National languages bill to undermine Punjabi
LAHORE The proposed bill by the National Assembly on national languages may divide and eliminate the ancient Punjab and the Punjabi language, which will open Pandoras Box of ethnic and lingual divisions, and cultural contradictions, convener of Punjabi Language Movement Ch Nazeer Kahut said on Thursday.
While addressing a Press conference at the Press Club, he said: Demands to divide the Punjab, Sindh, Balochsitan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on lingual basis by ethnic groups and vested interests may push the entire country into a civil conflict ultimately resulting in the breakup of Pakistan.
Mr Kahut said: The bill is full of contradictions, confused contents, and omissions, and if it is passed as it is, it will become a potential constitutional executioner for the already oppressed civilisation, beloved motherlands, historical identities, cultures, languages, and folk wisdom of this country will surrender to die slowly and gradually one after another.
Expressing his reservations over the bill, he said: Basic fact is being ignored that the Punjab is a single lingual, cultural, historical, administrative, and historical unit but the so-called Seraiki dialect of the Punjabi language is being promoted as a separate language which was being forced on the land of five rivers to find a ground for its division, and to counter the demands to make the Punjabi a language of education in Punjab.
He said the people of Punjab and PLM fully endorsed Sindh Democratic Forums stance on the proposed bill that says there may be many languages being spoken but the language of a particular province will be the one spoken by the majority .
There are many dialects of the Punjabi language in different areas of the Punjab but its language will always be called Punjabi encompassing all dialects.
Mr Kahut further said if the dialects were to be promoted to the languages level then five dialects of the Sindhi, 72 dialects of the Pushto and 32 dialects of the Punjabi language should be declared as national languages.
On the occasion, Kahut condemned discrimination against the Punjabi language, and said due to the undeclared and unofficial ban on basic education in mother tongue in the Punjab since the last 150 years, the Punjabi language had become an oppressed, discriminated, ignored and exploited language.
Curtsey:The Nation: February 04, 2011