Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India

Milchar

Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

  Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India

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Milchar
August-September 2003 Issue

Table of Contents

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

  Editorial

… P. N. Wali

Our ‘Zaan’

Four years through, the 'Zaan' project of Kashmiri Pandits' Association and Lalla Ded Educational and Welfare Trust, is still going strong. I don't mean that it has not lost the steam, as most of our initiatives do with the passage of time. I mean it positively at least from the perspective of the persons who are energetically pursuing it. Also from the point of view of those sections of the community who have taken notice of it and even advanced it by their participation.

'Zaan', a project to connect the members of the community to their origin and identity in the wake of exodus seemed a possibility. I have always felt that identity becomes an important issue in personal life immediately after the bread and butter issues are tackled. Need for affiliation follows the hygienic needs of food and shelter, even in the view of Moslov. To strengthen our sense of identity, an awareness of history, culture, social moves and physical contours of the place of origin becomes essential. 'Zaan' was initiated to assist in this awareness.

During the first three years, it issued two volumes of Information Digests and one volume of a 'Basic Reader' for reading Kashmiri in the Devanagari script. It is felt that books published in themselves may not disseminate the intended knowledge. It should be supported by incentive to read them. The 'Zaan Quiz' programme was accordingly devised and consistently held during last three years. This year, the 'Quiz' programme is scheduled for October 19th.

In its fourth year, 'Zaan' has seen another volume of the information digest, which carries further the content portion of the earlier volumes. Zaan's involvement in Kashmiri language, as it should be written or read has further increased. This year, a special 'Work Book' was designed to make reading still more simple. To test the book, a workshop on Kashmiri language was held at Kashyap Bhawan on 7th September. As a process, it was very well received.

On the fillip side, while the persons involved in the project are advancing the idea with vigour and zeal, the response in terms of participation in the project programmes from the biradari is not as encouraging. Last three quiz programmes, though enthusiastically attended by a number of persons, had not a large and diversified attendance, as the organisers would have wished. The recently held Workshop on Kashmiri Language, was also not largeley attended as to compare with the efforts that went into organising it. What is the reason? I would not like to surmise. I would like the readers to give me the clue. Will they please?

This was the couplet I quoted to Mr. M.K.Raina, who had put all his efforts in making the Workshop a reality. I am sure, one day the members of the community emerging from the Moslov's hygienic factors will feel the need for identity and positively involve themselves in finding means to strengthen it. It will be at that time, that search for the initiatives like 'Zaan' to help them, will be made. No wonder, we have received an order for Zaan books from London, while American friends have put it on website. This need is going to surface one day. Till then we can wish patience and preservance to those behind the programme. The message of Zaan will spread. Of course, help from biradari members will make the process quicker.

P.S. : An offshoot of the Workshop for Kashmiri Language was a fine titilating poem in Kashmiri '- kathí manz kath' by Shri M.K.Raina, which in it contains all the vowels and consonants used in writing Kashmiri, both in Devanagari and Roman scripts.

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