Cultural Round-up 2022

Dr Manoj
Sita Ram Sapolia

Lalit Gupta
More than two years later the unprecedented shock of the Pandemic continues to serve as backdrop to everyday life. People everywhere have adjusted their routines to this new reality. In this readjustment scenario, new discernable cultural trends have also emerged.
These include a return to traditions as many feel that globalization has led to the loss of local traditions. In Bharata, the trend towards localization has a fillip with the present government prioritizing self-reliance. In Jammu and Kashmir, there is a welcome emphasis on commercial showcasing of artifacts which are also markers of the identity of different ethnic communities and sub-cultures.
The other major trend impacting our lives is the changed relationship with physical space. The impact of lockdown restrictions has forced people to spend more time online. The physical world is now competing with the virtual world. Also labeled as the metaverse-it is a shared virtual space where people explore new possibilities of expressions; create new identities and novel techniques of interaction with each other.

Bharat Singh

The art and culture practitioners and litterateurs are excited by the newly found freedom away from the shackles of physical limitations of spaces and people. They are exploring new digital narratives and identities. But this has also raised many ethical issues as unchecked multinational corporate houses with unbridled access to the virtual world are slowly but silently influencing our tastes and choices. We are on the cusp of a socio-cultural revolution, the future course of which is anybody’s guess.
Before giving an overview of the annual cultural scenario, let us pay homage to well known personalities who sailed into sunset such as Dogri writers and poets Dr Manoj and Sita Ram Sapolia
Awards and Honours: This year’s Padmashree award was bestowed upon Dogra Icon and Sanskrit Scholar Vishwamurti Shashtri, for his contribution to literature and education. The national Sahitya Akademi Award was conferred upon eminent Dogri scholar/ writer Prof Veena Gupta in the genre of Dogri drama for her book ‘Chhe Roopak’. Earlier, she was also honored with Sauhard Samman by Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, Lucknow.
Dogri/Hindi poet/writer Dr Nirmal Vinod was honoured with Sahitya Akademi Translation award for Dogri translation of Ruskin Bond’s short stories ‘Our trees Still Grows in Dehara’ as ‘Dehra Ch Ajj Bi Ugde N Saame Boohte’. Sahitya Akaemi’s Yuva Puruskar went to to Ashu Sharma for Dogri short stories book ‘Kathputli’. Young prolific writer of Dogri, Hindi and English Rajeshwar Singh Raju got Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar for his children’s short stories book ‘Sikh-Matt’. His new books in Hindi include Hamsafar, Aao Vartman Savaren, Ateet Gouravmay Tha, Khitiz Paas Hai Nahin Bhi, and Dogri poetry Tukke.

Ramalo Ram

Bhasha Sumbli has been selected for Sangeet Natak Akademi Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2021 for her contribution in Theatre direction. Prof Ram Nath Shastri Memorial Award-2022 was given to poet Ashok Ambar, Dinu Bhai Pant Award was conferred upon eminent Dogri writers Om Goswami, and Dhian Singh . Ramesh Mehta Award 2022, was given to Ghazal singer-poet-composer, Sham Sajan and writer-painter-cultural critic-journalist, Jang S. Verman. Maharaja Gulab Singh Award 2022, was given to Padamshree Jatinder Udhampuri . J&K Union Territory Life Time Award was given to eminent writer/scholar in Dogri/Hindi Padamshree Shiv Nirmohi.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government Awards, 2022, were conferred upon K.D. Maini noted Pahari writer, Satish Vimal renowned writer /poet, Ramalo Ram, Dogri folk singer/dancer, and Sardar Inder Singh, Chairman, Himalayan Heritage Museum, Jammu. Pradeep Dutta, Bureau Chief, Times Now, Jammu, was awarded in the category of Outstanding Media Person. State’s Republic Day Tableaux: Creatively designed and presented by leading contemporary artist Veer ji Munshi, the State’s Tableaux won the third best award in Republic Day Parade-2021 at New Delhi.

Dhian Singh

Cultural scenario of Jammu in the current year failed to find the pre-Corona jest and rhythm. Altering of the constitutional mandate and structure of autonomous institution such as J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL) to a Society, under the plea of reforms by the UT administration and hastily implemented by all knowing babus on transit postings has led to disruption of Academy’s regular activities in different art fields and publications programs in all the Six Schedule languages of J&K. The Academy, which has been unable to hold representative and flagship events like annual drama festival, annual art exhibition, painters/ sculptor and writers camps and give away coveted Academy’s annual awards in different fields, successfully implemented and held a number of centrally sponsored schemes and mega events. Under the overall supervision of Bharat Singh, JKAS, Secretary, Academy’s highlights are Cultural Programme at the 25th NCeG, Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Talent Hunt Competition, Poetry Festival, Music Festival, Scheme for the Promotion of Traditional & Cultural Festivals, Har Ghar Tiranga Campaign, Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Programme, Cultural Festivals at Major Tourist Destinations, Cultural Programmes at Mansar and Surinsar, Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan, My Town My Pride, Cultural Evenings during Amarnath Yatra-2022, Jashn-e-Dogra Virasat, et al. The above programs were organized through Academy’s Central office, Jammu division sub-offices and offices at Doda, Rajouri and Kathua.
Films: Due to UT Government’s new film policy, not only J&K is reemerging as a choice destination for film shootings by producers from Bollywood and other centers, but there is also an enthusiastic response from local professional and armature film makers to produce quality feature and short films that measure up to the standards of international and

Om Goswami

national festivals. Holding of more such film festivals by NGOs, army and other agencies surely will encourage the local film makers to produce films which are artistic takes upon the local and glocal socio-cultural realities of contemporary life. The UT Government needs to set up attractive awards and a Film Finance Corporation to support talented film makers on the pattern of artistically inclined states such as Assam, Kerala, Bengal amd Maharashtra.
This year’s achievers in the film field include local film maker Jayesh Gupta whose Hindi Feature Film ‘Kyu’ got the award for ‘Best Social Film’ in the Karnataka International Film Festival. Rahat Kazami and Tairq Khan, the award winning film makers from Surankot,

Jayesh Gupta

apart from shooting films in J&K, were instrumental in organizing recently concluded film festival ‘Dil mange More at Udhampur’. Theatre actor/director Aditya Bhanu’s Dogri Feature Film “Aaun Aan Shinda” was released in Jammu and still running in Katra. His short films got honourable mentions in national film festivals. Sudesh Verma, senior film maker of J&K, directed documentary film on late Pran Kishore Kaul for Sahitya Akademi New Delhi, and number of short film and documentaries for various Government agencies.
Written, produced and directed by Baljit Singh Raina, Hindi feature film ‘Funtassiyan’ got Best Story Feature Film Award from Lensfame International Film Festival in 2022. He also a Punajbi film Punjabi Meri Jind Jaan. Cinematographer Sameer Sharma contributed by filming number of feature and short films. Senior theatre actor/director, Mushtaq Kak gave powerful performances in Sony Liv’s web series Taanaav and short films Zufash, ansd awaerd winning Mission Performances. His coming series are Gadar-2 & Tejas.

Prof Veena Gupta

SANSKRIT: Under campaign to promote Sanskrit learning and literature in Jammu. Shri Kailakh Jyotish evam Vedic Sansthan Trust, Ban Talab, Trust President, Mahant Rohit Shastri, flagged off the Mobile Sanskrit Gurukul as part of the mission “Grame Grame Sanskrit”- teaching of Sanskrit in every village. The Traders Association of Jammu Warehouse also decided to use Sanskrit for a day in daily business by writing bills in Sanskrit.
DOGRI: Dogri received shot in arm with inclusion in the school curriculum and starting of the Post Graduate Course in Dogri at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU). Under leadership of Padamshree R.K. Sinha, VC and Nagendra Singh, Registrar, SMVDU, has emerged as a strong centre for the promotion of varied aspects of local culture and language. Dogri translation of the Indian Constitution by Prof. Archana Kesar, Yashpaul Nirmal, Nirmal Vikram and Prakash Premi was this year’s notable addition in the corpus of modern Dogri literature. Dogri Novels: This year three Dogri novels published are Inderjeet Kesar’s ‘Nimitt’, Shailendra Singh’s ‘Kurban-Bast’ and Tara Danpuri’s ‘Khandit Murti’.

Dr Nirmal Vinod

Dogri Sanstha, headed by Prof Lalit Magotra, held online kavi, kahani and multi language kahani goshthis, special programs on Ved Rahi, Dinu Bhai Pant, Prof. Ram Nath Shastri. Sanstha released Jagdeep Dubey’ short stories Titlian, plays Vikarn, Promila Manhas’s poetry Phullen Ladoyee Raat Rani, Shiv Dibolia’s essays Haye Budapa, Santosh Sangra’s essays Koham, Prof. Shashi Pathania’s essays Dogri Lok Sahitya Te Dogra Sanskriti, poetry Return Gift. Sanstha organized Dogri Maanta Divas festival and honoured with Dogri Sanstha Samman renowned Dogri writers/poets/scholars and activists like Madan Gopal Padha, Shiv Mehta, Sudesh Raj, Usha Kiran ‘Kiran’, Randhir Singh Raipuria, Janak Khajuria, Suraj Singh, Preeti Dubey and Surinder Sagar.
Sahitya Akademi: D. K. Vaid’s (Darshan Darshi)tenure as Convener, Sahitya Akademi’s Advisory Board of Dogri will be remembered for taking to rural communities the flagship progra

Bhasha Sumbli

ms of the Akademi in order to create awareness and involvement of the real stakeholders. The Sahitya Akademi programs included Gramlok, People & Books with Nagendra Singh Jamwal, Registrar SMVDU, Vyakti te Kriti with senior journalist Jorawar Singh Jamwal.
Duggar Manch: Under the aegis of Dogri’s renowned poet Mohan Singh, Manch released newly published Dogri books, held kavi darbars and celebrated Madhukar Day. Nami Dogri Sanstha also held a number of literary and book release functions. Dogri writer Yashpal Nirmal, got awards from local and outside literary bodies for his books like Aao Khushiyan Bantein, and Dogri poetry book entitled 1008 Dogri Haiku. His Dogri Children Novel “Chhuttiyan” has been translated and published in Hindi, English, Bhojpuri, Odia, Bangla, Rajsthani, Gujrati, Nepali, Marathi, Telugu, Bodo, Maithili, Magahi, Kumauni etc. Languages. Dogri poet and broadcaster Naseeb Singh

Satish Vimal

Manhas represented Dogri in Sahitya Akademi & Ministry of Culture GOI’s International Lit Fest, at Shimla. Meri Mitra Mandli: Ek Sahitiyik Kranti (MMM), a literary organization dedicated to Dogri, organized ‘Mandliyan’ series of literary programs in remote areas, distributed prizes to the young winners of Bholiyan Shaklan Mitthe Bol, MMM also held workshops for Kishore Mandlians and Bal Mandlians.
HINDI: Hindi’s literary corpus was enriched by Kshama Kaul with her new Hindi Novel ‘Moorti Bhanjan’, and Hindi translation of Rakesh Kaul’s English Novel as ‘Kashmir ki Antim Maharani Kota Rani’. Dr Agnishekhar published two poetry anthologies ‘ Mein Lal Ded’ and ‘Hum Jalawatan’, a Hindi translation of 59 Contemporary Exiled Kashmiri poets. Prof Ashok Kumar released his Hindi book ‘Jammu Kashmir ki Hindi Kavita’. Talented poetess and writer Aruna Sharma’s two books Kitna Kuch Ankha and Meel Pathar Hindi, a translation of Dogri short stories of Bandhu Sharma were released by Jammu Kashmir Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti. The Samiti under the leadership of Prof Bharat Bhushan Sharma, general secretary, held seminar on Swadhinta Sangram Aur Hindi Sahitya, at Kathua, Hinditer

Pradeep Dutta

Bhashi Hindi Nav Lekhak Shivirs at Leh and Jammu, Hindi Diwas programs in different schools, symposium on Nai Shiksha Niti 2020 Aur Bhartiya Bhashain at Udhampur. It also released C L Sharma’s ‘Suvichar Chintan’. Hindi Sahitya Mandal, concluded its Platinum Jubilee celebrations with publication of magazine Madhurima, and a special issue to commemorate the 75th birthday of late Ramesh Mehta. Mandal also bestowed Ramesh Mehta awards and gave away the late Tej Bhan Gulati Annual Award for emerging Hindi Writers to young Hindi poet Naresh Khajuria and Bharat Amrit Utsav Hindi Sewa Samman to writers-cum-past Presidents; Dr Priytam Chandra Shastri, Dr Virendra Gupt, Dr Nirmal Vinod, Prof Kiran Bakshi, Dr Raj Kumar and writer-composer Brij Mohan. A book of satire by Dr Monojit was also released.
URDU: The fast happening changes in the socio-cultural spheres affecting the linguistic ecology in general, has put Urdu, the once har-dil azeez language, at back foot. A few literary organizations and a select number of poets and writers scattered in the region are involved in creating contemporary expression in prose and poetry. Balraj Bakshi, the Udhampur based sentinel of Urdu started publication of first quarterly Urdu literary journal Zubaan O Bayaan. He released his poetry collection ‘Mitti Kay Mausam’ and ‘Aasaniyat’, a

Veer ji Munshi

collection of Urdu nouns and verbs. Jammu based Anjuman Farogh-e-Urdu felicitated recipients of Sahitya Akademi Awards and paid tribute to Arsh Sehbai on his first death anniversary. The Jammu University’s Dept. of Urdu apart from its academic mandate and running professional courses also organized a number of literary programs.
Punjabi Lekhak Jammu organized regular monthly literary meets, released books in Punjabi by Harjit Singh Uppal’s ‘Shabdan De Sur Panchhi’, M S Kaamra, Dr. Monojit’s Punjabi Novel “Ikk Naal Ikk Free” and collection of satires “Danda Ooncha Rahe Hamata” (Hindi), Jang S. Verman’s poems ‘Na Vazan Na Behar, Eh Tan Man Di Lehar’, Manjeet Singh Kamra’s Punjabi Poetry collection ‘Boond Banegi Sagar’, ‘Katha de Vehre Choun’, short stories and ‘Harbhajan Singh Sagar Di

Sham Sajan

Sahitak Drishti’ edited by Popinder Singh. JKAACL’s Punjabi wing published ‘Sada Sahit- Kahani Ank’ edited by Popinder Singh Paras, Jammu Kashmir Di Punjabi Kahani” Edited by Navdeep Kaur, Pritam Singh Anjaan’s collection of stories Muavza and collection of articles ‘Knoj’, Bhupinder Singh Raina’s novels Nadi Te Naari , Paap Di Pand , Benaam Rishtey ( Hindi Translation ) and poetry collections Ret Te Pairhan , Raktim Taandav ( Hindi ). Ratan Singh Kanwal’s Ujedte Lamhoon ki Khetiyan (Collection of Urdu Afsanay) and Darad Chinaroon ka, Hindi translation of Punjabi Kahaniyan. Randheer Kour, scholar/writer and assistant professor Punjabi, with the active support of Principal Anuradha Pundoh, Government Degree College, Bishnah, successfully organized a six month certificate course to Learn Punjabi Through Popular Experiences: Songs, Poetry and Folk Literature.
Kashmiri: Literary NGO, Samprati, released R.L Shant’s two short story collections in English translation The Song of the Sheenpipin, translation by eight different translators

Jang S. Verman

including the author and Rupture- a translation of Shant’s Sahitya Akademi award winning book Tshen by Javed Iqbal, Kashmir University, Balkrishan Sanyasi’s ‘The Chronicles of Kashmir: Biography of Amarnath Vaishnavi, and Kashmiri book of critical essays Sonchi Sodur. Amar Malmohi’s Rood Saeri Varak-Kashmiri poems, Byan Tshen Te Bavath, Socio-literary study of holocaust of minorities in Kashmir. Vinod Kaul’s book of Kashmiri poems Gaash, poetry collection in Kashmiri in Nastaliq and Devnagri scripts. Ashok Khamosh’s Hindi poems titled Yeh Gali Mere Ghar Ko Jjati Thi. Nagrad Adbi Sangam held a mushaira. Nagrad Adbi Sangam and Samparati in Jammu held a seminar on ‘Feasibility and Importance of Devnagri as an additional alternative script for Kashmiri’ and sent appeals to the government and JK Cultural Academy. R L Shant was honoured with the Harmony Award for Life’s Achievement. Kishtawari: Well known writer from Kishtwar, Kewal Krishan Sharma, released his latest book; Comprehensive Study of Kishtwari and Nav Bharat Nirman.
Visual Arts: With Prof Shohab Inayat Malik as incharge Principal, The Institute of Music &

Mushtaq Kak

Fine Arts, University of Jammu, organized a number of workshops and programs, and showcased the works of young student/artists during its Annual Day Function and an Art Exhibition. During the music program, the students of IMFA performed classical items like Tabla, Sitar, Violin & vocal items as well as Kathak Dance.Ravinder Jamwal, the well known sculptor, created statues of Maharaja Gulab Singh ji forn Lakhanpur, Justice Mehar Chand at Janipur chowk, Bust of Mehar Chand and large statue of Thakur Baldev Singh for Hirangar. He presented a fiber statue of Honourable Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi ji at Palli on National Panchayati Raj Day. He organized a Three- Day Installation Sculptors Camp at his The Dhruva- Satya- Studio Atelier at Birpur. Milan Sharma, the senior visual artist, participated in national group shows and painting workshops. Prof Sanjay Sharma participated in India Art Fest at Bengaluru. Well known painter Suman Gupta, participated in national, international exhibitions and art camps. K K Gandhi, held solo show at Jahangir Art gallery Mumbai besides major group shows in Delhi & Hyderabad, participated in art camps/ symposia, workshops and gave live demos at

Priya Dutta

Chitkara University, world university of Design, Kannada University. Jang S. Verman, participated in international and national exhibitions. He contributed weekly pages on Art & Culture to Jammu’s English daily, Ganesh Kumar Sharma, well known Sculptor has been awarded with certificates and awards for his participation in International Online Art Exhibitions. NGO Jammu & Kashmir Centre for Creative Arts organized many art & cultural activities like International Online Art Exhibitions, National Art Exhibitions at Amritsar and Dehradun. Three major art events held in memory of Late (Smt.) late Gobind Kour, Contemporary Woman Sculptor of Jammu. The Viraj Kala Kendra also held art exhibitions and camps etc.
Cartoons: Well-known cartoonist Chander Shekhar organized caricature exhibition as tribute to Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma ji, exhibition of 72 cartoons on 72nd Birthday of Shri Narinder Modi, exhibition of cartoons in University of Jammu on National Cartoonist Day. He participated and organized an International exhibition held at IGCIC, Mauritius by leading cartoonists of India. Manoj Chopra, famous Cartoonist, won first prize in the National level

Ashu Sharma

competition by Cartoon Watch and Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board under UN environment programme. He was ranked second at the national level cartoon competition on World Cartoonist Day organized by the Department of Culture, Chhattisgarh.
Kathak: As a performing artist and teacher in-charge of the Jammu University’s Department of Dance, IMFA, Priya Dutta, has rejuvenated the practice of Kathak in the summer capital by organizing a series of public performances. Her group Nrityanjali is a sought after platform by old and young hobbyists to groom and hone their dance talent.
Theatre: With J&K Cultural Academy’s failing to hold annual theatre fest and its theatre initiative reduced to one Spring Theatre Fest only, the local groups kept the theatre scene ticking. Natrang, held shows of ‘Bawa Jitto’, ‘Mata Ki Kahani’, Balwant Thakur’s Parvaaz and screened ‘Gulab Gaatha’. It produced a new play ‘Uncrowned King’ based on the life of Sahitiya Akademi awardee poet Kunwar Viyogi, organized Children’s Theatre Camp and

Rajeshwar Singh Raju

staged new play ‘Pollution Ka Solution’. Duggar Manch, staged Mohan Singh’s Dogri Play `Gummat Maidan 1808′ at SMVDU. Rangyug, under eminent theatre personality Deepak Kumar held Theatre workshops and staged street plays. Natraj Natya Kunj organized a number of workshops and studio performances. Rajneesh Gupta, released Hindi book ‘Taandav’- a collection of stage plays. Samooh Theatre, with Ravinder Sharma as director, staged plays like Dakghar, Manoj Sheri’s Kashmiri play ‘Ghar Devta’, and Epilogue. It staged Dozakh, based on Shakespeare’s Othello in the National Theatre festival at Bikaner. Vikram Sharma, senior theatre artiste was awarded at 9t h Komal and VK Pahuja Theatre Festival as eminent Writer Director from J&K for adaptation of Tagor’s play Chitra. Sumeet Sharma, conducted theatre workshops under the newly launched ‘Training Outreach Programme’ of Department of Students Welfare, University of Jammu. King C Bharti, acted in a number of

Padamshree Jatinder Udhampuri

Kashmir plays. Ishu Bharati Pandit, child actor, acted in Docu Drama ‘Comrade Dhanwantri’. Mohit Mehra, the award winning theatre artiste, organized a month long theatre workshop/ Dogri play Kunju Chanchlo written by N.D. Jamwal, directed by Sandeep Verma got selected in 22nd Bharat Rang Mahotsav organized by National School of Drama. Hill Thespian staged Shiv Mehta’s Sainskaar, designed and directed by Sunil Sharma in spring theatre festival. Santosh Sangra, senior theatre actor, enacted the role of Indira Gandhi in six shows of Azadi Ka Amrit Utsav and also in Rajneesh Gupta’s play Visarjan, performed at Calcutta for Navratri Mahotsav. Amateur Theatre Group, with Mushtaq Kak as mentor, held shows of play Lamoh ki Mulaqat, based on Krishan Chnader’s Urdu stories, dramatized by Uma Jhunjhunwala, in drama fest at Jabalpur, Bhopal. Kak also designed and directed ‘Shanker Shesh’s ‘Aadhi Ke Raat Ke Baad’.
Dogre Akkhar, the Facebook group, has done a great job for netizens by providing a computer friendly version of Takri, the script of Dogri. The group’s dedication to focus upon

K.D. Maini

cultural highpoints of Dogra Culture is admirable. Manthan, the online lecture series on performing arts of Bharata, conceptualized by Dr. Bharat Bhushan Head, Department of Music, Girdari Lal Dogra Memorial GDC, Hiranagar, came out as a welcome initiative. Duggar Choir, his other initiative of immense cultural value has drawn younger generations to the wealth of folk music. Duggar Choir is performing in a national event organized by Sangeet Natak Akademi.
Amar Mahal Museum Complex, Jammu, is going to hold three day ‘The Tawi festival of Art and Ideas’ in Feb 2023. Conceptualized by Dr Jyotsna Singh, Director Amar Mahal Museum, and put together by a team of artists, art historians, heritage experts and litterateurs from the region, this innovative festival shall be a progressive effort to celebrate creativity, inclusiveness, tradition and modernity by bringing an eclectic amalgamation of art, music, culture, literature and stimulating ideas.
The Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums, has revitalized the Dogra Art Museum which in its new premises is attracting a large number of visitors. To create awareness about J&K’s rich heritage, the Dept. organized World Heritage Day, International Museum Day, Iconic Week, and World Heritage Week. The Dept. also took up a large number of restoration/ renovation works for 18 heritage sites in Jammu province.
Kirpal Singh, the heritage warrior, has started publication of folders on Dogra festivals, rituals and customs. He has voluntarily conducted 100 heritage walks in Mubarak Mandi

Inder Singh

Complex. Anil Pabha, the founder of Amar Santosh Museum at Udhampur, and co-convener of INTACH chapter Udhampur, has been invited by Union Minister in the Parliamentary Affairs and MoS in the Ministry of Culture, GoI, to showcase his collection of rare artifacts at Kala Kendra, New Delhi.
Intach: Jammu Chapter, with S. M. Sahni, former Director Tourism, as Convener, has successfully completed conservation of religious structures at Bhamyal, on Traditional Vaishno Devi Ji route. It held a photo-exhibition Purmandal-Utterbehni listed Heritage temples corridor & water bodies, during the visit of Prime Minister to Palli Panchayat. It has started conservation of Sat Narayan Temple and Ram ji Temple at Panjtirthi, Jammu, physics/chemistry block of GGM Science College. It organized heritage walks at monuments of Reasi District, Suchet Garh and Akhnoor and held workshops on endangered crafts, making agarbattis out of sacred flowers, preparing Pooja material hamper/baskets, ethnic foods.
Tree Talk: Sahitya Akademi Awardee, former IFS officer Om Vidyarthy’s, weekly Tree Talks has completed twelve years of nature interpretation (1280 sessions). His notable publications of the year include ‘Jungle Jaiv-vividhta’, ‘Sacred groves of Jammu & Kashmir’.
Amazing Jammu: Journalist Harry Walia’ group forced the Ministry of Culture, GOI, to

Shakti Pathak

cancel a private cultural event ‘Asikni’ when the region’s misrepresentation in the same was pointed out in the group and had prompted a national outrage.
Vishwasthali: Founded by Shakti Pathak, with members like Jagdish Brahmi and others, the NGO, after decades of struggle has succeeded in revival of the endangered Basohli School of Painting, as it stands included in education system and also the Skill Development Course at Jammu University. NGOs achievements include establishment of an Art Gallery, Museum cum Painting Exhibition Centre, issuance of postal stamps and GI Tagging in near future, and holding of regular workshops.