Villagers blacken Hindi, English to ensure primacy of Punjabi on highways
Bathinda(DP Correspondent) – A controversy over the use of Hindi and English over the Signboards and milestones across the state has put the administration in tizzy as the demand for giving “due respect” to state’s official language Punjabi is gaining momentum. Irked to see Hindi and English words above Punjabi, people of the state have started defacing the huge signboards installed on highways at high expenses. Though the demand to put Punjabi on top place is taking place all across the state, the under construction four-lane Bathinda-Amritsar national highway (NH-54) is the major target of “Punjabi lovers”.Agitated people take it as an attempt of the BJP-led Union Government to impose Hindi over all Punjabis, without even bothering that people of Punjab love Punjabi and take pride in conversing in Punjabi. An NGO working for social cause has already served a legal notice on the PWD authorities. The society has also brought the matter to the notice of the Union Ministry of Transport and the NHAI. However, unwilling to wait for legal course of action people of Bathinda villages on Saturday blackened the words written on signboards in Hindi and English language.Taking a note of the issue, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal claimed that he had also requested the Union Surface Transport minister Nitin Gadkari to ensure primacy of Punjabi language on all signboards on national highways in Punjab. “The current treatment meted out to Punjabi language on sign boards has not only hurt the sentiments of the people who felt their mother tongue should be properly reflected on sign boards but also causing inconvenience,” said Sukhbir, adding that, “I am confident that the Union Surface Transport ministry will give the issue the importance it deserves and will ensure Punjabi occupy top space on all sign boards in Punjab.”Notably, students of the Punjabi department at Panjab University, Chandigarh, have also initiated a drive to “save the status of the language” as the administration has not been using it on signboards while English and Hindi are used in Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab.
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