[lg policy] Punjabi etc.

Zaidi manoo at BRUNET.BN
Wed Apr 13 14:24:44 UTC 2011


Dear Aditi
You are right. Pakistan's constitution is explicit about Urdu and Islam.
Ours is the only constitution in the world, which says that anyone insulting
Prophet Muhammad must be hanged. With this awesome power of Islam and things
Islamic who will speak for . . . .?

Regards.

Abbas Zaidi


  _____  

From: lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu
[mailto:lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of aditi ghosh
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 10:19 PM
To: Language Policy List
Subject: Re: [lg policy] Punjabi etc.


Dear Abbas Zaidi, 
Even if census data is not manipulated, It may be worth while to look into
the overt and covert language policies in state level and below, that may
have encouraged this attitude in younger generation. Both Pakistan and
State of Brunei Darussalam are Islamic republics. There may be a hidden urge
to identify with the dominant religion through proclamation of Urdu
language, which is perhaps seen as a representative of Islam, as opposed to
Punjabi, which is associated with Sikhism. 
This is of course my general intuitive understanding based on your
observations and can only be confirmed by systematic research.
regards
aditi 



On 13 April 2011 18:47, Zaidi <manoo at brunet.bn> wrote:


Hello Professor Schiffman
Once I wrote that in India Hindi was written in the Gurumukhi script. I got
many angry emails from Indian Punjabi Hindus complaining that I had ignored
them.

The fact is that in Pakistan, Punjabi is written in the Persian script (Dr
Tariq Rahman will refine my statement with his "nastaliq" comment). In India
Punjabi is written in two scripts: Gurumukhi and Devanagari. The former is
associated with the Sikhs (their Holy Garanth is written in Gurumukhi,
though many sociolinguists will say that it is not exactly Gurumukhi, but
Eastern Punjabi), and Devanagari is associated with the Hindus. I have read
somewhere that Gurumukhi and Devanagari scripts symbolize language and
religious identity for the Sikhs and Hindus, respectively. As far as Punjabi
in Pakistan is concerned, this is not the case.

In Pakistan, data are not manipulated in favor of Urdu. It is the Punjabis
themselves (overwhelmingly the younger generations) who claim Urdu to be
their mother tongue. Mansoor (1993) in her sociolinguistic study in Lahore
found this situation. In my study of the Punjabis living in Brunei
Darussalam, 98 percent of second generation Punjabis said that their mother
tongue was Urdu as opposed to 2 percent first generation respondents who
said Urdu was their mother tongue.

You will be surprised to find out how Punjabis hate their language.
Regards.
Abbas Zaidi


-----Original Message-----
From: lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu
[mailto:lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Harold
Schiffman
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 9:31 AM
To: lp
Subject: [lg policy] Punjabi etc.

Dear Christina,

 I  think that this raises an issue I've mentioned on occasion, that is, the
manipulation of data by census authorities.
My focus was on data manipulation in the Indian Census, which tries to
inflate figures for Hindi and deflate others by ignoring small languages
that might want to consider themselves as separate languages, and conflating
them with Hindi to raise the percentages for Hindi.  The goal is to show
that the percentage of speakers of Hindi is rising.  This means that all
sorts of other small languages, e.g. the Todas and Kotas of the Nilgiris,
don't get conflated with other majority languages like Kannada or Tamil, but
just get ignored.
Other census authorities in other countries do this, do--mostly by ignoring
certain groups, or not asking questions about language.  In the US,
questions about German popped up on a special census
(non-decennial) in 1916, just before the US entered World War I.  Again in
1940, questions about language appeared, then disappeared for decades.

I guess maybe that's going on in Pakistan to inflate the percentages for
Urdu, which we all know are very low, and minimize figures for other
languages.  Panjabi has always been low man on the totem pole in that
region--I've just finished editing a volume of papers on lg. policy in
Afghanistan and its neighbors, and one of the contributors shows how Panjabi
was ignored and denigrated by the British, in favor of Urdu in the portion
of India that is now Pakistan.
So I think there's an "inferiority complex" among the Panjabis, which Zaidi
mentions in the Gowanus article he attached to one of his messages.  He
mentions that Panjabi in India is even written with nagari script; I thought
it was written in Gurumukhi...

HS

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-- 
Dr Aditi Ghosh 
Assistant Professor

Department of Linguistics
Calcutta University
87/1 College Street
Kolkata -700073



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