Punjabi is the language that is native to the state of Punjab. It features amongst the top ten most spoken languages in the world. Punjabi culture is spread across both Punjab in India and some parts of Pakistan. Punjab uses Punjabi as the official language of its state. The language derives its name from the name of the native state it belongs to and means the language of the land of five rivers.
UPSC Punjabi Literature Syllabus
Answers must be written in Punjabi in Gurumukhi Script.
- Origin of Punjabi language : different stages of development and recent development in Punjabi language : characteristics of Punjabi phonology and the study of its tones: classification of vowels and consonants.
- Punjabi morphology : the number-gender system (animate and inanimate), prefixes, affixes and different categories of Post positions: Punjabi word formation: Tatsam. Tad Bhav, forms: Sentence structure, the notion of subject and object in Punjabi: Noun and verb phrases.
- Language and dialect; the notions of dialect and idiolect;major dialects of Punjabi; Pothohari, Majhi, Doabi, Malwai, Puadhi; the validity of speech variation on the basis of social stratification, the distinctive features of various dialects with special reference to tones. Language and script; origin and development of Gurmukhi; suitability of Gurmukhi for Punjabi.
- Classical background; Nath Jogi Sahit
Medieval literature : Gurmat, Sufti, Kissa and Var Janamsakhis.
- Modern trends Mystic, romantic, progressive and neomystic (Vir Singh, Puran Singh, Mohan Singh, Amrita Pritam, Bawa Balwant, Pritam Singh Safeer, J.S. Neki).
Experimentalist (Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Ravinder Ravi,Ajaib Kamal)
Aesthetes (Harbhajan Singh, Tara Singh)
Neo-progressive (Pash. Jagtar,Patar)
Origin and Development of Genres :
- Folk literature Folk songs, Folk tales. Riddles,Proverbs.
Epic (Vir Singh, Avtar Singh, Azad Mohan Singh)
Lyric (Gurus, Sufis and Modern Lyricists-Mohan Singh Amrita Pritam, Shiv Kumar, Harbhajan Singh)
- Drama (I.C. Nanda, Harcharan Singh, Balwant Gargi,S.S.Sekhon, Charan Das Sidhu)
Novel (Vir Singh, Nanak Singh, Jaswant Singh Kanwal, K.S.Duggal, Sukhbir, Gurdial Singh, Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Swaran Chandan)
Short Story (Sujan Singh, K.S. Virk. Prem Parkash, Waryam Sandhu).
- Socio-cultural Sanskrit, Persian Literary influences : and Western.
Essay (Puran Singh, Teja Singh, Gurbaksh Singh)
Literary Criticism (S.S. Sekhon, Attar Singh, Kishan Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Najam Hussain Sayyad).
Answers must be written in Punjabi in Gurumukhi Script.
This paper will require first-hand reading of the texts prescribed and will be designedto test the candidate’s critical ability.
- Sheikh Farid The complete Bani as included in the Adi Granth.
- Guru Nanak Japu Ji Baramah, Asa di Var
- Bulleh Shah Kafian
- Waris Shah Heer
- Shah Mohammad Jangnama (Jang Singhan te Firangian)
Dhani Ram Chatrik (Poet) Chandan Vari
- Nanak Singh (Novelist) Chitta Lahu
Ek Mian Do Talwaran
- Gurbaksh Singh (Essayist) Zindagi di Ras
Merian Abhul Yadaan.
Balraj Sahni (Travelogue) Mera Roosi Safarnama
Mera Pakistani Safarnama
- Balwant Gargi (Dramatist) Loha Kutt
Sant Singh Sekhon (Critic) Sahityarth
Parsidh Punjabi Kavi
Punjabi Kav Shiromani
More about the language
The language is the fourth most widely spoken language in the UK. The language has equal prominence in the US, UAE, Australia and Saudi Arabian countries. Facts and estimates have unearthed a very interesting fact about Punjabi. Though the language is native to Punjab in India, it is more popularly and widely spoken in Pakistan as against India. But the Pakistan government deliberately fails to recognise the widespread popularity of the language in the region and does not confer any special status to the language.
Pakistan even fails to consider it an official language of their country and does not use it to serve any administrative or educational purposes. Punjabi originated from Sanskrit and later from Prakrit and Apabhramsa. Shauraseni Prakrit was a form of Prakrit that was typically followed and being used in the north western part of the country and that’s how Punjabi took its origins from this form of Prakrit. Punjabi as a language became prominent and broke its roots from the main form of Prakrit by around 10th century.
It is very unique that Punjabi does not follow a single script format. The language and its patterns can be well represented in more than one script and thus we have Punjabi representations in Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi scripts. Around the world, there are very few languages that use more than one script for representing their language in the written form.
An alteration of pitch in the spoken language represents different words and the likeliness of having to use different consonants to represent different words is a rarity in Punjabi language. We can find a whole list of Punjabi words that sound very similarly, except that they have variations in their tone and hence their meaning also changes accordingly. The mid, high and low tones are used over one or two syllable patterns to represent the same words but with different meanings.
Another distinct feature of the Punjabi language which is most striking and is a rarity with other Indian languages is the use of paired words. This means words that reflect like an echo is paired together to produce combo patterns with the actual word. So the actual word plus the altered form of the actual word is used in the spoken language to produce echo words.
Some of the popular forms of such words are khaana-vaana, padhai-vadhai etc. The altered form of the word has no distinctive and explanatory meaning and is just a derivative of the actual word. So, the altered form is just to bring a broader sense to the actual word and make it more relatable with the local language.
Punjabi music, literature and poetry have conquered international shores and Punjabi form of dance, which is Bhangra is popular the world over. Hindki is the known form of Punjabi dialect. The actual form of the language rose into prominence only around the 17th century. Punjabi literature showed its presence as early as 16th century.
The Gurmukhi script of the language is popular across Punjab but the Shahmukhi script is used in the region of Pakistan where Punjabi is used. It is also known from historical insights that the invasions of Afghans and Turks cast a very bad influence on the Punjabi literature as it curbed the language for to expand culturally and in written form.
When Guru Nanak plunged to revive the language and was quite successful too, the language did not emerge from its shell in the original form. It was later during the tenure of the Fifth Guru of the Sikhs, namely Argon Dev who made efforts to compile the Guru Granth Sahib in Punjabi language. But his attempts were also not achieved full circle and the language remained farfetched from its original ancestor.
Later, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last Guru of the Sikhs compiled a religious text by name Chandi Di Var in Punjabi, paving way for the rise and emergence of a new form of typical Punjabi form.
The Gurmukhi script attained its standard form of representation during the 16th century. This was achieved by the second Sikh Guru namely, Guru Angad Dev Ji. In the written form, Punjabi is filled with syllabic alphabets. It is written from left to right in beautiful horizontal lines. Vowels are inherently present within consonants. The vowel that is inherent to a consonant can be changed in form by using a grammatical component called ‘diacritic’ that can substantially emerge above, below, after or before the vowel. This is a very distinctive and unique grammatical aspect of the language.
Vowels are written and represented as independent entities only when the diacritic appears at the beginning place of a syllable. Two or more consonants can actually blend with each other by retaining the essential parts and leaving out the unnecessary portion. These are by nature commonly existing patterns in Punjabi and identified as conjunct words.
Till the 1966, Punjabi as a language had difficulty emerging as a strong language and standing on its own. This difficulty ahs relevance to its grammar whose similarity is quoted to be very close with the Hindi language. It was just in 1966 that Punjabi and Hindi were called two distinctive languages and that Punjabi was removed off the radar with its Hindi connection.
In an era where Hindi became the language of the Hindus and Urdu the language of the Muslims, Punjabi lost its true importance and got struck in between these controversies. It was only after partition that things pretty much changed to what we see today of the language.
Another reason why Punjabi felt like a language ignored for years was the presence of the Persian language and its literature which was more popular and artistic in its form. So, Punjabi as a language didn’t have the capacity to expand and grow culturally and linguistically during these troubled times. The Hindi speaking areas of Punjab were officially separated from the Punjabi areas and the Hindi speaking regions came to be known as Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, 1966 onwards.