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An important debate about Sindhi-medium vs. Urdu-medium teaching in Sindh

By: Khalid Hashmani

The e-mail exchange below highlights the discussion about why it is important to preserve Sindhi-medium teaching in Sindh and why some people are bent upon imposing Urdu-medium teaching in Sindh. ….

Mr. Ursani counters Mr. Farhat’s arguments in logical and rational manner and in my view wins the case for Sindhi-medium teaching in Sindh. His arguments are:

He says as Sindh is part of Pakistan, saying Sindh watan zindabad or jiye Sindh is also saying Pakistan zindabad. He makes the point that Pakistan is a multi-national state (note by Khalid: like UK, India, Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland. Surely, the British do not perceive do not accuse Scottish people as being against Britain).

He says that wanting to teach Sindhi students in their mother tongue is natural. After all, Sindhis “read, write, think, and even dream in Sindhi Language.”

.Countering to Mr. Farhat’s objection about calling Sindh as watan, Mr. Ursani says “.. up to the time Sindhis are not ejected from their land then this will remain their watan and this is indisputable fact because this land is chosen by God for Sindhi people.”

About Pakistan’s break-up in 19971 that Mr. Farhat implies because the refusal of Bengalis to accept Urdu-medium schools, Mr. Ursani says “That happened because people like you failed to recognize that Pakistan is multinational country.”

About the implication asserted by Mr. Farhat that since Punjab does not want Urdu-medium of teaching, Sindh should also have only Urdu-medium schools, Mr. Ursani says that this argument is neither logical nor rational. We respect decision of Punjab and do not insist that they should be taught in Sindhi-medium schools after Sindhi language is the only fully developed language native Indus valley language.

Countering Mr. Farhat’s argument that it amounts to “myopic attitude in this modern age of technology “, Mr. Ursani says there is nothing that proves that Urdu means forwardness and Sindhi is backwardness. He continues that implying that Sindhi as a backward language amounts to showing hatred against it.

Mr. Ursani concludes “By saying that if we get education in Sindhi, we will not be well dressed, enlightened, and technical minded speaks volumes about your mentality.” He continues “As you have clearly mentioned your desire in your email that Pakistan should be uni-lingual country therefore now there remains no doubt schools being opened by non Sindhis in Sindh have clear agenda of eliminating Sindhi language from education and this is what we called “nefarious design”.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 15 Julay, 2012.