‘Be honest in mind & actions’

Men and Matter

Prof Nilamber Dev Sharma, a renowned Dogri writer, former Secretary, Cultural Academy and recipient of Padam Shri honour, is still making significant contribution to literature and culture.
In a wide-ranging interview at his residence, Prof. Sharma looked back to his life with a sense of satisfaction and with humility stated: “I feel happy that my services to society and literature in general and my mother-tongue. I Dogri in particular has been given due recognition”.
Asked how he felt about the attainments , Prof Sharma said that he always cherishes the memories, sweet and soar, with a sense of pride. In fact, the title of his autobiography in Dogri is ” Chete Kish Khate, Kish Mithe” ( Memories: Sweet & Sour”) which portrays his life in literary, social, cultural and political spheres.
Sweet Memories
Fondly remembering the great moments of his life, Prof Nilamber Sharma made mention of the President of India conferring on him the honour of Padam Shri at a glittering ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan during April, 2011. He recalled that two other eminent persons from Jammu and Kashmir to get the Civilian honour were Rajinder Singh Pawar, Chairman, NIIT, a global computer network organization was awarded Padam Bhushan while Dr Riyaz Punjabi, former Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University got Padam Shri in the national capital, New Delhi.
Prof Sharma spoke touchingly of his contribution to all the languages of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the projection and promotion of our unique cultural heritage as the Secretary of J&K State Cultural Academy. He talked of promotion of Dogri and Kashmiri and other main regional languages as well.
Doing One’s Duty
Talking about his life-time achievements, he said though he was pleased about the work done so far but had a feeling that something more could have been attained. He hastened to add ” I was doing my Karma without expecting fruit of my efforts and I am still continuing to do my duty with renewed vigour”.
Reminiscing his long association with literature, Padam Shri awardee said that he has great attachment to literature and rich cultural heritage particularly State’s folk-tales and folk-music. He made special mention of seven volumes of this rich cultural heritage published during his tenure as Secretary of J&K State Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. However, he stressed the need for their preservation and further promotion as also upkeeping of their notations and tunes in original forms. He was also President Dogri Sansthan tasked for promotion and projection of Dogri and Duggar culture.
Honesty Pays Dividends
Answering a question, Prof. Sharma claimed ” I am have done my bit for my people as also to literature and culture of this part of the country.
On his happiest moments, he observed ” my life has been running on an even keel and recollected that lot many people including my friends, relatives and others invariably helped me in performing my work well”. I was happist on the culmination of struggle for recognition of Dogri and its inclusion in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India”, he opined..
Born on October 6, 1931 to Pt Madam Mohan and Parmeshwari at Jammu, Nilamber Dev after gradation from GGM College, Jammu did Master’s degree in English Literature from Hindu College, Delhi during 1950;. He first served for a brief period in Kairana (U.P.) and then joined Government Gandhi Memorial College, Jammu in 1953 as Lecturer in English.
Eventful Life
Later, Prof. Sharma was deputed to J&K State Academy of Art, Cultural and Languages in 1961 and subsequently posted as its Secretary. During his tenure, the Academy opened its regional office at Leh and he gave boost to literary and cultural activities. He left the job and tried his luck in the elections from Jammu seat but could not succeed.
Married to Chanchal Bagotra in 1967, his one son, Shalendra Sharma is with a MNC at Doha in Qatar while the other son Jatinder Sharma is Manager in J&K Bank. Prof Sharma claimed he always stood up against dowry system, female foeticide and other social evils and actively associated with the Global Gandhi Family as a firm believer in Gandhian philosophy
His word to the budding Dogri writers is to be honest to one’s ownself and in their creative works as well. He called upon them to enrich the literature and always adopt honesty in their works and keep wide-open windows to fresh ideas and adopt new technological tools and modern means for fast-track growth. He pleaded for infusion of modern methods with our time-tested moral values.
Elaborating his viewpoint, he stated “the old persons live in their past, the youth live in the present while the child lives in the future” and stressed the necessity of making the young generation the focal point for popularizing our mother tongue in our daily life.


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