Scholars from across the country urge the federal govt. to amend the constitution for declaring native languages as ‘National languages’
Dr. Syed Jaffar, Dr. Tariq Rehman, Dr. Nabeela Rehman, Dr. Abbaseen Yousfzai and other scholars addressed the conference organized by Sindhi Language Authority to mark World Mother Tongue Day
Hyderabad: The conference held here on Sunday to mark the ‘International Mother Language Day’, urged the government to grant National Status to Sindhi and other languages of Pakistan.
“The government should amend the constitution to change the status of native languages, dubbed as ‘Regional Languages’, into national languages,” the conference demanded through a resolution.
The conference on “Importance and Significance of Mother Language” was organized by Sindhi Language Authority at Mumtaz Mirza auditorium to mark the day.
Writer and Scholar Dr. Syed Jaffer, the keynote speaker, in his address said that state should declare the ‘regional languages’ as national languages, and added that there would be no harm to the federation by accepting the diversity and granting the national status to the regional languages. “There are several countries around the world having more than one language declared as ‘national languages’ and it has not caused any damage to those countries,” he said.
Citing the example of Nigeria and Kenya, Syed Jaffar said that even the tribal languages were accepted there as national languages.
He showed surprise that why the federation was scared of accepting Sindhi, Balochi, Punjabi and Pushto as national languages, though it would ultimately unite the country and wouldn’t pose any threat to the federation. “On the contrary this step would end the insecurities of the people speaking the regional languages.”
Syed Jaffar said that history is witness that the countries like Russia and Yugoslavia faced disintegration because of not accepting diversity and rights of their people.
Talking on the mother language he said that mother language is innate language which child adopts naturally and effortlessly. “A child acquires mother language without pressure and stress which makes child’s observation and imagination strongest one”, he added.
He said according to Noam Chomsky language is mirror of brain and the brain has language faculty separately and this faculty receives the language of mother in the womb of mother therefore mother language has a very vital position in the human life. He insisted that it is need of time to accept the importance of mother language as national language.
Linguist Dr. Tariq Rehman speaking in an online session from Islamabad on the importance of the mother tongue said it is the language in which child forms ideas and enhances the perception of outside world. He said that he always believes that the first three years of child should be taught in mother tongue as it was the most significance medium for him. “This has been happening in Sindh but not in the rest provinces, like in Punjab language of instruction is not Punjabi.”
He said unfortunately except Sindh the other provinces were not working to preserve their languages. He insisted the other provinces to allow their people to be respected and to learn their native languages.
Dr. Nabeela Rehman, Director of Institute of Punjabi and Cultural Studies in her address said that unfortunately contemporary children in Punjab were not aware of Punjabi language. Quoting the history she said that Raja Ranjeet Singh during his reign, in spite of practicing Punjabi language, had declared Farsi as official language. She added that after British rule Punjabi language was devalued and English language was deemed as language of ruler and Panjabi language was called as language of Sikh community. She felt sorry for Punjabi people who degrade their own language.
The other speakers included Pashto poet, researcher and writer Dr. Abbaseen Yousfzai, Educationist Idrees Jatoi, Writer Shoukat Hussain Shoro, Professor Saleem Memon, Dr. Qazi Khadim, writer Madad Ali Sindhi, Taj Joyo, Dr. Parveen Munshi, Dr. Anwar Figar Hakro, Dr. Fayaz Latif, Dr. Shazia Pitafi and Dr. Sher Mehrani who presented their papers.
At the end of the conference ten-point resolution was passed in which it was unanimously demanded that all the main native languages of Pakistan should be given status of national language.
The books of Dr. Gulam Ali Allana were also launched on the occasion by Sindhi Language Authority.