[lg policy] Call for making policy to protect mother languages

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon Feb 19 10:02:58 EST 2018


 Call for making policy to protect mother languages
February 18, 2018
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Islamabad - Speakers at the 3rd <https://nation.com.pk/tag/mother>Mother
<https://nation.com.pk/tag/mother> Languages Literature Festival stressed
the need to formulate a national policy <https://nation.com.pk/tag/policy>
for integration, protection and promotion of all mother
<https://nation.com.pk/tag/mother> languages of Pakistan and declare the
mother <https://nation.com.pk/tag/mother> languages as the National
Languages alongside Urdu.

The panelists urged the parliamentarians to draft comprehensive legislation
for mainstreaming the distinct regional culture, documentation of
endangered languages.

Indus Cultural Forum (ICF)-a voluntary organisation of literary and
cultural activists- joined hands with Lok Virsa and Strengthening
Participatory Organisation (SPO) in 2016 to arrange first of its kind and
unique festival. This year festival is sponsored by Sindh government’s
Department of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, Foundation Open Society
Institute (FOSI), Lok Virsa and Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS).

In her keynote address to the inaugural session, renowned Sindhi and Urdu
fiction writer, playwright and activist Noorul Hada Shah said that culture
is a source of human integration, social harmony and peace in the society
that “we direly need during these defining circumstances.”

She said the call for promotion of mother <https://nation.com.pk/tag/mother>
languages will not harm the federation rather bring societies close to each
other. “Languages are source of expression only, they lead to ultimate
language, the language of love and co-existence. We should never consider
diversity as conflict.”

ICF Chairman Niaz Nadeem shared the background and detailed programme of
the two-day festival and highlighted that like every year, over 100
writers, poets and artists representing up to 20 languages are
participating in the sessions. There will be over 20 sessions in addition
to opening and closing ceremonies as well as musical evenings on both days.
“We are also marking the 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human
Rights (UDHR) and there will be dedicated session to pay tribute to Asma
Jehangir. Over 20 new books of mother <https://nation.com.pk/tag/mother>
languages on fiction poetry and history will also be inaugurated at the
festival.”

Acting Country Director of Heinrich Böll Stiftung Pakistan Jacqueline Wilk
said she loved Pakistani culture, especially as student of the
anthropology, “I have always been fascinated by the cultural and linguistic
diversity of Pakistan. This rich heritage is a strength of Pakistan as a
society at large and a distinguished feature of its past and present.
However many people I met across the country are not aware of this
diversity and the different shades of what it can mean to be a “Pakistani”.
I am therefore glad and very excited about this excellent initiative of
<https://nation.com.pk/tag/mother>Mother <https://nation.com.pk/tag/mother>
Languages Literature Festival to be held here in Islamabad to celebrate the
plurality of Pakistan”. She said the Heinrich Böll Stiftung is proud to be
partnering with such a dedicated and committed group of volunteers like the
Indus Cultural Forum and are looking forward to an excellent event.

Dr Saba Gul Khattak, proposed for establishment of Pakistan Cultural Fund
for fund generation to be utilized for promotion and preservation of
culture in Pakistan. She insisted for local resourcing for culture-related
funds, and the governments should play their role as well. She said culture
guarantees human rights, and education in mother
<https://nation.com.pk/tag/mother> language confirms proper learning for
kids. ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF)
have sponsored two fun filled days for youth and children to promote
science culture. Society for Alternate Media and Research (SAMAR) have also
supported in the organization of different aspects of the festival.

On this occasion, book stalls, showcasing books from different Pakistani
languages, will also be established to provide easy access to literature in
these languages. A great number of people from all over the country and
abroad are expected to attend the Festival. The participants in the opening
session paid tribute to Asma Jahangir, noted human rights activist who
recently died, and observed one-minute silence.


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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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