Losing a mother tongue is like losing one’s existence. One can survive without the riches of the world but can one survive without mother tongue. In Kashmir, however, we are willing partner in crime of burying our mother tongue Kashmiri.
It is common knowledge that there are a good number of schools in Kashmir valley which punish students for talking in Kashmiri. This is unheard of elsewhere in the world. In Germany and France, fir example, children are motivated to learn every lesson in French and German. Learning Science and Mathematics through one’s mother tongue is comparatively easier as compared to learning these subjects through a foreign language.
It is called mother tongue because during infancy( lot of linguistics claim right from the womb) the child subconsciously learns the basic structure of this language and thus has the highest potential to gain competence in this language. A majority of the greatest scientists in the world have learnt science in mother tongue. Or for that matter the greatest literature in the world has almost all been written in the mother tongue.
We need to incentivise learning and speaking Kashmiri. It is good that Kashmiri is now essentially taught at the elementary and middle level in all government as well as private schools across the valley.
We need to institutionalize our language. Right now individual researches are going on. We need more translations. More and more greatest ever books should be available in Kashmiri.
Most importantly we must speak in Kashmiri with our children. That is the most important thing. We hope that we love our mother tongue not just for the sake of it, but for promoting it, incentivizing it and expanding it. After all languages are all about expansions. If they stop expanding, they will shrink.