A CASE FOR UNITING SIRAIKI (MULTANI) SPEAKING PEOPLE AND INCLUSION OF THE SIRAIKI(MULTANI) LANGUAGE IN VIIITH SCHEDULE OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA UNDER ARTICLES 344(1)
Siraiki is one of the most ancient Indo-Aryan languages of India centering around the ancient city of Multan (Mool-asthan). Multan was also earlier known as Kayashapura and Prehladpuri. It was in Multan, that Lord Vishnu incarnated as Narsingh Avtar to save Prehlad Bhagat from Harnaykashyap.Siraiki is a purely Sanskritical language. The renowned Grammarian Pannini and Yoga acharya Patanjali were Siraiki scholars at the ancient seat of learning i.e. Taxila, the hub of Siraiki Civilzation. The language is mother tongue of 100 Million (10 Crore) people in the subcontinent, including Two crore people living in India who migrated from the districts of Multan, Musafgarh, Mianwali, Jhang, Banoo, Kohat, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Bhawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawal Nagar, Leiha, Kotaddu, Rajanpur, Jampur, Lodhran, Khanewal, Pakpatan, Sahiwal, Chakwal, Vihari, Sargotha, Jhelum, Bhakkar, Khushab, Jaccobobad, Larkana etc to India at the time of partition at 1947.
The Siraiki speaking people of India are settled in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharsthra and Gujrat. This Siraiki Samaj is not united, although each District has a ‘Biradri’ or an Association like Jhang and Derawal Biradari and Multani Sabhah etc. In Delhi they have also been successful in having their own housing colonies like Multan Nagar, Main Wali Nagar, Derawal Nagar, Khohat Nagar. In Punjab, Delhi and Haryana their population is more than 20% but they are not fully represented in the State Legislature as well as the Union.
In Delhi, there is a Sindhi Academy because Sindhi language was included in the Schedule of the Constitution in 1957. The population of Sindhis in Delhi is less than 2%. But there is no Siraiki Academy. Although there is a Punjabi Academy in Delhi, it doesn’t include Siraiki language.
The Siraiki language is one of the oldest languages of India and has been known by its various names as Jhatki, Multani. Lahnada, Hindki, Hindko and Western Punjabi.
The word ‘Siraiki’ has been derived from ‘Siro’ meaning Head/ North of Sindh, the people living in the North of Sindh on the banks of the river Sindhu are known as Siraiki Speaking people. This language is distinct from Punjabi and Sindhi. The famous love folk lore like Heer-Ranja, Soni Mehwal, Sasi Punu are originated in this region. Heer was first written in Siraiki by Damodar Gulati of Dera Gazi Khan and thereafter it was written by Warris Shah after 200 years.
The Siraiki language has been used for spreading Sufi Music, Bhakti Movement and Guru Mat. Poets, Sufi and Saints like Baba Farid, Guru Nanik, Ghulam Farid, Warris Shah, Bulle Shah, Sultan Baho, Dharam Das, Sachal Sarmast have left their mark by using Siraiki poetry in the subcontinent.
The traditional form of Siraki Poetry has been Kafi also known as ‘Multani Kafi’ and famous classical music Gharana as ‘Multani Gharana’ which has been patronized by Pandit Bhim Sain Joshi and Abida Parveen.
Multan was a separate province until it was merged by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Punjab with Lahore as its capital in year 1818. And thereafter Siraiki (Multani) was dubbed as the dialect of Punjabi or Sindhi.
In Pakistan there is a renaissance of Siraiki Movement. Every year there are about 8000 books published in Siraki Language, there are four T.V. Channels, and there is a Pakistan radio from Multan as well as Bhawalpur broadcast in Siraiki.
At the present moment the President, Prime Minister, and the Foreign Minister of Pakistan are all Siraiki speaking.
Siraiki language has strategic value for promoting peace and goodwill between India and Pakistan. There have been international conferences in Delhi where delegations from Pakistan including their writers, authors, singers etc participated. Shri R.L. Bhatia, the then Foreign Minister inaugurated the same.
In India the Siraiki speaking people have contributed its might to development of India at all levels. At political level we have been having Comrade Ram Krishan and Bhim Singh Sachar as Chief Ministers of Punjab, both hailing from Jhang. Shri Madan Lal Khurna (Jhung) as Chief Minister of Delhi. Shri I.K. Gujral (Jhelum) has been the Prime Minister of India, and Dr. Manmohan Singh from Vehari as the now Prime Minister of India.
We have had Dr. Hargobind Khurana, Nobel Prize winner, Rakesh Sharma and Kalpana Chawla as Astronauts, V.P. Malik (Armed Forces), H.K. Dua & Vinod Dua- newspaper and T.V. Journalist,Justice M.N. Punchi as Chief Justice of India and presently Mr. Ajay Maken as Union Minister of Home Affairs.
All India Radio is broadcasting Siraiki language programme under its External Services Division from Jalandhar and Suratgarh in Punjab. Daily Hindi Tribune from Chandigarh is having a regular weekly Siraiki Column.
Siraiki was ignored whereas Sindhi was included in 1967 in the Schedule VIII of the Constitution. Siraiki people love their mother tongue and there is unbreakable bond of common language, history, civilization and cultural values between Siraiki speaking people of India and Pakistan. There is therefore a strong need to unite the Siraki Samaj.
WHO CAN UNITE THE SIRAIKI SAMAJ
The answer to this question is those ‘Who are achiever and proud to be Indians’. All those who have faith in Unity of India with its diversity, all those who are proud of their mother tongue i.e Siraiki language, art, culture and civilization.
We can all do it!
Let the politicians, authors, writers, professionals, social workers, who have a common positive programme and agenda of uniting and helping each other to develop and promote goodwill, amenity, harmony and peace through language and culture come together for this cause.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE
There is ten point proposed agenda for this cause as under:
1) Call the meetings of all the heads of District Wise heads of Association, Biradris and other Social Organization functionaries to establish a Confederation inorder to accept SIRAIKI as the mother toungue to be declared by all of us in Census of India being held during 2010-2011.
2) To have a Website of Siraki Samaj and invite people settled in India and abroad to join and corporate
3) Establish a T.V. Channel. In Pakistan there are four TV channels broadcasting in Siraiki
4) Publish regularly newspaper including Daily, Weekly, Quarterly journal in Siraki language in Hindi script. In Pakistan there are 800 journals and newspaper in Siraki
5) Hold Regional Conferences, Seminar, Talks and Discussion, Cultural programme including kavi samelan etc
6) Make TV/documentary films in Siraiki language
7) Establish Siraiki Centers to promote Siraiki language, art , Culture
8) Write book articles and research paper. In Pakistan 8000 books are published in Siraiki in every year
9) To establish a Siraiki development Fund to promote Social Cultural Education Economic Financial and Housing facilities and other charitable institution
10) To make representation to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India to include Siraiki Language in Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India under Article 341 .
Dr. J.C. Batra
M.A. L.L.M. Ph.D. Barrister at Law
Senior Advocate Supreme Court of India
Siraiki Sahitya Sangam
G-109 Saket New Delhi 110017