Zinda Kaul

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Zinda Kaul (1884–1965) was a well-known Indian poet, writer and teacher. He composed in Persian, Hindi, Urdu and Kashmiri.[1] Kaul also translated works of Kashmiri into English, Persian and Devnagari.

Personal life[edit]

Zinda Kaul was also known as MasterJi[2] by his students and friends. He came to be called 'Masterji' because he used to teach many Kashmiris, both in school as well as at his home.

Kaul was born into a Kashmiri Pandit family. His father, Lakshman Pandit, was indifferent to his formal education and Kaul had to face many difficulties in his life. He was a school teacher for a long time. After that, he worked as a clerk. In 1939, Kaul retired from the Publicity office of Kashmir as a translator.[2] He died in Jammu in the winter of 1965.

Literary work[edit]

Zinda Kaul was the first Kashmiri poet to win the Sahitya Academy award in 1956, for his book of poetry compilations Sumran.[3] It was first published in Devanagari, and later the government had it printed in the Persio-Arabic script. The Sahitya Academy of India gave Kaul an award of five thousand rupees for this book.

Kaul initially wrote in Persian, Hindi, and Urdu. His first poem was Unity and Sympathy, written in 1896 and recited it at the Sanatan Dharm Sabha meeting in Srinagar.[4] Masterji started writing in Kashmiri in 1942.[2] In his Kashmiri poetry, he has written primarily on devotion, philosophy and peace.[5] Masterji's poetry has been published in all these four languages. However, he made his name by writing in Kashmiri.

His poetry was greatly influenced by Lal Ded and Parmanand. His writing style is mystical and is influenced by bhakti tradition.

Kaul composed poetry only for his own pleasure. Critics say that his poems in Kashmiri were better than those in Hindi and Urdu.


Zinda Kaul translated the works of the mystic Kashmiri writer and poet Nand Ram Parmanand into English, in three volumes.[6]

Awards and notable achievements[edit]

  • Sahitya Academy Award for Kashmiri literature (1956), for Sumran

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Zinda Kaul". kunear.com. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "community - prominent kashmiris". Kashmir Education, Culture & Science society (KECSS). Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  3. ^ George, K. M. Modern Indian Literature, an Anthology, Vol 3. p. 692. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Rai, Mridu (2004). Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights and the history of Kashmir. C. Hurst & Co Ltd, London. p. 249. ISBN 1-85065-661-4. 
  5. ^ Nazam, lisindia.net. "Kashmir LIterature". CIIL. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Welcome to Kashmir (Valley of Saints)". khirbhawani.org. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 

External links[edit]