The Mother Language Day is being celebrated throughout the world on February 21, 2010. In Pakistan generally and Punjab particularly, this day demands special attention of those who love their own language, traditions and culture. In the mad pursuit of emulating the developed nations of the world, we are ignoring our own language and culture. The native cultural and traditional mores, art & crafts and particularly our native languages are gradually receding, some having gained the status of 'endangered species'. We have almost discarded use of our mother language, Punjabi, at all levels and have actually made a deliberate, almost conscious change from the native idiom to foreign ones. Languages are a sacred heritage of a people as they provide them with a composite set of values encapsulated in their vocabulary, traditions, culture and popular lore for preserving their identity in the world. Professor lshtiaq Ahmad, a senior Research Fellow at Institute of South Asian Studies, University of Singapore in his essay "Punjabis Without Punjabi" has analyzed our predicament in detail terming it a "self-inflicted cultural suicide" .He writes "In Pakistani Punjab, the Punjabi language continues to be degraded as an inferior language and the sui generis mistreatment of it by the ruling elite of Pakistan is akin to self-inflicted cultural suicide". Since the inception of Pakistan, our ruling elite has been tooting the trumpets for their (self-proclaimed) efforts for raising the literacy rate of the people. But how can an individual or even a nation as a whole can be called 'literate' when they cannot read or write in their mother tongue? -TARIQ MAHMUD JATALA, Lahore, February 20