Is Urdu just a servant’s language today?

Published: November 7, 2013

Parents today feel proud when their children are fluent in English, but have little or no hold over Urdu. This is wrong and degrading for our national language. PHOTO: AFP

Recently, a comment made on the language that is a part of our identity, Urdu, left me in utter shock.

A friend of mine told me about an incident that took place with his sister, who’s an Urdu teacher for grade one and two in Lahore. A student, in one of her classes, was refusing to speak in Urdu during the period. When she asked him as to why he was being so difficult, his response was nothing less than shocking and disappointing.

‘My mom told me that Urdu is a servant’s language’

Please take a moment, sit back and let that phrase sink in.

A servant’s language?

Our mother tongue, the language that unites all the provinces, the language that was at the centre of the movement of our freedom, is a servant’s language?

The language that was used to bring about change and which is respected all over the world is now considered unspeakable by the Pakistani elite.

Infuriated with this remark, my friend’s sister requested a meeting with the child’s mother and, lo and behold, the audacity of the mother when confronted with this news was even more startling.

“Well, I will allow my son to speak in Urdu while in your class only, but you do realise that if my son is to get anywhere in this country, leave alone the world, he must be fluent in English. Urdu for him is not important, at all.”

I am ashamed of myself to admit this, but don’t you think she has a point?

I mean look at our job market. You might not know anything about the job but, if you can speak English, you’ll be preferred over the rest.

Let’s say you and another candidate have the same knowledge base, but you’re fluent in English and he’s not, who do you think will get the job?

Even on our so-called Urdu channels, we see the younger generation speaking in Minglish – partial Urdu and a whole lot of English.

I remember attending a guest lecture by Zia Mohyeddin, where the topic of discussion was ‘our identity’. He said that he would conduct half the lecture in English and the other half in Urdu. The man did just that. Throughout the two hours, he did not use one language mixed with the other.

His point was simple – know who you are, respect where you come from and give importance to knowledge and one way to do that is to respect the different languages you speak.

Although I was born in Rawalpindi, most of my early years have been spent abroad. When I was four-years-old, my family decided to move to Hong Kong, where we stayed for eight years and then moved back to Lahore. During this time, I had spent a little over seven years in a British school with English as the only mode of communication and it wasn’t until we were back in Pakistan that I actually got a chance to read Urdu.

Sure we read the Quran, hence we were aware of the written characters and of course the language spoken at home was Urdu, but we weren’t given a chance to spend a lot of time on learning Urdu since we were too busy learning English.

It is one of my biggest regrets that I don’t know how to read my own mother tongue properly. While my friends speak volumes on the beauty of our language, I’m oblivious to most of it.

From the passionate words of Allama Iqbal and Faiz Ahmed Faiz to the pain and disappointment portrayed in Habib Jalib’s poetry and the importance of love and compassion shared by Mir Taqi Mir, I am ignorant of it all.

Even the works of living legends like Bano Qudsia, Anwar Maqsood and Zia Mohyeddin are pieces which I don’t ever remember reading.

That being said, I respect my language a lot and I would want my daughter to speak it fluently while growing up. I plan to share with her as much as I can from the masterpieces of our great Urdu literature.

Not all parents feel this way.

When I look at our nation I notice the increasing importance given to English and the vilification of Urdu, and it begins with the mindset that you see in this particular case. The mother is adamant that without English, her child is going nowhere and achieving nothing.

I wonder who is to blame – ourselves as parents, or the institutions that have shaped us this way?

Adeel.Ansari

Adeel Ansari

Adeel Ansari moonlighted as an RJ on Cityfm89 (as Jellyman) but now works at Henkel after completing his MBA-Marketing from Lahore School of Economics and is currently settled in Dubai. He tweets as @Adeel_Ansari (twitter.com/Adeel_Ansari)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Pappu

    Yes Urdu is servant’s language. Servants of Saudia and West. Being a Muslim majority nation Arabic should have been given the priority over Urdu but surprisingly it is English educated Pakistanis prefer over Urdu??Recommend

  • lubna

    Stop feeding this emotional nonsense.Read about Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and than do the talkingRecommend

  • raj

    You don’t have to be ashamed. Its a valid truth that English is the Language all over the world. We do all the daily dealings in english all the time. our nation needs to educate and educate in english so to compete in this competitive world. Urdu is not regarded as important because any way a child will learn it because of surrounding. You can easily see that students who do not understand english are far behind than those who do. We need to take up this fact and take it up fast. Urdu, unfortunately, is not important because we let it go down the drain.Recommend

  • DLX Area 1

    Your mothertongue is Punjabi. You have already made it a language of servants and adopted someone else’s language. Now, why do you cry when a mother rejects it only to adopt yet another one. Worry about Punjabi, not Urdu.Recommend

  • Shehzad Sheikh

    It is not only about speaking urdu. Last week I was listening to a morning radio show when a 12 year called in who plays baseball and gave the RJ a “bro- fist”. The schools these children go to celebrate Haloween, but Eid or Milaad is a big NO, NO

    I mean where are these children living ? What are they becoming….Recommend

  • Ovais

    This is one of the least awefull things the elite class is doing to pakistanRecommend

  • Tanzeel

    What I heard is people of Punjab especially Lahoris ‘feel proud’ of learning and speaking Urdu.Recommend

  • Ahmed Malik

    This is because they hate PunjabiRecommend

  • Ahmed Malik

    Yes and Pakistan should be renamed as Al-BakistanRecommend

  • Ahmed Malik

    Same happened with Punjabi. Urban Punjabis are trying their best to speak Urdu since 1947 after declaring Punjabi a Paindu(Rural) Language which is still despite their efforts language of the majority.Recommend

  • Asad

    Although english is the language we do most of our daily dealings in and it is a plus point in the job market. Urdu is being vilified by most media outlets, and knowing that electronic and print media are everywhere, it does affect the masses. The clocks that we see on news channels use english characters. Urdu numbers are nowhere to be found these days. Even as I write this, there is a mobile network ad on the bottom of my screen using the english alphabet to write urdu. If the media takes the responsibility of giving urdu the importance it deserves, in its originality, pretty soon this concept of urdu being a lower class language will start fading away.Recommend

  • Asad

    * minus the ‘although’Recommend

  • Absar

    I don’t think the author is aware of the fact that English is an official language of Pakistan. Also, it’s an international medium of communication and one must master the language to survive in the international community.Recommend

  • Guest

    @author…Now you will be again in shock to see comments on your blogRecommend

  • Omair Shahid

    true that we need English for international medium of communication but it don’t mean you have to leave urdu behind urdu is our mother tongue and we should give importance to urdu like we do to English.there are many examples of the people ,footballer,tennis players look at china who is supplying every thing to the world yet they stick to there mother tongue and never had problem with communicating. think about itRecommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad

    Most of the people in Punjab speak Punjabi and their mother tongue is Punjabi. To become civilized and raise our status we sacrificed Punjabi for Urdu. To become more civilized and to attain higher status we are sacrificing Urdu. What’s the big deal then. For me, both Urdu and English are foreign languages, imposed upon me by others. My father made mistake that he fell in trap of those hypocrite elites who themselves spoke English but preached us to speak Urdu. I will never make that mistake.Recommend

  • Naimat Khan

    I am doing hard to teach my kids Pashto as when they speak Urdu and English they find Pashto difficult. My teacher teach professor Shamim Akhter once told me, if you want to learn and speak English, they dream English and discard Urdu. The theory proved wrong letter. My six year old son, Saad Khan, is proving this completely wrong by speaking English, Urdu and Pashto with equal fluency. He learning Arabic too mashaAllah.Recommend

  • Angel of Darkness

    English numbers are actually called Arabic NumeralsRecommend

  • mecha

    What if his mother tongue is not punjabi? Just because you live in Punjab doesn’t mean its your mother tongue.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/AmirTut King tut

    It is not ‘leave’ alone, but ‘live alone’ is the irony lost upon anyone reading this article. Mr Adeel if you’re going to criticize in a paper then please make sure, that your comments are grammatically correct, and free from errors.Recommend

  • Pappu

    You should worry about your own children.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    Most servants speak their ethnic language, like Pashto,Seraiki,Punjabi,Sindhi,Balochi etc I’ve never heard a “servant” speak in urdu with their family or friends of the same ethnic heritage.

    Fact:Only 7% of Pakistanis speak Urdu

    America doesn’t have an official national language, neither should we.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    it’s funny how it’s Indians that post comments like this, and not Pakistanis.Recommend

  • sterry

    Very good observation. Many Pakistanis have allowed themselves to fool themselves into thinking that the native languages like Punjabi, Sindi, Baluchi and Pashtu are backward in favour of Urdu / Hindi. Now we see the pendulum has even gone more extreme to include labelling Urdu / Hindi as equally backward as the nation’s native languages. It’s shameful that some people in Lahore look down on Punjabi and themselves so it doesn’t surprise me that Urdu / Hindi is now also seen as backward. In North America, kids are ashamed of speaking Urdu / Hindi because they say it sounds, “jaahil” just like their parents used to say about Punjabi. The key is for people to feel proud of their native tongues as well as Urdu / Hindi. Your argument will make more sense when you learn to speak fluent Punjabi and read Punjabi in the original Persian script called Shahname.Recommend

  • ali

    i totally agree with you…first they were ashamed of their mother tongue Punjabi and now they are ashamed of their National language. what i dont understand is how can a language be classified as bad or for servants only????? Punjabis should be ashamed of themselves and not their language!!!
    and by this i dont mean we should not learn english..yes we should strives to perfect ourselves in that lang but that doesnt mean we should not speak ours!!! and these ppl are idiots as they dont know what a multi-lingual person is worth in the international community!!Recommend

  • Parvez

    Agree with what you say. A child can easily absorb at least 3 languages simultaneously especially at the tender age of Grade 1 or 2.
    In my view it should be English, Urdu and then the provincial language upto a certain grade.Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    it is amazing how you post such nonsense. in any case adapt Arabic language, dress and culture but leave us in peace.Recommend

  • nishantsirohi123

    Your languages are Punjabi, Balochi , sindhi and pushto….Urdu belongs to Delhi and Awadh regions of India.

    punjabi and sindhi have been systametically eradicated, the same was tried with Bengali and rest is history and geographyRecommend

  • Ammar

    I am startled to see the comments here. This is a very commendable article and at the right place i.e English newspaper. Love Urdu language! it is beautiful and powerful.Recommend

  • H Godil

    Am I the only one that found errors in the text written on the black board in the picture?Recommend

  • Shaista

    Worry about Nationalism not provionsialism!Recommend

  • Amrita Yasin

    @74753c26a956b52391e8e909a021a221:disqus, @disqus_KhFpGgpRan:disqus Shame on all those who are fine with what’s happening to Urdu under the excuse that’s what happened to the local languages. That was wrong, and it should not have happened. Can we move on now?
    @3430efb279ddb407fcca02e0d2ea816e:[email protected]_NlK7iClAR1:disqus The problem isn’t that children are being taught English. The problem is it’s being done at the expense of national/local languages. Our Urdu is spattered with English vocabulary; you barely run into a 20 year old something these days who can carry on a conversation in Urdu without resorting to English words and phrases. Simply put we are not fluent in Urdu. I honestly don’t see why educating a child to be fluent in multiple languages is such a big deal. It happens all over the world.Recommend

  • Nadir Hasan

    PAKISTAN LANGUAGES ARE: PUNJABI, SINHI, PUSHTO & BALUCHI.
    Urdu was the language of Muslims of Pre-Partition India.
    The tragedy of Urdu was/is that it was IMPOSED upon the relatively simple fuedal peoples of West Pakistan (& Muslim Bengal) after 1947.
    This is also the reason why Pakistanis who claim Urdu as their mother tongue have been considered ‘Refugees’ from the very beginning.
    Had Urdu been ‘left alone’ as a minority language, such as Gujrati, there would have been much less Inter-Ethnic conflict in Pakistan.
    Finally, the ‘National’ lingo in Pakistan is not Urdu at all, but a version of this refined and sophisticated language (high Persian content).Recommend

  • Vishant

    Why are Punjabis so much worried about Urdu and hate their own mother tongue. Urdu is any an Indian language, please make one of your own languages the national language of Pakistan. Have some self respect.Recommend

  • Taj Ahmad

    It is very sad, our people are divided based on languages and no one wants to
    talk in our national language Urdu if you are in Punjab, Balochistan, KP or Sindh
    except Hyderabad and Karachi where people freely talk in Urdu.

    Recommend

  • Xee

    “Your mothertongue is Punjabi. You have already made it a language of servants and adopted someone else’s language. Now, why do you cry when a mother rejects it only to adopt yet another one. Worry about Punjabi, not Urdu.”

    Urdu is his mother tongue and his language as a Pakistani. Urdu is “someone else’s language” for you Indians. Secondly, Punjabi itself is a language which displaced multiple other languages before being “adopted” by the people of Punjab. The shift to Urdu takes place because the people of Punjab are now primarily Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Xee

    “Urban Punjabis” have been speaking Urdu since 1837. It was once spoken by all “Urban Punjabis” regardless of religious identity. How could Punjabi become the “language of majority” when only barely half of Pakistani could speak it? Urdu, on the other hand, is spoken by almost all Pakistanis, making it the rightful language of the majority. Secondly, Punjabi is rendered to be the language of the “uncultured” because Punjabi is seen as a very rude language. Hence, its current status in Pakistan. In India, it is seen as the language spoken only by the Sikh and hence its rejection by the Punjabi Hindus. So, no people in Punjab actually look up at this language.Recommend

  • Xee

    Coming from the servants of Brahmans? Why do you learn to speak English when Sanskrit should be your mother tongue?Recommend

  • Xee

    what does Al-Bakistan mean? The Arabs called this soil Al-Sindh, Balochistan, Panjab etc. Why would we resort to calling ourselves Al-Bakistan when the Arabs already have names for us and we are capable of naming our own country by ourselves? Our Muslimness was not carved away by calling our land Pakistan and not “Al-Bakistan”. The name Pakistan came into being with the amalgamation of multiple soils and aptly found its definition in the Muslim language of Urdu.Recommend

  • Saad

    I don’t care about Urdu as Urdu is not my mother language. My mother language is Punjabi and i feel embarrassed and ashamed that i don’t know it properly. I can speak well but problem lies in writing it and having massive vocabulary.Recommend

  • P S

    Minglish – partial Urdu and a whole lot of English…..actually it should be Urrlish…..if you want to refer it as a mean language and call it Minglish then its ok from my side..Recommend

  • Varun

    Well, what is wrong if ‘servants’ speak a language? Your class consciousness triggered your misplaced love for your national language. You should have instead taken the example set by your ‘servants’ and volunteered to learn and teach it yourself.

    I say that your love for your language is misplaced, because you put up a case for it in purely emotional terms, entirely from its past riches, and for only the tiny elite that you belong to.

    Once you start thinking of how can it be re-interpreted and made relevant for tomorrow, for all comers, would you start talking.

    Many Regards.Recommend

  • Khan

    Exactly Recommend

  • Xee

    “Your mothertongue is Punjabi. You have already made it
    a language of servants and adopted someone else’s language. Now, why do you cry
    when a mother rejects it only to adopt yet another one. Worry about Punjabi,
    not Urdu.”

    Urdu is his mother tongue and his language as a Pakistani. Urdu is “someone
    else’s language” for you Indians. Secondly, Punjabi itself is a
    language which displaced multiple other languages before being
    “adopted” by the people of Punjab. The shift to Urdu takes place
    because the people of Punjab are now primarily Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Bilal

    I wish I could speak urdu like Zia muhiuddin, Anwar Maqsood. They are truely living legends whom we should learn.Recommend

  • Wasio Abbasi

    Apparently you are giving too much credit to Urdu. Nearly all Pakistanis DO NOT speak Urdu. In fact, barely half of Pakistan’s population UNDERSTANDS Urdu and that’s because it has been thrust upon the whole population by government. I still do not know who gives the idea that Urdu is the unifying force for all provinces of Pakistan when these provinces have been neighbors for centuries and respect each others’ languages. You may have not noticed but there are sizable populations of Punjabis, Balochis and Pathans living in Sindh, Sindhis and Pathans living in Punjab, Punjabis and Sindhis and Pathans living in Balochistan and Punjabis and Balochis living in KPK. If that still doesn’t break this myth of “Urdu being unifying force”, then those believing it need to smell their morning cup of coffeeRecommend

  • Pappu

    I dont believe in mother tongue. I should adopt a language, dress or lifestyle which suits me and not my mother.Recommend

  • Pappu

    I believe everyone is adopting English language, the global and most powerful language of communication.Recommend

  • Pappu

    If you think i am Indian..i am not!Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Dear Adeel, please re-visit your opinion on urdu through another perspective, that of pukhtuns, baluchs, sindhi’s, punjabi, kashmir, gilgit and chitrali’s all citizens of Pakistan. No one owns URDU in these regions. All of them speak in their mother tongue to communicate.

    Wouldn’t it be better if our leaders after partition had adopted English as the official language and taught respective regional language in schools in that particular region , that way all of us would be good in English language (even our servants) and at the same time everybody would have tried to learn other regional languages for better communication. for example a Punjabi child living in Baluchistan would have learned Balochi and English. This would have created harmony among people of different regions because it is natural to develop affiliations with someone who knows your language. Urdu could not develop a BOND amongst our people and that is why we lost Bangladesh and still living in a state of utter confusion. So i guess the students mother was right after all.Recommend

  • Salma

    This is identity crisis. Out of 500 chinese only 1 might know English. Think.Recommend

  • Salma

    Have you every heard about countries like China / Japan????Recommend

  • Irtza Shahan

    Sir Syed Ahmed was a member of Freemasons . Do a bit of research about Syed ahmed khan outside of your course books ! then do the talking.Recommend

  • Xee

    Vishant,

    Hindi is the language of Northern India and English is the language of the people in England. So why are these two languages your official language? Before preaching about self-respect, shouldn’t you walk the talk? Let’s start by discarding English from your constitution and then schools. Surely, Indians can be the role models for Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Ahmed Malik

    I am really sorry, you have no idea what you are talking about, just google it.48% of Pakistanis still speak Punjabi after massive schooling in Urdu. Urdu is a foreign language that was imposed on us for i don’t know what reason. I don’t even want to comment on whatever you said you are highly misinformed Punjabi Hindus and a small minority of Punjabi Muslims in India do speak Punjabi, My Punjabi friends from India are surprised when they get to know that Urdu is even understood in Lahore,the place that used to be the centre of Punjabi civilization and If you go to London and meet some British Pakistanis who migrated in 60s you’ll find that they speak english and punjabi but no urdu ask them why, Punjabi is a cultured language there is more literature in Punjabi than it is in Urdu but Urdu has a status of an academic language that Punjabi never had, P.S I dont want to undermining Urdu, I just tried to present Punjabi’s case.Recommend

  • Ahmed Malik

    I know both Urdu and Punjabi very well, but the fact remains the fact that Urdu is a foreign language and if it is being replaced by another foreign language whats the big deal? and why was there a need to make Urdu the national language? there are many countries that do not even have a national language, Instead of celebrating the diversity of our country we tried to kill it by making one foreign language that Nawabs from India brought with themselves superior over our very own local languages.Recommend

  • farhad

    can you please give some references ???Recommend

  • Vishant

    Why should we discard it? We love it, it is the language of our friends English and Americans. English is an international language and even German universities are now offering post graduate and masters degrees in English. It is the language of science and technology and the whole knowledge of this world is available in English, I know you people don’t care about education and knowledge but we care. Pakistanis, being Arabs, hate everything that is associated with India, Indian civilization and Indian culture (ironically the people of the land of the pure are more crazy about Bollywood movies that the Indians themselves) but still made an Indian language their national language. I find it quite amusing when I see Pakistanis claiming how different they are than Indians and that too in an Indian language, Urdu.Recommend

  • Faiz Ahmed

    Urdu is the language of the most educated class of Pakistan……So it should be good………..and rest all languages are just lame except for Sindhi which is somewhat better in comparison then all other languages. Punjabi doesn’t even have it own literature, speaking pashto sounds like a rock in a food can and Balochi I don’t even know how it sounds……..so all you people who think Punjabi Pashto, Balochi and Sindhi is good it is just plain stupid……PeaceRecommend

  • Salman

    It’s a language – get over it. Why do I need to know urdu to be ‘pakistani’? I’m a proud pakistani but I don’t care about not being able to speak urdu.Recommend

  • Pappu

    Nobody should be ashamed of adopting powerful, universal and most common language of communication in the world i.e English. One World One Language. English is bringing all humans closer to each other. Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, French etc etc are learning and talking English to mingle with the global community.Recommend

  • Pappu

    Chinese and Japanese are also learning english to mingle with the outer world.Recommend

  • Saad

    The english language is popular around the world because the powerful nations around the world have influence. Here’s something interesting: No matter how patriotic you are, if Germany had won the world war we would all be speaking German right now.Recommend

  • smbfhs

    Yes, it’s a public servant’s language! All the migrants who go to Karachi for work speak this language while the home owners speak only Punjabi, lol! Better yet! Ask the TV stations to not do broadcast or advertising in Urdu and neither should be national Assembly or political leaders talk or give speeches in this Language. But then again…they are the servant of the people and so have to speak the language that public servant speak. Maybe that’s where the confusion started from__ language of the gov’t servants or national institutions for addressing national issues in one language that every poor and illiterate can understand too. Nice try! Mr Adeel Ansari, lol!Recommend

  • anam tariq

    awwwwwwww you do not know urdu . ylou are so cute and cool. lol. that was sarcasm actually.Recommend

  • smbfhs

    Not just Pakistan but India too was so helpless infront of Muslim cultural language, that instead of finding their own they just changes the name and dialect of Urdu and call it Hindi soon after partition. Actually Pakistan adopted their own governmental language first than India did the following. Since when Hindi came into being? Where are you local languages? Hind only mean India and Urdu was the Indian national language as much as its today…not spoken everywhere in India. Pakistan is not a foreign land, it’s carved out of India, if you know a little bit of geography. And so most all India traits and identities came along with the land as it’s own, got that? So Pak is not using Indian language but it’s own Language our ancestors gave to the people of India. Little tricky, right? I bet!Recommend

  • hasham

    for what reason i dont know we are not bieng taught punjabi even no basic history,origin,grammar of it in school level where as in all other provinces they have sujects in thier native language,…..Recommend

  • Xee

    Ahmed Malik, please don’t insult other people’s intelligence by citing “google” data. How many % of Pakistani speak Urdu? 7% as the google data are saying? Urdu was the language used by Punjabi Hindus in Lahore before 1947 so how could your “Punjabi friends from India [be] surprised” that Urdu is the de facto language of Lahore. Shouldn’t they be surprised that Urdu was once spoken by their Hindu ancestors?Recommend

  • Xee

    Wasio,

    what language should the “sizable populations of Punjabis, Balochis and Pathans living in Sindh, Sindhis and Pathans living in Punjab, Punjabis and Sindhis and Pathans living in Balochistan and Punjabis and Balochis living in KPK” speak among themselves and with other Pakistanis? Can you come out with one language which which will allow the Punjabis to speak with Sindhis and the Pukthuns with the Punjabis?Recommend

  • Maria

    Isn’t this a real problem if people live in Punjab and can’t speak Punjabi? It shows you don’t want to integrate in Punjab or celebrate its thousands of years old history. How do you relate to the people and culture there? This is the reason why there is so much tension in Sind. People have moved there from other provinces or from India but have not made an effort to learn Sindi.Recommend

  • Such ignorance

    your ignorance about history is amazing. Are you saying majority of Pakistani population in 1947 spoke Urdu? FYI: in 1947, majority of Pakistanis spoke Bengali.Recommend

  • Why discard English?

    India does not have any national language but 22 official languages which includes Urdu. India has never believed in imposing a language of plurality on its diverse population.

    When English gives our citizens an advantage in the global labour marketplace, why should we shy away from it? We can celebrate our own culture and identity without rejecting other cultures but rather prefer to learn whatever is useful from wherever we can find it.Recommend

  • Need a mirror?

    And out of 500 Pakistanis, how many do you think know English? Why do you think that both Dawn and Express News had to wind up their English channels?Recommend

  • Lara Zuberi

    Nicely written piece about the tragedy inherent in our society. A child’s words are an innocent mirror of his mother’s thinking. It shows not only how we are sadly ashamed of our beautiful language, but also how little we value our servants.Recommend

  • Asad

    Thanks. What i meant to say was they use Arabic Numerals instead of what is used in urdu.Recommend

  • abhi

    that is a wishful thinking. They may learn language to communicate but they will not leave their own language for english.Recommend

  • abhi

    please spare Awadh region from urdu, it was once language of elite from Lucknow but common language for the region is Awadhi.Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    If everyone starts speaking english then that would be the language which will unite us … No ? … did Arabic language unite all arabs ??? so chill guys … there’s more to unity than one language !!!!! and not to make the Indian trolls euphoric here, India progressed just because of English …Recommend

  • Vishant

    Both Urdu and Hindi are the offshoot of Hindustani language, try again. Soon after independence Hindi was declared the official language of India, but it is still not the national language. Each state in India has the right to legislate its own official language. Urdu has never been the official or national language of India. It doesn’t matter whether Pakistan was carved out of India or Arabia, the reality is that Pakistanis have adopted Urdu as their national language which has never been associated with any ethnic group living in Pakistan. It was brought to Pakistan by some refugees from India after partition, and apart from Pakistanis hardly any other sane person in this whole world can understand that how come a language, which was brought by the handful of immigrants from India and who hardly make up 7% of the whole population, can be made the national language of the country. Not only that but every possible step is taken to make sure that the regional languages die out soon.
    Recommend

  • Sabih Zafar Ullah

    Its just Karma, it’s EXACTLY the same Urdu lovers did to Punjabi… hünn patta laggya! (now you know!)Recommend

  • Sabih Zafar Ullah

    1. Punjabi IS the mother tongue of those born to people with Punjabi descent.

    2. Urdu was a language of a province, which was imposed on the people of these 5 provinces, one of which could not accept this tyrannical decision and went its own way.

    3. Punjabi never displaced any language, it was born in Punjab and evolved through time (through impact by invasions and migrations)

    4. Save Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Siraiki and other local languages, (not foreign languages like Urdu)Recommend

  • Sabih Zafar Ullah

    Apparently, your definition of Pakistan is Karachi.
    In rural Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and KP only the local languages are spoken and not the foreign ones like Urdu.
    Also, remember Bengal? Yeah, they had the courage to stand up against this Urdu idiocy being imposed on them, they never spoke it and they never again will.Recommend

  • Sabih Zafar Ullah

    Brother, these Urdu imposing tyrants have killed her, they have killed what our fathers spoke, and their fathers, and their fathers before them….Recommend

  • stevenson

    Urdu and Hindi are considered the same language by Western linguists; just different dialects of the same language. Whether you want to admit it or not Urdu comes from what is now India. Punjabi is older and richer than Urdu in many ways. If both Urdu and English are foreign, why not choose English. English is more useful than Urdu anyway.. All educated people in Pak can communicate in English. Only the uneducated people can only speak in Urdu but not English. If everyone adopts English and gives up Urdu, all Pakistanis can enjoy the same advantages to education and jobs.Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    Moderator … thanks … you killed the “heart” of the comment !!!!Recommend

  • Taj Ahmad

    Urdu is my life
    Urdu is my love
    Urdu is identity
    Urdu is my culture
    Urdu is mixed with most languages
    Urdu is Bollywood & Lolly wood
    Urdu is only link in India & Pakistan
    Urdu is spoken in most parts of the world
    Urdu is singer Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Talat Mahood, Lata, Rushdie
    Urdu is actor Waheed Murad, Nadeem, Shami Kapoor, Dilip Kumar
    Urdu is national language of PakistanRecommend

  • Abid P. Khan

    What percentage of the Chinese people ever get exposed to English?Recommend

  • Ejaz

    Well..I wonder why Pakistan chose Urdu as the national language. Any why did this had to be at the cost of native languages? Is it because it originated in Lucknow, the land of ‘nawabs’. Looks like most Pakistanis have an inferiority complex about it. Going by majoritarian policies it could have been Punjabi but then again majoritarian politics are wrong to say the least.

    In India where I live almost a third of Muslims originate from, what is known as the hindi heartland, the very populous states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. These two states are heavily populated and their combined population is to the tune of 35 crores, almost a third of India’s population. And these states have lagged quite behind the west and the south in Industrial output as well as the services sector. Being very populous and being rather ‘backward’ ensured droves upon droves of people leaving for the western and the southern regions. And there are many Muslims too who are among the emigrants.

    Many of these people who have made the west and the south their homes look down upon the local languages as rude or unworthy despite the ironical fact that it is they who have chosen to go there. Some of the emigrant Muslims hide behind a facade of ‘aadaab’ and choses to make the localite learn Urdu. Some of the emigrant Hindus would use nationalism as his smokescreen and say how it is to be spoken by everyone is India.

    I’ve had a long discussion with a man from Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) who had just moved to the southern Indian city of Mangalore (Karnataka) and was trying to persuade the Imam to give his sermon in Urdu instead of Tulu (the local language). Now a sermon is like a spiritual filter. It is supposed to let the listener temporarily leave the materialistic world behind, to awaken the spirits and it should force the listener to take a peek in, to introspect in as sincere a manner as possible. Now if this sermon were to be conducted in chaste Urdu, all the listeners being dumbfound at the complexity of the language (notwithstanding the fact that a majority of them would hardly understand the meaning of it) and the purpose of the sermon would be defeated. Thankfully I was able to convince the fine fellow of where I was coming from. Some of my Hindu friends at office tell of a similar tale just that the language their religious compatriots from the North wish to use is Hindi.

    So the only thing I’d like to say is, language is an integral part of your culture. Its always good to know more than your mother-tongue. In fact it has been proved that speakers of more than one language happen to delay the onset of dementia in old age. Do not ever consider your mother-tongue as less worthy of respect or some other language as more refined just because it seems to. Ultimately Allah SWT is not going to judge you by how refined your language was. Its what in your hearts that matter, your intentions. Indulging in, say backbiting, in one of more ‘exquisite’ and ‘refined’ languages can never be considered more worthy than singing the many praises of your lord in rustic Punjabi or speaking a kind word to a sick man in say Marathi.Recommend

  • Fatima Ali

    My thoughts exactly. And the way Mr.Zia conducted the show must was great. I believe when we speak in English, it’s good if we’re fluent. But when we speak in Urdu, we MUST be fluent! If we don’t speak real, beautiful Urdu who will? It’s our language and WE have to take care of it.Recommend

  • smbfhs

    You just appreciated the beauty of the Urdu language,…How fast and conveniently it became the national cohesive force when the Arch Enemy who thought we would fall apart in ten years. Well, you guys did try the current anti-nationalism & linguistic lines disintigration you tried in Bengal. As a mater of Fact Urdu Came back to where it was initiated from__ the Invaders’ lashkars were made in Sarhad, Balochistan, Sindh & Punjab and so the language found its home back again. So you don’t think Pakistan was part of India and even the Home of Ashoka and Budha? Read archeology not Indian attempt on history from morning radio shows!Recommend

  • Kind

    All the people! Pl know that language is medium for exchange of thoughts. Every region has different mode of speech, known as ‘mother tongue’. This loves every one. But if you want to communicate with others, you have to learn that language. The British Rulers made it mandatory for its officials to learn the native language for free communication with local people. We must learn English as most of scientific knowledge is in English, not that it is adopted by the elite in daily life. Europe learnt Arabic to have access to have access to knowledge that was current and modern in those times. Urdu is national language and understood in all regions of Pakistan. But this not mean that mother tongue be forsaken.Recommend

  • Safeer

    Surprised to see a lady from Rawalpindi worried about Urdu, not about Punjabi.Recommend

  • Safeer

    Have you ever read Bulleh Shah, Waris Shah or being from Rawalpindi Mian Muhammad Bakhsh. These are the poets you must read and must share with your children. Ghalib lived thousands of kilometers away from the place you belong to.Recommend

  • Taj Ahmad

    I love to speak Urdu, this is the only language mixed of world most top languages
    in words only such as English, Hindi, Arabic and Persian.Recommend

  • Taj Ahmad

    Well said Kind in response to Raj’s comments, I agreed with Kind’s
    comments and it make sense 100%.
    Urdu is well spoken language in Pakistan, India and we should
    respect our national language and be proud of it.Recommend

  • Annie

    More languages mean higher exposure to diverse literature. Moreover, the more languages you learn, the brain becomes more active. Doesn’t matter how significant or insignificant the language is. If the mother only wants her son to learn English, it’s her son’s and her loss. Children’s ability to absorb languages is limitless. Therefore, the mother’s decision to teach only English is just narrow-minded and harmful for her own child.Recommend

  • Taj Ahmad

    Urdu is most spoken and understandable language in South East Asian countries
    such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, also Urdu is official national language
    in Pakistan.
    Recommend

  • Taj Ahmad

    Sabih, Urdu is not foreign language, it is our national
    language and well spoken in South East Asia and as
    Pakistani, I am proud of speaking Urdu.Recommend

  • Taj Ahmad

    Pappu, Urdu is our national language and also it connected all Pakistanis from
    Karachi to Peshawar and Lahore to Quetta and Azad Kashmir as one nation,
    remember….United We Stand….Divided We Fall.
    Recommend

  • mecha

    Language has evolved over the years. If you expect Punjabi to be the same as it was 100 years ago then you are naive to say the least.

    I live in Scotland but that does not mean I need to learn Gaelic. There is nationalism in Scotland but they are mature enough to know speaking Gaelic wont get them anywhere.

    There are people who speak Gaelic and there are even TV channels but I have never heard anyone complain about not speaking Gaelic.

    There is a reason why Urdu was given the status of national Language.Recommend