New Delhi: Prof.Bhim Singh, Senior Advocate of Supreme Court of India who remained a close friend and even joined him in teaching law in Delhi University expressed deep shock on the death of Prof. Riyaz Punjabi yesterday, in Delhi. Prof. Bhim Singh has been close associate with Prof. Riyaz Punjabi even though they were teaching in the same institution in Delhi for some time. They have been very close in working out a democratic and secular movement in Jammu & Kashmir.
Prof.Riyaz Punjabi had also experienced several pushes and pressures in J&K also. He was granted the Padmashree, one of India's highest civilian awards in 2011. In 2008 he was granted an honorary professorship at the International University Vienna for his contribution in ‘Strengthening International Relations in the Sphere of Education’. He also won the Amity Academic Excellence Award from Amity International Business School in 2009, the Fazil Memorial Award in 2009 and the Adbi Markaz Kamraz Award in 2010.
Prof. Riyaz Punjabi was a visiting Research Fellow on human rights in the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, visiting Professor, Academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and visiting Research Fellow in the Centre for South Asian Studies, Switzerland. He was affiliated with research centres at the national level as a Member, Board of Management, Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, Member, Advisory Board, Centre for Peace and Conflict Management, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi, Member, Governing Council of International Centre for Peace Studies, New Delhi. Prof.Punjabi was president, International Centre for Peace Studies, New Delhi and Honorary Co-director, European Institute, New Delhi. He was the founding editor of the quarterly Journal of Peace Studies, New Delhi since 1994.
Prof.Riyaz Punjabi wrote extensively in the field of Kashmir studies. Through his publications, public lectures and discussions he projected the syncretic culture of Kashmir Valley. He described the spiritual continuity of different faiths in Kashmir which culminated in the form of Kashmiriyat in Kashmir. His article ‘Kashmiriyat: The Mystique of an Ethnicity’ published in the India International Centre quarterly in 1990 was translated in several Indian languages and reproduced in several national and international publications.
He also authored several articles on Sikh faith. He worked on the spiritual content of Guru Granth Sahib.
The Panthers Party held a condolence meeting at Jammu praying for peace to the departed soul in heaven.