PATIALA APRIL 30: Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the Punjabi community settled in India and different parts of the world to promote Punjabi language and culture in a big way as the charity begins from home. Mr. Badal was addressing a galaxy of the Punjabi lovers and intellectuals from all over India and Pakistan who converged here at the first All India Punjabi Conference at Guru Teg Bahadur Hall in Punjabi University to celebrate its 47th foundation day. He said that the fairly large concentration of Punjabi Diaspora over the globe today became familiar with the fact that their families could not survive by detaching themselves from their roots. "It is our moral and social obligation that we should work together to glorify our rich cultural and heritage", said Mr. Badal.
In an emotional appeal, Mr.Badal urged the parents to start speaking Punjabi with their children from day one because it was the essence of saving the rich legacy of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat which was being fast depleted. He said that we should also make concerted efforts to declare Punjabis as a second language in our neighbouring states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi which were the part of erstwhile joint Punjab and Rajasthan especially in the Gangnagar area.
The Chief Minister declared that the Government would not wait till the next session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to implement its decisions on the use of Punjabi language in all Government and semi-Government offices and to introduce it as a compulsory subject in schools. An ordinance to the effect will soon be issued. Mr.Badal made a firm resolve to introduce Punjabi language as a compulsory subject in all schools in the State and to strictly enforce it as a medium of official communication. Mr.Badal announced a committee comprising Veteran Journalist Kuldip Nayar, Editor-in-Chief of Ajit Dr.Barjinder Singh Hamdard, Member Parliament Tarlochan Singh, Vice Chancellor Punjabi University Jaspal Singh to minutely go through the finer details of the proposed ordinance. He emphasized the need to strengthen the bonds of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat through organizing such seminars and conferences outside the Punjab also. Mr.Badal said that it was pertinent to hold such conferences in other states as it was our pious duty to sensitize our Punjabi brethren with our rich cultural legacy.
The Chief Minister pointed out that undoubtedly English was universally accepted world over as a link language and Hindi was a national language and we should give due recognition to both these languages but not at the cost and status of our mother tongue. Mr. Badal further said that government would amend the law and introduce legal provisions under which it will be mandatory that Punjabi became a compulsory subject in all schools upto 10th class.
On the occasion Mr.Badal honoured five prominent personalities including celebrated Punjabi writer Prof. Pritam Singh, eminent Punjabi dramatist Bhaji Gursharan Singh, noted Punjabi author Mrs.Dalip Kaur Tiwana, prominent academician Dr.T.R.Sharma and Film & Theater fame Raj Babbar for their outstanding contribution in the promotion of Punjabi in the field of literature, education drama and films. Besides he also launched world’s first Punjabi search engine (Punjabi Khoj) along with varsity’s web site in Punjabi developed by the computer department of the Punjabi university. The Chief Minister also released a book "Maa Boli Ik Doctori Drishtikon’ in Punjabi authored by Dr.Harshinder Kaur daughter of Prof. Pritam Singh and also released a varsity souvenir on the occasion.
In his key note address, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Barjinder Singh Hamdard appreciated the Chief Minister for bringing legislation for making teaching of Punjabi compulsory in all the schools and declaring Punjabi as an official language.
Vice Chancellor Punjabi University Dr. Jaspal Singh said that by organizing All India Punjabi Conference for the first time in the history of university today on its 47th foundation day would be a salutation to all those who made tireless efforts to set up this university, first of its kind in India on the basis of language. He said that world Punjabi conferences were held all over but holding such conferences was the need of the hour for the promotion of Punjabi language and culture.
Speaking on the occasion Member Parliament Tarlochan Singh called for initiating a movement to declare Punjabi as a second language in the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.
Veteran Journalist and former Member Parliament Kuldip Nayar feared that Punjabi culture too would die or get distorted if ‘Gurmukhi script’ was not taught in the schools. The bigger Punjabi population in Pakistan’s Punjab had also failed to promote the culture and language with the denial of official status to Punjabi and pre-pondering position of Urdu there, Mr Kuldip Nayar said adding now it was an appropriate time to raise a movement in favour of Punjabi in Punjab and outside. He urged the parents to encourage their children to speak and learn Punjabi because it was the most important to keep the ethos of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat alive.
On the occasion, renowned Urdu poet & writer Sardar Anjum and noted film actor Raj Babbar also shared their experiences for the promotion of Punjabi language and culture. Mr. Babbar thanked Mr.Badal and Mr. Tarlochan for getting approval of GoI for his tele serial on Maharaja Ranjit Singh to be televised from Doordarshan.
The conference was attended by eminent academicians, educationists and literary figures besides Media Advisor to Chief Minister Harcharan Bains and Additional Principal Secretary to CM Gagandeep Singh Brar.