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Balwant Singh Sanghera: Surrey, BC, Canada

Hockey Night in Punjabi is Great for the Punjabi Community

Surrey, Vancouver, Nov. 24, 2010
Balwant Sanghera

Sometime ago, CBC was kind enough to start broadcasting Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi. Two very articulate and capable young Indo-Canadians have been doing an excellent job in bringing the broadcast to Punjabi homes in Canada. The whole Punjabi community was thrilled with this development. It was another feather in our multiculturalism’s cap. The broadcast of hockey in Punjabi glued three generations of Punjabi children, parents and grandparents to the TV sets. It went a long way in overcoming the generation gap and bringing families to-gather.

Unfortunately, now, all of a sudden, the CBC is discontinuing this broadcast in Punjabi. The Corporation may have its own reasons to do so. The two likely reasons for this may be either lack of enough audience or the budgetary restraints. That is understandable. However, CBC should also look at the very valuable service to one of the largest minority communities in Canada. CBC is a well-respected national institution. It has been bringing people of diverse cultures, ethnicities and ages to-gather from coast to coast to coast. This broadcast in Punjabi was doing just that.

In this context it may be appropriate to mention that the Punjabi community is fully cognizant of the importance of English and French, the two official languages of Canada. As a matter of fact, every Canadian should learn at least one if not both of these languages. Giving some recognition at the national level to any of the other languages is a great step towards inclusiveness. This is the hallmark of this nation.

PLEA has already written a letter to Mr. Hubert T.Lacroix president of CBC urging him to review this decision. Three of our prominent members of parliament-Peter Julian, Ujjal Dosanjh and Sukh Dhaliwal have expressed a keen desire to pursue this matter. As a matter of fact, they have already taken up the issue with appropriate authorities. In the next few days PLEA will also be contacting some more MPs. Since this issue transcends party lines we expect members of all political parties to support it. There is an online petition-punjabihockey.com- being circulated. Please sign it if not already done so. Only 494 people have signed it so far. We need a lot more. The Indo-Canadian media has been doing a commendable job in this regard. On behalf of PLEA, I would like to urge our community to lobby the government and CBC in getting Punjabi Hockey back on air. Hopefully, as a result of these efforts CBC will review its decision and reinstate this popular broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi

Balwant SangheraPresident, Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA Canada)Richmond, BC.

Balwant Sanghera(Richmond resident Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist. He is recipient of the Order of British Columbia and one of Top 25 Canadian Immigrants for 2010)






Balwant Sanghera
President, Punjabi Language Education Association . He is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist in British Columbia ,Canada.