Exclusion of Punjabi from J&K Official Languages Bill sheer injustice: APSCC
Photo: KM/Umar Ganie
Srinagar: All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC), Kashmir, Saturday said that the exclusion of Punjabi language from the recent cabinet decision of introducing ‘Jammu & Kashmir Official Languages Bill 2020’ in the parliament was “sheer injustice with the language and the people associated with it.”
In the bill it has been envisaged that English, Urdu, Hindi, Kashmiri and Dogri would be the official languages of Jammu & Kashmir.
In a presser, Chairman, APSCC, Jagmohan Singh Raina, said Punjabi was excluded from the official languages “despite the fact that it is being taught in schools, colleges and universities 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,” Raina said.
Over the years thousands of Punjabi books have been published in Jammu & Kashmir and many more are in the process of being published, he said.
“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,” he said.
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,” Raina said.
He said 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,” he said.
“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,” the APSCC chairman said.