Srinagar: Undeniably many government institutions and non – government literary organizations are ardently active to preserve Kashmiri language and literature but still apprehensions are being expressed that the Kashmiri language is facing an existential threat.
Literary organizations and writers believe that English medium schools in Kashmir valley are responsible to a great extent to eradicate Kashmiri language because children enrolled in most of the English medium schools are not allowed to speak in their mother tongue.
However, writers believe that learning a mother tongue can help better understand one’s own identity.
“It is seen in the society that our new generation either talk in Urdu or in English instead of speaking in their mother tongue, for which they are encouraged at every level”, said a famous Kashmiri writer.
They believe that the preservation of the Kashmiri language can be ensured only by talking to the children in their mother tongue at home, although learning other languages, especially Urdu and English, is also very important.
“The Kashmiri language is alive as we communicate in it”, a renowned writer and poet of the Kashmir valley Zareef Ahmad Zareef said while talking to UNI.
He said that this language can never die but our attitude can weaken it.
‘Foreign invasions have adversely affected it and there is also an impression that those who speak in Kashmiri can not be modern and well versed.
The writer said that parents should talk to their children in Kashmiri language at home while there is no problem in learning other languages.
“The rich literature in Kashmiri language is unmatched in other languages of the world”, Zareef said.
He said “language is the identity of a nation and for any nation to survive it is necessary to ensure the protection and promotion of its language”.
However, Zareef said the inclusion of Kashmiri language in the curriculum is a very welcome move by which now it has become an academic language and children can learn to read and write this language in schools.
The poet said that while it is the responsibility of our intellectuals to ensure the protection and promotion of their mother tongue, there is also a need for translation centers to be established in Kashmir University, Islamic University, and Central University.
He said that with the establishment of these translation centers, Knowledge in Kashmiri language can be rendered into other languages and vice versa.
He said that government and non-government organizations are working, but there is a need to expand and accelerate their efforts.
Editor of Kashmiri t at the Jammu and Kashmir Cultural Academy Javed Iqbal Khan, said that every small language is affected by the invasion of other big languages and Kashmiri language was no exception.
“Our tragedy is that the common Kashmiri feels inferior when he speaks in Kashmiri language. This mindset needs to be changed”, he said.
Khan said that the protection and promotion of Kashmiri language is not only the responsibility of government institutions or other literary associations but it is necessary for every individual to play his role for the protection in this regard.
He said that this responsibility can be fulfilled by talking with your children in their mother tongue at home.
The Editor said that the government has also included Kashmiri language in the school curriculum which will ensure its protection.
Regarding the initiative taken by the academy to ensure the preservation of Kashmiri language, he said that the establishment of the Kashmiri department in the University of Kashmir was due to the work of the academy.
He said the Academy has been publishing books in Kashmiri language continuously for the last three decades, numerous books have been published on Sufi poetry and other topics and apart from this a monthly journal “Shiraza” is also published in Kashmiri language.
President of Sagar Cultural Forum Sagar Nazir told UNI that “if Kashmiri language is not spoken at home, then it is in danger. He said that the debates and discussions that are held in the seminars for the protection and promotion of Kashmiri language are confined only to the seminar halls”.
“To explore the Kashmiri language, more attention needs to be given by the authorities and the common people to protect it despite it having been included in the school curriculum”, he added.
He said that there is a shortage of Kashmiri language specific language to teach in the schools.
He complained that government institutions are not buying books of Kashmiri writers and poets.