Tourism Deptt’s Kul Hind Mushaira Draws Flak

Non local poets paid Rs 25000 to Rs 40,000 each; Locals yet to receive meagre Rs 3000

SRINAGAR: The much  hyped ‘Kul Hind Mushaira’ organized by J&K Tourism Department recently has drawn flak from state’s noted poets, accusing  the organizers of ‘humiliating’ them at the event.

The All India Mushaira was held in Srinagar on November 19.

Titled  ‘Ek Shaam Kashmir Ke Naam’ was attended by 16 prominent Urdu poets of  India, including Waseem Barelvi, Rahat Indoori and Munawar Rana.

The local poets who participated in the event Wednesday accused organizers of ‘maltreatment’. Rukhsana Jabeen, a noted Urdu poet and the radio broadcaster told KNS that the discrimination was done on the grounds of ‘honorarium’.

“The tourism department has paid more than 25 to 40 thousand rupees to the non-local poets while as a small amount of Rs three thousand was promised to us.” 

Jabeen further stated that as the poets who came from other states of India have been given to and fro air tickets and the expensive gifts besides luxurious accommodation,  the poets from the state were completely ignored during the event.

Jabeen said, “We were told to get the Pheran from home while as the expensive Pherans and Karakul caps were gifted to outsiders. I told them that I am not participating in the dance competition and that there is no particular costume for a Musharia.”

A prominent local poet Pratipal Singh Betab was denied the travel fare and was told that Rs five thousand is being provided to him as honorarium and that he has to bear all the other costs out of that amount. “Betab didn’t participate in the event, though his contribution in the field of literature is enormous,” said local poets here.

The local poets who participated in the event stated that Humdam Kashmiri was invited to participate in the event but the organizers later told him that he has to only lit the candle in the event and not to recite his poetry. “He left the event mid-way.”

Rafiq Raaz, a known Urdu poet of the state stated that the accolades were reserved for  poets from outside but no respect was given to us”. Raaz also blamed Tourism Deptt of not paying any honorarium to local poets.  “Huge sum was paid to poets from outside many of whom have no literary background; they are just the Mushaira poets,” Raz said.

Another noted poet Farooq Nazki said that he rejected to don Pheran as according to him it was not the appropriate dress for the event. “No amount has been provided till now and it was really sad that Betab and Humdam were ignored,” he added. (KNS)

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