New Delhi, Sep 22: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday approved a Bill to introduce Hindi, Kashmiri and Dogri as official languages in Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to Urdu and English.
Minister of State for Home affairs G Kishan Reddy introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020.
He said over 56 per cent population in the State understands and speak Kashmiri, still it is not recognised as an official language.
He asked why was Kashmiri language still not recognised as an official language of Jammu and Kashmir.
Reddy said it was a ‘historical blunder’, adding that such blunders of past 50 years will now be fixed under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As per the census of 2011, only 0.16 per cent of the population in the State speaks Urdu, which has remained the sole official language in the state, he added.
Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said it is not only a fulfilment of a long-pending public demand of the region but also in keeping with the spirit of equality which was ushered after August 5, 2019.’
The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated on August 5, with Ladakh becoming a separate Union Territory.
Speaking on the proposed legislation, Hasnain Masoodi of National Conference alleged that Urdu language will be marginalised, adding that it has been official language of Jammu and Kashmir since 1889.
He said the Urdu language has over the years developed not only into an efficient means of transacting official business in administration of justice, police, revenue and other departments but also evolved as household language and above all a fluently spoken link language between different regions and communities in Jammu and Kashmir.
He opined that the decision to have five official languages would be impractical.
The Bill will include Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi as official languages in the newly-created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir.