SRINAGAR: The demise of Sheikh Muhammad Usman, one of the pioneers of publishing industry in Kashmir, has been widely mourned.
Sheikh Usman passed away on Monday evening in New Delhi after brief illness.
Founder of Sheikh Muhammad Usman and Sons and Gulshan Books, Sheikh with active support of his son Sheikh Ajaz revived the tradition of book reading by first tracing, locating, subsequently consolidating and publishing the scattered historical literature or material on Kashmir; making easily available to scholars, intellectuals, academicians as well as the general readers a variety of rare books which were otherwise beyond their reach.
Beginning his journey in 1950s Sheikh Mohammad Usman opened a book shop at Maharaj Gunj Srinagar then considered as the heart of city. Developments shifted the shop to Fateh Kadal and presently the shop is located at three commercial zones of the Srinagar city viz. the one located at Residency Road, other placed at Gaw Kadal area and the third is positioned at Srinagar airport.
Sheikh’s contribution to Kashmir is considered to be immense and his death is widely mourned by historians and writers alike.
“He was among the pioneers of his family in establishing a publishing house in Kashmir which heralded an encouraging era of book writing particularly on history, religion, culture, politics and literature of Kashmir”, said Adbee Markaz Kamraz (AMK) in a condolence message.
“It was his endeavour that numerous writers in Kashmiri, Urdu and English were encouraged to write and compile books of significance in Kashmir. It was because of the selfless efforts of Mr Usman that writers of Kashmir were provided an opportunity to reach to wider audience outside Kashmir” the statement from the body said.
It was because of this publishing house that some of Kashmiri literature could be translated into other languages, said AMK President Dr Aziz Hajni.
A condolence meeting at Kashmir Observer offices today recalled the significant contribution of Sheikh Usman and Sons in literary field of Kashmir. Late Usman and his establishment were hailed for sustained efforts to revive interest among new generation Kashmiris towards the forgotten past of Kashmir.
Meeting chaired by Editor-in-chief Sajjad Haider expressed sympathies with the bereaved family particularly Sheikh Ajaz, director of Gulshan Books.
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