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AJ111

Demise Of Punjabi Language In Pakistan

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I had read figures of 75m Punjabi speakers in Pakistan and 25m in India a few years ago. Although there are efforts by the government to promote and preserve the language in Indian Punjab, there is a deliberate attempt to kill it in Pakistan.

Apparently it is not even taught in schools and has no official status. Parents who speak between themselves in Punjabi will however speak with their children in Urdu. To create a national muslim Pakistani identity they have sacrificed Punjabi in favour of Urdu. Even in the Pakistan Punjab assembly, legislators are not allowed to speak in Punjabi.

Read the comments on this blog.

http://mastmalang.wordpress.com/2006/12/24/the-punjabi-language/

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Who cares what they do in Pakistan, we split up from them a long time ago. If they want to speak klingon then let them.

I found this amusing though, Asif Zardari, the former president of Pakistan who is of Baloch/Sindhi background gave a speech in Punjabi in Lahore.

You would never hear Nawaz Sharif who was actually born in Lahore give a speech in Punjabi.

I also find it funny when Punjabi singers in Pakistan speak in Urdu in between their songs. It's like speaking Punjabi in public is taboo there.

At the end of the day most of Pakistani punjab is rural and from what I hear they still speak Punjabi there.

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It's a real shame that Punjabi has been ignored by the Pakistani Punjabis. They live in the only country in the world which is Punjabi majority. Imagine how much they could have promoted the Punjabi language on the world stage. But sadly, it wasn't meant to be. They have disowned their own mother tongue because they see it as being uncouth and too crude. They don't speak it with their children. They feel ashamed of their own mother-language. What can be more disgraceful than this? it is almost the same as someone feeling ashamed of their mother because she does not seem sophisticated enough! I remember reading a Punjabi article by a Pak Punjabi called Asif Shakaar. He said something along the lines that Pakistani Punjabis are the only people in the world who have abandoned their own language. You will never see a French, German, Russian, Dutch abandoning their language in their own country in favour of a language that is not even native to their land.

In contrast, east Punjab, people have more reverence for poetry written by Muslim sufi saints(who ironically belong to west Punjab) than people in west Punjab do. People in our side of Punjab have done their Phd on the writings of Muslim saints like Baba Farid Jee, Shah Hussain, Bulle Shah, Waris Shah etc.

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The Punjabi Muslims in Pakistan actually consider Punjabi to be the language of Sikhs only and I remember reading somewhere that the Muslim migrants of UP and BIhar who settled in the cities of West Punjab after 1947 were the ones who used to criticise the west Punjab Muslims for speaking the language of the Sikhs. Another reason for the rejection of the Punjabi language was that the Pakistanis wanted to use Urdu as the language to cement the various provinces together into one nation in the same that Hindu was used in India. At least Hindi is the language of the majority, the use of Urdu in Pakistan after 1947 is similar to if India had decided to make Sanskrit the national language!

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On the one hand the Pak Punjabis look down on the mohajirs (Pakistanis originally from Delhi, UP) as bhaiyas and on the other hand they take their language.

Unfortunately Punjabi has never really had official status in Punjab. During Maharaja Ranjit Singh's time the official language of Pinjab was Farsi (what the hell!) and you can blame the British for making Urdu the official language of Punjab.

Jinnah also propagated the Urdu language even though he could hardly speak it himself. He even wanted the Bangladeshis to abandon their mother tongue in favour of Urdu. Needless to say they did not comply!

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Persian was the language of education, science and administration during Mughal rule so when the Sikhs took over Punjab the language retained its position not because Punjabi was in any way deficient but because in order to maintain order especially in revenue matters Persian was had to be retained.This is similar to how Latin was retained as the language of administration in most of Europe for hundreds of years after the end of the Roman Empire.

If the Punjab had not been annexed in 1849 then Punjabi would probably become the official language by the end of the 19th century.

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Yes, I can beleive this and I too think it is sad that the punjabi people in pakistan have an Identity crisis. Because of poor leadership and politics the punjabi language, culture and Identity has beared the brunt and is fast disapearing.

...but unfortunatley the same is happening in India too. The Indian government also wants to dissolve the punjabi people into hindi speaking Indian nationals.The two states of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana were carved out of punjab for this exact purpose, to erase their punjabi Identity and create a Hindi-speaking people. Whats really sad is that the Indian governments plot is actually working and many Punjabi people have no Idea that haryana and Himachal are actually part of punjab nor do the people who live thier.

I recently created a Facebook page in an attempt to keep Punjabi people informed about these issues and try to unite Punjabi speaking people in hope of strengthening the Punjabi Identity since the Indo-Pak governments are both so hell-bent to destroy it.

Please check out the page if you are interested in this isssue and like, share or just have a browse. Its called The Republic of Punjab, link is as follows:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Republic-of-Punjab/642347095799974?ref=hl

thank you

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Well to be fair most of Haryana speaks their own language (Haryanvi) and so does Himachal Pradesh (Pahari)

It's not like they were speaking the same language you hear in Jallandhar or Amritsar.

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On the one hand the Pak Punjabis look down on the mohajirs (Pakistanis originally from Delhi, UP) as bhaiyas and on the other hand they take their language.

an excellent observation.

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Well to be fair most of Haryana speaks their own language (Haryanvi) and so does Himachal Pradesh (Pahari)

It's not like they were speaking the same language you hear in Jallandhar or Amritsar.

Not really, the languages you are reffering to are closely related to Punjabi. They are Punjabi but a slightly different dialect. Its like saying scousers speak thier own languaage because its ot the same english you hear in London.

..and that doesn't change the fact that the regions heritage is Punjabi.

They were seperated from Punjab to create a hindi speaking people so that a punjabi seperatists could not claim these regions too, as Himachal borders Kashmir, so the Gov is intentially trying to transition the people to Hindi speakers.

the point i'm making is that, muslims, hindu's, sikhs...etc of Punjabi descent want to claim either thier religion or their country as their Identity, indian or pakistani, when really our ethnicity/Identity is PUNJABI!!! Thats the race we belong to and thats our national identity and somewhere between the india pakistan partition we have lost sight of that. I beleive we should strengthen our Identity as punjabi's over the country or religion we belong to.

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It's fashionable to blame it all on the Indian government, but it was the Punjabi Suba and Khalistani movements that did everything possible to destroy the pan-Punjabi identity by always fighting for Sikh separatism and violently alienating and frightening the Punjabi hindus. Do you think Haryana and Himachal would want to be associated with that ?

The "Republic of Punjab" was killed.

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It's fashionable to blame it all on the Indian government, but it was the Punjabi Suba and Khalistani movements that did everything possible to destroy the pan-Punjabi identity by always fighting for Sikh separatism and violently alienating and frightening the Punjabi hindus. Do you think Haryana and Himachal would want to be associated with that ?

The "Republic of Punjab" was killed.

AJ111 Jee you have your history all mixed up. The Khalistan movement was a reaction to operation bluestar. Punjabi Suba movement which started decades earlier had nothing to do with it. The Punjabi Suba movement was a peaceful language rights movement, then please explain how is it a Sikh separatist movement? If Punjabi language was given it's due status in Punjab (haryana and Himachal) back then, still Hindus would have been ruling it since they were the demographic majority, so your "Sikh seperatist" remark falls flat on it's face.

On the contrast it was the Hindus(and Jains) of Punjab who opposed Punjabi language in favour of Hindi even though most at the time could barely speak it! So much for your "pan Punjabi identity". This was a direct betrayed to Punjab and Punjabi language by Hindus and Jains. They equated Punjabi language as being a Sikh language and Hindi as a Hindu language just as Muslims of Pakistan betrayed their mother tongue Punjabi in favour of urdu which they saw as being an Islamic language. Due to this opposition by Punjabi Hindus, they (the Hindus) even separated Himachal and Haryana from Punjab. So it is the Hindus who were the separatists not the Sikhs.

As if partitioning Punjab wasn't enough for Hindus and Jains, other measures of discrimination against Punjab were supported by the Hindus such as the theft of Punjab's river waters. Sikhs would peacefully protest this, but Punjabi Hindus would oppose them and support Haryana's claim just to oppose the Sikhs. Then when peaceful Sikh protesters were murdered in 1978 by the Nirankaris, prominent Punjabi Hindus like Lala Jagat Narayan came out in open support of the Nirankars just to oppose the Sikhs. The murderers of the SIkhs went scott free. Up until then Sikhs were peaceful never killing their oppressors, but still Sikhs were labelled agents of Pakistan by the Hindu dominated press, killers of Sikhs were protected by the government and fully supported by the Punjabi Hindu press.

ਤੁਮ ਕਰੋ ਜ਼ੁਲਮ ਤੋ ਵੋਹ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਹੈ
ਹਮ ਕਰੇਂ ਫਰਯਾਦ ਤੋ ਵੋਹ ਗਦਾਰੀ ਹੈ
meaning if Hindus oppose Sikhs, betray Punjabi language, kill Sikhs, then it is perfectly fine and even considered patriotic, but if Sikhs do a request by peacefully protesting for their rights, then it is considered a betrayal by the Punjabi Hindus. Vah! This is the so called secular Raaj of the Hindus.

It is only when Sikhs were beginning to get murdered in 1978 that Sikhs began to arm themselves in order to defend their lives because Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee has written in Zaffar Nama that when all peaceful means have failed, then it is justified for Sikhs to pick up the sword to defend themselves.

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I am ready to be corrected - but my readings about the Punjabi Suba movement was that it was a completely Sikh movement not a pan-Punjabi movement. The other groups were alienated to the extent of claiming Hindi as their mother tongue although they never spoke it. The mainly Sikh agenda of the movement led to disunity and Punjabi being unfairly associated only with Sikhs and not the whole population.

In other states e.g. Tamil Nadu , no one would ever challenge their local language status because people of those states were united on the topic irrespective of their religions.

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