Dogri is an Indo-Aryan language.
Though it is chiefly spoken in the scenic region of Jammu, the presence
of Dogri language can also be felt in northern Punjab, Himachal Pradesh
and other places. The people speaking Dogri are called Dogras, whereas
the belt where it's spoken is called Duggar. It is a member of the
Western Pahari group of languages. Originally, Dogri language was
written using the Takri script, but now the Devanagari script is
employed for the same in India.
It was only recently that the Dogri language received official recognition in the country. It was recognized as an "independent modern literary language" of India, based on the unanimous recommendation of a panel of linguists from the General Council of the Sahitya Academy of Delhi, on 2nd August 1969. On 22nd December 2003, Dogri language achieved another achievement as it was hailed as a national language of India in the Indian Constitution.
The history of the Dogri language can be traced back to the times of poet, Amir Khusrau. It is in his list of Indian languages that the earliest known reference of the Dogri can be found. The gradual evolution of Dogri literature witnessed scripting of Rajauli, which is counted among its earliest level. It is actually a Dogri translation by Tehaldas, from an original Persian work by Bali Ram. It is also said that there exists a translation of the New Testament in Dogri language carried out by the Christian Missionaries of Sirampur.
It was, however, during the 20th century that Dogri literature witnessed a spurt in spheres like poetry, prose, novels, short stories and plays. Today, one of the prominent names in Dogri literature is that of Dr Karan Singh, who has penned numerous novels, travelogues and philosophical treatises. He is also known for translating famous Dogri songs into English to popularize this language. Some of Dr Singh's praiseworthy works include Towards a New India (1974), Hinduism: The Eternal Religion (1999), Welcome The Moonrise (1965), etc.
Dogri literature comprises a fabulous gamut of poetry, fiction and dramatic works. Under the poetry category alone, there are Dogri poets like Kavi Dattu from the 18th Century era to more recent ones like Professor Ram Nath Shastri and Ms Padma Sachdev. Dogri poet Kavi Dattu, who belonged to the court of Raja Ranjit Dev, is regarded in high esteem for his Barah Massa (Twelve Months), Kamal Netra (Lotus Eyes), Bhup Bijog, Bir Bilas and other works.