CHANDIGARH, Punjab—A day before the beginning of the monsoon session in the Indian parliament, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal wrote a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the inclusion of Punjabi language in the Jammu & Kashmir Official Languages Bill.
This bill is likely to be presented in the Indian parliament on September 14 which is set to declare Urdu, Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, and English as official languages of J&K while sidelining the wide-spoken Punjabi language. Before the revocation of Article-370, the Punjabi language was a constitutionally recognized language of Jammu & Kashmir.
SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal has written to the Indian PM that there was widespread outrage among the Sikh masses over the Indian government’s move of setting aside Punjabi language from the J&K Official Languages Bill.
He has further written that sidelining the Punjabi language from the list of official languages of J&K can’t be justified at all. “The Sikhs of J&K are already deprived of minority status since long and now the Indian government is going to give another jerk by not declaring Punjabi as an official language,” he added.
“The Punjabi and several other territorial languages are widely spoken in the territory of Jammu & Kashmir so it won’t be fair to exclude these languages from the list of official languages,” he wrote while asking Indian PM to pass this bill only after adding Punjabi and other territorial languages in it.