Chandigarh, March 16 (IANS) A delegation of literary people and politicians Tuesday submitted a memorandum to Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil seeking first language status for Punjabi in this union territory (UT).
The delegation, led by state Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, also urged Patil, who is also the Chandigarh administrator, to declare Punjabi as a compulsory subject up to Class 10 in all schools in Chandigarh.
‘We have submitted a copy of the resolution that was passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha yesterday (Monday). We have demanded to implement Punjabi as the official language in all government offices, boards, corporations and lower courts in Chandigarh,’ Punjab Languages and Education Minister Upinderjit Kaur told reporters.
She added: ‘We have no problem with the medium of schools but we want to declare Punjabi as a compulsory subject in all schools till Class 10.’
The Punjab assembly Monday unanimously passed a resolution that Punjabi should be accorded first language status in Chandigarh.
The centrally administered city of Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.
Members of the state Language Advisory Board had also accompanied the delegation of nearly 30 people to Punjab Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the governor.
‘We have also demanded setting up of Punjabi Literary Academy in Chandigarh for the enrichment of Punjabi literature and culture. All important sign-boards and nameplates of government offices should be displayed in Punjabi language,’ Kaur said.
Kaur said the legislators would also urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to secure second language status for Punjabi in other states where significant number of Punjabi people live.
The resolution passed Monday said: ‘One cannot ignore the fact that the villages that were razed to make way for Chandigarh comprised 90 percent Punjabi-speaking population. It is, therefore, a matter of inherent right for Punjabi to be the first language of Chandigarh.’
‘The entire administrative work should be carried out in Punjabi. It should be taught as compulsory subject in schools and arrangements should be made to teach other subjects in schools and colleges in Punjabi medium,’ said the resolution.