Sunday, December 20, 2020


(Prem Nath Dar is explaining something to Shastri Ji while Indira Gandhi and artist Som Nath Khosa are listening. The photo was clicked in New Delhi during the painting exhibition of artist Som Nath Khosa.)
         ( Haksar Haveli of Bazar Sita Ram,Delhi )
                            ( Prem Nath Dar)

   ( Marriage invitation card of Prem Nath Dar)                                              

(This is a 2 page letter written by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad   to Prem Nath Dar  explaining his participation in the special Congress convention held at Tripuri ( MP) in March 1939. As per Bakshi  many  personalities attended this convention that included Babu Rajinder Prasad, Moraraji Desai, Subash Bose, Gandhi Ji ,Nehru  Maulana Azad and many more . Bakshi Sahib describe that much time  was wasted in speeches before actual voting . Gandhi Ji wanted Nehru  to be elected president but he didn't get the votes . Subash Bose was elected Congress president  in this session.)

( Write-ups on Prem Nath Dar published in Aina newspaper edited by Shamim Ahmed Shamim ) 

PREM NATH DAR (1914- 1976)
Pem Nath Dar,  Urdu writer and  close confidant  of  Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah  was married  to Kumari  Lalita Devi Bhat  (name changed after marriage- Prem Pratima Dar)of Chaurasi Ghanta, Bazaar Sitaram, Delhi. The ancestors of Lalita Ji had migrated out from Kashmir during  Afghan rule.
Sita Ram Bazar Delhi was  the main settlement of Kashmiri Pandits who moved  out  during the dark days of Afghan rule in Kashmir. Though they served  the  Maharajas and the Nawabs  of United Provinces , Rajasthan, Punjab  or Madhya Pradesh ,they  constructed  large Havelis  with  gardens in  Sita Ram Bazar( Delhi) . Dhars , Atals , Kauls , Mushrans ,Hukkus , Haksars , Bhatts, Zutishis , Kallas  and Handoos  stayed in this locality  before    shifting to Allahabad, Kanpur , Lahore , Lucknow, Rewa  etc.    Even Kamla Nehru was born as Kamla Atal ( Kaul ) in this locality in the famous Atal House . Her grandfather  Pandit Krishen Lal Kaul Atal had served  the courts of Maharaja of Rewa , Jaipur and Jodhpur. Dr Jagat Mohini  of Rattan Rani hospital ,Sathu Barbar Shah,  Srinagar also  belonged  to Atal family  which had moved to Lahore from Sita Ram Bazar ,Delhi . Another prominent building of Bazar Sita Ram was known as ' Swroop Narain Ki Haveli  'that belonged to the Haksar family. This locality was named after Diwan Sita  Ram Zutshi  .The Zutshis had a palatial Bungalow  in this area apart from Jagir in Ludhiana ,Jalandhar and some other places. Diwan  Sita Ram Zutshi's son, Mohan Lal Zutshi , travelled   to Europe,Central Asia and other countries during the British Raj  .

In 1975, when Sheikh Abdullah signed the accord with the then prime minister of India Indira Gandhi, he remembered his old comrade. The Sheikh recalled Prem Nath Dar to Srinagar to serve him as his Press & Publicity Advisor. Unfortunately , Prem Nath Dar died suddenly in September 1976 due to heart failure.  As an obituary,   Shamim Ahmed Shamim, former  member parliament from Srinagar   ( writer and a brilliant journalist ) wrote a memorable  write up  "Prem Nath Dar- Mera Yaar" (Prem Nath Dar- My Pal),  in his  Urdu newspaper  "Ainaa" published from Srinagar.

 Prem Nath Dar was  born at Badiyar Bala ,   Srinagar in 1914.  After completing his education, he joined hands with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullahin his fight against Maharaja's rule .For this ,he joined the National Conference party  headed by the Sheikh . After his marriage, he shifted to Delhi  and worked for the Statesman and Hindustan Times. From Newspapers, he moved to AIR and retired as the Deputy Director General in 1973. In Delhi ,he came closer to many literary stalwarts including Devendra Satyarthi, Josh Malihabadi, Arsh Malsiyani, Jagan Nath Azad , Sagar Nizami, Rewati Sharan Sharma . He was also associated with Progressive Writers movement and had close association with Ali Sardar Jafri, Syed Sajjad Zaheer , Rajinder Singh  Bedi and Krishen Chander .

 Prem Nath Dar was a prominent writer  of Urdu. His Urdu short stories like . Kaghaz ka Vasudev, Doodh, Uttarai, Aakh Thoo, Zanshirin, Gidh, Chadawa,Kofta, Neeli Aankhen, Geet Ke Chaar Bol, Paani se Gadha Lahu, Bhoot Pret, Faayada be Faayad Beech Andherey, Zindagi ke Ghoont, Neeli Botal, Dinon ka Pher,Tehalil Nafsee,Ghalat Phehami etc.  became quite popular. These short stories were  published in his collections titled  “Kagaz Ka Vasudev”  “Neeli Aankhen” , " Betaal Lamhe " and "Chinaron  ke saaye mein" . He also wrote some musical operas and plays.

His contribution towards creation and development of Pamposh Colony in Delhi has been immense. The colony was meant to create a single settlement for such Kashmiri families  residing in Delhi as had moved out of Kashmir in early forties of the last century. The colony was given practical shape in 1950s .

He  remained in good books of  Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru,Lal Bahadur Shastri, and Indira Gandhi .He was close to Durga Prasad Dhar, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and many more  national leaders .Artist Som Nath Khosa was his close friend .

So long so much.

( Avtar Mota)

( My special Thanks to  Sh.Jag Prakash Dar son of Shri Prem Nath Dar  for the  photographs. )

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