A.N. Kaul ‘Sahib’: A great symbol of ‘paannyaar’

Feel deeply saddened to learn about passing away of Sh. A.N. Kaul ‘Sahib’ on 18 July 2017 in NCR Delhi.

An extremely affable and down to earth gentle man, Kaul Sb. was blessed with a good ear too. Always open to new ideas and positive suggestions, even from youngsters, is something that set Kaul Sb. apart from the ‘crowd’.

Sh. A. N. Kaul ‘Sahib’s’ love and commitment towards promotion of our mother tongue -Koshur – both in spoken as well as in literary form, are well known. His consistent efforts to encourage / project the use of Devnagri as an alternative script for the language can’t be forgotten and will always be remembered with much respect. It is another matter, that present editorial team of  ‘NAAD’ – a magazine that Kaul Sb. painstakingly nurtured for a number of years (after Koshur Samachar) has unwittingly removed the Devnagri inscription from its very title.

Kashmir is perhaps a singular place, where radical Islamists have ensured to force persio-arabic – Nastalik – a foreign script- for the mother tongue / the native language of the place – the holy abode of goddess Sharada. This sinful anomaly needs to be resisted and reversed.

I distinctly remember, the time when I sent him a message wishing him on the eve of ‘International Mother Language Day’ (21st February) some years back. Kaul Sb. immediately responded back – appreciating and thanking me for the timely reminder. And as a hallmark of his understanding and humility, Kaul Sb. acknowledged and took the clue of my idea to organize the day at community level thereafter. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Apart from his qualities of head and heart, the physical departure of A. N. Kaul ‘Sahib’, has deprived Kashmiri Pandit community, in exile, of a great symbol of ‘paannyaar’ (community brotherhood) – after late Padma Shri J.N.Kaul. The fact is clearly demonstrated by the large number of admirers Kaul Sb. had gained, over the decades, cutting across all barriers of age, sex and so-called organizational boundaries. I am not sure if the void, so created, will get filled – at least in immediate future.

My respectful homage to this community icon with whom I always enjoyed an affectionate intellectual relationship ever since my active involvement into community affairs following our forced exodus of early nineties.

May Sh. A. N. Kaul ‘Sahib’ – the noble soul – rest in heavenly peace. May we all continue to be inspired by his zeal and deep commitment to serve the community in exile, with much needed sincerity, so as to be able to re-claim our lost roots in our – ‘Panun’ Kashmir….Tatha’astu! Yes, We Can!

Naman; Om Shanti !

(Published in monthly NAAD – August 2019)

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