Life Story: Javaid Rahi, cultural activist, writer

He emerged as a crusader of the political and socio-economic rights of Gujjars and Bakerwals along with the preservation of their culture and language.

Javaid Rahi is a prominent cultural activist, scholar, writer, poet, journalist and a social media influencer.  He  emerged as a crusader of the political and socio-economic rights of Gujjars and Bakerwals along with the preservation of their culture and language.

Born in remote village Chandak of district Poonch, in the family of Khatana Gujjar Bau Noor Mohammad and Rashida Begum, Javed Rahi  is committed for the upliftment of his Gujjar community, culture and language.

He has made his life’s calling to highlight the systemic wrong and injustice being meted out to his community by the erstwhile political dispensations in Jammu and Kashmir. Be it the matter of ensuring reservations guaranteed to Gujjars and Bakerwals as a Scheduled Tribe, their forest rights, issues faced in the times of seasonal migrations, implementation of central laws to protect the nomadic way of life, recognition of Gojari language in the 8th schedule of The Indian constitution, preservation of the rich heritage of Gujjars—Javed Rahi, has been taking up vigorously all such important issues with the politicians, concerned authorities and officers.

During the last two decades, Javed Rahi has truly emerged as an opinion maker. His columns, articles, and statements highlighting topical and critical issues faced the Gujjars, are taken seriously and given prominent display by prominent local as well as national level newspapers.

 Thus, he is instrumental in creating awareness and galvanizing opinion within general public, government as well as the Gujjar community. As a scholar, he has been regularly presenting research papers and making presentations in seminars, conferences on various socio-political and cultural issues/aspects of Gujjars and Bakerwals and other J&K tribes in local and outside universities and other academic fora.

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) on ‘Tribal Languages of Jammu and Kashmir”, Javed Rahi, well versed in Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, Dogri and English, firmly believes that language is the soul of a culture.

Chief Editor Gojri in J&K Cultural Academy, he has authored about a dozen books and compiled more than 300 books, journals including textbooks, anthologies, published J&K Cultural Academy, J&K State Board of School Education, Gurjardesh Charitable Trust, and Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, Jammu.

A recipient of National Fellowship from Ministry of Culture, New Delhi, he has received Best Playwright Award from J&K Cultural Academy. His significant compilations are first-ever concise Gojri-monolingual Dictionary, Hindi-Gojri Dictionary linking Gojri with National Language Hindi, and Folk-Lore Dictionary of Gujjar Tribe.

He has also headed various prestigious research projects including multi-volume project “Encyclopedia of Himalayan Gujjars’. His other Urdu and English Publications are“Gujjar Shanakhat Ka Safar’, “Jammu Kashmir Ke Qabail Aur Unki Zubanein”, The Gujjar Tribe of Jammu and Kashmir, Gujjar Tarekh O Saqafat.

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The Dispatch Staff

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