THE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR ISSUES NOTICE ON A PIL SEEKING TO DECLARE HINDI AS AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IN THE UT OF J&K
– RAJEEV SAM
On July 9th, the Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir high court on behalf of the petitioner in a PIL, Advocate Priyanshu Sharma and Adithya Sharma appeared seeking to declare Hindi as an official language of the Union Territory in terms of Section 47 of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 issued the notice to Commissioner cum secretary on behalf of The bench of two judges of J&K High Court, namely the Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjay Dhar. The General Administration Department, Government of UT of J&K, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of UT, Principal Secretary, Home Department Union Territory of J&K, and Financial Commissioner Revenue Department Jammu and Kashmir directed them to file a reply.
As per the views quoted by Farooq Khan, advisor of J&K Governor the reorganization act is very clear that the new assembly will choose the new language and the official language. The hearing counsel for the petitioner the very inception of formerly, State of J&K, ‘Dogri’ and ‘Hindi’ was the commonly used language and also in the schools of J&K, it is made compulsory for the students up to class 10 to learn Hindi and Urdu is been given as an optional subject. It was also pleased in the revenue record, police record everything is in the Urdu language because of which the people of Jammu Province has to be at the receiving end always and even as per the High Court Rules, a translated copy is required to be submitted which makes it difficult for the judiciary as well as the people and the administration still holding its pressure even after Revocation of the Article 370 (J&K Reorganisation Act).
The history of J&K says that Dogra rulers recognized Urdu as a state and official language of J&K in 1889 and before Urdu, ‘Persian’ was the official language for about 300 years. Urdu was the language for land and revenue records, and even in the lower judiciary and police stations has its record in Urdu. The mode of instructions in Government schools, especially in Kashmir and the Muslim-majority districts of Jammu and Kargil. Urdu was the official language in the state before its special status was scrapped in 2019 and in the year 2018, the BJP Government has constituted for the promotion of Urdu language as it was a belief that Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb was a vast repository of the cultural heritage of the India Sub-Continent.
“India is a country of different languages and every language has its own importance, but it is very important to have a language of the whole country which should become the identity of India in the world.” But this has been a controversy and fuelled many volatile discussions because in today’s India, only Hindi can tie the country to the door of unity. Non-Hindi speaking states, especially the people in South India have always stood together to oppose Hindi being allegedly imposed on them so the government requested them to take Hindi at least as a second language. In 2017 a report had shown how a massive campaign had been launched by the pro-Kannada outfit Karnataka Rakshana Vedike to “Fight Hindi Chauvinism.”
As a result, people in the country, especially the people in J&K became the victims of the Language barrier. Urdu was the language of the educated class of all communities in large parts of India, whether they were Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and other communities, while Hindustani was the language of the uneducated common man and it is practically tough to teach them Hindi for the people who are illiterate.