National Conference President and Member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah has on the International Mother Language Day called for protecting the linguistic heritage of Jammu and Kashmir.

His statement was in connection with the Mother Language Day that is on Sunday being observed internationally.

Abdullah said that mother tongue is the underlying component of one’s culture and identity and that every effort should be made to protect the linguistic diversity of Jammu and Kashmir.

While remarking on the importance of preserving the linguistic heritage of Jammu and Kashmir, he said the mother tongue must be the medium of instruction in schools especially at formative stages.

“It lays a strong foundation for the expression of creativity and personality development. It also fosters creativity at the formative stages. As far as Kashmiri language is concerned, it is richly endowed with classical as well as folk literature watered over thousands of years by various poets, sages, rhetoricians and linguists. Having a large number of speakers, Kashmiri enjoys the privilege of being one of 22 languages mentioned in the eighth schedule, yet that does not put the language out of risk of getting extinct. Therefore, the need of the hour calls for taking radical steps to protect it and propagate it. Urdu, no doubt glues all the people of Jammu and Kashmir together, but languages like Kashmiri, Dogri, Pahari, Gojri, Punjabi should not be relegated to obscurity,” he said.

Calling for a comprehensive strategy to help keep Kashmiri and other languages in Jammu and Kashmir alive, he called for prioritising it in the education sector, especially during formative years of learning.

In addition, he emphasised on having Special grants for scholars pursuing research programmes in Kashmiri and other languages. Incentivisation of publication of journals, magazines and papers in the local native languages like Kashmiri, Dogri, Gojri, Pahari and Punjabi he said that he would go a long way in protecting the linguistic heritage of Jammu and Kashmir.

He urged the parents to use their local mother tongues as a medium of communication in their homes. Communicating in one’s mother tongue should be a matter of pride for all of us in Jammu and Kashmir.

V-P bats for primary education in mother tongue

Primary education in mother tongue can boost childrens self-esteem and creativity and it should be made the primary medium of instruction at least until class 5, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday.

Educating a child in a language that was not spoken at home can be a big impediment to learning especially at the primary stage, he said.

Calling the New Education Policy a visionary and progressive document, he urged for its implementation in letter and spirit. He emphasised the use of local languages in administration, court proceedings and to deliver judgments in them.