Sikh bodies oppose DU’s ‘anti-Punjabi’ move

Amritsar, Punjab: Resentment is brewing among Sikh organisations against Delhi University’s (DU) move to allow only three affiliated colleges to teach Punjabi as a main subject to under-graduate students under its recently introduced four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP). Punjabi is the second language, along with Urdu, in the Capital.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) will hold a meeting with Sikh historians and intellectuals in New Delhi tomorrow to devise a strategy to thwart the move while the SGPC will approach President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue.

Students, teachers and writers have launched a ‘Punjabi Boli Morcha’ at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi. Urdu language lovers have joined hands with them. They are distributing pamphlets among the people to make them aware of the issue.

Talking to The Tribune, DSGMC chief Manjit Singh GK said Punjabi was earlier being taught as a compulsory subject in 15 colleges. Now, 13 colleges of the university will teach Punjabi and other Indian languages but not as main subjects and that too from the second year of admission.

“This is unfair to students who wish to study Punjabi from the first year in college,” he said.

“The move has come as a jolt to the Sikh community, which has a large population in Delhi. Punjabi language serves as a crucial link between Sikh religion and culture,” he said.

Sikh intellectuals in Delhi feel the university’s decision to drop the graded system of teaching Punjabi language and literature such as Punjabi-A, Punjabi-B and Punjabi-C will deprive students the opportunity to learn Punjabi across different disciplines such as commerce, economics, English, social sciences and pure sciences.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh flayed the “biased decision” against the Punjabi language. Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC chief, has written to the President, seeking an appointment so as to take up the matter with him.

He termed the DU move as “grave injustice to Punjabi and Punjabiat”.

He said Punjabis were being given a “step-motherly” treatment in their own country.

Source: The Tribune

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