As civilisations have long traces to some other civilisations and every nation is born from another, languages too have deep roots in their mother languages. The nations that have ruled the world in any particular field – be it science, philosophy, military or any other department of competition among human beings; they have never forgotten the traces of their blood. United States, Russia, Britain, France, China and those nations which dominate the world’s stage have all but one thing in common – they do not betray their ancestors in terms of culture, traditions, history and above all the language.
Today there are almost 6000 languages spoken in the world. Speakers of these languages may exceed a billion tongues like those of Chinese and at the same time a language can also be confined to some particular tribe with just a few hundred members. Language is basically a linking bond between people and people. Urdu, Persian and above all Arabic are the most widely understood, if not spoken, and important languages of the Muslim world and its heritage. Persian, for example, is not only spoken in Iran but also in Afghanistan and in the entire Central Asia. Urdu, although is not a mother-tongue of the majority, still it enjoys to be most widely understood language of the Indian sub-continent including Pakistan and Bangladesh. And most importantly Arabic is the religious language of the Muslims as well as the official language of twenty-two countries. It is the linking bond between the Muslims of the East and the West.
If we look upon the languages rich in literature, eastern languages are equally distinctive, if not superior to western languages. Other than Arabic, Persian and Chinese; English, Spanish, French, German, and Russian languages are very rich in literature. But again people who have elevated the statues of their respective languages have done a great deal in promoting them and they feel immense pride over their mother-tongues.
We, the residents of sub-continent, became slaves of British Europeans; but even when they left our land, our mentality could not attain freedom. We cooked in our hate for the native and a sense of pride upon everything that was alien.
Our religion Islam teaches to be universal instead of being contained in a shell. We ought to be moderate and learn all the languages without compromising our own. But we Pakistanis feel immensely ashamed of our local languages while at any international stage. We proudly learn English language and think as if we have become modernized. Seldom do we show the due respect to our languages. The dilemma is that not only have we distanced ourselves from our root languages but also that even we have left considering our very own mother-tongues as existing languages!
The very same thing is being done in the educational system of our country. Urdu, as was proposed the national language of the country at the time of its birth, even after 68 years of freedom it is still struggling to achieve the identity as the official language. We have failed to decide whether it would be English or Urdu, the medium for educating the young generation. Too many educational systems running in the country at the same time, is another major cause of our disunity.
As Chinese, Japanese, Russians, Germans, French and so many others have secured the positions of progressed nations without compromising their mother-tongues; I am very sure that we can also the glory of progress
and scientific, economic and social advancement – without the help of English. In my sight, the road to progress passes through the national language and we cannot achieve its glory without having a pride in something our own.
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