J&K Gujjars demand ''linguistic minority'' status

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Jammu, Nov 25 (UNI) Ethnic Muslims community of Gujjars in Jammu and Kashmir today demanded ''linguistic minority'' status and inclusion for Gojri language in the Eighth Schedule of Indian Constitution.

In a faxed memorandum, dispatched to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad by the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, several prominent writers, poets and intellectuals of the community have sought intervention of the state government to recommend Gojri language for inclusion in the list of official languages of India.

''Being one of the oldest and significant languages of the South Asian sub-continent, spoken by the Gujjars -- an ethno-linguistic minority of the state -- Gojri has been recognised as a tribal language of India by the National Academy of Letters viz 'Sahitya Academy','' Foundation National Secretary Javaid Rahi said.

He said the historians had traced the origin and practice of Gojri language since BC era.

''Noted saint and poet of the 13th century, Hazrat Amir Khusroo, had formally mentioned Gojri language in the list of 18 major Indian languages of his time,'' he added.

''Researchers and historians are of considered opinion that Gojri language is the mother of Rajasthani, Gujrati Urdu and Haryanvi Languages,'' Dr Rahi said.

After Kashmiri and Dogri -- both included in the Eighth Schedule -- Gojri is third largest spoken language in Jammu and Kashmir, he asserted.

UNI

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