In the Indian public imagination, the history of Jammu and Kashmir begins in 1947, courtesy the left liberal intelligentsia. However, Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘The Kashmir Files’ contributed in its way to dismantle the narrative. The dialogues narrated that Kashmir belongs to Rishi Kashyap. Kashmir is the land of sages like Adi Shankaracharya and the cradle of civilisation, which is soon to connect to its roots through Hindi language.
Hindi reclaims its place in Kashmir
After over three decades, the students of Kashmir will be taught Hindi language in schools. The Jammu and Kashmir State Council of Education Research and Training (JKSCERT) is likely to teach Hindi language from class I to X, and for the same the JKSCERT has constituted an eight-member committee. The committee would be suggesting mechanisms for the process of teaching and learning of Hindi in the school curriculum. The committee, headed by Chairman of JKBOSE, will be submitting its recommendations by February 20, 2023.
The move becomes celebratory as Hindi is being taught in government as well as private schools in Jammu, but there was no such provision in the valley. One big reason for the erosion of Hindi language from the valley can be sighted as the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, who were entrusted with teaching languages like Hindi. It is believed that till 1990s, Hindi was a part of curriculum in over 70 per cent of the schools. The place was then occupied by Urdu, Kashmiri language and English.
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Political tussle begins over Hindi
In the regional curriculum, English has been mandatory. However, the proposal to teach Hindi has been flagged in the valley and is being referred to as an unnecessary imposition. The probability is that the decision might add to the existing hostilities in the region.
Gupkar Alliance leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami called it a Hindi imposition and said that this would deepen the divide. He also alleged that Hindi is being imposed in private schools of the territory upon the instructions of the Bhartiya Janata Party.
Whereas BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur supported the initiative saying that language does not belong to any religion.
The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley is one of the biggest blots on the history of Independent India. While Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave the valley fearing persecution, along with them, the culture, tradition, language and every single aspect of the civilisation’s history was eroded. With the initiative to teach Hindi in schools, the civilizational history seems to be gradually reclaimed that too with resistance.
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