Jammu 22.09.2020: The Dalit OBC Minority (DOM) organised a protest at Ambedkar Chowk, Jammu today to show discontentment over the exclusion of Punjabi and Gojri from the list of Official Languages of Jammu and Kashmir. The protest was observed while practicing the norms of social distancing.
In this connection, a memorandum was submitted to Sh Ram Nath Kovind, Honorable President of India; Sh Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India; Sh Amit Shah, Home Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs and Sh Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor J&K UT, requesting them to kindly include Punjabi and Gojri in official languages list.
The various organizations and their chairpersons under the banner of DOM are Shuja Zaffer, Chairman, Jammu Muslim Front; Ashu Peter Mattoo, President, All J&K Christian, Sabha; Bansi Lal Ch, Convenor, All J&K OBC Mahasabha; S Kulwant Singh, J&K United Peace Movement; Shashi Syal, Gen.Secy, Majdoor Dastkar Union; Molvi Shah Mohd, Gen Secy, J&K Gujjar Bakarwal Conference; Comrade S Sukhdev Singh, Convenor, Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee, Jammu; S Avtar Singh Khalsa, President, Panthank Morcha; S Narinder Singh Khalsa, Chairman, Sikh Intellectuals Circle, J&K; S Surjeet Singh, President, Panthank Taalmail Sangthan & All India Confederation of SC/ST/OBC Organisations J&K.
RK Kalsotra, State President Confederation and Incharge of DOM said that in times of pandemic, the government is not leaving us any option other than coming on to the roads to show our resentment. The latest issue of inclusion of languages in the J&K Official Languages list has sparked controversy as it has not included Punjabi and Gojri which are widely used by people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Kalsotra said that the cabinet has already given a nod to the Official Languages Bill and is set to be presented on 23rd Sept in the parliament. Kalsotra highlighted that a memorandum was sent to honourable President of India, honourable Prime Minister, honourable Minister of Home Affairs and honorable LG J&K to request them to kindly include Punjabi and Gojri in the list. He added that we will continue to protest until and unless these two languages are officially recognised.
S Kulwant Singh while addressing the gathering expressed that Punjabi is the thousands of centuries-old language and more than 80 percent of people speak and understand in J&kUT Hence it is an injustice to exclude the language from official languages Punjabi and Gojri be included as official languages in J&kUT.
Sh Sobat Chaudhary, Gujjar leader showed resentment that it is injustice with the majority of J&k He appealed to PM and HM of India to include Gojri and Punjabi as an official language
S Ravinder Singh said that if Punjabi and Gojri not included as official languages we shall intensify our protests and fight till last.
Sh Asharaf Ali a Muslim leader expressed that Union Govt as well as J&kUT under the patronage of Lieutenant-Governor hellbent to the extinct culture of Jammu Kashmir people by not including Gojri and Punjabi which will not be tolerated and we shall fight for inclusion as official language till our last breath
Comrade S Sukhdev Singh said that the union Govt is intentionally ignoring the languages and treating stepmotherly
Ashu Peter Mattoo a Christian leader said that our community is speaking Punjabi and we support Punjabi as our mother young and they also support Gojri and cation the govt to immediately include both the languages as state official languages
S Narinder Singh Khalsa said that it is a great conspiracy to suppress the minorities and it will not be tolerated if Punjabi and Gojri will not be included as official languages dharna protests will be continued.
Others who spoke were Shashi Syal, Mohinder Singh, S Inder Mohinder Tara Singh, Ab Rashid Chouhan, S Kuldeep Singh Shanty, Ch Shafi Bazad, Ch Shafi Mohd and many others.