Languages connect us. Every Language has charm and beauty of its own no matter whether it's local, regional, national or international. It is well known to all that our country is a land of diversified languages and State of Jammu and Kashmir is no exception to it.
Apart from Kashmiri, Dogri and Laddakhi a number of other local Languages including Pahari, Gojri, Bhadrwahi, and Gaddi are spoken in different parts of our State Jammu and Kashmir. Gaddi language is very beautiful, typical and unique in itself. Gaddi is widely spoken and it's the mother-tongue of people of not only from Gaddi community but that of other casts including Sippi, Gaddi-Brahmin, and Rehaade living in Upper reaches of Kathua, Udhampur, Reasi, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwahr Districts of Jammu region. Morover Gaddi Language is one and only local dialect spoken by entire population in some of the areas of district Udhampur and Kathua which includes areas like Pachound, Chappar, Dhaggar, Jageer, Duggan, Daohla, Dulangal and many others.
Gaddi language (and folk) is one of the ancient languages of the state. There are large number of traditional Gaddi Folk songs meant to be sung differently on different occasions. In Gaddi language special songs are available for different ceremonies like marriage songs, festival songs, songs of sessions, activity songs, etc. Marriage songs include songs on bride, groom, parents and relatives of bride and groom. Songs in Gaddi language very often depict the emotions of all kinds, some songs are purely romantic while others cover a range of emotions and experiences of life. Gaddies are traditionally the followers of Lord Shiva and there are specific devotional songs in Gaddi language majority of which are dedicated to Lord Shiva and are popularly known as (Anchli) in local Dialect. Numerous cradle Song for kids are also available in Gaddi Language.
Along-with songs Gaddi Language has its own treasure of literature like imaginary stories, short stories, stories of bravery and miracles, poems, riddles, idioms and phrases and tongue-twisters. Having known the fact that Gaddi Language has a sufficient traditional literature and history of its own and more importantly a bulk of population in more than five districts of Jammu and Kashmir speaks this Language as their mother-tongue, now the question arises weather there is any provision, plan or assistance from Government to preserve, promote and develop this language? The answer is certainly no. It is very unfortunate that even the name of Gaddi Language does not exist in the list of departments and agencies working and dealing with the task of promoting art, languages and culture of the state.
It is good to see that Radio Kashmir Jammu is providing platform to some of the local languages by broadcasting daily and weekly programmes from its primary services including programmes in Gojri, Pahari & Bhaderwahi languages but unfortunately name of Gaddi Language is yet to be included in in this category. We hope this language also gets the due it deserves.
(Subash Brahamanu is from Chhatriari Tehsil Basantgarh District Udhampur)