Chandigarh, October 11 : The Chandigarh Administration leaving no stone unturned to corner the Punjabi language in the capital of Punjab where more than two dozen Punjabi speaking villages were razed and thousands of Punjabis were displaced to build this city. But the administrators at the helm are hell bent to replace Punjabi language in elementary education during the ongoing recruitment of junior basic teachers (JBT).
Expressing these views in a letter and strongly condemning this alienation towards the mother tongue by UT administration, the Punjabi Cultural Council has appealed to the Punjab Governor, who also holds charge of UT administrator, to immediately intervene into the matter to strike down this unilateral selection criterion by imposing his constitutional powers and protect the fundamental rights of the students.
In a letter to Governor, Punjabi Cultural Council has complained against Chandigarh education department for removing the necessary eligibility condition of Punjabi as a subject passed in tenth level examination for recruitment of 418 posts of JBT. "This outcome would create injustice to children by depriving them of their fundamental rights and taking away the right to education in their mother tongue", they rued.
Aiming to protect the fundamental rights of getting elementary education in the mother tongue, Chairman, Punjabi Cultural Council, Harjeet Singh Grewal, has pointed out that how such non-Punjabi speaking teachers could impart education in Punjabi in primary schools, adding he said such intolerance approach of Chandigarh Administration towards Punjabi language would hamper the learning of Punjabi among the school children.
Besides this, Punjabi Cultural Council has asserted that by relaxing earlier laid down rules for recruitment of JBT, many candidates without knowing Punjabi would become eligible in this selection process thereby putting the candidates of Punjab and Haryana states into a disadvantage position.
The Council has stated in its letter that tri-language formula have already been in place as the medium of education in all government schools of Chandigarh, that includes English, Hindi and Punjabi language. "But due to the selection of non-Punjabi speaking teachers, children and their parents could be under stress to opt English or Hindi and Sanskrit as a medium of education alternative to Punjabi especially in fourth and fifth classes where two languages are compulsory to pass.
"It seems that the Chandigarh Administration is craving to impose any other language instead of their mother tongue on children residing in urban and rural areas of city", lamented Grewal.
The Punjabi Cultural Council has requested the Governor to put this selection criterion into trash as more than fifty percent of population in UT speaks Punjabi language.
Grewal appealed to the Punjab government, all political parties, social and religious organizations including writers and intellectuals to protect the mother tongue and make joint efforts to retain 60 percent quota of Punjab in Chandigarh.