In J&K, Language Has Always Been a Political Tool for Polarising People

The decision to include Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi in the list of officially accepted state languages in Jammu and Kashmir does not promote inclusivity, as has been projected.

In fact, it uses language as a political tool to further widen the gap that has been polarising identities in an otherwise abundantly diverse ‘state’ for a long time now. Much has been said about the exclusion of Pahari, Punjabi and Gojri from that list.

In 1991, the Gujjars and Bakerwals were granted Scheduled Tribe status among others from a reviewed list of ethnicities forwarded to the Central government, that included Paharis as well. But Paharis were left out of the ST list and since then, they have actively pursued demands for reservation based on their similarity with the Gujjars, when it comes to lifestyle, topography and distinct language and other socio-cultural parameters on which Gujjars were chosen.

In fact, since the 1970s, the community has been raising its demands through various state-level civil society organisations like Jammu & Kashmir Pahari Cultural and Welfare Forum (JKPCWF), Jammu and

— source | Malvika Sharma | 11/Sep/2020

Nullius in verba

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