Speakers of Burushaski are also called as Bursho, Hunzas and Hunzakuts who are settled in Kashmir for last 120 years (from the year 1889).They are called by the name of Botraj by Kashmiris because they are identified as Bot (ethnic mongoloid) and according to their history they are the decedents of King of Gilgit and are now settled down in the same area. The word ‘Botraj’ is a compound term; ‘Bot’ being a Kashmiri version of bhutta(in Rajatarangini) and ‘raja’ means the ‘ruler’. They refer to themselves as Bursho. The members of Botraj(Bursho)community have migrated from the mountainous regions of Pakistani areas of Hunza and Nagar(gilgit)to Kashmir . They consider themselves as the decedents of Raja Azur Jamshed Khan of Gilgit Pakistan.
The Botraj community is considered as one of the minority communities of J&K state; so they are being given 10% reservation in every government department of J&K state under the category schedule tribe(Brokpa). This has played an important role in getting government jobs. Maximum number of people in this community are government employee with very few doing their own business.
According to some sources before 1947 they were receiving some amount of relief in the Dogra rule. They were also allotted 47 kanal lands in Dooru (Tehsil Budgam) and 500 canal lands in Kakanmaran and Garand by Maharaja Pratap Singh.
Burushaski is the mother tongue of the community .They also speak Balti, Kashmiri,Shina, Persian, Urdu and English. The variety of Balti spoken in this community is Askardu. Taking into account the prevalence of different languages in this community, it will be appropriate to call Botraj community as a multi-lingual society. The people of the said community are highly conscious pertaining to their children to acquire Burushaski right from their birth. It has also been observed that the women who are married outside their community are extremely conscious regarding their children to acquire Burushaski also irrespective of any other language which their in-laws might be using.

Sanna Usman