Basharat Bashir


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Ghulam Rasool Santosh 

Poet Painter Ghulam Rasool Santosh was a prominent Artist from Kashmir. Born in 1929 G R Santosh is known for his profound work on Kashmir Shavism.

G R Santosh was from a Kashmiri Muslim family of modest means from Chinkral Mohalla Habbakadal neighborhood of old Srinagar. He had to give up his schooling after matriculation because of his father’s death and took up odd jobs like writingpainting signboards, weaving silk , whitewashing walls and papier-mache. Satosh became expert in papier-mache art.

In an interview Santosh said that in Kashmir art was taught in schools from class 5th but I remember drawing in class 2nd. Adding that “I Starting with a landscape drawing that I liked so much that I concentrated on landscapes for a long period before I changed my painting style.

In 1950, Santosh joined the Progressive Arts Association in Kashmir, which was established in 1948 with the visit of S H Raza who was a member of Progressive Artists Group. In 1954, Santosh won the government scholarship to study Fine Arts under a prominent Artist N. S. Bendre at the MS University, Baroda. 

Around the same time Santosh did what was considered unusual in kashmiri society. He married his childhood friend, Santosh, who was a Kashmiri pandit, and also assumed her name.

Santosh began by painting landscapes, and he was gradually influenced by Cézanne and the Cubist approach to painting. He held his first solo show in 1953 in Srinagar.  In 1964 G R Santosh visited Amarnath Cave  and this visit became another turning point in his artistic journey. He started to study Tantra(mysticism) and Kashmir Shaivism. inspired by tantra philosophy santosh came up with another style and created some of the best examples of modern Tantric paintings. His paintings are known for the vibrancy of colors, neat lines, spiritual energy and sensuousness.

Santosh was an acclaimed mystic poet in Kashmiri, and also wrote profusely in Urdu. His Urdu novel SamandarPysasa Hai drew praise from the literati, and 1979 the SahityaAkademi awarded him for his collection of poems in Kashmiri, titled BesukhRuh.
  Since 1953, Santosh held over 30 one-man shows in India, U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore-. His paintings had been exhibited in international shows, notably at the Sao Paolo Biennale (1969,1972), Triennale-India (1968, ’78), ‘Contemporary Indian Art’, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (1 984), and the Neo-Tantra Art’, U.C.L.A., Los Angeles (1 986). He received the National Award in 1973, and Padma Shri in 1977, and won the Artist of the Year Award in New Delhi in 1984.
Santosh was also an authority on Kashmiri Shaivism, and was one of the very few people who could read and write the ancient, and almost-extinct, Kashmiri script called Sharda.

He died on March 10, 1997 in New DelhiIndia. He was survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.




Pablo Picasso once said that ‘Every child is an Artist the Problem is to Remain an Artist’. To prove this quote right here we have Momin Farooq a 7th class student of Government Boys Middle School Chanapora Tangmarg. Hailing from Chanapora Tangmarg a village in North Kashmiri’s Baramulla district, Momin is an aspiring young Artist with a great future in Art field.

Momin has developed a great love for the art of painting and drawing. Although there is no such thing like art classes in our academic curriculum, Momin keeps his sketch book with him and whenever he gets a chance he begins his artistic endeavor.

He praised (ALIF) Arts in Life Initiative Foundation for providing him space to practice and refine his Artistic skills.

I was very happy to know that we have a space here where we can spend some time with our Art practice, Monin said adding that, it would be wonderful if art classes are introduced into our curriculum.

Momin is a skillful young Artist with a wonderful perception. His initial interest is to learn portraits and landscape painting. Here are some Art works of our young Artist Momin Farooq.



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