Kaul is a pioneer of broadcasting: Vohra
NEW DELHI, Sept 4: Former Union Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad lamented the growing trend of bitterness in Indian politics and said parties nowadays resembled warring nations, which wasn’t the case earlier.
Speaking at the launch of Sahitya Akademi Awardee Pran Kishore Kaul’s novel “Moon of the Saffron Fields: The Legend of Habba Khatoon”, Azad dwelt on J&K’s composite culture and rued that in current times, politicians were labelled even for exchanging pleasantries.
Azad’s reference was to the Congress calling him “Modi-fied” after he quit the party last week.
“Throughout my years as Minister, I would host two functions annually, ‘Diwali Milan’ and ‘Eid Milan’. Late PMs Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee would both attend. But today, political parties have become like warring countries. If you even speak to someone, you are labelled. You hear about me daily that my DNA has changed,” Azad said. He also took the occasion to hail former J&K Governor NN Vohra, special guest on the occasion, as “living example of India’s composite culture” and how both NDA and UPA governments trusted him.
“NN Vohra received the Padma Vibhushan for his distinguished service to the country. I have not come across any bureaucrat who was Home Secretary, Defence Secretary and even Principal Secretary to the PM. Like a doctor has his pulse on the patient’s heart, NN Vohra has his pulse on every part of the country. He was trusted equally by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, during whose time he was interlocutor for J&K, and the Congress. The first and last Round Table Conferences in J&K happened when I was the CM, and he the interlocutor,” Azad said.
NN Vohra hailed the Sarhad and Chinar Publication as a wonderful piece of literature and lauded Kaul as a great broadcaster. “I had an opportunity to hear about Kaul Saheb when I was 15. My elder brother joined Radio Kashmir in November 1947. Kaul Saheb is a pioneer of broadcasting in Kashmir and has made invaluable contribution to music, plays and historical programmes,” the former Governor said, adding Habba Khatoon’s mention came only in cross references and not much material was available on her.
“In this novel, Kaul Saheb has given a glorious glimpse of Kashmir. We have read several foreign writers but those writings are nothing compared to this graphic picture of Kashmir 500 years ago. Another aspect that struck me as significant was that after the serious utterances of Lal Ded and Nand Rishi, Khatoon comes across singing lyrics, which is pure romanticism and total contrast. Kaul Saheb has given this quasi historical person the contours of habitation, name and fame. The novel is a wonderful reflection on the society and politics of those times,” NN Vohra said.