SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 21: Minister of Finance, Labour, Employment and Culture, Dr Haseeb A Drabu today called for fighting the element of intolerance in the society by celebrating diversity among people.
Dr Drabu was speaking at an award ceremony organized by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages for distinguished writers at the newly renovated Tagore Hall. The Finance Minister presented a total of 12 awards to as many authors in Best Book and Best Translation categories in various languages.
Praising the academy for organizing such an event the Finance Minister said that what we are seeing here is the celebration of diversity, which is need of the hour.
“There are so many distinguished writers from varied languages, cultures, religions, ethnicities present among us. This is highly valued diversity which makes Kashmir what it is,” said Dr Drabu. “We need to cherish every bit of it.”
The Finance Minister expressed regret that the same diversity is becoming an issue in some areas. He said that the best solution for fighting against such things is to highlight and celebrate such a diversity.
The Minister asked academy to organize similar events in a way where more people would participate. “Some of these writers have written up to 60 books and in an ideal situation they should have been icons for our society. But unfortunately people do not know much about them,” said Dr Drabu.
He termed it as a challenge for academy to work towards gaining place of prominence for such writers in the society. This should be the agenda for the academy, the Finance Minister further said.
“How do we instill maturity and sensitivity in our future generation, is the main question. When we reach a stage where we make such intellectuals our icons, it is only then we will evolve as a nation,” said Dr Drabu.
The Finance Minister also asked academy to reform the process of selection of acclaimed authors. “An author need not submit his book to get an award. That is too insensitive on our part. Instead the academy should reach out to him and give award to the best work,” the Finance Minister said.
He also asked the academy to engage national level publishers and market books written by these authors to a wider audience. He said that the ministry will bear the cost for such an exercise.
Minister of State for Education, Information and Culture Ms Priya Sethi while praising the diversity of Jammu and Kashmir said that poets and writers have a vast thinking, which we can use for betterment of the society. The Minister said that what these intellectuals write is treasured for generations to come and we need to guard it and help it spread. She said that the ministry is looking forward to frame a culture policy, and having its own council for progress in this arena.
The function was attended by Secretary Academy Dr Aziz Hajini, authors and intellectuals from across the State.
Those who were conferred awards in Best Book 2012 category include Yash Sharma in Dogri, Abdul Hameed Kasana in Gojri, Naresh Kumar Udaas in Hindi, Ghulam Nabi Aatash in Kashmiri, Geshe Lobzang Wangchuk in Ladakhi, Sheikh Azad Ahmad Azad in Pahari, Surinder Neer in Punjabi and Prof Hamdi Kashmiri in Urdu. The award includes a certificate, memento, cash prize and a shawl.
In the Best Translation Award 2011 category, Abid Ahmad was awarded in English, Satish Vimal in Kashmiri, Parvez Maanoos in Pahari and Ichhupal Singh in Punjabi.