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Protests at Gurdas Maan’s Canada show

September 23, 2019 05:02 AM


Protests at Gurdas Maan’s Canada show
Language no bar The Punjabi singer faced backlash for promoting and standing his ground on the idea of a common binding language for the nation

Surjit Singh

Amritsar : Days after he supported the idea of ‘one nation, one language’ for the country in a radio talk-show in Canada, legendary Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan faced protests from a section of the Punjabi community during his performance on Saturday.

Placard-carrying demonstrators shouted slogans against him and the organisers of the show outside the venue at Abbotsford in British Columbia. One of the placards shown to the convoy of Maan read, ‘Traitor of Punjab’s Mother Tongue’.

Call for boycott

Protesters also appealed to Punjabis settled in Canada to boycott organisers. During the show, a turbaned man, Charanjit Singh Sujon, continued the protest, to which Maan’s response has gone viral on social media and has been trolled. Sujon said, “My conscience did not allow me not to protest against Maan, who favoured Hindi as the one language of the country.”

Maan had earlier held a press conference, where he said, “The mother tongue should be respected and preferred, but being Indians there must be our one language.”

‘Negative comments are common on Social media’

On those who are agitating against the idea, Maan said, “This uproar is being created on WhatsApp and social media by those don’t have any other work. Making negative comments against others has become common on social media. Those who are sincere in promoting their mother tongue and culture, continue their work their own way.”

Union home minister and BJP president Amit Shah had floated the ‘one nation, one language’ during his speech on Hindi Diwas in New Delhi on September 14. After protests from states, especially from the South, Shah had said he never sought to impose Hindi over regional languages’.

What Maan had said on the talk show

“Hindi is being talked about nowadays, Hindi must be there. I would say there must be Hindustani (language), a mixture of common words of Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi languages. But, the weaker thing should not be destroyed for the stronger one . This is necessary that one nation must have one language, so that one can get his words understood, even in south India.

“If you cannot do so, what is the use of being a Hindustani?” said the popular singer.

“France has own one language and its people speak it. Similarly, Germany has one language that the entire country speaks. And if our country speaks one language, what is wrong with it? It should be spoken. If we are emphasising the mother tongue , emphasis should also be laid on the ‘masi’ (aunty or other languages),” he added.

‘death knell for federal structure’

Chandigarh : The education minister, Punjab and national spokesman of Congress, Vijay Inder Singla, on Sunday, said the ideology of ‘One Nation One Language’ being propounded by the BJP would sound the death knell for the federal structure of the country and is detrimental for a country which has multi linguistic states. Singla also asked the Akalis to clarify their stand on the issue.

He said that Punjab came into being on a linguistic basis and the formula of the one language is most dangerous for states such as Punjab. HTC

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