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National Mother Language Day: Writers, artistes express concern over declining status of Punjabi

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, February 19, 2013
First Published: 22:20 IST(19/2/2013) | Last Updated: 22:21 IST(19/2/2013)

Punjabi cultural groups and literary figures voiced their concern over what they termed as the failure of the state government to take serious steps for the implementation of the Punjabi language in its offices and in educational institutions.


They were speaking during a seminar organised at the Government College for Girls on the occasion of National Mother Language Day here on Tuesday. The seminar was organised by the Folklore Research Academy in collaboration with the Punjab Lehkak Sabha and other literary groups. Among the prominent speakers were Punjabi poet Surjit Patar, theatre artistes Kewal Dhaliwal, Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Surjit Judge, Anup Singh and others.

The seminar was followed by a march from the college to Virsa Vihar to create awareness about the Punjabi language and its rich heritage. The march was flagged off by noted environmentalist Baba Sewa Singh of Khadoor Sahib.

A number of resolutions read out by Folklore Academy president, Ramesh Yadav, were passed at the seminar.

One of the resolutions passed called for formation of a Punjabi Language Commission for keeping a tab on the use of Punjabi in official work in the government offices and in all other government or semi-government establishments. The resolution claimed that despite the government having formulated an Act for the making Punjabi as the official language in its offices, still the working in some offices continued to be in English.

Another resolution called for 'activating' the defunct Punjab State University Trust Book Board so that textbooks on technical education could be published in Punjabi. The resolution pointed out that this had been the primary task of this board until it became defunct.
A resolution asked the government to take strict action against schools which were not teaching Punjabi from Class 1 to Class 10. Another resolution opposed the commercialisation of higher education as Punjabi as a language suffered the most under such a scenario.

A resolution also called upon the government to take strict action against those who had made the Punjabi language look vulgar in their songs and dances. The resolution also called for formulation of a cultural policy by the state government.

A number of farmer unions including the Kisan Sangarsh Committee, Border Area Kisan Sangarsh Committee, Jamuhri Kisan Sabha also took part in the seminar and the march. Representatives of different political parties also attended the seminar. Students of around 20 schools participated in the Punjabi awareness march.

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