New Delhi [India], September 24 (ANI): Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday expressed shock and anguish at the manner in which the J-K Official Languages Bill, 2020, was "bulldozed" in the Parliament and said that it was condemnable that the voice of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in support of Punjabi language had been muzzled.
"Shocked and anguished at the way the J&K Official Languages Bill 2020 was bulldozed in Parliament! The voice of J&K people in support of #Punjabi language has been muzzled. It's a matter of concern that parliamentary procedures were not followed for approval," Badal tweeted.
It is to mention that earlier Akali Dal had criticised the way the farm bills were passed in both the Houses -- Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Badal condemned that the Bill was taken up for approval without considering the objections of SAD as well as other regional parties of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Had pointed out in #LokSabha that Punjabi wasn't only the mother tongue of lakhs of people in UT but was also recognised as per Constitution of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. But the bill was today passed without taking into consideration objections of @Akali_Dal_ and other registered parties of J&K," he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill 2020 was passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The Bill gives official language status to Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, English, and Urdu in the Union Territory.
"The Bill fulfils the decades-long wishes of the people of the region. It is a big step which will give official language status to Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, English, and Urdu," said Minister of State (MoS) Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said speaking during the discussions.
"From 1954 there were two official languages in Jammu and Kashmir, Urdu and English, which were used for official work. In the 2011 Census, the number of Urdu speakers in the UT was a little above 19 thousand which is 0.16 per cent of the population," he added.
The MoS Home Affairs further said that in the last seven decades the number of official language speakers was small while close to 74 per cent population spoke in Kashmiri or Dogri.
"While 53.26 per cent speak Kashmiri, Dogri is spoken by 20.64 per cent people. It is a long-standing demand of the people to give official language status to these languages, but those who ruled for 70 years there did not do so," Reddy said.
As per the Census, 2.30 per cent of the population speaks Hindi in the UT, the MoS said. (ANI)