PIL in J&K HC seeks to declare Hindi as official language of Union Territory

A public interest litigation (PIL) has been moved in Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking directions to declare Hindi as the official language of the Union Territory claiming that the people of Jammu have been a victim of the language barrier.

The PIL, filed by one Maghav Kohli through advocate Aditya Sharma, said that Dogri and Hindi are the most commonly used language in the province of Jammu and added Hindi has remained a compulsory subject in all the government and private schools.

“That the petitioner has filed the present public interest litigation for adopting Hindi as the official language of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir or Hindi as one of the official languages in use before this court,” the PIL submitted.

It said that prior to the passing of the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019, the official language of the erstwhile state was Urdu and all the official records including Revenue, Police, Acts, and Rules made by the Legislative Assembly is either in Urdu or in English.

“This practice was prevalent in the erstwhile State of J&K and still exists in Jammu and Kashmir after the promulgation of the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019,” the plea said.

“That the people of Jammu province has become a constant victim of this language barrier which has been slapped over them by the administration because of the fact that Urdu was never the mother tongue of the people of Jammu, and by making it an official language has resulted in causing unnecessary hardship for the people due to their inability to read, write and understand the language,” it added.

It said that this discrimination has been in force right from the day of accession of the Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India and is still holding its feet even after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.

“That in order to restore the parity amongst all the residents of the UT, the Government of India has rightly understood the long pending demand of the Jammu province to recognize Hindi as an official language and in order to substantiate their genuine claim a provision has been added under Section 47 of the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019,” the plea said.

“Once this provision has been added and recognized in terms of Section 47 it has become imperative on the administration to take effective steps in this direction by adopting /choosing any one or more official languages to the UT of J&K,” it added.