Include Punjabi in J&K official languages list: Punjab CM urges PM Modi

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Chandigarh, Jan 28 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention for the inclusion of Punjabi in the list of languages of Jammu and Kashmir.

He cited Punjab's historical links with Jammu and Kashmir since Maharaja Ranjit Singh's time.

In a letter to the prime minister, Amarinder Singh urged him to advise the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to reconsider and review the official list and include Punjabi as one of the official languages of the union territory.

He voiced resentment of the Punjabi community over the exclusion of their language from the list.

Amarinder Singh pointed out that Jammu and Kashmir was a part of Punjab during the era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the 19th century Sikh ruler, with Punjabi being one of the vernacular languages of the region.

When Jammu and Kashmir came into existence as an independent state, Punjabi was a widely spoken language there and is now the mother tongue of all Punjabis in the Jammu region, besides being spoken by the Punjabi community living in Kashmir Valley, he wrote.

The chief minister said under the Jammu and Kashmir Languages Bill, 2020 which was passed by both the Houses of Parliament with a voice vote in September 2020, Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi were included in the list of official languages of the UT, in addition to the existing Urdu and English.

Unfortunately, Punjabi was not included in the list of official languages which will be taught in schools as compulsory subjects, he said. PTI CHS VSD RHL