Why is Pakistan swapping English for Urdu?

July 16, 2015

Al Jazeera — Pakistan is to abolish English as its official language in favour of Urdu. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is backing the move, which would mean a range of government documents – including passports, utility bills and websites – will be published in Urdu. All speeches made at home and abroad, from the president down to state representatives, will also be conducted in Urdu. The plan is to completely replace English with Urdu for official business within the next 10 to 15 years. It follows concerns that many young Pakistanis are shunning their national dress and language to adopt a more Western point of view. Is this part of a cultural and nationalist revival? Or will it lead to a breakdown in communications? And how does this translate around the world? Presenter: Richelle Carey Guests: Javed Siddiq – Resident editor at Nawaiwaqt, a leading Urdu newspaper in Pakistan. Mandana Seyfeddinipur – Director of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Olga Fischer – Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam. — Citation Al Jazeera, “Why is Pakistan swapping English for Urdu?,” Al Jazeera, July 16, 2015. Accessed ۔۔۔

Commemorating Saadat Hassan Munto

March 11, 2015

Shariq Ali — Saadat Hassan Munto (11 May 1912 – 18 January 1955) was an outstanding Urdu short story writer, film and radio scriptwriter. In this 3 parts pod cast, internationally renowned broadcaster of Radio Pakistan and Voice of America and a distinguished author, literary figure and Founder of Society of Urdu Literature (SOUL) in USA, Abul Hassan Naghmi Sahib, is in conversation with Shariq Ali about Munto and his ۔۔۔

Video: Ayesha Jalal: Manto and The Pity of Partition

March 9, 2015

Zafar Anjum — Renowned historian Ayesha Jalal discusses her new book, The Pity of Partition: Manto’s Life, Times, and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide. Jalal’s book offers the first in-depth look in English at the influential Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-1955). Drawing on Manto’s stories, sketches, and essays, as well as a trove of private letters, The Pity of Partition provides a intimate history of Partition and its devastating toll on the ۔۔۔