The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday appealed to Panjab University in Chandigarh to withdraw its decision to drop Punjabi as a compulsory subject at the graduation level in all its affiliated colleges even as it warned the varsity that Punjabis would never tolerate this discrimination against their mother tongue.
Senior SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema told the media the syndicate members, who have supported this decision, do not deserve to remain members of the university body, while asking the Vice-Chancellor to reverse this decision immediately.
He also appealed to the staff and students of Panjab University to prevail upon its administration to withdraw this anti-Punjabi step, asserting “if this is not done, SAD will do its utmost to force the university to respect the sentiments of Punjabis and correct this wrong.”
Expressing shock as to how the university could take this step in the first place, Cheema said “Panjab University is part of the state capital which was established by uprooting villages of Punjab. As many as 200 colleges in Punjab are affiliated to the university. The university cannot discriminate against the mother tongue of the region.”
“It cannot expect students to go to other states and countries to become proficient in their mother tongue.”
Cheema also explained how propagation of the language and culture of the region was one of the founding principles of Panjab University, and said the institution should not stray from this.
He disclosed how both Haryana and Himachal Pradesh had disaffiliated their colleges from Panjab University after the reorganisation of Punjab. He said colleges in Punjab continued to remain affiliated with the university and the Punjab government continued to give the university its due grant.
“The university cannot by any stretch of imagination render such a disservice to its own people and the state,” he added.