Joy in Jammu over Centre's decision on Dogri

SRINAGAR DEC. 24. There is great joy in Jammu over the Central Government's decision to include Dogri in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

Huge numbers of people came on to the streets today to celebrate the occasion. Dogri writers, poets and scholars were the happiest. Though some political parties organised meetings, probably to draw political mileage, the people in general saw it as "restoring the pride of the people of Jammu." Students too were happy as Dogri would be one of the subjects in the competitive examinations.

Describing it as the happiest moment of his life, Ram Nath Shastri, well-known Dogri litterateur and Padmashri recipient, said: "This has ended the long struggle of the Dogri-speaking people for a rightful place for their language. (Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpyee has fulfilled his promise to Jammuites." Mohan Singh of the Dogri Sangarsh Morcha said that it was the result of the untiring efforts of several people. Welcoming the decision, the Dogri Sanstha president, Lalit Mangotra, thanked all those who had fought for the cause.

Literary circles in the Kashmir Valley also welcomed the decision. Adabi Markaz Kamraz said that though late the Centre's decision had fulfilled the aspirations of the Dogri-speaking people. In a statement, the Kashmir Foundation for Art and Culture said: "We are happy that it has been included in 8th schedule." We are for due place to all the languages and government should put an end to its apathetic attitude towards languages". Prominent poet Shahid Budgami said "we have also been cocerned about Dogri and we appreciate the government move". There should no discrimnation with the languages, he added.

It may be recalled that the state cabinet had passed a resolution recommending to the centre for inclusion of Dogri in the 8th Schedule.

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