The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020

Recently, the bill “Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020” was passed by the parliament for including Dogri, Kashmiri, and Hindi in the list of official languages in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. This bill was approved by Rajya Sabha, though the Lok Sabha had already announced the Legislation.

Responding to a conflict on the bill, G. Kishan Reddy (the minister of state for home) said the people of J&K demanded that the language they speak should be incorporated in the official language list. In addition to this, the minister replied that approx. 74% of people in Jammu and Kashmir speak Kashmiri and Dogri languages.

Some important points to be noted-
  • The bill shall be for the inclusion of Hindi, Kashmiri, and Dogri as official languages in the Union territory of J&K, as we highlighted above. Besides, it is also stated that the English language may be used for those Legislative and administrative purposes, in the Union territory for which is it already being used before the initiation of this Act.
  • Also stated that the business in the Legislative Assembly of the Union territory shall be conducted in the languages of the Union territory or official language.
  • The Administrator for the development and promotion of local languages of the Union territory may take required steps to foster the existing institutional instruments like an academy of the languages, culture, and art in the Union territory.

“Administrator” means Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir appointed by the President as per (article 239) of the constitution.