Official language of no use to officials, govt records kept in English

Official language of no use to officials, govt records kept in English
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Junaid Rather

Srinagar: Even as the J&K government has constituted a Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, its own departments are ignoring the state’s official language (Urdu) and making all their records in the English language.
Barring two departments, Home and Revenue, all other government departments have been keeping their records in English.
Earlier this year in February, the government constituted the State Council for Promotion of Urdu Language. According to an order issued by the Principal Secretary to Higher Education Department, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, the Council would be headed by the education minister.
The non-official members of the Council include Prof Hamidi Kashmiri, Prof Mohammad Zaman Azurdah, Prof Nazir Ahmad Malik, Prof Noor Mohammad Shah, Prof Ahmad Quddus Javed, Prof Zahoor-ud-Din, Wali Mohammad Aseer, Farooq Muztar, Khalid Bashir Ahmad and Javed Azar.
The official members include vice-chancellors of all central and state universities in the state, administrative secretaries of finance, school education, culture and law departments, secretary of the J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, among others.
Dr Jauhar Quddusi, who was special invitee in the Council, told Kashmir Reader over phone that all the government-run-departments in Jammu and Kashmir have ignored the official language by keeping all their records in English.
“Two of the departments in the state that include Home and Revenue are keeping their records in the official language while rest of the departments have totally ignored it,” he said.
He added that on April 5, a meeting of the Council was held in Jammu in presence of Education Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari, where several issues were discussed but nothing came out of it.
“It is a time that the Urdu language should be given its constitutional rights,” Quddusi said.
Officials at Jammu Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages said that it is unfortunate that the Academy has also kept most of its records in English. The academy also sends its press statements in the English language.
“Constituting the council makes no sense when the government itself has failed to make it mandatory for all departments to keep their records in Urdu,” the officials at the academy said.
In Kashmir, the official language was Persian during Mughal rule and Urdu was a vernacular among the masses. After 1947, the state government adopted Urdu as the official language.
Education Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari told Kashmir Reader that the government is committed to restoring Urdu as the official language.
“It will take time. It won’t happen overnight,” Bukhari said.