JK makes Kashmiri mandatory for non-local workers, beggars

Feb 24th, 2014 | By | Category: Featured, Society

DSCN9764.JPGSrinagar: Waking up to the neglect of Kashmiri language, the state government has made Kashmiri language courses mandatory for non-local workforce and beggars staying in the state.

An official spokesman said the decision was taken by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during a cabinet meeting to overcome state’s failure in promotion of the Kashmiri.

“In order to safeguard the Kashmiri language and preserve it for future generations, the government has made it mandatory for non-local workforce including skilled and non- skilled workers as well as the beggars to learn Kashmiri,” Iqbal Khanday, Chief Secretary told Dapaan.

“They will have to enroll in a six month full time or two year part time language course.”

Khanday said violators would be severely dealt and deported from the state.

In a landmark resolution, the government also decided to keep calling the language as ‘mother tongue’ of Kashmiris despite a scarcity of mothers talking Koshur.

The government initiatives come a day after Kashmiri language activists pulled the government for ignoring the plight of the language on the occasion of International Mother Language Day.

Chief Secretary Khanday acknowledged that previous steps like introduction of Kashmiri in school curriculum or sponsoring Kashmiri literature had failed to promote the language among local population.

“It is easier to introduce Chinese here, than ask Kashmiris to read Kashmiri,” said Zareef Ahmad Zareef, a cultural critic while lauding the government decision to make Kashmiri mandatory for non-local workforce.

“Biharis are ubiquitous in today’s Kashmir. You can see them working in our fields, construction sites, barber shops, and even weaving our famed handicrafts. Only they can save our language,” said Zareef.

Dapaan has learnt that the government has formulated a committee for finalizing the curriculum for these outsiders, popularly known as Biharis.

“It is the only way we can save our rich language. After all they are the ones who do all the jobs in Kashmir,” said Prof Rahman Rahi, eminent Kashmiri writer and poet.

Aadabi Markaz Kamraz (AMK) also welcomed the government intervention and lauded the “serious and genuine steps” taken for the “preservation of the language”.

“We will ensure the course for these Biharis includes works of Wahab Khar, Tsuch Kral, Ahad Zargar and some new poets including Rahman and me,” said Azziz Hajni, president of AMK.

Hajni suggested these labourers and beggars should also be asked to subscribe to a Kashmiri newspaper.

Farooq Abdullah, the patron of National Conference, who blames Government of India (GoI) for decline of Kashmiri language, termed the decision “historic”.

“Opposition has been accusing Omar of not knowing Kashmiri, but with this order he has slapped them and sabotaged the plans of GOI to discourage Kashmiri language.”

Meanwhile, a group of Kashmiri Pandits based in New Delhi demanded that the language be taught in ancient Sharda Script.


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