New Delhi [India], September 27 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, passed by the Parliament in the recently-concluded monsoon session.
With this, the bill has now become act- The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Act, 2020.
The new law provides official language status to Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, English, and Urdu in the Union Territory.
Minister of State (MoS) Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy had said that 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.
"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.
Recently, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, official languages provision existed from 1957-- Urdu and English were accepted as official language. After becoming a union territory, many past anomalies had to be corrected and the process is going on. (ANI)