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February 22, 2017

 Mother Language Day observed

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February 22, 2017

LAHORE: International Mother Language Day was observed here by organising various events. The Punjab government announced awards for the promotion of mother language in the province.

This day is observed around the globe on 21st of February each year. It was observed across the world and likewise in Pakistan with the theme ‘towards sustainable future through multilingual education’. 

Its importance was realised when Bengali and Urdu language controversy unearthed on 21st of February, 1952, and four young students were killed in Dhaka. After passing 47 years, it was announced Mother Language Day first time by UNESCO on 17th of November, 1999.

Punjab Institute of Languages, Arts and Culture Lahore Director, Sughra Sadaf said, language is a source of communication to have interaction with others. Child makes links with family, relatives, culture and religion in his mother language. According to her, the relationship of language and culture go hand by hand. Mother language is an asset to us as it represents a special culture, melody, and colours of life. 

According to director, every child has right to get education in his/her mother language. A child becomes more expressive in his mother tongue. Because child’s psychological and personality development depends upon what he conveys through the mother tongue. A child expresses his first feelings, happiness, fear, and his first words in his mother tongue. Unfortunately, parents concentrate on English and Urdu because they are reluctant to communicate with their children in mother languages, she said.

Extremism can be eliminated by promoting mother languages in Pakistan. As our past is evidence, Sufi poets of our land gave lesson of peace, brotherhood, equality and respect in mother languages. Their literature written by them promoted peace and harmony. On the other hand, invaders distorted the prepossessing visage of our earth. 

Our forefathers were custodian of art and culture which depicted from two civilisation she clued to Harappa and Mohenjo Daro.  Major mother languages of Pakistan are Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashto, Hazarvi etc. These languages should be promoted everywhere. 

A poet, critic and an intellectual, Mushtaq Soofi said although the notion of a single language for an entire nation appears to be homogenising the people, but it eventually ends up segregating them, it promotes bias rather than bringing the people close. 

Moreover, imposition of one language minimises the acceptance of diversity and blurs the vision of tolerance. Language is a power, not only this, imposition of languages widens the difference among masses and elites. The elite shut the doors of good jobs on the poor by promoting foreign language while the poor were sent to seminaries, where the cultural, lingual, religious and socio-economic violence increased with the passage of time. By which world view has changed and we were named as terrorists and extremists, he added. 

According to him, stability of Russia, Canada, Belgium, Iran, Turkey etc lie in acceptance of mother languages. They gave respect to individual by accepting linguistic identification. 

For the promotion of mother languages, the Punjab government announced cash prizes of Rs2,400,000 in the category of “Pride of Punjab Award”, Rs1,080,000 in the category of Shafqat Tanvir Mirza Award for Books, Rs2,120,000 for the category of Academic Award for students.

 

 

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