The Delhi Government should set up an academy on the lines of the Sindhi Sahitya Academy to promote the rich culture and literature of the Multani community, the Mayor of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Narendra Chawla, has suggested.
“As we have academies to promote the culture and literature of Punjabis, Sindhis, and Urdu-speaking people, efforts must be made to set up an exclusive academy for the Multani language. We will make this recommendation to the Delhi government,” he said at a cultural function organised by the Multan Kalyan Samaj Sanstha of Mehrauli here.
Chawla’s recommendation was made in response to a suggestion by the President of the All India Tax Advocates Forum (AITAF) M K Gandhi, who has been spearheading a movement through the Manavata Abhijan-a leading socio-cultural body-for promotion of the Multani language and culture.
At the time of the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, Hindus from Multan and its surrounding areas migrated from West Pakistan and settled down in Delhi and adjoining areas.
He said that since ancient times, Multani has always occupied a very distinct place in the rich tapestry of India’s cultural history.
Chawla suggested “at the international level efforts should be made to preserve the Multani culture and literature. The origin of Sirayaki is in Pakistan. Therefore for preserving our cultural heritage, it is imperative that there be an exchange of cultural activities between Pakistan and India so that the message of brotherhood spreads all over.”
“We should encourage Multani people-to-people meeting on a common platform in India and in Pakistan so that we can revive our cultural heritage. This will help in reducing the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Gandhi said Multani culture is as old as any other major Indian culture.
It is estimated that there are nearly 15 to 20 lakh Sirayaki Multanis and they have painfully realised that due to their indifference and lack of pride in their culture, their heritage is threatened with extinction.
Gandhi said over three crore Sirayaki Multanis in Pakistan too have become restive and are demanding the preservation of their language and culture.(Minimal edits applied, story generated from syndicated ANI feed)