[lg policy] Panjab University senate rejects MHRD directive on use of 'Rajbhasha' in offices

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon Nov 5 11:44:33 EST 2018

-- Panjab University senate rejects MHRD directive on use of 'Rajbhasha' in
officesVishakha Chaman
| TNN | Nov 4, 2018, 10:05 IST
[image: Picture for representational purpose only]Picture for
representational purpose only
CHANDIGARH: Panjab University
<https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Panjab-University> senate on
Monday rejected the directive of Union ministry of human resource
development (MHRD) on the use of 'Rajbhasha' (Hindi
<https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Hindi>) in offices and various
societies. While former Union railway minister and former Chandigarh MP
Pawan Bansal said that Punjabi should be given priority, Chandigarh BJP
chief Sanjay Tandon said that nothing can undermine the importance of
Punjabi in Panjab University.

As soon as the matter came up for discussion, Bansal said, "Punjabi is our
mother tongue and it is my opinion that priority should be given to the
language." He added that Rajbhasha is important but Punjabi should come
first and its importance should be enhanced in PU.

The university had formed a five-member committee and was considering
setting up a directorate of Hindi on the campus. However, the senate has
now decided that no such directorate should be set up.

Senator Rabinder Nath Sharma argued that around 200 colleges affiliated to
PU are in Punjab and keeping that in mind, the honour of Punjabi should be
maintained. Another senator Prabhjit said it was practically not possible
to implement the use of Hindi at the university offices and departments.

Elaborating that both the languages have their own importance, Tandon said
while one language is the right hand, the other is the left one. "This
issue of language was a sensitive issue and the sensitivity of the matter
should be understood by all. We all communicate in Punjabi at our homes and
it is our mother tongue. The importance of Punjabi will remain as it is and
nothing can undermine its importance," he added.

Senator DPS Randhawa said issue should be taken ahead to represent that no
language should die. "Sanskrit
<https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Sanskrit>, the mother of all
languages, is already dead," he said, adding that emphasis should be laid
on mother tongue so that the language does not cease to exist. However,
senator Gurmeet Singh, who is also the chairperson of the Hindi department,
clarified that the MHRD directive was received during the term of former VC
Prof Arun Kumar Grover and not the current vice-chancellor Prof Raj Kumar.

Stating the technicalities about the use of the term 'Rajbhasha' for Hindi
by MHRD, senator Chaman Lal, who has been a Hindi officer and repeatedly
addressed vice-cahncellor Prof Raj Kumar as 'manyavar' during the meeting
said, "Rajbhasha, rashtriya bhasha and matribhasha are three different
things. Panjab University should have an inclusive language policy but
prime importance should be given to Punjabi."

 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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