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Punjabi language convention in Patiala bats for education in mother tongue

Patiala, Oct 30: Reaching unanimity on the fact that ignoring the role of imparting education in the mother tongue has created a serious educational, linguistic, cultural and political crisis for the country, eminent Punjabi writers and experts participated in a ‘Punjabi Language Convention’ in the city on Sunday.

The experts agreed that in Punjab, Punjabi needed to be given the numero uno status — something that had not been happening and ensuring that education is imparted in the mother tongue. They sought the inclusion of education in the State List of the Constitution to ensure states can exercise better control. They also advocated that Punjabi needed to be the language on top on signboards in the state.

Writer Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Professor Joga Singh from Punjabi University, Professor Raunki Ram from Panjab University, Chandigarh and Professor Panditrao Dharennavar were the major experts who attended the convention that Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi had organised. The speakers expressed their serious concern for the marginalisation of Punjabi in the state itself.

Protest rally held, resolution seeks making education a state subject

The participants also held a protest rally and handed over a memorandum of their demands to the Punjab government through the Patiala deputy commissioner. At the convention, five major resolutions were passed to ensure Punjabi got its due.

The first resolution stated that education needed to be made a State Subject in the Constitution.

“Putting education in the Concurrent List of the Constitution (meaning that both the Centre and the state can make laws for it), has weakened the states’ control over education. This had damaged Indian federalism, the education system and has also eroded the mutually-agreed concept of unity in diversity,” the resolution said, adding that education was included in the Concurrent List during the unconstitutional emergency rule from 1975-77.

The second resolution demanded the imparting of education through mother tongues.

The third resolution said that the mother tongue needed to the basis for tests, education and functionality in states in the country.

The fourth demanded demanded that Punjabi needed to be kept at top in all signboards in Punjab.

The fifth resolution condemned the filing of police cases against Punjabi lovers and demanded immediate withdrawal of these cases. It also demanded that people showing disrespect to Punjabi language needed to be made accountable.

Members of the convention demanded immediate implementation of the resolutions. “This is essential to fulfil economic, cultural, emotional and political aspirations of Punjabi population,” the members added.

Among others, who participated in the event, were Sarabjit Singh Virk, a senior advocate; Professor Harjinder Walia; Raj Kakra, a lyricist; Narayan Dutt of Inquilabi Kendra and other.

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