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  • Professor brings Punjabi back to Sikhs

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    Panditrao Dharennavar conducting classes for Sikh children of Gurunanak Nagar in Indi taluk of Vijayapura district. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

    Panditrao Dharennavar conducting classes for Sikh children of Gurunanak Nagar in Indi taluk of Vijayapura district. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

    Dharennavar, a Kannadiga, has been teaching Punjabi to the community in Vijayapura

    Back in 2012, Panditrao Dharennavar was in the news for translating Kannada literature into Punjabi. Now, the professor is bringing Punjabi back to the Sikhs in his hometown Indi at Vijayapura district.

    Mr. Dharennavar, who teaches sociology at the government degree college in Chandigarh, has turned into an ambassador of the two languages. He teaches Punjabi to Sikh children of Gurunanak Nagar in the taluk, while also translating Kannada works into Punjabi.

    Based in Chandigarh for the last decade, Mr. Dharennavar has mastered enough Punjabi to be able to write it. He has translated Vachanas of Veerashaiva saints and social reformers Basaveshwara and Akka Mahadevi into Punjabi.

    “When I came here on vacation, I came to know about the colony of Sikhs who have been dwelling here for over 70 years. After being disconnected from Punjab for decades, these people have forgotten Punjabi and speak Hindi and Kannada. They also speak Sikhali, their own language which is similar to Punjabi but has no script,” Mr. Dharennavar said.

    That is when he decided to teach Punjabi to the community, mainly the children.

    He is happy with the interest shown by the children. “Perhaps it their instinct that makes them learn the language so quickly,” he said.

    Ujwal Singh, one of the residents, said that he is grateful to Mr. Dharennavar for having so much concern for the community to teach the language. “We wanted someone to teach us Punjabi so that we could read our religious books. The language also connects us to our roots,” he said.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Firoz Rozindar / Vijayapura – July 12th, 2017

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