Srinagar, July 21: Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal Saturday said that his ministry has decided to take up preservation of Kashmir’s rich manuscript wealth under the national preservation mission.
Sibal’s announcement came during his visit to the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages here.
Responding to the demand by the prominent Kashmiri poet and Jnanpith awardee, Rehman Rahi, for restarting the practice of having national news reels and documentaries dubbed in Kashmiri language, Sibal said he would take up the matter with the ministry concerned.
He also assured the local writers of all help in addressing their concerns about the development of languages and literature in the state.
During his visit, Sibal saw an exhibition of rare manuscripts, paintings, calligraphy specimens and the academy’s publications.
He showed keen interest in the manuscripts and other items. On display was a rare copy of the Holy Quran calligraphed in 1237 AD by Fateh Ullah Kashmiri, another written in 1594 AD which is the only copy in the world to be written in saffron ink.
Copies of Hindu scriptures Bhagwad Geeta and Mahabharata in Persian were also displayed. The academy’s secretary, Khalid Bashir conducted the union minister and briefed him about the manuscripts and other objects on display.
Yet another attraction was a Persian manuscript calligraphed with the nail of thumb and popularly known as “Khat-e-Nakhun”. A marvel of calligraphy, the margin of the manuscript is decorated with illustrations of men, birds, and animals.
Among the specimens of calligraphy was the collection of the Holy Quran by renowned calligrapher Usman-e-Qadri.
The paintings on display included some rare works of artists like M.F.Husain, S.N. Bendre, Jatin Das and G.R. Santosh. Significantly, these paintings have been done by the artists at painting camps organised by the academy in the past.