An alien in
its own land
Dogri, the language of warriors, is struggling to find acceptance in its own land.
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria on the evolution and plight of the language
Dogri language is surrounded by ironies. Popularly called
the khand-meethi boli (language as sweet as sugar), this
Indo-Aryan language is the language of warriors — Duggars. An
ancient language, Dogri first found mention in the works of Amir
Khusro as far back as 1317, but in the place of its origin it is
yet to find popularity. Efforts have been made by the state’s
leaders towards its social acceptance, the recent one by
Congress MP Madan Lal Sharma, when he took oath in Dogri in the
15th Lok Sabha.
Dogra artistes perform during a Navaratra festival in Katra.
— Photo by Anand Sharma
Culture of poets and warriors
Culture is the name of
continuity. The Dogra culture, due to its accommodating nature,
has maintained this healthy trend. But it should not lose sight
of its fundamentals to retain its charm and identity. Sadly,
today this culture of warriors and poets is in a deplorable
condition as are its historical monuments, traditional arts and
the Dogri language itself. The younger generation is fast
catching up with Hindi and English, while literary contribution
have shrunk to functions only.