By Mohammad Ilyas Khwaja (Goldoor Chitral).
A language is a system of communication which consists of a set of sounds and written symbols used by the people of a particular country or region for talking or writing. A Mother tongue is defined as the first language that a person learns and the language used in that person’s home country. An example of mother tongue is English for someone born in Britain or North America.
Now we consider the matter that being Pakistanis what is our national language. Our national language is Urdu. Urdu is one of the major languages, the 21st largest language and the third widely spoken language of the world.
Urdu founded its base in India, in Delhi, Lucknow and Deccan province. It is the mixture of different languages that slowly took a proper form as Urdu.
When Aryans invaded India almost two thousand years back, they brought with them their language with the name Sanskrit. They were proud people and did not want to mingle with the local population so did not communicate with them in Sanskrit and kept the locals totally away from their language and culture which for the time made them special and superior but later after a few generations made the same language Sanskrit as a dead language which was then spoken by none.
Their offspring kept Sanskrit only to recite and make religious verses only. The native Indians in some way got their language mingled with that of Aryans and a language developed with the name of Prakrit.
This Prakrit later became the mother of Urdu language. After the advent of Arabs and then Ghaznavid, Khilji, Mamluk and Taimuride Turks amd Ghauri and Suri Afghans, the Persian and Turkish languages made their way to India. All these languages, especially Persian which was the official language of the Muslim rulers, influenced Prakrit and got mixed with it to form a more clear and formal language with the name of Urdu from the Turkish word that meant ‘Army’ and all this development occurred in Mughal era who by themselves spoke Turkish but used Persian as their state and official language.
By 18th century, Urdu started nourishing as a properly literary language in the whole of India. It was differently named as Rikhta, Hindustani, Dakhani or Hindi in different areas of the sub-continent.
Aurganzeb Alamgir with his short sighted anti- Hindu policies paved way to graven the Hindu Muslim differences and the opportunity was fully grasped by the British who subdued the whole of India in 1857 and made it their successful colony for upto a century. The same issue of religion was fully utilized by the British. The religious differences also raised Hindi- Urdu controversy.
The language having most words of Sanskrit and Prakrit as compared to Arabic and Persian was separately named as Hindi and a proper campaign was started against Urdu which was regarded a Muslim based language by the prejudiced Hindu clerics and politicians. Sanskrit being a dead language by then was hard to revive so the Hindu linguists induced the language with all possibly available old and mostly forgotten words trying to make it distinct to Urdu language which is actually the language of Delhi.
India and Pakistan became two separate nations and Hindi and Urdu were adopted as recognised national languages simultaneously. As for Urdu and Hindi are concerned, these two are names given to a single language as has been stated earlier. These are separated by politically motivated differences. The differences are more documented than practical. Devanagari script is adopted for Hindi and Arabic for Urdu.
Never mind, Devanagari script is a regional or local script of India and can be utilized but the language that is used in Arabic script enjoys more stronger and wider base than that of Devanagari. Arabic and Persian letters e.g
ط ۔غ- ف۔ ظ۔ ق۔ ض، خ ص۔
etc are not defined or uttered properly in Devanagari wordings which are formal parts of Urdu as well as Hindi language. Moreover, many words that are only utilized in Hindi writings brought over in exchange to Persian/Arabic/Turkish words are only used in writings and never practically.
Now we shall come to the real conclusion of the topic. After allover subjugation of India and imposing a proper colonial rule in 1857, the British composed a regulation for their most renowned colony which was named Government of India Act 1860. All the regulations of the then colonial law are still in practice in both India and Pakistan with least amendments e.g that 302 for murder, 324 for serious injury, 420/419 for fraud and 17/18 for loafers.
Our rulers, courts and political government leaders cordially copy the last orders of colonial rule masters who now utilize a non-literary corrupt form of English for running the local branded colonial government system. Our Military formation is the same as in colonial era, the officer never remains in touch to his under command ranks and that communication is made through junior commissioned officers.
An officer does not have free ration which makes him sit in paid mess and the whole force remains aloof of Islamic/Eastern messing discipline where the commanders used to sit according to their ranks and all would have the meal with a single Bismillah. Words of Commands and even military terms are not changed so far even after 72 years of freedom with all claims of Separate Islamic State, etc.
We should feel ashamed when all honourable nations use their own languages as official and on our turn our champions cry out in English. Our area was a British Colony for a short time but thanks God, it’s not so now. If Turks use Turkish, Chinese use Chinese and French use French for their progress and system then why for us to adopt a foreign language so strictly.
Why not adopt Urdu as an official language and as a language for the source of learning and why not learn English as an extra foreign language like French, Spanish, Russian etc? Simply because, we have no care for our identity and honour while the same thing has made us a secondary nation in the world and a token for being looked down upon by other nations. Is there any weakness in Urdu, no… never, we are actually weak and have permanently crafted ourselves as inferiors.
One Reply to “Why not Urdu?”
Urdu is an imported potpourri language which is mixture of many established languages. It is limited to the subcontinent.Adopting Urdu as national language was main cause of alienation of East Pakistan leading finally to it’s separation.. instead of making Urdu official language we should even replace it as national language with Arabic. Arabic has full time relevance and application in our lives whether we like it or not. We use it five times a day in our prayers whether and there is no alternative to it. Knowing Arabic at least we can understand our prayers and the holy Quran and we will not be dependent on the Mulla for translation and interpretation of the Quran.. What has urdu in it other than Mirza Ghalib’s poetry. Let us be practical and pragmatic.