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May 20, 2020 |

Language our identity

Promoting Kashmiri Language and Culture has never been smooth and easy. Some known obstructions have impaired many such efforts of preserving cultural diversity and strengthening regional identity. Successive governments as well as local population have shown little concern in preserving and help promote them. The disregard is evident from the treatment. While J&K government has achieved little for decades in making it popular and first choice, people too have exacerbated it by showing preference to other languages, like English. At home, learning a language like English is specially endorsed. Although Kashmiri is taught by parents, more for conversational needs, the notion is still as if it is burdensome. Over a period of time we have lost touch with many expressions that used to be beautifully presented by Kashmiri. Vocabulary that younger generations are known to or they can recall is very limited and conversations often tend to be bilingual/multilingual with the young borrowing from other languages. Rarely is Kashmiri written for correspondence and in fact very few people in Jammu and Kashmir can. Our education institutions have maintained distance; rather they have been averting responsibilities to assuage the situation. In schools, colleges and universities, to speak or communicate in Kashmiri language is considered as inapt. The misplaced sense and connotation that speaking in mother tongue is a sign of backwardness is widespread. Truth is that government officials, especially higher-ups, in any meeting or discourse feel self-impressed with the use of English language. Not only this they many a times become show-off exercises with the known public figures flaunting their foreign vocab and non-native expressions. It is a fact that neither Kashmiri nor Urdu falls in the endangered list of languages (Unesco categories of definitely endangered, severely endangered, critically endangered), still the matter does not need to be treated with usual nonchalance. Preserving language and culture is not enough, as we need to promote and develop them. To accomplish it all stakeholders have to step forward and contribute. Fixing the responsibility to some chosen institutions is not going to be of much help. Kashmiri language and culture have to see real endorsement from the people of Jammu and Kashmir and then all institutions. Outside J&K, preserving regional identity is taken seriously, and a multitude of efforts at different levels are put to play. In Jammu and Kashmir, the only silver lining would be the realization among the people as why we need to save our culture and language and prevent it from getting extinct.

 

Archive
May 20, 2020 |

Language our identity

              

Promoting Kashmiri Language and Culture has never been smooth and easy. Some known obstructions have impaired many such efforts of preserving cultural diversity and strengthening regional identity. Successive governments as well as local population have shown little concern in preserving and help promote them. The disregard is evident from the treatment. While J&K government has achieved little for decades in making it popular and first choice, people too have exacerbated it by showing preference to other languages, like English. At home, learning a language like English is specially endorsed. Although Kashmiri is taught by parents, more for conversational needs, the notion is still as if it is burdensome. Over a period of time we have lost touch with many expressions that used to be beautifully presented by Kashmiri. Vocabulary that younger generations are known to or they can recall is very limited and conversations often tend to be bilingual/multilingual with the young borrowing from other languages. Rarely is Kashmiri written for correspondence and in fact very few people in Jammu and Kashmir can. Our education institutions have maintained distance; rather they have been averting responsibilities to assuage the situation. In schools, colleges and universities, to speak or communicate in Kashmiri language is considered as inapt. The misplaced sense and connotation that speaking in mother tongue is a sign of backwardness is widespread. Truth is that government officials, especially higher-ups, in any meeting or discourse feel self-impressed with the use of English language. Not only this they many a times become show-off exercises with the known public figures flaunting their foreign vocab and non-native expressions. It is a fact that neither Kashmiri nor Urdu falls in the endangered list of languages (Unesco categories of definitely endangered, severely endangered, critically endangered), still the matter does not need to be treated with usual nonchalance. Preserving language and culture is not enough, as we need to promote and develop them. To accomplish it all stakeholders have to step forward and contribute. Fixing the responsibility to some chosen institutions is not going to be of much help. Kashmiri language and culture have to see real endorsement from the people of Jammu and Kashmir and then all institutions. Outside J&K, preserving regional identity is taken seriously, and a multitude of efforts at different levels are put to play. In Jammu and Kashmir, the only silver lining would be the realization among the people as why we need to save our culture and language and prevent it from getting extinct.

 

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