Stories about non-Urdu speakers

How I learnt ‘I can’t speak Urdu’ is not cool

I had recently shifted to the web desk at The Express Tribune and much to my amazement, it was only fun up until I had to translate breaking news into English! I didn’t really learn how to speak Urdu as a child, and never did well in that subject at school either. Guess what, it’s come back to bite me on my backside! Make no mistake, Urdu is not just a problem for me. There are lots of societal “burgers” out there who struggle with the language at all times and do absolutely nothing about it. What’s embarrassing is, I was born and brought up ...

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War of the words

In 1948, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said (in English, most ironically): “The State language, therefore, must obviously be Urdu, a language that has been nurtured by a hundred million Muslims of the sub-continent, a language understood throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan and, above all, a language, which, more than any other provincial language, embodies the best that is in Islamic culture and Muslim tradition.” In 1957, a decade after the partition of India, author Qurratulain Haider published her epic novel Ag Ka Darya (‘River of Fire.’) In which she stated, “In the demand for Pakistan, Urdu was most thoughtlessly ...

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