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 URDU & PAKISTAN'S IDENTITY

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MAJOR(R)KHALID NASR
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Registration date : 2007-12-14

PostSubject: URDU & PAKISTAN'S IDENTITY   Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:05 am

Urdu and Pakistani Identity and Integrity



Before the midnight birth of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 15th August 1947, Muslims in the Indian subcontinent did their best to preserve their separate Muslim identify through various means. No doubt, that they had the pride of governing this piece of land for more than seven consecutive centuries prior to the colonization by the British East India Company in 1801, however during that long period they totally failed to have worked out either to have developed social bonds with the local populace, or have melted down into the local culture, and could have adopted their language, become part of history, and respected their religion, or any thing required for national identity and integrity. Most of these known Muslim leaders either Afghan or Mogul identified themselves superior human organisms and at times acted like short term immigrants but royal dynasties, speaking, cooking, wearing and priding Persian, though picked up few selected local Indian rituals or recipes from their predecessor non Muslim families. Perhaps mogul king, Akbar the great was the only monarch who childishly tried to reconcile this wide contradiction of local and foreign perceptions.





Muslims themselves do not form a nation either if we speak in terms of established rules of social sciences, but the Islamic scholars have acknowledged them as an Ummah spreading over five continents, which holds many nations with distinct identities in its fold. Freedom movement in the Indian subcontinent during the closing years of 19th century against British occupation put these Muslims in a very awkward position. On the one hand every one from any faith or region vocally demanded the end of the British colonial rule, but unfortunately during the same days these Muslim masses proven utterly confused. Initially they tried to take a global view of the Muslims, rather than thinking locally. They formed Khilafat Movement soon after the First World War and demanded of the British government to stop conspiracies against decayed Turkish Caliphate; though to their utter disappointment the Turks themselves announced the end of this legacy in 1924. Mawlana Jawhar and his colleagues in Khilafat Movement had not time or brain to have asked the British to quit India before asking them to be lenient over Turkish Caliphate; shamelessly they were more concerned about the future of Muslim Caliphate in Turkey because of this dilemma.





Apart from Khilafat Movement, Khaksar Tehrik, Mawlana Mawdodi plus other religious individuals, the All India Muslim League also played a dubious role since its inception in December 1906. All India Muslim League never adopted the masses oriented posture but remained palatial party of Sirs, Nawab, Khan Bahadur and other privileged Muslim upper class, talking in terms of two nationís theory. According to their political manifesto the entire laypeople in India are divided into two distinct nations (leaving aside the Muslims outside of Indian subcontinent), one consists of Muslim the rest form non Muslim and AIML had nothing to do with the non-Muslim. Contradicting all the known and acknowledged ingredients for being a nation or the history of fighting national liberation war for motherland, Muslim League under the feudal class from UP, Hyderabad and Bihar along with some urban based pseudo intellectuals, always acted indirectly in favour of the British colonialists. Paradoxically these Muslim leaders had no idea like their forefathers, how to see themselves in the future democratic India. They had no power to bring back the lost glory of their royal dynasties, prevailed before the arrival of English traders and neither could they live with the brute non Muslim majority in the new age of democracy. Despite living in the midst of these so called low and untouchables according to the 1867 derogatory statement of Sir Syed, for centuries they never took the Indian identity but always tried tied themselves spiritually and psychologically with the nobles from Arab and Afghanistan.





History does not wait for those who can not adjust themselves to the new challenges and realities. As confused lot, and that too during the democratic reign of British parliament, such nonsense of being a Muslim nation was understandable but still those in the White Hall wanted to play around with them. Whenever pressure grew over them by the freedom loving masses, they invited all of their leaders including All India Congress and Muslim League to find ways and means of transferring or sharing the governing power to the local populace. Each time the invitation to the AIML meant to scuttle the whole idea itself, as these landlords, British lackeys, rootless and pseudo intellectuals lacked the mass support, who considered the departure of British Viceroy a death warrant of their dreams for good.





Letís come to the point of Urdu and the sanctity it gained during all this period. As we know that Mogul and Afghan both used Persian as their court language and they did not take Hindi the widely spoken language of the Indian masses as the medium of communication. With the fall of Mogul and diminishing Afghan influence in India, the Persian charisma also died down and the Muslims had to reconcile with the ground realities. Contrary to their previous odium they started with the same low considered Hindi language once they lost the power, however encouraged the literary figures and common Muslim to replace as much Hindi words with Persian and Arabic as possible. Arabic and Persian words were considered sacred and the involvement of theological books and clergy gradually newly created Urdu and pushed to be rank of religious entity, at times above the Arabic. Infarct Urdu is no different than Hindi, since both are using the same grammar, rules, structure of sentence, however heavily pregnant by the illegal stolen words and phrases from the above two mentioned languages. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindustani_language






The exact era of birth or source of the Urdu language is unknown the advent has indeed divided the Indian masses into different communities, or in other words isolated the Muslims of India. This origin or historical background does not go beyond 1800, Neither any substantial historical material are available in this language but since the establishment of Fort William Colleague by Lord Wellesley during 1800, the first stone of communal division was placed, when the College administration produced Bagh wo Bahar of Mir Aman in Khati Boli or using the Persian-Arabic script and Prem Sagar (The Ocean of Love) of Lallo Lal in Devanagari script in 1804. it was not the only the only incident but the college encouraged the communal division by asking the Muslims to use the Arabic/Persian script while the non Muslim used to write in the Devanagari style for their reports.

http://www.languageinindia.com/march2003/hindustani.html





During 1867, a demand was made by the masses in UP India to declare Hindi as official language of the state government. Muslims in that province got agitated and communal strife ensured which resulted civil disturbances. Speaking to Mr. Shakespeare, the governor of Banaras Sir, Syed talked about two different nations because of the difference of this Urdu/Hindi controversy. He also passed his most controversial comments when he said that ďUrdu was the language of gentry, while Hindi that of vulgarĒ. Repudiated by his contemporary Hindi Protagonist Babu Harish Chandar, who retorted that Urdu is the language of dancing girls and prostitutes. With this sort of expressions, a deep sharing out was drawn between the Muslims and non Muslims which later resulted in the total disunity and split of the Indian sub continent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Syed_Ahmad_Khan

As mentioned earlier, British are the pioneers of this communal division in India. They introduced Hindi with Devanagari script in Bihar during 1880, ignoring the Muslim protest which as also joined by the Hindu whose interests were associated with their Muslim employers. Unfortunately, the British government did not listened and created a tense atmosphere where the masses turned their attention towards the Hindi/Urdu issue rather than asking the British occupiers to leave India. The same policy also pushed the Muslim to become more vocal in other parts of Indian where the Muslim enjoyed majorities.


Mawlana Shibli, Mawlana Hali, Nawab Waqar ul Mulk etc battled the legacy of giving supremacy to Urdu and countered the Hindi revival movement. Mr. MacDonnell, Chief Commissioner of Oudh on April 18th, 1900 replaced the Persian script with Nagari script in courts and other government departments, killing two birds with one stone. On the one hand they wanted to diminish the Iranian influences in Indian society by taking off the Persian script from use and secondly giving another push to the existing enmity between Muslims and Hindu due to the discard on this issue. To respond to this Mohsin ul Mulk converted the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental Defense Association into Urdu Defense Association, eroding every chance of future rapprochement or any united political forum for Indian politicians and workers. Ironically Devband Movement, which was so far opposed to the Aligar Movement of pro British policies, also called it a serious threat to Islam in 1903.


Later in the first half of the 20th century the followers of Sir Syed under Abdul Haq, Baba e Urdu and their political compatriots in All India Muslim League took Urdu as an important part of their political slogans. Mr. Jinnah who could not write or read his name in Urdu made it one point of his fourteen pointís agenda for negotiation with the government and made it a one of the reasons; the Muslim of Indian wanted a separate country. A common slogan was formed by then Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan with Urdu Muslim Pakistan (The Widening Divide by Rafiq Zakaria page 105). Mawlavi Abdul Haq, Mawlana Maudodi and all of them kept supporting the cause of Urdu and at times lost the patience to respond to their critics logically. Mawlana Maudodi was asked by a questioner that what should be the official language of Pakistan, despite his earlier opposition to the Pakistan demand; he replied back Urdu and nothing else. According to his version Urdu was understood (baseless assumption even today) by all in the new country. He even refused to give this status to Arabic when one of his disciples asked him to do so. (Maujoda Syasi Kashmakah Aura Muslim man) Mawlavi Abdul Haq was more vocal and led Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu in 1930, and opposed the Hindi promotion in the political circles and official correspondences. He especially abhorred Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress who were leading the freedom movement by then and enjoyed the status of being a largest political party of united India. Later he also condemned the decision of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, when they recognized Bengali the 2nd official language of Pakistan and despite his old age took out and led processions on 22nd April 1954 both in Karachi and Lahore against this constitutional decision.
















Z. A. Bhutto's PPP came to power in 1971 and unconstitutionally became first the Martial Law Administrator, then assumed the office of Prime Minister, on the basis of election held before the separation of East Pakistan. It was a good chance for Sindhi nationalist who as a first step declared Sindh at the official language of Sindh; however this move again annoyed the same old chauvinist of Baba e Urdu. The Sindh saw it as the empowerment of Sindhi nationalism but Muhajir looted at it as a first against their interests. Bhutto also made Sindhi compulsory subject in Schools and colleagues which reduced the chances of Muhajir to reach the University unless they clear Sindhi, so far disregarded by them. Muhajir or immigrants from India who enjoyed all fruit of new state did not set back to recognize the legitimate right of Sindhi, on whose land they started their new lives and took to the streets. Supported by the Urdu speaking bureaucrats and religious parties like JI they did whatever they could but the government remained steadfast and even today Sindhi enjoys the official status in Sindh. On the hand National Awami Party led by our believed elder late Abdul Wali Khan declared Urdu our official language and of late the MMA repeated his legacy. With the introduction of Sindhi, Bhutto government also brought some reforms in the job market and introduced quota system, which badly affected these Muhajir who so far enjoyed the lion share 33.5% (in Civil Service) against their population of 8%, while Sindhi occupied only 2.7%. Rural and Urban Sindh were give different ration





Sir Syed supported the British colonists and justified their occupation of India against his own countrymen and started communal clashes in the 19th century by supporting Urdu and downgrading Hindi, which resulted in the division of India which also let to the massacre of fleeing immigrants from both sides... His disciple Mawlavi Abdul Haq did not agree to the Bengali language demand of 1952 and supported the Punjabi and Mohajir rulling classes which resulted in the split of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh 1971. What we see today that the rulling elite from Punjab and their partners from Mohajir community did not learnt this bitter lesson and still insisting and keeping the same arrangements. Pushto, Punjabi, Balochi and Sindhi are on the decline, very close to their natural deaths, since no official patronage is extended neither enough resources are spent on their promotion. On the other hand a language spoken by an extremely small minority has been official language and enormous resources are made available. From Urdu University (Karachi and Islamabad) to the official patronage of Moqtadar Qaumi Zuban, to promote Urdu and every effort is in place to eliminate at least Pushto from this country, which is the true identify of Pushtoon and thread of keeping their nationhood intact. Today TV channels, radios are broadcasting Urdu 24/7, thousands of newspapers and periodicals are published and education system is based on Urdu which spoken by less than 7% of the total Pakistani populace and no body outside of this country understand it..




For stronger Pakistan It is high time to realize the gravity of the situation and declares Punjabi (44%) as an official language of Pakistan, seconded by Pushto which is spoken by 15% (I donít how they survived). It is international rule and appeal to logic. Keeping Urdu above the rest clearly means its undue supremacy which smells of imperialism of a culture and language. If Punjabis or for that matter any do not rise and made demand, we donít care. Pushto for us is not only a tool of communication but also a code of life Pushtoonwali without Pushto is impossible. Let us give the due right to the languages of Pakistan and discard the foreign imposed language, culture and traditions immediately. The battle is long and bumpy as we have to fight back the Indianization attacks from one side and Arabization by clerics from another. The fight is awesome but not impossible. A day will soon come when the truth will emerge victorious after a long dark age of ignorance of fact and denial of our due right.

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