New Delhi, May 17 : An educationist and a votary of Kashmiriyat, one of Jammu and Kashmir's most respected teachers, Maharaj Krishan Dhar, passed away on May 10 after losing the battle against Covid-19.
He was the recipient of the Best Teachers' Award of the Jammu and Kashmir Government (January 26, 1980) which he deeply valued. Under his tutelage, the National High School, one of Kashmir's oldest schools, became hugely popular, drawing students from all sections of society. As its principal, he put into practice his concept of amalgamation of academics with co-curricular activities -- sports, debates, music and cultural events, etc.
Though his favourite subjects were English and Maths, he made History a subject of keen interest for students through Radio Kashmir. Praagash, broadcast in the Kashmiri language, dealt with different aspects of ancient history and struck a chord with the listeners.
One challenging moment for Dhar was when some unscrupulous elements burnt down the school in 1982 and wanted the property to be used for commercial activities. He fought a valiant battle supported by his colleagues and students, which forced the then Jammu and Kashmir government to intervene. The school was rebuilt and its glory restored.
In 1988-1989 in Kashmir, when schools and institutions were being targeted, set on fire and bombed in terrorist activities, Dhar calmly handled several grave situations and saved the school with the help of students. However, in April 1990, after the mass exodus of the minority Kashmiri Pandit community, Dhar was advised by some of his neighbours and former students to leave the Valley "as he was on the hit-list of the terrorists'. Out of the Valley, Dhar joined the DAV College Managing Committee in Delhi as an Education Officer and was instrumental in setting up the DAV Education Board.
While defining education, he once wrote, "Education is not a one-point activity, but it continues to happen formally or informally throughout the lifetime of an individual."
-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text