Before August 5, Urdu was the official language of J&K state, while official transactions and orders were also conducted and issued in English.
On the ground in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), one of the questions being raised after the Centre’s decision to scrap the state’s special status and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories, is whether Urdu will remain the official language.
Section 47 of the J&K Reorganisation Act empowers the new Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of J&K to “adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir or Hindi as the official language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes.”
The business in the Assembly, the law states, shall be transacted in the “official language or languages of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir or in Hindi or in English.” Before August 5, Urdu was the official language of J&K state, while official transactions and orders were also conducted and issued in English.
When contacted, J&K Governor’s advisor Farooq Khan told The Indian Express: “All special provisions have been thrown into the dustbin of history where they always belonged. In the new set-up, everything will be done afresh. A child has taken birth, so it will be nurtured with all the love and care by the Government of India. The Centre’s welfare schemes, which used to be mutilated in the previous set-up, are being pursued with full vigour.”