Showing posts from September 6, 2004

Language politics

In 1958 the people of former East Pakistan now independent Bangladesh - protested against Urdu and wanted Bengali to be the 'national language' - perhaps nowhere in the world has ever heard of rioting and demonstrations over the issue of language and nothing else. That is a lot of water under the bridge now - Bangladesh exists, Bengali is the national language, though the truth is everyone prefers to speak Urdu - it is the language of South Asia. There may be a few places where Urdu is not understood or not spoken at a;;. So many people regardless of rank and status would rather speak in Urdu then in Bengali. They all know that language issue was for political reasons and nothing else. The language of the government prior to British rule was Persian - Urdu was the language of the common people. During the British Raj, English was the language of the government, Urdu remained the language of the common people - Urdu did not discriminate between religions, everyone spoke it. Afte…