Parvez Dewan

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Parvez Dewan
Born (1972-10-13) 13 October 1972 (age 45)
Occupation Writer and administrator
Language English
Nationality Indian
Education Wolfson College, University of Cambridge
Alma mater St. Stephen's College, Delhi
Genre Historical

Parvez Dewan is an Indian administrator, author and librettist (lyricist). He is an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre. He became Secretary of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in 2011, and also the chairman of the Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC). In 2012 he was appointed India's Tourism Secretary.[1]

Dewan has authored books on Jammu & Kashmir, religion (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism) as well as on Tibet.

Early life[edit]

Parvez Dewan was born on 13 October 1972 in Srinagar. His father was a Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force and grandfather an Army Brigadier, who later became the first Indian Inspector General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir.

Dewan was educated at St Joseph's, Allahabad; St. George's Grammar, Hyderabad; Stanes, Coimbatore; The Air Force Central School, Subroto Park, New Delhi and St. Stephen's College in Delhi. He was elected President of St. Stephen's College. He did his higher education from the University of Cambridge (Wolfson College). Dewan was Senior Treasurer of the CU (Cambridge University) Friends of the Earth; and active with the CU Greens and CU Mystical Society.[1]

Dewan was later elected as a visiting research fellow of Queen Elizabeth House at the University of Oxford for 1989–91. At Cambridge, he won the Jennings Prize in 1987 for obtaining the highest marks, as well as a distinction, in the Development Studies class.[2] At St. Stephen's he was awarded the L. Raghubir Singh History prize for ranking first in his class.

Career[edit]

Civil services[edit]

Dewan joined the IAS and was allotted the Jammu and Kashmir cadre.[1]

During his first posting as Sub-Divisional Magistrate in Basohli, he revived its school of miniature painting.[3]

Dewan was the Divisional commissioner of Kashmir from 2001 to 2003.[1] and also chairman of the state co-operative bank between 2002 – 2003. Dewan was also the resident commissioner of Jammu & Kashmir before he took charge as the chairman and managing director of India Tourism Development Corporation in 2006. The company recorded its three highest-ever profits under him, and declared the only three dividends that it has since 1997.[4]

Dewan was the Tourism Secretary of India (2012-14). He helped WoNoBo.com devise virtual walking tours of Indian cities, five in the first place, with almost fifty more to follow, making Incredible India the first national tourism authority anywhere to offer such a useful and entertaining facility.[5]

In October 2014 Dewan asked for and was granted voluntary, premature retirement, in order to concentrate on his career as a writer, especially to work on his South Asian encyclopaedia, Indpaedia.com.

Advisor (minister)

In 2016 Dewan was appointed Jammu and Kashmir's Advisor (i.e. cabinet minister) for twelve departments including Education, Tourism, Public Works, Culture, Health & Medical Education, Consumer Affairs, Information Technology, Youth Services and Sports. (In India ministers are elected politicians. However, sometimes when state governments are between elected governments they appoint career civil servants as ministers and call them Advisors to the Governor.)

Writer[edit]

Dewan translated the Hanuman Chalisa into English, written The Names of Allah, and bought out Jesus Christ Superstar in Urdu.[3] He has also converted Habba Khatun's songs into Urdu songs, set to the same tune.

Dewan is also the co-author of Tibet: fifty years after with Siddharth Shrivastava. Dalai Lama has written the foreword to this book. In the foreword, HE the Dalai lama advocates peace for Tibet and China, and states that violence is counter-productive and creates misery.[6] Dewan and Shrivastava visited Tibet after the 2008 failed uprising of Tibetans against the Chinese rule, & documented the population figures and the socio-political situation in the region.[7]

Dewan has researched into various caste and religious groups in India. He has focussed on the biased projections that the media has created for minority religious and ethnic groups within the country—and tried to compare them with similar prejudices against internal ethnic groups in Pakistan (Punjabi and Urdu cinema; textbooks), the USA (including US cinema and TV), the UK, Turkey, Indonesia, Europe (French cinema; permission to wear religion-appropriate clothing) and Africa.[8]

Books[edit]

Dewan has published twenty books till date,[9] some of which are listed in the table below

S.No. Year Title Publisher ISBN
01 1987 Hiñdî-Urdû Phrasebook: A language Survival Kit Lonely Planet, Australia
02 1989 The Civil Services: What they are all about and how to get in 20/ 20 Publications, Delhi
03 2001 The Hanûmân Châlîsâ Viking Penguin
04 2003 The Names of Allah Viking Penguin ISBN 9780670049561
05 2004 Parvez Dewan's Jammu.Kashmir.Ladakh: Kashmir Manas Publications ISBN 9788170491798
06 2004 Parvez Dewan's Jammu.Kashmir.Ladakh: Ladakh Manas Publications
07 2004 The Book of Hanuman Viking Penguin Books ISBN 9780143067597
08 2004 Allâh ké Muqaddas Naam (trans. Ather) Qaumi Council Bara-e Farogh-e-Urdu Zuban
09 2007 Parvez Dewan's Jammu.Kashmir.Ladakh: Jammu Manas Publications
10 2008 A history of Ladakh Manas Publications ISBN 9788170493143
11 2008 A history of Kashmir Manas Publications ISBN 9788170493389
12 2008 A history of Jammu Manas Publications
13 2009 Tibet: fifty years after Shubhi Publications ISBN 9788182901315
14 2010 Hanuman ji, His Vanars and His Lanka Shubhi Publications
15 2011 The people and culture of Jammu, Kashmir Ladakh Manas Publications
16 2011 The Other Kashmir Manas Publications ISBN 9788170493709
17 2012 Jammu Kashmir Ladakh: Natural Heritage Manas Publications
18 2012 Amazing Ladakh Manas Publications
19 2013 Amazing Kashmir Manas Publications
20 2013 Religion in Jammu Kashmir Ladakh Manas Publications

Journalism[edit]

As a college student Dewan was for three years the Campus Correspondent of The Hindustan Times Evening News. During the same period, for Youth Times [a Times of India publication] he reviewed music (mainly Western popular and classical) and did the Hodge Podge column under the pseudonym Ponga Muni.

Indian Express[10] wrote about Dewan:

Parvez Dewan seems to have that rare quality to poke fun at himself. On the author’s profile page of his latest book on Kashmir, this J&K IAS officer has candidly revealed some interesting facts about himself.

“Most of the publications that Parvez has written for have folded up (Youth Times, JS, The Hindustan Times Evening News, The Metropolitan on Saturday, Shama (Urdu) and such sections of The Times of India as he regularly contributed to)”, it mentions. “The venerable Illustrated Weekly of India wrote a long story about how Parvez created the Ladakh Festival in difficult circumstances. That was its last issue,”

it carries on.

At another point, it talks about two of his ‘libretti’ having been recorded as rock operas in Denmark, and a third telecast on Britain’s Channel Four, adding: "And none of the three was ever heard of again."

A fourth pop-opera, Sanober and the Slave has had somewhat better luck. In 2012 it spent more than three months at no. 1 on reverbnation.com's DK charts for Indie (Independent), thanks to the much acclaimed music of Kim Barner, his Danish partner in rhyme. The complete lyrics/ libretto/ book can be read at http://sanoberandtheslave.blogspot.com/; the complete musical with music and vocals can be heard at reverbnation.com/barner

Libretti/ lyrics[edit]

Dewan has written some libretti. The status of the pop-operas of which he has written the libretti (lyrics) and which were conceived by him is.[11]

S.No. Year Title Music by Status
01 1994 Jennifer Merchant Kim Barner and Neils Holde (both of Denmark) Romantic comedy, recorded on CD with Koda, Denmark
02 1984 Moscow Streets Are Wet Not recorded A paean to Moscow as it then was
03 1989 The Râmâyan (English) John Robertson (ex- of The Rubettes, a once famous British Top Ten act) Performed on Channel 4, UK
04 1989 The Râmâyan (Hindi-Urdu) Not recorded
05 1987 The Mahâbhârat (English) John Robertson, ex-of the Rubettes Not recorded
06 1987 The Mahâbhârat (Hindi-Urdu) Not recorded
07 1987 Narasimh (English only) John Robertson Not recorded
08 1987 Atharv Not recorded Hindi-Urdu version of Verdi's Otello
09 1995 Pawns Not recorded A tribute to the six European and American tourists taken hostage by the Pakistan-based 'Al Faran.'
10 1993 Jesus Christ Superstar Reverent Hindi-Urdu lyrics set to Andrew Lloyd Webber's music Not recorded
11 1987 The Odyssey Kim Barner and Neils Holde Rock opera version of the Homer classic; performed in Amsterdam
12 1996 Sanober and the Slave Kim Barner a fairy—in the old sense—tale
13 2005 Paar sarhad sey aaya hai yaar Parvez Dewan (Urdu; an album-length song about two hitherto, but not necessarily, doomed lovers—Dewan's motherland and its western neighbour) Performed at WISCOMP's Indo-Pak workshops in 2005 (with music) and 2012 (recited)
14 1998 Dastan e Habba Original Kashmiri lyrics and music by Habba Khatoon Five songs by Habba Khatoon rendered into Urdu and performed at Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d National Informatics Center. "Pervez Dewan, complete Biodata". persmin.nic.in. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Parvez Dewan or his representatives. "Parvez Dewan". amazon.com. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Even Bollywood forgot kashmiris as they filmed kashmir". IndiaToday. 14 June 2004.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ OneIndia, News (21 April 2006). "Pervez Dewan is new ITDC CMD". 
  5. ^ Move Over Google Street View, India Has WoNoBo
  6. ^ OnlineNews (18 March 2010). "Author Perwez Dewan presents his book to the Dalai Lama". OneIndia. 
  7. ^ "Ethnic Tibetans comprise 92% population in TAR: Book". DeccanHerald. 20 October. Retrieved 15 July 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Quraishi, Humra (10 May 2012). "Twisted notions & strange biases". Millennium Post. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Bio. "Parvez Dewan". spoke.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Maruti message". Indian Express, Sun, 16 December 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "Facebook page".