Chandigarh, Sep 5 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday said the exclusion of Punjabi from the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill 2020 was an ‘anti-minority’ move.
The Bill proposes to make Hindi, English, Dogri and Kashmiri official languages of the union territory along with Urdu.
Drawing attention of Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha through a letter, Sukhbir Badal said: “Punjabi is not only the mother tongue of a very significant part of the people, but also a recognised language duly certified in the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Stating that the Akali Dal has always been in the forefront in the fight for justice for the mother tongue of the Punjabis, he said the party “would not hesitate to do so in future too.”
He said the Punjabi language has profound religious, cultural and emotional implications for the Sikh community.
“As such, the exclusion of Punjabi as the official language in Jammu and Kashmir is bound to be seen as an anti-minority step of the Jammu and Kashmir administration.”
He also cautioned: “Decisions such as this will provide dangerous propaganda ammunition to those who are always looking for an opportunity to disturb peace and communal harmony in the country, especially in the border states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir”.