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    Can we keep Punjabi alive in Pakistan? If the answre is yes then how? Without being taught in schools, colleges or universities, does the language has any future? Are we being assimilated by a foreign language, Urdu?

    Punjabi is thousands of years old. Urdu is said to be invented when the Taj Mahal was built.

    No language has any special relation with the religion, monoploy on the social life or special privilleges in literature.

    Why is then teaching of Punjabi is considered such a threat to the existence of Pakistan? Why is it then termed as a crude or gunwar language? Why was its script, Gurmukhi, termed a qafir script and replaced by urdu script?

    There are hundereds of unanswered questions. We want to keep this language, the mother tongue of 80 million (majority) Pakistanis alive. Would you let your mother be stepped upon? Then why are we letting our mother tongue, the language our mother speaks at home, to be annihialted in Pakistan?

    Let us do some soul searching! Mirza Jat (of Mirza-Sahiban fame) spoke Punjabi. Then why are we shy to speak at home?

    Comments, constructive criticism invited. You can also see more effort to keep Punjabi alive at the site.

    New (Posted March 25)

    I did not mean to attack Urdu as the language keeping the fabric of joining Pakistan, one of the greatest countries in the world. Urdu has its own place which can never be denied. It is also one of the sweatest and most lyricist languages I ever know of. There is no denying.

    What I want to insist upon is that Punjabi as one of the modern languages in Asia and may be the world deserves its recognition and place in the household, province, country and eventually histroy.

    Like I said it is to us folks to admit or deny what were the first words our mothers spoke to us in. Was it Punjabi or something else? If it was Punjabi, then your mother tongue is Punajbi. You could be speaking Persion for Allah sake, but when your neighbous refer to you they always say that Punjabi guy or girl etc. etc. Then what are you? What is your identity? You are always a Pakistani, your passport says that. But are you a Persian or Punjabi?

    I let you decide what you like to be called yourself. What language are you going to teach your kids? They are always going to learn Urdu, they have to. But should it be at the expense of Punjabi?

    How many of your Punjabi friends were taught Punjabi in the elementary school? Which language you were taught algebra in? Punjabi can be used as the primary language. And every science, mathematics, geography, history so on and so on can be taught in Punjabi. It is such an advanced language.

    Punjabi aje mari nahin
    Na hi ih maregi bina lahu wahea toN,

    Shaid kai bolian khatam ho jangia iston pehlan
    Per ih jiondi rahegi atom bomb chalea toN.

    Thanks for your constructive critism folks. But more input is required to keep this discussion alive.

    [This message has been edited by Jat (edited March 25, 1999).]

    Oh God Heavens!

    Who else you are to say that!
    Don’t say URDU is a foreign language.

    You just want to spread INTISHAAAR among the whole nation on such a stupid topic.

    Although I am a Punjabi and “MERE KAR WALAY WE PUNJABI BOLDE NE”, but I hasn’t said anything like that. PUNJABI is taught in many institutions in the country. Many people have done and are doing Ph.D. in Punjabi (I know them by person), so what’s the threat to the PUNJABI language.

    We have four provinces in our country. People use various regional languages throughout the country. But there must be a common language (excluding English) to communicate with each other and which everyone can easily understand. Obviously “IK PUNJABI PHATAN NAL PUSHTO WHICH GAL TE NAIN KAR SAGDA”.

    A separate language means a separate nation. URDU makes us different in this world. If you look at the history you will find that a lot of work has been done at that time to make a separate language which can be a representative language for the MUSLIMS throughout the region. Now you just want to say that all that was a big flaw.

    On the contrary PUNJABI is, I must say, one of the sweetest language and more work is required to promote it internationally. “JIRA MUZA PUNJABI DA A O KISEE DA WE NAIN”

    Keep in mind that wherever we are or whatever we are today are due to URDU.


      I am a proud Pakistani.
      I think it would be silly if we start a comparison between Urdu and Punjabi.
      Punjabi is a mother language of Punjabies only but Urdu is a National Language of each and every Pakistani. I would prefer to talk in URDU with other Pakistanis.

      To answer your other questions, I think the forum called "Arts, Culture and Heritage" would be better to discuss this in detail.


        I agree 100% with u guys....Urdu is our national language.....

        But Saqib Ji...why u prefer to talk in urdu.....????if u know that the person u talking to knows punjabi....why not then talk to him/her in punjabi huh


          You can talk to me in Punjabi NaikKhatoon jee if you wanted to
          I wont refuse to talk in Punjabi at all


            haan ji Jat sahib...You sound familiar...chalo koi gal nai... lagda hai tuhanu kittey dekhya ve.... jaaney pehchaney je lagde O...

            I, not being a Pakistani, would not like to contribute any controversial issues here. I have no intensions what so ever to say or do something that goes against the existence or integrity of Pakistan.

            But here are some valid points that I would like to make, if you don't mind:

            1. Urdu is a link language of Pakistan. Saying that only Urdu is National language and not Puschto, Sindhi or Punjabi will be not only cruel but very anti-Pakistani.

            2. Yes Punjabi is being taught in one Univ. at MA and Phd level. It is good thing but not enough. A language can not survive in literate sense until it is taught from primary school. I think Punjabi should be taught from grade one along with Urdu. Both languages in Pakistan are using the same script any way. Teaching kids about Bulley Shah and punjabi sufis and Punjabi culture
            won't hurt Pakistani nantional interests in anyway, shape or form. It will create a even better sense of belonging to their land and nation.

            I have been on this forum for a while now and have met some wonderful people here that I wish I can have as my friends in real life too. Hope I can do so. That I am saying regardless of whatever their mother tongue is. But I have also made some very intereting observations which have made me wonder.

            A) Every time one speaks about Punjabi language and its place in Punjab, it is considered as an act equivalent of causing a fight amongst Paksitanis. Why so? It gives the impression like most of you consider it as a threat to integrity of Pakistani if Punjabi is given its due respect.
            B) Question: Is Sindhi and Puschto being taught in any primary/high schools in Pakistan? I seriously don't know the answer to this question. If yes, then why not Punjabi?

            About, Punjabis talking to non-Punjabi speaking fellow Pakistanis in Urdu or some other language..Fine.. no problem... I speak to non-Punjabi speaking Paksitanis and Indians in a mixture of Hindi/Urdu/English which my cousin have termed as HiUrgish... I think that is funny....but cool.

            BTW, I give credit to all the people who write on this forum in Punjabi once in a while that their Punjabi accent is very sweet that I love it....particularly NaikLarki ji, Zainab, NYAhmadi...

            Now Please, don't make this thread a place to accuse each other but do some soul searching and truth searching..... whatever it may be.. becasue sachai tooN munh nai moRiya ja sakda...whatever it is.



              Urdu is a great language, not to say that punjabi isn't, but please do not try to destroy urdu, our Pakistani language!!!


                Ironicaly All the great Urdu writers are Punjabi.



                  Dear Friends,

                  I have just edited my original message.

                  Once again it was not my intent to attack Urdu at all. I say it again I love Urdu.

                  I do not dare to comapre the natinal language with the mother tongue. Because my mother is UNIQUE and my national language is what joins Pakistan. I never said that I do not want to communicate with other societies and want to isolate myself. I am just pleading for Punjabi's due place.

                  Rab Rakha. Pakistan Piandabad. Long Live Punjabi.


                    I want to elaborate a little on the a very good point that Stud bhai have made above briefly..

                    When you read the history of Punjabi literature and poetry.. what comes to mind is that all through the time when British came to Punjab, muslim punjabi poets mostly wrote their poetry in Punjabi(and also in Persian)..hence all the famous names Baba Farid, Bulleh Shah, Waris, Shah Husain, Gulaam Farid, Shah Muhhamed etc. When British took control of Lahore, persian died within years in Punjab... and all the poets in Punjab including Sikhs and Hindus started writing in Urdu. and since then have produced fine poets like Faiz, Iqbal sahib and story tellers Rajinder Singh Bedi, Sayadat hussan Manto etc.

                    This trend continued in Pakistani Punjab after 1947 until around the creation of BanglaDesh. The things have started changing in the last 20 years or so.... Now allmost all the contemporary Urdu poets of Punjab have written some of their poems in Punjabi and have published their books in Punjabi. It is also knwon that they are proud that they have done so. For Example, Muneer Niazi, Ahmed Saleem,Shareef Kunjhahi, Tanveer Bhukhari, Zaffer Iqbal, Majjad Sadiquee, Noor Kashmiri, Nazam Hussain Sayead and many many more.

                    What is encourging, from being a Punjabi point of view, is that this trend is really taking off. Almost all the new poets in Punjab are writing at least some part in Punjabi and many of them only in Punjabi. If this trend holds for another 50 years, we will see Pakistani Punjab produce Punjabi poets of the calibre of Bulleh Shah and Farid that Punjabi language have not seen in a while.

                    Jeevey shehar Lahore.
                    Jeevan issde jammey jaaye,
                    jeevan iss diaN kabbraN...
                    jeevan jo ehni gallyeeN aye,
                    bhull gaiye aapniaN khabraN..... *BY: Mohhamd Safdar



                      Bhra Stud,

                      Iho gal taN maiN kehan laggaN haN. Ate Bhai Channmahi said it beutifully:

                      "We require the literary minds to write in Punjabi as well. Urdu has its own status and own Sighasan. Give Punjabi a chance. A language only progresses if literature is created in it. Poetry, love stories, news, history etc. We need to advance our mother tongue to the new heights in the next millenium."

                      I am challenging my fellow Pakistani Punjabi brothers to take this challenge and produce some of the finest literature in Punjabi ever written. Baba Farid, Kabir, Bulleh Shah, Shah Muhammad and Waris are not the end of it, we need more writers, poets, shiars and Kavis to take the helm of progressing Punjabi.

                      I am dying to nominate "Punjabi of the 20th Century", but it all depends upon how much contribution an individual has made in creativity, advancement or even experimentation in Punjabi to advance the language. You can also refer to my notes on the on the same topic.

                      If someone ever had a chance to meet Hindustanis born in Guyana, Trinidad, Fiji and Surinam (most of their ancestors migrated to these countries in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century). They are muslims, hindus and some sikhs. None of them however, can speak any of their ancestors' languages. Most of them speak broken English. Of course, their allegiance to their respective religions is to the minimal level that just includes the ceremonies at birth, weddings and deaths. Do we want to belong to that class in the next 50 years?

                      I am glad that many of the Pakistani Poets are now beginning to write in Punjabi but we need more writers in every facet of sahit (literature).

                      I leave it as an open question.

                      Rab Rakha.


                        Bhra Saqib,

                        You just proved my point that I made earlier. And really NaikLarki anwered it for me. You being a born and bred Punjabi like to talk to a fellow Punjabi in a different language, that is a threat to our mother tongue.

                        Fluently knowing Urdu is important to the fabric of Pakistan. I never denied that fact. In addition, knowing other languages such as English, Farsi, Arabic etc. is a plus plus! But we must dedicate the place in our hearts to Punjabi it deserves.

                        Khuda Hafiz


                          Punjabi would be a dead language like Sanskrit and Latin in a couple of years ( especially in Pakistan). It would remain a spoken language for couple of years and new generation would cease to speak Punjabi.

                          Other languages on their death bed are Sindhi and Baluchi.

                          Why dont we treat all regional languages equally like India? India has more languages spoken yet India is more united than Pakistan. Though Hindi and English are business languages, India has fifteen official languages. Primary education is always in the mother tongue. There is a separate TV and radio channel for regional languages like Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati etc. Indian literature is not only in Hindi and English but in all regional languages. There are films made in all regional languages. I have met so many Indians and they are conversant in at least four languages.

                          I think the state government in India has more control in specific regional issues than central government. In Bombay (Mumbai) which is the capital of Maharashtra state one has to learn Marathi the state language. So all Tamilians, Gujaratis, Bengalis living in Maharashtra learn to speak, read and write in Marathi the regional language apart from Hindi and English.


                            Sarwar, thanks for sharing for your fears with us.

                            India's Hindi speaking majority who have lead the central government
                            most of the last 52 years is not that liberal and fair when it comes to
                            regional languages and cultures as you have described above. Although
                            it might be little bit better than Pakistan. Punjabi in India will
                            certainly survive as long as Sikhism survives as a religion. So the
                            fear that Punjabi as a language will some how perish from the planet in
                            next few years is baseless.

                            I used to have similar feelings some time back about the future of
                            Punjabi in Pakistan. Recently, I read some articles and latest news
                            Pakistan regarding Punjabi that have made me more hopeful. Here are
                            points that support my new found hope for a great future of Punjabi in

                            1. You might bump into A lot of Pakistanis on the Internet who are very
                            pro Urdu and think that Punjabi is a language of paindoos , uneducated
                            and poor people. But luckily, these people are the cream of Pakistani
                            society, rich in education and thick in the pockets, (at least compared
                            to their counterparts in Pakistan) and are very out of touch with the
                            ground level realities of Punjab, partly due to the fact that have been
                            away from Pakistan for too long. Not true representatives of Pakistan,
                            contrary to their belief that they are Pakistan.

                            2. I read a report published in a Punjabi newspaper regarding the new
                            education policy in Pakistani Punjab. Teaching of Punjabi have started
                            in about 60 colleges since last year and authorities have been
                            by the large number of students opting to take Punjabi as a subject of
                            education. According to the report most of these colleges have only
                            Punjabi lecturer to teach the class whereas number of students in some
                            of these classes is in the range 500-1600 students. For example, a
                            Govt. Degree College in Kasur have only one teacher but about 1600 students of
                            Punjabi. When Dr. Mohamad Sadiq Janjua takes freshmen's class of about 700 students, it looks like there is
                            political ‘jalsa’ going on. Some other colleges offering these clases are Govt. Dial Singh College Lahore, Govt. College, Faislabad(Lyallpur) etc. Also about 100 make shift schools started
                            in various villages of Punjab signal a very encouraging trend as
                            hundreds of students are attending these classes with great enthusiasm.

                            3. While reading a book on the anthology of post 1947 Punjabi poetry
                            days back, I came across a reference regarding the future of Punjabi in
                            Pakistan by two renowned Urdu poets, Josh Malihabadi and Faiz. Now
                            these references are quoted in the book by the author whom I have no
                            reason not to believe. It says that Josh Malihabadi in his
                            autobiography "yaadoN ki baraat" warns about the dark future of Urdu in Pakistan.. It also quotes
                            Faiz’s viewpoint that within 25 years Urdu will merely become a dialect of Punjabi.

                            Now, when I read lot of Urdu poets of Punjab writing in Punjabi, those
                            predictions sound very real.

                            4. Punjab have a very low literacy rate. Although most of the educates
                            people in Punjab are well versed in Urdu because it was a medium of
                            education, Punjabi is still the language of masses in Punjab. Let
                            alone the villagers, Punjabi is the medium of communication on the
                            streets of all the cities in Punjab. Punjabi is not just a language,
                            it is a part of the local culture which is hard to mold and reshape in
                            colleges and universities.

                            So Sarwar bhra ji, cheer up and don't think about inviting me to the
                            ‘janaza' of Punjabi boli, because it is not going to be there.



                              I am not giving up this easy. I want more input from the 80 million Punjabis.

                              Je tusiN maN da dudh pita hai taN sharmao na piario, aao te aapna vichaar pesh karo.

                              Meri tarziz hai tuhanu sariaN nu.

                              I am not going to let this topic or the mother tongue die so easily.

                              SaadiaN taN ragaN wich Punjabi lahoo hai, ki tuhadiaN ragaN wich pani hai sohnio? Bolo kuch taN bolo. Punjabi maN tuhadian udiakaaN kar rahi hai.

                              Regards. Long Live Punjabi.