Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill to include Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi as official languages of Jammu and Kashmir in addition to English and Urdu.
The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020 was introduced in the lower House of Parliament by Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy and later passed after a brief debate.
Reddy said that 53.26 per cent people of Jammu and Kashmir speak Kashmiri but the language was not recognized as the official language for the last 70 years.
"Official language of Jammu and Kashmir was Urdu and English. LG informed that people are demanding that Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi should recognized as official languages," he said.
"According to the 2011 census, 53.26 per cent of Jammu and Kashmir people speak Kashmiri. But it was not made the official language. It was a historical language. 20.64 per cent speak Dogri, 0.16 per cent people speak Urdu and it was kept as an official language for 70 years. We are keeping it. 2.30 per cent of people speak Hindi. We are continuing English," he said.
National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi said that the government is creating confusion by making five official languages in Jammu and Kashmir.
"You are creating confusion. Are there five official languages in any state or union territory? Urdu is a link language in the state," he said.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh took a dig at Masoodi over his remarks. "You (NC) did politics in last 60 years based on Kashmiriyat. Now you are objecting to Kashmiri becoming the official language," he said.