Wrong spellings of Punjabi words on murals embarrass civic body

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Amritsar, September 13

In what could be termed as an embarrassing situation for the Municipal Corporation, the couplets written alongside a freshly painted mural on the elevated road are full of spelling mistakes.

The MC had recently entered into an agreement with HDFC bank, allowing it to use the pillars for painting murals and writing social messages. In return, the bank was allowed to use its name on these pillars.

A mural of a Punjabi woman busy in embroidering a ‘phulkari’ has been freshly painted on the two sides of a pillar as part of the new project. On the remaining two sides, a small poem glorifying the ‘Punjaban’ and her love for ‘phulkari’ is written.

In the spellings of ‘Punjaban’ in each line, the Punjabi alphabet nan’naa (sound ‘n’ as in name) is used instead of nhaa’nhaa (pronounced like ‘n’ with the tip of the tongue touching the palette).

Even the nasal sound of ‘bindi’ is used arbitrarily. At places, where it is not required, it has been used and at others, where it is required, it has not been used.

A prominent city-based writer, Deep Devinder Singh, senior vice president of the Kendri Punjabi Lehak Sabha, said, “Ours is a city which was founded by a Sikh guru. As all Sikh gurus had been instrumental in popularising and enriching the language and its script, it sends a wrong message to the outside world if we write wrong spellings on display boards and other wall paintings.” Deep Devinder Singh suggested that the MC and the bank entrusted with the work should consult a Punjabi linguist before using any text on such paintings. “Anybody with expertise in the language will be happy to correct the mistakes,” he said.

Superintendent, advertising wing of the MC, Sher Singh said, “We have already asked the bank to stop the process of painting murals, as we have decided to issue e-tenders for the work.” He said though the department was not aware of the incorrect use of the script, corrections would be made at the earliest.

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