By Moti Lal Khar
Late Master Kashi Nath Dhar was a legendry teacher and a sports wizard of repute of his times. He joined his services as a teacher in Biscoe Memorial School, Srinagar as an old student of the school and retired as House Master of the school, organizing extra-curricular activities like hiking, swimming, games etc., besides teaching over three decades past. He belonged to a class of distinguished and veteran teachers indeed! His father Late Ram Joo Dhar and his elder brother Late Janki Nath Dhar were working in the same school. Late Janki Nath Dhar while teaching in the school got heart attack and passed away on spot there and then in his young age leaving behind him a large family to support. The school authorities came to his rescue and appointed Pandit Kashi Nath Dhar as a teacher to maintain and to sustain the family.
Master Kashi Nath was born in the reputed Dhar family at Khankai–Sokhta, Nawakadal, Srinagar around third decades of twentieth century. The family is directly linked with Pandit Raj Joo Dhar who after migration had returned Kashmir in the reign of Mughal King Jahangir and the family was also connected with famous saint – poetess of Kashmir, Roop Bhawani, the incarnation of Mother Sharika and daughter of Late Madhoo Joo Dhar also a saintly person. Master Kashi Nath Dhar’s life was not a bed of roses but bed of thorns from his young age but being a Mission schoolboy and a sports person he stood to face the ups and downs of life just like a rock with a true sports spirit!
Master Kashi Nath Dhar was a qualified trained graduate. He had done his B.T. (now B.Ed.) from Kashmir University around 1947-48. As a teacher he was of the opinion that the level of teacher’s sympathy and painstaking for the students was not the same in his times as is commercialized now a days. He was a part of the system of education, when the teacher’s role by and large was missionary one like Late Tyndale Biscoe – the exponent of modern education in Kashmir. As a sports person Master Kashi Nath Dhar was a great player of hockey and cricket with wonderful skills and played matches both at state and provincial levels. He was the secretary of Srinagar Cricket Club, with late Ram Joo Tickoo as president and late Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, the then Deputy Prime Minister of J&K state as patron – both being hisneighbours. Master Kashi Nath Dhar would lead and organize tournaments both at school and provincial levels.
He was a wizard in sports and had a great passion for games even up to his last life. Scores of sports wizards of Kashmir were his students including his own nephew late Dr. D.N. Dhar and his sons Sh. K.L. Dhar and Sh. M.K. Dhar who played at school, college and university levels, besides their academic merits in their professions. In his later life too Master Kashi Nath Dhar had to see number of tragedies.
His nephews, his elder brother’s sons and only late sister’s son Dr. Ramesh Kakroo, the famous orthopedic surgeon and his elder daughter and grandson (the present writer’s wife and younger son) all died in their young ages and he himself died in exile like his other members of the community far away from their homes in Kashmir. He was really a model of his school motto; “In all things be men”. We salute Master Kashi Nath Dhar as a legendary teacher and a sports wizard of repute.
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