Gojri is one of the ancient Indian languages belonging to the central group of Indo-Aryan languages. It was well developed and rather official language in the 'Golden period of Indian History' i.e., 600-1400 A.D., spoken in whole of Northwest India. However various social and political factors forced migration of Gujjars from their stronghold, Gujrat, to the Sub-Himalayan mountainous regions especially Jammu and Kashmir, thus forcing the Gojri language into oblivion for about three centuries. Gojri is now being revived in J&K, with fresh zeal and significant advancements have been made in the past fifty years. Though Gojri is still spoken in Gujrat, Rajasthan, Delhi, UP, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan besides J&K, its national character has been eroded, leaving it to be projected as a regional language. Now that Gojri has resurfaced on the linguistic map of India, as a rich and prominent language, centralized in J&K, efforts are on to retrieve its scattered literature and the present volume is one sincere step in this direction. In the present scenario when research is on in the subject and Gojri is being introduced at school and university level, this volume will prove useful for teachers, scholars as well as students.
Making a dictionary is just like trying to collect and plant the entire wild flora in a single orchard. Thus no Indian language can claim that its total vocabulary is recorded in a particular dictionary and that is true of Gojri as well. Dictionary making in tribal languages poses a compounded problem as there is very little literature available making it more of an 'anthropological-linguistics' rather than lexicography. But I noticed that walking along untrodden ways have a peculiar feeling of achievement and satisfaction.
I am no expert and don't claim to have any special qualification for lexicography, however, surely, I don't lack the will, dedication and passion needed for such projects. Since no sincere efforts have been made by any agency or institution for compilation of any concise or multilingual dictionary in Gojri, I thought it appropriate to do the job myself which was compiled in over twenty years of patience and persistent hard work.
Besides thorough study of scarce, sparse and poorly available Gojri literature, the mainstay of word collection was extensive and intensive field work particularly among rural masses residing in different areas with obvious dialectical variations, eg: Jammu- 7 years, Kashmir-7 years, and Rajouri-7 years in addition to the nativity of Pooch, the central province of Gojri language as studied by language experts. It took me a long time as the project was managed single handedly involving no surveyors at any stage.
Substantial help has been taken in retrieving original Gojri words from various Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu dictionaries besides the sole monolingual 'Gojri Dictionary' published by the J&K, Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. Various English dictionaries including the 'Oxford', 'Chambers', Advanced learners, Reverse Dictionary, and the Great Dictionary of English language by 'Reader's Digest' have been consulted in addition to the soft version of Encarta Dictionary, for appropriate meanings and additional useful information-technical and scientific meanings of a particular entry word. The project including arrangement and computation of the vocabulary was handled personally and was completed in 2003. It was first published in 2004 and was well received by literary circles. However, encouraged by some friends and family members, I restarted the upgradation of the dictionary with incorporation of Urdu alternatives of Gojri entries making it the first multilingual dictionary in Gojri, which is being presented in this volume.
Though efforts have been made to follow the suggestions and recommendations of various scholars of lexicography, it may be too much to claim that this dictionary is perfect. However, it will continue to be the first ever individual and sincere effort in the direction of 'Multilingual Gojri Dictionary' making.
Suggestions for improvement from readers and patrons are welcome and will be duly incorporated in the subsequent edition.
Dr. Anjum Awan Srinagar:
Hazuri Bagh Srinagar (Kashmir)