For starters, Urdu is the official state language of J&K. However clichéd it may sound, State of Jammu & Kashmir is a land of varied cultures, languages, and ethnicities as rest of India is. Precisely, J&K can be classified into three different regions namely Valley region, Jammu and Ladakh, each having a distinct identity of its own. Agreed Valley and Jammu are intermingled thanks to ‘Kashmiriyat’ but serene Ladakh has been quiet, composed and aloof since ages.
Now, as far as my knowledge regarding linguistic composure of J&K goes, Kashmiri is the lingua franca of the Valley region and Dogri language being predominantly spoken in Jammu region whereas Ladakhi being spoken in Ladakh. This arrangement exists among the sea of other Dardic, Tibeto-Burman and Indo-Aryan languages in this complex state.
Now, my question is where does Urdu fits in this vexed arrangement. Urdu is not a native language of J&K. Urdu is an eloquent and refined Indian language that finds its roots in Persian and Sanskrit and largely spoken in the Indo-Gangetic plains down south of J&K. Urdu was once the court language of the Mughals. Even when the Mughals reined Kashmir, they didn’t impose Urdu on them. Persian was encouraged then. In fact the rich literature Kashmiri has, is the consequence of such assimilation, it went through time and again. In fact, it’s the only Dardic language with any sort of literature present today.
In the end result, by deciding Urdu as the official language of diverse J&K, the policy makers escaped the dilemma in choosing a more native language for such designation. Besides, this prevailing arrangement complicated the minds of the people of this state and has further estranged them from us. When Home minister P. Chidambaram says in the Parliament that he feels pain for the people of the valley and state as they are part of us, I doubt whether it echoes from the other side of the core. The policy makers in both Delhi and Srinagar have made a lot of follies in their deeds towards the subjects of this state.
I won't go into the political baloney (enough has been said about it with no end solution in sight) but this grave mistake with regards to the cultural policy of this state is awry and has been haunting and will continue to haunt Delhi and the whole state of Jammu & Kashmir for a very long time ahead.