Linguistic Problems In Pakistan

English Essay on "Linguistic Problems In Pakistan"

People of Pakistan are confronted with the linguistic problem. Before independence the English language held the position of official language and there was no national language as such. But now ours is an independent ideological state and we have yet to decide about our national language. At present English is an official language. Just after independence problems and differences arose as to which of the various languages spoken in Pakistan could be the state language.

In West Pakistan there are many languages such as Pushto, Punjabi, Sindi, Brohi and Gujerati. The language which is widely spoken and understood in all the parts of Pakistan is Urdu. So the people of Pakistan wished to have Urdu as their state language.

This situation became all the more serious when there arose the question of script. In view of this some people suggested the idea of Roman script. This involved sociological and cultural as well technical problems.

In 1958 the government of Pakistan constituted a Commission on National Education which considered the Linguistic problem along with other educational problems. After a very close scrutiny of the case the Commission gave the following summary of recommendations in this respect.

  1. "Since an Urdu, Bengali or Roman script suitable. for our language has not yet been evolved or standardized to meet modern requirements, considerable preparatory work has to be done before determining whether any change should be introduced."
  2. "Facilitate such Preparatory work, Government should give financial support to individuals or organizations for producing such scripts, or alternatively, the Government may appoint three committees "of linguists, one for Urdu, one for Bengali, and third for a Roman script for Urdu and Bengali.
  3. "When such script has been developed and standardized, they should be examined by competent experts and their comparative merit assessed". These recommendations are judicious enough because no hasty decision can be taken to solve this problem. These recommendations subsided the intensity of the situation and the people are now seriously thinking of a solution from the viewpoint of its practicability. They don't attach any emotional bias to it and they think sincerely that a solution should be sought out by means of harmonious and cooperative efforts.

In the meantime English continues to have more or less the same position as it had during the alien rule. This has caused much inconvenience to our people especially to our young students.(9essay.com) We all agree that medium of instruction should be our mother tongue but this, too, involves a number of other problems, particularly of the text books and other reading material. In spite of our most 'affectionate, attitude towards mother tongue English continues to be a compulsory language up to the B.A. standard. Compulsory English in our schools and colleges has adversely affected our intellectual growth and is responsible for the low pass percentage.

There is yet another distressing side of this problem Urdu is a language which is not widely spoken. We generally speak the regional dialects. A Pathan will speak Pushto, a Punjabi, or a Sindhi will speak his own dialect. Of course Urdu is widely written in Pakistan. Then, there is Arabic which is the language of our Holy Quran. Though we esteem Arabic with considerable reverence yet most of our literate people simply cram some verses or prayers or at the most we read a portion from the Holy Quran (without caring to understand it) in the early hours of the day by way of blessing.

Moreover, in the Middle or High Schools our students study Persian as an optional subject. This makes a total of at least five languages. This multiplicity of languages has overburdened the students and overstrained the teachers. How discouraging would be the miserable condition of, for example, a Pathan student who speaks Pashto writes Urdu, reads English, crams Arabic and opts for Persian!

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