I strongly condemn the declaration of Urdu as the medium of instruction by Murad Ras, the Minister of Education for the Government of Punjab. I demand the immediate reversal of this highly unjust decision. While declaring his decision, the minister referred to a so-called survey report in which majority of educationists, parents, and students voted in favour of Urdu. Accepting the right of education in one’s own language, the worthy minister categorically denied the existence of Punjabi language in Punjab and very clearly mentioned Urdu as a language of Punjab. He was of the view that Punjabi is not a sole representative language of Punjab because there are small lingual units in Punjab speaking different languages. He blatantly showed his total unawareness about the fact that every widely-spoken language has a considerable lot of dialects and this kind of diversity does not affect the oneness of a language. To reject the Punjabi and swap it with Urdu as the mother language of Punjab is not only an open disgrace to the twelve crore Punjabis whose mother tongue is Punjabi, but it is also an infringement of the basic human rights related to the language of a person or a nation.
He perhaps does not know that despite all such intrigues, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language of Pakistan. According to Census 2017 report in Punjab, Punjabi is the mother tongue of 75 % of the population, whereas 20 % of the population Saraiki as their mother language which is actually the Multani dialect of Punjabi .
We find ourselves unable to understand what bars the government to grant the right of education to Punjabis in their own language when the constitution of Pakistan and the manifesto of UNESCO also grant the right of education in one’s own language. We strongly believe that without making Punjabi the language of instruction in schools, neither the quality of education can be improved nor the literacy rate increased. We demand the immediate repeal of the decision of making Urdu the medium of instruction and the institution of Punjabi as the language of education in Punjab. It is also to be noted that the worthy Lahore High Court has also given the verdict in favour of Punjabi on 12 Feb 2019 and has issued orders to the government to make necessary arrangements for the implementation of this decision. But how deplorable it is that instead of implementing the verdict of the worthy High Court, the government went its own way in contempt of the court.