In an online function organised by Dogri Sanstha Jammu the annual Prof. Ramnath Shastri Memorial award was presented to Col. Raaz Manawari. Mrs Anuradha Gupta K.A.S, Director School Education, Jammu was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
This was the 7th award which is given every year to an author whose first book published in Dogri is adjudged to be the best among all such books published in the preceding five years. Raaz Manawari is the pen name of Col. Subhash Bali (Rtd), who published his first book “HAAMB” containing Dogri ghazals and Rubais, after his retirement.
This prestigious award is instituted by the family of late Padmashri Prof. Ramnath Shastri and carries a cash amount of Rs 21000/-, a memento, a citation and a shawl. The Jury for this year’s award comprised Prof. Lalit Magotra, Gianeshwar Sharma, Prof. Veena
Gupta, Dr Nirmal Vinod, Susheel Begana and Ajit Khajuria, son of late Prof. Ram Nath Shastri.
Anuradha Gupta, while speaking after the award ceremony, observed that awarding the first book of an author is the most befitting tribute to Prof. Shastri, whose various pioneering contributions to Dogri are well known and who throughout his life, encouraged new and budding writers so that more and more talented writers could enrich Dogri language and literature. She congratulated Raaz Manawari and appreciated his resolve to write in Dogri after his retirement. She commended Dogri Sanstha for the activities through which it is propagating and strengthening Dogri. She assured the viewers that her directorate will do its best to promote and support Dogri, more so because now it is declared as an official language of J&K.
Earlier Prof. Lalit Magotra , President of Dogri Sanstha Jammu, welcomed the participants and guests in the program as well as
viewers. He said that Raaz Manawari has not only contributed to Dogri through the awarded book but has brought out two more
publications after this book, through which he has critically evaluated Dogri poetry especially Dogri gazal. He said his works of high quality scholarly works. He commented that awarding writers in the name of Prof. Ram Nath Shastri, who is the tallest among icons of Dogri literature, is a matter of pride for Dogri Sanstha. He thanked the family members of Prof. Shastri who have instituted this award. He also shared that the quality of the books in competition for the award this year was so high that it was very tough for the Jury members to decide the winner. This is an indication of high quality of literature being written in Dogri.
Prof.Veena Gupta, Vice President of Sanstha read the citation of the award. Raaz Manawari, in his acceptance speech shared a few
anecdotes of his association with Prof. Shastri. He said he was greatly inspired by Shastri ji to write in Dogri, like many others who were inspired by him.
Gianeshwar Sharma, Vice President of Dogri Sanstha presented the vote of thanks and Prof. Shashi Pathania, Vice President of Dogri Sanstha conducted and anchored the program in a most professional manner. Pawan Verma provided the technical support for the smooth conduct of the program.