Two Community Stalwarts Leave us: Our Heartfelt Homage
During the past month, since our subscribers received their last copy, two community stalwarts have left the scene. Both have left a deep imprint on various aspects of the community’s struggle in exile.
Sh. A N Kaul Sahib, who passed away a couple of days back, was an important and very senior member of All India Kashmiri Samaj. For the last six years, he was the Editor in Chief of our mouth- piece, NAAD. It was largely his dedicated efforts which turned the monthly magazine into a well-established and well-respected community journal of substance. It is because of Sh. Kaul’s efforts that Naad today has achieved a pride of place among the community, reflecting its concerns, expectations and aspirations.
Prior to taking over the Editorship of Naad, Sh. A N Kaul Sahib had steered another prestigious community magazine, Koshur Samachar, as its Editor in Chief, for over a decade. As is well known, it was due to the sincere efforts of Sh. A N Kaul Sahib that Koshur Samachar has established itself as a community journal of long standing.
Working on both these journals for such a long period with sincerity and skill needed dedication and devotion of the highest order. This, Kaul Sahib, showed in ample measure. He was a gentleman to the core, always treated others with respect and was open to fresh ideas.
Sh.Kaul Sahib was also an important member of AIKS, holding the position of Vice President of the organization for long time. In this position he contributed immensely to the well-being of the organization as also to various initiatives that AIKS took over the years. His concern for the community in exile was palpable, particularly in the field of our language and socio-cultural fields. He took numerous initiatives, both at his individual level and also at the organizational level, which were lauded by the whole community.
AIKS will miss Sh. Kaul Sahib’s sage counsel, his saintly visage and his benevolent presence for a long time.
Dr M K Teng, on the other hand, was a political theorist and scientist of eminence; his knowledge and insight into the political history of Jammu and Kashmir State, the ebb and flow of its political currents in the last century and post-exodus, was deep and clear. His incisive comments and political analysis of events which led to our exodus were sought after by everyone, including those who were on the opposite side of the political thought process.
Dr Teng was an important member of Panun Kashmir (Ajay Chrangoo/ Agnishekhar) faction and the latter valued his political analysis greatly. He was also responsible for providing crucial inputs for preparing Panun Kashmir’s Margdarshan Resolution of early nineties; a resolution which reflected the aspirations of the community in the very early phase of our forced displacement from Kashmir.
Dr Teng’s seminal work on Article 370 is incomparable and path-breaking. He has examined every aspect of this temporary provision of our constitution in detail. Many constitutional experts have borrowed heavily from his work to understand the monstrosity perpetrated on the country through this act, on our constitution. He was forthright on his assessment of the damage that this Article did to the concept of national integrity in general and to the fabric of Kashmiri society in particular.
I recall having relied heavily on his writings while I was researching for my book, Kashmir; Its Aborigines and Their Exodus (Lancer Publishers and Printers, New Delhi, 2012). I met him with the manuscript of the book and handed him over the bulky volume for his comments. I called on him later with great deal of trepidation, wondering what the great political thinker would say about my amateurish attempt! However, he soon put me at rest by his positive comments. He particularly liked the chapter titled, Myths Perpetuated to Justify Violence. He gave his valuable inputs, which I readily incorporated into the book. I shall always remain grateful to Dr Teng for this favour. His work and contribution to the community will always be remembered.