Thursday, November 28, 2013



Jammu 28.11.2013.
( L to R Nida Nawaz Hindi poet from Kashmir, Dr Ved Kumari Ghai and Autar Mota )

Dr Ved Kumari Ghai ( Born 1932 )
( MA Sanskrit , MA Ancient Indian History And Literature , Doctorate in Sanskrit , Diploma in German and Danish languages )

Kashmiris in particular remain indebted to her for her scholarly translation of Neelmat Purana ( 2 Volumes ) to English and Kashmiri poet Rajanka Ratankantha’s SURYASHATKAM ( 100 Shlokas in praise of Sun God ) to English from a Sharda manuscript . 

Dr Ghai has also authored books like Kashmir Darpan, Narendra-Darpan and Kashmir ka Sanskrit Sahitya ko Yogdaan ( Kashmir’s contribution to Sanskrit literature) . Together with her scholarly husband Prof . Ram Pratap , she has co authored books like Urmika ( a collection of Sanskrit poems ) , Mere Geet Tumhaaray hain ( Hindi ), Rajendra-karnpur,Bhallat-shatak and Sanskrit Sahitya Aur Nibhandh . Her scholarly book “Studies in Phonetics and phonology “ has been widely appreciated and well received. .

Dr Ghai has also authored innumerable scholarly papers on ancient Indian history and culture and helped at least two  generations of writers with her knowledge and erudition. Dr.Ghai has been abroad several times in connection with academic assignments.

She is former Head, PG Sanskrit Department, University of Jammu and has bag full of awards and honours including the prestigious Padma Bhushan. She is presently chairperson of Gandhi Sewa Sadan, Vasudev Katumbkam Welfare Society, Member of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board and associated with a number of literary and social organizations.

And In addition to teaching and research work at Jammu University, till her retirement in December, 1991, Dr Ghai has also taught Panini’s grammar and Sanskrit literature at the Institute of Indian Studies, Copenhagen University, Denmark (1966-67 and 1978-80). She has also been associated with Stockhom University . She lives at Trikuta Nagar in Jammu city .

It was a pleasure to listen to her today in a seminar and interact with her in presence of young poets / writers which included Prof. Aruna sharma , Shri Agnishekhar, Sheikh Mohd Kalyan , Nida Nawaz ,Maharaj Krishen Santoshi and Punjabi writer Dr Baljit Raina . I salute  her clarity of thought and erudite conceptual frame work . A very polite lady who is firm and clear in her elocution.

“Yes I have been able to locate some more manuscripts out of which two have been written by of Rajanka Ratankantha the Kashmiri Sanskrit Poet . I look forward to translate them. With these translations , another aspect of Kashmir’s contribution to Indian thought and the richness of its past culture shall emerge to readers . ”

A moment of great privilege for me  to interact with this living legend..May she  live long and continue  doing her great work......

( Avtar Mota  )

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