Srinagar, Feb 21: National Conference President and Member of Parliament from Srinagar, Dr Farooq Abdullah Tuesday said the mother tongue is the underlying component of one’s culture and identity and that every effort should be made to protect the linguistic diversity of Jammu and Kashmir.
In his message on the International Mother Tongue Day, Dr Farooq while remarking on the importance of preserving the linguistic heritage of Jammu and Kashmir said the mother tongue must be the medium of instruction in schools especially at formative stages.
“It lays a strong foundation for the expression of creativity and personality development. It also fosters creativity at the formative stages. As far as Kashmiri language is concerned, it is richly endowed with classical as well as folk literature watered over thousands of years by various poets, sages, rhetoricians and linguists. Having a large number of speakers, Kashmiri enjoys the privilege of being one of 22 languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule, yet that does not put the language out of risk of getting extinct. Therefore the need of the hour calls for taking radical steps to protect it and propagate it. Urdu, no doubt glues all the people of Jammu and Kashmir together, but languages like Kashmiri, Dogri, Pahari, Gojri, Punjabi, Shina should not be relegated to obscurity,” he said, as per a statement.
Calling for a comprehensive strategy to help keep Kashmiri, Dogri, Punjabi and other languages in Jammu and Kashmir alive, he called for prioritizing it in the education sector, especially during formative years of learning. In addition he emphasized on having special grants for scholars pursuing research programmes in vernacular languages. He urged the parents to use their local mother tongues as a medium of communication in their homes. “Communicating in one’s mother tongue should be a matter of pride for all of us in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
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