LAHORE: Punjabi National Conference Founder Chairman Chaudhry Nazeer Kahut and chairman of the Punjabi Khoj Garh (Punjabi Research Centre), Iqbal Qaisar, on Sunday went on a hunger strike against the discriminatory attitude meted out to the Punjabi language by the establishment. The hunger strike was held in connection with the International Mother Language Day in front of the Punjab Assembly.
Addressing the Punjabi rights activists, students, poets, intellectuals who gathered at the hunger strike camp, Chaudhry Nazeer Kahut said that the constitutional, moral, legal, and democratic rights of the Punjabi people were being usurped by the establishment and the integrity of Punjab was in grave danger.
He said that situation had gone out of control and the ruling elite now could no more deny the 10 crore people of the Punjab their rights. Nazeer Kahut demanded the Punjab government to end discrimination against the Punjabi language and adopt Punjabi language as the official medium of instruction in theprovince. He proposed that a Punjabi university on the pattern of the Federal Urdu University, an Institute of Punjabiology like the Institute of Sindhalogy and a Punjabi Language Authority should be established
in the province.
Nazeer Kahut suggested that funds should be allocated for an institute to translate thescience and non-science literature of international level into the Punjabi language.Also he alleged that some leaders from political parties in Punjab, rulers, feudal lords and bureaucracy supported status quo and did not want the common people to prosper. “That is why they are hampering the implementation of the Punjabi as the official, academic and legal language in the Punjab,” he said.
Nazeer Kahut, who is an award-winning Punjabi language novelist and well-known intellectual, said that no language could survive without the official patronage and time has come for the rulers to give Punjabi language and people their due rights. He said the politicians, religio-political parties, and rulers, both dictators and elected ones, played no part to promote the Punjabi language.
Mr. Kahut said that Punjabi is language of the Sufi saints like
Baba Farid (RA) Sultan Bahu (RA) Khwaja Farid (RA), Shah Hussain(RA), Bulleh Shah (RA) Waris Shah (RA) and Mian Muhammad Bakhsh(RA) who spread the word of God in this beautiful language through their poetry. He asked the people to make good use of the treasure trove of the Punjabi culture and language toenrich their souls.
He asked the people of the Punjab to rise to the occasion and speak and write Punjabilanguage with a renewed vigour and pride, adding that the people of Punjab should stop listening to the BBC unless it starts its service in the Punjabi language. “The BBC is averse to the Punjabi language since the 100 years then why should we listen to it,” Mr Kahut remarked.
Nazeer Kahut added that all the announcementsat airlines including the Pakistan International Airlines coming to the Punjab, bus stands, railway stations and other public places should be made in the Punjabi language.
Source : The Frontier Post:Staff Report: Monday, February 22, 2010