Languages of Jammu and Kashmir

Languages of Jammu and Kashmir
Languages of Jammu and Kashmir
According to 2001 census, more than 54 lakh people, around 53 percent of total Jammu and Kashmir population speaks Kashmiri, locally known as Koshur. Then it is followed by Dogri, Hindi, Punjabi, Ladakhi, Balti, Gojri, Sinha and Pashto.

Urdu is the official language of Jammu and Kashmir. It is used as the language of education, religious, and political discourses. However, it is spoken by less than one percent of Jammu and Kashmir natives. Many critics has criticized the stance of using Urdu as the state language, and not promoting Kashmiri, the largest spoken language of Kashmir.

Major Languages of Jammu and Kashmir

Kashmiri: Kashmiri is spoken in the entirety of Kashmir valley and a few areas of neighbouring Chenab Valley such as Kishtwar, Doda, Pogal, Paristan etc.

Dogri: Dogri is mostly spoken in the area of Jammu region, mainly in the Jammu district, Kathua district, and Udhampur district.

Bhaderwali: It is spoken in Bhaderwali district and parts of Doda district. It is similar to Himachali of Chamba, but also influenced by Kashmiri language of neighbouring region.

Pahari-Pothohari: It is mainly spoken in Poonch, Rajauri, and Pakistani occupied Kashmir. It can be said a transitional language between Hindko and Punjabi language.

Gojri: It is spoken by nomadic Gujjars and Bakarwals of Kashmir. The government of Jammu and Kashmir has recognized Gujari by including it in the sixth schedule of the state constitution.

Balti: Balti is mostly spoken by members of Muslim community in Nubra Valley, Leh, and Kargil district of Jammu and Kashimir. It has elements of Old Tibetans, which are now lost in modern standard Tibetan. It has simple, pitch accent system only in multi-syllabic words.

Ladakhi: Ladakhi, which is also known as Bhoti locally, is the main language of Ladakh region. Though, it is a member of Tibetan language family, but it has a distinct from standard Tibetan. Balti and Ladakhi are known as the twin or sister language, due to similarity of their sounds, words, except their written scripts.

Shina: Shina is spoken in  Gurez, Dras and parts of Kargil district. It is considered as the sister language of Kashmiri.

Pashto: Pashto, also known as Pukhto, is the language of Pashtuns.

Kashmiri, Dogri, Balti, Dardi, Punjabi, Pahari, Ladakhi, and Gojri are listed under the sixth schedule of Jammu and Kashmir constitution. Gojri is added by Twenty Sixth Amendment in 1999.