Tag Archives: Linguistics

The fascist terrorists want violence because their survival lies in it

By: Zulfi

We live in our Urdu speaking brothers dominated areas of Hyderabad for centuries and have very good connections and social relations with people of other linguistics and ethnic groups, especially with our urdu speaking brothers and sister – for the last couple of months I have been noticing a debate on the issue of new province in Sindh and an expected Sindhi-Urdu Speaking conflict. Most of the reports are coming from MQM related circles.

MQM has asked its people to get ready for any unexpected (which in fact is already planned by the fascist terrorists of MQM) fight with Sindhis, Balochs, Pakhtuns and other communities of Sindh.

Political parties working for Sindh interests should give as head to it issue.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, May 13, 2012.

Linguistics and new provinces

By Dr Tariq Rahman

Since the debate about the Seraiki province began it is being assumed that anybody who is writing in support of creating it is jumping on the political bandwagon and making a new demand which is the product of some sort of an agenda and not an issue that has been seriously thought about.

Let me remind readers that I have been a supporter of dividing Pakistan along linguistic/ethnic lines for the last 15 years. I have always supported a Seraiki province as well as other linguistically based provinces in the interest of the inhabitants of those areas. My only agenda is to reduce conflict.

Briefly, my proposal is that not only Punjab but other provinces of Pakistan should also be divided into linguistic units. This would mean the division of Punjab into a Seraiki-speaking area and two other provinces. The exact map could be determined by the government in consultation with Seraiki leaders.

The other two provinces would be the central Punjabi-speaking areas and the hilly districts speaking Pahari Hindko and Potohari. Apparently, Punjab stands to lose but if it is taken into account that it will no longer be perceived as a hegemonic, dominating mammoth then it will gain in psychological terms. Such a move will strengthen the federation by removing the mistrust of the smaller federating units.

There can also be a Pushto-speaking province which may be called Pakhtunkhwa. It will include the Pushto-speaking parts of Balochistan but exclude the Hindko and Khowar and Pahari-speaking parts of the NWFP. It will also include the Pushto-speaking agencies whether controlled federally or by the provincial authorities.

In time the whole area will have a uniform law and a similar, equitable level of development. What the present NWFP loses in terms of its non-Pushto-speaking areas it will gain if the Pushto-speaking parts of Balochistan are included. This will certainly be a good bargain and much of the tension with the Hindko and Khowar speakers will vanish.

There will be Hindko-speaking minorities in the cities but formulas to please them can be found. Balochistan will have Baloch and Brahvi-speaking areas but areas taken from Punjab and added to Balochistan during British rule will be excluded. It will also lose its Pashto-speaking areas to the Pakhtunkhwa province mentioned above. This is a proposal with which many Baloch nationalists have agreed in the past and it will reduce Pathan-Baloch rivalry and conflict in Balochistan politics.

The Northern Areas and Chitral can be divided into Burashaski-, Shina- and Khowar-speaking regions. These can be small units which need not have the same structure of rule as the provinces but sufficient autonomy to fulfill the desires of their people.

Now we are left with the province of Sindh. In my book Language and Politics in Pakistan published in 1996 I said that the consequences of creating an Urdu-speaking province in Sindh could prove worse than ‘the present tension between Sindhis and Mohajirs’. I am glad to say that the tension appears to be less but I still repeat that Sindh is a special case. If the province is divided there should be consensus between the Sindhis and Mohajirs on this move. If consensus is not there then it is best not to divide the province.

I do not say this because I support Sindhis more than other ethnicities in Pakistan. On the contrary, my goodwill towards all ethnicities of the country is equal. However, Sindh has seen ethnic conflict between the Mohajirs and Sindhis in the past and no easy solutions can be prescribed because of the volatile politics of this region. What may be suggested is dialogue and peaceful negotiations which will either accept the de facto division of the province or find some other solution of unity in diversity.

The aim of the linguistic division of federating units is to reduce ethnic conflict, prevent Punjab from dominating the smaller federating units, make administration efficient, ensure that people do not have to travel long distances to get justice, and give all units a stake in the system.

Having smaller provinces is not a new idea. The Ansari Commission once proposed as much. Earlier, in 1942, the Communist Party proposed to divide India into 17 ‘nationalities’.

In India the Report of the States Reorganisation Commission, 1955, did take the bold step of dividing the country along roughly linguistic lines. I said ‘roughly’ because there are always speakers — and pretty large groups sometimes — of other languages in a certain linguistic state. In Andhra Pradesh, for instance, the city of Hyderabad has a large Urdu-speaking population. The needs of these minorities can be catered for provided the leadership wants the happiness and welfare of the people.

The linguistic states of India have solved some problems — the south is no longer at loggerheads with the Hindi-speaking north — but not all. Ethnic issues using symbols other than language still remain in Kashmir and the northeast. Conflicts are a product of perceived injustice and exploitation and merely re-adjusting borders does not help unless real justice and freedom is given to all. However, even if some problems are solved, the solution is worth considering in Pakistan also.

While writing the above I have not taken the politics of the PML-N and the PPP into account. Political parties and their short-term interests are transient. The inhabitants of this land are a permanent feature and their long-term interests are eternal. In my view, if creating several smaller federating units can reduce ethnic tensions and increase efficiency then this is what we should be considering seriously. After all, the aim of all policies — more provinces or less or the status quo — is to increase human happiness. Is there a more worthwhile goal?

Courtesy: daily dawn, Thursday, 09 Jul, 2009

Source- http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/16-linguistics-and-new-provinces-hs-09

Sindh & Sindhis

Sindh and Sindhis- The modern literature in anthropology, sociology and linguistics

Ibn Khuldun: The Annihilations of Nations and Sindhis

by Gul Agha

To understand the on going social, cultural and linguistic decline among Sindhis, one can look at the modern literature in anthropology, sociology and linguistics to see how nations perish. But the causes have been long understood — the new twist is that the rates can be more precisely measured (each rapid shifts in vocabulary and grammatical forms). A classic work of Ibn Khuldun, *The Muqaddimma, *provides great insight and is a recommended read for any serious student. Ibn Khuldun, a giant of his time, understood how nations perish, and it is instructive to read him and then look at Sindhi society today. Fortunately, Sindhis were able to overthrown other invaders after short periods of time and never had a large scale invasion, at least after the Aryans, until 1947 when Sindh lost 20% of its native population to diaspora, and the remaining nation was linguistically, socially and culturally subjugated by millions of migrants. Here is Ibn Khuldun’s speculation:

*Book I: Kitab al `Ibar (on the nature of civilization) Chapter 2:23. A nation that has been defeated and has come under the rule of another nation will quickly perish.

**The reason for this may possibly lie in the apathy that comes over people when they lose control of their own affairs and, through enslavement, become the instrument of others and dependent upon them. Hope diminishes and weakens. Now, propagation and an increase in civilization takes place only as a result of strong hope and the energy that hope creates in the animal powers (of man). When hope and the things and it stimulates are gone through apathy, and when group feeling has disappeared under the impact of defeat, civilization decreases and business and other activities stop. With their strength dwindling under the impact of defeat, people become unable to defend themselves. They become victims of anyone who tries to dominate them, and a prey to anyone who has the appetite. * (translated by F. Rosenthal)

Another insight Ibn Khuldun provides is how society’s with greater diversity of ideas, sects and beliefs are better able to resist invaders (because, says Ibn Khuldun, they are not prone to conforming with the dominant ideology imposed by invaders, instead they are used to confronting ideas and beliefs, so if you suppress one sect, others dissidents arise). No doubt the deparature of 20% of Sindhi population seriously weaked the Sindhi nation because of the concomittant loss of diversity, but the continued breadth of Sindhi ways remains their strength, their culture of resistance to adopting a single dominant ideology (fundamentalism) and respect for different religious and anti-religious thinking, provides an immense source of residual strength to this day.

We will have to see if the current processes reach their final completion in the perishing of Sindhi nation (*dharnii panaah dde) *or, Sindhis rise to attain their cultural, linguistic, political and social freedom. There is no other stable equilibrium condition in which a nation can survive for long..