Published on 23 Aug 2012 | over 4 years ago
This is my personal recording of a folk dance display in Baagh e Jinnah Lahore on the eve of Mother Langiage Day 21 Feb 2012
(Ae video mein re upload kita a kyun j ghalti naal delte ho gya c ,. Es display ch hissa lein walay funkar shoqiya ne te enna da taaluq Punjab lok Rahs Sahiwal naal ae)
MOTHER Language Day is being celebrated throughout the world on Feb 21. In Pakistan, in general, and in Punjab, in particular, this day demands special attention of those who love the soil, the traditions and the culture of their motherland.
In the pursuit of emulating ourselves with so-called developed nations of the world, we are hurriedly passing through a transitional phase. In this process mother languages are suffering the most and gradually gaining the status of 'endangered species'.
We have almost discarded using our mother languages at all levels and even deliberately changed the mother tongue of our children.
There may be reasons behind this shift but no argument whatsoever justifies the extinction of a mother tongue which is revered as a sacred heritage universally.
Mother tongue being the language of ancestors is the sole identity of the people belonging to a particular area and if extinct, whole vocabulary, traditions, culture and the other manifestations of fine arts rooted in that particular soil will be lost.
This phenomenon is much more critical in Punjab as compared with other units of the federation where due to utter apathy of its rulers and so-called elite class Punjabi is on the verge of extinction.
The probable death of Punjabi and other mother languages of Pakistan known as provincial or regional languages will be a national loss and some concrete steps must be taken on government and non-government level to save our ancestral languages from total extinction.
In my view the following measure, if adopted seriously, can give a new life to the "endangered species" of Pakistan:
I. With the cooperation of print and electronic media people should be made to realise the sanctity and importance of their mother tongue and persuaded to communicate in Urdu or English at the national level but at the same time converse in their mother tongue with the people whose mother tongue is the same as theirs.
II. Punjabi/Seraiki, Pushto and Balochi should be given the stratus of national as well as official languages (Sindhi has already got such status).
III. Teaching of and teaching through the mother languages should be started and made compulsory initially for at least in primary classes in their respective provinces.
Languages die their natural death cannot be avoided but surely there are remedies to check the suicidal death of languages.
TARIQ MAHMUD JATALA