‘One language’ debate reaches Punjab

Last Updated 15 September 2019, 14:58 IST

The clamour over ‘One nation, one language’ being propagated by the BJP has found voices of dissent in the border state of Punjab.

Firebrand Punjab MLA and president of Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Sunday blamed the RSS-BJP for allegedly poisoning society with its sinister designs of cultivating Hindutva.

He said, the ‘One nation, one language’ formula is big threat to the ethnic identity of minorities, ethnic groups and all non-Hindi speaking states of India. Khaira said that his party would strongly oppose any attempt to impose Hindi as a national language.

The ruling political parties, Congress is yet to come out with its stand on the issue, although party sources said the party will oppose any move to impose one language in the country.

Khaira said that statement by Amit Shah to implement Hindi language in the country is a direct threat to the federal structure of the country. “Most states were formed on linguistic basis and the constitution guarantees freedom to practice own language and culture to all citizens,” he held.

Khaira said that Jan Sangh (now BJP) under the aegis of Arya Samaj had opposed Punjabi language and launched a pro-Hindi agitation in 1956 to oppose the demand of a Punjabi Suba by Shiromani Akali Dal. Jan Sangh and their allies also instigated Hindus of Punjab not to register Punjabi as their first language in the census held then so that a Punjabi speaking state should not be carved out, he said.

“By doing so the Jan Sangh sponsored Arya samaj movement divided the society and created communal rift forever. The RSS-BJP is once again hatching a similar conspiracy at the national level,” he warned.

Khaira asked Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) to clear their stand on ‘One nation, one language’ theory of the BJP, being their political alliance partner.

(Published 15 September 2019, 14:18 IST)

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