When we talk about the youth of Kashmir, their achievements and fame; we can’t leave behind the source of inspirations that guides them. It is the mixture of tradition and individual talent that propagates ones insight. We are all aware of our heroes like Sonam Wangchuk (Engineer, Innovator etc.), Zinda Kaul (Poet, Writer and Teacher), Anupam Kher (Actor & Chairman of FTII), Professor Amitabh Mattoo (writer- on international relations), Ustad Allarakha Qureshi (tabla player), etc. It’s time to remember and honor one of the most precious gem of the Valley, Professor and Linguist Braj Bihari Kachru.
Personal Life and childhood memories
Braj Kachru’s father, Damodar Das Kachru, was an educator and much respected in the neighbourhood. He was lovingly called Lala Sahab. But, Kachru’s mother didn’t live much longer to see her son succeed as she died when he was only five years old. Born in 1932, Braj, was greatly influenced by his father’s status in society. He learned to be humble
and patient from him. Also, he had the opportunity to surround himself with the company of the famous Kashmiri writer and poet Zinda Kaul, who was very good friends with his father. Hence, Kachru was inspired by his elders and acquaintances, as the youth today is inspired by him!
Kachru’s Life as A Scholar
Kachru was Professor of Linguistics, Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Center for Advanced Study Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana. The achievements of Kachru are enormous. He has authored and edited around twenty-five books. As a Linguistic professor, Kachru has studied and researched in the field of World Englishes,
including Asian, and one of his most influential research is based in the study of Kashmiri Language. His book “An Introduction to spoken Kashmiri” stands evident of his association and belonging to his motherland.
Kachru has pioneered the study of “Koshur” (Kashmiri Language) and dedicated his pedagogy of spoken Kashmiri to his linguistic inclination. His work acts as a metaphorical support to the valley’s dying mother tongue. This article is an ode to the incredible Professor Kachru his indelible impression and charismatic raconteur. He was also a kind and caring mentor, a warm and supporting colleague, an imaginative institution builder and a confident, fearless, visionary intellectual. Even after his tragic demise in 2016, we as Kashmiris feel proud about his omniscient presence in our lives through his works. May his soul rest in peace!
We have been living with the typical image of the stunning beauty of Kashmir. There are a number of books written about the colors of the Kashmir valley depicting its beauty, its cultures and traditions.
This Heaven on Earth is not just beautiful but also a source of pride for us Kashmiris. Let’s get over the beauty of Kashmir for some time and move over to some rapid developments that Kashmir has seen in the past few years.
Yes, it is raining developments in Jammu and Kashmir.
Prosperity, health, education, connectivity and jobs are all the parameters to measure development. Being a citizen of the paradise here is a little glimpse of the developing Jammu and Kashmir that’ll help people understand the realities much better.
Human Development Index:
Jammu Kashmir is ranked 7th among major 17 states with a score of 0.64 classified as medium HDI economy, which is of course better than other Indian states.
North India’s first cable–stayed bridge – the fourth of its kind in the country.
Named Atal Setu, the bridge was inaugurated y Border Roads Organization (BRO) on Dunera-Basohli-Bhadharwah road in Basohali town in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Chenab Bridge – World’s highest railway bridge being built in Jammu and Kashmir.
Another reason to cheer is this arch type bridge being built over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district. The arch will stand higher than the Eiffel Tower.
Chenani-Nashri tunnel (or Patnitop Tunnel) – country’s longest road tunnel.
An engineering marvel, Jammu-Kashmir’s new lifeline the longest tunnel will reduce the journey time by two hours and provide a safe, all-weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar.
The Zojila underground tunnel, which is to connect Ladakh to the rest of the country all year round.
Development of aviation sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu Airport is set to offer a world-class experience to passengers with an expanded and modernised terminal.
Truly Heaven on Earth – An early morning landing at the Leh airport in Ladakh.
Rated as the 2nd best airport in the world, in the category of handling up to 2 million passengers per year by the Airports Council International.
Passing through various tunnels & bridges over the Himalayas, the Banihal-Srinagar-Baramulla train cuts through high altitude mountain terrains. Take a glimpse of the train ploughing through snow in Kashmir Valley. pic.twitter.com/YL50K5sqAa
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) 28 February 2018
Train to Kashmir
The Baramulla-Banihal train racing down the snowy valley surrounded by mountains in the distance has become a talking point on social media, with even Railway Minister Piyush Goyal taking note of it. And, why not?
A project would come up which would reduce the distance between Delhi and Katra by 110 km.
To bridge the health divide in Jammu and Kashmir there is an availability of Super specialty hospitals like SMGS, GMC in Jammu and SKIMS in Srinagar along with various other government health facilities.
Education occupies a pivotal position in the socio-economic development. There are many Universities, Colleges like NIT and Medical colleges. Major ones are listed below.
There are a lot of institutions of higher education that are preparing students for a promising career.
“Best investment of any nation is in woman education”
Similarly, education of women in Jammu and Kashmir plays an important role in the development of the state. Slowly but steadily the status of education of women is improving in the society.
The state is trying to give a boost to the sports infrastructure in the Valley to join the road of development.
In major push to sports, Jammu and Kashmir government announces a football club for every Valley village
Jammu and Kashmir uses the power of nature and relies heavily on tourism and believe me a take a tour to Jammu and Kashmir and escape into the lap of nature.
Tourism in J&K is one of the most important sectors of economy.
Tourism acts as a catalyst in the development of backward and far flung regions of a particular area. Not only that, it has become a multi -segmental industry in Jammu and Kashmir by providing different types of jobs like hotel managers, guides, tour operators, chefs etc which further strengthens the J&K economy by increasing income and standard of living of the people. It can also give a boost to the economic condition of the residents by promoting local art like Handicrafts, Handlooms, Cricket bat industry and Ayurveda.
More the violence less the development. Good news emerging from the valley as the number of youth joining militancy in Kashmir has come down in the recent years.
Not many will know but there is an Astronomical observatory in Ladakh.
It’s funny how the backward, underdeveloped and controlled Kashmir is the only thing that attracts the media’s eye. While on the other side these developments in Kashmir have demolished all the stereotypes and presented the image of the aspirational Kashmiri and not a stone-pelter Kashmiri.
From young Kashmiris entering the civil services to a five-year-old girl cleaning up the Dal Lake, we are also determined and dedicated to develop our Nation.