What could be described as a momentous event, the first ever Jammu and Kashmir Council for development Urdu Language today held its maiden meeting under the chairmanship of Minister for Finance, Education, Labour and Employment Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari with the participation of galaxy of scholars, writers, heads and faculty of state and outside Universities.While the marathon session witnessed enthusiastic response from the participants representing varied quarters, the Minister said that establishment of the prestigious institution solely aims at restoration of the status, the language enjoyed in the state for centuries.“Government has vowed to contribute towards this long-cherished goal with honesty. I assure you that the commitment will be the only yardstick to judge the achievements” Altaf Bukhari said in response to the suggestions projected by the participants, who described the government’s move as historic and unprecedented in last seventy years.Welcoming the zealous response and appreciation from the members, he said “Our Chief Minister is very keen to see this institution growing in leaps and bounds. It is due to her keenness that this institution, sought after for decades, has seen the light of the day.”
Listing steps taken by the state government in promotion of the official language, Altaf Bukhari said to meet their dearth in schools this time the government has kept 10 percent for of Urdu subject in the recruitment of teachers.However, the Minister made it clear that no other language will be ignored in this pursuit. “I may make it clear that forming State Urdu Council by the government, not by any means, be construed as an attempt to underestimate other languages. Our only aim is to give Urdu its due position in the state and society” the Minister asserted. He said the language has international appeal and it has acted as a binding force in uniting the culture, heritage and social milieu of entire sub-continent.Calling upon universities, faculty, writers, organizations associated with the Urdu language teaching and promotion for coming up with well thought educative plans, he said each and every suggestion and proposals deemed best for achieving the set goals will be taken on board while finalizing the future course for the Council.Meanwhile, the speakers including MLC and Vice Chairman State Urdu Council, Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, Vice Chancellors of JU Prof R D Sharma, KU Prof Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi, BGBSU Prof Massarat Javed, CLUJ Anju Bhasin, Principal Secretary Higher Education, Dr Asgar Ali Samoon, Director National Council for Development of Urdu, Irtiza Kareem, Secretary JKAACL, Aziz Hajni, heads of Urdu departments of State Universities, Delhi University, besides veteran Urdu writers including G N Khayal and others.The speakers called for making Urdu subject compulsory till class 10 in schools, even as some of them pitched for switching back to Urdu medium of instruction in the schools, reinforcement of language in administrative system by making passing of Urdu paper mandatory for entry into administrative services, including IAS, IPS and KAS in Jammu and Kashmir.