Sikh bodies lodge protest over neglect of Punjabi language

JAMMU: Various Sikh organizations held a joint protest over the exclusion of Punjabi language from J&K Official Languages Bill 2020, under the leadership of TS Wazir, Chairman, J&K Gurdwara Parbandhak Board and ex-MLC.

The organizations which took part in the protest were J&K Gurdwara Prabandhak Board, District Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Jammu, Punjabi Lekhak Sabha, Shiromani Akali Dal, Sikh Welfare Front, Sikh Nojwan Sabha Jammu.

Besides, various Sikh youth participated in the protest. Addressing the protesting Sikhs, T S Wazir said, “Punjabi speaking population was shown lakhs during survey of 1941 and 1981 and now total neglect of Punjabi language has created many doubts in the minds of minority Sikh community in Jammu and Kashmir.” He further said that till 1981 Punjabi language was compulsory subject like Urdu in J&K and now its total neglect is another assault on the identity of Sikh community in J&K and is against the spirit of ‘Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas’ slogans of the rulers. Wazir said that Punjabi language is one of the vital languages of J&K and was well recognized in the constitution of J&K.

Moreover, globally Punjabi stands at Number 5 after English, Chinese, Urdu and Dutch and it belongs to every citizen irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

All Sikh leaders (present in the protest) including Jathedar Mohinder Singh, Dr Monojit Singh, Avtar Singh Khalsa, Surjit Singh, Narinder Singh Khalsa, Manmohan Singh, Jagjit Singh, Fateh Singh, Parfulat Singh, Surinder Singh Wazir, Ramnik Singh, Balwant Singh Chatha, Ranjit Singh, Ravinder Singh, Harmanan Singh, Rajinder Singh, Manjit Singh and Sanmukh Singh in one voice warned the Government if the Punjabi language is not included as the official language of J&K immediately then entire community along with Punjabi speaking population of the region will be compelled to adopt the path of protest and confrontation.