Political leadership of Punjab has failed to protect the interests of Punjab and is solely responsible for the downfall of the Punjabi language, said noted novelist and activist Jaswant Kanwal on Sunday.
Kanwal stated this while presiding over a conference held here to discuss the alleged discrimination against the Punjabi language in the state. “It is a shame for the entire Punjab that our mother tongue is kept on the third position on signboards along the national highways in the state,” he said.
Kanwal said that after Independence, everyone expected the rise of Punjab and Punjabi language but the betrayal by political leaders led to its downfall.“Punjab is now said to be under a debt over Rs two lakh crore. Will political leaders tell us where such a huge amount of money has been spent,” said Kanwal, 98, who has written around 70 books.
He said that the Centre has been neglecting Punjab while offering special packages to the other states. “Punjab has become an easy target as its political leaders bow in front of the central government and forget about the interests of the state.”
He said Punjabi youths are going abroad in large numbers, which poses a serious threat to the state.
Journalist Satnam Singh Manak said the need of the hour is to implement the mother tongue in education, administration and judicial proceedings.
“We have appealed to the Punjab chief minister to implement Punjabi language at the state level. We also urge the Centre to help resolve the language issues. If our demand is not met, we will hold a protest on February 21 next,” he added.
Professor Harpal Singh Pannu of Punjabi University underlined the importance of mother tongue in the development of a state. Prof Harjinder Walia, also of Punjabi University, and Faridkot MP Prof Sadhu Singh also expressed their views on the topic.
22 Jan 2019
23 Jan 2019