Chandigarh November 16:Mrs. Surinder Kaur Badal wife of Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Parkash Singh Badal said that it was a matter of pride that the Punjab government has determined to actively pursue the implement the use of mother tongue in other Punjabi speaking states as a second language and give it due status as a second language.
Presiding over a Punjabi Divas celebration day organised here at Shivalak Public School last night, she called upon the Punjabi diaspora settled in India and abroad to promote Punjabi language and culture in a big way. "It is our moral and social obligation to work together to glorify our rich cultural and heritage," she added.
Congratulating the Language department for organising week long Punjabi divas celebrations in Punjab, she emphasised the need to strengthen the bonds of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat through organising such seminars and conferences outside Punjab also.
Speaking on the occasion of Punjabi Divas celebrations here today, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Education and Languages Minister, Punjab, said that for the preservation, promotion and optimum use of Punjabi language and to accord the mother tongue its due status in the state, the Punjab Government would act tough in the form of legal/departmental action with educational institutions, officials, bureaucrats, employees etc. if they fail to comply with the directives enshrined in the recently amended Punjabi Language Act.
The Minister categorically said that State Language and Education departments would initiate harsh steps against non-users of Punjabi language in their office work as well as in the schools, colleges and universities. The SAD-BJP government was committed to ensure the implementation of use of Punjabi language in the government offices at all levels, she added.
Presenting a thanks vote to the chief guest Mrs. Surinder Kaur Badal the Minister said that the motive of the week-long celebrations was to promote Punjabi language and culture as well as to create interest among the new generation in mother tongue and to acquaint them with rich Punjabi culture. She said that it was good to learn other languages but not at the cost of one’s mother tongue.
The Languages Minister said that the bold steps had to be taken to implement the compulsory use of mother tongue as present generations were going away from their rich culture and tradition. "It is unfortunate that people settled abroad are keen to adopt and preserve the rich heritage of Punjab, while our own generations here feel inferior while using their mother-tongue. I am sure our future generations will be indebted to Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Parkash Singh Badal for initiating this step," she said.
Expressing concern at the falling standard of Punjabi language, art and culture, the Minister said that neighbouring states of Haryana, Himachal, U.T Chandigarh, Rajsthan, New Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir had turned a blind eye towards accepting Punjabi as a second language. She pointed out that undoubtedly English was universally accepted as a link language and Hindi was the national language and we should give due recognition to both these languages, but not at the cost and status of our mother tongue.
She lamented that the Punjabi language continued to be denied its due recognition as an official language of the UT Chandigarh which was settled on the 30,000 acres of land belonging to Punjab after uprooting 28 Punjabi speaking villages of the state but it is miserable that the ‘babus’ of Chandigarh had accorded the status of second language to English after Hindi.
On the occasion noted writer Dr. Ravinder Ravi attended the function as a special invitee. Bhai Baldeep Singh Delhi and Dr. Alankar Singh Uppal recited the shabads in ragas and Dr. Madan Gopal enthralled the audience with sufi gazals. Among others Mrs. Anjali Bhawra Secretay Higher Education and Languages, Mr. Rahul Bhandari DC, Mr. Jatinder Singh Aulakh SSP, Mrs. Raghbir Kaur Khaira SDM, Mrs. Balbir Kaur Director Languages and Dr. Gulzar Singh Sandhu were also present.