Srinagar, April 3: Former BBC India correspondent and honorary professor at the University of Nottingham,UK- Dr Andrew Whitehead delivered a talk on ‘The Rise and Fall of New Kashmir’ at Central University of Kashmir on Monday.
The special lecture, organised by department of Convergent Journalism in collaboration with the department of Politics & Governance, was held at the auditorium of the varsity’s Nowgam Campus I.
In his talk, Dr. Whitehead deliberated on the New Kashmir document in detail and how Kashmiri nationalism was influenced by Stalin’s Constitution for Soviet Union. He also talked about the manner in which Indian and Kashmiri nationalism “intertwined and diverged”.
He also talked about the emergence of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah as a popular leader and some of the important political developments in 1947-48 which shaped the course of events in coming years.
He said the impact of communism was quite evident on Naya Kashmir and how Sheikh Abdullah saw and projected the political struggle as logical extension of Quit India Movement.
Dr. Whitehead, who is also known for his comprehensive reportage of Kashmir in 1990s for BBC, has authored widely acclaimed book ‘A Mission in Kashmir’.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj-ud-din Mir was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Complimenting the speaker, he said Dr Whitehead raised many important issues regarding the political history of Kashmir. “History of Kashmir has witnessed many ups and downs resulting in confusion, crisis and miseries. Kashmir has its own identity. It was known as a nation much before India and Pakistan came into existence.”
The Vice Chancellor invited Dr Whitehead for delivering another lecture to speak on the topic ‘fall and rise of New Kashmir’.
“Though Sheikh Abdullah played a commendable role, there are many other unsung leaders,” he added.
Earlier, while welcoming the guest, Registrar, Prof. Mohammad Afzal Zargar said the topic has wide contours and has been a subject of political debates. Prof Zargar informed the guest about the various programmes and courses run by the university.
Prof. Noor Ahmad Baba of the department of Politics & Governance spoke about the relevance of the topic. He said the leadership of J&K was inspired by the manifesto of Soviet Union, which envisaged progressive land reforms and various welfare schemes.
Coordinator, Department of Convergent Journalism, Asif Khan gave a brief profile of Dr. Whitehead while welcoming the guests.
Coordinator, department of Politics & Governance, Dr. Abhiruchi Ojha, delivered vote of thanks.
Raashid Maqbool, Assistant Professor, Department of Convergent Journalism, conducted the proceedings of the programme. (CNS)