Zulfkar calls for embracing cultural identity

Minister for CAPD Ch Zulfkar speaking during a function organised by JKAACL on Tuesday.
Minister for CAPD Ch Zulfkar speaking during a function organised by JKAACL on Tuesday.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 12: Every community, cultural or ethnic group has its own values, beliefs and ways of living and it is the duty of everyone to ensure the survival of their culture for the generations to come.
This was stated by Minister for Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali while addressing the gathering of eminent poets, scholars, students and littérateurs at the Bazam-e-Sheeraza organised by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture & Language (JKAACL) here today.
Speaking on the importance of cultural identity, Zulfkar said that tribal languages and literature are intrinsic to the identity of tribes and it is need of the hour to embrace our heritage and preserve it for our children. He said modern way of life is constantly taking over our old simple ways of life and leaving in its wake a society devoid of the sensibilities that make us who we are.
Dispelling the notion that these two ways of life cannot cohabit, Zulfkar said that the modern languages, ways of life are essential if we are to survive and develop with the world and our children should learn and educate themselves in them but it remains the responsibility of the parents to teach the children about their mother tongue, traditions, culture, roots and imbibe in them the values of their forefathers and the community/tribes.
Appreciating the poets, scholars and artists actively working to uplift, promote and preserve the regional languages, he called them the champions of the cause and said that their works and creations will keep the traditional values alive in the history and leave a compelling heritage for future generations to ponder on and explore.
Addressing the request made by Secretary JKAACL Dr Aziz Hazni regarding teaching of local languages centric to the region at primary and elementary levels in schools, the minister assured to take up the matter with the Education Department.
Zulfkar asked the Academy officials to continue their efforts and widen their outreach programme in its attempt to spread awareness about tribal scripts among the new generation and to disseminate basic knowledge on the same and reconnect them with their roots and heritage.
Making an appeal to the masses, the Minister said inclusive growth of all sections of the society is necessary for overall growth of the State and the nation and therefore the educated members of the communities need to take interest and participate in upliftment and growth of their tribes. He stressed that it is their responsibility to do so having benefitted from the association with their communities in terms of education, jobs and other facets.
Secretary JKAACL Dr Aziz Hazni said that people tend to forget their roots, culture in their race to development and the aim of this event therefore is to promote writings in regional languages on a larger scale so that these languages get proper space and do not lag behind. He said that the Cultural Academy provides a platform to various diversities of the State and unite them in this artistic space.
The programme saw artistic presentations in the forms of Gojri folk songs, short stories, poems by prominent artists like Parvez Malik, Dr M.K. Waqar, Mohd Amin Qammer, Sarwar Chouhan, Rafiq Sooz, Jaan M Hakeem, Mukhtar Hassin Majaz, and Abdul Rashid Awaan.
Former Vice Chancellor BGSBU Dr Masud Choudhary presided over today’s function. Others present on the occasion were former MLC Haji Nizam-ud-din Khatana, Prof Latit Mangotra, Khursheed Kazmi, Khalid Hussain, Ahmed Shanas, Hasan Parwaz, Dr Baljit Raina and other noted Gojri poets and writers. Additional Secretary Dr Arvinder Singh Amn  presented the vote of thanks.