Friday, April 5, 2013

KSHATRIYA ( KHATRI ) KASHMIRIS OR KASHMIRI PUNJABIS . PIONEERS OF TRADE AND COMMERCE IN VALLEY


                                                                   




Most of the Kashmiri Punjabis or the Punjabi kashmiris also known as Khatris              ( Kashatriyas ) , who are as good state subjects as any other kashmiri , had also to move out after the eruption of Militancy in valley . Presently this miniscule population lies scattered across the length and breadth of the country . I frequently come cross some of them. They may be settled financially but they are unsettled psychologically .Memories of the lost homes/land . Memories of friends , neighbors and relatives . Memories of Lakes , mountains , springs , brooks , chinars , flowers and snow . Tears ,Emotions and sighs .

Some of them had closed down their business much before the eruption of militancy . Some still continue to stay in Kashmir but the majority that left belonged to the land . They also grew sharing its seasons and colours .Their contribution in various fields is unforgetable . I quote some FIELDS wherein some of them happened to be the pioneers….



PRINTING



A) BROCA PRINTRING PRESS

(Brocas were the first to  install an automatic cutting  and  rotary  printing machine at their Printing workshop.)



PHOTOGRAPHERS OF KASHMIR



A)         DATTA STUDIO

B)        *MAHATTA STUDIO

C)         DARLY PHOTOGRAPHERS 

D)         PRECO STUDIO 
E)         ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHERS LAL CHOWK
F)     **SURI PHOTOGRAPHERS REGAL CHOWK

(*Mahatta Co  And  Photographers was started in Kashmir in 1915  by Amar Nath Mehta and His younger brother Ram Nath Mehta . They are Pioneers not only in Kashmir but in Rawalpindi , Murree  and Dalhousie. They started the shop from a houseboat . The cannaught Place Mahatta  And co (Photography shop)  also belongs to this family.  Many Locals learnt photography at this shop only. This family is from  Gurdaspur  Punjab.)


(**I vividly remember Mr Suri Proprietor of  the Photographic shop mentioned(  at F )above. Suri sahib was a man of short stature but very agile and active . He was a perfect photographer . He was always called in for Photo sessions in S P College where i studied for 3 Years . I vividly remember how he would stand on his toes to look from the camera lens hiding his head under a black cloth.He would then rush to the spot where boys and teachers were seated for the photograph ; Bring people closer , use his hands to straighten heads and shoulders , rush back to the camera and say " OK , ONE TWO AND THREE". Mr Suri was also Connected with Kashmir's Arya Samaj  society )


HOTELS

1)         KHALSA HOTEL AMIRAKADAL SRINAGAR
2)         PAHALGHAAM HOTEL ( Sh. Gareeb Singh )
3)         PREMIER THE BUND
4) BROADWAY HOTEL ( owned by Amla family . Late Sh Tirath Ram Amla's family moved to kashmir from Muzaffarbad in 1931 for business . This family also opened BROADWAY cinema in cantonment area of srinagar )

PETROL AND FUEL

1)         LITTLE SONS
2)         BAKSHI GURDASS
3)         CH.AISHI RAM BATRA AND SONS (Sh. Ch. Aishi Ram Batra, a renowned businessman and philanthropist hailed from District Multan . Much Before the partition of the country , the family moved to Kashmir Valley, where they established in Petroleum business .)

MILK SUPPLIER TO SRINAGAR CITY .

1) GUR DASS MAL

(This firm would bring fresh milk daily to kashmir in tankers from Amritsar Punjab so as remove scarcity of milk in the city.. Milk would be then transported in horse carts to entire city from sonwar where these tankers would park )

WHOLESALE QUALITY MEDICINES

1)         BADRI DASS KIDAR NATH

CLOTH MERCHANTS

1          O. T. C. ( Residency Road )
2          MEHRA CLOTH HOUSE
3          KAPOOR CLOTH HOUSE

GOLDSMITHS

1) KHEM SINGH SEWA SINGH ( This shop was established in 1850 . Another shop with name TARA SINGH AND SONS jewellers was later carved out from this family shop in hari singh High street srinagar possibly in 1970. )

2) MEHTAB SINGH JEWELLERS



 DOCTORS

1)         Dr. S K ATRI ( Grand father of present day doctor with same name )
2)         Dr. MOHAN SINGH
3)         Dr. JASWANT SINGH
4)         Dr V P SETHI ( first Homeopath of Kashmir )

ICE CREAM IN KASHMIR

A)        CAPRI , BUND SRINAGAR. ( I am sure that the  first ice cream softy in Kashmir was sold  by this restaurant. Sh karam Vir Anand owned this business)


BOOK STORES IN KASHMIR

A)        KAPOOR BROTHERS ,LAL CHOWK.
B)        GIAN CHAND OM PRAKASH / JAI RAM DASS GIAN CHAND LAL CHOWK.
C)        KASHMIR BOOK SHOP ,RESIDENCY ROAD
D)        HIND BOOK SHOP ,RESIDENCY ROAD

HALWAI SHOPS IN KASHMIR

A)        SANT RAM SOHAL AND SONS
B)        AMAR NATH SOHAL AND SONS
C)        PRABH DAYAL AND SONS
D)        NISHAT SWEETS AMIRA KADAL
E)         SHAKTI SWEETS ( Russ Malai was first brought to Kashmir by this shop )


CINEMA HALLS IN KASHMIR

A)        PALLADIUM TALKIES , LAL CHOWK.
B)        REGAL TALKIES ,RESIDENCY ROAD ( Belonged to BAL family of Raj Bagh/ Gupkar road , Fashion Designer Rohit Bal is from this Bal family .Rohit  Bal studied in Burn hall school srinagar . Bal's clientele list includes noted celebrities like Uma Thurman, Cindy Crawford, Pamela Anderson, Naomi Campbell and Anna Kournikova. Bal opened a flagship store in Delhi, as well as stores in Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai. Bal has also ventured into the designing jewellery.)



C) AMRISH TALKIES, RESIDENCY ROAD ( Belonged to BAL family of Raj Bagh/Gupkar Road )

READY MADE GARMENTS SHOP IN KASHMIR

A)        DRESS CORNER , LAL CHOWK ( I BELIEVE FIRST Ready made Garments shop in Kashmir )

DRY CLEANERS IN KASHMIR

A)        VIR AND CO, LAMBERT LANE
B)        SUNSHINE DRY CLEANERS , AMIRAKADAL

TRANSPORTERS AND RAIL TICKETING SERVICES IN KASHMIR

A)        N D RADHAKRISHEN AND SONS
B)        NANDA BUS SERVICE


  WHOLESALE TRADE  IN PROVISIONS 
                                                                   
                                      ( Beopar Mandal Maharaj Ganj srinagar 1932. )
After Maharaja Ranbir Singh established a trading Centre at Maharaj Ganj Srinagar in 1871 , many Punjabi Khatri Traders moved   to kashmir and established their trading Shops at Maharaj ganj. It was a wholesale market  .  Khanna , Kapoor , Chopra , Mehra , Malhotra , Talwar and many Kahtri families from as far as Multan arrived in kashmir  at the specific Insistence of Maharaja . They brought  a  Business/ Trade  culture with them and proved of immense help in providing Provisions, Tea , Sugar , Common Salt , Tobacco , Spices , Pulses  etc.  to kashmiris at Competitive rates . As a matter of fact this Bazaar proved as backbone of kashmir's Trade  till nineties of Last century .



HARDWARE

A) KASHMIR  METAL MART


These are some of the fields that come to my mind . I believe these Kshatriya ( Khatris ) did venture in all fields of trade and commerce . And some of them from Kashmir landed in Mumbai tomake fellow kashmiris feel proud. I can quote Balraj Sahni , Ramanand Sagar , Vidhu Vonod Chopra , Fashion Designer Rohit Bal ,Actor Sanjay Suri, Cricketer  Harish Bahri  and many more.



                          



               

                                                                                 
                              ( Harish Bahri ..Ranji Trophy Cricketer  from kashmir  )

Can we grow together once more like a FOREST. Grow together as a variety of plant and trees . Grow like a garden with different flowers . Appear like smiles on faces . Smiles that shorten distances between human beings . Can we pass on the prized heritage of peace , happiness and human dignity to our children ? We who bear the seeds of civilization . We who look towards a new Dawn.



I conclude above lines with a poem “SEEDS “ written by my favourite Kurdish poet SHERKO BEKAS …

Seeds

We were millions,

we were old trees,

newly growing plants

and seeds.

From the helmet of Ankara

they came at dawn

they uprooted us

they took us away

far away.
On the way the heads of
many old trees drooped,
many new plants died in the cold,
many seeds were trampled under foot,
lost and forgotten,
We grew thin like the summer river,
we diminished like flocks of birds
towards the time of autumn,
we diminished to mere thousands ,
We had seeds
carried back by the wind,
they reached the thirsty mountains again,
they hid inside rock clefts,
the first rain,
the second rain,
the third rain,
they grew again,
Now again we are a forest,
we are millions,
we are seeds
plants
and old trees
the old helmet died!
And now you the new helmet
why have you put the head of the spear
under your chin?
Can you finish us off?
But I know
and you know
as long as there is a seed
for the rain and the wind
this forest will never end?
( sherko Bekas )


Autar Mota 04.04.2013…… 11.30 PM Good Night
so long so much . Good Night . —.


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Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

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