Sunday, July 14, 2024

Sarwanand Koul Premi, legendary Kashmiri litterateur remains unsung hero

Authorities in J&K have issued directions to the principal of a higher secondary school in J&K’s Anantnag district to organise a befitting tribute function on November 2 to late Sarwanand Koul Premi on his 99th birth anniversary.

A renowned freedom fighter, Gandhian, broadcaster, social reformer, philanthropist and litterateur, Sarwanand Premi, as he was popularly known, was abducted by terrorists along with his son, Virender from their home in Soafshali village of Kokernag tehsil in Anantnag district on April 28, 1990.

Their dead bodies were found two days later.

Premi had become a martyr for his principles of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood and for believing in the dream of India visualised during the days he joined Gandhi’s non-violent struggle for the country’s freedom.

He was born in 1924. He had championed the cause of marriage of orphan Muslim girls. He had been arrested six times during the Quit India Movement.

His work was recognized by Mahatma Gandhi when Premi presented him a photo framed copy of his famous Hindi poem “Aav chalen ek saath chalen” in 1946. He was honoured with the epithet of ‘Premi’ by Ghulam Ahmed Mehjoor, the revolutionary Kashmiri poet for his love of poetry. He worked for the State Education Department from 1956-1979.

Sarwanand Koul Premi was respected by all communities. His publications include more than three dozen books, along with the translations of Bhagavad Gita, Gitanjali and Ramayana in Kashmiri.

He was posthumously felicitated by Delhi Pradesh BJP with a medal and memento in 1997 on the occasion of 50 years’ celebrations of independence.

He has also been awarded a gold medal by the J&K government in 1997, Shree Bhatt Puruskar by J&K Vichar Manch, New Delhi in 2000, Sharda Puruskar Saman by Sanjeevani Sharda Kendra, Jammu in 2006 andthe First Alakh Saman by Shri Alakh Sahiba Trust, Jammu in 2017.

The UT administration has issued an advisory to the Principal of Hr Secondary school Soafshali Kokernag to organise a befitting tribute function to Premi.

Rajinder Premi, the poet’s son, told IANSthat they are planning to observe & celebrate Premi’s birth centenary in a befitting manner.

“We have approached the Government of India through the Ministry of Culture, J&K government, Sahitya Akademy, etc. We are hopeful to get full support & assistance from all the concerned departments & sister organisations for organising the befitting tributefunctions to commemorate this proud son of the country during his birth Centenary celebrations,” Rajinder Premi said.

Rajinder is grieved that the family that lost Sarwanand and his son, Virender has not received justice till date.

“It may be pertinent to mention that this legendary man who has immensely contributed to ‘Kashmiriyat & Insaniyat’ was done to death along with his young, married son, Verinder in such a brutal manner by the militants that shocked the entire country.

“We have been praying for long delayed justice, but the government has chosen to remain in a denial mood as the Home department in J&K has preferred a petition against the directions/Recommendations of its own SHRC judgement of 12.2.2012.

“The devastated family has been running from pillar to post for the past three decades seeking justice & so far nothing has happened,” said Rajinder.

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