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Amin Kamil was born at Kaprin, a village in South Kashmir in 1924. He graduated in Arts from the Punjab University and took his degree in law from the Aligarh Muslim University. He joined the Bar in 1947 and continued to practice law till 1949, when he was appointed a lecturer in Sri Pratap College, Srinagar. He was closely associated with the writers’ movement of that era and under its influence switched over from Urdu to Kashmiri as his medium of expression. He joined the State Cultural Academy when it was set up in 1958 and was appointed the convener for Kashmiri. He later became Editor for Kashmiri and edited the two journals of the Academy – Sheeraza and Son Adab with distinction for many years.

Kamil is a master of the Kashmiri ghazal and has been instrumental in fashioning it into an entity distinct from its Urdu and Persian counterparts. His poetry is marked by freshness of sensibility, maturity of expression and striking technical innovation which together give him a diction uniquely his own.

Kamil employs subtle humor with devastating effect in his poetry. Through it he mirrors contemporary life and makes a social comment on his milieu. It, however, is satire or humor that does not bruise, but heals. Kamil is metaphysical and introspective as well and in some ways represents the continuity of the quintessence of his own literary tradition minus its ponderousness. He has the quality of being simple as well as profound at the same time. This he does in purely Kashmiri tenor. In spite of his erudition he has never fallen prey to the transplantation of an alien metaphor, borrowing of a foreign concept or trend in literature. As a creative poet "Kamil is matchless in the contemporary Kashmiri poetry," says Professor Hamidi Kashmiri, famous Urdu critic and former vice-chancellor of Kashmir Universtiy. "After Lal Ded and Shaikul Alam and a few sufi poets in between, Kamil is the only poet to have used language creatively with all cultural consciousness. His use of language is exceptional in the literary history of Kashmir."

Kamil has influenced a whole generation of Kashmiri poets, in particular the ghazal writing poets. Many have tried to approximate his diction, but he stands alone. This is in part due to his poetic concerns that are deeply humanistic, his rich word-hoard which is informed by his upbringing as well as a deep study of tradition, and his literary rectitude. His mastery over prosody and nuanced understanding of his chosen language has also contributed towards this preeminence. Writing in the Encyclopedia of Indian Literature, Ghulam Nabi Gauhar sums up Kamil thus: “He is a master of Kashmiri ghazal and has to his credit poems of eternal value.”

Kamil’s contribution in the field of fiction adds to his stature. In 1958, Gati Manz Gaash (Light Amidst Darkness) was published, a novel inspired by the well-known observation of Mahatma Gandhi in the context of the aftermath of the partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947, that in the midst of darkness prevailing everywhere he had found a ray of light in Kashmir alone.

Kamil’s collection of short stories, Kathi Manz Kath (Story Within Story) published in mid-60s includes his masterpiece, Kokar Jang (The Cockfight). The Cockfight is considered as the most popular story in the Kashmiri literature. It has been translated into many Indian languages and has appeared in English translation in anthologies such as Indian Short Stories 1900-2000 edited by I. Vi. Ramakrishan; Contemporary Kashmiri Short Stories edited by Hriday Kaul Bharati, Neerja Mattoo; Contemporary Indian Short Stories Vol 3 all published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. The Cockfight is precribed in the school and university curriculum in Jammu and Kashmir. It has also appeared in Best Loved Indian Stories of the Century published by Penguin India in 1999. In his Studies in Kashmiri, Prof. J L Koul wrires about this story that “perhaps, the comic muse at its subtlest best (though not unmixed with irony) in Kashmiri short story is to be seen in Amin Kamil’s Honi Rahman and Kokar Jang, particularly in the latter, in which the foibles and eccentricities of character of the two women neighbors, Jaana Bits and Shah Maal, are expressed through their respective cocks.”

Kamil has a special talent for blending humor, irony and politics/social coment in his stories as well as poems. As an example of this, in his poems, is Taay Nama published in mid-80s, or Sawal Chu Kaluk (The Question is of the Head) a much-acclaimed story on the political situation of Kashmir.

Kamil’s literary and creative prose style has been admired by one and all. “Kashmiri language has not produced the like of Kamil in creative prose”, says Rafiq Raaz, Director, All India Radio, Srianagr. Apart from a number of anthologies he edited, Kamil has published two books of literary criticism Jawaban Chu Arz (In Reply, vol 1 & 2) and a book Mehjoornen Bonen Tal (Under the Chinars of Mehjoor) on the popular Kashmiri poet of 1930s, Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor.

Kamil won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1967 for his book of poems, Laveh Te Praveh (Dewdrops and Sunbeams) . “What distinguishes this book from the poetry of the sixties is the conversational tone producing intimacy, blending of Persian and Kashmiri words and expressions, aphoristic comments on life, intermingling of satire and pathos, use of musically potent meters, masterly use of simile and image, oblique but esoteric expression, and finally the use of Persian and Indian mythological allusions”, to quote Shafi Shauq, Chairman, Department of Kashmiri. The style established in this collection gets further refinement in Kamil’s later collections of poetry, namely, Beyi Suy Paan (Again the Same Self, 1967), Padis Pod Tshay (One Foot Shadowing the Other, 1972) and Yim Myane Sokhan (These, My Words, 2009).

Kamil has won numerous awards including the Jammu & Kashmir Cultural Academy’s best book awards, awards from the State Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Robes of Honor from many prestigious organizations, International Irfan Foundation Award, Kashmir University’s Lifetime Achievement award, and Padma Shri from the Indian government.