Govt plans to protect identity, language, land of J&K people

Govt plans to protect identity, language, land of J&K people

 

Srinagar: There will be measures for the protection of the identity, language and land of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, on the lines enjoyed by indigenous people in several states, and parliamentary approval will be sought for making the relevant legal changes.

A domicile policy for Union territory of Ladakh is also on the cards, a senior government functionary told TOI.

According to sources, what happened on August 5, 2019 with regard to nullification of Article 370 in J&K has not been unrolled in full. Like a government functionary explained, if something has been removed (special status for J&K), something else has to come in place in terms of protection of the local population.

The official indicated that these protections — meant to preserve the unique identity, language and land of its people — are in the pipeline.

“You don’t need Article 370 and such frameworks to protect your identity etc. You have seen the J&K domicile rules, so jobs are there for the locals. More protections are coming,” said an official. The proposed legal changes would have happened earlier but for the Covid crisis, sources said.

In terms of language, a key question that may be addressed is whether the official language in UT of J&K shall be Hindi or Urdu, in addition to English. While the J&K Constitution had English and Urdu as official languages, Section 47 of the J&K Reorganisation Act empowers the legislative assembly to adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the UT or Hindi as official language. A likely scenario could be making Hindi the official language, especially as Jammu is a non-Urdu speaking region, while Urdu is preserved as a regional language.

Sources said there are protections coming for land too. “Such protections are highly expected and will reassure the people of J&K that their land will not be taken over by outsiders. This will also set to rest fears of a likely demographic change in Kashmir,,” said a government functionary. (TOI)

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