Civil society rejects Devnagri script for Kashmiri language

Kashmir's Civil Society Monday rejected the reported move by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to introduce Devnagri as alternate script for Kashmiri language through its proposed council.
Civil society rejects Devnagri script for Kashmiri language
Representational Pic

Kashmir's Civil Society Monday rejected the reported move by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to introduce Devnagri as alternate script for Kashmiri language through its proposed council.

In an emergency meeting organised by Adbee Markaz Kamraz (AMK), a group of writers, poets, artists, academicians, social activists and businessmen unequivocally resolved that the proposal to introduce Devnagri script was unacceptable.

"The move is politically motivated aimed at bifurcating the Kashmiri community in the name of the script," reads a resolution passed unanimously at the meeting. "It is aimed at demolishing our cultural identity as the existing script has been in vogue for past over five centuries and entire Kashmiri literature is available in this script. There is no need to have an alternative script that will not only divide the place but also lead to confusion."

The meeting impressed upon the political leadership of the state across the divide to wake up and play its role in forcing the government to stop this move. "The Chief Minister should also intervene and make Delhi understand that this will have dangerous ramifications" reads the resolution. The participants warned the HRD ministry to desist from taking such step and also clarify its stand. They welcomed the proposal to have National Council for Promotion of Kashmiri language but it should serve the language only through the existing script. 

The meeting was presided over by noted Kashmiri poet Naseem Shifai while AMK General Secretary Amin Bhat moderated the session.

Ghulam Nabi Khayal, well-known writer and journalist said the HRD ministry has shown disrespect towards Kashmiri literature and writers by proposing this move. "They should come clear on the issue otherwise whole civil society and intellectual class will be forced to come roads," he said.

Abdul Majeed Zargar, a civil society member said the move was a part of a big conspiracy to suppress Kashmiri identity.

"We should bring all the stakeholders on one platform to pressurize the government of India to desist from any such script inclusion," he said. Veteran broadcaster Farooq Nazki said the move should be resented by one and all united so that the vested interests wouldn't succeed.

Writer Deepak Kanwal said: "The proposal is unacceptable to the Kashmiri Pandit community also as it is being projected on communal lines by some unscrupulous elements." He said the Kashmiri Pandit writers had been writing in Persio-Arabic script and they are comfortable in it as it doesn't violate their religious obligations.

"We must unite on this issue and fight the bad people who are trying to create a wedge between the communities," he said. 

Former civil servant Mohammad Shafi Pandit said that if it was a demand from a small section then what about the Kashmiri diaspora who would like to adopt Roman script. President AMK Syed Shuja'at Bukhari said 99 percent Kashmiri literature is written in Persio-Arabic script and it has a legal and constitutional recognition as well.

"So the proposal is truly part of a conspiracy which we need to tackle strongly," he said.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Shakeel Qalandar, Ghulam Nabi Aatish, Ali Shaida, ZG Muhammad, Dr Javid Iqbal, Shakeel Qalander, Dr Abdul Ahad, Prof Nusrat Andrabi, Dr Altaf Hussain, Syed Hamid Bukhari, Saleem Saliq, Gulzar Ganai, Wahshi Saeed and Izhar Mubashir. AMK vice president Farooq Rafiabadi, Secretary G N Shakir and executive member Nazir Ahmad Nazir were also present.

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