History of the Urdu language

In the modern era, we are seeing the fall of the Urdu language which is very alarming for our culture. Urdu the national language of Pakistan is believed to have been born in the 11th century. It is the time when the Ghaznavid Empire conquered the land of Punjab. Ghaznavids speak Turkish and Persian language. When Ghaznavids enter the capital of Hind which was Lahore at that time they came into contact with the local population who spoke and Indo-Aryan language.

Contact of local people with Turkish and Persian speakers laid the foundation for a new and wider language. With the passage of time words from other languages mostly Arabic, Persian and Turkish were added to this Indo-Aryan language. This language had spread widely in the northern subcontinent. It became the first language of the majority of people living in the territories of Hind and Indus. Today we called this Indo-Aryan language as Urdu.

In the Mughal Empire

During the Mughal Empire Urdu is used as a court language in many cities. After the decline of the Mughal Empire British Empire also approved Urdu as the national language of United India with a change in the writing of the script. At that point, Urdu is divided mainly into 2 branches. The first branch is the original Urdu which is written in Persian script and the other is the Hindi language. It is true that the Hindi language exists before this decision but still, it is not a popular language. Hindi language is derived from the Urdu language but written in Devanagari script. Hindi replaced the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish words found in Urdu with Sanskrit words.

Impact of the British Empire

This division of language and bad decisions of the British Empire has created chaos among the followers of both languages. This chaos ultimately results in frustration between Muslims and Hindus as it is believed that Urdu is associated with Muslims and Hindi is associated with Hindus. In 1867 Urdu Hindi controversy had started in Bihar. Looking at this controversy Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had laid the foundation of the Two-Nation Theory. On the basis of this theory, Muslim leaders fought for a separate nation and Quaid-e-Azam lead them in this struggle. This struggle ultimately ends with the formation of a separate country Pakistan in 1947.

Before the partition

Before the partition of the sub-continent Urdu was a common and popular language of United India. In India, the major decline of Urdu has started in 1867 after the Urdu Hindi controversy. The reason for the decline of Urdu in India is its association with Muslims because it has Persian-Arabic script. Some of the fascist Hindu leaders had brainwashed the minds of people by saying that Urdu is the language of Muslims not the language of Hindus or people of United India. The roots of Urdu had been traced in Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages which all are Muslim languages that’s why Hindus consider it a Muslim language. This fascism started the decline of Urdu in united India as most of the Hindus had abolished speaking Urdu.

National Language of Pakistan

After the partition of the sub-continent, this fascism had raised to its peak. Pakistan had opted for Urdu as the national language so Hindus started to call Urdu the language of Muslims and Pakistanis. After the partition, there is a major decline in Urdu in India as people and especially Hindus had refrained to speak Urdu because of its association with Muslims and Pakistanis. Indira Gandhi the former Prime Minister of India is also shocked by the decline of Urdu after independence. She called it alarming and threatening for the future of India as intolerance and fascism will increase.

only a few Hindus speak Urdu and Urdu in India had been shrunk only to Muslim majority territories because of this brainwashing and sick mindset. Out of 100 million native speakers of Urdu, almost 60 million people belonged to India. The number of speakers is declining day by day which ultimately results in the fall of this Indo-Aryan language. But, in the world, more than 500 million people can speak and understand Urdu.

Jinnah announced Urdu as the National language of Pakistan

On February 25, 1948, Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah announced Urdu as the national language of Pakistan though the speakers of Urdu language are not in majority at that time. In the constitution of 1956, 1962, and 1973 Urdu has declared the national language of Pakistan but not the official language of Pakistan. English was announced as the official language of Pakistan for 10 years in the 1973 constitution and steps will be taken in promoting Urdu as an official language after 10 years Urdu will be adopted as an official language. But that period of 10 years has not ended yet after the completion of 50 years of implementation of the constitution of 1973.

No serious steps are taken in promoting Urdu or making Urdu the official language of Pakistan. This is the main and the most important reason for the decline of Urdu in the country which has opted for it as a national language.

Detestation of Youngsters

One of the strongest reasons for the decline of Urdu is that almost all youngsters are not opting for Urdu as their mother language, especially in the sub-continent. Out of 100 million native speakers, almost all belonged to Pakistan and India. When the new generations of this region did not opt for Urdu as their native language it will ultimately result in the fall of this language. A lot of youngsters considered Urdu as a complex language. They do not want to learn its grammar, not want to read its literature. Because it has been planted in their mind that Urdu is a very complex language which is not true at all. Urdu is a language that is simple and easy to learn.

Priority of English over Urdu

The main cause for deviation of younger generations from Urdu is giving priority to the International language English on Urdu. Almost all students at a younger age started to read English novels and literature. Some of the students are also forced by parents and society to do this. Ultimately they considered it a simple language and they give superiority to it as it is an international language and whatever they say or write everyone in the world will be able to understand them. They love to talk in English want to listen to English want to read English, and English becomes the part and parcel of their life.

Illiterate People

Society and parents have planted in their minds that if they did not speak English they will be considered illiterate. The people will not give them due respect in society if they did not talk in English which is only obscene. The senior generation is also responsible for the fall of Urdu in the last 10 to 20 years as they planted reckless things in the younger generation’s minds. The senior generation had shown negligence in preserving their mother language. Alas, they had failed to pass the legacy of the Urdu language to the next generations.

Urdu as an official language

Pakistan adopted the Urdu language as a national language. The people and the Government of Pakistan have more responsibility in preserving this Indo Aryan language but they failed to do so. They are failed in making Urdu an official language till after 75 years of Independence. One of the major reasons for the fall of Urdu in Pakistan is that there is a lack of a single curriculum in educational institutions in Pakistan.

Exploitation of Elite class

Elite class students go to seven-star schools whose syllabus is totally based on Oxford and Cambridge syllabi. They give priority to English. On the other hand, there are middle-class students who study in street schools and government schools. In these schools, there is a lack of qualified teachers. A lot of students pass primary and even matric education in the Urdu curriculum which creates a lot of difference between the student of a seven-star school and the student of a street school. This discrimination is purely based on language. If there is a single curriculum that has to be in Urdu there will be no discrimination between these students.
Pakistan adopted the Urdu language as a national language. The people and the Government of Pakistan have more responsibility in preserving this Indo-Aryan language but they failed to do so. They failed in making Urdu an official language till after 75 years of Independence. One of the major reasons for the fall of Urdu in Pakistan is that there is a lack of a single curriculum in educational institutions in Pakistan.

Promotion of Urdu in the world

A street school student is considered inferior because he speaks Urdu and a seven-star school student is considered a bright student. To end this discrimination a street school student also tried to learn English so that society will give it importance and ultimately, as a result, it damaged our national language Urdu. They are going against their national language which is not a good doing at all. After the partition of united India, the Urdu language shrunk to Pakistan’s territory or the Muslim majority territories of India.

Unfortunately, these people did not take any steps in preserving their mother language. Many authors and poets of the Urdu language came in the last century but after their death, a big space has been created which is not been filled yet. As the people of Pakistan and Kashmir go to every part of the world to earn their bread the Urdu language also went to other parts of the world. Some of the universities in America also introduced diplomas in the Urdu language.

Decline of the national language is decline of Nation

The decline of Urdu is basically the decline of a nation. Language always played an important role in the unity of a nation but if half of the people speak Urdu other English and also regional languages so how can the people of the country will become one nation. The youth of this nation will not be patriotic. A few days ago Chairman of HEC also that our education policy and curriculum will not make our youth good people or good citizens. According to the report of UNESCO if a child gets a primary education in his mother language he will learn and will remember things easily.

But unfortunately in Pakistan and also in the Indian government, some mafias sitting in educational institutions are making the policy in which English came as a first language. Yes, it is true that we all need to learn English because it is an international language. In IT sectors or multinational companies, English played an important role in securing a job but you did not underestimate your mother language. We should give priority to our mother language and speak English where there is dire need of it.

The decline of Urdu causes poverty

The decline of the mother language ( fall of Urdu)  is one of the strongest reasons for the poverty in Pakistan and Indian territories. Because one-half of the population who speak the native language and learn their native language did not get jobs and as a result, a lot of youth remain unemployed or do some kind of small work to earn their bread. When the government did not take care of them and did not give them the jobs which they needed although they got some education in return these people also did not give anything back to the state. They want only the prosperity of themselves not of the country and that is Pakistan is still a developing country even though a large number of its population is youth but still they are not able to get their economic goals.

Fall of Urdu is a fall of Culture

The fall of Urdu results in the fall of a culture which results in the fall of a nation. Urdu has declined a lot in the last 20 years. But still, there is some hope and positive thing that Urdu is declining but not dying. In Pakistan, almost 98 per cent of the population are able to speak Urdu and understand Urdu which is a positive thing. The decline of Urdu in its birthplace i.e. India is because of its association with Muslims and the Two nation theory. The other reason for its decline in India is that Urdu is not vastly spoken on a national level in India. Only some of the territories have the majority speakers of Urdu which is falling rapidly. A lot of responsibility came on the shoulder of Pakistan to preserve this historical language.

Conclusion

The government of Pakistan must take bold steps in preserving their national language. There should be a change in educational policy and the curriculum should be in the Urdu language. A number of politicians have raised their voices against the ongoing policy of CSS and PMS exams. Unfortunately in Pakistan, only people who speak or write English is eligible for CSP or PMS which hurts a lot. Some politicians have given the proposal of changing the policy of CSS and PMS examinations. There must be a change of language in this examination. Government must switch to the Urdu language as a paper language for CSS and PMS examinations. It will promote the Urdu language on a wider scale and will compensate the Urdu speakers who did not get their due jobs. Although they are more qualified than many of the current CSP officers.