President Droupadi Murmu on Monday emphasised that talent development in science, literature and social sciences can be more effective if taught in one’s mother tongue. But on the other hand, the mother tongue of people in Doda district is yet to be recognised by the government as official languages.
Sarazi and Bhaderwahi are two local languages of the erstwhile Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir. According to linguist Dr Zargar Adil Ahmad, Bhaderwahi is not only an individual language but a group of languages, so Bhaderwahi can stand as an individual language when the native speakers of the language use it as a means of communication and promote it at every level. He also said that the efforts by the government are necessary for the development of Bhaderwahi as an individual language.
However, Bhaderwahi has around 1,20,000 native speakers, while Sarazi has 1,79,014 native speakers, according to Census 2011. Jalal Din (70), a prominent poet affiliated with the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Arts, Culture, and Languages, said that there were the days when many programmes like mushairas were organised in our native languages like Bhaderwahi and Sarazi. “Now nobody is taking our languages seriously, as everyone is busy in adopting foreign languages,” he added.
On Monday, Murmu was addressing the gathering at the National Teachers Awards ceremony where she recalled the contribution of her school teachers due to which she became the first girl from her village to go to college.
“Talent development in science, literature, and social sciences can be more effective if taught in the mother tongue,” she said.
In September 2020, Parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, which made Hindi, Kashmiri, and Dogri the official languages of the Union Territory. With this, locals in the Chenab valley felt ignored. Many organisations, like the Pahari Core Committee in J&K, are fighting for the recognition of various languages, which includes the Bhaderwahi and Sarazi languages as official languages of Jammu and Kashmir.
This article was first published on The Chenab Times.