Srinagar: To promote the official language of the state, the J&K Government in 2013 proposed an autonomous body – the Jammu & Kashmir Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (JKCPUL). Four years after a high-level committee headed by former chief secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khanday gave concurrence to it, the proposal lies buried in official documents, and may never see the light of the day.
A sub-committee set up for “holistic and comprehensive development and promotion of State’s official language” had proposed the council. In the following three years, no effort was made by the government to implement the committee’s recommendations, even as the government went on claiming that the initiative would revive Urdu language.
The sub-committee, headed by then commissioner secretary tourism and culture, Atul Duloo, was constituted to look into the possibility of setting up an academy or a council for Urdu. It was observed that the constitution of an Urdu academy would duplicate the success of J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, set up in 1958. The committee gave concurrence for the establishment of JKCPUL to achieve the “desired results in the promotion of J&K’s official language”.
The said council, according to the proposal, was to be an autonomous organisation headed by the chief minister and having members of “proven literary calibre”, besides the minister for culture.
Replying to a question during the last winter session of J&K Assembly, minister for finance and culture Haseeb Drabu said that the recommendations of the high-level committee would be implemented shortly. Commissioner Secretary of the Culture Department, Dilshad Khan, said that a year ago there were some discussions within the department but there have been no further developments.
“Around 22 posts were proposed for the said council and were sent to the planning department. But then, everything got stuck and the officials didn’t advance further on the issue,” she said.