Volume - 3 : Issue - 2

Published : April - June 2004

Group : Language


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Sindhi is My “Mausi” - Atal Bihari Vajpayee

On the 7th of April 1967, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, delivered a powerful speech advocating the inclusion of Sindhi language in the 21st Schedule stating that it should be the language of the Nation. It was due to his immense efforts that the Sindhi language was recognised and accorded its rightful place in the Schedule. The Sindhis will never forget this and will forever remain indebted to him with unabated affection, gratitude and respect.
- Arjundas Daryani

Shri Atalji’s speech in the Lok Sabha :-

Respected Chairman,

I rise to welcome and propose the passage of this bill. Although belatedly, we are rectifying the injustice done to the Sindhi language. Sindhi is one of our National languages, and as such the preservation and growth of the Sindhi language is part of the cultural advancement of our country. Why was Sindhi denied its rightful place in the Schedule for the last 20 years? My demand to include Sindhi in the Eight Schedule through a non-governmental bill was turned down in 1957 when I was elected to the Parliament for the first time. On several other occasions too I had raised this demand but probably at that time Lady Luck was not favouring the Sindhi language. But I am happy that today the stars are favourable.

I must state that just according Sindhi its rightful place is not enough – that was long due and is now being implemented. Sindhis do not have a state of their own and as such Sindhi will not be the regional language of any one state or province. And from this point of view, Sindhi is non-regional and it is essential that it receives national protection. And when Sindhi is not the State language of any state, we have to make Sindhi a national language and treat it as a language of the whole country.”

Shri Surendranath Dwivedi (on behalf of centre) said that Sindhi should be made the link language; and Shri Vajpayee agreed that this concept should be diligently pursued.

“The spread and progress of Sindhi literature, appropriate share of advertisements in Sindhi newspapers, facilities and assistance to writers and litterateurs are issues that the Central Government will have to seriously address. Adequate justice has to be done to the Sindhi language in states with substantial Sindhi population. In the education sector too, Sindhi should be accorded its rightful place and Sindhi students too, where eligible should be given their rightful place. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should be asked to take advantage of the Sindhi language to enable our voice to be heard not only within our own country but also across our border.

Today the desire of the Sindhi population is being fulfilled. This is a moment of great joy and happiness for Sindhis and also for me. I rejoice in this achievement. I speak in Hindi but Sindhi is my ‘Mausi’ (Mother’s sister) and I have the same respect for Sindhi as I have for Hindi. All the languages of this country are sisters and I pray that they all prosper. And it is from this point of view that this bill deserves a warm welcome and smooth passage.

My congratulations to the honourable minister. Perhaps this memorable work was destined to be carried out by his auspicious hands and was hence held up for so long.

Thank you”.