soon captured Ladakh and Baltistan, regions to the east and north-east. The history of rebellion in Kashmir is not new and dates back to sixteenth century when the last indigenous ruler was overthrown in Kashmir. Haroon Mirani traces the unmentioned and forgotten chapters of Kashmir history through 421 years of foreign rule.
On the night of November 19, 1586, Yaqub Shah Chek, the last independent king of Kashmir after being defeated by the Mughals, mounted the first guerrilla attack on Mughal army. It was highly successful raid in which dozens of Mughal army men were chopped to death, entire treasury was looted and magnificent palace of Yusuf Shah, wherefrom Mughals ruled Kashmir, was burnt. After returning to his hideout along with his elated army, Yaqub Shah Chek told his official army turned ragtag guerrillas, “Independence is just a day away, as we will soon finish off the Mughals from Kashmir.ulab Singh (1792-1857) was the founder and first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, the second largest princely state in British India. After the defeat of the Sikhs in the First Anglo-Sikh War, Gulab Singh, who served as Chief Minister of the Sikhs “suddenly perplexed the Governor-General by asking what he was to get for all he had done to bring about a speedy peace, and to render the army (Sikh) an easy prey. As a result, the British transferred all the lands in Kashmir that were ceded to them by the Sikhs by the Treaty of Lahore to Gulab Singh for Rs. 7,500,000.As there was no accountability, people continued living under miserable conditions. The rulers got new punishments invented, the most dreaded one being Begar (transport of materials to distant areas through precarious mountainous roads, without pay). The taxes were always skyrocketing with each passing regime. Robert Thorp wrote numerous articles on the plight of Kashmiris under Gulab Singh but he too was finished off in sync with rest of similar counterparts.

In 1857 for the first time Kashmiris didn’t celebrate Eid ul Azha, as it was the year when Gulab Singh had died and there was a total ban on killing of any animal. Another dreaded punishment used in Dogra era to thwart any possible uprising was that of fleecing a Kashmiri thought to be against administration. Prostitution was also legalised during this time.

But the rebellion never ceased to exist. In one way or other it raised its head. The prominent among this was Shawl Bauf Agitation, in which 28 Shawl weavers were martyred at Zaldagar on April 29, 1865. Another 21 persons were brutally killed during Central Jail uprising on July 13, 1931. Thereafter a civil disobedience movement started which culminated in open armed rebellion, about the end of January 1932 in Mirpur, Rajouri and Bhimber of Jammu Province.
Agitations, demonstrations followed. Ahrar party in Punjab started sending Jathas (groups of people on a mission) to relieve the oppressed Kashmiris. Thousands came forward for arrests. Inquilab – Lahore based paper carried stories of oppression. Gauhar Rehman led the agitation in Mirpur Tehsil. Other areas like Kotli, Bhimber, Rajouri and Poonch also started giving shock waves. Bakerwals were denounced as criminal tribes for their rebellious acts. Disturbance, police firing and deaths started a periodic cycle.The situation continued until the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. When Maharaja was left to himself for the first time he couldn’t decide what to do and the result was the first Indo-Pak war, which ended in the disintegration of the state into Indian administered Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir. The Indian Prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru promised a plebiscite to decide the future of Jammu and Kashmir which people are still awaiting for being fulfilled.In the contemporary history when non-violent measures gained ground, Kashmiris too dreamt of resolution with their active political participation right from 1947. But here also they were politically tortured, maimed and killed.The kashmir is known as dispute piece land on earth, its one part is Pakistan and the other one is in the India.These two countries are battling for the Kashmir for years, but none among these has listened the voice of Kashmirs.According to UN “Kashmiris have right to decide whether they want to go with Pakistan or India or whether they want Independent Kashmir”

(Sources:- Wikipedia,JKLF,

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Posted by on January 5, 2010 in Uncategorized