Travels along the railways in Jammu

It is common to find odd things in the inscriptions on signboards at railway stations in India. The traditional rule is to have three languages-the state’s language at the top, Hindi second and English third. Examples from southern and eastern India:

Now, it becomes complicated when a state has more than one official language. UP and Bihar have Hindi and Urdu, Assam has Bengali in some districts, and so on. This is summarised here:

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has official languages Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, Urdu and English. Kashmiri was added only in 2020. Up till then stations in this state/UT had inscriptions in Urdu, Hindi and English. Dogri has started appearing in the Jammu region now. Sometimes there is only Dogri in addition to English and Hindi, or only Urdu, or sometimes both.

Jammu Tawi:

Here we see signs with Urdu or Dogri but not both.

Kathua, close to the Punjab border has signs with only Urdu and with Dogri and Urdu.

Samba, associated with a spy scandal and Gabbar Singh has Dogri and Urdu

Similarly for Vijaypur Jammu:

So there does not seem to be any clear policy as to which languages are to be considered local languages in the Jammu region.