Citing Punjab’s historical links with Jammu & Kashmir since Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s time, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention for the inclusion of Punjabi in the official list of languages of the UT.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Captain Amarinder urged him to advise the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to reconsider and review the official list and include Punjabi also as one of the official languages in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir.
Voicing the resentment of the Punjabi community over the exclusion of Punjabi from the list of official languages, Captain Amarinder Singh pointed out that Jammu & Kashmir was a part of Punjab during the era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, with Punjabi one of the vernacular language of the region. When Jammu & Kashmir came into existence as an Independent State, Punjabi was a widely spoken language in the State and is now the mother tongue of all the Punjabis in the Jammu region, besides being spoken by the Punjabi community living in Kashmir Valley, he wrote.
The Chief Minister pointed out that under the Jammu & Kashmir Languages Bill, 2020 which was passed by both the Houses of Parliament with voice vote in September 2020, Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi were included in the list of official languages in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, in addition to the existing Urdu and English. Unfortunately, Punjabi was not included in the list of languages which are not just official languages now of the UT but will also be taught in schools as compulsory subjects.