Editor's Choice

Make Urdu Great Again

Published On: 05-Oct-2021

Well, it seems like pretty much of some heft, since all identity is theft, so…. phew… and it seems that I’m out of breath… breathe in breathe out, let it be, it’s alright, it’s all good, it’s okay, as the Mannaejing Adeetor of this prestigious magazine, a valuable read: I must confess, after all the hard work, sweat, time and energy we put into this magazine, but this magazine being an English magazine, it might be a bit ironic... to advocate for Urdu, that too as someone who plays a key role in it… ain’t much, but ain’t less as well, these words as I say them: write them, rightfully justify them, without using Ctrl+J. But man’s a Shaayar… so, aadaab!

I am not asserting that Urdu is on a verge of extinction, or a dying breed, but it could be, in a few decades. As there’s more to Urdu than janaab, aadaab, paan, and jaan. It seems less, at least at this point. Little efforts have been made, the problems vary, the factors overlap, and the issues coincide. For instance, governments or the relevant authorities have done more for the cause of Saving Urdu and less for Tahafuz e Urdu. There’s a difference for either, both the statements mean the same, and all roads lead the same way. Secretly, duality is a union of two opposing signals. 

Entertainment industry has depicted Urdu and Urdu speakers as something sacred, and somewhat all the uncool and boring people are characterized as people who are native / local language speakers. Perhaps, that’s just not the case with Urdu (speakers), but people from different ethnicities as well. The cool folk are always the bros, the babes, the dudes, and the homies. Never the jigars, the janis, the yaars. You see, characterization is quite based on agenda-setting theory, not asserting that there’s a secret saazish (conspiracy) to eradicate Urdu or other ethnicities or languages, but media, art, and literature passively sow the roots in mind which grows and cultivates as ideas and agreed-upon constructs among the society.

I guess we should stop making Urdu seem more sacred. Sacred is mysterious, sacred is complicated. Critics argue, and I agree, to conclude the argument: Urdu is complicated as it has more adjectives, and less verbs. Imagine a road, where you have to reach to a Point B from your initial point i.e. Point A, remember the road is a straight path, now imagine, you go to another point, Point C from Point A, then keep exploring till another point, Point D, to the point you are out of letters, and then you reach your destination, i.e. Point B: the process is fun, and the counter-argument could be that is the beauty of Urdu. There’s heft, but that’s where the fun lies, maybe that’s why expression is suppressed in our diaspora, because we simply complicate things. Makes sense? Nah, right… me... neither. I say make people fall in love with Urdu. A well-known Urdu adeeb Khushwant Singh said, and I quote:

“Agar aap muhubbat karna chahtay hain tou Urdu seekh lain

Aur agar aap Urdu seekhna chahtay hain tou muhubbat kar lein”

(If you want to fall in love, learn Urdu. And if you want to learn Urdu, fall in love)

-          Khushwant Singh

English is a funny language, you say what you feel like saying, but, more straight-up, especially in this age of internet: you say it, just like that, beauty lies in simplicity of words for English language’s case, expression is more valued if one uses simpler or convenient words, with less adjectives, less similes. The layout of the sentence structure should be precise: to say more and speak less. But that’s not the case for the Urdu language, beauty lies in the complexity of words, more similes, more adjectives, more words… more kaefiat (feeling). And hence I defied my previous statement. But, what stays, stays.

The only subject taught in Urdu is... Urdu. Back in the days, at least, Pakistan Studies, and Islamic Studies used to be Mutalia Pakistan and Islamiat. We need a revolution, certainly not a tabdeeli and most definitely, not Inqalab either, but inquilaab on grassroots level. Let’s just face it, kids hate Urdu, and who is to be blamed, not them, but us. The fate of a better tomorrow lies on the shoulders of elders, and in the hands of the teachers, and academicians. Growing up, I was not fond of Urdu as well. Because of the reason: that it seemed complicated to me, the words were shaky, and formed a quirky image as I connected each hijjah with another. My motor nerves couldn’t comprehend. If you look at it that way, kids of today face similar issues. It’s not a universal truth, but a common fact, more of a concern: go for treatment, find the cure, perhaps curiosity could be the cure. To the curators, please make Urdu interesting, at least for the generations to come. Instead of “how it should be '', make, believe, perceive, achieve in the “how it ought to be '' regard. And hence #MAKEURDUGREATAGAIN

“Janay hai haal e dil par magar

Meri Urdu - - - samajhta nahi”


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Monthly "Azeem English Magazine", launched in 2000, records the information about diverse fields like mental health, literature, research, science, and art. The magazine's objective is to impart social, cultural, and literary values to society.

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