Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full, One for my master, one for the dame, And one for the little boy who lives down the lane.
The black sheep run the country. The first bag is English, to serve the
masters, to gain favors and to be worn on oneís sleeve always, announcing your social class. The second is Urdu, kept as a language of sensational journalism, popular entertainment and to send out meta-messages to the populace at large. Populace is the dame that has to be kept tamed and used for political gains or acquiring the so-called moral legitimacy for the powers that be, elected or unelected. The third bag is the array of the various mother tongues of Pakistan, the little boy with a very limited share in power and who virtually lives down the lane. This paper attempts to outline the political decisions taken in Pakistan by the State and the meta-messages relayed to society at large in defining the relationship between Urdu and English. It further explores the impact of this relationship, which has not been constant throughout, on the countryís social development. Here, what is meant by social development is the broadening of peopleís choices and their involvement and participation in the decisions affecting their lives and livelihoods. This may range from their role in the provision and acquisition of fundamental
Originally presented at the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg (IWH) International Workshop titled ìBetween State Ideology and Popular Culture: Urdu Literature and Urdu Media in Contemporary Pakistan,î held in Heidelberg, Germany, 20ñ22 July 2006.
100 • The Annual of Urdu Studies municipal services and their access to basic as well as higher education, to larger issues such as the electoral process, legislation, peopleís intellectual well being, opportunities offered to them by the State and... [continues]
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