India scrapes Urdu as the official language of Jammu and Kashmir

Indian government has scrapped Urdu language as the official language of Jammu and Kashmir, ending its 131-year reign as sole official language of the disputed valley.

Indian Information Minister – Prakash Javadekar has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir will now have five official languages.

These five official languages include Urdu, English, Hindi, Kashmiri and Dogri.

The development comes as Urdu is largely associated with Muslims in India and is considered to be ‘Islamic’ in one way or another.

Jammu and Kashmir is home to various ethnicities speaking a variety of languages such as Pahari, Gojri, Ladakhi, Dogri, Balti and Punjabi.

Jitendra Sindh – a federal minister hailing from Jammu and Kashmir took to social media on Wednesday to announce the development.

However, Urdu till now maintained its significance as the valley’s official language acting as a tool for inter-community harmony.

Anti-Muslim narrative has witnessed significant momentum since the establishment of Narendra Modi led BJP government which has fueled far-right, nationalist and Hindutva policies that essentially in some way are against religious minorities especially Muslims.

The decision to scrap Urdu as the official language is a further extension of the Indian government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 5th 2019, essentially revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special autonomous status.