Govt plans introducing Kashmiri Language in Jammu colleges

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, July 13: In yet another instance of ignoring Dogri in its own land, the State Government is learnt to have secretly planned introduction of Kashmiri Language as a Subject in the colleges across Jammu division.
Taking a major step forward in this regard, the Department of Higher Education in the J&K Government has ordered conversion of 49 existing vacancies of Assistant Professors for Kashmiri Language and Literature.
The development is all set to raise many eyebrows in Jammu where Dogri is mother tongue of the inhabitants and despite its listing in 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which brings this language at par with the Kashmiri , it is still not introduced in the majority colleges here.
According to the Government order number 399 HE of 2017, dated 04-07-2017, sanction has been accorded for conversion of 74 vacancies, out of 492 existing vacancies of Assistant Professors in Higher Education Department, as on date. While 49 vacant posts of Assistant Professors have been converted for Kashmiri Language/Literature, 25 others have been converted for Vocal/Instrumental/Classical Music.
Official sources told the Excelsior that conversion of such a big number of vacancies of Assistant Professors has been done for facilitating introduction of Kashmir Language in the Government run Colleges across Jammu division.
In the initial phase, source said, the Kashmiri Language is being introduced in the colleges at Doda, Ramban, Gool, Kishtwar, Mahore, Arnas, Poonch, Rajouri and Bani, etc.
The Jammu division has total 46 number of State run Degree colleges and the Government has ordered conversion of 49 posts of Assistant Professors of Kashmiri thus indicating that the Language is likely to be introduced in almost all the colleges here, sources pointed out.
Pertinent to mention here that Kashmiri Language is already taught as a Subject in all the colleges across the Valley. The faculty position in respect of Kashmiri Language is almost satisfactory there and the conversion of 49 vacant posts of Assistant Professors is aimed to facilitate Kashmiri Language in colleges across Jammu division, sources insisted.
However, on the other hand, step motherly treatment with Dogri can be gauged from the fact that this language is taught as a Subject in only 19, out of 46 colleges across Jammu division .
There are only 11 permanent faculty members of the Dogri subject, two of whom have become Principals while 10 more have been engaged as Contractual Lecturers, sources informed.
Even as an officer in the Higher Education Department claimed that the 49 posts of Assistant Professors have been converted for Kashmiri Language in view of demand of the same from different colleges, the matter of fact is that in entire Jammu division, Kashmiri is presently taught in only Kishtwar campus of the Jammu University where only one candidate had taken admission in the subject despite availability of 20 seats in open category.
Ironically, a number of BJP Ministers in the Coalition Government, who were telephonically contacted by the Excelsior, were unaware of the development with regard to conversion of the posts for Kashmiri Language even as formal order in this regard was issued by the Higher Education Department nine days back.
However, the issue has raised eyebrows in the circles of Dogri litterateurs, who lambasted the State Government, particularly the BJP Ministers for their habit of turning Nelson’s eye towards the issues of concern with regard to Jammu, Jammuites and their Dogri.
” Is this the policy of present Government to instigate Dogras forcing them to take to streets for due recognition to their Dogri language, which is facing discrimination at the hands of decision makers?”, asked Prof Lalit Magotra, prominent Dogri writer and Member of Sahitya Academy Advisory Board (Dogri).