In-depth study of Kashmir’s Rich Cultural Heritage

O P Sharma
Name of the Book: Kathasatisagar ( In English)
Authors: Prof Raj Nehru & Dr C K Gariyali
Publishers : Prabhat Prakashan, Asif Ali Road,
New Delhi
Year : 2022
Pages: 280
Cost : Rs 600
This historical 280-pages book entitled ” Kathasatisagar” in English authored jointly by two eminent writers: Prof Raj Nehru, Vice Chancellor, Shri Vishwakarma Skill University, Govt of Haryana, the first Skill University of India and 6th rank in the world, Gurugram and Dr C K Gariyali, ex-IAS cadre officer, who served as Secretary to Tamil Nadu State Chief Minister, late Jaya Lalithaa, giving an authentic and graphic view of ancient Kashmir’s cultural heritage and traditions.
The book gives a glimpses of the land of Kashmir, and articulates ” about the reality of ancient Kashmir where the people belonging to different sects live peacefully and in co-existence. For centuries, education, culture and knowledge have been matter of reverence and honour that has produced great scientists, scholars and saints.
Objective Study
“Proud children of this land who carry with them the cultural heritage of Kashmir, its spiritual strength, urge for knowledge and search for truth , will be the harbingers of human hope. They will be the torch -bearers of respect for elders and teachers, universal love.” the writers argue vehementally.
This book has been dedicated to Raj Nehru’s father, Shri. Bal Krishan Nehru.
There are total of nine chapters covering different aspects of Kashmir’s life, spiritual values and cultural heritage. The chapters are : History, Culture and Ancient Kashmir; Buddhism in Kashmir; Temples and Sacred Places; Scholars, Sages and Kings; Festivals; Folk Tales ; Culture also; ” Women; the Shakti”; Exodus Stories giving detailed account of each and every aspect of Kashmir. Every chapter is very informative, instructive and makes absorbing reading for every sort of readership. It is worth time and attention.
Particularly, the “Forward” by Manohar Lal, Chief minister, Haryana, Chandigarh is distinguished by his in-depth knowledge and marked his writing skill about the proud cultural Heritage of Kashmir. It has both the insight and depth knowledge which adds to the objective and authoritative account of this book “Kathasatisagar”.
It is note-worthy that even after mass migration during 1990 ( not the first but some migrations have happened in the past too) but the Kashmiris have kept alive and maintained their cultural values , saved their language and traditions. They maintained their distinct cultural values; typical identity and dignity facing all odds boldly and tactfully. They have admirable instinct to face challenges in their own ways to live on upholding their values and unity.
Unique cultural co-existence
It may be added that this Dogra reviewer’s wife late Parmeshwari Karihuloo Sharma, was an educationist and social activist, holding MA( Political Science) and B Ed degrees, observed many Kashmiri and Dogra cultural rituals and observed many other customs and festivals in the family comprising son Rajnish Sharma and two daughters Mreenashi and Pratibha Tina could fairly understand Kashmiri language and traditions.
Glimpses of Cultural Heritage
I have deeply gone through this thoughtful book full of relevant information about the Kashmir’s cultural heritage, fairs, festivals , sacred places and ancient traditional rituals observed by the Kashmiri Hindu community. They hold strictly their traditions sacredly and proudly as their identity and easily adopt quality of facing all challenging through their intelligence as also power of suitable adjustment and accommodation in all conditions and situations. An admirable quality indeed !
This book entitled ” Kathasatisagar” co-written by two prominent Kashmir-born distinguished writers is mine of authoritative and objective account of life and culture of the past history of Kashmir and is worthy of reading giving a fresh peep into past period of Kashmir valley.
Must Read Book
While the book’s colourful title-page is at once good-looking, attractive with one ancient monument, the overall printing is fine on quality paper and moderately priced at Rs 600 only in the present time of high cost of printing, paper and other charges. The publishers of this work too deserve a good word for high grade work done !
I myself found the book both informative and interesting covering well known and also not-so-well- known aspects of beautiful Kashmir of yester-years. My only suggestion is that it should have covered Dogras’ rich cultural, spiritual and literary heritage too giving full account of Kashmir as well as Jammu region as both parts are now an integral part of the our country and readership spread all over the world. It could also be got translated in all Indian languages as also foreign languages.
I plead that everybody including political leaders, academicians, scholars, students or younger generation as well as all citizens must go through this book on historical and cultural heritage of Kashmir valley this book should be kept in all libraries and kept as our personal pride possession in our book-shelves and take view of our glorious cultural heritage and upkeep of proud past traditions .
(The author is Jammu-based journalist)