Srinagar: “Patriotism and love towards the nation induced me to weave the Indian tricolor (Tiranga) on a carpet to be presented to Prime Minister of India on the occasion of 75th Independence Day,” said a Kashmiri artisan Mohammad Maqbool Dar.
He believes that the traditional Kashmiri Carpet industry would get a boost after this patriotic gesture towards the country.
Forty year old Dar of village Ashtangoo Bandipora a carpet artisan has already created history by weaving a mesmerizing Kashmir culture in a silk carpet wall hanging in which an urban women in traditional dress on the bank of a lake with eye catching colors gained him fame in the industry during the “Hunar Haat” last year.
Talking to UNI he said, “It is my long cherished dream to present the carpet woven with Indian tricolor to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on the forthcoming independence day of the country’’.
It took Dar and his team of young six girls more than two months to complete the Tricolor woven in a silk Carpet of 24” x 30” size.
The Carpet is white in the back ground and deep saffron (Kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark Green in the bottom in equal proportion.
Dar and his team of educated girls are also working on two more carpets woven with Indian tricolor of the same size but with different eye catching colors in the back ground with a slogan “Mera Bharat Mahaan” on it.
Dar said he gave the idea to the Indian Institution of Carpet Technology (IICT) Srinagar who provided him the computerized “Talim” of weaving the Tricolor in Carpet with a print out of the subject
Dar, who is also running “Delight Carpet Weavers” society in the area, is associated with the carpet weaving for the past 20-years and had 20 looms in the north Kashmir’s Bandipora district where about 50 young and educated girls from downtrodden families are weaving different wall hangs and name plates of high officials with zeal and zest to earn their livelihood.
He said, “I just want that by presenting the Indian tricolor to the Prime Minister on the Independence Day, especially for the poor 50 young girls who are working on the looms should be provided a helping hand so that they could live their lives happily”.
He said these hard working girls are earning rupees two to three thousand per month which is in no way sufficient to meet their ends in the present highly inflated market.
Dar, who has stunned the onlookers by weaving a mesmerizing Kashmiri cultural painting earned him a huge amount after its presentation in the “Srinagar Hunar Haat” last year . But he regrets its sale as according to him it was a golden hen for him as those who were visiting him at Bandipora were paying him for such an artistic work as a good will gesture.
Dar said, “the incredible 2021 painting on the carpet was worthy to honor us with a big award for our encouragement, even though we submitted a form for that, but don’t know what happened”.
Not only this…he has a dream to put the sprawling Gurez valley of his district Bandipora with famous “Habba Khatoon” mountain in the background on a carpet very soon.
He said the idea of transforming different colorful paintings of animals, scenic places and culture in a carpet is actually being provided by the girls who are working with him.
He said after seeing my carpet wall hangings made by young girls, the IICT provided me raw material free of cost for the promotion of a new chapter of the carpet weaving in Kashmir valley in the past.
Dar said the big carpets are no longer in demand and we are trying to make all different kinds of items so that they can be sold in the market very easily.
Dar and his team of girls have weaved wall hangings of flowers, a colorful and dancing angle, Mughal Emperor Akbar on a horse, a scene of animal sanctuary and kinds of birds which have earned them praise all around.
Dar appealed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide special aid to the carpet weavers especially to the young poor girls for their economic upliftment in the society and to give life the age old traditional art in Kashmir valley.