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Kashmiri Music

Kashmiri and the Linguistic Predicament of the State
- P. N. Pushp

P. N. Pushp
P. N. Pushp

Kashmiri is the language recognised by the Constitution of India (in the VIII Schedule) as the language of the Jammu and Kashmir State. Nevertheless, it has yet to be reflected in the school curriculum even at the primary level of pedagogy.

 During the early fifties Kashmiri was, no doubt, introduced in the schools of the Valley, from the I to the V Primary, not only as a subject of study but also as a medium of instruction. But the experiment was discarded, soon after, as unfeasible on the lame excuse of a clumsy script.

 Even after a fairly suitable script was officially accepted for the language, and a new set of textbooks produced for re-introduction of teaching of the Kashmiri/Dogri/Punjabi language as an elective subject, the experiment did not take off. Systematic implementation of the project was progressively postponed on some plea or the other. It was argued that Kashmiri could not be introduced as long as the demarcation of areas for teaching Dogri and Punjabi in the Jammu Province was not finalized; and the finalization was intriguingly delayed and delayed. The scheme was, meantime, nipped in the bud.

 What, apparently, was viewed as an administrative concern, however, turned out to be a tacit dread of pressurizing by political chauvinism. Chauvinists were in fact, haunted by misconceived notions of identity-building in isolation. The dread was that the Urdu language would be considerably dislodged from the socio-cultural bases occupied by it during the Dogra period when it replaced Persian as the language of administration. What was forgotten, conveniently, was: once the pupils would be able to read their mother tongues they would be in a better position to learn the other tongue also) without phonetic mix-up. They are, otherwise, likely to superimpose some linguistic features of their mother tongues on the Urdu language they would per force learn as the first language which it, actually, was not.

 The mother tongue, obviously, has not to be taught; what has to be taught is the script in which the mother tongue is written. It would afterwards, be easier to learn the sounds peculiar to Urdu without allowing the mother tongue interfere with the phonetic exercise involved. Confusion arises mostly because more than one script is over- ambitiously taught to the helpless child during a single term. A number of scripts can, nevertheless, be playfully learnt one after the other allowing enough time to practise the use of one script before another is taken up.

 Before we consider the pedagogical strategy in detail, however, a glance at the linguistic criss-cross of the State may throw up some relevant perspectives. At the first glance the criss-cross appears to be quite dauntingly complex: we find a diversity of languages and dialects spoken by people inhabiting various areas exposed to diverse processes of contact, encounter and interaction from time to time. Alongside the broad operation of what is historically recognized as the prominent language of an area we find some other languages and dialects also spoken in a particular circle, strip or pocket of the area concerned. Occasionally some of the dormant scctors of speakers suddenly wake up to a refreshing stroke of socio-cultural aspiration or political ambition. That is what has been often happening and has recently happened in the case of Gojri and Pahari. The New Kashmir blueprint had (as early as 1946) rightly guaranteed rehabilitation of all the neglected tongues of the State.

 Let us now take the State area wise. In Ladakh we find Bodhi (Ladakhi) in Leh and Balti (akin to the Balti of Baltistan) in Kargil with pockets of Kashmiri and Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu). The Valley has Kashmiri, by and large, with strips or tracts of Gojri, Shina, Pahari and Panjabi, mostly linked together by a smattering of Urdu. Linguistic contiguity and exchange, occasionally, gives rise to a mixup like what is popularly labelled as the Sikh-Kashmiri and the Gujar-Kashmiri. Similarly, Jammu has Dogri, Panjabi and Poonchi (Pahari) with strips of Gojri and pockets of Pogli-Kashtawari (Kashmiri), Bhadrawahi with its dialect (Bhalesi) and sub-pockets like Siraji and Rambani (in the Doda district).

 Kashmiri is spoken by over thirty one lakhs of people in an area of over 10,000 sq. miles, within the J&K State (Census 1981). Though concentrated mostly within the Kashmir Valley it has a few sizable pockets across the Pir Panjal range also, particularly in the Doda district. Smaller pockets, however, are found not only in the Poonch-Rajauri area but also at other places such as Gool-Gulabgarh, Riasi and Basohli.

 Despite regional variation of accent and usage, however, the Marazi and Kamrazi bolis (dialects) of Kashmiri are identical in structural matrix and morphological configuration. The Kishtawari dialect (with its twin, the Pogli) nevertheless, has chanced to preserve quite a few layers of early growth that yield telling clues to the morphological development of the language in consonance with the regional Prakrit-Apakhramsa rather than the hypothetical Dardic/Pisaci stock, as Grierson would like us to believe. The doyen of the Linguistic Survey of India has, no doubt, rendered monumental service to the cause of studies in Indian languages; yet, he seems to have gone astray at least on two counts. First, the classification of the Kashmiri language as Dardic; and, secondly, insistence on labelling two free variations of the Kashmiri utterance as Hindu Dialect and Muslim Dialect.

 This genius of a linguistic scholar somehow felt fascinated by the probability of such a hypothesis which unfortunately for him remained pampered within the confines of probability and did not get ratified as an objective fact of linguistic development. Consider, for instance, a few of his observations that he published in a series of articles in the Indian Antiquary (1931-33);

1. "It is probable that in Dardic language distinction between dental and cerebral mutes is not as sharp as in India proper".

 2. "In Kashmiri and probably in all Dardic languages the following pairs of vowels are commonly confused, i.e.

 3. "All the Dardic languages probably possess e-matra, but only in Kashmiri do we find positive information about it."

No categorical statement of his based on clinching evidence appeared even after 1933 that could release his hypothesis from the confines of mere probability. The words underlined in the excerpts quoted above reflect, in fact, a fair degree of uncertainty when studied further in the light of the linguistic data furnished by the eminent scholar in support of his hypothesis. The data adduced by him in this regard is just confined to tentative resemblances: just some casual sounds, and vagrant vocables regardless of the evidence offered by the structural framework that the Kashmiri language shares with sister languages including Sindhi, Panjabi, Marathi, Gujrati and Bengali. By the way, it is not an old vocable (adopted or adapted) occurring in an utterance that indicates its lineage; on the other hand, the structural matrix in which the vocable is framed is a sure index to the lineage as well as the level of linguistic development of the utterance.

 Nor does Grierson's data throw any sure light on the most striking peculiarity of the Kashmiri language, i.e. the morphology of the verb that carries with it the pronominal morphs as well as the synthetical case-morphs of the agentive and the accusative dative. Let us take Vonmas, for instance, meaning: I told him. The form is partially like the Sanskrit avadam; but more closely, like the Perisan goftamash (which carries the agentive as well as the accusative markets). Was this trait of the old Avestan-Vedic verb-morphology, somehow, alive in the literary memory of Kashmir at the time Kashmiri was evolving out of the regional Prakrit-Apabhramsa round about the tenth century?

 The linguistic features vaguely claimed to be shared by the Dardic languages are by no means peculiar to the Shina- Dardic Group, but are already there in the Indo-Iranian heritage. Even if Dardic impact be detected and conceded here and there, it is too meagre and superficial to warrant formulation of the Dardic origin of Kashmiri. Origin lies not on the surface but has to be identified at the deep structure of the syntax.

 Similarly untenable is Grierson's insistence on formulating two main varieties of Kashmiri fondly labelled by him as Hindu dialect and Muslim dialect. The two versions of the Prodigal son (The Biblical Parable) furnished under the two labels betray methodological arbitrariness because both the versions can be taken as free variation of the Kashmiri utterance common to a Hindu as well a Muslim speaker of the language.

 Calling 'Akis mahnivis aasy zu necivy' typically Hindu, and 'Akis shakhsas aasy zu necivy' typically Muslim, in contradistinction with each other is quite simplistic, even ludicrous. A Hindu and a Muslim could both have used either of the two vocables, mahnavis and shakhsas with equal ease and could also have used zanis without any inhibition. Both are sensible enough to operate appropriate registers of socio-cultural context irrespective of religious denomination. The next sentence (in the Parable) goes a step further in cooking up the myth of a Hindu dialect and a Muslim dialect in terms of the vocables manz and andar (respectively) i.e. in timav manza dop koonsy hivy maalis and timav andra dop lokuty hivy maalis.

 Grierson seems to have been unconsciously inhibited by the Fort William model of the Hindu/Urdu syndrome, in terms of Mir Aman's Urdu and Lallu Ji Lal's Hindi, both meant to enlighten the new entrants into the Indian Civil Service under the Raj. Obviously, Grierson's assistants had not cared to develop a suitable mechanism for verification of the linguistic samples furnished to him in response to indoctrinative terms of reference, somewhat like: speak this as a typical Hindu/ as a typical Muslim.

 Reckless enthusiasts (innocent of linguistic perspectives) have taken widely extreme postures regarding the origin of the Kashmiri language. On the one extreme end are those who are inspired by Khwaja Nazir Ahmad's Jesus in Heaven or Earth (1953). Taking their stand on chance resemblance of sounds detected in words (of remotely distant stocks) they seek to prove that Kashmiri owes its origin to Hebrew moorings. On the other extreme end are those who claim that the Kashmiri language is as old as the Vedic. (Every Indian language, of course is!) Neither of these cadres of crusaders has cared to consult the Kashmiri language itself as to the stratification of its structural evidence. The evidence of the structural matrix of the Kashrhiri utterance conclusively establishes that the language of Kashmir is a late medieval development of the Indict (Prakrita- Apabhrams'a) stock, and is quite akin to other modern Indian languages of the Indo-Aryan family.

 Historically studied and structually scrutinized, the Kashmiri language doubtlessly appears to have emerged out of a Prakrita-Apabhrams'a substratum of the region round about the X century. Why else should Ksemendra (XI cent.) have recommended the prospective Sanskrit poets of the time to positively study the bhasa-Kayya (: Verse in the regional dialect of Kashmir) alongside the Prakrita- Apabhrams'a Kavyas? A few years later, Bilhana, another celebrity of Kashmir, admires the women of his native land for their superb command over both Sanskrit and Prakrit which they wielded with equal ease as if they were wielding their mother tongue (unequivocally termed janma-bhasa).

 Obviously the mother tongue, in due course, developed into what Siri-Kantha (XIII cent.) has described as sarva- gocara desa-bhasa (: the language widely understood in the region by one and all), written of course in the Sharada script.

 The nomenclature (: Kashmiri), however, is recorded for the first time by Amir Khusru in his Nuh Sipihir (C. 1300 A.D.). He mentions the word Kashmiri alongside Lahori and Sindhi as an outstanding name in India's linguistic landscape of the times.

 Yet, dominated by the classical language, the vehicle of elitist culture, Kashmiri had to remain content as a medium of lowbrow (folk) culture, mostly catering to the literary needs of the non-privileged. It was generally cultivated by those that either had the inner urge to compose verse in the mother tongue or by those that simply failed to make a mark in the classical language. It, nevertheless, flourished as a language of rich expression as is reflected by its folksong and folktale sparking with proverbial collocation.

 In this context it would be worthwhile to get a peep or two into the historical legacy of the classical language that have left their deep impress on the Kashmiri language by conditioning its growth in terms of form as well as scope.

 The earliest evidence of the Sanskrit-writing in Kashmir is that of the Sarvastivada tradition of the Mahayana preoccupying itself with dissemination of the Dhamma, as perceived and interpreted by Kashmiri savants and scholars. It was their reputation for eminence that attracted Hieun Tsiang to Kashmir (in 631 A.D.) where, as many as twenty scribes were placed at his disposal for copying manuscripts preserved at the Jayendra-vihara of the city. The Chinese pilgrim's impressions of his two years' stay at the Vihara are an eloquent testimony to the pervasive presence of Sanskrit in Kashmir.

 The language may not ever have been a spoken language of the Valley; yet it continued to be not only the language of Kashmir's court and culture but also of creative as well as critical writing till the late 14th century. It contributed to religious thirking and aesthetic appreciation as also to poetic articulation, both lyrical and reflective. Among its outstanding contribution may be mentioned:

1. The philosophic writing on Kashmir Saivism, particularly on the Trika Dars'ana also called the Pratyabhyna.

 2. Systematization of various schools of Indian Poetics propounding original points of view not only on Rasa but also on Riti, Dhvani, Vakrokti and Aucitya.

 3. Collections of (Brihatkatha) tales. Somadeva's Kathasaritsagara, in particular, provided the models for various versions in world language, through the mediation of the Persian rendering.

 4. Historical narratives like the Rajatarangini of Kalhana who struck a new path in verse-writing by structuring the historical flux of time into a sizable chronicle covering some currents and cross-currents of Kashmir's past down to the middle of the twelfth century.

 5. The satire of Ksemendra who caricatured agents of administrative bungling and debunked promoters of moral dereliction.

Manuscripts of these Sanskrit works, have come down to us in the Sharada script which emerged out of the Brahmi (Gupta) script towards the beginning of the ninth century. Naturally, therefore, the same script served the purposes of Kashmiri language also when it came to be written in the tenth century. Curiously enough the script continued to be in use for some time even after the advent of Islam and for a few years coexisted with the Persi-Arabic script particularly on some tomb-stones.

 Sanskrit, naturally, continued to be the language of court and culture for a few years even after the advent of Islam (in Kashmir) till the Persian language totally replaced it as the language of court and administration. Establishment of Islam in the Valley (by the middle of the XIV century) opened up a two-way intercourse between Kashmir and the centres of Persian culture, particularly Khurasan, Samarkand, Bukhara, Merv and Herat. Divines and Sufis from these seats of learning and culture brought with them the Persian language and literature, while princes, scholars and traders from Kashmir also felt tempted to see a bit of the outside world.

 Interlinguistic exchanges threw up valuable works like Mulla Ahmad Kashmiri's Bahr-al Asmar (: Persian rendering of Somadeva's Kathasaritsagara), prepared at the instance of Zain-ul-abidin (1420-70 AD), and Srivar's Kathakautuka (Sanskrit rendering of Jami's Yusaf-Zulaikha) prepared in 1505 AD. During the Mughal period (1586-1752 AD) in Kashmir, we find a galaxy of Kashmir's Persian writers rubbing shoulders with their contemporaries from Iran, particularly form Mashad and Hamadan, besides those from other parts of the subcontinent. Persian, thus, flourished and lingered on in Kashmir as language of administration down to the reign of Maharaja Pratap Singh (1885-1925 AD) when Urdu and English (in part) took over from it.

 Yet, during the five centuries of its sway in Kashmir the rich language produced over three hundred writers and more than a thousand (major and minor) works, creative as well as critical. Its popularity with all sections of Kashmirian society became so pervasive that even the Kashmiri Pandits felt tempted to read their masterpieces like the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavata, Yogavasistha, Shivapurana and Bhagavat Gita in Persian rendering. Most of the Pandit families treasured the Manuscripts of the Sirr- e Akbar by Dara Shikuh who during his visit to Kashmir was inspired to undertake the Persian rendering of the Upanishads. In the prologue to the work he informs us how he felt induced to attempt such a gigantic task of cross- cultural dissemination when in 1050 A.H. (corresponding to 1640 A.D.) he was thrilled to see his preceptor, Akhun Mullah Shah (at his Hari Parbat abode) holding converse with seekers belonging to diverse orders of spiritual quest. It was on his return to Banaras that very year that he sought the guidance of local scholars, and completed the work by 1067 A.H. (corresponding to 1656 A.D).

 Evidently it was the Vaak-Shruk temper of Kashmir that had enraptured Akhun Mulla Shah, highly respected preceptor of Dara Shikuh who later on, in his Majma-ul Bahrin (The Confluence of the Two Oceans) shared his awareness of spiritual affinities with his readers, Muslims as well as non-Muslims. No wonder that even non-Muslims of Kashmir enjoyed reading Persian classics like the Mathnavi of Moulana Rumi, the Shahnama of Firdusi and the Sikandarnama of Nizami. These in fact, used to be taught in the maktabs often run by Kashmiri Pandit Akhuns who had no inhibition in popularizing Persian handbooks even on the Karmakanda (ritual) including chunks of Jyotisha (astrology) and Ayurveda (: Indian system of medicine). Such handbooks, often, revealed in quoting excerpts from original (Sanskrit) texts in the Sharada script. Some tracts on Kashmiri music of the Sufiana Kalam variety also were compiled in the Sharada script which almost withered away by the end of the nineteenth century.

 It was natural, therefore, that when Persian progressively became the language of administration as well as cultural intercourse, Kashmiri also adopted the Persi-Arabic script which since has been accepted as the official script after a number of attempts at modification. These were meant to ensure due representation of sounds specific to the articulation of Kashmiri phonemes.

 Earlier, however, the Nagari script was first employed for the Kashmiri language by Pandit Ishwar Kaul for his monumental work on Kashmiri Grammar titled Kashmira- Sabdamritam. His system of diacritics was adopted by Grierson not only for his Dictionary of the Kashmiri Language, but also for his editions of Kashmiri classics like Sivaparinaya, Krishnavatara and Ramavataracarita, published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta. During mid twenties Toshkhani adopted it with slight modification for his Kashmiri Primer and Granz Vyad (on Calculation) and also for small anthologies like Sundar-Vaani. Those very days the Bahar-e-Kashmir of Lahore included a section on Kashmiri in the Devanagari script. In mid-thirties the Pratap Magazine of the S. P. College, Srinagar, started Kashmiri sections in both Persian and Devanagari scripts.

 Later, Masterji brought out an abridged text of Parmanand's works in two volumes of Parmananda-Sukti- Sar and published his own collection of verse, Sumran also in both the scripts. But the first persistent attempt to employ the Nagari script for the purposes of contemporary Kashmiri was made by the periodical, Pamposh of Delhi. Later the practice has been commendably continued by the Koshur Samachar of the Kashmiri Samiti, Delhi.

 The Kashmiri language which has throughout missed court patrongage except for a brief period during Sultan Zain-ul Abidin's reign (1420-70) had, however, to face the odds and carry on at the folk level despite elitistic disinterest bordering on classical arrogance. Though denied facilities of schooling in it, the language persisted in its non-formal role as an inevitable medium of interpretation even in the State schools at the Primary level as it had done earlier in Pathshalas and Maktabs. The language continued to perform the vital role of an interpreter even in the early forties when the State introduced Asan Urdu in both the (Persian and Nagari) scripts as the common medium of instruction at the Primary level.

 As Urdu in both the scripts was introduced on the recommendation of a Committee with Zakir Hussain as the Chairman and Khwaja Ghulam-us-Sayedain as Secretary, the other members being Siddheshwar Varma and Raghuvira. The committee, in fact, produced a basic Glossary of Asan Urdu Terms (published in both the scripts). Some how the project was not effectively followed up after Saiyedian relinquished the State job.

 During the mid-seventies, however, it was again deemed advisable to equip school teachers (of the State) with a knowledge of both the scripts but mysteriously, again, the scheme was shelved, almost hushed up, despite the fact that the Kashmir University Department of Correspondence Courses, now called Distance Education, got a set of textbooks prepared in each of the two scripts.

 Meantime, the Kashmir University set up a Kashmiri Department for post-graduate studies in language and literature with the laudable objective of producing competent Kashmiri scholars who could in due course be employed as Kashmiri teachers in the Higher Secondary Schools. Later, perhaps, they could think of coming down to the Primary level. Anyway, from the apex to the base, a new strategy, no doubt, but in response to what exigency? Nobody knows; even those that have cared to know do not know for certain.

 What one knows for certain, however, is that by early eighties a whispering compaign was set afoot (in the Valley) against any attempt to pinpoint strands of composite culture symbolized by the Vaak of Lal Ded and the Shruk of Nund Rishi (Sheikh Noor ud Din Noorani). Any such attempt was derided as highly objectionable in the changing circumstances of militant insurgency. What was sought to be aggressively highlighted was any point of departure of Kashmiri language and culture form anything that carried echoes of Indian heritage of inter-community concord and harmony, perceiving unity in diversity.

 Such being the latest scenario of inhibitive manoevers in the Valley, the linguistic predicament of the State has assumed a graver complexity. Administrative disdain has become fortified by a clannish hostility to the mother tongue dreaded as a cultural rival to the Urdu language. The reactionary zealots view it as a vital link in the chain of fundamentalist postures of insurgency. The damage done to the genuine cause of Kashmiri seems to be nobody's concern. A canard has been cunningly floated that it is the Central Government that thwarts the State Government's efforts to introduce the Kashmiri language at the Primary level. An insidious campaign to brainwash the youngsters clamouring for speedy redressal of the sidetracked cause has created the wrong impression that the State would have given the mother tongue its due if the Centre had not stood in their way. The distortionists boistrously argue that the Centre dreads the Kashmiri language as a focal point of Kashmiri identity. According to the canard the centre would not like the younger generation to appreciate how the Sahitya Academy (at the Centre) is keen to see that the Kashmiri language presents its best year by year. If the State fails to give it a proper go how can the Centre help it?

 Administrative incanvenience, after all, is not incurable; it can be sagaciously managed provided there is the will to do so and egalitarian perspectives are allowed to operate undaunted by chauvinistic pressures. Let us probe the genesis of these pressures, succumbing to which even the well-meaning initiatives were foiled from time to time.

 It appears that during the fifties the New Kashmir aspirations were dynamic enough to give the Kashmiri language a chance. The language was made at one stroke a subject of study as well as a medium of instruction. But soon the overcautious bureaucracy seems to have had after thoughts. They viewed the experiment as extremely inconvenient, for, despite its constitutional status Kashmiri, after all, was a mother tongue likely to inspire other mother tongues of the State also to press for their claims to be accommodated in the school curriculum. What added to their perturbation was the displacement of Urdu the mother tongues were likely to cause. It was easy for wirepullers to take refuge under the blanket concern for 'national integration.'

 The pretence, however, could easily be knocked out of bottom by pointing out that the mother tongue would peacefully co-exist with Urdu, the link language of the State. It should be the proud privilege of Urdu to perform its mighty role, coordinative as well as creative. As a coordinator it would introduce the mother tongue to one another, while as a vehicle of creativity it would enrich them by exposure to innovative articulation manisfesting itself in the subcontinent and the world. It need not tread upon the heels of any other tongue of the State, much less the mother tongue which certainly deserves a proper place of its own at the initial stages of schooling. The link language (Urdu) has not only to accommodate the mother tongue by respecting its inalienable right to form the corner stone of the edifice called schooling but also to place at its disposal the consolidated funds of its maturity. But will the State allow it to perform its genuine role in the circumstances?

 A child has, after all, to outgrow the smaller circles into wider circumferences of socio-cultural interaction. Hence the need to learn a language or two over and above the mother tongue for which there can be no substitute whatsoever. It is high time, therefore, that no more time is lost in rehabilitating the Kashmiri language primarily as a mother tongue.

 The linguistic predicament of the State, accordingly, is a pedagogic challenge to ensure proper placement of various languages and dialects spoken in an area of linguistic criss- cross, by working out a viable order of priorities and a sustainable system of linkages. The task concerned is, no doubt, a tough one, but it certainly deserves to be undertaken on a project basis.

 Subject to availability of a basic minimum of instructional material any mother tongue can be introduced as the first language at the initial stage of schooling, but as emphasized earlier, one and only one script should be introduced at a time during a single term. A second script should be taken up only after the first one is thoroughly drilled. Overambitious parents may expect their child to flaunt his/ her acquaintance with the Roman script even before he/ she has practised the script of the mother tongue; but perceptive teachers will take care not to allow such inflictions. No such project nevertheless, can be worked out in isolation. May be the NCERT also will have to lend a helping hand in this regard by reconsidering some of its rigidities and taboos in the context of simultaneous introduction of at least two scripts, Nagari and Roman, for instance. In case the script of the link language happens to be different from that of the mother language, the pupil may have to learn a third script also, as (for instance) in the case of Panjabi and Bodhi. But, to lighten the instructional burden and optimise the learning output viable strategies of teaching a script can be suitably devised and gainfully employed.

 Linguistic predicament of the State, thus, calls for appropriate logistics of pedagogy involving a thorough overhaul of curricula and syllabi at the initial stage. As a suggestive illustration, for instance, a viable model could be worked out on the following lines, in the context of the Kashmiri language:

At K.G. Level
1. L.K.G: Action-oriented (playway) chit-chat in the mother tongue with reference to telling models and charts facilitating an awareness of the child's links with his/her associates and immediate surroundings. No script is to be taught at this level.
2. U.K.G: Similar programmes in the link language (Urdu) in both the scripts, Persian and Nagari, may be run facilitating interlinguistic comprehension.

Grade One
I Term: The script of the mother tongue may be taught through phonegraphemic pictorial making the process of learning immensely absorbing. Special care has to be taken to enable the new learner to recogrize the correspondence between the sound of the alphabet and the graphemic visualization. The visuals have to be duly followed up with a fascinatingly thorough drill in writing the letters in significant sequence so that the learner is in a position to identify the scripted form of the utterance he/she is already familiar with.
II Term: A Zero-Reader featuring the basic utterance patterns of the Kashmiri language framed in significant contexts and situations, should certainly inspire the learner to go ahead on his/her own.

Grade Two
I Term: With Kashmiri as the main medium of instruction, rudiments of environmental geography, civics, general science and mathematics may be imparted.
II Term: Side by side, a well-integrated programme of conversational segments of the link language (Urdu) may be worked out, through a suitable Zero-Reader. The Reader is expected to feature basic essentials of Urdu utterance ensuring a thorough comprehension of a generative framework within which new vocables could be fixed up as and when needed.

Grade Three
I Term: Kashmiri would continue to be taught as a regular subject while Urdu (in either script) would take over from it as a common medium of instruction.
II Term: Roman script would be introduced after an absorbing drill of visual interface with the graphemes in terms of easily recognizable pictures indicating the sounds concerned in telling sequences.

Grade Four and Five
Urdu will continue as the common medium of instruction, throughout and, besides, shall be there as a subject of study. Kashmiri will be taught as a subject of study ensuring a suitable cross-section of curricular needs as well as a vital interface with the language. The linguistic predicament of the State certainly clamours for a timely experiment like the one suggested above.

Excerpts from:
Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh - Linguistic Predicament
Edited by: P. N. Pushp and K. Warikoo
Himalayan Research and Cultural Foundation
Har-Anand Publications


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