The links between national culture, language, and thought have long been the focus of philosophers, anthropologists and linguists’ attention. Just like culture can be defined in a variety of ways, language covers various aspects of verbal communication. Its most commonly considered facet in relation with national culture is the language spoken by a nation.
When the British Government took over every thing after winning the war of 1857 in Indo-Pak Subcontinent (currently India & Pakistan), it was their utmost effort to introduce English in all schools, colleges along with the literature in order of have loyal workers to full fill the administrative work. So many resisted and other people who wanted to gain positions in the British Colonial Empire started learning English language.
After creation of Pakistan in 1947 till now , governments introduced numerous educational policies and tried to highlight the national language i.e. Urdu but English got the most important place in all circles. Because;
- We unable to come out of the British Era
- English as a global language
- Influence of USA as a powerful nation
- Literature / academia books either of Business, Philosophy, Medical Science, Engineering, Social Science etc are only found in English language
- In all job interviews, either of CSS (for selecting top Government officials) or Business circle (Multinational Companies), if you cant speak English language, you neither get the job nor considered as a highly educated person
Language is considered as a identity of any nation but the worst situation comes when the young generation consider it as boring, powerless and feel ashamed of speaking or writing. This is what happening in many circles in Pakistan these days. I remember when i asked my cousin that had he prepared and ready for Urdu Language paper for 10th and 12th Grade, he replied “i dont care about Urdu language and never given it any importance….I will easily clear the exam and get good marks in it without even studying much“. Students take evening tuition of all subjects but there is hardly a single teacher teaching Urdu anywhere in Lahore. In My times, Only one teacher Dr. Shahbhi-Ul-Hassan of FC Coolege-Lahore used to teach Urdu in a evening tuition center (Riwaz Academy).
In my current university (where i am studying these days), I found that many students feel ashamed to talk or write in Urdu Language except in the graduation classes where Urdu Language is necessary for 3 Credit Hours as per the degree requirement of Government. A day before writing this article, I was walking with my class fellows and when i used the simple word “Madniat” means Minerals in English language, the student literary said “What is Madniat”…the other student replied with translating it as “Minerals”.
Many feel ashamed to use Urdu mathematical counting. In elite class, English is used to communicate with in the house or outside between parents with children’s or among the siblings and friends. Even Government under Shahbaz Sharif announced that English will be used in all government schools of Punjab instead of Urdu. It means that the even Government wont have a trust and confidence in own language. Whereas, India where Hindi is a national language but Indian Bollywood movies and songs use Urdu Language as a mode of communication with audience and call it as Hindi…..hehehehehe