Selected Chapter From the Book "The Roots of Misery" by Sain Sucha
Pakistan has one national, one official and one religious language: Urdu, English and Arabic. None of the three has anything to do with the indigenous people. For 98% of the inhabitants the mother-tongue is Punjabi, Pushto, Sindhi, Balochi, Kashmiri, Gujrati or one of the other tongues; but not Urdu, English or Arabic. Though intended to bring forth unity and a common medium for communication this very blunder of introducing Urdu as the National language and the enforcement of other non-indigenous languages has created the greatest hindrance in the mental development of the nation.
There is ample documented evidence that Jinnah was a brilliant lawyer and a shrewd politician; yet there is just as much sound evidence that he was no linguist. His few attempts at addressing the people in their newly selected national language, during speeches made in 1947-48, should have been discouraging enough to convince him that such punishment must not be inflicted upon millions of illiterate followers. He made a very poor show at speaking Urdu; nevertheless, under some misoriented conviction he declared Urdu as the nation's language, and it has remained so since.
In a country where 80% of the people cannot read or write, and the general public communication system is still alarmingly poor, the imposition of learning a new language is a very foolish endeavour. The language is the most important ingredient in the development of the mental capacity, and its subsequent application. To enjoy speaking a language it does not suffice to memorise a vast number of words and then utter them in a grammatical order. It is a process far more intricate and demanding than what is generally understood by the people. The words we learn in our mother tongue — the language we learn from our childhood — are impregnated with psychological nuances, which connote straight word-object meanings and invoke feelings. To an Urdu speaking child the word Ckapati not only conveys the information about a baked mixture of flour, water and salt, but also, very probably, includes a sensation of warmth, a proximity of the mother and perhaps induces a feeling of hunger. Words like Bread, Pan, Brod, Khubz, even if he understood their implication, shall pass the idea of an eatable product but no more. The same is true for most nouns and adjectives in any language. Very many of them are quite interchangeable with their dictionary equivalents in various other languages, yet the words and expressions which are associated emotionally with a person have no reciprocals. The word Yar in Panjabi — lexical meaning - friend — lacks its emotional equivalent in words like Dost, Amigo, Pal, Van and Friend for a person whose mother tongue is Panjabi. All of the other words in the preceding sentence meant to stand for Yar shall, if the Panjabi under consideration learnt the other languages, only convey the similarity of relationship between individuals but not the depth of relationship. It is the sensual pleasure, in prose or poetry, of a mother tongue which stimulates a person's mind — it is not the conscious and analytical understanding of a sentence but the subconscious gratification by the emotional content which determines the nearness between a person and the language he uses.
Strangely enough despite the recognition that language plays a vital role in the mental development is not new, the emphasis upon it is quite recent, even in the so called advanced countries. The introduction of a new language is a difficult process even where the best of educational facilities are available. Imposition of a new language in a country where the teaching facilities are primitive, while the local languages are already rich in their communication potential, is a formidable task. Although memorising a very large vocabulary and then placing the words in a correct syntax is quite sufficient for direct and technical information, yet it is very inadequate as soon as human relationships and niceties of lingual intercourse become relevant.
Disregarding some of the more elaborate studies in the linguistic structure I shall attempt a much simplified explanation of the process given above.
For my purpose the linguistic communication is divisible in four constituents:
1. Vocabulary 2. Grammar 3. Technical Communication
4. Emotional Content
Vocabulary and Grammar require no new explanation.
From Technical Communication I mean those sentences and words which are used to impart information which have no indirect meanings: "Give me a cup of tea", "Shut the door", "Churchill was an Englishman", "The sun is shining" are a few examples.
Whereas Emotional Content is that part of a sentence where the meanings extend beyond the Technical Communication — often as accompanying nuances and overtones to be understood and felt above, and beyond, the direct meanings: "Give me a nicely made cup of Jasmine tea", "Churchill was a well-known English statesman", "Please shut the door, gently", "The sun is up and shining beautifully" are examples of sentences containing emotional hues of simple order. A gifted mind can induce far more information through the emotional content in a sentence than the words in it seem to stand for in their dictionary meanings.
The vocabulary, the grammar and the technical information in a language is generally easily interchangeable with that of another language of a similarly developed structure; whereas the emotional content is peculiar to each language and accessible only to those people who reached it as a child; and in some very few cases, and to a certain extent only, to those who might have migrated to the geographical area of a particular language and learnt the language there. Quite often even the same language spoken, in different parts of the world, inspire of its common Grammar, similar Vocabulary and Technical Communication structure, may vary strongly in its Emotional Content, as is the case with English spoken in the British Isles, USA, Australia and the West Indies, or Arabic spoken in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and parts of northern Africa. Thus the vocabulary, the grammar and the technical information contained in English, French, Arabic and Urdu can be learnt quite easily by a person and used interchangeably, yet each language maintains its emotional content mostly to its own sphere of use.
The diagram given on the following page shows my idea of inter-changeable constituents of different languages and the peripheral contact of the emotional content:
A normal person, let us say an Englishman, may, through adult learning, be quite proficient in French, German and Urdu, and wade through the normal daily stream of communication with the speakers of these languages without any apparent hindrance; nevertheless, when it comes down to expressing complex thoughts or a very accurate formulation of an idea then he can either rely upon the symbolic language of logic, which lacks the emotional content, or must revert to English. Only in the case of persons who are trained from their childhood in more than one language, under shifting geographical conditions, it is feasible that they, perhaps, command more than one language, with its emotional content for their understanding. In other words an individual who has learnt only one language in his childhood may learn other languages in his later life but, as far as I can judge, his ability to master the new languages remains limited, especially so if he is not even living among the original speakers of them.
The truth is that the function of every language is to translate our observations and experience of the phenomena around us in a written or verbal form to communicate with the other. I have not mentioned the symbolic language by gestures because it has a very limited application as in the case of speech hindered persons, theater, or where it is a symbolic representation of the spoken language as done by raising the middle finger or winking. The potential of each language to translate our mental impressions into linguistic form depends entirely upon the possibilities and variations available to study the range of similar and dissimilar experiences in a certain place. The larger the range in the field of observations the greater will be the number of words and expressions coined to register the study, For example, English has numerous words and phrases describing the experiences related to the sea but comparatively very few for the desert. In Arabic the situation is in reverse. Punjabi abounds with the expressions fit for swearing1 at the people because the intrusions in the last four thousand years have fermented just as many complaints and bitterness against the trespassers in The Punjab. While the now industrialized Swedes, who quite recently stopped rampaging the world, are rather satisfied to reduce words and phrases to symbols useful in peace talks, official bureaucracy and trade union negotiations.
The geography also plays a very important role in the development of a language. Even in the case of related experiences in different parts of the world the similarity of the words and expressions used can be very superficial. I shall explain:
Let us take an imaginary transportable garden filled with roses in full bloom on a sunny spring afternoon. A likely assumption is that a description in English of the said garden placed in London shall apply adequately to the same garden if it was placed in Lahore. This assumption will hold if the description is used for only technical communication, but prove to be misleading in its emotional communication. To a visitor in milder London the roses in the garden infuse the wind with gentle sweet fragrance while the soothing sunlight arises from the open petals to inspire the eyes with beautiful hues. The experience is stimulating and exciting. In hotter Lahore the wind from the rose garden will overwhelm our visitor with arousing aromatic scent while the burning sun rays bounce from the open petals and dazzle the eyes with glaring colours. The experience is exciting and orgasmic. When the visual effects are transformed to the local languages-—English and Punjabi — each language shall carry words and expressions, and the feelings ascribed to them, which correspond to the intensity of the impact felt by the visitors to the same garden but in two different places. The senses of the visitors were exposed to similar but not identical experiences. Thus if a Panjabi and an Englishman are given a colour photograph of the garden and asked to write their impressions, they shall use very different emotional languages. Even if they were asked to write in English and used identical words and grammar imparting same technical information, they would still be conveying a very different emotional content.
Thus besides words, grammar and general idioms about universal truths every language contains expressions which are applicable to the observation of natural or emotional conditions within the geographical range of a particular language. The greyish light-blue sky at night in Sweden has no relevant expression in Punjabi because at night the sky is never greyish light-blue in The Punjabi It is either deep blue and starry or dark and cloudy or a combination of the two if the clouds are broken. Even a simple expression like Sky-blue shall mean blue hues over a wide range if it was applied in countries like Sweden, England, Pakistan, Indonesia and Tahiti. These distinctions are not restricted to the observation of physical phenomena. 'To sing like a nightingale', 'Graceful like a cat', or 'Quick like a Porsche' shall hold very different meanings for a Kenyan, Indian and a German. To induce a significant emotional content in a language which is not indigenous to an area it will be necessary for the original speakers of the language to live personally in the new environment for a considerable length of time, study the patterns of physical and emotional life, and only then can they coin phrases and words to capture the impressions; as is the case with English and French spoken in different parts of the world. Even here the language already spoken in that area, if not totally obliterated, shall always carry more details and depth of communication because of the length of time and effort which is gone into its development, than the newly imported tongue, which at its best may cater a mixture of ideas which are in part critically accurate and movingly expressive, and partly transposed and lifeless.
For a normal person the vocabulary, the grammar and the technical communication comes within the cognitive range of the mind, while the emotional content belongs to the non-cognitive.
For the most subtle thinking, I believe, one condition is that even the first three constituents of the language be transcended to the non-cognitive understanding and reproduction of the ideas. A person must feel completely at home in a language so that his flow of comprehension of the vocabulary, the grammatical structure, the technical communication and the emotional content shall proceed without conscious effort. But that is a requirement fit only for the super masters of the literary world, for the most of us it is gratifying to be able to use a language with rich emotional content.
This very emotional content is the ingredient which is denied to the majority of the Pakistanis when Urdu, Arabic or English is fed to them in over-doses in the schools, newspapers, radio, T.V., and other public communication. Millions of people daily perform acts of obedience without ever identifying themselves with the enactors of those orders. And this is one of the root causes for the cleft existing between the leaders of Pakistan and the apathetic public. Urdu, from its very beginning, was the language of the rulers and has remained so ever since. When the Moguls took over India the initial official court language was Persian. With the impact of civilized India on the horse riding nomads Urdu was born — artificially, bastardly, unsensually but necessarily. The conquerors and the conquered needed to talk to each other. Even today the home grounds of Urdu are in northern India, Delhi and Lucknow being the competing centers. In spite of a well planned onslaught by Hindi fanatics, Urdu has survived best in India — at least in its spoken form. That Pakistan has retained Urdu as its national language, even after the death of Jinnah, may be attributed to a conspiracy between the egoist immigrant elites from India and their collaborators from the Punjab. The area of old India which is today known as Pakistan was traditionally inhabited by the farming and martial tribes, with very low literacy. The English knew that they would enjoy a relatively peaceful time in India if the more militant Muslims were kept busy either in tilling the land or marching in the parade grounds and, thus, removed from the administration scene as opponents. They, therefore, were far more inclined to encourage the Hindus to join the commerce, industry and the civil service. Some Muslim leaders of the nineteenth century foresaw the doomed future for the Muslims and made certain efforts to raise the educational standard.
Unfortunately even they made most of their struggle in those parts of the Muslim population which happens to live in today's India. Lahore was the only exception -where The Punjab University made great strides, with some nominal advance made in other large towns like Peshawar, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Multan. Thus, at the time of partition West Pakistan had very few people who were trained to run the country. This resulted in the mass recruitment of immigrants from India who either did possess better qualifications or took advantage of the confused situation and claimed to posses them. Jinnah was perhaps instrumental in making the big blunder but that group of Urdu speaking immigrants ascertained the declaration of Urdu as the national language which gave them the chance of monopolising the civil services and other important official positions.
In the beginning Urdu was not only the national language but also the demarcation line between the privileged few and the unprivileged masses in Pakistan. The: Punjabis, Pathans and Sindhis were generous enough to play host to the millions of homeless immigrants most of whom generally accepted the hospitality, while some went on to utilize the whole country to their advantage. Many of these immigrants have now lived over thirty years in Pakistan and yet kept the distance from the local people — linguistically, culturally and socially. A sort of 'Indians living in Pakistan. They used Urdu, and used it deliberately, to hinder the native Pakistanis from reaching higher levels in the services of their own country. The emphasis on the use of a language as a restrictive factor may; appear overdone, yet the implications of this method are far reaching in its practical application and used successfully universally: a person in a higher official position is expected to be able to converse fluently, confidently and with composure. Obviously a Panjabi, Pushto, Sindhi or Baluchi speaker can not converse in fluent Urdu, which weakens his confidence and composure, when encountered by a proper Urdu speaker, which leads to the weakening of his prospects among the contenders.
It does not need to be an imported language which sets the boundaries between people. Even selective accents and enunciations are sufficient to put people in different classes; as it is done in England. There is always the Queen's English, or the Oxford accent which separates the few who through their command over speech can command the lives of many.
It is understandable that the selfish Urdu speaking group uses the language to their advantage, but why millions of non-Urdu speaking people go on being humiliated like this is hard to swallow.
An evening in front of the television in Lahore in 1979 left me with a very uneasy feeling. Whatever was said on the screen had a superficial resemblance with Panjabi, Urdu and English as a language. Some very silly people who dressed like the natives and pretended to be Pakistanis were speaking a strange language containing words from Urdu, Panjabi, English, Arabic, Persian and Hindi, with inconsistent grammar and horrible pronunciation. When 1 inquired I was told by my co-watchers that it was not any special evening but it was the standard form of non-standard language used in and around Lahore. The same evening I also looked at the TV-programme from Amritsir, India. It was a pleasure to hear Punjabi spoken with feeling, charm and dignity — the way a mother language ought to be spoken. Perhaps the Punjabis in Pakistan, who constitute the majority of the people in the country, can improve their own tongue and morale by tuning in to the sound of a very tiny minority in India.
I was also amazed to witness how language was used so tactfully to mark the class differences. In an informal gathering a, discussion always started in Punjabi and remained in that medium if nothing important cropped up. But as soon as there was a clash of views Punjabi was replaced by Urdu. On even hotter levels of argumentation Urdu was abandoned and English was used to lash and gore each other: and it was! At this level where the decisions were made.
Let us take a closer look at this social strategy: we assume that there were sixteen persons present when the discussion started in Punjabi. At that level all present could speak and understand the language and the basic contents of the arguments. However simple their formal education might have been, they were able to participate. At the more sensitive situations the leaders in the discussion found the general participation disturbing and switched to Urdu — eliminating at least 50% of the participants. When decision making was near, the further escape into English filtered off all but three or four of the contenders. When an agreement was reached it was relayed to the gathering in Punjabi, which was generally accepted by the majority who did not understand a word of the most crucial parts of the discussion — thus producing an illusion of common consent. Here we have the language employed as a double-edged sword: on one side there are a few opportunist decision makers who by the clever manipulation of the conversation could eliminate the decision accepting majority, while on the other end there are the decision acceptors who are given a further slash of inferiority complex for their inability to participate in the discussion. A discussion for which, in fact, they had full mental capacity to give and take ideas, had it been carried on in Punjabi.
While I am bitter at the exploits of those few who used Urdu to their benefit, I must not be unfair to most of the Urdu speakers who have immigrated from India. As a matter of fact this unprivileged part of the Urdu speakers had to suffer much because of the misuse of the situation by their opportunist co-immigrants. The resentment felt by the local linguistic groups against the unfair play by the elite Urdu speakers was often unleashed on the unprivileged Urdu-speakers — a majority among the immigrants who had sacrificed all their belongings and very many of their dear ones to find safety and peace in a new land.
I understand their problem and sympathise with them for their propensity to use their mother tongue — Urdu. Learning a language in a new land is not so simple as often emphasised by the less enlightened among the teachers of these languages.
I have, now, wandered around for over twenty years and have been exposed to the need and difficulty in learning new languages. I know, and know it very well, what it is that retards the progress of the immigrants when it comes to learning the new language. It is not an apathy towards .the new country, nor the lack of intelligence in the immigrants, not even a throbbing passion for their abandoned mother-land. It is that persistently itching feeling which haunts every immigrant that they are using words, sentences and expressions of a language which provides them with no emotional satisfaction.
It is agonising to look into the eyes of a person you really wish to reach and utter words which the listener believes to carry the warmth of your inner most feeling, while you are left out in the cold because you know that the intercourse is void of the intimacy which you would have conducted were you to express yourself in your mother tongue. It hurts to project your precious thoughts in a medium which is a very dim image of the brilliant picture in your mind. It is demoralising to be interrupted and corrected every time the mouth is opened, to be drenched in overplayed sympathy relayed to hide the underlying pity, to be reduced from the status of a thinking person to that of a mechanical being continuously repeating sounds and ideas newly fed in the vocabulary but distances away from your passionate self.
It is no wonder that the immigrants, in the beginning, avail every opportunity to speak their mother tongue. It is not an act of denial in the acceptance of their new language, but rather a protective retreat in an emotionally appeasing atmosphere.
Nevertheless, it is a chance which emigrants take when they move from one place to another. Unfortunately, in spite of the awareness that the problems of resettlements will have to be faced, the full realisation of the effects of their decision is reached when they have already placed themselves in the new surroundings. The decision to migrate is often the result of rational planning or forced circumstances, while the most pulsating pains have emotional origins. With the passage of time most of the immigrants, especially the younger group, start including words and expressions of the new language in their emotional reservoir and enjoy participation in the conservation with the people of other stocks.
Still it is incumbent upon the immigrants to realise that it is their obligation to learn the language of the hosts and not vice versa. It is also the immigrants' duty to ascertain that their children set their roots deep in the new soil, draw their nourishment from it and become accepted in the local flora; rather than take the characteristics of the weeds — always inch deep, always a nuisance, always removable.
Besides many smaller fractions there are five major linguistic groups in Pakistan: Punjabis, Sindhis, Pathans, Balochis and Kashmiris. Each of these groups has a linguistic history and culture which is rich in its contents. Unfortunately, all of these languages are mostly in spoken form. Some half-hearted1 attempts were made to document their heritage but without the backing of the central government — which was run by the Urdu speaking or neo-Urdu bureaucracy — not much progress is possible. Strangely enough, each of these groups consists of millions of people who continue to accept the rape of their mother1 tongue with indifference and an alarming lack of concern for its future protection. During my last visit to Pakistan in 1982, I talked with many people from different social backgrounds. They ranged from peddlers at the road side to university teachers. All of them suffered from the same sickness — 'Chronic Lingual Invalidity'. The least ill were the peddlers and the uneducated because they were not strained by their inability to express themselves or comprehend others fully in reading or writing — they could neither read nor write. The suffering became obvious as I reached the primary level educated group, more evident among matriculates and rather acute at the higher level of studies. In other words, the awareness of a person’s inability to express himself satisfactorily in linguistic terms is, generally speaking, directly proportional to the level of education a person has reached. In Lahore which boasts a literacy of 50% — the population in the larger towns has a much higher literacy rate than the average figure for the country — most of the educated believed that they could express themselves very well in Urdu. On further probe I discovered that their belief was not always supported by the degree of their command over Urdu. The syntax was often deplorable, meanings of the words were wrongly used, and the same idea expressed in Punjabi was far more assertive and satisfying. Excepting a few students from the English medium schools, English taught and spoken in Pakistan is Victorian; if not still more primitive. The expression and syntax used is not self composed in relation to the situation at hand, but is read directly from picture memory of the pages written and printed many years ago but, perhaps, memorised recently.
Thus the vast majority of the Pakistanis, today, are mentally handicapped by a persistent denial in letting them develop their own languages. There are further indications that some traitor Mullas are on their way to make things worse by enforcing Arabic on the already strained minds. A wicked thought.
What the Pakistanis need is an unrestrained possibility of the application of their mental abilities; and that can only be achieved if they were to think and express themselves in their own languages. I protested above against the selfish interest of the Urdu speaking minority group in maintaining Urdu as the national language, and now I warn against the intentions of the Mullas, a group far more evil and demonic, who shall use Arabic in further degeneration of the Pakistani mind. The very thought that forty three million Punjabis, eighteen million Sindhis, eleven million Pathans and three million Balochis, along with a few million other minority groups, shall go around babbling in the dialects of some distant desert Bedouins is so very repulsive. It will definitely guarantee Hulva for the Mullas but at the same time cause a famine in the Pakistani mind. This must not happen.
The sensible approach will be to elevate the status of the local language to the level of Urdu and English, and far above Arabic. It shall be unwise, however, to degrade Urdu or English from their present status. English is indispensable for international communication and the Pakistanis are lucky to have their basic instruction system in English which can be improved upon. Urdu, although it shall take a few generations before it can impart substantial emotional-colour to the people, serves the vital purpose of intercommunication between different ethnic groups within Pakistan and, therefore, ought to be kept. Besides, it does have a very rich collection of prose and poetry which should be judged on its own excellence and not disgraced because some egoists made a misapplication of it. The urgent most effort required just now is to develop systems of transcription for the native languages and their introduction in the schools from the very early stages and at least up to the matriculation level. A further step is to document and preserve the old poetry and prose in its original form as quickly as possible. When I conversed with the young Punjabis in 1982, I was astonished to learn that they lacked the knowledge of words which were so very common only twenty years ago. This pattern, as I found out from other sources, is applicable to the other local languages as well. I understand that a language does not have a static vocabulary. Words emerge or go out of fashion along with the passage of time, but in a space of only twenty years the complete disappearance of so many words of common use is a process too hasty. If this disregard of the native languages continues and their vocabularies keep on diminishing then perhaps Urdu or Arabic will become the prevalent means of communication — but it shall be a very insipid, artificial and emotionally poor communication, requiring many decades to form the rudiments of the emotional content of the population's psyche. Perhaps, although I personally consider it as an impossibility, it is feasible to translate all the worthy material from the native languages into Urdu or Arabic. But the question is "For whom all this change is made?" Certainly not for the Pakistanis, who already possess some very rich languages of their own. The honest answer is "It is the despotic wish of the few who dictate upon the millions to demonstrate the difference between the rulers and the ruled".
There are several ways to test the validity of the above given contention. A common observance is that in a classy restaurant a group of guests could be engaged in conversation in any of the local languages but an order to the waiter is always placed in Urdu — sometimes in English. This very shift from a native language to one of the elites is what separates a master from the servant. An objection to this observation could be that people place the order in Urdu because it eliminates the risk that the waiter may not understand one of the other languages. This is a valid objection — but only in very few cases. Educated persons who have Punjabi as their mother tongue placed their orders in Urdu, even when the waiter was an obvious Punjabi speaker. This attitude is uncommon among the Pathans and the Balochs, but the main habit for the Punjabis. There are special reasons for it. The Punjabis suffer from a rare sickness called 'The Order Complex'. Over many centuries the Punjabis as the farmers and the soldiers, have taken and given orders to each other and today it has become an integral part of their thought process that another person is either superior or inferior, but never equal. As most of the rulers in the past were non-Punjabi speakers, extraordinary efforts are made to escape the native identity through expression in any but their own language — a kind of pseudo affinity with (he rulers of bygone times. The most humiliating example of this language-flight is that the national poet of Pakistan —Iqbal — composed his poetry in Urdu, and when he felt hyper-elated, he chose to write in Persian. Born, raised and educated in the Punjab he has no renowned, if any at all, composition in his mother tongue, not even in the verbal form. Apologists have tried to mute the objections by pleading that he wrote in Persian because he intended to reach the vast majority in the world. It is ridiculous — Persian never was, nor is, a major international language. As a matter of fact against thirty-five million Persian speakers there are at least eighty million Punjabi speakers in the world. Even if I were to retreat to Iqbal's era; the number of speakers in Persian and Punjabi has changed but not the proportions. The birth and the death rates in Persia and Pakistan (India) are, and were, quite similar. Iqbal's escape from Urdu to Persian was not an attempt to reach the majority. On the contrary he was, consciously or subconsciously, writing, for the selected minority which comprehended Persian.
That the non-Urdu speaking persons had an induced inferiority complex could be openly observed in the daily life in the years after the partition; which in turn rebounded in an attitude of general hostility towards Urdu speakers. On a confrontation between two persons where one of them was an Urdu speaker and the other, let us say a Punjabi speaker of more or less equal social status, the non-Urdu speaker often had to yield to the Urdu speaker by attempting to express himself in a medium he was ill at ease. That put the Urdu speaker in a dominant position which lead to internal conflict in the opponent. He was made to feel awkward and invalid in his natal town, bitterly resentful of the privilege given to a foreigner and a foreign language. This yeasted group hostility and further cleavage between the two groups. The situation has improved in the later years but it shall continue to cause friction as long as the natives are burdened by unwanted imports.
I can not see any wisdom in a leader who addresses his nation in a language where the majority does not understand it. The leader knows this, nevertheless he expects people to follow the guidelines which he is laying before them — all in good faith that he has reached the ears, if not the mind of his people. Eventually the national message gets translated into the local languages by the local leaders; but seldom without the addition of self-oriented ingredient to meet the interests of the local leaders.
Let us look at the situation a bit more comprehensively: Punjabis, Sindhis, Pathans, Balochis, Kashmiris and remaining linguistic groups are led and ruled by a handful of men who employ mostly Urdu, and when appropriate to their needs 'English', in marking down the unlucky subordinates. Invariably the voice is raised for the preservation and development of the indigenous languages. On such occasions a little understanding is extended, a few paper projects are sketched, to satisfy the most angry. Yet this extension of understanding has always been a diversion, at least so far. The primary education, to the children is given in Urdu and later English is taught. In other words millions of fresh young brains are deprived of the most nourishing ingredient — the emotional content — in their linguistic feed. They learn Urdu in the schools and speak another language at home. This not only hinders a fluent conversation within the family but also sets sentimental barriers between the younger and the older generations. Besides, because of the importance given to Urdu and its status as the national language the young minds may find their non-Urdu speaking parents rather deficient in their obligation to the nation. The mind at that age is too young to apprehend the tyranny of the ruling class. It is also at its most fertile stage and may either be used for the cultivation of ethical thinking, a positive realistic approach towards life, a sense of individual integrity balanced with belief in collective well-being and a pride in the national identity coupled with faith in international brotherhood or it may be implanted with seeds of obligatory obedience, a servile individuality, a distrust of the others, a fear of uncertain -present and an unpromising-future. In the daily school life of Pakistani children, the Persians are acclaimed, the Arabs are extolled, the Moguls are glorified, ex-robbers from Afghanistan are lauded as the keepers of Islam, rape of India by the non-Indians is applauded, the Hindus are cursed, the Sikhs are defamed and ridiculed incessantly, but there are no echoes of praise sung for the contributions towards their improvements by some indigenous Pakistani. From their very childhood the youth is infected with all the praise bestowed upon the outsiders, while only aid and mercy is asked for the Pakistanis.
I can say with confidence that this approach to life by the political and religious leaders of Pakistan entails no 'wisdom of the East' nor some master plan by inscrutable Orientals. It is a straightforward execution of a scheme of personal gains by these groups of asinine, evil-minded anti-People opportunists who have continuously collaborated with external masters against their own people.
To me the inability of the majority of the Pakistanis to participate directly in discussions on policy making about solving the problems of the nation is one of the root causes which has contributed to the misery there.
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