To dedicate every action of the government to the nation, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recited the verses of ‘Myon Vatan’ written by Kashmiri poet Dinanath Kaul while presenting the annual budget. Dinanath Kaul ‘Nadim’ was one of the tallest figures among Kashmiri poets and play writers post Indian Independence.
In the aftermath of tribal invasion of Kashmir aided by Pakistan in October 1947, Kashmiri writers and artists mobilised in the defence of the Valley. A Kashmiri Cultural Front, comprised of writers, actors, and painters, was formed in the response to the invasion. The organisation was later renamed as the National Cultural Congress that spearheaded Kashmiri cultural and literary renaissance.
During the period of turmoil and aggression, the cultural front of Kashmir played a significant role in boosting public morale. Born in 1916, Kaul emerged as one of the leading organisers of the cultural movement and gave new dimensions to Kashmiri poetry and plays by introducing Blank Verse, Sonnet and Opera.
According to a quarterly journal Kasmir, Kaul’s mother had a significant influence on his growth as a poet after he lost his father at a nascent age of eight. Known as epoch-maker and trend-setter in Kashmiri poetry and prose, Kaul was famous for his progressive writings with messages of patriotism and communal harmony.
The Kashmiri poet wrote around 150 poems in English, Hindi, Urdu, and Kashmiri, but he never got his works published. During the early period of his writings, Kaul majorly wrote in Urdu and Hindi under the influences of Brij Narain Chakbast, Josh Malihabadi, and Ehsan bin-Danish. Kaul made the transition to the Kashmiri language when a mass movement against the Dogra dynasty gained momentum with the slogan of ‘Quit Kashmir’. The motive behind such a transition was to easily communicate to ordinary Kashmiris.
The vulnerability of Kashmir after the tribal invasion of 1947 forced the poets to return to the theme of patriotism and Kaul’s several works at the time were weaved around it. The titles of Kaul’s poems indicated the patriotic and secularism theme during the Kashmir turmoil. Some of the titles of his writings during the period are Me Chu H'ond ti Misalman beyi Insan Banavun (I have to turn Hindus and Muslims into human beings again), Servani Sund Khab (The Dream of Sherwani), Tsi Mir-i Karavan ban (You Become the Leader of the Caravan), Naray Inqalab (The Call for Revolution).