Ghulam Nabi Firaq is one of the modern greats of the kashmiri language. Firaq was born in 1920s in the downtown area of Srinagar city. It was in early 60s Firaq under the influence of progressive writers movement took up the task of writing and within no time he made a name for himself and was competing with the big names like Amin Kamil, Rahman Rahi, Dina Nath Nadim and others and it was during the time the kashmiri literature was being moulded and given new shape. Firaq was a sensitive human being, he wrote what he felt and he is one the very few exception in Kashmiri literature who has contributed heavily in all genres. His major contribution is in the field of poetry but he has written extensively on fiction, nonfiction, philosophy and criticism and all of his writings speak about the class of Firaq. Ghulam Nabi Firaq is often considered as one of the visionary and profound writers who changed the dynamics of Kashmiri language forever. Firaq extensively worked on Kashmiri script and pronunciation. Firaq made one thing which Kashmiri language was in dire need, he standardized it and recovered the lost world which were abandoned and later used them in his writing. He also needs to be praised where for creating new words which were taken from different languages mostly from Persian and Sanskrit. The language which Kashmiri speak today and which is used by masses, we owe a lot to the legendary poet Firaq. 1960s and 1970s was the time when the progressive movement dominated the scene in the valley of Kashmir. During that time Kashmiri language was considered an offshoot of Middle Eastern languages and its origin was linked with a lot of conspiracies. It was here Firaq who took the research upon himself and later came to conclusion that kashmiri was far different than any middle eastern languages and concluded that kashmiri originated in the sub continent and it got changed over time with influx of people from central Asia who modified it has gave it a new shape. Prof Firaq has made contributions which is far more than any writer has made to the literature of Kashmir. His unrivalled vision and his writing is considered as a template for other authors and writers. A professor turned writer, Firaq was born in downtown, an area which was considered the centre of education and an intellectual hotbed area of Kashmir in 1928. After completing his high school from SP school he completed his graduation from SP College and then went on to pursue further studies in English literature and then he was appointed in Anantnag Degree College. From there he was later moved to Jammu science college and then to SP college. He remained for major part of his tenure at SP College Srinagar. Firaq continued to serve Kashmiri language while continuing his services at SP College and it was during Firaq made his first contribution to Kashmiri literature kosher adbe iztila which gives brief and concrete information about the various literary terms used in different languages including Kashmiri.Firaq’s poetry was unmatched and has been honoured thought out the world and his hold on Kashmiri language its script, metaphor and most important his beautiful craftsmanship was of next level. A renowned Kashmiri literary critic Mohammad Yusuf tang has written in one of his literary essays that Firaq has the same position and status in Kashmiri language which Akhter ul Emaan has in Urdu. Both emerge as major voices of that time in their respective languages after 1950. Both have a number of similarities in their writings and outlook. Kashmiri language will also be in debited to Firaq for his outstanding contribution in the field poetry. While poetry in Kashmiri language already had great contributed, Firaq’s perception and visualization was something which was unseen before. Firaq could be said as the master of Kashmiri poetry in the last few centuries and his beautiful blending of metaphor, humour and most importantly his art of writing make it seem that he had a perspective of things which were hard to find in anyone else. How powerful were the worlds the of Firaq ca be well understood that one of his poem an: an ode to the night angle which was published in British newspaper and is considered and one of the best poem of the last century across globe. This poem features in the list of top 100 poems and had an impeccable impact on the masses. It was his poetry book sada te samundar which got him sahitya academy. About the book, it is a collection of poem, sonnets, Ghazals. This book is significantly different from the rest of the books which were published during that era. It has a blend of intimacy, blending of kashmiri and Persian and kashmiri words and expressions, aphoristic comments on life, intermingling of satire and opathos, use of musically, potent meters, masterly use of smile and image, oblique but esoteric expression and finally the use of Persian and Indian mythological allusions. Firaq was born in an era when the conventional form of poetry was dominant in Kashmir and Sufi poetry had a stronghold in Kashmiri society. Through his writing he tried to move away and made an impact through writing was different yet still had the same classes of his contemporaries. Firaq was an institution he with a kind of religiously resolve tried to change rather over haul every mode of expression status of kashmiri language status and poetic personality of sheikh ul Alam myths about Habba khatoon and Arnimaal and about the Hebrew origin of kashmiri language. He brought freshness to Kashmiri poetry which still smells unique and strong. The world of Prof Firaq is not simply one of gloom cruelty and human wilderness but more significantly of harmony love and trust the form and content of his write ups blending in way to produce beautiful.
In order to understand what Firaq wanted to convey through his writing we have to dive deep in an ocean of ideas, thoughts, views which were very intimate to every person yet no person had ever tried to put his mind in that way. His writing was a manifestation of his inner soul and through his writing Firaq made an unforgettable impact on the Kashmiri society.
As Firaq acquired fame he kept on contributing to Kashmiri language and literature. One of his famous writing Dazwun naar is a long allege written by the author after the death of his wife. It describes the condition of the writer after the death of his beloved wife besides the different aspects of our society and their impact on the common man. In mid 70s Firaq came up with a masterpiece when he wrote kashur wuchnuk Safar. It gives evolution of Kashmiri poem known as wuchnuk and through the prism of that genre one goes through history of Kashmir literature, cultural and socio-political map of this region. Firaq knew how to put together words which would reform society and how it could contribute towards the Kashmiri language which was losing its charm. He wrote what would define the kashmiri language for a long time, Tath insaan saenz. Is the translation of a famous book in English by B R hook about human civilization? The important adaptation about this book is the translation in Kashmiri. Newly coined verbs, metaphor and overall quality-of the prose a real master piece.This book is the real insight of Firaq mind and his intellectual capabilities which was far ahead what the Kashmiri literature had seen so far. Much before the story Kamil also garnered name when he wrote maiden novel Wuduv fiker hund. It comprises of literary essay based on the trends and movement which have taken place in most western languages and literature from 14th century onwards especially in France and England. It comprises a portion on oriental languages, the trends and movements, which have taken place from time to time in those languages. The book is considered as one of the milestones and most favourite and sort after book in Kashmir language. Firaq made a mark when it came to translation. He translated many books from different languages in Kashmiri. One of his famous translations is Taath insaan saenz it is adaptation of famous book in English by B R hook about human civilization. The important adaptation about this book is the translation in Kashmiri. Newly coined verbs, metaphor and overall quality-of the prose a real master piece. Firaq’s thought process was very philosophical and he possessed traits of a genius. From the day Firaq took to writing he changed the dynamics of Kashmiri languages and made an unparalleled mark. The biggest strength of Firaq was that he kept on thinking and asking questions until he got to the bottom of the truth. he explored every field of study to gather more knowledge. He wrote a book which blends traditional Kashmiri religiosity and Sufism. Khair ul bashr Consists of naat written in traditional naat form and short poems, Sonnets. This book has won many awards including from sahitya academy award. Firaq’s writing was not less than a art. An art which gave meaning and metaphoric value to words and situations. Firaq was above all the social norms and someone who believed that his writing could bring about a change in a society which was choked. He was well aware of all the confinements that existed in the society and more importantly his uniqueness set aside him from other writers of that era. In order to understand what Firaq wanted to convey through his writing we have to dive deep in an ocean of ideas, thoughts, views which were very intimate to every person yet no person had ever tried to put his mind in that way. His writing was a manifestation of his inner soul and through his writing Firaq made an unforgettable impact on the Kashmiri society. He will always be remembered for his remarkable contributions to Kashmiri language. He died on 17 December 2016.Firaq has written dozens of books for which besides sahitya academy award .He also received many different awards from universities and cultural organisation.
( The author is a freelancer. Views are exclusively author’s own)