Mohindar Singh Ji Places:
Punjabi is the 10th Most Spoken Languages of World. Punjabi is one of India’s 22 official languages. The Punjabi language is spoken by over 100 million people worldwide; about 90 million in the larger Punjab, a territory that was divided between India and Pakistan by the British during the 1947 partition. Another 10 million Punjabi speaking communities are spread throughout Canada, United Kingdom, the United States, Malaysia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere.
The Punjabi language is a descendent of the Shauraseni Prakrit, a language of medieval northern India that was used primarily in drama and plays during the 3rd to 10th centuries. It is believed Punjabi developed as an evolution from the Shauraseni-Prakrit-Apabhramsha languages around the 11th century, with some influence from the pre-Indo-Aryan languages on its phonology and morphology.
Greater Punjab that encompasses, most of the North India was disintegrated and destroyed during the partition of India and as such Punjabi cultural base got a great setback and Greater Punjab State was eliminated. Formation of Pakistan was the annihilation of the Greater Punjab State.
The Partition of India was the partition of the British Indian Empire that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan on 15 August 1947 with division of Punjab. In 1947 Indian Punjab was partitioned into East (Indian side) and West (Pakistan side)
In the riots which preceded the partition in the Punjab region, about 2 Million people were killed in the retributive genocide. The Time Magazine of September 1947 gave killing statics around one million people.
UNHCR estimates 14 million Muslim, Hindu, Sikh Punjabis were displaced during the partition; However, it was the largest mass migration in human history too.
Mother tongue like Punjabi must be respected by all the Punjabi irrespective of their religious affiliations. A person is not honest if one disowns his mother or mother -tongue.
After partition, free India introduced classical Hindi language as the National language and as the First Language along with English as the second language. After partition, in India, classical Hindi got so many new words that were coined from dead Sanskrit.
Pakistan introduced Urdu as the First National language. And English as their second language. In Pakistan; Urdu was enriched by Persian and Arabic words.
POLITICS AND PUNJABI LANGUAGE
Since 1947, in East Punjab, sentiments against Punjabi language became obvious among most of the Punjabi Hindus any of them didn’t like Punjabi as their mother tongue.They tried to stab in the back of Punjabi language under one pretext or other. They tried to promote Hindi at every available political chance they got.
After 1947, every time censuses were taken in Punjab, most Hindus falsified the census documents by entering Hindi as their mother tongue in Punjabi speaking Punjab. Most of them proclaimed Hindi as their mother tongue, while they all speak Punjabi. Even in my village that is situated in the heart of Punjab, in Jalandhar district, my Hindu friends entered Hindi as their mother tongue in the census papers. The outcome of these bogus census results was that overnight States like Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were carved out of the diminutive East Punjab. These newly carved states adopted Hindi as their mother tongue, although they all speak and understand and converse in Punjabi. Punjabi is not taught in the schools in these States. After the freedom of India and Pakistan, in India, Hindi was promoted as the national language along with the English as the second language. Central jobs are tied to the knowledge and learning of Hindi. In reality, Hindi is the mother tongue of the UP, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh only. Punjabis anywhere don’t have to betray their mother tongue Punjabi because other sister language namely Hindi is synonym with the word Hindu. The folk songs of Kulu, Kanga or Skate Mandi in Himachal Pradesh are all in Punjabi and so are folk songs of Haryana. The folk songs don’t speak lie. In countries, like the USA, the citizens who enter willfully incorrect information in the census documents would have been put in jail for falsifying information. Religion has nothing to do with the mother tongue. No one should betray their mother tongue.
Before, India got freedom, all Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs lived in Punjab like brothers and without animosity. Everybody spoke Punjabi. Punjabi language doesn’t belong to Sikhs alone, it belongs to all Punjabi. Today, Punjabi is spoken in Punjab by all Punjabi, including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians or Muslims. Sikh scriptures are written in Gurumukhi script.
People from other states of India including Hindus love their mother tongue such as Bangla, Marathi, and Gujarati etc. Likewise, all Punjabi including Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims or Christians in Punjab should promote and speak Punjabi Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi or wherever they are, and those who belong to Greater Punjab, they should promote Punjabi as their mother tongue. They are the spokesmen of their mother tongue. Those Punjabi that I met in Madras, Bombay or Calcutta, they were all proud of being Punjabi.
PUNJABI LANGUAGE IN WEST PUNJAB (PAKISTAN)
Likewise in Pakistan, Urdu became the national language, lingua franca and one of two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English). Although only about 8% of Pakistanis speak it as their first language, about 48% people in Pakistan speak Punjabi. Other Pakistani speak Pashto (15%), Sindhi (15%), Bloch (4%), Kashmiri (0.4%) Brachium (1-1.5%), Shrike (0, 3%) and small sprinkle of Shina, Hindko etc. Punjabi in Pakistan is written in Urdu (Shahmukhi) script. So Punjabi in Pakistan is dominated politically or economically by the Urdu speaking migrants from UP, Bihar, or people from Sind
The Pakistani Punjabi want to work with us to promote Punjabi. Let us join hand in hand and establish a solid promotion for Punjabi language. The Pakistani Punjabi are very proud of Punjabi; their mother-tongue and want to give Punjabi a status of National language. The Punjabi from India, East Punjab should work with their Pakistani counterparts to promote and homogenize the future Punjabi language. Cultural Exchange meetings of the scholars from both sides of the Punjab are worthwhile steps to consider.
To write Punjabi, one can use three types of alphabets – namely, Gurmukhi, Shahmukhi and Devanagri to a lesser extent. The name Gurumukhi means “from the mouth of the Guru,” Shahmukhi translates to “from King’s mouth” and Devanagri implies “The container of divine light.”
Pakistani Punjabis have been using the Shahmukhi alphabet from the times of the Muslim and later Mughal Empires in the region and thus the term “from King’s mouth.” Shahmukhi is a modification of the Persian-Nasta’liq alphabet – meaning, the direction of writing is right to left, while that for Gurumukhi is left to right.
Devanagri alphabet for Punjabi language is mostly used by Hindus living in the neighboring states of India’s Punjab, which include Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan.
A scholarly work in Lahore (West Pakistan) is initiated by Ejaz Mahmood who developed a script called “Saanjo”. He claims that it is the First Ever Script of Language of Masses – Punjabi & Allied. His underlying idea is to develop and make available Punjabi with a script which is not aligned to any religious group. He has developed a primer to make it easier for Punjabi learning. He advocates love and peace among all Punjabi. He has advanced Human Nation Theory. He takes a leap forward towards a higher level to achieve human welfare, understanding, and promoting skilled education and to foster feelings of love for the humanity.
DIALECTS OF PUNJABI
The key dialects of Punjabi in India include: Majhi, Doabi, Malwai and Powadhi that have regional Hindi/Sanskrit influence on the main Punjabi language. In Pakistan, the regional Sindhi language influences the main Punjabi language resulting in dialects such as Majhi, Pothohari, Hindko and Multani. Pakistani Punjabi also has Persian, Central Asian and Arabic vocabulary influences.
Majhi dialect of Punjabi is common to both Pakistan and India and it is the basis for the bulk of spoken and written language since the 10th century. From the mid-19th century and to the more recent times, Punjabi, much like English, has spread around the world and incorporated/integrated local vocabulary of the regions where Punjabi emigrants have established themselves.
The Bollywood culture in India has further modernized Punjabi in its more adventurous movies, while Bollywood’s Punjabi songs are setting new sales records. A few of these Punjabi songs are quite popular in the bars and nightclubs of the western world.
Punjabi literature has advances considerably in East Punjab as colleges affiliated to universities like Punjabi University Patiala, Guru Nanak University, Amritsar, Punjab University Chandigarh have distinguished writers and poets on their teaching staff. Many periodic and daily newspapers in Punjabi are read every day by so many people.
Surjit Patar, Dr. Jagtar,, Amrita Pritam, Shiv Kumar Btalwi, and Dhani Ram Chatrik, Bhai Vir Singh are celebrated poets and writers in the East Punjab. From West Punjab, we have Warisshah, Bulleh Shah, Baba Farid,, Baba Rajab Ali,Sharif Kunjahi, Ustad Daman, and Munir Niazi.
There are many other poets and writers who write humorous Punjabi poetry.
Many works of English and French literature has been translated and many books on technology and medicine have been written in Punjabi. (Edited By: Mohindar Singh)