Has Hindi become our national language?

Published: September 19, 2012

Mastering the art of any of the spoken language through text books is an almost impossible task. PHOTO: REUTERS

Recently, interviews were held for admission at the newly established Cadet College Sarwakai in South Waziristan. It was then that a tribal child, being interviewed by an army officer in Urdu, shocked the interviewer.

The child was asked why he was eager to join cadet college.

“Sir, I want to join the Army”, replied the child.

“Why do you want to join the Army?” asked the interviewer.

The innocent child replied,

“Sir, main apne desh ki raksha karoon ga.”

(Sir, I will protect my country.)

The innocent child had no clue that these were not Urdu words, rather he had replied in pure Hindi instead of his national language! Even an Indian would have felt a sense of pride brought on by the purity and correctness of the sentence.

Having grown up on the fringes of the tribal areas and also having served for a significant duration in North and South Waziristan as well as in Balochistan, the blame can be put squarely on the people at the helm of affairs.

I learnt Urdu from PTV, like many other kids like me, and not in my school because either Pashto or Saraikee (both local languages of the area) were the medium of conversation in the government run schools.

But what about those kids who do not have access to PTV, where are they expected to learn how to speak Urdu?

PTV has very little coverage in FATA and Balochistan. As one moves towards the west from Dera Ismail Khan, the signal for PTV starts losing its strength. The further away you move, the more difficult it is to catch the signal.

I still remember, as a kid, how we used to connect the antenna to two very large bamboos, to give it the maximum possible height in order to catch the transmission signals. Even though this channel was filled with noise, snow and flickering, it was still enough to help us grasp the Urdu language.

While serving in Shawal Valley (North Waziristan Agency), and being an ardent cricket fan like every other Pakistani, my biggest worry was ‘how to watch a live cricket match’. Direct to Home (DTH) services were not very common and hence not easily accessible, so one had to resort to a Free-to-air satellite receiver. However, these only allowed one to watch those cricket matches that were played on Indian Soil — courtesy of Door Darshan. For the rest of the matches, we had to contend ourselves on listening to live commentary on the radio. With the exception of very few posts, located on the highest peaks in the area, PTV signals were nowhere to be found. We used to envy those present at these posts, as they were the few lucky ones who got the opportunity of watching live cricket matches on terrestrial PTV network.

Mastering the art of any of the spoken language through text books is an almost impossible task. While serving in Balochistan, one of the vehicles of the convoy broke down, near Spera Ragha, a village on the Quetta-Loralai Road. While the vehicle was being repaired, I got the opportunity to interact with some local boys, who were observing us with prying eyes; none of them were able to speak in Urdu.

On inquiring, I found that most of the children were students of the Matric class. I was astonished and asked them if they don’t study Urdu as a subject in their schools?

They told me that they do, but they read it in Pashto! By this they meant that Urdu is being translated in Pashto to make them understand what is written. Their main reason for not properly understanding and being unable to speak Urdu was the lack of coverage of PTV’s transmission, which covered only the main cities of Loralai and Zhob in that area.

With the advent of different Direct to Home Indian services and with its easy access, it has targeted these areas and has revolutionised their access to information and different TV channels.

Entertainment channels for children, showing round-the-clock cartoons and animated movies, dubbed in Hindi, and the lack of any proper children’s channels in Urdu has gradually made our forgotten youth experts of Hindi instead of Urdu. They aren’t even aware of the fact that these cartoons are not dubbed in Urdu but are in Hindi and many cannot even differentiate between the two languages!

The use of ‘very difficult Hindi’ words has become a common phenomenon in our youth and this is now gradually being accepted as part and parcel of our culture. It is high time for our electronic media to counter the onslaught of the Hindi language and give special emphasis to those areas where Urdu is not spoken even in schools. 

Do you think our youth is more fluent in Hindi than they are in Urdu?

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Khalid Amir Khan Gandapur

Khalid Amir Khan Gandapur

A soldier who belongs to Kulachi, Dera Ismail Khan. He tweets @kakhangandapur

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

  • Liberal

    Just like Pakistani’s use hindi words more often .. hindi movies now use more urdu words in dialogues .. just like you mentioned the word “raksha” in many hindi movies they now actually use hifazat instead of raksha .. same goes for “Desh” or “Country” many hindi movies now use. watan instead of desh .. Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Hmm.. Is this a Khaled Ahmed effect ?

    Yeh naya trend hai .. Blogs being inspired by opinion pieces and vice versa.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma

    @author: ” … The use of ‘very difficult Hindi’ words has become a common phenomenon in our youth and this is now gradually being accepted as part and parcel of our culture. … ”

    Why all the fuss ? What were you all before you became Muslim ? Recommend

  • Gul Metlo

    This is what will happen when you force to learn an alien languages instead of mother tongues. Urdu has been imposed since the birth of country against the wishes of the people over their native languages. Resulting in the break up of country and divisions in the rest of the country.

    On another note Urdu is just another name of Hindi with a different script. Please refer to over 150 years old Hindi Urdu controversy in subcontinent. Recommend

  • pir saddam shah

    the answer is very simple .we dont have pakistani channels over there and we use to watch indian channels through dish antinas.Recommend

  • Fed Up Indian

    Actually, Urdu is just Persianized Hindi written in the Arabic script. If Pakistan’s founders really wanted to prevent the spread of Hindi, they wouldn’t have imposed Urdu in the first place (which happens to be a language from Western UP, the same place of origin as Hindi), and then everyone would have been more proud of their own language, whether it be Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto, Baloch or whichever.
    Since Hindi and Urdu are mutually intelligible, it’s much easier for a Punjabi or Pathan to ‘learn’ Hindi (if he/she already knows Urdu) by watching television, than learning a language like Sindhi (which is very different from Punjabi, Pashto and Urdu).Recommend

  • Sami

    First of all thank you for your service to our country!! … Two words “MEDIA WARFARE “- while we have focused on and have been relatively successful in guarding our physical borders … we lacked the vision for protecting our language, culture and social values from the onslaught of the Indian and western media.Recommend

  • chandka

    Indeed Hindi is our official national language, we just call it Urdu. Urdu is just another name of Hindi with a different script. Not many people realize this fact in Pakistan, but it is more evident in India and rest of the world- where people do not distinguish between Urdu and Hindi — as its one language with different names at a given time or at different times in history. Some of the names are: Hindi, Hindustani, Khariboli etc. For more on the subject please refer to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindi%E2%80%93Urducontroversy#Gandhi.27sideaofHindustaniRecommend

  • amit

    common indians use raksha not hifazat bro.mostly indian speak hindi/english and local mix language not arabi or urdu .hindi/urdu is mostly used in indian movie songs .but many words we are unable to understand .by the way urdu is indian language and today also many indian muslim communicate each other with urdu.Recommend

  • Aakar

    Lets just combine Hindi and Urdu .. teach it all over the subcontinent specially in both the countries .. and have fun across the countries.Recommend

  • chandka
  • adam

    I don’t see the problem, if you have no problem in using English words like bus or truck while speaking Urdu, why do you have a problem in using words which may be preferred in Hindi. There was never such a thing as standardised Urdu or Hindi, it has been artificially imposed in schools by purists after independence. There has always been a language called Hindustani which has a wide range of vocabulary and dialects, varying according to region, social status, background. It might be understandable that school education has to be standardised but does this mean that this also has to be applied in the everyday spoken language? I was shocked to hear that Punjabi is not taught in schools in Punjab (Pakistan). This is what the purists are doing, destroying whatever difference and flexibility languages offer.
    Why develop this narrow minded inflexibility (like you are in a fort protecting what is inside from all external influence) why not be open to everything and let things naturally evolve. Why not be inclusive rather than exclusive in your approach. Defining Urdu as a sort of non-Hindi and vice versa is plain nonsense. Even in India, the usage of Hindi/Urdu varies a lot, it offers a tremendous amount of flexibility depending on region, background. That’s the reason why Bollywood uses a lot of Hindustani and not pure Hindi or Urdu because it should sound like what is spoken everyday and not the written language used in school curricula. As long as people can understand each other, what’s the harm?Recommend

  • Jat

    Talk about a petty mind writing about petty things. These areas are bombed daily by drones, IEDs, suicide bombers and he worries about the use of a few Hindi words.

    Insecurity and inferiority complex at work.Recommend

  • Kabir

    So the child was speaking “Hindi” just because he used two words that are different from what we use in Pakistan? Instead of saying “main apnay watan ki hifazat karoon ga”, he said “desh ki raksha”….. Urdu and Hindi are two registers of the same language called Hindustani. It is only in the political interests of both Pakistan and India to present them as being totally different languages Recommend

  • Neutralist

    Some people above seem to relate language with religion. Language has to do more with culture than religion. Being conscious about this fact is as important about the identity of one’s culture as it is about keeping cultures distinct enough for the coming generations to study.
    Those who take it to be a petty matter, never really cared about language and it’s dynamics, its association with culture and its roots.Recommend

  • Ali Jamir

    Does it matter. Hindi and Urdu are basically same languages. No one speaks pure Hindi as in Hindi news or pure Urdu as on PTV. It is good to know more languages. Everyone in Pakistan should learn Hindi. Common Hindi speaker and Urdu speaker can understand each other. Dont give religious tinge to languages, Hindi is for Hindus and Indians and Urdu is a Muslim Pakistani language. Urdu was born in India and is an Indian language. We have already lost Bangladesh because we thought Bengali was a Hindu language and forced Urdu on themRecommend

  • Jat

    @Ali Jamir: A ray of hope in all this darkness.Recommend

  • HST

    Even if Urdu and Hindi were completely different languages which is not the case, still languages evolve. Its a fact and you need to get over it. And that’s exactly how they evolve. Both urdu and hindi in turn belong to Indo-European group of languages. So from a linguistic anthropology perspective urdu is closer to European languages than even Arabic. This wouldn’t have been possible if languages were forcefully kept stagnant over the years.Recommend

  • Faraz

    Totally agreed with Jat. Useless.. Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Instead of commending the kid for his patriotism, the poor writer recoils in horror at seeing the hated enemy’s forked tongue (pun intended) emerge from the mouths of babes! It happens only in Pakistan. I think the national pastime of Pakistan is worrying that the world is conspiring to do them in – the constant refrain of a liturgical chant that goes something like this:
    is in danger
    the nukes
    are in danger
    our water supply
    is in danger
    is in danger
    Pakistani cinema
    in in danger
    the youth
    are in danger
    the hijab
    is in danger …. you get the drift.Recommend

  • HH

    Being national languages of separate countries, it would be best if each promoted its own language, like our indian friends are doing here. We appreciate that there are similarities between our cultures, and languages being part of culture will also be similar. Recommend

  • Razi

    Under the rules of linguistics Urdu and Hindi are the same languages.
    Please have a look at the following link :


    The language is called Hindustani. I will point out here that the mother of Urdu or Hindi is Sanskrit and not persian or turkish. It is natural to draw words from the mother language Sanskrit rather then using loan words from persian , arabic or turkish.

    Desh ki rakhsha is far more natural then saying Watan ki hifazat .

    The words Watan and Hifazat both are arabic loan words while Sanskrit has the words Desh and rakhsha.

    Please understand linguistics and human history. Hindustani ( urdu – Hindi ) had started to tent itself since our ancestors, the arians moved to the sub-continent 3000 years ago.Its only that the muslim rulers in the 1600 ADs came and tried to persian-ise the already established Hindustani, by putting persian and arabic loan words in our vocabulary. There is no shame using the Sanskrit words. Do not proliferate a propaganda that might savour our egos but draws our attention away from the reality. Recommend

  • nahmed

    Since 1947, India is making films by telling the cinemagoers that the film is a ‘hindi feature film’. There films are having more then 95% urdu words. Anyone watching indian films now on TV channels can confirm this. So we must not afraid if our women/children learn some hindi words. Urdu not Hindi has covered all indian laguages and is a prime language there.Recommend

  • =A=

    @Razi: I think u are confusing history with reality. Though their origins may have been same, but the reality is that the vocabulary of Urdu is vastly different from than of Hindi as taught in both India and Pakistan. Over the 150 years, Hindi continued drawing words from Sanskrit, and Urdu from Persian, Arabic and Turkish. Culturally Urdu came to be identified with Muslims and Hindi with Hindus. Thus the logic behind the assertion that they are one and the same in this day and age is flawed.Recommend

  • Humaira

    If you need some scientific facts, here are some. Not that science or facts ever convinced any of our countrymen.

    Linguist don’t think Hindi and Urdu are different languages. They are registers (dialects) of the same language (call this language Hindi-Urdu or Hindustani). Note that just adding a few extra words from Persian in one and Sanskrit in other does not make a new language. It just makes new dialects. Almost all languages in the subcontinent have dialects. For instance the Brahmin dialect of many languages have a lot of Sanskrit words, but that does not make it a different language.
    Hindi-Urdu has nothing to do with the geographical area of Pakistan. It is a language of the gangetic valley deriving from khariboli, in turn deriving from the local Prakrit of the UP area, in turn deriving from Sanskrit. It is native only to the muhajir in the current geographical region of Pakistan.
    Urdu is not different language because it uses a different script from Hindi. Typically the same language is written with different scripts. Sanskrit has lots of scripts, example, grantha, devanagiri, Brahmi. Punjabi has two scripts. Turkish has two scripts etc.
    Calling Urdu a Muslim language and Hindi a Hindu language is modern revisionist history on both sides of the border. No such distinction existed a hundred years ago.

    Humaira (linguist by profession)Recommend

  • Dushmann

    first, what is wrong in saying “Sir, main apne desh ki raksha karoon ga.”?
    second you should give some polio drops to those kids instead dose of Persian words. (anyway Persian sounds like ‘shia’ these days). Urdu is Persian mixed desi language from areas around Delhi in days when rulers spoke persian. just as these days half literate people use lot of English words to look ‘cool’. Recommend

  • http://www.zaidzamanhamid.wordpress.com Zaid Hamid

    This incident proves Indian involvement in Waziristan and Balochistan.Recommend

  • A

    @Arijit Sharma:

    I think you mean Pakistani, instead of Muslim.Recommend

  • Jat

    @Humaira: Very nice explanation and some history too. But who is going to listen to a fair, educated linguist ? You are nothing but an expert in languages, what do you know ?Recommend

  • Rajesh

    There are few people who know the history of Hindi/Urdu language. There was a language called “khari boli” which was very popular in UP. During the Mughal rule, a new language called “Hindustani” derived from “Khari boli”, became very popular. The grammar and composition of “Hindustani” comes mostly from Sanskrit and a lot of vocabularies comes from Persian, Arabic, Turkish languages. Over the years, Hindi and Urdu took different direction in the sense that most of the vocabularies in Hindustani of Persian/Arabic/Turkish languages were replaced with Sanskrit. Urdu also took a different direction as most of the Sanskrit vocabularies were replaced with mostly Arabic. The language used in Bollywood is “Hindi/Urdu” mix or rather “Hindustani” which most of the people in cities and towns in India speak. The pure “Hindi” langauge is rarely used in India except in documents published by government in Bihar/UP/Rajasthan, etc. If Indians have no qualms in using “Urdu” vocabularies, why should it be such a big issue in Pakistan. Do people realize that Urdu wouldn’t be Urdu without the grammar and composition derived from Sanskrit? How would you say – “Kya kar rahe ho” (Is there any Urdu word in this as the whole sentence is derived from Sanskrit)Recommend

  • Rajesh

    @=A=:”Thus the logic behind the assertion that they are one and the same in this day and age is flawed.” – No it is not flawed at all. Most of the grammar and composition of Urdu comes from Sanskrit. What is a language without its grammar and composition? While speaking in Hindi/Urdu, we replace a lot of Hindi/Urdu vocabularies with “English”, does it make the language “English”?Recommend

  • Faraz

    The problem with Pakistanies are that they are not good at urdu and english both.Recommend

  • Qaisrani

    I donot see peace coming soon in subcontinent if the young cader of ruling class of Pakistan(military) still thinks like this way.This is pure Pakistani military establishment approach.
    Tell me Major,have you ever got concerned like your visit in Loralai that majority Pushtuns Speak Pushtu in KPK and Balochistan until they move towards cosmopiltan area with mixed of population like in Punjab or SIndh.Let me tell you one more thing,even doctors,Engineers,Univ professors in KPK are more fluent in English than in Urdu.Does it make problem for you??becasue they speak Afghan national language??I am sure no.But why we are so concerned about Hindi??Just because it sounds like Hindu to whom you are brainwashed to hate till death in your academy??Languages and cultures are meant to change with passage of time.Recommend

  • Saud

    Our new generation learn hindi throuugh dubed cartoons and indian movies. I don’t agree wihth the author that if we start showing PTV programs in rural Pakistan then our childern will start speaking Urdu. First why they will watch PTV? make all your programs interesting to all audiances including children. Secondly, Every language should have a room to observed words from other languages. If we obserbed words from English, Persain and Arabic why not from Hindi? with whome we share a culture and history.Recommend

  • Faaltu mein khwam kha

    major saab,stop bothering about those kids,they at least speak something close to Urdu.if you are so puritanically obsessed with Urdu,kindly take some pain and write a blog in Urdu.your very purpose of advocating use of Urdu goes in vein,when you try to bring home this matter in majestic English,in fact a bigger memento of serfdom….Recommend

  • joy

    @ Zaid Ahmed.......as usual ur hilarious comment made my day....

  • Jat

    @joy: Wait till you hear the original – he is even funnier ! :)Recommend

  • Syed Arsalan Ali

    first of all we have to admit the fact that millions of adult Pakistani in different provinces don’t want to speak Urdu because they don’t accept it as National Language calling it “Language of the limited foreigners”. Also every citizen likes to declare his cultural/regional language as National Language, and this issue has been not addressed in decades.
    when adults avoid to speak the national language, then how could we expect that they will train their youth to speak it..??
    The situation in urban centres is somehow different.
    Now comes the second reason that you mentioned i.e. lack of resources and medium.
    At the moment, I have no expectations that the medium of creating harmony i.e. National Language could be spoken more in Pakistan unless the role of regional languages minimizes.
    One more thing already mentioned by someone earlier on this forum is that the alteration of languages through amalgmation of regional languages is increasing day by day throughout the globe and to me it’s a good sign because language is the medium of communication, and it’s supposed to work more effective if this kind of merger is continued.Recommend

  • Char Latan

    By this logic, had this kid said that he wanted to “protect his country” in English he would have wanted to protect Britain.Recommend

  • ….

    I feel sad at all these pseudo-liberals acting like it’s no big deal. The brownie points from indians won’t save you in a war, and you’ll still be a paki/sand nigger; just note that Indians are feeling happy as they have successfully conquered us. Protecting the borders is not more important than protecting your identity, Ottomans ruled the arab world for centuries, yet today they can still be distinguished easily.
    And before someone calls me a fundo or conservative, don’t be so quick to judge, maybe I’m a hardcore satanist who just turns out to value his culture and country.
    P.s., urdu has nothing to do with the evil “up walas” trying to take over the country, try to think logically, urdu is a young languageRecommend

  • Khalid Amir Khan Gandapur

    I totally agree with your scientific facts and I am not amongst those who are not ever convinced by science or facts. Since you seemed to me a learned amongst all the others, who have commented here, is the reason that I felt obliged to respond to you.

    My debate was not about Hindi and Urdu. Please read it carefully and try to get its essence. I quoted the incident just to highlight the difficulties I faced in learning Urdu and very well understood the problem of that innocent child because I hail from the same area.

    Urdu and Hindi have become different languages despite their similarities and same origin. Urdu is the National language of Pakistan and Hindi is of India. Our Indian friends have tried to blur the thin line between both the languages by commenting in such a negative way, that even i started feeling,”Have I written something wrong”. Nobody in Pakistan will accept such words in spoken or written Urdu in schools and colleges and the one using it, will fail miserably.

    I also wanted to highlight the fact to our media that they have to play a proactive role and create an environment of healthy competition where they have to produce quality programs and specially target these areas where Urdu is not being spoken and which have never witnessed PTV signals since time immemorial.Recommend

  • Parvez

    On reading this I was astonished as to why was the officer taking the interview shocked ?
    It just showed how out of touch with reality he was.Recommend

  • Shah Gul Ahmed

    I trust that the author is not trying to hurt any sentiments across the border. What he is trying to focus on is the apathy of successive Pakistani governments to educate its own people, which is now being done through informal means, viz. DTH services.

    His second point is the negative role of Pakistani media. There are no entertainment channels for kids in Pakistan right now. Plus there are no informative channels as well, like discovery, National Geographic. All you can find in the Pakistani press and media is a plethora of News channels. So obviously people are attracted to foreign channels, given the security situation in the country, outdoor entertainment is out of question.

    Some of the comments suggest that Hindi and Urdu are identical. True. But Ghalib only sporadically used pure sanskrit words in his poetry. Same is the case with Iqbal, Faiz, Nasir. In the day and age of these poets, Urdu was well developed and the fact they preferred Urdu over sanskrit proves that once identical languages are not one and same anymore. Wali Dakni used sanskrit words in his poetry because urdu was just nascent back then. The purging of sanskrit words from Urdu started with the advent of Nasikh.

    So I totally agree with the author that media and government should try to preserve the pristine nature of Urdu. New words are always welcome, but these should not be in the form of complete onslaught.

    Finally, the so called enlightened ones on the Pakistani side are forgetting the fact that language is connected to one’s culture, the very same thing they are always trying to preserve. Today is the language imperialism, what’s next then dress code, eating habbits, living habits. Finally, we would one day come to a state where Caste system would also be accepted – the very thing that our neighbours are trying to get rid of.

    That’s how cultural imperialism works. In the 80s it was Arab imperialism forced on us. Now it is the Indian imperialism being forced on us. This is what the author is trying to point out. Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    so what?????Recommend

  • Maria

    @=A=: Who are you fooling – most people abroad know that Urdu and Hindi are basically the same language with a few different words. That’s why a lot of people in the UK prefer that their children speak Pashtu, Baluchi or Sindi. They don’t like to be confused with IndiansRecommend

  • http://www.kabacreations.com Vishnu Dutta

    Dude, you have written the entire article in English, are you a christian agent?

    it is weird that a person writes an abusing article in one foreign language about the infiltration of another “Foreign” language mean while ignoring its mother language. crazy. you should instead write for daily jung or ummat akhbar.Recommend

  • http://www.rewaj.com Hina Safdar

    Well that’s the cultural Invasion through TV channels. I can see kids using Hindi words in cities too as compared to Urdu. You can see kids playing on the streets singing every new Hindi song from Sheela ki jawani to Munni etc. But it is a fact that Hindi Films & TV are using more And more Urdu words. So its kind of vice versa situation.

    Probably Thats y PEMRA blocked Indian Channels in Pakistan :) Recommend

  • gp65

    Ironicaly all the things listed by you as being thought in danger ARE probably in danger but not due to the sources that are typically ascribed to them:
    1. Islam is in danger – yes because it being hijacked by ignirant wahabi mullahs
    2. Pakistani nukes are in danger – yes because their army is becoming infiltrated by terrorist sympathisers. Any breach will not be done by US but by Taliban (not unlike Bannu jail break)
    3. Pakistani mvies are in danger – the whole ntertainment industry in Pakistan is dying as people are more and more afraid to go out to concerts/cinemas etc. Yes Indian movies sell in Pakistan but realy the Pakistani distribuors get it at a lower price than they pay for Pakistani movies since Pakistan is seen simply as incremental not primary source of revenue. If Indian movies depended on Pakistani revenue, they too would die.
    4. Urdu is in danger – not from Hindi but from Arabic.
    5. youth are in danger – with schools, markets, mosques, playgrounds being bombed by suicide bombers, ofcourse the youth is in danger
    6. Hijaab is in danger – ofcourse because soon niqaab/burqa will be the only acceptable form of dressing just as the salwar kameez/sari of yore are disappearingRecommend

  • http://www.HamariBoli.com Hamari Boli = Hindi-Urdu Reinvented!

    its ‘Hindi-Urdu’ actually, the erstwhile Hindustani which has been the lingua franca of South Asia for at least 250 years and was adopted by the British as the official language of India when they dismissed persian..

    even the so-called ‘standards’ dont qualify even as much as dialects but ‘standard registers’ i.e. mere subsets of Hindi-Urdu. popular Hindi-Urdu is the same across South Asia and among the 50 Million+ Desi diaspora worldwide, called Hindi when written in Devanagari and Urdu in Nastaliq.




  • abhi

    if you are so bothered about words like Desh and Raksha, stop using words like Desi Ghee and Rakhwale etc.Recommend

  • hitesh

    i am in conflict with your viewpoint that hindi is much common these days, its just bcoz one guy has used one hindi sentence in far land, you cann’t plot this to whole pakistani nation, we in office,university dont use hindi langhuage, may be if ever used then it is under sense of mockery/fun purpose.
    think about yourself do u and other guys use hindi language??…

    here concern is not of hindi, main issue is non-promotional of urdu labguage, its a fact that urdu is not given due importance in our nation and major focus is given english language. see success formula of japanese and chinese, they give priority to thieir national languageRecommend

  • wagma gul

    @ khalid: i like your blog.Recommend

  • http://www.arkwhisper.com shahid khan

    its the indian media which are responsible for all this.
    the pakistani media too are influenced by Indian media too.Recommend

  • ifesvr

    Mr Khalid Amir Khan ‘Gandapur’. You do know that -pur is a Sanskrit word which in the Rigveda means city, castle or fortress.
    Are you going change your name too?Recommend

  • anwar suhail

    We have been talking about “Urdu” since 1940’s without doing any scholarly serious work to enable it for official see.
    In my opinion, it is rather incomplete language. Younger generation is ignorant of Persian( no fault Of theirs), while averse to Sanskrit and punjabi words. Surprisingly, we have no objection to accepting English words.
    Topic is waste of time, nature will take is course. We shall stop taking Urdu as something sacred.Recommend

  • Cry Me a River

    The innocent child had no clue that these were not Urdu words, rather he
    had replied in pure Hindi instead of his national language! Even an Indian
    would have felt a sense of pride brought on by the purity and correctness of the sentence.

    Sorry dude we dont take pride in Hindi that’s not native to a lot of states…we take pride in our native languages.Hindi is like English,a language thats helpful in conversating with other Indians.
    India != Hindi

    Most of the people who speak Sindhi,Punjabi and Seraki in cities like Islo,Khi and Lahore are branded as yobo’s(Paindoo) because they can’t speak perfect Urdu.

    According to 2001 census there are 51.5 million speakers of Urdu in India while there are only 13 million speaker in Pakistan.Still Pakistani’s think that they have some exclusive rights when it comes to Urdu :xRecommend

  • Ali

    Complete non – issue… concentrate on education levels, providing better schools, health care etc. Many words are interchangeable in these two languages… if you dont like it then tell the Education ministry to build proper schools, provide better teacher training and ask PTV to extend their signal! Recommend

  • abhi

    the funny part is that for sindhi and punjabi these are native words.Recommend

  • H4N1

    Also – to the people claiming that Hindi and Urdu are different languages because of their differing sources of vocabulary – does that mean that when I speak the English tongue with unmixed Germanic words, I am speaking a different language than when I converse in the English language with terms of Latinate origin?

    Think before you speak, comprehend before you assert.Recommend

  • Jat

    @abhi: Please don’t make fun of the young major. He just copied down what the ISPR ordered him to write.Recommend

  • Gary

    @Khalid Amir Khan Gandapur:
    I hate to correct, but don’t think you still get it. Different dialect does not mean different language. Urdu might be THE national language of Pakistan, but there is no such thing called THE national language in India. India has national languages and Hindi is one of them. Recommend

  • dude108

    my mother toung marathi but prefer to speak Hindi as Hindi is simple , nice to speak language.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Pakistan is indeed a strange land. They declared they are very different from the Indians and go ahead in adopting an Indian language(This mistake was primarily responsible for breaking up the country and a massive cultural invasion from the very country they said they differed from. More on that later).

    It is Urdu which intrinsically ties Pakistan to India, but not vice versa(due to the vibrancy of India and the Islamic character of Pakistan this is only one way). The tool which was supposed to distinguish Pakistanis from Indians goes on to become a reason for the country splitting into two.

    If some local language like Punjabi were adopted this cultural invasion from a cultural juggernaut called India would have been well avoided.

    For those who think Urdu and Hindi are different languages, I’ve a question:”Mera naam Anoop hai”. Is this Hindi or Urdu?

    Bangladeshis were smart enough to adopt a local language and save themselves from the perennial onslaught of India via movies, music and art.

    No language in the history of the world has harmed a country so much as Urdu has done. Yet, Urdu is revered and defended. This is similar to the Army, who have done more harm than any institution or country could potentially do, yet they are revered and are symbols of patriotism. How thoroughly confused are Pakistanis and amusing is it to the rest of us Hindi speaking folks. Recommend

  • Sooraj

    @Khalid Amir Khan Gandapur:
    FYI India doesn’t have a national language.Recommend

  • Sooraj

    India doesn’t have ANY national language.
    There are Official Languages of India, currently 22 if i am right, while central govt. strictly adheres to English and Hindi in day-to-day official transactions and documentation, each state has varying official languages.Recommend

  • http://thedabbabrigade.wordpress.com RiffyR

    We really need to set our priorities straight. Is a child speaking in Hindi more horrific than a three month old being shot because of sectarian differences?Recommend

  • Sonia


    Are you trying to own Sanskrit? Say that it is a purely Hindu/Indian language.

    Btw while you were explaining the lines across which both languages ran- Urdu took the Arabic and Persian line more seriously and is highly dependent on it- not on Sanskrit- while pure Hindi is more Sanskrit based. Anyone who knows these two languages can identify the closeness. Recommend

  • Sonia

    What are all Pakistanis on this forum trying to do “Aman ki Asha’ or something!

    Once language develops and solidifies and has a whole store of literature- it is recognized as a separate language! Hindi is a separate language and so is Urdu- but they originate from the same language- Sanskrit. They are not the same language- and they definitely do not have SOME similar words! They have many basic similarities but huge dissimilarities. But nothing to do with religion whatsoever!

    Hindi has a complete set of authors- impeccable. So has Urdu- poets and authors extraordinaire. Urdu developed ardently coz it was the easiest medium of communication.

    National languages were selected by leaders-who knew better than most yapping on this forum- so learn to respect them- not question them with immature minds!

    Learn to respect and learn your national language to the fullest- and if you don’t then DO NOT GIVE ARGUMENTS FOR YOUR OWN SHORTFALLS. Or pull others legs. If India has a higher % of people speaking Urdu then hey you are way bigger country! If Pakistanis speak Hindi, what is the problem in learning a new language- y associate it with degradation of culture or religion. But Indians should know Hindi and Pakistanis should know Urdu- their national languages. Just like knowing English, French and German is ok, but knowing one’s own national language and mother tongue are important for anybody!Recommend

  • Gary

    My bad! Thanks for the correction, I should have used official instead of national. Recommend

  • Avi

    Let this be the answer:
    Love from across the border
    Warm RegardsRecommend

  • res


    Thank you soldier, for your service to our motherland. Recommend

  • gp65

    @Sonia: The Urdu grammar is almost etirely derived from Sanskrit not Arabic.Recommend

  • http://haldwanilive.blogspot.com Govind Singh

    No one can stop anybody from learning the neighbour’s language. Since Hindi and Urdu are ‘one language in two scripts’, it is inevitable. As Urdu is being popular in India, Hindi will be in Pakistan. Rather, Pakistan Govt should introduce teaching of Hindi in Pakistan as second language. Lahore was the prominant centre of Hindi learning and literature before independence. Many Urdu writers of Pakistan are very popular in India. Not only in Urdu, but also in Hindi. The same way Hindi writers should be read in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Reddy

    now add that to long list of possible blasphemous material that is offending pakistanis and hurting Islam itself….or even better root out the hindi words out of urdu and take out the Persian words too since it has ancient Sanskrit roots to it….left overs, if there are any can be and should be spoken by each and every red blood citizen of pakistan…..pakistan mey ek sey badkar ek comidian hey [email protected]@@ fir bhi pakistan’s entertainment industry is in toilet ……why why why….!!!!Recommend

  • Ali jan Mehsud

    Why exactly do you want a kid from waziristan or Loralai to learn good urdu?What do waziristan and Loralai(Both Pashtun areas) have to do with Urdu-an indian language clearly.What has waziristan got to do with a language which originated in northern and central parts of india.What do i have in common with Lucknow,UP,Hyderabad etc.?Punjabis and Sindhis may share a culture with India(It’s because Punjabis and Sindhis ARE Indian),But you just can’t Urduise us Pashtuns and Balochs without facing resistance.We don’t consider Urdu as our language.Our language will always be Pashto.Recommend

  • anwar suhail

    I’ll again say that Urdu and Hindi aren’t two separate languages- this division is artificial and political. We should be considerate about our national language but the fact stays that it is mother of only 8 percent of the population. Remaining 92 percent has to speak Urdu and we ought to be grateful to them. However they love their mother tongue more than they love Urdu.
    I’ll repeat that Urdu is an incomplete Language to be used at higher education level. No one is ready to do scholarly academic work to make it a grown up and complete language.
    Mantra of “respectig your mother language” hasn’t done any good.

    Urdu is and will stay only as language of communication. That’s it’s role.. No more no less.Recommend

  • Faaltu mein khwam kha

    This is an another brilliant example of Pakistani establishments attempts to make Pakistan look un-India.but is it possible to purge Pakistan of all things Indian?earnest answer is no.that will make Pak a living- dead nation.a poorer copy of some distant desert nation.decades of establishment’s efforts to Saudize Pakistan has brought Pakistan at the brink of self-destruction,where people have only hatred and nothing else to give to others..

  • anwar suhail

    It’s sad to see real, genuine and major problems around while guy is writing on non issue.
    He should look at media using so many ‘Hindi’ words in news headline.
    Topic is waste of time and space. ET should revise it’s guidelines on themes and content of Blogs. Recommend

  • anwar suhail


    Not impressed by this self opinionated dictatorial tone, without any objectivity and academic analysis.Recommend

  • Jat

    Oh oh, has anyone noticed the author has lost “Major” in front of his name. That was a nasty slip-up by the deep state.Recommend

  • Uzair Minhas

    I would sort of lay blame on excessiveness of Star Plus, Bollywood et cetra being played in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Virkaul

    @Liberal: Urdu was born in India and has been the language of Hindi cinema since the 40s. Inter mixing of languages happens all the time. Persian took a lot of words from Arabic. Urdu is based on khaki boli grammar and Persian/Arabic words.
    Why is the author worried about Usage of Hindi words? Many words have come from English into Hindi. This does not ruin our culture. If it does, our culture is too weak.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    @Arijit Sharma:
    does this question of yours even correlate with the topicRecommend

  • Pakistani

    @Gul Metlo:
    well i dont think that urdu is another name of hindi…there are many words unique in urdu that is not present in hindi and vice versa…so keep your propaganda to yourself…in the same way hindi also should not be imposed on a big population which does not speak hindi as their 1st languageRecommend

  • Pakistani

    @Fed Up Indian:
    well udru as a language took centuries to develop and is not a language of one region, not definitely UP..so dont embarass yourself by claiming it as uniquely UPianRecommend

  • M

    @Zaid Hamid: Not just Indian, Israeli, American all are involved. Wait, have I forgotten anyone? Oh yeah, so are the British! You know, like the MI6 and MI5 etc etc in fact, I believe its all James Bond’s doing, with help from Austin Powers. You can never trust these foreigners (: Recommend

  • linguist

    I am a Pakistani and Urdu is my language. Hindi is not my language. It might be similar to Urdu but I can’t take it as my language. Period. I was brought up studying prose and poetry by Daagh, Mir, Ghalib, Nasir Qazmi and Parveen Shakir, listening to Mehdi Hassan’s ghazals and Zia Muhiuddin’s recitals. They all wrote, spoke and sang in Urdu. I have many Indian friends who want to learn pristine Urdu and love Urdu poetry.
    Languages are born and evolve with time. Reasons might be political, social, or psychological. A living language always welcomes words from other languages. If it doesn’t do so, it will die like Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit. Urdu has generously accepted words from Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic and English and it will keep doing so.
    I have nothing against Hindi and I like watching Hindi movies. But please don’t say Urdu is a dialect of Hindi. It is a language on it’s own. I am a proud speaker of Urdu:)Recommend

  • =A=

    @linguist @Sonia: Glad to see atleast some of us have pride in our language, as compared to the mostly confused lot. Recommend

  • rz

    I’m from Pakistan and i work with few Indians, I often make an attempt to speak Hindi with them and in the end we just have a good laugh :-) Somehow i feel few Indians also feel that pure Hindi is funny as we Pakistani feel the Pure Urdu is funny . Recommend

  • Sonia

    @anwar suhail:
    I was least interested in trying to impress you- and now I understand y people have problems deciding about the languages- coz they cannot even distinguish whether a tone is dictatorial or narrative!

    Did I put a gun to your head to make you accept some thing? so if you feel guilt- it is something within you- and if you feel victimized- it is again your own issue mister- don’t blame others for your feelings coz if you have REALIZED something and DO NOT want to do anything about it- all I can say is I feel sorry for your predicament!Recommend

  • Sonia


    I did not say there was NO derivation from Sanskrit!
    What I said was Urdu developed more on Arabic and Persian lines- while pure Hindi is more Sanskrit based!

    If both languages were so similar I would be able to understand shudh Hindi as well as I understand Urdu and consequently Sanskrit- which I cannot- while I know Arabic and Persian which were easier to grasp since Urdu was a basic language!
    I talk from experience.Recommend

  • =A=

    To all the dimwits proposing they are same, please tell me would a hindi speaker understand this:

    yak nazar besh naheeN fursat-e-hastee ghaafil
    garmi-e-bazm hai ik raqs-e-sharar hone tak

    This is Ghalib btw, to all the uneducated ignoramuses.Recommend

  • Sridhar

    I agree. these movies should be called urdu movies, especially the ones made till the late 60s but then there is so much in common between urdu and hindi that most people watching the movies would not care.
    Until 1947, urdu was the official language in North and used in courts. Both hindus and muslims learnt this language. Few learnt hindi. Muslim league communalised the language calling Urdu a muslim language. India then chose hindi as an alternate language and help popularize it. Hindi is tremendously popular in India but urdu lives on in Bollywood and among the Indian muslims.
    Calling bollywood movies as Urdu movies would not have been politically correct. Secular enviornment soon after independence fostered under leadership of Nehru meant that many muslim writers (like Sahir, Majrroh etc) continued to write in urdu for the movies making these movies tremendously popular among the masses. Usually the dialogues are kept easy to understand, reserving difficult urdu words for the songs. Javed Akhtar once remarked that most Indias think Urdu starts where the words become difficult to understand!
    In India, Urdu is one of the national languages and is spoken in many states and is official langage of at least 2 states (J and K and UP). No Indian would get the kind of jitters i am witnessing in Pakistan if his/her child were to speak in chaste urdu. OTOH, he may feel proud.Recommend

  • Tahir Rizwan Pk

    It is purely natural evolution. We should grow up now and stop cultural hate mongering in a changing world. The real problem with Urdu is that it did the butchering of Punjabi.and it was not natural.It was enforced by those at the helms of affairs. I am Masters in Urdu Literature and I love it and adab e aalia. But at the same I am a Punjabi and slaughter of Punjabi at the cost of Urdu is more worrisome than the ‘inclusion’ of some Hindi words that our children may learn. i didn’t include Pashto,Sindhi and Balochi because Punjabi is the only one who bore the brunt of Urdu domination.Those languages are proudly spoken by the native speakers.
    @ Zaid Hamid
    It is pure treat to have u here. The original one can’t be better. It is media war-fare planned by Jews.hahahaha.Honestly I am unable to understand ‘what is the problem of these Jews (as they are always busy in planning to destroy Pakistan and don’t concentrate upon their business)’ and how the ‘Jews’ come into this Pakistani paranoia and neurosis.
    @ All Pundits here
    It is very encouraging to see a healthy debate here. It seems that Indians and Pakistanis can look at things without slanted eyes in modern world. May be the social media becomes a panacae against hatred and animosity in near future.Recommend

  • anwar suhail

    [email protected] Rizwan Pk:
    I’m in full agreement. This language has caused enough damage to our country.Recommend

  • bmniac

    As an amateur etymologist and a multilingual person, i think your balanced comments were both precise and appropriateRecommend

  • Sreenath

    Forgive me for my ignorance. But I thought Hindi and Urdu were the same languages with different scripts. Recommend

  • anwar suhail

    No u r not ignorant. Urdu and Hindi ARE same languages but with different script.Recommend

  • Sreenath

    @anwar suhail:
    Then what is the author so worried about? Speaking in Hindi means you are able to speak in Urdu also right?Recommend

  • anwar suhail

    Perhaps he is a simple guy.
    Should fine find something meaningful and worth to worry about.
    Our media uses Hindi words in news headline. Beautiful Sanskrit words are and always have been part and parcel of Urdu literature. Nation loves Indian songs and films.
    Puritanical approach in Urdu isn’t possible. Take away Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic words out of Urdu and our language will vanish.
    Urdu is and will remain language of communication, nothing less nothing more.Recommend