Brief History of Kashmiri Literature

Brief History of Kashmiri Literature.

It was around the 10th century AD that Kashmiri separated itself from Apabhramsa parentage. In the beginning Kashmir poetry was an extension of Saiva texts in Sanskrit, for instance, Abhinavagupta’s Tantrasara, Buddhism and Vaishnavism also had an impact on the Kashmiri literature of the 14th century.

Lal Ded, foremost Kashmiri in the 14th century, was, however, a Saivite mystic. The inflow of Islam from central Asian regions produced its own effect. Out of a blend of Islam and Hindu influences came Nand Rishi, a poet revered to this Kashmir. Haba Khatoon is a famous poetess of 16th century.

Arnimal is another poetess in Kashmir, belonging to the 18th century. Persian and Urdu influence on Kashmir became marked after the Islamic contact. A distinctive type of comic-satiric ballad called Ladi-Shah was created towards the end of the nineteenth century.

The modern age in Kashmir literature begins in early twentieth century with Mahjur whose work embodies many of the new strains—knowledge of Western thought and literature and developments in the literatures of other modern north Indian languages, for instance—even as it looks back to the best traditions of older Kashmir secular poetry. Abdul Ahad Azad, Daya Ram Ganju, Zinda Kaul, Ghulam Hasan Beg ‘Arif’ are other well-known poets of the new age.

The Kashmir script is somewhat difficult for printing purposes—it could be one reason why there is little proliferation of works in the language.

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