Punjabi Loosing Lustre
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken or understood by the Punjabis in India and other parts of the world by over 150 million people. The Gurmukhi script was devised by the Sikh Guru, Guru Angad Dev Ji (1539-52) in order to correct certain inadequacies in the Landa script so that sacred literature might be accurately recorded.
The brave and dedicated Punjabis in past gave their lives to protect their mother tongue, culture, our ancestral heritage and our ancient traditions. Language is the backbone of any culture and a vibrant live cultural connector to life itself. Yet our own Punjabis, of any religion, are ignoring their mother tongue Punjabi. This is sad, depressing and insulting. All Punjabis are trying their best to teach their children English and Hindi. This is something to be ashamed of and not be proud of. We are losing our own sweet language and Punjabi speaking population sooner or later. Soon Punjabis will be dissolved in the oblivion of globalization.
Although Punjabi had been accorded as the second official languages status in Delhi, Haryana and West Bangal but it is merely on papers only. The other neighbouring Punjabi speaking states such as Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, UT Chandigarh, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan etc have not given the required 2nd language status to Punjabi.
Besides, Punjabi is the predominantly spoken language in the Punjab province of Pakistan and the most widely spoken language in Pakistan, but it has no official status there, and both Urdu and English are preferred languages of the elite. The Pakistan government itself indulging in promoting Urdu and suppress Punjabi from the schools and streets.
Punjabi is also spoken as a minority language in several other countries where Punjabis have emigrated in large numbers such as the United States, Australia, the New Zealand, the United Kingdom (where it is the second most commonly used language) and Canada (where it is the fifth most commonly used language.
Those who forget their mother tongue and cultural heritage usually disappear in few centuries. Is there any bigger loss than losing language of your fore fathers. Language is the very spirit of a people. A language as sweet as Punjabi, a culture as dynamic as Punjabi, can not be driven out, wiped out or killed. It may have eclipsed for a short while but Punjabi will come back as a major language with great literature and it will be used in all forms of arts. Punjabi language revival is only possible if you encourage the usage of this incredible subtle and profound language.
The language of Gurus, Sages, Fakirs and some of the greatest scholars of India like Sikh and Hindu spiritual masters, Muslim Peers, ancient Indian grammarian from Gandhara Sage Panini, founder of Hindu philosophy sage Kapila and great Sufi Saints, poets and elevated spirits, Punjabi continues to shine and live in the hearts of its people.
Punjabi like a river carried flavors of different eras and times. It was influenced by the incoming migrating people from various lands. But it kept a character that is quite unique and still very native. Modern Punjabi vocabulary has been influenced by other languages, including Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit and English.