While the country was going bananas over the soporific misadventures of a star child, Tamajul Islam, a 13-year-old girl from Kashmir quietly made history by winning gold in the U-14 World Kickboxing Championship held in Cairo, Egypt. In the finals held on October 22, she fought four bouts- two against contenders from Egypt, one against Argentina and one against France, beating them to secure gold for her country. Third among her five siblings, she dreams of becoming an orthopaedic doctor and is also the brand ambassador of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
Speaking of aspirations in medicine, Jammu- born Tanmay Gupta has become the first person from Jammu and Kashmir to top the prestigious NEET exam held this year. Medical aspirants need to crack NEET in order to get admission into the medical colleges in India. Cracking the national level exam is known to be notoriously difficult, but the 18-year-old managed to score a perfect 720 out of 720. He shares the rank with Hyderabad’s Mrinal Kutteri and Mumbai’s Karthika G. Nair.
The Paradise on Earth state is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also has a history of producing gems like Tamajul and Tanmay. Let us look at some famous people that Kashmir has given to India and the World.
1. Jawaharlal Nehru
India’s first Prime Minister was a Kashmiri Pandit by birth. Born in Allahabad to lawyer Motilal Nehru, he went on to become a lawyer and later one of the most important leaders of the Indian independence movement. In his 17 years as Prime Minister, he promoted secularism and set India on a path of neutrality that the country is following to this day.
2. Raaj Kumar
Born Kulbhushan Pandit in Balochistan in 1926, he served as a sub-inspector of Mumbai police in the 1940s before entering Bollywood in 1952. Known for his charisma and acting acumen, the 70 plus movies he acted in include the Oscar-nominated Mother India, Sridhar’s Dil Ek Mandir which got him a Filmfare Award, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai, Gharana and others.
3. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is an internationally acclaimed Santoor player and vocalist from the state of Kashmir. In his long pursuit of art, he has become synonymous with the Santoor, a folk instrument made of walnut wood and has 72 strings which are struck with soft mallets to create music. Apart from being instrumental in elevating the Santoor to international status, he has created background scores for many Bollywood movies, including Silsila. He has received numerous awards honouring his talent, including Padmashree, Padma Vibhushan, Sangeet Natak Academy Award, among many others.
4. Captain Bana Singh
Captain Bana Singh is a recipient of the country’s highest award for gallantry, the Param Vir Chakra. Hailing from a Sikh farmer family of Jammu, he is a Subedar Major and Captain in the Indian Army. During the 1987 war with Pakistan, the then Naib Subedar led his team of braves to attack the Pakistani regiment that had taken control of the highest peak of the Siachen glacier.
The peak later renamed Bana post, allowed the Pakistani soldiers to have a clear view of any approaching Indians, and they repelled assaults by the Indian army. Bana Singh and his men climbed a 450-metre wall of ice and approached the post from a direction the Pakistanis thought was uncrossable. Moving like ghosts in the blowing blizzard, they pounced on the unsuspecting Pakistani soldiers and captured the post for their country.
5. Suresh Raina
Another Kashmiri Pandit, this beloved all-rounder helped India win many battles on a different kind of battlefield.
Recently retired from cricket, he was known for his aggressive batting and hawk-eyed fielding when he played for the Indian National Team, as well as the Vice-Captain of the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
Also Checkout: Looking beyond the binaries: Towards a Nuanced Understanding of Gender
Leave a Reply