Scholars: Punjabi is the Oldest Language? by C.S. KANWAR sikhchic.com | The Art and Culture of the Diaspora | Scholars: Punjabi is the Oldest Language? "People of the Punjab were not mute when the world's oldest civilization - in the Indus Valley, which includes the modern-day Punjabs - flourished in the north-west part of the subcontinent. "The Punjabis used to speak their own language, which is older even than the Dravadian's". This was claimed by the eminent Punjabi litterateur Dr. Satinder Singh Noor while delivering his keynote address in the inaugural session of the 2-day national seminar on "New Perspectives of Punjabi Language, Literature and Culture" organised by the Department of Punjabi at Kurukshetra University, India. About 30 scholars of Punjabi language and literature are participating in this seminar from Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi. Refuting the ongoing theory that Punjabi was an Indo-Aryan language, the Vice-Chairman of the Bhartiya Sahitya Academi, Professor Satinder Singh said that Punjabi was the oldest language of the world: it existed in one form or the other before the use of Tamil and even Sanskrit because it existed before the emergence and blooming of the most ancient of the world s civilizations. He cited examples with the help of many prevalent words using phonetics and morphological terms. About 2000 words were being studied and scrutinised by scholars of Tamil and Telgu languages and they also agreed to the foregoing conclusions to this effect, he disclosed. Dr. Satinder Singh said Puanjabi is spoken by the Punjabis who now live in 160 countries all over the world. The diaspora is spreading this language abroad but intermingling of words with local languages has led to coining new words like globalikaran (globalization) and glocalikaran (localization of globalization) with the change in their thoughts and practice of this language. Quoting a report by UNESCO, the Punjabi scholar said that Punjabi has hundreds of thousands of words both spoken and written and therefore it can never die like other languages of the world; not even hybridity of words can harm it. The Punjabi scholars residing abroad were earlier creating Punjabi literature in prose and verse, but lately they have started writing in other languages as it earned them name and fame both, but it is causing harm to the Punjabi literature abroad. He said that though Punjabi was spreading all over the world in one way or the other, its sweetness is relished only where it is being practised in its purer form either in agriculture sector or in some parts of Punjab which the modern urbanites term as backwards. Lt. General (Rtd.) Dr Devender Dayal Singh Sandhu, Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, said that the use of Punjabi language was increasing with the efforts of scholars and the state governments. Speaking as the chief guest, Dr . Devender Dayal Singh said that Haryana has made Punjabi its second language which has opened new vistas for its flourishing in new horizons right from schools to the universities as well as in government offices. He assured all financial and other assistance for the promotion of the Punjabi language in the future. Presiding over the inaugural function, the former Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Professor Bhim Singh Dahiya emphasised the need for setting up a department of translation so that the best literature could reach the masses and the intelligentsia of the world. He said Rabinder Nath Tagore got the Noble Prize only when his Bengali lworks were translated into English and promoted by a W.B. Yeats. He also advocated setting up city universities to promote original thinking which IPunjabi youth possessed in abundance. Professor Amarjeet Singh Kang, Director of the Seminar, said there was no threat to the popular Panjabi language from outside but the emerging pollution to our culture by the process of globalization is certainly a cause of worry for all of us to save the purity of the Punjabi language and culture. We have to search newer ways to protect and promote this language and culture in the changing scenario. He expressed satisfaction that though the Punjabi youths mostly abroad or in the country's meroploitan centres were distracted by western culture, but some of the young scholars were emerging in Punjab these days with novel creations in Punjabi culture and literature. Forwarded by forum member Tejwant Singh ji Malik photos are not loading because of temporary server issues. will be corrected soon.