Punjabi language and culture have gone through great stress since the last two centuries. Due to historical reasons Punjabi was not patronized by its rulers; while the alien rulers from the north had no interest in promoting Punjabi, its indigenous ruler Ranjeet Singh could not replace Punjabi with Persian. Furthermore, Punjabi was the only language that was not recognized as the medium of elementary education by the British. After the independence, Pakistani rulers despised this language, while in India, the position of Punjabi was weakened by dividing the Punjabi speaking areas into many provinces. The only bright spot was the newly carved East Punjab where it has been recognized as the official language. Despite such prolonged hostility by the rulers of the Punjab, it has been kept alive by Sufis, Gurus, Bhagats and the intellectuals of the Punjab. Nevertheless, the advancement of communication technology is creating new pressures on the Punjabi language and culture. Some feel that Punjabi will be extinct if special efforts are not made to revive Punjabi language and culture. The Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA) has been created to be a partner in saving the Punjabi from extinction.

Aims and Objectives of APNA

The essential purpose of APNA will be to promote Punjabi in all communities of the Punjab. Therefore, it is intended to be a non-political, non-religious, non-racial and gender neutral organization. To achieve this purpose, APNA will stress on the following activities:

(1) Teach written Punjabi in all parts of the Punjab. It will encourage the learning of Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi scripts by all Punjabis.

(2) Special efforts will be made to involve Punjabi females who are going to be the most important factor in influencing the future of the Punjabi language. No "mother tongue can survive unless it has the blessings of the mothers."

(3) To overcome the geographical limitations, APNA intends to transcribe the essential Punjabi literature in all scripts (Shahmukhi, Gurmukhi and possibly Hindi) and make arrangements to publish them in India, Pakistan and abroad.

(4) APNA will publish a Punjabi magazine that can be monthly or quarterly. However, the magazine will be published both in Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi scripts.

(5) APNA will establish a theater and film group to produce Punjabi stage plays, TV plays and films.

(6) APNA will establish a library for books and audio-visual material for the purpose of preservation and education.

(7) APNA will make arrangements to import the Punjabi books magazines and newspapers from East and West Punjab in order to keep the community updated.

(8) APNA will arrange seminars and workshops on subjects related to the Punjab and Punjabi.