For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser.

A living legacy

Dr Rafeeq Masoodi is a unique blend of affection and dynamism
03:34 AM Jun 28, 2024 IST | MANZOOR AKASH
a living legacy

Nestled within the picturesque landscapes and tranquil ambiance of Rafiabad, lies a small town Dangiwacha, en-route to a well-known picnic spot of Mundajji, away at some 18 kilometers from the district headquarters of Baramulla that holds the legacy of having produced great intellectuals from time to time. Once such great intellectual personality is Dr Rafeeq Masoodi— philanthropic, compassionate, down-to-earth and an exemplary persona known for his humility, courtesy, sense of humor, critical appraisal and gripping speeches.


Contracting such scintillating persona, succinctly in some tightly woven paragraphs, wouldn’t do justice with life story of such a towering character. Yet, I muster up courage to write it down here, briefly. Because his indelible contribution in the filed of broadcasting, telecasting, literary circles, translation and administration, etc. is something legendary.


Born to teacher parents in the picturesque Dangiwacha town in district Baramulla of north Kashmir in an educated Peerzada family; the industrious son of the soil, Dr Rafeeq Masoodi got his early education at his hometown before he went to the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) at Delhi where he obtained a Master’s, M Phil and PhD in Hindi. He inherited a rich legacy of literary passion and scholarship from his beloved mother Lt. Hafeeza Begum and father, Lt. Ghulam Ahmad Masoodi—a renowned educationist and scholar of his time.


Having graduated in Arts stream (chosen for him by Prof. Ghulam Rasool Bacha) from GDC, Sopore in 1976, Dr Rafeeq Masoodi with his dedication and fortitude laid a strong foundation for academic excellence. He embarked on his incredible professional journey from All India Radio (AIR) which he joined at Ahmedabad city in Gujarat in 1985, after being selected by UPSC, then Radio Kashmir, Srinagar (now Akashwani) as Program Executive of Yuvawani Service in 1986. From here, his undeterred spirit didn’t stop till his today’s enthusiastic version of a living legend.


More known to people as a famous broadcaster, the multi-talented Dr. Masoodi’s is an embodiment of famed broadcasting, telecasting, superb administration, literature and intellect. He is the only personality from J&K to have headed all cultural institutions viz. Vividh Bharati, Radio Kashmir, Doordarshan and Cultural Academy besides heading many radio and TV stations in India. Having remained as the Additional Director General Doordarshan, Directorate General to Development Communication Division, New Delhi, he also rediscovered the cultural ethos of J&K & Ladakh by working as Secretary J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL) vis-à-vis holding other high-raking posts with brief time spent with RTM (Radio TV Malaysia) & CCTV (Central China TV), before he moved to Delhi to serve Doordarshan.


For his notable achievements in radio and TV, Dr. Masoodi has been honored with many awards. Though I can’t site them all, yet, it will be total injustice if awards like Sahitya Academi Award (2005) for Kashmir translation of TAMAS, SAMPA Award for promotion of Art (2007), Lifetime Achievement Award from New Delhi in 2008 and Pride of India Award in 2009, etc. are not made a mention of.


But Dr Rafeeq Masoodi journey into broadcasting and literary horizons of Kashmir doesn’t end here. He became known to the literary world through his translations, especially his Kashmiri translation of Bhisham Sahni’s (actor Balraj Sahni’s brother) Tamas, Kashmiri translation of Vishnu Prabhakar’s novel Ardh Narishwar and his own 2012 released book Panun Dod Panin Dag, a collection of Kashmir poems, translated into English as My Pain, My Affliction by Prof. Muhammad Aslam, former Head, Dept. of English, Central University of Kashmir.


His heart crafted poetry under Panun Dod Panin Dag which got translated into various languages

since 2013, has not only made him a well-known figure in the literary and cultural circles across the Valley, and outside but has also credited him with the ‘Pride of Jammu & Kashmir’ title. And far beyond the realms of splendid broadcasting, translation, poetry and administration, Dr Masoodi’s passion didn’t keep him confined to his literary endeavors—a testament to his enduring spirit of excellence, but much more.

Dr Rafeeq Masoodi’s tenure as the Secretary of JKAACL, Srinagar was simply a golden era. His instrumental role in resuscitating the Cultural Academy to its unique glory stands all time commendable which is evident from Auyob Sabir’s verse on him, “Mae Basaan Prezalwun Iqbal (RA) Wareya, Aya’n Roshan Emes Khadukhal Wareya. Masoodi Saeb Gou Tashreef Aawar, Academy Sapez Khushal Wareya” (Dr. Iqbal to me is a sparkling personality whose every aspect is evident; During Masoodi Sahib’s time, the Academy for progress took the front).

On 8 May, 2002, Valley’s only Jnanpith Awardee Lt. Prof. Rehman Rahi said, “Achen Hund Gaash Mulnawan Masoodi, Dilech Rech Aash Rechrawan Masoodi. Seatha Shuodbuod Ta Gatul Akh Rafeeq Insaan, Rutay Kerawav Rutay Perawun Masoodi”.

The best thing about public-spirited Dr Rafeeq Masoodi is that his contributions to philanthropic causes have earned him respect. Even after superannuation from his services, people approach to him for favors and welfare. About him, a great poet and renowned broadcaster, Lt. Farooq Nazki once said, “Masoodi Wakie Ek Aunjuman Hai, Humaray Ahud Ka Woh Buet Shekan Hai. Chamkta Ek Sitara Bangaya Hai, Masoodi Ek Edara Bangaya Hai”. Post his retirement as Additional Director General Doordarshan, he serves Adbi Markaz Kamraz (Rafibad Centre for Culture) as Sarparast (Patron). He is the founding member of Cancer Society of Kashmir and is heading Meeras Mahal Museum of Sopore.

On the canvas of my own memories, I vividly recall my only meeting with sterling Dr Rafeeq Masoodi at Cultural Academy’s Lal Mundi Office, Srinagar in 2007 when my 1st book Verses of Heart had got published. Accompanied by my father, it was magnificent to see him reciting noble Qur’an alone in his chamber before stirring an inclusive interaction with us. Indeed Dr Sahib’s vibrant & iconic personality, most praiseworthy— is a unique blend of affection, dynamism and a living legacy par excellence. Wish him a long life!

Manzoor Akash is regular GK contributor, and educationist