Mother language for unity

MOTHER language day was observed the other day with the aim  to acquaint the people with linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism. The day aims to motivate people to uphold knowledge of mother language as well as to protect the regional languages from extinction.
Speaking specifically in the context of Pakistan, there are about seventy-two provincial and regional tongues that are spoken in the entire breath of Pakistan each having their own particular history and individual identity and value. It is however lamentable that despite this diversity in languages, no much attention has been paid to promote them and our focus primarily has only remained on English and Urdu teaching. Punjabi is the biggest language of the country but the fact is that today even the Punjabi-speaking families have started considering it inferior tongue to English and discouraging its use in the household. Same is the case with other regional languages. By this way we are taking our regional languages to the path of extinction and with this it will also deprive our young generation of the knowledge about their enriched cultural heritage. PM’s Advisor on National Heritage Irfan Siddiqui indeed has taken concrete steps for the promotion of country’s rich cultural diversity but it is time that the provincial governments fulfil their responsibilities towards this end which indeed will go a long way in strengthening social fabric, harmony and unity. We will recommend that regional languages alongside Urdu should be declared national languages and education be imparted in mother languages to a child as it was the secret behind the development of modern countries. Whilst it is also responsibility of parents to acquaint their children with their regional languages, parliamentarians need to draft a bill for legislation aimed at mainstreaming different regional cultures and documenting endangered languages. In fact a well thought out national policy should be formulated for protection and promotion of all mother languages. When a nation is deprived of its mother tongue, it ceases to develop. Going by the words of great Chinese leader Mao Zedong that let the hundred flowers blossom, the promotion of all the languages will promote unity and strengthen the federation.

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