Facing a great threat of vanishing, one of the oldest and significant languages of the south Asian sub-continent with strong literary tradition, "Gojri" also known as "Gujari" has new ray of hope as Central University of Himachal Pradesh (CUHP) is considering starting a certificate course in tribal tongue.
Gojri is mother tongue of 'Gujjars'- a nomadic community spread across north India, including Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan apart from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"The university will be starting a certificate course in the Gojri language, which is fading away slowly," said CUHP vice-chancellor professor Kuldip Chand Agnihotri.
Besides, Agnihotri said, the university would also start a diploma course in Gujjar history.
"CUHP will be the first university in India to start courses on Gujjar history and culture and language," said Agnihotri, adding that the main objective was to preserve the language, which is slowly fading away as people other than Gujjar community know a little about it.
"Besides, no systemic work has been done on the culture and history of the nomadic Gujjar community and it is first of its kind initiative to get a deep knowledge about their traditions," said Agnihotri, adding that since the language had no script, efforts would be made to develop a orthography to write it.
It is worth mentioning that a Jammu & Kashmir frontal organisation of Gujjars-Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation- has been fighting a long battle for an amendment in the list of official languages of India to include Gojri into it. The community also solicited help and support from all the social groups, political parties to help them in recognition this tribal and nomadic language at national level.
The organisation, in the month of March, had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention to include the tribal language into eighth schedule of Indian Constitution, stating that Gojri has a strong locus standi for its inclusion.
The Jammu and Kashmir government, in the past, had twice recommended to the Centre for its inclusion in the eighth schedule.
Noted saint scholar and Hindi Persian poet of thirteenth century Hazrat Amir Khusroo had formally mentioned Gojri language in the list of eighteen major Indian languages of his time, while several researchers and historians establish the tribal language as the mother of Rajasthani, Gujrati, Urdu and Haryanvi.