Jammu and Kashmir National Conference senior leader and Member of Parliament from Baramulla Muhammad Akbar Lone on Monday expressed deep concern over the manner in which candidates for Assistant Professorship in the Kashmiri language are being discriminated against, saying the measure is against the interests of the major linguistic group in the state.
Member of Parliament from Baramulla while criticizing the disregard of the incumbent administration for the Kashmiri Language said, “The JKPSC had announced 49 posts each for Kashmiri and Dogri, and 25 for Punjabi language. The cut off for the interview was fixed at 55% in case of Open merit candidates and 45% for reserved category. The interview for the said posts was conducted in 2019. Surprisingly the candidates for Dogri, and Punjabi Language were awarded full marks in viva voice. In sharp contrast to giving full marks to Dogri and Punjabi candidates, Kashmir language candidates were given less scores in vice viva. The news had it that many of them were awarded zero in the demonstration. Subsequently, less number of Kashmiri candidates was absorbed in and 23 posts out of 49 posts again remained vacant. While as all the advertised posts for Dogri and Punjabi were filled. The whole process is fraught with discrepancy and should be thoroughly investigated upon. The Dogri and Punjabi candidates were interviewed before decreasing the cut-off, while as Kashmiri language candidates were interviewed after the decrease in cut off. I believe it is a tip of iceberg; the incumbent administration should immediately lower the cut off for Kashmiri candidates as well, as was done for the aspirants in case of Punjabi, and Dogri languages.”
While censuring the sheer discrimination against the Kashmiri language, Lone said, “As per the 2011 census 5327 persons out of 10,000 people speak Kashmir in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Rest of the languages spoken in our state does not even cross the halfway mark. It is a scheduled language and possesses a speaker’s strength of 67, 97,587, that makes it a biggest language of the state with all its regional accents, and variations. The cumulative strength of the other languages spoken in our state does not even cross the half way mark of the speakers of Kashmiri language. A classical language it is with a strong folk base. The Kashmiri language is far richer in its extravagance than Persian and other classical languages. We possess our own script. The literary and the folk sumptuousness of our language surpass other languages by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, it too hasn’t been left out of undue politicking. In 2017 the announcement of 49 posts for Kashmir and Dogri language each reeks of the contempt the present central and state administration has for Kashmir. The number of posts should have been equally proportional to the number of speakers. Remarkably 25 posts had been advertised by the JKPSC in 2017 for the Punjabi Language, whose speakers are just around two lakh. This I believe is colossal discrimination against the Kashmiri language. I am not against induction filling of teaching posts in other languages, if the situation demands it should be done but not at the cost of Kashmiri Speakers.”
Lone said the Kashmiri language with all its shades is spoken in the Chenab valley and across Kashmir division and had a sizable strength in the Pir Panchal Areas. “Now that the governor administration is on the mission of making amends to the various decisions of former BJP-PDPP coalition, let him come up with a commission to enquire into the teaching requirements of the various languages in the state. The commission will give its report on the basis of statistics, and the inputs from the concerned departments of Education. The whole process seems to be overwhelmed by petty politics. I urge the Governor administration to look into the matter and fill all the vacant assistant professor posts in the Kashmiri language,” he said.
“I earnestly demand that all posts for an assistant professorship in Kashmiri languages should be filled and the cut off lowered further in order to accommodate otherwise capable candidates. I urge the Governor to personally ascertain the facts and do the necessary action at his end,” he said.