Lok Sabha passes Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020 amid opposition
Under Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020, Dogri, Kashmiri, and Hindi, apart from Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the Union territory of J&K.
The Lok Sabha on September 22, 2020, passed the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020 under which Dogri, Kashmiri, and Hindi, apart from Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the Union territory of J&K.
The Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy, while introducing the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill stated that it was a demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the language they speak must be the official language.
Amid the opposition, the bill was later passed by the voice vote. Gujjar and Sikh communities specifically protested the exclusion of Gojri and Punjabi languages from the bill.
A momentous day for the people of J&K as Jammu Kashmir Official Languages (Amendment) Bill was passed in Lok Sabha.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 22, 2020
With this historic bill...Long-awaited dream of the people of J&K comes true!
Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Hindi and English will now be the official languages of J&K.
New Official languages of Jammu and Kashmir:
During the debate in the low House of the Parliament, the Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy highlighted that 53.26% of Jammu and Kashmir speak Kashmiri but the language was not recognised as the official language from the past 70 years.
He added that as per the 2011 census, 53.26 per cent of Jammu and Kashmir people speak Kashmiri but still it was not made the official language. While 20.64 percent speak Dogri, 2.30% of people speak Hindi and only 0.16 per cent of people speak Urdu but still, it was kept as an official language for 70 years. He clarified that Urdu and English will continue to be one of the official languages.
Opposition to the bill:
Hasnain Masoodi (National Conference), while opposing the bill stated that the central government does not have legislative competence to frame the bill in this regard. He added that it is not a fact that only 0.16% population of the UT speaks Urdu which is a link language between the Jammu and Kashmir region. No other state has five official languages.
Intervening the debate, the Union Minister Jitendra Singh took a dig at Masoodi over his remarks and mentioned that the National Conference did politics in the last 60 years based on Kashmiriyat and now they are objecting Kashmiri to be the official language of Jammu and Kashmir.