Chairman World Punjabi Congress demands for first ever Punjabi University

Fakhar Zaman Chairman World Punjabi Congress has demanded from the Government that the first ever Punjabi University should be established in Lahore. He said that the existing institution Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAC) may be upgraded to a University. He further said that Punjabi should be declared as medium of instruction at primary level. Zaman was talking to the Punjabi department of The Government College University on the subject of importance of Punjabi language. He said that the purist approach towards Punjabi language and tendency to use archaic and unfamiliar words should be discouraged. He said that Punjabi is confronting resistance mainly at the middle and upper middle class of society, who do not understand the out-dated terminologies. He exhorted the students to use words in consonance with the cyber age and globalization. He said that the UNESCO report that Punjabi will be extinct in thirty years is totally based on assumptions because the language of Sufis can never become extinct.

Commenting on UNESCO report that Punjabi will be extinct in thirty years, Zaman urged for active initiatives by Punjabi departments and upgrading PILAC to a university

The organization phenomenon and impact of people going abroad has a palpable effect on the Punjabi language. Some terms like “Charkha” and “Peeng – Swing” are not in use but they will remain as the metaphor in literature. Fakhar Zaman told the audience that World Punjabi Congress, which was established in 1986, has Internationalized Punjabi language and culture. WPC has held twenty five international conferences in Pakistan, India, UK, Holland, France, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Italy, Canada and USA. The recently held International Conference on Peace and Punjabi was extremely successful which was attended by an Indian delegation and delegates from Canada, USA, Holland and UK. He said that WPC will hold a mega conference in February next year and it is anticipated that by then the Punjabi University will start functioning.

Head of the Punjabi department gave the introduction of the subject and said that students in Punjabi Department are working on Masters degree, M.Phil and Phd. He told Zaman that Sufi poets are being taught at various levels. He said that he will include Indian writers Amrita Pritam, Mohen Singh and Shiv Kumar Batalwi in the curriculum soon. Concluding, Fakhar Zaman urged that the staff members and students of the Punjabi department should have a meeting on the International languages day i.e. 21st February 2019 and show the importance of the mother tongue.

Published in Daily Times, February 22nd 2019.

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