Reiterating the firm commitment of his government to promote Punjabi language and culture, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday exhorted Punjabis to come forward for starting a mass movement for putting all the signboards on the private and public buildings across the state in Punjabi language.
The Chief Minister, while addressing a gathering during a state level function to mark Punjabi language month here at the Guru Nanak Dev University, cited the examples of states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and others where people show lot of respect to their mother tongue by putting all such signboards on their shops and commercial establishments in their native language.
He said that the time has come when Punjabis should also come forward for adopting this noble practice. Bhagwant Mann exhorted Punjabis to make sure that all the signboards are put prominently in Punjabi with other languages as a mark of respect to the mother tongue.
The Chief Minister said that people should ensure that the signboards in Punjabi are put before International Language Day coming on February 21. He underscored the need for making this a mass movement as a mark of respect to mother tongue.
Bhagwant Mann said that the wise Punjabis will adopt this before February 21 and remaining one will be made to toe the line of government after that.The Chief Minister also called upon the Punjabi community settled in India and different parts of the world to promote Punjabi language and culture in a big way.
Bhagwant Mann said that it is a fact that no one can survive by detaching themselves from their rich culture and mother tongue. He pointed out that undoubtedly English was universally accepted world over as a link language, but this language should not be promoted at the cost and status of our mother tongue.
The Chief Minister said that rather every Punjabi should feel proud of the glorious cultural heritage inherited by them. He said that Punjab is the land of great Gurus, saints, seers and martyrs adding that since ages it has been a torchbearer to mankind.
Bhagwant Mann said that Punjabis have carved a niche for themselves across the globe by their hard work and dedication.The Chief Minister said that it is a curse if anyone forgets his/ her mother tongue but unfortunately in fad of English and other languages the Punjabis are drifting away from their mother language.
He said that this trend needs to be reversed as it is an undeniable fact that a man can communicate and express well only in his mother tongue. Bhagwant Mann said that due to mental slavery we still believe in superiority of English language whereas the fact is that Punjabi is the best language for every one of us.
The Chief Minister said that many countries abroad are using Punjabi language but we are somehow shying away from using it. He said that no language is a symbol of intelligence but unfortunately we are continuously ignoring our own mother tongue just to pursue English.
Citing an example of France, Bhagwant Mann said that French people prefer to converse in their mother tongue as a mark of respect to it adding that Punjabis should also make Punjabi an integral part of their lives.
The Chief Minister said that Punjabi language is a treasure as a lot of literature, songs, poems and other material has been written in it. He said that the time has come when we must preserve this wealth and perpetuate it for our coming languages.
Bhagwant Mann said that we must feel proud of our language, culture and traditions adding that Universities and colleges must come forward for this noble cause.The Chief Minister urged the educational institutes to initiate specialized courses in Punjabi language to encourage the students to join it.
He said that the creativity of students in Punjabi language must be promoted by giving special focus to them. Bhagwant Mann said that Punjabi language has produced a number of littérateurs, intellectuals and poets adding that Punjabi are always proud of them.
Earlier Higher Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer welcomed all the dignitaries on the occasion. He also apprised about the efforts being made by the department to acquaint our younger generations about the glorious heritage of Punjab.
Meet Hayer said that mother tongue is the most important source of communication for any individual.On the occasion the Chief Minister also released new books of the Higher Education and Languages Department. He also felicitated the eminent writers on the occasion.