By Staff Reporter

LAHORE: The Punjabis observed the International Mother Language Day by holding a rally outside the press club on Tuesday.

A number of women, children, students, politicians, Punjabi language activists and civil society members participated in a colourful event. This year’s theme was ‘Multilingual education–a necessity to transform education”.

The women and children were wearing traditional colourful dresses to represent the Punjabi culture. The men were also wearing white and yellow turbans. Most of the participants were doing bhangra and other dances on Punjabi songs.

Pakistan People Party (PPP) senior leader Chaudhry Manzoor Husain, Punjab National Movement (PNM) founder/Chairman Ammar Shah Punjabi, Vice President Kaleemullah Cheema, Chief Editor Bhulekha News Mudassar Butt, Punjabi Adabi Board President Mushtaq Soofi, Secretary Parveen Malik, Daily Lokai Chief Editor Jamil Paul, Punjabi poet and broadcaster Afzal Saahir and Aamir Riaz TuTu were also present.

Addressing the participants, Chaudhry Manzoor said the Chinese language had progressed, in every sphere of life, including education, due to promotion of their mother tongue. He said every invader of Punjab had imposed their language in the region during their rule, including Urdu, Persian, Arabic and English. He said the cultures of the invaders were imposed on the Punjabis whose heroes were declared as traitors and the invaders, like Ahmad Shah Abdali, were made heroes.

He demanded from the government and the state to teach the children in their mother language, saying teaching and learning in native language would start development in the region.

Ammar Shah said the Sindhis, Baloch and Pashtuns were being given education in their native language in Pakistan but Punjabi was not being taught in schools in Punjab. He said the colonial forces had imposed Urdu in Punjab and bribed the locals to leave their mother language.