JAMMU, Jan 28: A three days international seminar, organized by the Department of History, University of Jammu, in collaboration with the Voice of the Dogras, a London based organization , on “Regional Identities of Jammu and Kashmir with special reference to Doagras”, was inaugurated by the JU Vice Chancellor, Prof R D Sharma.
Manu Khajuria from the Voice of Dogras, in her speech, pointed out that even though Dogras have contributed immensely in the making of syncratic space in the region and beyond, their history in a systematic manner still remains unexplored. “Even what ever little literature that exists today does not have a wider geographical reach. As a result the vice of Dogras is not represented properly at a larger level of academic discourse,” she said and emphasis the earnest need for exploration of the history of the Dogras and also its inclusion at levels of school education.
Major Gen Govardhan Singh Jamwal, in his address, elaborated how Maharaja Gulab Singh was instrumental in stitching three historically and culturally diverse region into one political entity known as the State of Jammu and Kashmir. “The efforts of the Maharaja and his able General not only brought into existence one of the territorially the largest State but also people drawn from diverse cultural and geographical background.,” he said. However, he was at pain to state that the glorious achievements of Maharajas and his Generals are little known and the same is the case of the history of the culture of Dogras.
In her brief remarks by Inspector Shakti Devi, she narrated personal experience of her tenure in Afghanistan and said that the region, she belonged to, is hardly known outside and therefore this points to the necessity of dissemination of knowledge on Dogras beyond the boundary of the State.
In his presidential remarks, Prof R D Sharma pointed out the necessity of the larger production and dissemination of the history and culture of the Dogras. He argued for a vigorous engagement on the part of those engaged in the teaching and research with the history of the Dogras and its pluralistic culture and its integration into the academic history curriculum at various levels of education. He expressed his hope that the deliberation of the seminar would contribute to an understanding of the scholarship pertaining to the theory, history, and practice of writing historical narrative of Jammu region and be instrumental in generating informed knowledge of the history and culture of the Dogra region.
Earlier, Prof Jigar Mohammed said that the idea behind the seminar is to sensitize those who are engaged in the realm of academic and research on the issue of identity formation and the making of the cultural mooring of the state and wider dissemination of proper knowledge of the Jammu region.
Vote of thanks was presented by Prof Suman Jamwal.
In the technical sessions, papers were presented.