Hamidullah Wani, a lesser-known poet from Kulgam who has made significant contributions to modern Kashmiri literature, has been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2022.
Hamidullah pen named Qamer who hails from Akhran in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, is a retired teacher who has written three books in Kashmiri.
Qamer Hamidullah has received the Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar for his book titled ‘Daiel’, an anthology written in Kashmiri language. The book speaks on the importance of learning one’s mother tongue.
The 74 year old warrior who is on a mission to save Kashmiri language spoke to The Kashmiriyat after being felicitated the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2022 on Tuesday in New Delhi. He said that it was important than ever that Kashmiris speak in the local language now.
“Apart from knowing various languages, there is an urgent necessity to promote one’s home tongue. Our children should be able to communicate in Hindi, Urdu, English, and other languages, but we should also speak to them in our native tongue,” Qamar said.
English, Urdu and Hindi learning is essential. Furthermore, Arabic is a holy language that we should be familiar with. However, all of this is only beneficial if we prioritise our mother tongue, he added.
Qamar also empasized on the fact that the schools in Kashmir have shamed the local language and fine their students for speaking in local language. “Students are asked to talk in Urdu and English in schools, It is unfortunate that students are disallowed to speak in Kashmiri language,” he said.
The Kashmiri poet was awarded the award which includes a cheque of Rs 50,000.
The Kulgam based author was also awarded the Maraaz Abdee Sangam’s best book award for 2022. Daiel, a Children’s Poetry book was also awarded the Shahpara Maraaz 2019.