Exclusion of Gojri, Pahari, Punjabi from new bill discriminatory: NC

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Thursday expressed dismay over the exclusion of Gojri, Paharai, and Punjabi from Jammu and Kashmir official languages Bill 2020, saying the measure is discriminatory and hurtful towards the major linguistic groups of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir presents a mosaic of linguistic groups with Gojri, Pahari and Punjabi being the many linguistic groups after Kashmiri and Dogri, said Party Treasurer Shammi Oberoi while expressing dismay over the exclusion of these major spoken languages from the J&K Official Languages Bill 2020. “The speakers of Gojri, Pahari, and Punjabi languages are numerous. If we go by the yardstick of strength of respective speakers of these languages, then these languages too should have been in the proposed bill. Unfortunately, the GOI has chosen contrarily to it sidelining all yardsticks including the strength of the respective speakers of these languages. The measure has hurt lakhs of Gojri, Pahari and Punjabi speaking people, who are part and parcel of the cultural milieu of J&K. These languages are a rich and important part of the linguistic map of Jammu and Kashmir with the strength of speakers in millions,” he said.
Oberoi said previously Urdu was the sole official language of Jammu and Kashmir for around 131 years, and that it had a harmonizing effect on account of its universal acceptance in all regions and by all major linguistic groups. “However GoI has chosen to add few more languages undermining the Gojri, Pahari, and Punjabi like other languages spoken in Jammu and Kashmir these languages also boast a rich literature and are deeply drenched in the region’s history which cannot be brushed off.”

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