Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Pakistan dumps Urdu, plea against English as official language dismissed

The official language of Pakistan continues to be English, sixty years after partition and the formation of the country on religious lines.

The High Court dismissed the plea for replacing English with Urdu as the state language.

Technically, the reason was that the petitioner didn't appear but anyhow it tells the sorry state of affairs in Pakistan that it has yet to have a state language which is widely understood and spoken.

The founder of Pakistan Mohamed Ali Jinnah had got Pakistan on the basis of religion but he had vowed that the new state would be secular, non-discriminatory and have Urdu as its state language.

Sixty years, several 'revolutions', and coups were witnessed but Pakistan has abandoned almost everything what its founder had dreamt of.

It became a religious state. Shias were harassed and Ahmedis were declared non-Muslims. Secularism went to dustbin and Urdu is now a relic. Or the rulers of Pakistan want to keep the poor citizens carrying Urdu while the sophisticated class would conduct its business in English just like the Burra Sahibs or the White Masters.

This helps in keeping the ruler-ruled relationship. Politicians like Zardaris and their children who can speak in English and the Urdu speakers will look at them in awe. Urdu, Panjabi, Sindhi, Saraiki, Pashto and many major languages are spoken in Pakistan but it chooses English.

At least in India, Urdu is one of the official languages recognised in eighth schedule along with Hindi and other major regional languages. Urdu is also the official and second state language in UP, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand.

Pakistan has truly failed its visionary. If the country and leaders had self-respect, they should have made Urdu not the state language but given it the status of national language. We have no right to say whether Pakistan is a successful state or failed state.

But what we don notice is that it has deviated and drifted from its path in a big way and this is another proof. Alas, leaders and citizens equally chant Jinnah's name and his photographs hang everywhere but Pakistan has abandoned and jettisoned his legacy.

Read the post: 'Hasn't Pakistan failed Jinnah'

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