urdu and regional languages of pakistan


urdu and regional languages of pakistan

Why was Urdu Chosen as National Language?

Strong link to religion: Quran was translated into Urdu by son of Shah Wali Ullah. Many religious books were written in Urdu. And it was widely spoken by Muslims.

Rich literary background:

o Poetry: Amir Khusrau/ Mir/ Dard/ Ghalib/ Sauda

o Writers: Majaz/ Jazbi/ Hasrat Mohani

o Early 18th century: Allama Iqbal/ Nasir Ahmed/ M. Hussain Azad/ Mulana Altaf Husain Hali

o Aligarh University: a Centre of Urdu study Writers support created unity among Muslims about Urdu

Symbol of unity: Jinnah was keen to support Urdu and Sir Syed set up a society to support Urdu.

Widely used: Not only it was widely used in Mughals Period, but also by the end of 13th century it became a common language amongst Muslim Armies. It soon became common in Muslim dominant provinces.

Struggle to independence: In 1906, when League formed it aimed to protect Urdu… Especially after the ‘Urdu-Hindi controversy’. Another Problem was that after War of Independence British were no longer supporting Urdu.

What was the Urdu-Hindi Controversy?

Hindu wanted Hindi to be the official language while Muslim wanted Urdu as the official language. The Hindu started campaigns against Urdu. Muslims thought that Hindus are trying to destroy their identity by trying to harm Urdu. Muslims wanted a separate homeland because their language was in danger. Muslims were horrified when Hindi was made the official alongside English and Urdu. Muslims could not let harm come to

Urdu which was very close to Persian and Arabic.

Disadvantages of choosing Urdu:

o Important reason or East Pakistan turning into Bangladesh

o No-support by non-Muslims

o New to Pakistan

o Relationship between Hindus and Muslims suffered ‘Urdu-Hindi controversy’ Despite this oppositions, Urdu survived and it was successful.

Promotion of Languages after Independence

In Subcontinent, history indicates every ruler who came promote his own language/mother language. Like, Arabic and Turkish. However, Persian had the greatest impact. It was mostly used in books and communications. Scholars and Poets adopted it. And soon it was the official language in Delhi Court.

Urdu: Was started in north-west India, as interactions of Punjabi, Turkish and Persian

o Medium of education in many schools

o Medium of radio and television

o Widely read: books, magazines, newspapers, novels

o A dictionary of office terms


o It is the main language of Punjab Province. It is statistically spoken more than Urdu. (48%)

o  Hafiz Barkhurdar has been the first person around 1080 AD to use the language by this name.

o Punjabi is written in the same script as Arabic.

o It has a vast literature containing very famous folk tales like HEER-RANJHA, SASI-PUNU and SOHNI-MAHIWAL

o It is the man language of Sufi Poets especially famous music literature includes Bulley

Shah and Baba Farid Ganjshakar.

o Punjabi has been used in very famous dramas, short stories and novels in 20th Century.

o Books in wide variety of Academic Subject have been published in Punjabi.

o Punjabi has been used in the writing style of contemporary age.

o Punjabi films have been made and it is popular language in theatres and radio.


o Quetta TV, Radio Programs

o Poets: Atta Shad and Ishaq Shamin

o Writers Gul Khan Nazir and Azad Jamal Din

o This is the language spoken in Baluchistan province.

o Basically spread by Nomadic tribes from Iran and North West Areas.

o Balochi literature is small but rich in folk tales passed on word of tongue.

o Balochi literature at the earliest has been recorded as famous folk songs especially of Jam Darang.

o Balochi has seen little development.

o Radio Pakistan Karachi broadcasts in Balochi.

o Balochi Literary Association was set up to publish magazines and Balochi literature.

o Balochi folk tales have been brought down in writing.

o Quetta Television Studio Broadcasts in Balochi.

Sindhi: From the 12th century, it’s in the same form it was. It was influenced by Arabs (Arabic) and Turk (Persian) rulers. Before this it was written in ‘Marwari’ and ‘Arz Nagari’. Some peoples can be thought as developers:

o Qazi Qazan

o Makhdum Nuh


o Sindhi Literary Board was set up and has printed many books and magazines since then.

o Several important books on Sindhi Folk Literature have been written.

o 1954, Bazm-e-Talim-ul-Muala.

o Sarmast Academy and Sindhiology Department at Sindh University Jamshoru to promote this language.

o Poets: Sachal Sarmast/ Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai


o  Pashto is the main language of Northern regions and most tribes of NWFP though with different dialects.

o Its first book on Sufism is Khair-ul-Biyan.

o It has recorded famous poets like Amir Khan and Bayazaid Ansari.

o  Pashto literature achieved its peak in Mughal period and the songs developed the theme of nationalism.

o  The British Rule Period is considered its Golden Age when very high quality writing was produced during this time. Pashto literature played an important role in British Opposition to achieve independence.

o Peshawar University was established. Academy to promote Pashto literature was set up.

o A widely accepted Pashto Dictionary was produced by Molvi Abdul Qadir leading the

Pashto Academy.

o Post-graduate class in Pashto literature have been established at University level at NWFP.

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