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Modern Asian Studies31, 1 (1997), pp. 177-207. Printed in Great Britain
The Urdu-English Controversy Pakistan in
TARIQ RAHMAN National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University
I. Introduction Pakistan is an ideologically inspired state and Urdu was a part of this ideology. During the development of Muslim separatism in British India it had become a symbol of Muslim identity and was the chief rival of Hindi, the symbol of Hindu identity (Brass, 1974: 11981.1 Thus, after partition it was not surprising that the Muslim 1 References to books and documents are given in the bibliography. Some frequently occurring references to magazines and newspapers are parenthetically embedded in the text. When the name of the publication is not given in full, the following abbreviations will identify it.
Dawn (Karachi), English daily. Jang (Karachi), Urdu daily. M Muslim (Islamabad), English daily. MN Morning News (Karachi), English daily. N Nation (Lahore), English daily. NW Nawai Waqt(Lahore), Urdu daily. PT PakistanTimes(Lahore), English daily. A Note on Transcription Commonly used names of people and places have been spelt as they are spelt either by the people themselves or in conventional contemporary English orthography (e.g. Bhutto, Lahore and Pakistan, etc.). The system given below, therefore, is only relevant for transliteration from Pakistani languages. The system is meant to give an approximate pronunciation and is not rigorously phonetic. In fact, phonetic symbols have not been used except to explain the sounds given by the Roman letters (and diacritical marks) given below. Letters representing sounds common to English and Urdu as well as combinations of sounds (such as diphthongs) have been excluded. International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) Symbols /a:/ /e:/ as in /ze:/ (sea) /e/ /i./ Symbol Example Used a e e i i lo sharp German long 'e' as in /ze:/= sea short form of the above beat (ee) bit
? 1997 Cambridge University Press
League still considered it the unifying symbol for Pakistanis who belonged to different linguistic and ethnic groups. But Urdu was opposed by the supporters of Bengali even before the partition in 1937 when the delegates from Bengal opposed the idea of making Urdu the lingua franca of Muslim India in the Lucknow session of the League (Sayeed, 1968: 206). After partition the Bengali movement became highly politicized...