Srinagar, Nov 6: The Delhi government is considering establishing an institute dedicated to preserving and promoting the language, literature, and culture of Kashmir.
This initiative has received support from the J&K administration.
The announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Vinai Kumar Saxena after receiving representation from various organisations including the Jammu and Kashmir Welfare Society (JKWS), Kashmiri Samaj Delhi (KSD), Samporan Kashmir and other members.
These associations were led by Sunil Shakdher, a resident of J&K who initiated the request with the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
Talking to Greater Kashmir from New Delhi, Shakdher briefed about the meeting with LG Saxena.
He said that the representatives were invited by the LG of Delhi to the celebration of Union Territory Foundation Day.
“During this interaction, I raised the issue of the Kashmiri community living in Delhi NCR and the significant number of people residing in the capital who hail from J&K,” he said.
One of the primary concerns brought to the LG’s attention was the lack of schools in Delhi offering instruction in the Kashmiri language and the absence of institutional support for a language they believe was gradually fading into obscurity.
Shakdher emphasised the community’s desire to return to Kashmir and the need for initiatives that would facilitate this return, enabling them to live alongside the locals in Kashmir.
“I told him that we all want to go back to Kashmir, and if we want to go back, steps need to be taken in this direction. After all, the community which has come out here has to live with the community living in Kashmir,” Shakdher said.
The representatives also discussed two key issues during their meeting with the LG Saxena, focusing on constitutional democracy and political democracy.
“In the context of constitutional democracy, I stressed the need for a guardian to protect the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Kashmiri community. We also raised concerns about the absence of elections in Kashmir in the realm of political democracy,” he said.
Shakdher said that while the Kashmiri Pandit community had produced chartered accountants, doctors, and bankers, the younger generation had lost its grip on the Kashmiri language.
“The question is that the elderly Kashmiri Pandits are aware of Kashmiri language and culture, but our young generation is not aware of anything, and they will be under a complex. Language saves our rituals, and identity, besides political and constitutional living,” Shakdher said.
In response to these concerns, the LG of Delhi announced the establishment of an institution dedicated to promoting and preserving the Kashmiri language.
“Additionally, he reached out to J&K’s Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, who assured his support for the initiative and expressed his willingness to provide teachers and other staff to make this project a success,” Shakdher said.
He said that the LG of Delhi assured that, as a first step, an Academy for Kashmiri and Dogri Languages would be promptly established.
“LG of Delhi assured us that the government will explore the possibility of establishing a school modelled after various state associations-run institutions in other states to further bolster these language preservation efforts,” he said.