JALANDHAR – Three prominent organizations of academicians and activists working for Punjabi language have said that the opposition to the decision of Guru Nanak Dev University making of Punjabi language for Punjab resident students till graduation level mandatory was arising out of communal psyche.
Punjab Jagriti Manch, Punjabi Language Academy and Punjab Academy of Social Science Literature and Culture in a joint press conference here on Saturday said that the forces now opposing mandatory study of Punjabi language were same who opposed reorganization of Punjab on linguistic basis and then even naming of University in Amritsar after Guru Nanak Dev.
“Already their communalism and vested interests have damaged Punjab a lot and its language and now these elements need to be kept at the bay and University of Punjab government should not change the decision about mandatory study of Punjabi for Punjab students,” the leaders of these organizations said.
Former GNDU VC Dr S P Singh, Former Punjabi University VC Dr Joginder Singh Puar and Jagriti Manch general secretary Satnam Singh Manak said that these communal elements were exerting pressure on the university as well as on the state government through their political linkages to withdraw the decision.
Manak said that GNDU had given an option of subject Punjab History and Culture in place of Punjabi language for those students who had studies outside Punjab for ten years. “However this option has been misused by colleges as it has been found that 80% of students who were opting for this subject had actually studies in Punjab schools. In Schools already Punjabi has been given a back seat and students are even punished if they converse in Punjabi. First discouraging Punjabi in schools and now opposing its study in college level were arising out of the same mindset,” he said.
These academicians also supported the move of the university to teach basics of Punjabi to students coming to University out of Punjab for studying in postgraduate courses. “They would study in English but would learn basics of Punjabi so that they can be enabled to live and converse with people here easily,” they said.