Padam Shri Nilambar

O P Sharma

Prof Nilamber Dev Sharma, who has been selected for Padam Shri award this year for this literature, is pleased with humility over the honour bestowed on him. Asked whether he was really surprised, he pointed out that his name was in the air and now the announcement has really come. I feel happy that my services to society and literature in general and my mother- tongue, Dogri have been given recognition.
The President of India, Pritabha Devisingh Patil will confer the honour at a glittering ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan New Delhi shortly. J&K State’s two eminent persons: Dr Riyaz Punjabi, Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University and Prof. Nilamber Dev Sharma, renowned Dogri writer are to get Padam Shri this year while another proud son of Jammu, Rajinder Singh Pawar, Chairmen NIIT will be awarded Padam Vibhushan.
In wide-ranging interview, Prof Sharma said though he was pleased and grateful but it was not my goal as I was doing my karma with out expecting fruit of my efforts. Now I will continue to do my duty with renewed endeavours.
Reminiscing his long association with literature, the Padam Shri awardee said that he has great attachment to Duggar’s languages and culture particularly its folk-tales and folk-songs. He made 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. He, however, stressed the need for their preservation and promotion as also their original notations and tunes.
Answering a question, Prof. Sharma said “though I am not dissatisfied over my work but I feel I could have done something more for my people and my language. On his happiest moments, he observed my life has been running on an even keel and lot many people including my friends, relatives and others helped me in performing my work.
Born on October 6, 1931 at Jammu, Nilamber Dev Sharma after graduation, did Masters’ degree in English Literature from Hindu College, Delhi in 1950. He served as lecturer in English first in Kairana (U.P.) and then joined Govt. Gandhi Memorial College, Jammu in 1953. Prof. Sharma was deputed to J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in 1961 and later appointed as its Secretary. During his tenure, the Academy opened its regional office at Leh and got Kashmiri Soofiana music recognised by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi and also gave fillip to literary and cultural activities. Prof. Sharma was the first Convenor of Dogri Advisory Board of the Sahitya Akademi when it recognized Dogri in 1969. Later, he resigned in 1972 and tried his hand in politics and unsuccessfully fought Assembly election. Became first Director Amar Mahal Museum & Library, Jammu and also remained President, Dogri Sanstha for about more then a decade from 1976.
The recipient of this honour inherited interest in literature from his father, late Madan Mohan Shastri, a writer and a scholar of Sanskrit. Nilamber Dev Sharma is a writer of self awareness, creative insight and his literary works consists of travelogues, short stories, essays, translations, history of literature.
An Introduction to Modern Dogri Literature, Chete Kish Khatte, Kish Mitthe(memoirs and travelogue) Rishtey ( collection of essays) Kahani di Tapaash (collection of short stories) were authored by Prof. Sharma in addition to some translation work. He has bagged a number of other honours as well.
The literary and cultural circles have widely welcomed the honour bestowed on this deserving literary person.