Bible in Kashmiri language released

Published 10 October 2011  |  
The Kashmiri version of the Holy Bible, translated by an educationalist and published by the Bible Society of India (BSI), was released at a function earlier this month.

The translation, which was an effort of over 16 years, was released by the Vatican ambassador to India, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, at a silver jubilee of the Diocese of Jammu–Srinagar on October 2.

The function was attended by Minister of Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Jammu and Kashmir, Raman Bhalla; Vice Chancellor of Jammu University, Varun Sahni; Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Pawan Kotwal, the deputy commissioner and top civil and police officials of the state.

The task for translation was spearheaded by Predhuman K Joseph Dhar, a noted educationist, and writer from Jammu. The translation was published by the Bible Society of India.

Dhar, a Kashmiri Pandit Brahmin who converted to Christianity and underwent much persecution, began working on the translation in 1994. The priced work has both Old and New Testaments.

Calling it a magnum opus, Archbishop Pennacchio presented Dhar with a gold medal and a trophy, and commended his commitment and dedication to the cause.

Dhar was also felicitated by Fr Jim Borst, a Mill Hill Missionary and coordinator of the Kashmiri translation project.

Although the Bible was translated into Kashmiri language by the Serampore missionaries in 1821, the text was in Sharada script which is rarely used except by the Kashmiri Pandit community.

The current version of the Bible is in Nastaliq script which is a form of the Arabic script and is most widely used style of writing Urdu.

The translation project has been a joint effort of the Diocese of Jammu-Srinagar and the Bible Society of India.

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