Mistakes in Sikh Literature Encyclopaedia, the court asks Punjabi University; Why?

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On Monday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court put both the Punjab government and Punjabi University, Patiala on notice on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for seeking review of a Punjabi reference book, Mahan Kosh.

Gurshabad Ratnakar Mahan Kosh, also known as Mahan Kosh; titled with “Encyclopaedia of Sikh Literature”. The book contains 65,990 entries and was written by Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, a leading language of Punjabi and Sikh thought. It was the first Punjabi Encyclopaedia and is considered as a groundbreaking work in terms of impact and level of scholarship.

The book was published in 1930. Mahan Kosh has been printed several times by Punjab language government. However, the Punjabi government takes into consideration of printing Hindi, English, and Punjabi in the year 2011.

Rajinder Singh of Chandigarh and three others were taken to a high court bench under Justice SS Saron and Justice Darshan Singh on Monday and sought a response from the respondents by April 19.

The petitioners argued that the Encyclopaedia is not only about Sikhism, but also about the Hindu Literature. It contains prosody (patterns of rhythm and sound in poetry), medicine, and music too.

Recently, Punjabi University brought out the versions in Hindi, English, and Punjabi. Out of which, there were four volumes of Punjabi and English; one volume in Hindi. But, these were error-ridden and mutilated versions of the original one.

They decided to seek directions to form an expert panel, where the compendium will be examined in every language. Till then, there would be no sale of the work published by the University.

Being asked, the petitioners repeatedly suggested names Singh Jaggi, Madhav Kaushik, Inderjit Singh and Tajinder Bhatia for the Hindi version. Rana Nair, Manohar Lal, Beant Singh Ahluwalia and Harvinder Kaur for English version and for the Punjabi version, Jagdeep Singh, OP Vashishth and Kuldeep Singh.

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