Digital age offers new avenues for Urdu literature to flourish: KU VC

‘Jammu Wa Kashmir Main Urdu Afsana: Samt o Raftar’:

Srinagar: To explore the contemporary trends in the genre of short stories to establish Jammu and Kashmir’s unique identity within the Urdu literary world, the Department of Urdu, University of Kashmir (KU), organised a two-day national seminar that concluded here Thursday.

KU Vice Chancellor, Prof Nilofer Khan, who inaugurated the event titled, ‘Jammu Wa Kashmir main Urdu Afsana: Samt o Raftar’, lauded the efforts of the Department of Urdu for its initiatives in integrating technology with traditional learning methods.

“The digital age offers new avenues for Urdu literature to flourish, transcending geographical boundaries,” she said, adding that there’s need for innovative learning strategies and the development of new curricula incorporating advanced technologies to propel the department forward.

In his keynote, renowned poet and lexicographer Prof Shafaq Sopori, provided deep insights into the evolution of Urdu short stories in the region.

“The rich mosaic of storytelling tradition in Jammu and Kashmir is enough a validation to our cultural diversity and literary prowess,” he maintained.

Prominent short story writer, Vehshi Syed in his address said: “Exploring the roots and evolution of Urdu short stories in Jammu and Kashmir is vital for preserving and promoting our unique literary heritage.”

Outlining the objectives of the seminar, Dean, School of Arts, Languages and Literature and Head Department of Urdu, Prof Arifa Bushra, emphasised the pivotal role of the internet in contemporary education and innovation.

She highlighted the establishment of the ‘Prof Hamidi Kashmiri Computer Laboratory’ as a vital resource for scholars and students.

The newly established computer laboratory inaugurated by Prof Nilofer Khan on Wednesday has been named in honour of Prof Hamidi Kashmiri, a celebrated poet of Kashmir and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir.

“The integration of digital resources is essential for the advancement of literary studies and research,” Prof Bushra said, adding that dedicating the lab to Prof Hamidi Kashmiri will ensure his legacy continues to inspire future generations.

Prof Aslam Jamshed Puri from Meerut University and Sagheer Afraheem from Aligarh Muslim University who participated online, also shared their expertise and perspectives on the subject.

Dr Muhammad Younis Thoker conducted the proceedings while as, Dr Mushtaq Haider proposed the formal vote of thanks of the inaugural day.

On the second day, three technical sessions featured 24 paper presentations, discussing the current state, origin and development of the short story genre in Jammu and Kashmir. The sessions highlighted new perspectives and structures in short story writing, the emergence of nationally recognised writers and the significant contributions of female writers to the genre.

The seminar concluded with a valedictory session followed by a certificate distribution ceremony.

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