Experts sound alarm, say move should be opposed
Cautioning the authorities not to thrust Devnagri script over Kashmiri language, experts have expressed resentment saying the move would be opposed with unified approach.
Jammu and Kashmir Urdu Council (JKUC) said a conspiracy against the Kashmiri language is being hatched and the move is aimed to erode the rich history and its remarkable content.
The Council said some people masquerading as Kashmiris are emphasizing upon introducing Devangri script for Kashmiri language and the purpose of such move is to change the very foundation of the language so that the coming generations are kept away from knowing the very background of their land. “The important manuscripts written in Kashmiri language earlier, if changed could have the disastrous impact upon the coming generations of Kashmir as they would remain unaware about their past,” said JKUC members.
Spokesman of JKUC Javid Matji said, “These elements are talking of introducing a new manuscript for Kashmiri language. The JKUC has warned these elements that Devnagri or any other manuscript for Kashmiri language would not be acceptable for any Kashmiri living or putting up in any part of the world.”
The Council has reiterated that all the Kashmiri speaking people irrespective of their identity, religion or region will fight any such attempt tooth and nail.
Matji said JKUC felt that the concern shown by Adbi Markaz Kamraz (AMK), for promotion and protection of Kashmiri language, was timely and warranted.
The JKUC assured Markaz leadership that the Council will actively support any step that Markaz takes to fight against the conspiracy of ‘Devnagri for Kashmiri’ and the council will itself put efforts in this direction.
Devanagari is part of the Brahmic family of scripts of India, Nepal, Tibet, and South-East Asia. It is a descendant of the Gupta script, along with Siddham and Sharada. Eastern variants of Gupta called nagari are first attested from the 7th century CE; from c. 1200 CE these gradually replaced Siddham, which survived as a vehicle for Tantric Buddhism in East Asia, and Sharada, which remained in parallel use in Kashmir. An early version of Devanagari is visible in the Kutila inscription of Bareilly dated to Vikram Samvat 1049 (i.e. 992 CE), which demonstrates the emergence of the horizontal bar to group letters belonging to a word.
Sanskrit nagari is the feminine of nagara “relating or belonging to a town or city”. It is feminine from its original phrasing with lipi (“script”) as nagari lipi “script relating to a city”, that is, probably from its having originated in some city. The use of the name devanagari is relatively recent, and the older term nagari is still common. The rapid spread of the term devanagari may be related to the almost exclusive use of this script to publish Sanskrit texts in print since the 1870s. (KNS)