Punjab and Punjabi

THE United Nations has fixed Feb 21 as International Mother Language Day. … Unfortunately Punjabis usually keep away from their own language. They not only lower the prestige of their language but expect the same attitude from speakers of other languages towards their mother tongues. People who love their language are not liked…. That is why they did not favour the demand for Bengali…. Violence and bullets were the result. The clash ultimately divided the country into two. If Punjabis had been in love with their own language, they would not have opposed the Bengalis’ demand. And perhaps the tragedy of Dhaka would not have taken place.
Punjabis never favourably evaluated the demand of the Sindhis and Pushto-speaking people. Consequently, Punabi has [acquired a negative image] in the country. This … will continue till Punjabis start loving their own language. Only those who love their mother tongue, respect the language of others. The label of ‘national’ should not mean the promotion of one language at the cost of another. This is unfair.
…[T]he first step needed is to introduce Punjabi as a medium of instruction at the primary level. All artificial projects to ‘promote education’ should be stopped forthwith and billions of rupees be directed towards the promotion of education at the people’s level…. For that, the only step is to make Punjabi the medium of instruction at the primary level. …Apart from changes in the education system … Punjabi should be made the official language of the province. The Punjab government should extend a helping hand to [boost] Punjabi publications. The past Punjab government had established cultural and linguistic institutions.
More such institutions … should initiate serious work. A Punjabi language authority should also be established. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif … is soft towards victims of oppression, injustice…. The Punjabi language … needs the same care [and] sympathy….
Selected and translated by STM.
Curtsey:DAWN.COM — PUBLISHED FEB 24, 2012 




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