RfC - Writing Systems of Punjabi language

RfC: Writing Systems of Punjabi language

Panjabi has been always written in two scripts - Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi. However time and again, the argument to include Devanagri as a script for Panjabi is often brought up time and again.

This debate got very intense when there was an RFC on Wikipedia page for Panjabi language. Some of the senior wikipedia members in support of Devnagri used logistical tricks - from bribing those who favoured the comment by wikipedia stars, to using technical points those in favor banned from contributing alleging sockpuppeting.

The debate was on full display, in the end being decided that Devnagri is not one of the scripts of Panjabi language.

Some excerts from the debate.

Secondly, Devanagri was definitely used by some Hindus living outside core Punjabo-phone region (Himachal, Haryana) but it is neither the officially recognised nor the popular script to write Punjabi anywhere across India. It was, is not now. There has not been any appreciable Punjabi literature produced in Devanagri. Writers employ the only two scripts: Gurmukhi in India and Shahmukhi in Pakistan. So does the government which uses Gurmukhi Punjabi in Delhi, Haryana, WB or wherever Punjabi has official recognition. Just because some fringe groups employ Devanagri doesn’t guarantee it the right of being called a script of that language. Moreover, Devanagari is not taught in any of the schools anywhere in the world to teach Punjabi. Even in Haryana, Himachal and Delhi, Gurmukhi is taught. Where is the Devanagri version of Wikipedia when Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi versions are extant and growing?!

Devanagri has the same relation with Punjabi as it has with Gujarati i.e. it was historically used not anymore (except by a few families here and there perhaps!). I don’t see Devanagri being imposed on Gujarati anywhere!? If we use that logic, even Roman should be listed as its script since millions of Punjabis from both sides of the Indo-Pak border rather write Punjabi using Roman script on social media. If just the usage by some is the criterion here, then Roman should be the given the front seat, not just to Punjabi but to other Indian languages too since many Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims et al write Hindi/Punjabi/Gurmukhi in Roman!

My reference would be this. According to this, Gurmukhi is used to write such languages as Braj Bhasha, Khariboli (and other Hindustani dialects), Sanskrit and Sindhi in addition to Punjabi while no mention of Punjabi under Devenagri section. So am I allowed to add Gurmukhi in the lead section of all the wiki articles related to these languages? If Devanagri would be imposed here on Punjabi article, it makes sense to do the same with Braj, Sanskrit and Sindhi etc. through Gurmukhi, doesn’t it? And believe me, all these sources, yours and mine, are far from the ground reality. Nowadays, Sanskrit, Sindhi and Punjabi are almost unanimously written using their respective recognised scripts, except of course, for research/recreational purposes.

rts in quoting some references are appreciated but you have not critically analysed the quote from these. To make this point understand i require to state again some facts narrated earlier . Conclusion drawn by you is based on that Dogri , an earlier dialect of punjabi ,uses Devanagri script , that gives dogri speaking Hindus use devnagri for writing punjabi. But you have ignored the fact that in post independence India dogri has been incorporated as a separate language in 8th schedule of Indian constitution.This will be more clear from book published by Routelege , title Indo -Aryan Languages edited by Danesh Jain , George Cordona which states:

several different scripts have been used in culturally and religiously diverse area . One of the factors distinguishing the region from vast Hindi belt is scant use of Devnagri to write any variety of Punjabi. Only significant exceptions has been employment of Devnagri in post 1947 Jammu by Hindu protagonists of Dogri as a distinctive literary medium. Much more significant local use continues to be made of various local scripts whose principal member is Gurmukhi and of the Persian script.

I have written a PhD dissertation at Harvard on the topic and have NEVER seen a Panjabi manuscript in Devanagari during my seven years of research. Take for example, a Hindu Vaishnava Text called the Hanuman Natak (1623). Despite being a Hindu sacred text, it was composed in Gurmukhi by Hirday Ram Bhalla. See the text here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/205998072/Hanuman-Natak-in-Gurmukhi-by-Hirdaya-Ram-Bhalla – Before people present subjective opinions, please cite manuscripts showing the use of Devanagari to write Panjabi. Even in the modern era, please provide the name of a single Panjabi newspaper that is published in Devanagari. In the Indian Panjab, Gurmukhi is the official script, while in the Pakistani Panjab, Shahmukhi is the official script. Devanagari happens to be an important script for the writing of Hindi, but not Panjab

I have been doing research in Punjabi language and I have not come across a single credible resource that quotes Punjabi manuscript in Devnagri. The reason being that there is just too much phonetic difference between Punjabi phonetics and Devanagri pronunciation to even attempt to make it possible. E.g. Consider the Punjabi/Gurmukhi word ‘ਲੁਧਿਆਣਾ’, in Hindi language/Devnagri, it is written as (लुधियाना). There is absolute no phonetic resonance between the words ਧਿ and धि or ना and ਣਾ. They are completely different sounds. The attempt seems nothing more than pushing Saffronization into the realm of languages. It is almost akin to discussing just because a random book exist where english is transliterated in Devnagri, should we consider English to have Devnagri script? No, we just refer to it as transliteration.

Full debate on wikipedia archive