Abating charm of Urdu.

Byline: M Omar Iftikhar

For centuries the Urdu language has been radiating with sophistication, style, and grace making readers read in admiration and respecting the efforts of Urdu prose and poetry writers. While the greats of Urdu language including Baba-i-Urdu Molvi Abdul Haq, Allama Iqbal, Mir Dard, Mir Taqi Mir, leading to contemporary writers including Anwar Maqsood, Zia Mohyeddin, Late Ashfaq Ahmed, Saadat Hasan Manto, Bano Qudsia among others did pave way for the growth and promotion of Urdu, it is the readers, in general, who did not respect the sanctity of this revered language. Today, only a select few in the society do admire the Urdu language and indulge in reading Urdu prose and poetry. Urdu is not at all an endangered language, and it will never be. It has just been ignored. Even though the present generation and the millennial do prefer conversing in person and corresponding online in the English language, it is the Urdu language that remains the first language they learn at home as toddlers.

The fact remains that children learn from home how to converse in Urdu and how to write in this language. Unfortunately, the English language is now the mode of communication as parents feel proud to see their child, a primary school student, talking in English and seldom paying heed to the Urdu language. The influence of how the Western culture has affected our society and our young minds has also sent the importance of Urdu language at a downward spiral. It is true that English is a universally accepted language, we as Pakistanis, must not ignore the importance of the Urdu language for it is a part of our existence and our very mindset. We may write or speak in Urdu but our thought process, ideas, and even dreams appear in the Urdu language. Urdu, therefore, is a language that is engrained in our blood and deep-rooted in our very existence. Schools, therefore, must give the Urdu language as much importance as they give to subjects related to science. Unfortunately, business management institutes and those offering degrees in business and allied disciplines, do not teach Urdu in the first semester of bachelors. There must be a course of Urdu language for university's first-year students. Moreover, students of advertising and media sciences must be taught Urdu scripts of popular dramas of the 1990s as well as ask them to read novels written by Urdu's greatest proponents to understand...

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