Saturday, November 17, 2018

google plus
Punjab » Community

Posted at: Feb 19, 2016, 2:03 AM; last updated: Feb 19, 2016, 2:03 AM (IST)

Thousands to march for Punjabi in Lahore

Status of Punjabi in Pak

  • Punjabi is not an official language in Pakistan but it is the largest spoken language of the country. When it comes to Punjabi education, it is an optional subject in school, college and university level
  • Different organisations have been demanding that Punjabi should be made a compulsory subject at the primary level as well as in colleges
  • As per the latest census, 7.6 crore people (44% of the total population) speak Punjabi in Pakistan. It has declined from 57% in 1951
Thousands to march for Punjabi in Lahore
Protesters during their march in Lahore in 2015. Photo Credit: Masud Khaddarposh Trust, Lahore

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18

“It is a unique phenomenon that the educated Punjabi is ashamed of his mother tongue and thinks that it is the language of the uncultured,” wrote famous Pakistan academic Prof Eric Cyprian about the condition of Punjabi in Pakistan more than two decades back. It seems not much has changed after that observation.

On Sunday, those very Punjabis — in thousands — will march at Lahore for their right to study in and speak their mother tongue. February 21 is also celebrated as International Mother Tongue Day across the world.

The Pakistan Punjabi Adabi Board, an independent organisation which promotes Punjabi language along with around 20 bodies, will hold the protest march from Lahore Press Club to the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab (Pakistan).

Lahore-based writer and columnist Mushtaq Soofi, president of the board, who is one of the main organisers of the march, told The Tribune over the phone that this year, they are expecting over 5,000 people.

During the march, speeches are made hailing the Punjabi language. Songs are sung, street plays and folk dances are performed in Punjabi.

Soofi said that they started the event four years back with around 300 people. “Now, people from faraway places like Kasoor, Sargodha and Sahiwal also travel specially to participate in the march. Youngsters form a major chunk of the marchers. A large number of women also participate,” he said.

He said that the religious fundamentalism has greatly damaged Punjabi language in Pakistan. He said that barring Punjab, all other provinces in Pakistan enjoy the right to education in their mother languages like Balochi, Sindhi and Pashto. Punjabi activists have filed petitions in this regard in the Punjab High Court and Supreme Court.


All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On