Fayaz Farooqi, IG Police, presently posted at Bagha border, is a classic case of someone who while successfully fulfilling the requirements of demanding career, has also been listening to the calling of muse and penning down poetry in Urdu.
The writer of poetic gems like “Ghar Jo Bharna Ho To Rishvat Se Bhi Bhar Jajta Hai, Magar Iss Se Duaon Ka Asar Jata Hai / Ik Ajab Daur ki, Dastar Bachana Mushkil, Aur, Is Ko Jo Bachataa Hoon, Sir Jata Hai”, Fayaz Farooqi, is a well known name in Jammu’s literary and social circles. A regular invitee in local mushairas, Farooqi is one of the promising young poets of our times.
Summing up the nature of poetry, Farooqi says that an object that after soaking up all the seven colors of the sunlight, throws back a color which is construed as its true optic character, similarly the happenings in the society when lit the mental faculties of a person, he soaks it entirely and returns it in an en-lightened form which can be called as his very own.
If that person happens to be of poetic temperament, he returns back a light in form of his poetic expression bound or breaking the rules of Kafia (the second line of all the couplets must end with the same word/s) and Radif (identically repeated end-refrain), starts shining.
The significance of his latest anthology of his Urdu poems titled ‘Thoda Sa Mein’, transcribed in Devnagari script is twin fold. One is that it presents before the readers his latest poems in bulk. And the other is that his poetry transcribed in Devnagari script will be extremely helpful to people who know Urdu but who cannot read the Urdu script along with large constituency of Hindi speakers who do not know Urdu but are interested in what Urdu literature has to offer. The footnotes at the bottom of the each page of the book, explaining meanings of Urdu words makes it easy for Hindi readers to connect with his poems.
The antiquity of Gujjars as an ancient race is a fact known from a number of historic references, numismatic and other evidences. Gujjars in olden times were a martial race and ruled large parts of north and western India. Many place-names beginning or ending with word Gurjar or Gujjar found all over the sub-continent reflect upon their territorial influence of this race upon all over the sub-continent.
Today marked by a distinct culture and life style as the ethnic group which mainly eke out livelihood as shepherds, cattle breeders and dealers of milk and its products, Gujjars are found settled mainly in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and other states.
In course of time Gujjars, mainly those in J&K converted to Islam but continued to live life as pastoralists and cattle breeders who migrate to upper reaches in summer and come down to plains during winter. With changing times, especially the unfortunate militancy in J&K which disrupted the age-old nomadic practice has brought in a fundamental shift in the life styles of Gujjars in our state. Now mostly choosing a settled life, Gujjars empowered by education are making their presence in all walks of life including administrative services, military, fields of medicine, engineering etc. With the result the modern generations of Gujjars, are hardly aware of their own roots and ancestral legacy as warriors, rulers as well as connoisseurs of art and literature.
The book ‘Origin, Rise and Growth of Gujjars’, compiled by G Sarwar Chuhan, which is a comprehensive compendium of hitherto scattered literary and scholarly references about history and culture of Gujjars as a collective historical entity, is a timely initiative. By acknowledging at the outset the sources wherefrom the compiler has taken the selected articles, G Sarwar Chauhan, has allayed any misgivings about being the author of the book. His only intention is to provide a one-stop ready reference about the rich past and legacy of Gujjars to readers.
The book starts with sections that deal with two theories of origin: tracing ancestry from Sun worshiping Surya Vanshi Kshatriyas and to being the sons of Noah. It is followed with sections on King Porus, Kushan Empire, Kushans and Nagars, Nagabhatta, and famous Gurjara like Mihir Bhoja.
The next sections are on of Gurjara Pratihara dynasty, Chauhans (of Shakambari& Ajmer), Rani Mrignayani, Gurjjars International, Gujjars and Gujristan, Goergia, Grusia, Gurjistan. The sections which trace the state of Gujjars in medieval times are Gujjars in Moughal Times, Muslim Era. The sections taking into account various theories of origin of Gujjars figure as Origin of Gujjars, Let Us Know About Gujjars, Gojari, The Gurjaras etc. The sections about important Gujjars of modern times are on Mian Mohammad Baksh, Sardar Vallabha Bhai Patel, Fazal Ilahi Chaudhary, and Rajesh Pilot. There are sections on different aspects like Socio-Economic Conditions of Gujjar women, Gujari language and its Identity in K&K, Gujjars During British Rule, Gujjars in Freedom Struggle of India, History of Great Gujjar Clan, Places named after Gujjar and All India List of Current Member Parliament and Member Legislative Assembly.
Apart from the books referred by the compiler, the details of internet sources used as reference material are also listed in the bibliography. The text with photographs, illustrations and sketches make an interesting reading and will certainly prove useful for common readers as well as scholars and students.