Srinagar: Mother tongue is the underlying component of one’s culture and identity and every effort should be made to protect the linguistic diversity of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said on Saturday.
In his message on the eve of International Mother Language Day, Mr Abdullah said the mother tongue must be the medium of instruction in schools, especially at the formative stages.
“It lays a strong foundation for the expression of creativity and personality development. It also fosters creativity at the formative stages,” he said.
Mr Abdullah, the Member of Parliament from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, said 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 should not be relegated to obscurity,” he said.
Mr Abdullah emphasised on having special grants for scholars pursuing research programmes in Kashmiri and other languages.
“Incentivisation of publication of journals, magazines and papers in the local native languages like Kashmiri, Dogri, Gojri, Pahari, Punjabi will go a long way in protecting the linguistic heritage of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
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