Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 26
Punjabi Department students, who had been protesting to put Punjabi language on signboards on the Panjab University campus, have demanded for putting the language on the top spot, followed by Hindi and then English.
Holding a press conference today on the campus, Mehtab Singh Sandhwala, who is spearheading the protest, said, “Chandigarh was formed after uprooting 25 villages of Punjab. That is why we want Punjabi to be written on top in an hierarchical order.” He said: “Punjabi is not a language but a culture. It is a lifeline.”
“If the authorities do not agree with us, we will not throw black ink on boards but paint them white and then would write on them in Punjabi,” he said.
Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) president Jashan Kamboj and secretary Vani Sood also came out in their support and attended the press meet.
Allow students to submit thesis in regional languages’
Most of the supporters of Sandhwala are students of the Punjabi Department. Sandhwala further demanded that students should be allowed to submit research papers and thesis in their regional languages, in Hindi or Punjabi.
“Teachers have been discouraging us not to write in Punjabi otherwise we would get lesser marks. We are ready to teach Punjabi to our teachers. And if a student submits his thesis in the regional language it is the duty of the PU to find translators,” he said. Students said after the PU, they would target those private schools where students were fined for speaking in Punjabi. Sandhwala also sought the facility of writing applications in Punjabi. The PU has already agreed to the demand of students for Punjabi on all signboards.
President, PUTA, Prof Rajesh Gill, said it was a complicated issue and required brainstorming. “It is difficult to evaluate thesis in regional languages. There is a vocabulary which cannot be substituted. There are students who cannot write in English. Even convent-educated students are not able to write correct English. However, for me research aptitude in a student is more important. A thesis in English can be easily evaluated by teachers who come from southern or other parts of the country,” she added.
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