Punjabi is the regional language of Punjab province. The exact beginning of Punjabi language is unknown. Many experts trace its origin to the ancient Dravidians of Harapa civilization (2500 BC). According to the historians it has six main dialects, Multani or Siraiki, Potowar, Chachi, Dhanni, Shahpuri and Majhi Alberuni in nis book called it “Alhindiya”. Majhi is considered as the standard dialect, it is spoken in Lahore and adjacent areas.
Panjabi is rich in mystical and romantic poetry. The very imaginative and artistic exquisite literature, mostly in verses has two forms. One is “Lyric Poetry,” which includes Bait, Kafi-si- harfi, Bara Mah and Satwara. The other one is “Narrative Poetry,” which is composed of various rhythms and meters. References are Qissa Noor Namah, Gulzar, Jang Nama and Vaar. The earliest Punjabi literature can be traced back to the period of Mehmood Ghaznavi.
The foundation of the modern Punjabi literature was laid by Muslims towards the end of the 12th century. Muslim Sufi saints like Madhu Lal Hussain, Sultan Bahu, Bhuley Shah, Waris shah, and Mian Muhammad Bakhsh wrote their mystic poems in the 16th and 17th century. Most important among these are: Heer Ranjha by Waris Shah, Sassi Punnun by Hashim Shah, Sohni Mahinwal by Fazal Shah and Mirza Sahiban by Hafiz Barkhudar. The Sikhs and Hindus also made their contribution to the Punjabi literature. Novels, plays, short stories appeared in the beginning of 20th century.
After the establishment of Pakistan Punjabi poetry made great progress. Punjabi has been taught as an elective subject in colleges of Punjab. Punjabi department has been established in Punjab University where Punjabi language and literature is taught at M.A and Ph.D. levels.
Famous Punjabi Poets:
Some of the famous poets of Punjabi language include: Baba Farid Shakar Ganj Baksh, Shaikh Ibrahim Farid Sani, Madhu Lal Hussain, Sultan Bahu, Bhullay Shah Ali Haider, and Waris Shah.