The government is insincere about introducing Urdu as a national language of Pakistan, observed writers and intellectuals at the 76th sitting of Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Urdu, a movement to introduce Urdu as a national language.
They described the instruction of Urdu as a social issue and not the linguistic one. “If Urdu cannot become the national language of Pakistan, let us know any other one that can get such an honour,” said a speaker. Dr Syed Mubeen Akhtar, Prof. Manzar Ayubi, Prof. Ali Haider Malik and1amza Mateen attended the session at Karachi Psychological Hospital.
“Being a nation, we should emerge from our inferiority complex,” another speaker advised. They felt that only two per cent of the people, who form the elite, get their children educated abroad and then they rule the country.
Hamza Mateen, who recently came back from abroad, said that developing Urdu software is not impossible. “It’s a matter of one day if the government takes an interest in introducing Urdu at all levels,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2011.
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Pakistan has at least four major languages (or maybe more) besides Urdu. It is difficult to give primacy to any one language. We have a similar problem in India. We have more than 20 languages recognised in the Constitution as National Languages. Hindi is the official language but that does not mean people all over the country care to be educated in Hindi. It does, however, work as the most widely understood language for informal communication. I suppose the same applies to Urdu in Pakistan.