Chandigarh: In order to promote mother tongue Punjabi, Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan, on Tuesday, held meeting with the MLAs, scholars and language activists to implement the Punjabi language in the High Court and lower courts of the state in light of the established laws.

Presiding over the meeting to discuss matters related to promoting the mother-tongue Punjabi, to provide detailed information about the issues to the legislators and to implement Punjabi in the courts, Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan said that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led state government was making constant efforts to give due respect to the mother tongue Punjabi, and the government and private institutions have been urged to write Punjabi as a first language on their signage/boards by the International Mother Language Day on February 21.

The speaker said that during the discussion, important ideas came out such as implementing Punjabi in the upper and lower courts under the established laws, to enact library act in the state, linking mother-tongue with employment, improving the Punjabi language proficiency of the teachers, correctness of translation, implementation of Punjabi in private schools from nursery level, use of Punjabi language by bureaucrats and strengthening linguistic institutions. The meeting was attended by Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains, Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker Jai Krishan Singh Rori, Manjit Singh Bilaspur, Kulwant Singh Pandori, Mohammad Jamil-ur-Rehman, Karambir Singh Ghuman (all MLAs) and others.

During the discussion, the language activist and legal scholar Mitter Sen Meet, while referring to the established laws, said that legal work in the Punjabi can be implemented in the Punjab and Haryana High Court through the Governor. Similarly, implementation of Punjabi language can be ensured in the lower courts by the state government. He also spoke on reviving the Punjab State Language Legislative Commission for the purpose of translation of legal norms. Lakhwinder Singh Johal, President of Punjabi Sahitya Akademi Ludhiana, expressed views for improving the status of Punjabi at the academic level and connecting the mother tongue with skill development and employment. Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha President Darshan Buttar asked to empower the language department, while Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (Sekhon) President Pawan Harchandpuri suggested that instructions from the secretariat level should be issued in Punjabi language.

Sikh historian and scholar Dr. Harpal Singh Pannu said teachers should be aware of the nuances of the Punjabi language. He said, Punjabi University and language department should be asked to re-start the process of translation in classic form through those persons, who are thoroughly well-versed with Punjab and Punjabi culture. Punjab School Education Board Chairman Dr. Yograj, while giving the example of French language, said that the language implemented by the state always spreads widely. He also batted for the strengthening of linguistic infrastructure.

Prof. Arvind, Vice Chancellor, Punjabi University Patiala and Virpal Kaur, Director, Language Department Punjab hailed the state government decision to promote Punjabi language and said that their institutions will provide fulsome support in providing vocabulary in mother tongue for law and medical studies and strengthening the linguistic infrastructure.

Senior Journalists Charanjit Bhullar, Jai Singh Chhibbar, Deepak Chanarthal and Harjinder Singh Lal discussed the transformation of education system to Punjabi, strengthening linguistic institutions, Punjabi compulsory for bureaucracy and its implementation in state capital, giving due respect to writers, state patronage for strengthening of Punjabi language and implementation of Punjabi in the revenue courts of the state.

Senior journalist Satnam Manak, while rejecting the concept of one nation, said that the beauty of the country lies in its diversity. He said, library act is the need of the hour, which will enable the state to get central grants. He also advocated setting up of the Punjab State Language Commission on the lines of Andhra Pradesh.

MLA Principal Budh Ram and Dr. Manjinder Singh, Head Punjabi Department, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar also expressed their views for the betterment of the mother tongue Punjabi.

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