Punjabi is spoken by a significant number of people in the Union territory: Pratap Singh Bajwa
Congressman and Rajya Sabha member Pratap Singh Bajwa wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, asking him to include Punjabi as the official language of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
On September 2, the Center approved the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020, including Kashmir, Dogri and Hindi as the official languages of the Union territory, except existing Urdu and English.
In his letter to the prime minister, Bajwa highlighted the long historical connection between Jammu and Kashmir and its state, and urged him to reconsider the bill to include Punjabi in the list.
Also during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, he raised the issue of Punjabi not on J & K’s official languages list.
In Rajya Sabha, the MP from Punjab underlined that Punjabi is spoken by a significant number of people in the territory of the Union.
He also pointed out that Annex 6 of the Constitution of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir recognized eight languages, including Punjabi, as regional languages of the state.
From 1808, when Jammu was placed as a province under the control of the Sikh Empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Mr. Bajwa pointed out in his letter that the Empire slowly brought Kashmir back under his rule in 1819 and the Ladakh in 1834.
In his letter, he also mentions the role Maharaja Ranjit Singh played in promoting Gulab Singh Jamwal to the post of Governor of Jammu Province.
Gulab Singh Jamwal became the first ruler of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846.
“I urge you to reconsider the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020 including Punjabi which is spoken by a significant number of people living in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.” , he said in his letter to the Prime Minister.
The MP also highlighted the role of Punjabi as a language that connects people of different faiths in India and around the world.
He called on the government to reconsider this bill and include Punjabi as the official language of Jammu and Kashmir.
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