Urdu as official language – a backward leap



Decision of the government to replace English with Urdu as the official language of Pakistan is indeed a giant retrogressive leap in the chronology of our future history.

At a time when most countries of the world which hitherto preferred English over their native languages are realising the importance of a universal language and have accordingly taken to introduce English in their educational curricula, we have decided on traveling in the opposite direction.

Even China, Russia and Japan, the established non English speaking super powers of the world are realising the importance of English as the universal language and fast adopting it. French and Spanish, ever arch rivals of English for the slot of the leading language, have acknowledged English as the top spoken language of the globe and are embracing it.

What brain wave have has hit the policy makers in the government to announce such a radical and uncalled for step is beyond understanding. As a matter of fact, one reason for the backwardness of our country has been the inability of our masses to understand and comprehend English. Had English been taught in government schools right from independence day we would have had more educated masses having confidence to compete with the literate world. Instead of introducing English (the global language) at the grass root level, we are now bent upon denying our people the practical knowledge of this official lingua franca, that we are used to, since centuries.

As regards Urdu, it is not the original language of our soil in any way. A combination of Persian, Turkik, Arabic and Sanskrit languages, Urdu evolved with conquest of the subcontinent by invaders and therefore is also known as a ‘lashkari’ or military language. Besides Pakistan Urdu is only spoken in India (which unfortunately is our arch rival), whereas English is the accepted universal working language being friendly to all kind of technology and terminology.

There is no earthly reason to make this knee jerk decision to change over from English to Urdu. If the President and the Prime minister are more comfortable with Urdu, be it, but they must not punish the whole future generations of Pakistan, with this regressive step.