J & K poet Mahjoor's house crumbling, accusing apathy

PULWAMA: Only 25 Km From Dadasara, The Village Of The Dead Hizb Commander Burhan Wani, A Retired Librarian Guard The Picturesque Small House Of One Of Kashmir's Greatest Progressive Poets, Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor. She Waits All Day For Visitors, Mostly Young Students, To Tell Some Popular Mahjoor Poetry With Themes Of Peace And Common Harmony.

Nestled Between Bushes, White Carnations, And A Small Lush Green Vegetable Garden, The 73-year-old House Made Of Wood, Bricks And Mud, In The Pulwama Village In Mitrigam, Was Kashmirs Heritage In 2005 News For New Age Militancy Led By Burhan Wani And The Last Suicide Attack That Killed 44 CRPF Jawans.

" There Is A Renewed Interest From The Younger Generation In Kashmir In Mahjoor. Many School And University Students Come Here To Know More About The Life And Work Of Mahjoor," Said Perveza, Pulwama's Retired Senior Librarian, Who Also Mahjoor Is.

As She Opens The Door To The House Built By Mahjoor In 1946, When He Was About 60 Years Old, And Where He Wrote Much Of His Later Years Of Poetry, Perveza Reports That All Successive Governments In J & K Have Ignored Mahjoor. If They Only Propagated Mahjoor's Literature, Much Destruction Could Have Been Averted In Kashmir. He Always Preached Peace And Common Harmony."

Mahjoor's Poetry Is So Well Known In The Literary World That The Late Premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee Quoted Him Once When He Visited Kashmir. Coke Studio Also Produced A Song From Mahjoor Sahibo Sath Chham Mae Chaniy Wath Mein Asalich Hawtam (Lord, My Only Hope Is You, Show Me The Right Way)," That Became Popular A Few Years Ago.

A Widow Who, After A Bitter Legal Battle With Her Clan, Remains The Only Keeper Of The House, Comes That PĂ©veza Complains That Though The State Government Under The Prime Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Declared It Property As Monument, Nor Omar Abdullah Nor Mehbooba Mufti Governments Invested In Its Maintenance And Maintenance.

" None Of Them Have Made Commitments To Make The Site A Popular Educational And Literary Tourist Destination. They Have Not Given Me Compensation Or Replacement. The Walls Of The House Are Crumbling And I Cannot Even Repair Them Because It Is A Monument," She Complains, Adding That She Would Not Vote For Anyone Now.

Across The Street, The Government Allowed The Construction Of Two Buildings, One Of Which Was A Library, Halfway Behind. Her Pension. Her Two Sons Moved Last Year In Search Of Work.

By The Way, Sarhad, An NGO In Pune, That Has Adopted More Than 100 Kashmir Children For Education Away From The Violent And Unstable Situation Of Kashmir, A Few Years Ago To Establish Mitrigam As The Village Of Books And Poetry. To Hire Hundreds Of Young People In The Village," Says Sarhad Founder Sanjay Nahar.

" We've Started Here Without Any Government Support," He Says, Adding That Some Administrative Assistance Can Make The Village A World-class Tourist Destination.

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