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  1. A Punjabi is someone whose mother tongue is Punjabi, who speaks it with a sense of pride and teaches it to her or his children. Moreover, this person should be proud of the Punjabi culture, its heritage and seeks to actively promote the interests of Punjab and Punjabis in general. I believe that a great majority of Punjabis don’t know what it means to be one? For most of us being a Punjabi does not mean the same thing as being a Bengali means to the Bengalis or being French means to Frenchmen and women. In Punjab of Pakistan, Punjabi is not taught in schools, and it is not the official language of the state.1 In the Punjab of India, the actions of Punjabi Hindus need special mention. Nowhere in human history has a group of people disowned their mother tongue. This singular event is unprecedented. Since 1947 Punjabi Hindus have been consistently deriding the culture of their ancestors and making every effort to retard the growth of Punjabi language and culture, and the economy of the state. The Indian State of Punjab was recognized as a bilingual state with distinct Punjabi and Hindi speaking regions and a language formula known as the Sachar Formula was announced in October 1949 to solve the language problem. According to this formula Punjabi in Gurmukhi script was accepted as the medium of instruction in schools. It made the Punjabi Hindu elite berserk — all sections of the Hindus opposed the implementation of this formula vehemently. They rejected both the Punjabi language and the Gurmukhi script. The attitude of Punjabi Hindus toward Punjabi language can be better understood by reading the words of Sir Gokul Chand Narang the author of Transformation of Sikhism.2 Protesting the use of Punjabi and the Gurmukhi script, Gokul Chand Narang, a rabid communalist lamented, “This formula was the first victory of the Sikhs after the partition of the country as it gave recognition and prominence to a language and script never officially recognized except a few years before in a part of the Sikh State of Patiala.” It is worth noting that Gokul Chand Narang was born and raised in West Punjab. Moreover, the dedication of his book reads: “This book is with deepest reverence dedicated to the memory of my father Lala Mool Raj Narang who was the first to have inspired me with interest in Sikh scriptures and Sikh history.”
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