Tuesday, February 9, 2016



Sheikh Mohd Abdullah and J N Zutshi at New Delhi Air Port..Proceeding to New York in December 1949 .

J N Zutshi ..

His friends included poet Dina Nath Naadim , Sh . D P. Dhar , Shri G M Sadiq, Prof Apurab Som Nath and many more.. Post 1947, he was the first Director-General of Radio Kashmir, who also held the post of the Secretary, State Information . He was instrumental in getting the state Emblem designed and also starting Radio Station from Jammu. Along with K N Bamzai , Sh J N Zutshi is reported to have met BPL Bedi several times in Srinagar prior to drafting of "Naya kashmir Manifesto " . He was a prominent figure among the Pro Russia Group of intellectuals in kashmir. He was upright, down to earth and a lover of books.He was a freedom fighter and  very close to Sheikh Mohd Abdullah . For his proximity to Sheikh , he faced  imprisonment for some months in 1953. He was a gifted writer who wrote all  the speeches of  Sheikh Mohd Abdullah and  later Bakshi Ghulam Mohd .

Along with R C Raina , another bureaucrat , he was the key architect of  implementing the radical land Reforms in the state ( Land to the Tiller ) as envisaged in "Naya kashmir Document  of 1944 ".


Adds Shri Mohammad Sayeed Malik:

“JN Zutshi has been my guru in profession. A hard task master. His power of understanding an issue was remarkable. His terrific sense of humor was his sharpest weapon to cut his way through any situation. He was imprisoned in 1953 for some time along with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. When I happened to take his over-sized seat ( as Director Information in 1976) he personally greeted me and offered valuable tips. We remained good friends till he quit this world. It was Shamim Ahmed Shamim had introduced us to each other in 1960s.”


Shri Ram Krishen Sadhu adds :

“ The late J N Zutshi was not just an outstanding writer, he was a master of humour and repartee and an excellent human being. From 1947 to 1953 all important political documents were drafted by him and he enjoyed Sheikh Sahib's full confidence. When Radio Kasmiri was started it was a State Govt organisation. Also the  Field Publicity Organisation was started by him  which was equipped with mobile vans and equipment. These vans were  moving in different parts of the State presenting to the common man entertainment as well as political awareness. Zutshi Sahib till 1953,  was the Director General Information & Broadcasting as also the Secretary. He was closely connected with BPL Bedi who had been   putting the political and economic content into the programmes of the N C Government. I have had the good luck of sharing some evenings with him (he was almost my father's contemporary) ├ánd it used to be a thrilling and informative experience to discuss any subject with him. A very well read and an intellectual of a high order, he   never compromised on his dignity. Such exceptional people are rerely  found now. He headed a number of Organisations like Field Survey Organisation, Stationery & Printing, Census etc. He was not restored to his status that he enjoyed in the  past glorious period because he could not become a yes man.”

( Autar Mota )

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Monday, February 8, 2016




While on a visit to Jagannath Temple Puri in Orissa , Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru was surprised to see signatures of some ancestor from his family in the BAHI ( OLD RECORDS ) of a Brahmin Purohit. The purohit  or the Brahmin Priest is asking Pandit ji to sign his Bahi papers while Pandit ji smiles in reluctance .

( Autar Mota )
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Saturday, February 6, 2016





Residents living  along the Jhelum river  Ghaats  would hang their bedding , Flooring, Blankets , Durries   along the windows of their Houses or Boats .Temporarily forgetting the shadows of poverty looming large over them,
 , Kashmiri  would enjoy the moment and these  river processions.

Every state Guest was taken along the river in a procession. Seated  in a tastefully decorated Boat that lead a Carwaan of Boats , this river procession  was a day long affair  for the residents and the guests  . When the Boats passed through the river , crowds would cheer .The  slogans that were raised by onlookers   changed from  "Maharaja Bahaadur ki Jai "  to  "  Sher e kashmiri Ka Kyaa irshaad ..Hindu Muslim Sikh Ittehaad " and "Azad Hindustaan Zindabaad ".


               ( May 1948. Lead Boat   with Sheikh Mohd Abdullah and Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru )

 The practice of river processions was started during the rule of Maharajas but it was continued for about two decades even after 1947.

And faiz Ahmed Faiz also said something like this ……

Hum khastaa tanon se mohtasibo  
 kyaa maal manaal ka poochhtay  ho…..
Jo umar se hum ne bhar paaya  
 sab saamne laaye dete hain….
Daaman main hai musht e khaak e jigar,
 saaghar main hai khoon e hasrat e mai,
Lo hum ne daaman jhaarr diya ,  
Lo jaam ultaaye dete hain…..

( Autar Mota )

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Friday, February 5, 2016




Devendra Satyarthi ( 1908-2003)\

He was a renowned Punjabi scholar , writer, translator and a poet who also wrote in Urdu, Hindi and English . A folklorist , Satyarthi earned many friends in literary circles of Jammu and kashmir . Though a family man , he lived a roaming and carefree life , collecting folklores and folk songs for his write ups and books.

He once wrote :
“ Money means nothing to me .I have travelled all over India Mostly on foot and sometimes in trains without ticket as I look like a sadhu.I have managed to survive. In this process, I have collected about 2.5 lakh folk songs . some people call me a Poet and some call me a folk song collector . My wife calls me a Vagabond and a gypsy . And to that extent , she is right . My 75 Books are based on translations of Folk songs of the country “

He also worked on kashmiri Folklore and songs . Impressed by the language , lyrical strength and imagery of Mehjoor’s poetry , he carried these poems to Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore who in turn was equally impressed . In fact Satyarthi is the person who exposed Mehjoor to the world outside Peer-Panjal hills.

Satyarthi once wrote :

“ Mehjooor’s poetry is full of life’s passion , brotherhood , love and hope for the oppressed Mehjoor has a broad vision of life “

Classified as an Important Archival document , the Manuscript of his work "Kashmir Literature and Folk Songs" is in the safe custody of British Library UK in its Asian and African section of Manuscripts .

Satyarthi was a lover of kashmir’s natural beauty but its poverty pained him. This aspect is reflected in some stories , essays and Poems composed by him . About him , his friends wrote that he never bothered about money or status in life. He even refused to receive royality for his radio Talks , Books or work. He was ignorant about how many Books , essays and stories he wrote .
 During his travels , he kept meeting ordinary people  of India .  He met People from  middle-class ,petty traders,poor farmers, Tribals and the influential as well. In this process , he befriended so many . He also earned the friendship of some Great men like Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi. Gurudev Advised him to write in Punjabi only.
in his later years , he had a regret for not being responsible towards his family. He told his close friends:
"I wasn't there when my daughter Kavita was born, and I wasn't there when she died. It is a burden that will lighten only with my death, but when you are afflicted with a junoon, this is what happens''

In 1977, Govt of India awarded  him with a Padamshri. He was loved by numerous friends and admirers across the border . In fact a special issue of 300 Pages was published  by A Leading Journal  in Pakistan  as a tribute to his monumental work on Punjabi Folklore.

 In his comments  to  my Facebook Post on Devendra Satyarthi  , Amir Saulat Jafri writes :

“ Ijaz Batalvi writer/lawyer wrote that once he and his brother , somewhere in late 1930s at Laxmi chowk lahore looking for a tonga to go to Mela chiraghan . They saw a young man who was stopping people and asking for something. Soon, he came to them also and said to them if they could answer one question of his, and that it is so important that his life depended upon it's answer. If that question was not answered that day , to his satisfaction, he would commit suicide. He looked disturbed and disheveled. They wanted to help him, so they forgot their Mela chraghaan and tried to figure out what to do about such a question. The question was " What is the meaning of Life?" Finally they thought it would be best to take him to Allama Iqbal, who then lived near about there. Allama's house was always open for everybody. They went and took this young man with them. Allama sahib said to him that it would be okay  to go along with the suicide if only the young man could convince him that it would benefit him. Then he asked what was his belief system about life after death, to which the man said it was reincarnation. So Allama sahib said that there were three  possibilities. Either his life would be a better one than the present, worse, or about the same as then. Was the young man, Allama sahib asked, absolutely sure if his next life would be better. The young man said he was not sure at all. Then Allama sahib said that it would be a total waste for him to end his life. This convinced the man. That young man was Davinder Satyaarthi................. .. Manto's Afsaana ,( short story), "Tarraqui Pasand" is also based on Satyaarthi's visit to Rajinder Singh Bedi"s tiny two bed room  govt. house and his stay there , which affected RSB's family life when DS stayed there. DS bored RSB ad Nausem, day in and day out by reading out stories he had written” 

A Detachment from Money and  comforts  was the hallmark of his simple  life style.

( Autar Mota )
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Thursday, February 4, 2016



DR KARAN SINGH WITH A A A FYZEE ( First Vice Chancellor of University of Jammu And kashmir ... Photo 1957 )

Asaf Ali Asghar Fyzee ( 1899-1981)

Kashmiris have forgotten the services Dr karan Singh and Asaf Ali Asghar Fyzee in establishing J&K University. It was Dr Karan singh who donated land and also acted as first Chancellor of this University .It was again Dr karan singh who identified AAA Fyzee as the most suitable Vice chancellor for the university . And Fyzee was a brilliant and liberal educator ,diplomat , cricketeer , Jurist and an Islamic Scholar.Fyzee was a Bohra Muslim hailing from reputed Tyabji Fyzee family of Mumbai. He was fluent in Persian , Arabic , French , English , Urdu, Marathi and Hindi.Prior to his appointment as first VC of J&K University , Fyzee had served as member of UPSC and India’s ambassador to Egypt. Author of some well known Books on Islamic Jurisprudence , Fyzee was also awarded Padma Bhushan in 1962.

( A A A Fyzee with  Dr Mohammad Hatta Prime Minister of Indonesia in Cairo,  Egypt ..November 1949  )

His Book " Outlines of Muhammadan Law" has been a great contribution to Islamic Jurisprudence . From 1938 to 1947, Fyzee was Principal and Professor of Jurisprudence at the reputed "Government Law College ", Mumbai that had stalwarts like Sir Dinshaw Mulla and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar ( Father of the Indian Constitution ) as its Principals.

He served as first VC of University of J&K from 1957 to 1960.Fyzee is reported to have donated all his books( More than 2000 ) to the library of the university during his Tenure . Apart from that, together with Dr karan singh ,he did all to make the newly created university a centre of excellence . Annual convocations were presided over by intellectuals like Dr S. Radhakrishnan . He enjoyed a complete intellectual compatibility with Dr Karan Singh the then Sadar e Riyassat ( Governor ).

He was married to Urdu writer Sultana Asaf Fyzee who was well educated and a gracious lady with modern outlook. She was a strong advocate of education for Women . Sultana Asaf Fyzee had also authored some Books.
Fyzee would often say:

“ While selecting educators , you need to be ruthlessly honest . You need to bring in people who have capacity and material within them to deliver . A strong nation can only be built if you have good Educators . you can not dilute this aspect in any proportion and for any reason. ”

Accordingly ,He brought in the best Teachers from within and outside the state for his noble Mission.
( Autar Mota )

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016



 Dr. MADHAVI YASIN ( 1929-2012)

Yesterday only I came to know that Dr Madhavi Yasin is no more. I happened to know her through my official work . A serious lady devoted to her work and writing . She was an acknowledged scholar and 1 Historian. Author of Numerous Books on History . I quote a few :




4 MYSTRERIES AND GLIMPSES OF KASHMIR  ( Madhavi Yasin and  Dr Mohd Yasin )

A guide to so many students who obtained their Ph.D. degrees with her help alone. In view of her scholarship ,Very few people dared to discuss anything with her . As and when she came to the Bank ( Amirakadal srinagar ) , I took some liberties to seek information. She was a motherly figure.
Madhavi ji was born in Lucknow where from she did her post graduation and later Ph.D. In History.She along with her Husband and reputed Historian Dr Mohd Yasin came to kashmir in 1965 .They established the Department of History in Kashmir university from a Scratch.Dr Yasin did some pioneering work and compiled some great Texts on History .

Once she told me that old Bahis ( Records ) Maintained by Purohits of Mattan are an authentic and Grand source of History . She did work on this serious project. I came to know that she had been coming to Mattan regularly for this work.

About this Couple Prof Ajaz Hussain Add :

“I was a family friend and Dr Yaseen would usually give me answer scripts for checking which I never refused as my father, Prof Rabbani was his colleague in the University.Their love for each other could not be described in words.Once I was having coffee at c-34 Jawaharnagar and there was some cracking noise in the first floor.When I asked the reason,Dr.Madhvi said,"Kabi kabi Yaseen aata hai".Dr Yaseen had passed away some time back.They had sacrificed everything for each other.God bless their soulS.”

Peace be to her soul…. Peace be to the soul of Dr yasin…A rare couple that gave so much to History and kashmir ..

( Autar Mota )
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Thursday, January 21, 2016



Zindagi ke iss safar mein sainkadon Chehrey Millay
Dilkashi Unn ki Alagh Paikar Tera Apni Jagah ….
Tujh se Mil Kar Aanay waale Kal se Nafarat Moa’l li
Ab Kabhi tujh se na Bichhudoon Yeh Dua apni Jagah
( Ifftekhar Imam Siddiqui )

He is Ifftekthar Imam Siddiqui. Urdu Poet , Journalist and writer. Presently confined to wheel chair/ Bed after he met with an accident . He lives in his single room flat on Grant Road in Central Mumbai.The man who edited oldest Urdu Literary Magazine SHAIR from Mumbai.


Ifftekhar is the grandson of  well known urdu Poet Seemab Akbarabaadi who moved to Pakistan in 1948 but his son ( Ifftekhar’s father ) decided to stay in India and moved to Mumbai . The Family belongs to Agra where Ifftekhar was born . The ancestors of Seemab Akbarabaadi  migrated to India from BUKHAARA during the rule of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Apart from writing poetry Books ,Seemab has also  Translated Bhagwat Geeta( Krishna Geeta ) and  Holy Quran ("Wahi-e-Manzoom")into Urdu verses .

  Many Gazals of Seemab  Akbraabadi were  sung by late  K L Sehgal . I quote  couplets from one popular  Gazal:

“Ab kya bataoon main tere milnay se kya mila
Irfaan-e-gham hua mujhe, dil ka pata mila
Jab door tak na koi faqir aashna mila
Tera niyaaz-mand tere dar se ja mila
Ya zakham-e-dil ko cheer ke seene se phenk de
Ya aitraaf kar ki nishaan-e-wafa mila
“Seemab” ko shagufta na dekha tamam umar
Kambakht jab mila hamein gham-aashna mila”

SHAIR had its lovers in the subcontinent . The magazine had a large readership among urdu knowing Diaspora in Europe , USA and Canada. 

SHAIR was started by Seemab Akbarabaadi in 1930 initially from AGRA. The magazine was later edited from Bombay by Aijaaz Siddique son of seemab Akbarabaadi.Ifftekhar took over the editorship of the Magazine after the death of his father Aijaaz Siddiqui in 1951. For this , He moved to Mumbai permanently in 1951. His brothers Noaman Siddiqui and Hamid Iqbal Siddiqui assisted him in publication of SHAIR.It is now being published and managed by a Trust created by lovers of the magazine . Some couplets of Ifftekhar Imam Siddiqui are ……

Woh na hoga to kya kami hogi,
Bas adhoori si zindagi hogi;
Gham hi chaandi hai gham hi sona hai,
Gham na hoga to kya khushi hogi

Har Ek Din Udaas Din Tamaam Shab Udaasiyaan
Kissi Se Kyaa Bichhad Gaye Ki Jaise Kuchh Bachaa Nahin
Hai Shor-Saa Taraf Taraf Ki Sarhadon Ki Jang Mein
Zameen Pe Aadami Nahin Falak Pe Kyaa Khudaa Nahin

“ Iss Mein Koyee Shikavaa Na Shikaayat Na Gilaa Hai
Ye Bhi Koyee Khat Hai Ki Mohabbat Se Bharaa Hai
Chehare Mein Hai Aaiinaa Ki Aaiiney Mein Cheharaa
Maaloom Nahin Kaun Kisse Dekh Rahaa Hai”

( Autar Mota )


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