Wednesday, February 10, 2016




 Writers Navtej Singh, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Somnath Zutshi and others in Srinagar, 1947.


  Som Nath Zutshi started writing in Urdu and   later shifted to Kashmiri .  For some time ,he acted as  Secretary Progressive Writers Association of Kashmir.Along with Dina Nath Nadim, Som Nath Zutshi was a pioneer of  Kashmiri short story writing . While Nadim wrote  “Jawaabi Card” , Zutshi’s short story “ Yeli Phol Gaash”  also appeared simultaneously in 1950. It is believed that while Nadim had written his story in 1948 and it was broadcast the same year, Zutshi wrote his story in February 1949. Zutshi’s Rasul , a character that he created for his short story “ Yeli Phol Gaash “ was inspired by short stories of progressive genre that were appearing in the country during that period . This short story has been translated into English as ,"When the Light Dawned"  and  included in Neerja Mattoo's book ,"  The Greatest Kashmiri Short Stories Ever Told". I believe  both these stories are first short stories written  in the Kashmiri language. 

Aziz Haroon,Noor Mohammad Roshan, Mirza Arif,  Akhtar Mohi ud din ,Ali Mohammad lone ,Amin Kamil ,  Umesh Koul and Sofi Ghulam Mohammad  and many more followed them immediately.

This was a period when , Rajinder Singh Bedi, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, Balraj Sahni,S H Raza ,  Devinder Satyarthi and  many  other progressive writers , poets  and painter were frequent visitors to Kashmir acting as catalytic agents  for  creative activity in the  valley.

Som Nath Zutshi wrote dramas in Kashmiri as well. His Radio drama 'Viji Vaav'  was awarded first  prize in All India Radio Drama competition of 1955.

Apart from writing short stories and plays,  Zutshi also translated 'The Inspector General'   (  Nicolai  Gogol ), Wild Duck ( Henrik Isben) and Trial (  Franz Kafka) into Kashmiri. And for the translation of  'The Inspector General' , he was awarded Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1974.Considered the high point of Gogol's stagecraft and a masterpiece of dramatic satire , the Inspector General lampoons the stupidity and greed of provincial Russian officials.An ironic play by Henrik Ibsen, The Wild Duck tells the story of a misguided idealist whose compulsion to tell the whole truth brings disaster to a family.

Trial is Kafka's gripping novel  , a psychological trip into the life of one Joseph K, an ordinary man who wakes up one day to find himself accused of a crime he did not commit, a crime whose nature is never revealed to him. Once arrested, he is released but must report to court on a regular basis, an event that proves maddening, as nothing is ever resolved. As he grows more uncertain of his fate, his personal life, including work at a bank and his relations with his landlady and a young woman who lives next door, becomes increasingly unpredictable.

( Avtar Mota )

There was another Kolkata based Som Nath Zutshi  ,  a psychoanalyst by training , who  wrote on cinema. He translated works by Banaphool, Mrinal Sen, and Somnath Hore.

Creative Commons License

CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    My name is Rishabh Kaul. I'm the grandson of Som Nath Zutshi. He passed away when I was 17 but continues to inspire and intrigue me in ways I don't fully understand.

    I would like to learn more about him and the man he was. His own children, I'm afraid, never saw him more than just their father and it's only through his peers that I might have a chance to understand him better.

    Is there anyway I can get in touch with you and strike a conversation?

    I'm available at

    Thanks, Rishabh


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.