Srinagar: Mei sapaz khushi tuhi meelith (I feel happy to meet you all) ” – this is how President Ram Nath Kovind began his speech at the convocation ceremony of the University of Kashmir here on Tuesday, as he noted that Kashmir’s spiritual and cultural influence has an imprint all across India.
Immediately after greeting the dignitaries present at the SKICC auditorium overlooking the famous Dal Lake, the president said, “May I speak a few words in Kashmiri.
Mei sapaz khushi tuhi meelith (I feel happy to meet you all), Kovind said with a smile, drawing applause from the audience, including students.
Several prime ministers over the years have spoken Kashmiri words in their speeches to connect with the locals.
In February 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the audience at SKICC by surprise when he spoke in Kashmiri.
Yeth teeri gatkaras manz chus bae mohabbat-uk alaaw zalni aamut (In this bone-chilling cold of Kashmir, I have come to light the lamp of love, Modi had said in Kashmiri at an event.
In April 2003, at a rally here, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee received thunderous applause from the crowd when he recited a famous couplet from Kashmiri Poet Mehjoor.
Wala ho baaghwano, nav baharuk shaan paida kar, pholan gul gath karan bulbul, ki sui saman paida kar (Let us build an atmosphere where flowers bloom, birds chirp and play and it will be a paradise),” Vajpayee had said during his 20-minute speech at the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium here.
Climate Change Most Critical Challenge for Humanity: Kovind
President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said that climate change is the most critical challenge before humanity and global warming is making its impact everywhere.
Addressing the 19th convocation of the Kashmir University here, he also hoped that the centres for glaciology and Himalayan biodiversity at the varsity will show the way to the world in fighting climate change.
“Climate change, as you are aware, is the most critical challenge before humanity in this century. Global warming is making its impact everywhere, but nowhere is it more felt than in the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas,” the president said.
He said the University of Kashmir has added another feather to its cap with the setting up of two centres that are of high importance.
“One is devoted to glaciology and the other to Himalayan biodiversity documentation, bioprospecting and conservation. There is also the National Himalayan Ice-Core Laboratory. I am confident that these two ‘Centres of Excellence’ and the laboratory will help Kashmir and also show the way to the world in combating climate challenges and nurturing nature,” Kovind said.
The president’s stress on climate change came in the wake of recent natural disasters in Himalayan states, including Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
While nine persons were killed in landslides in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, more than 70 persons died in the glacier burst in Uttarakhand in February.
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, the president said he was glad to know that the university had responded to the pandemic in a most praiseworthy manner.
“The entire world has been facing a difficult time. The coronavirus has impacted all walks of life and education is no exception. Fortunately, technology provided a solution. Schools, colleges and universities across India have continued to provide education in the on-line mode,” Kovind said.
After the outbreak last year, the University of Kashmir shifted to online modules and made e-resources available to its students, the president noted.
Moreover, it also supported the administration by providing quarantine at its main, north and south campuses. It shows how universities’ contribution to society can go far beyond imparting education, he said.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.