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  • Academy to rebuild infrastructure; host regular activities to boost art, culture in district

KATHUA:  In a development that will give further fillip to promotion and development of culture and literature in Jammu region, J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages Saturday re-operated its Kathua based sub-office after a gap of nearly 22 years. Giving details Secretary, JKAACL, Dr Aziz Hajini said that with support of local district administration, the Academy has been able to reopen its Kathua office after getting it vacated by the security establishment.  “Our office infrastructure at Kathua was being used by the security establishment. However, recently with the support of district administration we have been able to get it vacated,” Hajini informed.

Elucidating further Dr. Hajini said that the Academy would regularly hold activities at the venue. “To ensure proper use of infrastructure available with us at Kathua we intend to have weekly activities in the district beginning from today,” he said.

Among others the re-opening ceremony was attended by Secretary JKAACL, Dr. Aziz Hajini, Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Ramesh Kumar, ADC, Kathua, Dr. Bharat Bhushan, and Additional Secretary, JKAACL, Dr. AS Amn.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner, Ramesh Kumar, said that the district administration will extend all possible help to JKAACL. “On our part we are ready to extend all possible help to the Academy in promotion and development of art and culture in the district,” Kumar said. As part of the re-opening ceremony a multi lingual mushaira was also held at the venue in which several poets participated. Among others the mushaira was attended by Sham Lal Khajuria, Sakshi Sharma, Sanjay Sehgal, Rakesh Lovely, RS Kattal, Saroj Bala and Paramjeet Singh.   

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  • Minister felicitates participants at ‘Dance Inspiration and Jammu Idol’ talent hunt show

JAMMU:  Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh on Saturday said the State’s unique culture, diverse languages and spellbound folk music bestow it a special identity across the sub-continent. Speaking during ‘Dance Inspiration and Jammu Idol’ - a talent hunt function at Abhinav Theatre here, the Minister said Jammu and Kashmir is a unique place with the equally unique and diverse languages, folk music and other cultural aspects. He said the indigenous character of the State should n’t be eroded with the hollow concepts and “slogans of modernism.”

“Those speaking in their mother tongue are looked down in our society, which is really worrisome,” he told the gathering. “We have to accept modernism, advancement but not at the cost of our mother tongue, music and other cultural values,” he added.

The Minister, who was chief guest, on the occasion exhorted students to take it as their onerous responsibility to dedicate themselves to socio-cultural excellence and cultural unity for preserving rich traditions of the State. He said it is heartening to note that J&K possesses huge talent and there is a dire need to chisel out such students and young generation who would lead our State at the national and International forums. He also called for preserving Sate’s ageless message of communal harmony and socio-cultural ethos. Singh said government and other private educational institutes should play a commendable role in the field of education and for promotion of cultural excellence.

“The unity of arts, their essential spirit of oneness, has made us stand united, though we are multi-religious, multi-linguistic and diverse in culture," Singh said, adding that Jammu and Kashmir has nurtured and fostered local artistic and cultural values.

Singh further highlighted the importance of the mother tongue and urged the students not to shun their language and roots. He also urged school administration not to force students to speak only in English language. “English is just another language. You shouldn’t be ashamed of speaking in your own languages, which give you the identity,” Singh said. He also highlighted the importance of the modern education, saying that the there is a need of convergence to enrich the quality of the education.

The five hour-long event was held at Abhinav Theatre, Jammu in which Zorwar Singh, general secretary, Press Club Jammu was the chief guest-of-honour. The function began by lightning the traditional lamp by the dignitaries.

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  • Dr Drabu unveils epic poem ‘Shahnama’ for public display at Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex

JAMMU: As a part of the novel initiative to showcase to the public the State’s treasure-trove of heritage and history, the Minister for Culture and Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu today launched a pioneering project named “Object of the Month”.Under the initiative, the Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums, has started putting for public display a special museum object for one month each. 

In the maiden series under the “Object of the Month” initiative for February, Dr Drabu today unveiled for public display the rare manuscript “Shahnama” at Dogra Art Museum, Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex here. Secretary Culture, Dilshad Khan, Director Archives, Archaeology and Museums, M S Zahid and other officers of the Department were present on the occasion. “The initiative will facilitate display of rare and unique objects from the reserve collection of the museums in the state which could not be earlier displayed due to paucity of space in the museums,” Dr Drabu said.

The Minister said the “Object of the Month” activity will continue throughout the year in Dogra Art Museum, Jammu and Sri Pratap Singh Museum, Srinagar. He said “Object of the Month” series will be a voyage for the public through rare manuscripts, priceless paintings, ancient scriptures and beautiful calligraphy in possession of the Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums. “Aimed at rebuilding a culturally conscious society, the initiative is aimed at making the public conscious of J&K’s treasured heritage and history,” said Dr Drabu. He said the basic concept behind this unique effort is to ‘rediscover, reflect and revive’. “It is like engaging with our past, to reorient our present and redefine our future,” he said.

Dr Drabu called for spreading awareness among the people about culturally rich heritage of the state and to attract youth for their active participation in preserving and promoting J&K’s distinct traditions. The Minister, on this occasion, also inaugurated a mini museum at Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex on the theme “Archive’s Selected Heritage” where historical documents, farmans, orders, books have been put on display for the public. The museum also houses several handwritten manuscripts including the scripts of Shahnama and Sikandernama in Persian that are of interest to history buffs.

Shahnama (the Book of Kings), is a long epic poem written by the renowned Persian poet   Ferdowsi. He started writing Shahnamah in 977 AD and completed it on 8 March 1010.  Consisting of some 50,000 "distichs" or couplets (2-line verses), the Shahnamah is the world's longest epic poem written by a single poet. It is the national epic of Iran and tells mainly the mythical and to some extent the historical past of the Persian Empire from the creation of the world until the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century. Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and the greater region influenced by the Persian culture including Georgia, Armenia, Turkey and Dagestan celebrate this national epic.

The work is of central importance in Persian culture, regarded as a literary masterpiece, and definitive of the ethno-national cultural identity of modern-day Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Pertinently, the special Calendar published by the Directorate of Archives, Archaeology and Museums for 2017 has also incorporated paintings from Shahnama.