|Jang S. Verman|
Hailing from the family of Sh.
Mulak Raj Saraf, the founder of Journalism in J&K State, Late Suraj Saraf joined the traditional field of his father i.e. Journalism inspite the fact that he had done B. Sc. and L. Lb. He throughout his life remained involved in activity of journalist, writer and chronicle recorder through his journalism, writing and photography. This passion ended only when his life ended. His main contribution had been to record the life, culture and such other aspects associated with the life of a common man, art, culture, archeology, tourism and heritage of the region. Born on 24th June, 1924 this sober, humble, intellectual and inherited with the skills of journalism from his father and seriousness towards his profession was committed to his assignments. Sh. Suraj Saraf started his career as correspondent with Times of India and then worked for Hindu and The Tribune etc. After 1977, he represented several local and national dailies till he breathed his last. He was not only a journalist and a writer but a good photographer also.
He has written extensively on artists, writers, musicians, performers, theatre and film personalities and so on. He has penned down about the life and works of the artists, writers and other such personalities like Mssrs. Sansar Chand Baru (Painter), Vidya Rattan Khajuria (Sculptor), Vachaspati Sharma (Sitarist), K L Verma (Tabla Meastro), N D Jamwal (Writer & Artist), Devi Dass (Portrait Expert), Prof. Lalit Magotra, (Writer and Scientist), Padamshree (Prof.) Ram Nath Shastri (Literature), Padamshree Balwant Thakur (Theatre), Padamshree Rajinder Tiku (Sculptor), Gobind Kaur (Sculptor), Vijay Saraaf Meenaghe (Painter), Jang S. Verman (Multi- Media Artist), Ravinder Jamwal (Sculptor), Deepak Kumar (Theatre) and many others.
He had worked on different aspects of tourism, art & culture of the region and penned it down in the shape of books. Working on various aspects of culture and other historical data about the region he has compiled in the shape of books, one among these is the book-'Jammu Heritage'. He also wrote books on art, craft, archeology, tourism, faith and heritage with great details and research. These books have been among his fine contribution in the field of documentation of the ideas and ideals behind faith, creativity and varied approaches of development in the field of crafts in the region. His outstanding contributions among other publications are 'Jammu Glimpses', 'Babor', 'Jammu Darshan', 'Jammu Heritage' and 'Vaishno Devi'. Capturing the elements of art & craft, culture, places of tourist interest & mythological value in the expression of people, through camera, along with use of letters was his passion which helped him to pour his aesthetical sensitivity to such scenes and document the visuals related to the places of tourism and archeological importance as seen by a journalist, writer and a visualizer. His photographs were well received by the writers and publishers, and subsequently included in the book 'Arts & Crafts of Jammu & Kashmir' written by Sh. D N Saraf.
Appreciating him, in his message, on his book titled-'Jammu Darshan', Jenab G M Sadiq, the then Chief Minister, J&K Government, wrote: 'Guide to Jammu was a much needed Publication. That this venture is being undertaken by our veteran journalist Shri Suraj Saraf and the guide is being compiled by a journalist of the standing of Shri Suraj Saraf is a matter of all the more satisfaction to me…..'
He was conferred with 'Dogra Rattan' by Dogri Sanstha, Jammu. His photography was declared first by Illustrated Weekly of India during the year 1972. 'Neo- Images'- a group of photographers established in Jammu also honoured him during 1986 for his contribution in the field of photography.