‘Punjab wants its mother tongue back’ | Pakistan Today

‘Punjab wants its mother tongue back’

LAHORE – Punjabi Language Movement (PLM) staged a protest outside the Lahore Press Club on Sunday, and demanded that Punjabi language should not be discriminated and students should be given basic education in Punjabi.
Speaking on the occasion, PLM Convener Chaudhry Nazeer Kahut said, “Punjab wants its mother tongue back. The 150-year old undeclared and unofficial ban on basic education in Punjab should be abolished and systematic cleansing of the language must be stopped. We want Punjabi kids to be given basic education in their mother tongue just like the children of the rest of the world.”
He said ‘constitutional, moral, legal, and democratic rights’ of the Punjabis were being usurped by the ‘anti-Punjabi rulers’, who were obstructing the implementation of Punjabi as the official and academic language. About the proposed National Language Constitution Amendment Bill 2011, Kahut said the bill, with its ‘divisive nature’ and ‘controversial contents’, could push the country into an ethno-lingual conflict.
Country integrity will be at stake if the bill was passed, thus they demanded that the bill may be withdrawn or changed. Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushto and Balochi being the languages of the majority in the federating units should be declared as national languages, he said. PLM demanded of the government to introduce the Punjabi Language Act in the Punjab Assembly.
PLM delegations from Jhang, Sargodha, Multan, Sahiwal, Jehlum, Bahawalpur, Mianwali, Khushab, Gujarat, Faisalbad, Rawalpindi, Attock, Bahawlagar, Nankana Sahib and Dera Ghazi Khan also attend the rally. Other organizations who joined the rally included Punjabi Adbi Sangat, Khoj Garh, Khaaksaar Tehreek, Saanjh, National Youth Forum, Maan Boli Research Centre, Punjabi Sangat Pakistan, Punjabi Markaz, Sver International, Punjabi Writers Forum, National Students Federation, Punjabi Union, Pakistan Punjabi Adbi Board and Punjabi National Conference.
Prominent Punjabi writers, intellectuals, supporters and activists also attended the rally. PLM central convening committee members Taqriq Mahmud Jatala, Dr Dilshad Tiawana, Ghazala Alam, Kausar Tiwana and Umer Mahota also spoke on the occasion. The participants were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans to end ‘official discrimination’ against Punjabi language.

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