SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill 2020 was passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The Bill gives official language status to Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, English, and Urdu in the Union Territory.
“The Bill fulfills the decades-long wishes of the people of the region. It is a big step which will give official language status to Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, English, and Urdu,” said Minister of State (MoS) Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said speaking during the discussions.
“From 1954 there were two official languages in Jammu and Kashmir, Urdu and English, which were used for official work. In the 2011 Census, the number of Urdu speakers in the UT was a little above 19 thousand which is 0.16 percent of the population,” he added.
The MoS Home Affairs further said that in the last seven decades the number of official language speakers was small while close to 74 percent population spoke in Kashmiri or Dogri.
“While 53.26 percent speak Kashmiri, Dogri is spoken by 20.64 percent people. It is a long-standing demand of the people to give official language status to these languages, but those who ruled for 70 years there did not do so,” Reddy said.
As per the Census, 2.30 percent of the population speaks Hindi in the UT, the MoS said.
Union Minister and RPI-A leader Ramdas Athawale supported the bill in his unique style by saying, “”Hume acchi lagti hai Dogri aur Kashmiri bhasha, Pak vyapt Kashmir Bharat me aaega ye hai humein aasha. Pakistan ka hum baja denge tasha, kyunki humein acchi lagti hai Dogri, Kashmiri bhasha.”
The Rajya Sabha, earlier today passed three important bills related to labour, the Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020, and the FCRA Amendment Bill by voice votes following discussions.
While the Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, was moved by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the FCRA amendment Bill was moved for passing by Minister of State (MoS), Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai in the House.