Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 15
A day after Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal on Tuesday raised the issue of not including Punjabi, even “deleting”, out of list of official languages of Jammu and Kashmir.
“It used to be an official language of J&K. Farooq Abdullah will confirm,” Badal said pointing to senior National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, who was sitting in Lok Sabha.
"He also speaks excellent Punjabi," Badal said in his brief statement in the language.
Supporting him, Abdullah said Punjabi is spoken by many in J&K, and urged the government to also consider adding Pahari and Gujari as official languages of the union territory.
Tiwari said on Monday though many of its dialects were spoken in adjacent Jammu and Kashmir the government “deliberately” kept Punjabi out as the official language in the union territory
Discrimination against Punjabi should be stopped in Jammu and Kashmir and the language included as the official language, Tewari said.
The Union Cabinet recently approved a Bill under which Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the existing Urdu and English, will be the official languages in Jammu and Kashmir. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020, will be introduced in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament.
While the government said it was the long-pending demand of the region to include Dogri, Hindi and Kashmiri as official languages, the BJP-led Centre’s move took many by surprise and triggered demands for the inclusion of more languages in the proposed legislation.
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