Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today claimed that the refusal to issue licences to Punjabi youths, who have passed matriculation with Punjabi as one of the main subjects, for recruitment of conductors in the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) was an “well-planned attack on Punjabi language and culture.”
The party said one of the key reasons for the Sikhs being the most unemployed religious group in urban areas was disregard for the Punjabi language in official circles.
A survey by the NSSO says that the unemployment rate among the Sikhs has gone up from 4.6 per cent in 2004-05 to 6.1 per cent in 2009-10.
Party spokesman Balwant Singh Ramoowalia said it was disturbing that the Punjabi language was not being accorded due recognition in the state capital, Chandigarh.
He said the Chandigarh Administration was to recruit 246 conductors in the CTU and the aspirants were to apply for the job by August 26. They were required to have a conductor’s licence.
However, the department concerned maintained that those who had passed the matric exam with Punjabi, not Hindi, as the main subject were not eligible for the licence, Ramoowalia said. He alleged this decision had been taken by the authorities concerned to deny jobs to unemployed youths who had preferred Punjabi to Hindi in the matric exam.
Ramoowalia said all Punjabis, irrespective of their political affiliations, should come together to fight against such discrimination against the Punjabi language in Chandigarh.
“When countries like Canada and UK are giving Punjabi due space in their administrative setup, the language is being pushed out from government institutions in our own country,” Ramoowalia alleged.
He said the SAD would fight against such“discrimination” being perpetrated in the name of language. He said the Delhi University too had diluted the importance of Punjabi.
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) spokesperson Jaswant Singh Mann said owing to the failure of the ruling SAD, the Punjabi language was being sidelined in the country. “Parkash Singh Badal and his son have failed to protect the interest of the Punjabi language and Punjabis in the country,” he alleged.
“The Central Government should give reasons why the unemployment rate in the country is the highest among the Sikhs,” he demanded, adding that it was because of unemployment that young Sikh youths were migrating abroad in large numbers.
Source: The Tribune