Exclusion of Punjabi from J&K languages bill ‘Sheer injustice: Sikh committee
All party Sikh coordination committee (APSCC) on Saturday expresses over the exclusion of Punjabi language from the official language of Jammu and Kashmir.
A statement issued to KNS reads, I would like to draw your attention to the recent cabinet decision of introducing ‘Jammu & Kashmir Official Languages Bill 2020’ in the parliament in the upcoming session. In the bill it has been envisaged that English, Urdu, Hindi, Kashmiri and Dogri would be the official languages of Jammu & Kashmir.
The bill has excluded Punjabi language and the same is sheer injustice with the language and the people associated with it. This is despite the fact that Punjabi is being taught in schools, colleges and universities across the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu & Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture & Languages has a full-fledged Punjabi section with the Academy publishing the magazine in this language as well.
Over the years thousands of Punjabi books have been published in Jammu & Kashmir and many more are in the process of being published. I want to clear one thing and that is the Punjabi language is not related to any religion as such. Many Muslim and Hindu scholars have over the years rendered appreciable service towards the promotion of this language. Many prolific writers of Punjabi have come up from these religions and they have compiled numerous books that have been published as well.
Punjabi language was part and parcel of Constitution of erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir and it was duly recognized. With a stroke of pen the Government of India has tried to abolish the language from the literary horizon of the union territory. But they should mind it they cannot do so and people would raise their voice against the same. Resentment is already among the people and it may take the form of an agitation if corrective measures are not taken.
The Government of India should roll back its decision and include Punjabi as one of the languages of Jammu & Kashmir. We don’t have any grudge against any language but at the same time we will not allow discrimination with Punjabi. It is high time that union government listens to heart beat of millions of fans of Punjabi language and recognizes the same as one of the official languages of Jammu & Kashmir as was the case earlier.
In case the corrective measures are not taken then people especially those belonging to Sikh community would come on roads and carry out agitation unless and until their demand is not met. From this platform we are sending a strong message to union government and they would be responsible for the consequences in case Punjabi language is not given due recognition. (KNS)