State Times NewsJAMMU: Slamming Union Government for excluding Punjabi language in J&K Official Language Bill 2020, Supreme Sikh Organisation (SSO) J&K in association with all Sikh groups, trusts, eminent writers, members from Valmiki community and other distinguished alumni of Punjabi Sahitya held a protest march on Tuesday outside BJP Headquarters in Jammu.The protesters also submitted a detailed memorandum, demanding inclusion of Punjabi language in the list of official languages, addressed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.Speaking on the occasion, Gurmeet Singh, Chairperson Supreme Sikh Organisation (SSO), highlighted 300 years old significance and legacy of Punjabi language and its dialects in J&K. “Punjabi language is an inseparable part of both communities in Punjab and region of J&K. Around 20 Lakh population living in J&K recognise themselves with Punjabi language and have a strong religious, spiritual, social and cultural connect with it. Since ages writers of Punjabi Sahitya from J&K have been writing books in Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi scripts of Punjabi language. Punjabi language has also been added in the 8th Schedule of Indian constitution and recognised by many developed countries like Canada, UK, Australia as their second, third and fourth official language,” he added.The SSO Chairperson further said that as per census of 1941 and 1951, the chief languages used in erstwhile J&K state were Kashmiri, Dogri and Punjabi. Till 1981, Punjabi was a compulsory subject just like Urdu in J&K. All these facts reveal that how since ages Punjabi language has been the part of composite culture of J&K, asserted Gurmeet.Terming exclusion of Punjabi language from J&K Official language Bill 2020 a direct assault on identity and culture of Punjabi Speaking population in J&K, Gurmeet Singh said that the Central Government has deliberately excluded Punjabi language to impose cultural hegemony on Punjabi speaking people in J&K. Condemning exclusion of Punjabi language, Gurmeet Singh, Chairperson of SSO alongwith spokespersons of other organisations reminded the current political dispensation of various contributions made by Sikh community in creation of erstwhile state of J&K.Demanding inclusion of Punjabi language in J&K Official Language Bill 2020, the Sikh leaders said, “We will not tolerate any injustice with Sikh community. The central government must review its discriminatory move against the minority community living in J&K.”Others organisations whose spokespersons were present on the occasion included Panthak Talmel Sangathan J&K, Akal Purakh Ki Foj J&K, Punjabi Sahitya Sabha J&K, Guru Granth Sahib Study Circle J&K, SYA J&K Trust, Sikh Youth Sewa Trust J&K, Bhai Gurdas Ji Sewa Society J&K, Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committe J&K, Indian People Theatre Association J&K, Progressive Writers Association, Shaheed Sardar Bhagat Singh Foundation and The Humanity First Organisation.
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