Ateeqa Behnji challenged Western, European philosophy of women empowerment
Sopore: Adbi Markaz Kamraz Jammu and Kashmir(MKJK) on Sunday paid rich and emotional tribute to its former vice president, community activist, educationist and heritage lover Atiqa Bano(Bhenji) for the services she had rendered in preserving of culture, heritage and bringing up the community of unrepresented women across the state.
Friends, colleagues, members of civil society, Traders Federation, admirers and family members shared their memories of the late community activist during a daylong condolence meet organized by Adbi Markaz Kamraz on her Chahrum at her residence in Sopore. Atiqa Bano (77) passed away on Tuesday evening after a brief illness.
During the event, speakers said that Ateeqa Behenji was a canopy for un-represented womenfolk and a symbol of optimism, honesty, and uprightness who defied suppressive social structure to shape her identity under the counters of religion and ethics.
They said that life and struggle of Ateeqa Bhenji challenged all the global models of women rights struggle which preaching women empowerment while challenging the religious and ethical code.
Chairperson Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KSCDS), Prof Hameeda Nayeem while paying tributes said that Ateeqa Behnji struggled in a different way to express herself.
“She visited village to village to preserve the culture and heritage and defied a social structure which is usually oppressive, “Said Prof Nayeema Hameed.
Comparing her struggle with the global women empowerment philosophies Prof Hameeda Nayeem said that without disturbing the religious, Islamic or ethical ethos she expressed womanhood and carved her identity in the patriarchal society”
Ateeqa Bhenji challenged Western and European theories of women empowerment based on religious and ethical confrontation when she expressed herself while keeping religious and ethical teaching intact, Prof Hameeda said.
Referring to the establishment of Meeras Mahal (Heritage Palace) Prof Hameeda Nayeem said that Ateeqa’s Meeras Mahal is not only the collection of artifacts but the living history of 500-800 old common Kashmiri’s
“Meeras Mahal is a counter narrative of historiography having its base in the kings and queens but Ateeq’s historiography a substantial symbol of commoner’s history is based on postmodern historical theory,” Prof Hameeda said.
President Adbi Markaz Kamraz Dr. Sayed Shujaat Bukhari in his presidential remarks said that Ateeqa Bhenji was a motherly figure for the members of AMK who’s contribution cannot count.
Praising her work and service, Bukhari said that Ateeqa Bhenji was a canopy for un-represented women and a symbol of goodness.
Bukhari said that she had a lot of compassion and patience which involuntarily turn her into a heritage, cultural and a community activist.
“A unique personality with a unique struggle Ateeq Ji laid great efforts on the philosophy of live, love and learn,” Bukhari said.
Praising Ateeqa Ji for setting up a Meeras Mahal Bukhari said that Mahal has 500-year-old artifacts representing culture and heritage of Kashmir and needs to professional scientific perseverance and management.
He said that AMK will make every effort to preserve the Meeras Mahal but not without the consultation of legal hires
“We along with legal hires have a lot of responsibility and will find the future way of maintaining the “Meeras Mahal” Bukhari said, adding “Ateeqa Ji is our role model for AMK members and we will follow her steps and principles”
During his presidential remarks, President AMK also communicated the poetic tribute of Editor Rising Kashmir Prof Syed Rafiuddin Bukhari.
Bukhari said AMK faced two tragedies during the year, one in the death of Muhammad Ahsan Ahsan and other in the death of Ateeq Bhenji.
Civil Society member Shakeel Qalandar said that Ateeqa Ji was an honest and dedicated officer who was an abode of morality, ethics, and uprightness.
Qalandar stressed that Ateeq’s museum is a precious property that needs scientific and professional care for the preservation of artifacts collected by her.
Zareef Ahmed Zareef a poet said that Ateeqa Bano was a woman with strong ideas, ideals, and ideology that provoked her to collect the dispersed culture and heritage of common Kashmir’s.
Secretary J&K Academy of Culture Art and Languages Dr. Aziz Hajini said that Ateeq Ji was an upright woman who never bowed down tf anybody ther than Almighty.
“She lived a simple life besides preserving artefacts, cultural and heritage worth billions,” Hajini said.
Stating that Ateeqa Bhenji was working with a strong willpower Hajini said that she was a selfless woman who sacrificed her life for poor and destitute and orphans.
Ateeq Ji was a motherly figure for Adbi Markaz Kamraz who space can never to fulfilled, Hajini said.
Hajini said that her Meras Mahal is a socially institutionalized setup that can be managed in future only after discussing local sensitivity, reservations of Ateeqa Ji and her legal hires.
Famous Poet and Literary Critic Shahnaz Rasheed while paying tribute to the departed soul said Ateeq Ji was an aroma that diffuses out of a flower which is like her contribution.
“Aroma is out but flower (contribution) needs to be managed and preserved,” Shahnaz said.
Shahnaz Rasheed while praising AMK representation urged that the contribution and heritage preserved by Ateeq Ji need proper maintenance and management in future which can only be done by AMK or JKACL.
Hafeez Ullah Masoodi(LAWDA) who announced 40 percent of assistance in the maintenance of the Meeras Mahal said that Ateeq Ji was the only women in North Kashmir with a unique expression, impression, and impact who worked for the empowerment of women. He said she was a real social worker who worked for the social reform.
Patron Adbi Markaz Kamraz Dr. Mashal Sultanpuri said that AMK will always take the ideas and ideals of Ateeq Ji forward.
Ghulam Mohiuddin Posphpori representing Pensioners Association said that Ateeqa Ji was a multidimensional and pragmatic person who always cares for her subordinates as an officer.
Poshpori said that during her days of service she became a causality of politics but never lost her spirits and continues serving the people.
Ghulam Rasool Sofi said that Ateeq Ji is a book with many chapters and one cannot say which chapter is good and which is better.
Muhmad Ashraf Ganie President Traders Federation Sopore in his remarks said that Ateeq Ji was a symbol of simplicity and served poor and orphans across the state.
Fayaz Tilgami also shared some memories during the meet and request AMK executive to publish a special issue of Prav magazine in the honor of Ateeq Bhenji.
The poetic tributes were also paid during the meet.
Speakers who paid poetic tribute include Fayaz Tilgami, Nazir Ahmed Nazir Kruehn cultural Forum, Sunaullah Mashgool, Dr. GM Ajar, Maqbool Ferozi(Persian), G R Shah and Nazir Shahbaz. Among the other who spoke on the occasion include Shabir Ahmed Shabir, Abdul Ahad Hajani, Ghula Rasool Shah, Nazim Nazir, Muhmad Shafi Lara.
Among the others who were present on the occasion include Mir Tariq, Mansur Ahmad Muntazir,Muhmad Yousuf Mashoor, Shakir shafi, Shabnum Gulzar, Majeed Majazi, Nisar Azim, Hassan Aznar, Farooq Rafiabdi, Yousf Sameem Prince Parvaiz Chairman Wular Valley College BAndipora, representatives of J&K Saqafti Markaz Budgam, Maraz Adbi Sangam, Kreuhn Cultural Forum(Mohd Yusuf Sameem), Maraz Adbi Sangam, Ahad Zargar Memorial Trust, Gulshan Cultural Forum,Dilshad Cultural Forum, Rafiabad Civil Society, Literary Forum Bandipora, Kashmir Concern Foundation and all the representatives from affiliated units of AMK.
Lastly, former ADG Doordash Dr Rafique Massodi proposed the vote of thanks while proceedings were done by General Secretary AMK Muhammad Amin Bhat.