Urdu, at home and abroad
When Quaid-i-Azam envisioned Urdu as Pakistan’s one and only national language over seven decades ago, it spoke volumes of Urdu as a pertinent and practical language with immense promise and potential.
Estimating Urdu as being the language of over a billion of the world’s seven billion plus, the language transcends beyond borders and gives itself an enormous international impetus and recognition.
Urdu is recognized locally and globally at a number of institutions. From Quaid-i-Azam Public Library Bagh-e-Jinnah to Lahore’s Urdu version of spell-binding books on Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Zoology, Botany with graphics, illustrations and diagrams at the national level to Chairs of Urdu at McGill University in Canada, at Beijing University in China, at Al Azhar in Cairo, Egypt and full-fledged Departments of Urdu at Universities in USA and Europe, especially Germany at the international level.
Problems of Urdu as a national language in Pakistan are manifold and are discussed so vehemently and vociferously that it is high time to work with emotional maturity, seriousness of purpose and penetrative thinking.
Ilm Dost and Anjuman-e Nifaz-e-Urdu Karachi address challenges to Urdu language by jointly commemorating Yom-e-Urdu recently at KMC Officers’ Club in Karachi which was well-attended by concerned members and media.
Participants included imminent poet Sarwar Jawed, Advocate Naseem Shah of Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Urdu, Siddiq Raz, Anees Merchant, Parvez Jamil, Tasneem Faruqi, Syed Muneef Ashr Maleehabadi from Canada, Majeed Rahmani, Meer Husain Ali Imam, Head of Idara Ilm Dost Shabbir Ibn e Adil, Mohammad Ahmad Siddiqi, Maqsood Sheikh and others who passed a resolution to commemorate International Urdu Day on the 25th of February 2020.
A consensus of opinions on a wiser, logical and practical solution emerged from the proceedings of this meeting, centering around the proposal that Urdu as a national language needs to go side by side with Pushto in KPK, Punjabi in the Punjab, Sindhi in Sindh and Baluchi in Baluchistan as provincial languages also remain of paramount significance with the national language as a practical and pragmatic model of national and provincial understanding and cohesion.
Urdu was highlighted, besides being the national language of promise and potential, as the language of the common man and daily routine of the laborer’s life, the vendors, private businesses, public utilities, shops and stores, hospitals and clinics, hotels and restaurants, transport and communication, post offices and banks, mobile phones, show business, media, sports and recreation, travel and tourism, law and order as well as khutbas and sermons.
In order to stabilize the national language with grace, dignity and honor, a modus operandi needs to be worked out innovatively and sincerely, taking on board and co-existing harmoniously with regional and provincial languages. However, this needs to be led from the front by our statesmanship and leadership setting positive and practical examples of decency, discipline, and decorum in the national parliamentary language.
The writer contributes to print and electronic media on national and international affairs. [email protected]