[lg policy] Rising Kashmir

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon May 7 10:25:23 EDT 2018

May 7, 2018 | 21 Sha'ban 1439 AH
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Kashmiri linguist, Prof Koul dies at 76
Published at May 05, 2018 01:00 AM 0Comment(s)

[image: Kashmiri linguist, Prof Koul dies at 76]
Mansoor Peer * Srinagar, May 05:*

A Kashmiri-born linguist Prof. Omkar Nath Koul who dedicated himself for
the promotion of Kashmiri language across the globe passed away in New
Delhi on Thursday. He was 76.
Koul was born in 1941 in Bugam village, in south Kashmir’s Kulgam. He was
brought up in a humble family with literary atmosphere as his father Prem
Nath Koul was a well-acclaimed poet of Kashmir in that era.
“He passed away on Thursday late night. He was battling with cancer. His
cremation was held at New Delhi on Friday,” a relative of the deceased said.
After completing his early education here, Koul joined Agra University and
did PHD in Comparative Literature. He was selected for advanced study at
the University of IIIinois, Urbana-Champaign (USA).
Koul became the first and so far only Kashmiri to head a prestigious
Central Institute of Indian Languages (CILS), Mysore, in 1999 after serving
as Professor-cum-Deputy Director at the institute.
He also worked as Principal, Northern Regional Language Centre (CIIL),
Patiala for 15 years (1971-1987) and Professor and Head, Faculty of
Languages, Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) National Academy of Administration,
Mussoorie for 7 years in 1987.
Koul is internationally known for his language publications and research on
Kashmiri languages and its different elements. In 1971 CILS, Mysore set up
its Northern Regional Language Center and he was appointed as its Principal.
He has authored and co-authored more than 100 books including a huge
supplementary and literary material in Kashmiri language. His works include
The Languages of Jammu and Kashmir in 2014, Kashmiri Newspaper Reader
(2008), Modern Kashmiri Grammar (co-author with Kashi Wali in 2006), Aekhri
faesla (The Last Judgment: A collection of Kashmiri short stories) in 2009,
Studies in Kashmiri Linguistics in 2005, Language, Education and
Communication in 2005, Topics in Kashmiri Linguistics (co-editor with Kashi
Wali) in 2002, Kasiir ti Kaashur Tahziib ( Kashmir and Kashmiri Culture)
(co-editor with Lalita Handoo in 2002), Kashmiri Language, Linguistics and
Culture: An Annotated Bibliography in 2000, Punjabi-Kashmiri Dictionary
Koul was also acclaimed for the compilation of children literature like
Gili Tuury (a spring flower) which is a collection of Kashmiri short
stories for children (editor) written in 1998, Nursery Rhymes in Kashmiri
(co-editor) in 1996.
Besides, he has to his credit lot of textbook publications including An
Intermediate Course in Kashmiri, A Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs,
Kashmiri kahaaniyan (Kashmiri short stories edited and translated from
Kashmiri into Hindi) in 992, Kashmiri saahit daa itihaas (A history of
Kashmiri literature) in Punjabi (co-author) in 1987.
For his contribution towards the promotion and teaching of different
languages, UNESCO had appointed him as a Consultant on Endangered Languages
and Language Policy.
The Kalam Club Jammu has expressed shock and conveyed its condolences on
his sad demise. They paid tributes to the deceased at a meeting in Jammu on
Friday and observed a two-minute silence in memory of the departed soul.
The Club members hailed his contribution to literature especially
linguistics and language learning.
“Koul’s visit to different countries including Pakistan boosted the
relations between the academics of both the countries that helped the young
scholars in their research work,” they said.
Speakers lauded his efforts and humble attitude. They said Koul was always
forthcoming to help scholars and linguists. “His death is a great loss to
the society as a whole.
Meanwhile, Maraaz Adbee Sangam held a condolence meet to pay tributes to
Prof. Koul at its head office in Bijbehara. Kaleem Bashir prayed for the
eternal peace of the departed soul. President Maraaz Adbee Sangam, Yousuf
Jahangir while expressing grief over the demise of Koul said, “We have lost
an affectionate teacher, a sincere researcher and a lover of mother tongue
who contributed a lot to linguistics.”
Izhar Mubashir said that Koul will be remembered forever for his services
for promotion of Kashmiri language and literature.
He said since Koul belongs to Maraaz area of Kashmir, as he was born there,
“we must organise a seminar in the honour of Koul.”
Nisar Nadeem of the literary organisation said, “Koul was my teacher and
taught me for three years. He was a sincere and dedicated teacher.”
Riyaz Anzno conducted the proceeding of condolence meet and gave a brief
introduction of Prof. Koul. The prominent among the participants were Ajaz
G M Laloo, Naadir Ahsan and Hameeda Shah Akhter.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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