Students protest as Punjabi finds less room under FYUP

Only three Khalsa colleges offer language this year

Punjab Solidarity group, which includes activists and students, observed a silent protest and a  candlelight march at the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara on Tuesday to register its concern over diminishing options to pursue Punjabi language and literature under the new four-year undergraduate programme.

“Under FYUP courses graduate programme courses like BA, BCom, which used have an option to study Punjabi language and literature, have been scrapped,” said group member Kuljeet Singh.

Also, Punjabi honours courses, which were offered by more than 15 colleges like Miranda House, Dyal Singh College, College of Vocational Studies, have shrunk to three Khalsa colleges, the member said.

“Our group and students pursuing Punjabi have sent a letter to VC about shrinking space for Indian languages under FYUP. However, we did not get any response from him,” Singh added.

The situation is similar for Urdu (H), which is now reduced to just four colleges offering the course, he said.

In 2003, Punjabi and Urdu became the second official languages of Delhi.

The members said under FYUP the students have to study 11 foundation courses (FCs) in the first year. Thus there is no option to take up any Indian language, they said.

“What do the languages teachers do for an entire year? Mandatory learning of Modern Indian Languages (MILs) comes in the second year. There is no way to find out how many students will take up Punjabi from the over 20 MILs offered,” said a DU Punjabi language teacher.

“Already there are just a few students who opt for Indian languages. The situation right now is that the students will be given a language option as a minor course,” the teacher added. Under FYUP, only Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College and Mata Sundri College for Women are offering Punjabi (H) course.

A student pursuing Punjabi in Khalsa College complained that instead of promoting Indian languages the colleges now are closing down these departments. “Indian languages are seen as inferior and are dying a slow death. Change and reforms should benefit us. We are self-destructing our own identity as a country with varied languages. Despite so many dissenting voices, nobody seems to care,” the student said.

Comments (+)