Saturday, May 18, 2013

SHANKER KOUL : A DISCPLINED , PROGRESSIVE AND COMPASSIONATE TEACHER WHO WAS GENEROUSLY PRAISED BY EUROPEANS FOR HIS OUTSTANDING WORK .


                                                        



                   (Boys of CMS  school Fateh kadal near the school Ghaat )


                     
          (Rev. C E Tyndale Biscoe ,  a christian Missionary,   came to  kashmir  in 1890 AD  to  spread Modern  Education through CMS schools located at  Fateh Kadal  in srinagar city , Sheikh Bagh in srinagar city  , Anantnaag and Baramulla .  He also fought for removal of many social evils and wrong practices from kashmiri society .The first bicycle that came to kashmir was brought by CE Tyndale Biscoe .  During those early days, Whenever any   kashmiri saw him on a Bicycle , he or she   would run away calling it a Djjin. or jin.  And some years Later bicycle became a  preferred  mode of transport in Kashmir .He left kashmir in october 1947 . )




                                                                                       
            ( Master Zinda kaul and Shanker kaul ( Sitting on chair third from leftwith a stick in his hand ) with students of kashyapa Girls school srinagar  ... Photo source Prof. Arvind Gigoo )

 
SHANKER KAUL .
Down Town area or the most densely populated region of Srinagar city (having various historical monuments ) comprising of localities known as Ali kadal , Zaina Kadal, Saraf Kadal , Bohri Kadal , Wattal Kadal, Safa Kadal ,Dabtal, Bulbul Lanker, Nawa kadal Jamalata , Khanyaar , Baba-Demb,Bulbul Lanker ,Kawdara – Budhgair , Gurgari Mohalla, Nowhatta, Nawa Bazar ,Malchimaar ,Wazapora , Rajouri Kadal , Khankaah e sokhta ,Seki dafar etc.etc. has produced many bright and talented men in recent past who left their mark in various fields or professions
Men like Bakshi Ghulam Mohd, Durga Prasad Dhar ,Khawja Mohd Maqbool Pandit ( Wazir e wazarat and father of shri Mohd Shafi Pandit IAS Ex .chief secretary ), Renowned Unani medicine Practitioner Hakim Ahmed Ullah ,Dr Hafiz Ullah ( Died in an Aircrash ),Shiv Narain Fotedar ,late Shri J N kaul or Papa Ji ( Associated with SOS schools ), Ahmed ullah Shahdaad ( leading Pashmina Trader of the state . This Shahdaad family had their Business interests in Yarkand and china ), sufi mystic poet Ahad zargar , Moti Lal Misri ( communist leader ), Poet Fazil Kashmiri (Dabtal), Shamboo Nath Gurkha ( journalist ), Jia Lal saraf( sanskrit scholar who Translated Panchastavi to kashmiri ),Mohd Abdullah Tibbet Baqqal ( Renowned sufiana Musician ), Maulvi Abbas Ansari (shia cleric) ,Laxman Joo Tickoo ( Architect of Banihall cart Road ), Akhtar Mohi Ud Din (Kashmiri writer from Seki dafar) Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq , Jamal Siraj ( Carpet Exporter ) , Dr Ali Jan , Dr K L Chowdhary , Mohd Shafi Pandit ( IAS), Ram Chand Tikoo( cricket player ), Prof MS Want ( HOD English Kashmir university), Prof.R N Kaul , Prof. Arvind Gigoo, Prof AN Dhar (Writer , Professor emeritus English and HOD kashmir University) ,Prof T N Bhan and many more names come to my mind. Poets Ghulam Nabi Firaq (Bohri Kadal ) and Rehman Rahi (wazapora ) are also from downtown srinagar . Gh Mohd Bhat and Noor Mohd (Oldest Book sellers in down town )were from Pandhaan Nowhatta. The list is endless . But One man from this down town area who was liberally praised and appreciated by Europeans was Shanker Pandit or Shanker Kaul.

Shanker Kaul was born in kaul family that lived in sehyar Mohalla located opposite to Rehbab sahib in down town Srinagar . In 1892 he joined CMS school Fateh Kadal as a student and later rose to become Head master of this school.. About him C E Tyandle Biscoe writes in his memoirs:


“I must express my thanks to my Headmaster Shanker Pandit BA who has allowed me to draw upon his knowledge of ancient history , and of various rites and ceremonies , both of hindus and muslims , with respect to birth, death , marriage etc. What my friend shanker does not know concerning his country is not worth knowing . He remained Head master for 40 years in the school. A very successful teacher in the classroom , but as a leader in all social services for the welfare of his country , he was superb. ”

“ He led the boys for social service during some wild fires in Srinagar city . He again led them during the epidemics of cholera in Kashmir . He was seen with boys of our school creating embankments when Jhelum overflowed and created havoc in srinagar city .To speak of shanker kaul’s life and the enormous useful work and the brave deeds he performed would fill volumes .I can not count and tell you how many poor and innocent kashmiri girls he rescued from some impure devils . He even worked among lepers .He joined our crusade against child marriage and was a pillar of support for widow remarriage movement . So much was this great soul loved by citizen of the city irrespective of religious affiliations that he was made honorable member of Municipality even when he was Head master of our school. ”

"Shanker kaul led a deputation of old students of the school to his highness Maharajah requesting him to enact a law Permitting widow remarriage in his community but the request was turned down . Two years later he again tried his luck and met Mr Wakefield secretary to Maharajah and succeeded . The remarriage of Widows in Hindu community became a law. I never expected in my lifetime to witness this miracle. "

He is the person who led the first attack on Taashvaan (prostitution centre at Fateh kadal )alongwith boys of his school freeing some poor and innocent girls .
He was a lover of Persian poetry and a devotee of Goddess Sharika.  He would go do Hari Parbat (  on foot  everyday at 4 AM )  without fail even under heavy snow falls during winter season.

Apart from Hindu sacred scriptures, Shanker koul had thorough knowledge of Bible and Holy Quran.

Peace be to his soul.

 
 
I  conclude this post with lines from a Gazal of Majrooh Sultanpuri ....

Jis taraf Bhi Chal Pade Hum aabalaa Paayaan e shauq
Khaar se gul Aur Gul se Gulsitaan Bantaa gayaa'''
Mein akelaa Hi Chalaa thhaa Jaanib e Manzil Magar
Log Saath Aaatay Gaye Aur Carvaan Bantaa Gayaa

(Autar Mota )

PS

For this write up, I am confining down town Srinagar  to areas below Fateh kadal and excluding Rainawari .



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2 comments:

  1. I am Shanker Kaul's Gread Grand Daughter . It is indeed a pride for us to have his DNA. We pray and hope to be able to live to the ideas he had. Nevertheless we are grateful to you for having written about him in your blog. Regards Sakshi Kaul Dhar

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