Literacy must for preservation, promotion of culture, language: Kohli
JAMMU, MARCH 30: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Choudhary Zulfkar Ali Thursday announced that State Government is planning to open Tribal Museum for which preliminary work has already been started.
Speaking at two-day conference “Gojri Language-Past, Present, and Future,” organized by J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Language, the Minister optimistically said, “Gojri language had a beautiful past, is having a good present and will have a bright future.”
He said present dispensation is committed for overall welfare of Tribal population and preservation of their culture and language. He said Government has assured State Cultural Academy of full support it requires for the promotion of tribal cultures and their languages.
The Minister also extended State Government’s support to Jammu University for starting Gojri Research Centre (GRC).
Earlier, Vice Chancellor Jammu R.D Sharma had announced that the University would soon set up a Gojri Research Centre.
Minister Zulfkar Ali said the present regime is taking all possible measures for Tribal welfare and establishment of a dedicated ministry for taking care of their issues is a proof. He said Rs 120 crores have been allotted to the Ministry which would be used for development of areas having tribal population. He said the government is also going to establish Tribal Research Institutes across the State.
He asked the Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu to submit a proposal to State Government for establishing Gojri Research Centre and assured his full support to get it approved.
The Minister said while government is strongly pushing for inclusion of Gojri language in 8th schedule, it is important that scholars and intellectuals of the community prepare a roadmap to support the cause.
Highlighting the essence of language, the Minister said the beauty of Gojri language is that it cuts across religious and regional lines. Mr. Zulfkar Ali said from Rajasthan in India to Afghanistan, people irrespective of their religious beliefs, not only understand, but also speak Gojri language.
He said such is the sweetness of Gojri language that people across the border are regular listeners to Gojri news broadcast by All India Radio, adding the community should take pride in it.
“Our language and culture are our identity and everyone needs to strive hard for its preservation. While we make an effort to communicate with people from other cultures in their language, the similar gesture should be made by other people when they speak to us,” the Minister said.
He added onus of preserving the language greatly lies on parents, who act as first school for their children. He said a conscious effort should be made to make sure that children from Gojri background, besides, learning other languages also learn their mother tongue.
Earlier, Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Abdul Gani Kohli, while addressing the gathering said that holding Gojri Conference bears witness to the fact that efforts are on for preserving and promotion of Gojri culture and the language.
Highlighting the importance of education, Mr. Kohli asked the community to do self introspection to figure out what it has achieved in academic field in last few centuries, adding the answer would not be very appreciative.
He said although MLAs and even Ministers are from the community, however, unless the community does not raise itself from the darkness of illiteracy, no one can do anything good for them.
The Minister said that it is the high time for the community to make efforts to raise the level of literacy. Without education it would be difficult for the community to sustain and preserve Gojri language and its culture, he added.
The Minister described the community as true patriot adding “Gujjars are the real Indians for which they should feel proud. We will live in India and we will die in India.”
The Minister also assured full Government support for the cause of Gojri community and its development. He said that during his meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi he particularly apprised him about various issues concerning the community.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Academy, Aziz Hajni said that for him the conference is an opportunity to celebrate love for Gojri language and culture. He also stressed for preparing a roadmap for promotion of the language and Gojri culture.
He informed that academy would in future try to hold one week long Gojri festival in both Jammu and Kashmir provinces.
Former V-C Baba Gulam Shah University Masood Choudhary delivered the key note address.
The function was attended by scholars, students, and people mainly from Gojri literary background.