in his Art
who knows Urdu knew Dr. Brij Premi. He was a genius in his art. His contribution
to the fund of Urdu literature and historiography on Kashmir is well-recognized.
Dr. Premi enjoyed high status in the field of Urdu literature at the
sub-continental level. He was a highly cultured person, possessed great literary
taste and scholars liked to interact with him. Abu Syed Qureshi, well-known Urdu
scholar and Mantoís friend said of him: "Premiís love is immortal. I highly
appreciate Premiís firmness of mind and inquisitiveness, his interest and love."
Premi was a multidimensional scholar and served Urdu literature with dedication.
He excelled in all genres----short story writing, literary criticism, research
etc. He wrote beautiful prose, and avoided being prolix. Dr. Premiís language
was lucid, simple and focussed at the average reader. He disliked use of too
many Persian words in Urdu vocabularly, which made it unintelligible to the
common people. His usage was always appropriate, suited to the requirement of
the situation. He did not have to labour for words. These came spontaneously and
effortlessly. His elegance in writing kept the reader glued to it. Imagery
in his prose was superb. He gives graphic description, at times relating even
the minutest detail and literally transports the reader to the locale\situation
he is describing. This is true of his essays as of his travelogues. At the
same time there is no element of exaggeration in this. He was down to earth in
Premi was a patriot par excellence. He had deep commitment to the welfare of the
downtrodden people. Early in his life he came under the influence of Pandit Prem
Nath Pardesi, a great litterateur who subscribed to progressive views. Cultural
Front played a vanguard role in heralding a renaissance movement in Kashmiri
literature. Dr. Premi was influenced by it and also contributed to it. He held
Left views and has left for posterity two outstanding works ------A literary
biography of Prem Nath Pardesi and history of Progressive Writersí Movement in
Kashmir. These two seminal works have a permanent place as rich source material
for undertaking comprehensive assessment of the Left movement in Kashmir. His
progressive ideology brought him in close contact with big names in progressive
Urdu literature----Krishan Chander, Ahmed Nadeem Qasimi, Abu Syed Qurieshi,
Salam Machli Shahri, Ali Sardar Jafri, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, Jan Nissar Akhter Dr.
Qamar Rais, Prof. Mohd. Hassan, etc. Dr. Premi was also influenced by social
realism of Munshi Prem Chand.
Premi contributed much to historiography of Kashmir, his authentic and
pioneering work on Saadat Hasan Manto has no rival. There is mounting evidence
on how counterfeit academics continue to plagiarize Premiís researches on the
great short story writer. Premi was as much influenced by Mantoís social
radicalism as by his display of pride in his Kashmiri origins.
Kashmir and was deeply rooted in its
spiritual and historical tradition. His excellent work on
patron saint-poetess Lalleshwari, on Pir Pandit Padshah, Martand Ruins and
admiration for Shams Faqir, the great Sufiana poet, indicate this. His love for
Kashmir was not contrived but natural. He delved deep in to Kashmirís past to
keep it alive in the present. His patriotism and catholicity in outlook were
outcome of this.
It is a
great moment for Kashmir Sentinel, an institution committed to renaissance task,
to bring out a commemorative number, to honour the memory of this great son of
Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandit community. Our
special thanks go to Dr. Premi Romani, illustrious son of late Dr. Brij Premi ,
who worked overtime to get writings of his father translated in time for the
issue and also extended cooperation as and when required. We also express our
gratitude to Prof. ML Koul, Prof. RK Aima,Prof. HL Misri , Sh. Predhuman K.
Joseph K. Dhar, Prof. ML Raina, Sh. MN Kak, Sh. Upender Ambardar. They are
distinguished academicians in their respective fields. It was with the spirit of
labour of love that they undertook the difficult task of translation work.
Lastly, we thank our guest writers who contributed to this thematic number.