Guest Post By: Prof. Muhammad Saleem
A friend of mine went to England; on his return, I went to see him. He was quite excited while describing his tour, “look what a country, everybody even the kids were talking in English, such a wonderful country”. Same is the condition of our rulers and policy makers, whenever they talk about the progress and development of America and England; they attribute it to English and think that English is the only key for the development of a country.
In the recent days queen of England addressed the parliament, her address was very well crafted and was delivered in an elegant way. The parliamentarians listened to her very keenly and it appeared that they understood and appreciated each and every word spoken by the queen. Was it because it was delivered in English? No, because it was delivered in their mother tongue, the mothers tongue of both queen as well as the parliamentarians.
And look at the height of foolishness, our president, our prime minister, our top officials start delivering their sermons in English without considering that it is neither their mother tongue nor their listeners. The result is a total lack of communication as both are handicapped whereas English is concerned.
Do they not know that communication is needed between the speaker and the listener and when both are using a foreign language; naturally both feel some problems whereas communication and understanding is concerned. Another question, when we are having a language in which we can communicate better, why to use another language?
Why are we declining in every field of life? It is because we have forced English into our educational and administrative matters, because it is not fulfilling the basic requirement of communication. 65 years have passed and this downward journey in the field of education, science and technology is continuing. And for the very same reason our universities, and technical institutions are not rated anywhere in the world. And because of this factor our students get shallow knowledge and when they go to the internationally reputed institutions they show an average or below average performance. And this is one of the reasons why our people are getting away from the books and they have abandoned the habit of reading.
And still another stupidity, we have given the English subject a compulsory status till our graduation. This has played a key role in keeping our literacy rate to a shameful low level. Nobody has ever thought that the failures in English subject only, are far more than total failures in all other subjects. By doing this we close the doors of education to millions of students every year, and the struggle for knowing English language hampers their performance in other subjects as well.
The efforts put by our elders in promoting English will not serve any purpose, but to fall our standards even lower. After all how can they fulfill their dream to change the language of 180 million people, it is simply stupidity, stupidity of the highest degree. And if their desire is to change the language of a portion of people, than it is like compromising on our dreams about this country. Why not involve 100% of the population in the process of development. And what will happen, if during this process of making the English, the language of our people, some other country (say china or Afghanistan) becomes the boss of our bosses, will than we start learning that language?
We can make a 100 times more progress by putting in 100 times less resources and efforts by making Urdu as our official language and introducing it at all educational and administrative levels. Whereas books and other resources are concerned, you just implement Urdu as the sole medium of instruction and our ‘well wishers’ themselves will prepare, print and publish all the required books and journals in Urdu. After all ‘they’ are dubbing all their movies in Urdu for our viewers, they have prepared the computer and mobile software in Urdu, and we see all the advertisements for their products in Urdu. They will never like to loose the market of 180 millions; after all they are much better in business matters as compared to our rulers. You will see that the deluxe and the low priced editions of their books will be freely available at our bookshops and other places of learning.
I know that all of our rulers have received their education from highly reputed English medium institutions and they are under their influence. They have their interests in their patron countries. All of their luxuries and enjoyments relate to these countries, but why are they not ready to think about the people of this country. For last 65 years they have exploited us a lot, and have kept us from going on the voyage of progress. Till when will they keep this Great Wall of English between us and the development?