Is Nazar Boniyari’s Legacy the Key to Understanding Pahari Tradition?

Is Nazar Boniyari’s Legacy the Key to Understanding Pahari Tradition?


by Dr Nayeem Showkat

His works display a profound grasp of anthropological and ethnographic strategies, portraying him as a talented sociologist adept at depicting the complexities of Pahari life and language.

Raja Nazar Bonyari

On January 2, 1949, Abdul Qayoom Khan was born to esteemed Kashmiri figures Raja Zabardast Khan and Shreen Jan Begum. Exhibiting a fervent curiosity in writing and poetry from a younger age, Khan gained renown beneath the pen identify Nazar Boniyari.

Raised within the prosperous environs of Trikanjan, Boniyar, nestled in Baramulla district’s north Kashmir, he obtained his preliminary schooling in his hometown. Regardless of the restricted literary sources accessible, his ardour for literature flourished. Even earlier than his enrolment at Authorities Diploma College, Baramulla, his dedication to writing was unwavering.

Nazar Boniyari pursued greater schooling, incomes a Grasp’s diploma in Urdu and a BEd from the College of Kashmir, setting the stage for a distinguished profession in schooling. With no familial ties to poetry, he broke floor as the primary poet and literary determine in his household. Famend in Pahari and Urdu literature in Kashmir, his affect extends past labels like author, poet, historian, or educator; he was a guiding determine for your complete Pahari neighborhood of Jammu and Kashmir.

Over 4 a long time within the schooling sector, Boniyari made vital contributions, ascending by way of management roles, and leaving an everlasting impression along with his sharp insights. His dedication to preserving regional languages manifested in roles corresponding to instructor coach and lively participation within the Textbook Advisory Board of the Jammu and Kashmir Board of Faculty Training.

Along with his instructional pursuits, Boniyari performed a vital position in advancing Pahari tradition and literature. His 2021 travelogue, Sharda Peeth, garnered vital worldwide consideration, including to his intensive bibliography of nationally and internationally acclaimed works in Pahari and Urdu literature.

Boniyari’s literary expertise was recognised early on along with his fictional piece Dusra Adam, broadcasted on Radio Kashmir Srinagar in 1964 and later translated into Russian. Though he briefly studied the Russian language in Tashkent, familial obligations necessitated his return. His editorial contributions to numerous Kashmiri newspapers and publication of quite a few articles in regional and nationwide magazines additional cemented his standing as a distinguished Urdu author.

Along with his literary endeavours, he displayed his abilities as an anchor on platforms corresponding to DD Kashir and Radio Kashmir Srinagar, solidifying his place as a distinguished determine within the Pahari neighborhood. Abdul Qayoom Khan’s vital contributions have garnered quite a few awards and honours, together with recognition from the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Artwork, Tradition and Languages. Seminars and conferences throughout Jammu and Kashmir have delved into his life and contributions, spawning varied articles, analysis papers, and theses.

Broadly hailed as a premier exponent of contemporary Pahari poetry and an distinctive fiction author, Nazar Boniyari embraced the ethos of progress and modernity. A fervent bibliophile, he treasured his intensive ebook assortment akin to parental affection. Regrettably, a fireplace consumed his library, ensuing within the lack of over 742 books. Undeterred, he launched into replenishing his assortment, amassing hundreds extra for his library.

His writings proceed to encourage new poets and writers, making certain his legacy resonates with future generations. Past his contributions to Pahari and Urdu poetry and literature, he additionally developed an curiosity in Communist literature and Russian historical past.

An often-overlooked facet of Raja Nazar Boniyari’s life was his institution of a pharmacy, the place he supplied medicines and coverings at minimal prices to the area people. This initiative not solely garnered him vital recognition but in addition earned him the title of Physician Sahab in his space. Regardless of the challenges posed by the village’s distant location, he utilised his experience in medicines and medical sciences to supply free or low-cost companies to the folks of the realm.

Many in Jammu and Kashmir and throughout the nation stay unaware that the Pahari ethnic group constitutes the most important linguistic minority within the area. The historical past of marginalisation and othering of Paharis has deep roots in social and political deprivation. Nazar Boniyari’s writings, together with these of his contemporaries, have performed a pivotal position in elevating consciousness concerning the points, tradition, arts, language, and historical past of the Pahari neighborhood in Jammu and Kashmir.

His works display a profound grasp of anthropological and ethnographic strategies, portraying him as a talented sociologist adept at depicting the complexities of Pahari life and language. Nevertheless, amidst the Pahari neighborhood’s celebration of their Scheduled Tribe standing, the passing of a person perceived to own the perception for his or her growth and empowerment is believed to have created a big void inside the Pahari neighborhood and the literary and cultural panorama of Kashmir.

Nayeem Showkat Media Scholar
Nayeem Showkat (Media Scholar)

Nazar Boniyari was a multifaceted particular person, famend for his mastery of wordplay. He employed puns to light up advanced conditions and contributed quite a few articles infused with delicate humour and persuasive prose. A passionate traveller, he explored varied international locations, meticulously documenting the humanities and heritage of numerous cultures, akin to a seasoned sociologist.

Raja Nazar Boniyari handed away on the age of 75 on February 20, 2024, in Mumbai, following a quick sickness stemming from pneumonia and kidney illnesses. He was laid to relaxation in Mumbai, survived by two daughters, two sisters, and a mess of admirers who cherish his exceptional legacy.

(The writer is affiliated with the Division of Convergent Journalism, Central College of Kashmir, Ganderbal. Concepts are private)

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