Gurbhajan Singh Gill honoured by the Central Association of Punjabi Writers

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The Central Association of Punjabi Writers of North America held a private gathering for the revered and notable ghazal writer, Gurbhajan Singh
Gill, on June 20, 2016. The intimate meeting primarily consisted of
Gill’s thoughts and commentary on the state of Punjabi literature,
community, and politics. Gill was honoured by the association for his contributions to the Punjabi writing community, and his ongoing work and activism in keeping the Punjabi language visible in governments and schools. Gurbhajan Gill was born in Basantkot,
near Batala, in 1953. Gill’s love and passion for Punjabi poetry and writing began during
his schooling years. Although, Gill began to take writing seriously around 1971, which
was around the time when his writing became more political, spiritual, and emotional. The writing profession is not an easy one, but Gill was fortunate enough to have been strongly encouraged and supported by a number of his teachers during his formative years. It was this support and encouragement that reinforced Gill’s passion for the literary world. Gill went on to earn his graduate and postgraduate degrees from GGN Khalsa College and Government College in Ludhiana. There was a time and period when the Punjabi language was being phased out of schools and governments in various part of India, including the state of Punjab. The concept of phasing out the Punjabi language in its own state would definitely shock many, but it only further ignited the passion in Gurbhajan Gill to bring the Punjabi language back to the forefront through writing and activism. Gill initiated various movements, social and political, to further the Punjabi language at various levels. Gill has been extremely successful in his work and has
garnered an enormous amount of respect from the Punjabi community for his constant and consistent dedication to keeping the Punjabi language strong. The Punjabi Sahit Academy has had the privilege of having Gurbhajan Gill serve as President for two terms. The majority of changes that have been made in legislation, regarding advancing the Punjabi language and literary work, have been done through the Punjabi Sahit Academy. Gill has utilized his position in the organization to create and stir real positive change that would allow for Punjabi culture and language to continue to thrive at various levels. Gill made it clear he was not taking this position in vain and would not let the voters down, and thus committed himself to being the best leader possible by actualizing his goals for the Punjabi literary community. Gill believes that the Punjabi language is in
danger of depleting if it is not strengthened by Punjabi speaking communities. Gill urges
people to “speak, write, and read in their mother tongue.” He admires the ways in
which the Punjabi Diaspora, in Canada and beyond, has brought over Punjabi culture and
language. Gill highlighted the many ways in which the Punjabi community in Canada has
made great strides in maintaining Punjabi culture outside of Punjab,
with references to the Ghadar movement and the creation of Vancouver’s first Gurdwara on Ross Street. Gurbhajan Gill continues to write and publish his own work, all while fighting for the Punjabi literary community’s relevance and presence in India.

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