Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, July 11
The district has been without its permanent language officer for the past three years. The department was established to promote the Punjabi language in the state and ensure that work in the government offices is done in Punjabi.
But the department is only performing a ritual like organising Urdu classes and short-hand classes. In the absence of the language officer, sources said surprise checking to detect whether work was being done in Punjabi in government offices was not being carried out.
Some other districts also do not have district language officers. The department is supposed to organize activities related to Punjabi in schools, but little work is being done in this regard.
“Mar rahi hai meri bhasha shabd shabd, vak vak’ this is how a doyen of Punjabi literature, Surjit Patar, describes the current situation of the mother tongue. The language, which is the 11th most spoken language in the world and is spoken in more than 100 countries, is not respected in its own state, experts feel.
Also, Mahan Kosh, which is a Punjabi language encyclopedia, was written by Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, is also not available as there are not many copies. In Jalandhar, only a single copy is left with the department. The Mahan Kosh has around 1,250 pages and is considered as the best guide to the Punjabi language as it has old maps of the India, Lahore, many pictures relating to history that is otherwise hard to find anywhere else.
The language department got the encyclopedia reprinted in 2011 for the 8th time. A total of 5,000 copies were printed at that time.
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