Sunday, December 10, 2023
 News Details
Preserving 5 Gems of Jammu–A KVM Trust Mission to Save the Language

Oh! temple bells of Jammu pray roll on,
And from my feelings echoing, then return.
This life is rough and tough and really stern,
So for the sake of harassed self toll on - from Kunwar Viyogi's book of Sonnets River Sage

A poet so self-aware of his love for Duggar land once lived a life, much engrossed in the synchronised world of his words, oblivious of the fact that one day these very words would inspire many to 'Save the Language' he loved so much. Through the many works - precisely 26 published books of Sahitya Akademi awardee Kunwar Viyogi, a movement was born eight years ago that has vowed to save the 5 gems of the Jammu region.

Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust, today in its 8th year is showcasing Dogri to the world. While each year, since its inception has led to this defining moment where in the Trust, through its multiple international collaborations acquainted art lovers across the globe to the virgin melody of Dogri. The journey that began first with academic endeavours in the University of Jammu and then with innovative artistic endevours spearheaded by the young and talented, the Trusts' multiple attempts to Save the Language through various literary, technological, musical and cultural endeavours was aiming to make Dogri relevant to the youth of Jammu, while popularising and preserving the language through their involvement and commitment.

However, in 2023, the Trust took a leap of faith and attempted to take Dogri to the world, while popularising the 5 gems of Jammu region - Basholi miniature art, Dogri folk - Paakh, Dogri cuisine, Dogri apparels and jewellery and Dogri language and literature through the works of Kunwar Viyogi - Father of Dogri Sonnets!

The Trust launched its International 8th Kunwar Viyogi Utsav 2023 with Melbourn Kathak Utsav - 2023, where international Kathak dancer and the daughter of the soil paid rich tributes to Viyogi. She enthralled the audience with her performance on the poets' two songs - Aayi Khushboo and Rasam Riwaz. The second international chapter was launched in London by international theatre director and yet another daughter of the soil Aarushi Thakur Rana, wherein she along with international theatre actors showcased Project Sonnets thus reciting Viyogi's poetry dedicated to the Duggar Pradesh and its people.

Ghar, Kunwar Viyogi's award winning book made its international debut in New Jersey at the annual Rimjhim Literary Fest where renowned Dogri poet Shashi Padha and international poet Anoop Bharagav recited Viyogi's Dogri verses from Ghar. Shashi Padha who is presently translating Viyigi's Dogri short stories in Hindi also recited Kunwar Viyogi's Dogri poem 'Poli'.

Sheriyasi Gopinath, an international Bharatanatyam dancer launched the Paris chapter of International 8th Kunwar Viyogi Utsav 2023 with her performance on Viyogi's very popular song Kangrel. Sung respectively in the past by Dogri geniuses Seema Anil Seghal and Jatinder Jamwal and international singer Monica Dogra, Kangrel is a love song penned by Viyogi. Kangrel in Dogri means little tinkering bells. In the song, the poet says to his lover "Your love is like little tinkling bells around my soul. My heart has submitted to your love and this mesmerizing experience purifies my soul as tears of joy well my eyes. Each time I hear the sound of these trinkets, it brings a smile to my face for my soul can feel your presence."
Indian Cultural Centre, Reunion Island, France and Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust collaborated for the first time to showcase Dogri to the Europeans. At the Orissa Day Celebration two international dancers recreated Viyogi's poetry from Ghar and showcased a dance performance. Thus unique juxtoposition of Indian-European fusion won the hearts of the audience.

This, however is not the first time Viyogi's works have been explored in Europe. Celebrated recitation artist Anne-Sophie Marie has lent voice to Viyogi's hundreds of sonnets from River Sage - The Book of Sonnets by Viyogi.

The next chapter of the Utsav was showcased in Gurugram where guests were treated to the most sublime experience of viewing Basohli miniatures, juxtaposed with poetry written by Viyogi, who had penned over 2000 sonnets in English and Dogri in his lifetime. The event was curated by Art Tree. Adding a contemporary dimension were paintings on Jammu by Rashmi Jamwal, each canvas telling a story that transported viewers to the ‘City of Temples’. The event was inaugurated by Jyotsana Singh, Director Amar Mahal Museum and Nisha Jamwal, Columnist, Luxury Consultant, Art Curator both avid supporters of Basohli art. As everyone admired these stunning masterpieces by National Awardee Sohan Singh Billawaria, the host of the evening, Poonam Jamwal mentioned how growing up in Jammu and listening to her father Kunwar Viyogi’s poetry every morning had shaped her life. She said: “Jammu is a land that embraces the bounty of Chenab, moodiness of Tawi, harshness of an arid land we know as Kandi, and the divinity of temples. Within this contradiction have existed several cultural gems that need to be talked about in mainstream art discourse. We aim to promote Basohli art, along with Jammu’s Basholi art, Paakh music, Viyogi’s works, Dogri jewellery, apparel, and cuisine through the Kunwar Viyogi Utsav that is held annually across the world.”

Lending support to this vision, Jyotsana Singh revealed that she has been a patron of Basohli miniatures for long and has funded students in Basohli to apprentice under Sohan Singh. Nisha Jamwal said, “During the inaugural event of KVM Trust's Art Festival, I was undoubtedly charmed by the Basholi paintings on display by the Master Artist but was specially drawn to and ended up buying three works on Lord Hanuman by an artist whom I discovered to be Rashmi Jamwal. While the work drew inspiration from Basohli Art and used beetle wings for the iridescent ornaments, what drew me to the work was the subject of Hanuman, which I am always drawn to - but also nuances of the contemporary sketching style and watercolor effect seen in the treatment of colour. And yet the subject, and the facial features of the protagonists in the painting retained the recognisable Dogra Art elements and mood.” Retd. Major General G.D Bakshi added, “Dogras are great warriors, but their art and culture is central to the idea of India. Such showcases are essential to give a platform to the contribution of Dogras to Indian culture.” The millennials in the audience shared their enthusiasm as well. Anmol Jamwal, founder Tried & Refused Productions said: “As a content creator on social media, I acknowledge the importance of rich culture and art to be packaged in contemporary ways. Through Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust, we want the language of Dogri & Basohli art to become accessible. The endeavours to integrate the same through modern mediums like movies, music & merchandising is already underway. To put Jammu & its artistic brilliance on a global map will be our constant endeavour.”

After touring the world, Viyogi finally nestled home - his 'Ghar' - Jammu. At the Abhinav Theatre, theatre director Gauri won applause and Prem Jamwal Youth Innovation Award for the theatrical adaptation of Kunwar Viyogi's life and works in a play titled 'The Uncrowned Poet'. The Trust also hosted Dr Rajendra S Pawar, Chairman and Co-Founder of NIIT Limited and founder of NIIT University along with the 'Iron Man of India' - Major General Vikram Dev Dogra, AVSM at the 4th Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Lecture held in collaboration with the Departments of Dogri and English, University of Jammu. The event that was chaired by Prof Umesh Rai, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu also saw enthusiastic participation by the University students who interacted with the guests in a Q&A session. Scholarships were also awarded to the toppers of Dogri and English students, while renowned Dogri singers Sonali Dogra and Asha Kesar enthralled the audience with Paakh, beautifully embedded in Viyogi's latest compositions - 'Chidiyaan da Chamba' and 'Dukhe Sukhe Ich.' Major General Vikram Dev Dogra, AVSM was also awarded with the Kunwar Viyogi Shaurya Samaan for his outstanding contribution to Bharat and remarkable achievements in representing the nation across the globe. He was awarded for his courage, resilience and contribution to humanity, which is both exemplary and praiseworthy and a valuable source of inspiration to the youth.

As a part of its 'Save the Language' initiative, the Trust earlier this year, had also donated Kunwar Viyogi Digital Lab to the Department of Dogri. The Lab is equipped with state-of-the-art technology including LEDs, computers, printers, latest language software and other necessary infrastructure. The aim is to help hundreds of students and researchers, who otherwise were devoid of any facility to nurture and further their academic aspirations. "The lab is a medium to create cross references between languages - regional and international literature, while adapting it to art and culture. It will also help students undertake integrated studies across depth of language, history, economics, management art music and computers," said Goverdhan Singh Jamwal, Chairman KVM Trust.

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

Scoop News,(
Share this Story
  Comment On this Story
 Back Issuesk Issues
If you are looking for Issues beyond today. You can simply use this calendar tool to view Issue of Scoop News for any particular Date.
© Scoop News, Jammu Kashmirr
Home || About Us || Advertise With Us || Disclaimer || Contact Us
Powered by Web Design Jammu