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A Tribute to Fida Kishtwari

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A literary figure par excellence

By: Sadaket  Malik

The Missile Man of India, APJ Abdul Kalam, once said “We all are born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness”.

These lines of a great intellect of the time resonates with Abdul Rashid Fida, popularly known as Fida Kishtwari who was born in Kishtwar in the year 1932 and was a prominent figure whose life journey began with the ink of literary brilliance. His story is that of unwavering commitment to literature and passion for the art of expression.

Educated at the prestigious Jamia Urdu Aligarh University, Abdul Rashid Fida’s academic journey culminated with the attainment of Adeeb Kamil, laying the foundation for a life dedicated to the pursuit of literary excellence. The year 2003 marked a significant milestone in his literary journey as he wrote ”Fikar-e Natmam.” This debut publication not only showcased his literary finesse but also heralded the commencement of a remarkable voyage through the realms of creativity.

The golden years spanning from 1953 to 1974 bore witness to Abdul Rashid Fida’s impactful stewardship as the Secretary of Bazam e Adab Kishtwar. During this period, his intellectual acumen and dedication contributed significantly to the burgeoning literary scene, fostering a dynamic cultural environment in Kishtwar. His leadership played a pivotal role in shaping the literary community, leaving an indelible mark on literary history.

In the present moment, he acted as the President of Gulastan Adab Kishtwar, a position where he continues to be a guiding force, nurturing the creative spirit of aspiring writers and poets. His leadership in Gulastan Adab Kishtwar not only justify his profound love for literature but also emphasizes his commitment to creating a space where ideas can flourish and artistic expression can thrive.

Beyond the corridors of literary organizations, his legacy extends into his role as an active peace activist during the tumultuous ’90s. His commitment to societal causes, coupled with his literary contributions, elevated him to the status of a revered figure in the community.

With a view to acknowledge his literary achievements, the J&K Senior Citizens Council bestowed upon him the prestigious recognition in May 2011 as one of the distinguished writers of Kishtwar. This accolade serves as a lasting testament to his enduring impact on the literary panorama.

His life and work depicts the transformative power of literature, transcending time to leave an indelible mark in literature. His legacy continues to inspire budding writers, and his contributions are forever interwoven into the rich cultural fabric of Kishtwar—a celebration of a man whose words resonated with the profound richness of his soul.

Renowned for his poetic work, Fida Kishtwari had verses that match with the hearts of readers. His poetry, infused with the essence of Kashmiri culture, paints vivid landscapes of emotions, capturing the intricacies of human existence with a delicate touch.

In the lyrics of Fida Kishtwari, one finds echoes of love, the melancholy of separation, and the resilience of a community navigating the ebb and flow of time. His poetic expressions serve as a bridge connecting readers to the rich cultural heritage and emotional nuances of Kashmir.

Beyond the written word, his recitations bring his poetry to life, captivating audiences with the emotive power of his spoken verses. His performances resonate in the hearts of those who have had the privilege of experiencing the magic of his poetic recitals.

His significant role in various capacities, including Tehsil President, LPEF (Sampat), President of Hind Mazdoor Kisaan Panchayat HMKP (George Fernandes), Basic Member of Akhil Bharat Rachnatmakta Samaj J&K Chapter headed by Didi Nirmalla Deshpande.

His extensive involvement extended to being a member of the Association of People’s of Asia (APA) until 2008.

In addition to these roles, he actively participated in the J&K Senior Citizens Council for peace and Civil Rights from 2009 to 2012. Recognizing his literary prowess, Fida Kishtwari was honored in May 2011. he writers of Kishtwar by the Senior Citizens Council.

On the eve of 74th Independence Day, he was given recognition by the then Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, Rajinder Singh Tara. In a gesture of appreciation, DC Kishtwar, accompanied by senior officials of the District Administration, made a special visit to his residence at Gudhali Chowk kishtwar.

In a special progamme Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar personally presented a certificate, trophy, and a medal to Fida Kishtwar, acknowledging his exceptional contributions across various domains, with a particular focus on his commendable endeavors in Journalism. This felicitation served as a tribute to the unwavering commitment and meritorious services rendered by Fida Kishtwar over the years.

As a poet, his legacy is not confined to ink and paper; it is touched in the collective memory of a community that finds solace and inspiration in his verses. His poetry continues to be a source of inspiration, reflection, and a timeless celebration of the human spirit. In the flow of his words, Fida Kishtwari remains a poet par excellence, weaving the emotions that disseminate across generations. Fida kishtwari has left this world this week and is no more among the people.

The writer is a freelance columnist, linguist, writer, Educational consultant, Social Activist and cultural activist based in Jammu and Kashmir. He is a researcher on India’s educational policy parameters. He has more then 500 published works on education policy, culture, tourism. He authored two books “Cultural History and Heritage” and Indigenous languages of Doda Kishtwar and Ramban.

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