After several delays,Constitution in Kashmiri by year-end

The project to translate the statute into Kashmiri,begun by the Centre nearly five years ago,is at last close to completion.

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Published:June 17, 2012 9:57 pm

By the end of 2012,Kashmiris should be able to read the Constitution of India in their own language. The project to translate the statute into Kashmiri,begun by the Centre nearly five years ago,is at last close to completion.

The reasons for the delay in what ought to have been a simple job — translating the constitution into other Indian languages took about a year — range from an apparent shortage of good translators to some “issues” that the man doing the translating had.

“We engaged a retired judge to translate the constitution. But the translation he submitted had many mistakes. It was therefore decided to send our own officials to Srinagar to work with him. We expect the revised version to be ready soon. The constitution has been translated into other languages,but Kashmiri is certainly special,” a senior government official said.

Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India that also has its own consitution. The responsibility for translating the Indian constitution into all languages recognised under the Eighth Schedule lies with the legislative department of the union law ministry.

Sources said a major setback to the project came around two years ago,after retired district and sessions judge G N Gauhar,who was given the job of translation on the recommendation of the J&K Academy of Art,Culture and Languages,wrote to the law ministry asking that his name be printed on the title page of the volume.

When the ministry tried to explain that there was no precedent for this,Gauhar wrote back reiterating his demand,saying that “neither the Constituent Asembly nor the Indian Parliament enacted the Constitution in Kashmiri”.

Gauhar argued that commentaries on the constitution by H M Seervai and D D Basu were known by their names,and that the Sahitya Akademi had published a transation of the Quran in the name of Abul Kalam Azad.

“This translation work should on the title page in bold letters mention the undersigned (Gauhar) as translator. This way,I will be responsible both as translator/vettor and provide me a right to claim its credit,” he wrote.

Following a meeting with the union legislative secretary,Gauhar ultimately came around — but the time the matter took to be resolved ultimately reflected in the delay in producing the volume.

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