Tribune News Service
Jammu, July 18
The school education department’s move not to introduce Dogri language in the newly upgraded higher secondary schools of the state has triggered a major controversy, with scholars and students upping the ante against, what they alleged, “a deliberate attempt to erase Dogra identity” from Jammu and Kashmir.
According to scholars and students, the government had recently upgraded over 100 schools to the level of higher secondary, but the Dogri language was not introduced as one of the teaching subjects in these.
“With the new schools, there are over 400 higher secondary schools across the Jammu region, but the Dogri language is being taught in only 8-10 institutes. No post of lecturer or teacher has been created in the upgraded schools to teach Dogri. This is not only utter discrimination but cultural aggression on the Dogra identity,” claimed Kailash Mohan Sharma, a Dogri scholar.
Pertinently, Dogri was recognised as an official language and it was included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution on December 22, 2003.
On April 2 last year, the state’s High Court while disposing of a PIL had directed strict implementation of a government order regarding teaching Dogri and other regional languages in all schools across the state without any discrimination.
The education department had committed that Kashmiri, Dogri, Punjabi and Bodhi would be taught as one of the compulsory subjects from Class VI to VIII in such areas where such languages were spoken as mother tongue in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh provinces.
Bhupinder Singh, another scholar of Dogri language, said, “Over 300 students and scholars complete their postgraduate, MPhil and PhD courses in the Jammu region, but they don’t get employment because of the government’s discriminatory approach”.
The doyen of Dogri poetry, Padma Sachdev, who was recently elected fellow of the National Sahitya Akademi, felt pained to look back at Jammu, the Dograland, where the language was fast diminishing.
“It is quite painful that the Dogri language is losing its importance. Though mothers of the region need to be blamed for keeping their children away from the language, our political representatives are squarely responsible for it. Dogri has been subjected to utter discrimination,” the 72-year-old writer said.
Lalit Magotra, president, Dogri Sanstha Jammu, said it was “a long-drawn strategy of those at the helm of affairs to erase the Dogra identity which they want to achieve by not teaching the Dogri language in the primary and secondary level schools”.
“After widespread protests, the government had created 44 posts of Dogri teachers in degree colleges two-three years back but non-creation of posts at the higher secondary level is an attempt to scuttle the scheme of teaching Dogri at the college level. They are basically targeting Dogra identity which will not be tolerated,” Magotra said.
Sarita Chauhan, Commissioner-Secretary, school education department, did not respond to repeated phone calls, while Director, School Education, Jammu, Anuradha Gupta was also unavailable for comment.
All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate. The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
'No bar on probing past crimes of Davinder Singh'
Allege she was not consulting them before taking decisions
After calling him to Canada, she left him citing ‘extramarit...
UT completes formalities to acquire 13 acres in Dadu Majra &...
226 were held with drugs, including cocaine, charas, ganja, ...
Narrow escape for victim as bullet misses shoulder
Delhi CM promises free bus rides for students, mohalla marsh...
To hold protest from 5 to 7 pm daily for a week
Council of Engineers lodges complaint with NGT chief
Have been asked to construct canal for waste discharge
Health Corporation, college authorities blame each other for...
61 cases were reported in 2019; Health Dept taking proactive...