Do you believe using English as the medium of instruction in state and educational institutions is an outrage?
A sign that we still haven’t escaped the colonization of the British, a subtle example how we’re still slaves to all the Western tangles that our ancestors wished to escape, an attempt to alienate our future generations and drive them further away from our national language; Urdu – the language that the founding fathers fought so hard to establish in an unstable nation, just to unite us. Perhaps the domination of English over our mother tongue is the reason why we haven’t been able to reach our full potential.
This author, however, respectfully disagrees.
Learning English isn’t an attempt to imitate the British and their mannerisms; it is merely the act of learning a language that is the medium of communication used by many people all over the world.
While the spread of this language may have been the result of the British trying to colonize half the world, learning this language is not a sin and should not be regarded as such.
While this author agrees that more attempts should be made to make Urdu literature more accessible to the general public especially students, it’s important to remember that our knowledge of Urdu or lack thereof is not the reason why we’re not as successful as the biggest economies of the world. The real reason is our obsession with trivialities, this idea that we won’t succeed unless we love our country, its traditions and its unconditionally.
In reality, healthy societies thrive on criticizing their own traditions and rituals and abolishing those that have no relevance to modern times. Patriotism is all well and good until we end up deciding that our entire identity centers around our country, its language, and its people. The truth is, instead of criticizing people for not being patriotic enough by your standards, constantly criticizing and highlighting the unhealthy aspects of Western civilization we should first, focus on actual problems that our country faces; poverty, illiteracy, unstable government, intolerance etc.
Take China as an example; they pride themselves on their cultural heritage but they encourage their students to learn English and learn how to respect all cultures of the world. Perhaps it is this tolerance and patience, that we Pakistanis lack, for other people’s cultures and languages is the real reason that Pakistan is not as successful as many other countries of the world. We pride ourselves on things that genuinely won’t matter in the long run. We’re constantly being made to argue over inconsequential things, made to think hard and long about who our true enemy lies, not knowing that it is within all of us. In our entire society. We are slaves to no one else but our own emotions.
Therefore, the wise thing for our education system to do would be to leave behind this idea that proficiency in language has anything to do with our intelligence, even English. It’s time we recognize our own faults, embrace them and actively work to solve these problems instead of constantly blaming the West.
It’s been almost seventy years since we broke free from the subcontinent. It’s time we move on.