On an even keel – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism

Dr R L Shant
Name of the book : Tawazun
Author : Aseer Kishtwari
Language : Kashmiri
“Tawazun” means balance or the balancing act. This name explains the plan and theme of this huge and voluminous book by Aseer Kishtwari, one of the leading writers and literary activists of J&K. Without mincing words, he says in his preface to the book, that the idea behind compiling it is to set a balance right between Kashmiri writers of Kashmir and Jammu provinces. He alleges that Kashmiri critics and writers belonging to Kashmir valley seldom consider the valuable contribution by Kashmiri writers on this side of the Banihal i..e. in Jammu division of the state, “worthy of mention or critical evaluation.” Hence he sets upon himself the responsibility of showing by his studies how the two are not at variance but they are complementary to each other. His message is straight and clear : Literary historians and critics should not be narrow in their vision and attitudes to writers living far or near the epicenter of creative activity. Literary problems, especially those pertaining to the same language are essentially similar. Geographical division between Kashmir and Jammu should not give rise to biases in literary evaluation and value judgement. When people speaking and writing in the same language are under consideration, their literary acumen deserves to be judged and weighed on the same balance. Literary sensibilities are not affected by physical distances. Kashmiri writers in Bhaderwah Kishtwar Rajouri and some other border areas of the UT have had this grouse against those of the cities of Srinagar for decades. Add to them the bruised sensitivities of recently exiled KP writers of Kashmir mainly settled in Jammu. Thus the problem assumes bigger proportions. To this extent, Asir Kishtwari’s grouse against the some valley critics’ attitude stands reasoned out. . Those neglected by such literary opinion surely deserve a better and more sympathetic treatment. So, Aseer’s endeavour to bring the notables ( the choice of selection and inclusion in his book is the author’s prerogative ) together in a big book and to strike a balance in this manner deserves admiration .
Hard work in selecting authors or their books is the first thing that catches our attention. Taking about fifty writers either for reviews of their publications or for their evaluvation in totality is a gigantic task by any standards. He has done that with enthusiasm and impartiality to make this a kind of a reference book for future connoisseurs and researchers. . It is noticeable that of about fifty writers included,, more than half are from the valley, the main center of creative and critical activity and output. Except exiled writers who are living mainly in the Dogri speaking Jammu districts, almost all others from Kashmiri speaking areas of Jammu like Kishtwar, Rajouri, Bhadrawah, Banihal etc get full and well deserved consideration. So the book endeavors to present a panoramic view of the present day Kashmiri writing in J&K. Viewing across the language map, here we have seniors like Rasa Javidani, Mirza Aarif, Arjandev Majboor, Rashid Nazki,MY Taing, Marghoob, Mishal, Shahbaz Rajorvi, Bhushanlal Koul, Bashir Bhadravahi etc. We can view other prominent authors like Mohanlal Aash, Fida Kishtwari, PN Shad, Nishat, Aazurda, Josh, Aatash, BN Betab, Ayaz Nazki, Az. Hajni, Shahnaz Rashid, ND Sahar etc. , discussed mostly as authors of their reviewed books. Young writers like Rinku Koul’s and Nisar Azam’s literary contribution has also been evaluated quite well. Hence “Tawazun” emerges as a big collection of not only of some book reviews but also a valuable reference book on the works of some important names of Kashmiri ( and a few Urdu ) literateurs. Some major authors like Majboor, Gauhar, Marghoob, Shad, RL Shant, Shahbaz, Aatish, Betab have been presented in their totality thereby identifying their standing in modern Kashmiri literature.
The author of this voluminous dictionery sized book , Wali Mohd Bhat, Asir Kishtwari is a well known name in Jammu. He retired as Director General Treasuries but his passion for writing was never over run by his bureaucratic demeanor. One finds in him a soft speaking man of humility exuding friendliness especially if you are a man of literary interests. Besides this book, he has over a dozen books in Kashmiri and Urdu to his credit which speak of his entusiasm and passion to write. Bringing to light the cultural history and writers of the Chinab valley has been of special interest to him but he does not believe in only a wide survey based study but also in analysing and evaluating his senior and junior contemporaries on their literary merit. In this book his articles like that on a comparative evaluation of Rasa Javidani’s Urdu and Kashmiri poetry and Rashid Nazki’s mystic poetry throw light on some hitherto neglected aspects of these important Kashmiri poets. But Asir does not talk of poets only. He tries to present some shortstory writers and critics too. He discusses Mishal and Ahad Hajni as writers in the genre of prose, if not prose writers. ( (Like most of our critics, he too does not distinguish between writers using the prose genre and pure prose writers) Our two important women poets Naseem Shifai and Suneeta Raina Pandit have been evaluated as distinct poetic voices in Kashmiri.
In this short review, we can not take up in detail, all the books or all writers of varied standings and styles or all the books reviewed , but we can acknowledge the big contribution, books like TAWAZUN make towards the studies in evaluation and compilation . Such books are speciallly a big help to students and research fellows and should always be welcome.






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