With absolute majority in the Indian Parliament, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has passed a bill to include Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi as official languages of Jammu and Kashmir in addition to English and Urdu. Surprisingly, the government ignored Punjabi language, despite the fact that it has remained an important and well spoken language in the erstwhile state. With this move, Jammu and Kashmir became the first and the only Union Territory of India with two capital cities, which has five official languages, three of which are limited and customary. Undoubtedly, inclusion of Dogri and Kashmiri to the list of official languages is nothing but a regional politics to appease voters of Jammu and Kashmir, but exclusion of Punjabi language is believed to be a deliberate attempt to communalize the language, despite the fact that Punjabi is spoken across the erstwhile State, unlike Kashmiri and Dogri. The union government has smartly introduced the idea of one nation one language in Jammu and Kashmir, but ignoring one language over the other because of its connection with particular religion exposes BJP’s divisive politics. The exclusion of Punjabi has courted controversy, with Punjabi speakers terming it an attempt to communalize the language and poisoning it. Since the National Democratic alliance (NDA) has an absolute majority in Parliament there was no hitch in passing the Bill. It is only the Punjabi language which is spoken in both the regions of J&K, since the Maharaja Ranjit Singh period, but has been left out without assigning any reason. Dogri is a dialect of Punjabi, this anomaly appears to have been created intentionally after giving much thought and showing bias against the Punjabi. The Punjabi is the only language which is spoken in both the regions of the J&K since the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Other two languages Kashmiri and Dogri are regional languages and are not spoken all over J&K. The Dogri is spoken in many parts of Jammu, while Kashmiri is spoken only in Kashmir. Moreover, Dogri is a dialect of Punjabi. There appears to be clear discrimination against Punjabi. The Government is judging the language by associating it with religion, which is totally a wrong approach. As language belongs to people, but under present dispensation Hindi belongs to Hindus, Urdu belongs to Muslims and Punjabi to the Sikhs. All Sikh religious scriptures are in Punjabi. During the tenure of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, his Kingdom’s official language was Persian, Pashto and Punjabi. Before Abrogation of Article 370, only two languages-English and Urdu- were the official languages of Jammu and Kashmir. Why Punjabi language has been ignored is behind comprehension of the J&K people. However, the voices have been raised for inclusion of Punjabi not only in J&K, but in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and the national capital of India-New Delhi. Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari, who is a member of parliament from Punjab, has also supported Punjabi as an official language by raising the issue in the parliament. Even former Chief Minister of J&K Farooq Abdullah has supported the inclusion of Punjabi among the official languages. Spokesperson of J&K Apni Party, Jagmohan Singh has demanded inclusion of Punjabi as among the J&K’s state languages. Besides Shiromani Akali Dal an alliance partner of National Democratic Alliance led by PM Naredra Modi has also called it discrimination against Punjabi language and demanded for its status as state language. The nullification of Article 370 on 5th August, 2019 has been facing one after another controversy. The moot question here is why the Modi government is acting so fast to pass an act in parliament in this session. The Reorganization Act of J&K UT is very clear that it is the prerogative of the Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir to decide about official language status to one or more languages. However, no political leader of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir was consulted while deciding the five language formula for the erstwhile state. The relevant section of the Reorganisation UT of J&K Act, 2019, is reproduced here below: Section 47 (1) states that the Legislative Assembly may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir or Hindi as the official language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Clause (2) states that the business in the Legislative Assembly of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be transacted in the official language or languages of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir or in Hindi or in English: It would be appropriate to have a look at the position of the Hindi and other regional languages in the country. According to officially available information there are about 780 spoken languages in India, of which 22 languages are formally recognized by the Indian Constitution. Another, thirty-eight-languages are waiting to be accorded that status. The Punjabi language, which Centre has ignored, is a constitutionally recognized language of India and Punjab. In addition to Jammu and Kashmir, it is also spoken in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and part of Rajasthan. Experts believe that the exclusion of Punjabi language from the list of official languages of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) will cause a setback to the cultural heritage of Punjab and would be injustice to the significant Punjabi speaking population in the region. The languages like Dogri are so closely related to Punjabi that Dogri has been considered a dialect of Punjabi before it was declared a language. Unlike most Indian languages, Dogri is a tonal language like Punjabi. Both these languages are closely related and therefore Dogri was listed as a dialect of Punjabi in the national census before it was declared an independent language. The similarity between the languages eliminates the barriers in communication and cultural exchange. Besides, there is a sizable Punjabi speaking population of Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir. The Punjabi language was a recognized language in the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also included in the list of languages of the government-supported Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, which was set up in 1958. Punjab cooperation and jails minister, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa termed the decision as anti-Punjabi and said that Randhawa said Jammu and Kashmir had a very deep-rooted connection with Punjab as the region was part of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s empire. Meanwhile, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has appealed to the Union government to reconsider its decision of excluding Punjabi from the language bill. The writer is a senior journalist and Indo-Pak peace activists.