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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Punjab or Panjab

'पापा ये स्पेलिंग गलत है' (this spelling is wrong papa). 
My ten year old daughter was questioning me when I wrote Panjab University in my diary.
'ये Punjab होना चाहिए, Panjab नहीं' 
I told her, Panjab is correct as the university is using it.  She shrugged her shoulders as she was not at all convinced.  She has been reading in her books the spelling as Punjab and not Panjab.  I also thought for a while and agreed at the back of my mind that yes she is right, but I also knew that the university writes it as Panjab and may be officially the name of the state is accepted as Punjab so that way Punjab should be correct spelling.
We have been discussing the issue of ethics, values and morality.  The debate and discussion on what is right and what is wrong, what is correct and what is incorrect, has been very interesting in last two days.  But my daughter's question kept me thinking and I was following the pronunciation of people vigilantly. 
I in fact never questioned Punjab or Panjab as it is written, so is accepted. But there seemed something more than that.
While I was attending a session on the Praxis of Spirituality at Work Place, I was observing the speaker, Prof Satinder K Dhiman who at present work at Woodbury Univ, CA, USA, who is an alumnus of UBS and belong to this region, was pronouncing 'success', as 'sukses' (सुक्सेस) instead of 'sakses' (सक्सेस) ...so I try understanding the pronunciation of U which seemed it is pronounced as U in Panjab or in this region, or people belonging to this region are brought up to pronounce like this.  I have seen many others as well pronouncing like this.  Further when I use logic, I feel had it been really Punjab, it should have been pronounced as 'Punjaab' (पुंजाब) and not Panjab (पंजाब).    
I am able to understand little, correctly it should be Panjab and not Punjab if one traces the linguistic relation.  Most probably, it is same old thing as in case of many other places and locations in India.  I am told it is basically English people who are the culprit (British) who englicised Panjab and made it Punjab and as we took all other names as british legacy, so is this name.  Nice that the university name is still Panjab, which was established in 1882 in erstwhile Lahore.  Further I am happy that people keep pronouncing it the way it should be, what is correct is correct, however way we pronounce it.  
All my friends in Panjab and the civil society along with the press has to raise this issue of correcting the spellling  of Punjab to Panjab.  Otherwise my daughter shall remain bewildered on what is right what is wrong and she may not buy my Shakespearean defense...what is in a name...you call rose by any name..rose remains rose.