Lahore: Punjab University Department of Punjabi organized International Punjabi Conference here in the Sherani Hall of Oriental College, Allama Iqbal (Old) Campus on Tuesday. PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, Director General Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAC) Dr Arshad Mahmood, Chairperson Masud Khaddar Posh Trust Shirin Masud, renowned columnist Dr Ajmad Niazi, Principal Oriental College Prof Dr Mazhar Moeen, Prof Dr Khawaja Muhammad Zakriya, Chairman Punjabi Department Prof Dr Asmatullah Zahid, Dr Darshan Singh Bens, Ajaib Singh Chattha, senior faculty members and delegates from around the world were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the ceremony, VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said the knowledge of language was a basic knowledge to convey ideas. Unfortunately, our students lacked to express his/her words exactly either in English or Urdu, he said adding that Punjabi language was not taught to us in schools and at colleges its level was also poor that’s why we faced difficulty in reading or writing Punjabi.
He said bureaucracy did not allow establishing any language other than English and it had also created many problems. He said one of the main reasons of decline of Punjabi language was that parents did not transfer it to their children.
He said we have to get rid of inferiority complex of considering Punjabi language as a language of illiterate people. Dr Mujahid Kamran said Oriental College was like a crown of the head of Punjab University and he always felt happiness to visit the Oriental College.
Dr Ajmad Niazi said we should develop strength to promote language. We should learn foreign languages but should not prefer them to our own languages. English and Urdu, both languages in Pakistan, were in poor condition. He said Maqtadar Qoumi Zaban was established in 1987 but Urdu language has not yet been given the status of official language.
He said we have to be Punjabi to become Pakistani. He said opposing languages was wrong but foreign languages should not be our country’s languages. Prof Dr Mazhar Moeen said teaching Arabic at Islamic Studies and Punjabi at Urdu level must be promoted.
Dr Arshad Mahmood said the Punjab government was serious in promoting Punjabi language and work is underway for a policy of language. He said all efforts would be utilized to implement the recommendations to be presented in the conference.
Addressing the conference, speakers said Punjabi had a place in world’s languages and was at number 11. They said every language was in danger which is not transferred to children through parents.
Quoting the examples, the experts said Yupik of Australia has vanished; Breton of England is in danger that there will be no one who will speak it at the end of this century.
They were of the view that scholars have also played important role in damaging language. In Indian Punjabi, words of Hindi and Sanskrit whereas in Pakistani Punjabi, words of Arabic and Persian have been included. They said there was dire need of establishing collective literary board so that synonyms of words could be found.
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