J&K Official Languages Bill Act | Sikh bodies express concern over Govt's 'step-motherly' attitude

Supreme Sikh Organization along with various other organizations on Wednesday carried out a protest rallies from Baba Fateh Singh Gurdwara Sahib, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu over what they call as “government’s step-motherly attitude towards Punjabi language.

The Sikh bodies threatened stir, demanding inclusion of Punjabi language into the J&K Official Language Bill Act.

Expressing concern over the “step motherly” treatment with Punjabi speaking people and injustice with Sikh community at large, Chairperson of Supreme Sikh Organization (SSO), S. Gurmeet Singh said “the issues related to the Sikh community have been continuously ignored by every successive government. Around 5 Lakh Sikhs and various other communities from different religion living in J&K recognise themselves with Punjabi language and they have a strong religious, spiritual, social and cultural connect with it,” he said.

He said that Punjabi under 8th Schedule of the Indian constitution is not only the official language of India but it is also recognized by many developed countries like Canada, UK, Australia as their second, third and fourth official language. “As per the census of 1941, the chief languages used in the erstwhile J&K state were Kashmiri, Dogri and Punjabi. Also, till 1981, Punjabi was a compulsory subject like Urdu in J&K,” he said.

He said that all these facts reveal that how since ages Punjabi language has been the part of the deep composite culture of J&K; said the chairperson of SSO. He called the exclusion of Punjabi language from J&K Official language Bill 2020 a direct assault on the identity and the culture of Sikh community.

Taking a tough stand on all political parties, many Sikh organizations presented at the march questioned the leaders at large that “Why the rights of the Sikh population of J&K are being termed as myopic. Whether it’s about Ansari committee report, political reservation, appointment of a Sikh member in JKPSC or now exclusion of Punjabi language, every issue related to Sikh community has been deliberately ignored. “The entire Sikh community and various Sikh organizations threaten the government of any dire consequences if our demand of inclusion of Punjabi language in the J&K official language Bill 2020 is not met.”