SAD to take up issue of restoration of Punjabi as an official language in Jammu and Kashmir with PM and HM

By Rajan Nath -- September 11, 2020 8:09 am -- Updated:Feb 15, 2021

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to take up the issue of restoration of Punjabi as an official language in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah besides taking up the issue in parliament also.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting of the party which was presided over by SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal. It was decided that the party would seek a change in the draft legislation seeking to make Urdu Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi and English official languages of Jammu and Kashmir by seeking inclusion of Punjabi language in this list.

The SAD President said there was widespread resentment amongst Sikhs and Punjabis living in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Punjabis worldwide at the discriminatory manner in which Punjabi had been excluded as an official language of J&K by its administration. He said Punjabi had been given the status of an official language in the erstwhile constitution of the J&K State and said this status should be retained in the present dispensation also.

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Senior leaders including Balwinder Singh Bhundur, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, Sikander Singh Maluka and Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema said more than twenty lakh people in J&K spoke Punjabis and that Punjabis constituted more than three percent of the population of the Union Territory. They pointed out that besides Punjabi had always enjoyed a special status in J&K.

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Sukhbir Badal assured the party leaders that he would take up this issue forcefully with the centre as well as raise the issue in parliament to ensure the due status of the Punjabi language was restored. He said Punjabi was embedded in the culture of J&K from the time of the Khalsa Raj and was widely used as a medium of instruction.

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“Punjabi was a compulsory subject like Urdu in J&K till 1981. Any attempt to dislodge it as an official language in J&K is an assault on the identity of the Sikh community in the State”, the SAD President added.

-PTC News

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