The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana was not giving 'due importance to the Punjabi language'. "Punjabi has officially been given the second language status in Haryana after Hindi.
Unfortunately, the requisite importance due to a second language is not being given to this language," SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar said in a press release.
Makkar also claimed that not a single word of Punjabi had ever been written on official files in offices of the Haryana government.
"As per rules, official work can also be conducted in Punjabi if an official desires but this has never happened in Haryana," he claimed, adding that he just wanted to remind the BJP government that Punjabis had played a key role in the assembly polls in Haryana.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) which controls the SGPC had opposed the BJP in the last assembly polls in Haryana, opting to align with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) of the Chautalas.
The SGPC is unhappy with the Haryana government as it had refused to scarp the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC), formed by the previous Congress government of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was also responsible for giving Punjabi the second-language status.
In his statement, Makkar also pointed out that a number of MLAs of Haryana converse in Punjabi and so do some of the officers, yet the language was ignored.
The SGPC chief also claimed that schools in Haryana too were ignoring Punjabi.
"Though it is being taught in some of the schools but there was shortage of qualified Punjabi language teachers in government schools," he claimed, adding that a large proportion of the population that could read only Punjabi were not aware of the policies and programmes of the government.
He added that the SGPC was organising a global Punjabi conference, the first of its kind, by the SGPC in October at Fatehgarh Sahib.