Aseer Kishtwari : A man of myriad tastes

Sadaket Ali Malik
Wali Mohmad Aseer Kishtwari is a renowned name in Kashmiri, Urdu literature and history of Jammu and Kashmir.
An iconic figure was born to Kh. Ghulam Qadir Batt Berwari at village Berwar kishtwar on 2nd of August 1954.
Groomed up in local schools like Islamia Faridia School, Kishtwar and M.L. Higher Secondary School Kishtwar. Graduated from Govt. Degree College, Bhaderwah in 1974. He did his MA in Urdu from University of Jammu and then he qualified KAS in the year 1977. He also served as teacher in Islamia Faridia High School, Kishtwar.
Later he was appointed as a District Treasury officer Doda and shared the responsibility as Chief Accounts Officer, District Fund Office, Doda.
In April 1999 he was posted as Deputy Director Accounts and Treasuries Jammu. He had served on an important position as Director General of Accounts.
During his educational career he actively participated in cultural programmes, and other competitions, seminars and debates. Being a student of Urdu he studied urdu literature and poetry. He took active part as a university student and his calibre was galvanized by the then state level writers, poets, artists and other people at the helm of affairs. He got associated with literary and cultural organizations of the Jammu and Kashmir and his skills got honed in these organisations. Besides poetry, Aseer was attracted to prose writing, reaserch, history, and literary criticism. The various literary organizations of the region paved him a way to groom himself and compile several works like compilation of the Kashmiri literature of his illustrious father- Changi Reh (The flame of the lamp).
Aseer Kishtwari remained actively associated with Faridiya Bazm-e-Adab, Doda the only literary organization named after Hazrat Shah Farid-ud-Din Baghdadi. Around 1986, Aseer attended several of its activities and became part of this literary forum which was established with a view to give boost to the literature and language, poetry and research.This organization started a series of holding poetic symposia and publications at local, state and national levels. During 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1989, poetic symposia were held on National Integration at All India level, in far flung District Doda attended by eminent poets from the state and the country. The programmes of the organization were managed by him along with other members of the Bazm.
Aseer Kashtwari is a man of integrity, and a hustorian rated high at the realm of literature. In literature he has attained a towering space among the country’s authors and writers. His historical work on the local history and cultural heritage like Tasveer Zila Doda in Urdu was firstly published in 1996, this book consists of 622 pages. As is evident from its name, “Tasveer-e-Zila Doda” is the exclusive political, socio-cultural and developmental history of the erstwhile Doda district, giving a vivid geographical background as well. The second edition of the same was brought out in 1997.The book is serving the needs of various scholars, researchers and other stakeholders.
His book “Focus on Jammu and Kashmir” recieved great attention of the pulsating posterity. The book was adjudged as the Best English Book of the year 2007 by The J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. Four editions of this book have been published since 2002. It gives the latest, comprehensive and documented political, social and cultural history of the J&K state including areas under the occupation of Pakistan and China. The fourth and the latest edition contains 1768 pages, which covers various events up to June 2011.
Aseer Kashtwari has several books to his credit and is acting as a research guide for the research scholars and other stakeholders. His book ‘Tareekh-e-Auliya-e-Jammu wa Kashmir’, was chosen as the Best Urdu Book of 2015 and received state Award from J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages. In the book he has introduced more than 400 Awliyas with their shrines located in different parts of the State including Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and across the Line of Control (LoC) as well. The 848-page book, published in 2013, is an authentic document on Sufism in state of J&K and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
His another Kashmiri book “Jamis Manz Kashir Zaban-O-Adab (Tawareekh Te Tanqeed) recieved Sahitya Akadmi Award for the year 2020.
His other works include Zilla Doda ki Adabi Shinakhat (Literary identity of Doda District) was Published in the year 1993, it carries write ups on the Chenab valley’s history, culture and literature. This book contains 495 pages in which the light has been thrown on local poets and their literary contributions. Other books include Tareekh-i-Ishat-i-Islam, Farsh-e-Gul, Jamme-Subhik Kaeshir Kalamkar, Yaad-e-Nadeem, Safr-e-Harmain, Zikr-O-Fiqr, Jamis-Te-Kashir Manz Kashir Zabban-O-Adab (History & Criticism), Monograph of Nishat Kishtwari, Monograph on Janbaaz Kishtwari, Nishat Kishtwar (Monography).
Besides, this he wrote so many articles, reviewed different type of books, wrote foreword in Kashmiri, Urdu and English languages. His books are citied by the local, national and international historians, researchers and even recommended in the scholarly circles.
A man of myriad tastes, Aseer Kashtwari is heading many social and literary organizations like President of Jammu and Kashmir Urdu Forum, General Secretary, Rasa-Javadani Memorial Literary Society Jammu, Press and Finance Secretary, Koushur Markazi-Adabi forum Jammu, Founder Member of Challant Cultural Forum Kishtwar and Faridia Bazam-e-Adab, Doda.
Awards :
Asser Kishtwar received the Rashtriya Gaurav Award from India International Friendship Society, for his meritorious services. The award was presented to him by Dr. Bishma Naraian Singh, former Union Minister and Governor. He has received Gandhi Peace Award, Rasa Javedani Literary Award, Vitasta Award, Urdu Award and Best Book Award of J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages for the year 2015.
Award of J&K Urdu Forum Jammu, Urdu Award of M.A. Urdu (Professional) Jammu University, Best Book Award (English) 2006 by J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. The Best Citizens of India Award 2010 by International Publishing House New Delhi and J&K State Award 2011 for excellence in the field of literature on the occasion of Republic Day. Aseer has several articles and research papers to his credit and has been widely published in the newspapers and magazines. This is a proud moment that this year too Aseer’s work has been adjudged by the jury for this prestigious Sahitya Academy Award 2021 for his indelible literary criticism “Tawazun”. This will inspire the budding writers to emulate.