MURREE: Teachers and scholars spoke about the need to promote Paharri, the mother tongue of millions of people that has been neglected for various reasons, at a meeting to discuss ways to save the language in the Massot village.
Speakers said the language should be protected for the future generations of vast areas from Himachal Pradesh in India to the Potohar region in Pakistan, Hazara, Kotli Sattiyan, Kahuta and Kashmir.
Scholar and Paharri and Urdu poet Hafiz Saeed Ahmed said that Paharri was the language of rulers of the area from Himachal Pradesh to Jhelum in the Potohar region with slightly different dialects.
He said there were vast reserves of various branches of literature in this language shared through generations, but the distinct poetry and other literature had declined because of the lack of government interest or that of local influential figures.
Teachers, scholars discuss need to promote Paharri language
Prof Ashfaq Kaleem Abbasi, a teacher for about 25 years, a PhD scholar in linguistics and a renowned poet in Paharri, Urdu, Pothwari and Saraiki, also spoke at the meeting.
He said no nation could prosper spiritually or intellectually without honouring and excelling in its mother tongue.
He said various nations and sub-nationalities in the country are striving to promote their languages such as Pashto, Saraiki, Punjabi, Balochi and Sindhi, but this same visor is missing in the promotion of Paharri.
PhD scholar Kamran Khan said that social media was an appropriate tool to promote languages and culture.
The participants also agreed to use Paharri as their mother tongue, particularly with small children, so they become familiar with the language and preserve the culture of the area.
They also paid tribute to scholars, poets, teachers, singers and others who contributed to the promotion of language, and praised the work of Sardar Masood Akash Abbasi for his work in Paharri, including his Paharri translations of Allama Iqbal, Mirza Ghalib and Parveen Shakir.
Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2020