Indophobia

“Today’s generation is getting rid of its culture, in our times Urdu had sophisticatedly been spoken but now a days Indian culture is  invading our young minds, if you talk to the younger generation they would amalgamate Hindi words into Urdu language. This is unacceptable – we have lost our cultural values” said by an old aged man during an informal discussion with me.

According to him India through movies, music and their dramas have systematically been brainwashing our minds which is ultimately leading us towards Hinduism, we have unconsciously adopted many customs of their religion and culture.

The question I posed in return was how would he justify blending of “English” in Urdu which we use in our daily conversation. Is this not ruining our language and culture?

He seemed taken a back but suddenly admitted that English is a globally recognized language; we cannot deny importance of this language.

So, is it okay to get dominated by globally recognized culture and language?

I could see sheer discomfort on his face that made him walk away.

This is what I call resistance to change, our intolerant behavior that has become hurdle towards adaptability.

In my opinion, be it English or Hindi, we should speak whatever we want to. So long the listener is comfortable nobody should have problem with this. In Pakistan majority of the Pakistanis understand Urdu language and some how follow a culture with the blend of Indian traditions.

The glance of Indian culture may be seen in our daily lives especially in marriage ceremonies, Dholki, Mayo and Mehendi functions where we unconsciously follow Indian rituals on the contrary Islam strictly forbids Muslims to organize engagement and Mehendi ceremonies; not to forget the proudly celebrating Basant festivals, even the practice of visiting shrines have generated from India.

Our continuous denials and hostile attitude towards a country of having same culture and people speaks volume about our tendency of being radical. If our so called intellectuals have issues with the spread of Indian culture in our society they should equally condemn Americanization too.

Instead of selective resistance, we either need to strengthen our culture through media, text books and PR or leave it to the people to decide.

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13 comments

  1. Indophobia, a good term used to describe the stereotyping of Pakistani society. Well written! Thanks for sharing!

  2. It ridiculous to talk about culture to be stagnant …. its never static..its dynamic …
    it will change with time, with people…
    and btw… urdu is more Indian than Pakistani 🙂

  3. @Tanzeel

    I wanted to forward a brilliant note on Urdu I read somewhere, which the poster concerned said had first come out on Chowk. Have you read that Chowk piece? If not, could I send it to you?

  4. A well written article, shedding light on something long forgotten. I personally have never been a fan of indian movies or dramas, hence unintentional blending of words in my dialogues is extremely rare. But I dont mind intentionally using a Hindi word to make the right sentence.

    Once I did the same, and an elderly lady in the gathering showed extreme disgust with my conversation, while previously she didn’t mind me speaking Minglish and rather been using the same proudly.

    Using vocabulary from other languages (be it any language) and inducing it in your own mother tongue should be okay, until you are not TWISTING the original language. And yes you are right, promoting the culture and language is indeed the government’s responsibility to be taken seriously.

    However, what really bothers me is when our generation finds URDU extremely UNCOOL, whereas speaking in English or even the blended Urdu-Hindi gives them utter sense of pride. I really feel sympathy for the people, who despite completing their high school from Karachi Board, rant that they really cant speak or read Urdu and take pride in that. We must change this attitude of ours and learn and excel in our own language as much as possible.

  5. “I personally have never been a fan of indian movies or dramas, hence unintentional blending of words in my dialogues is extremely rare. But I dont mind intentionally using a Hindi word to make the right sentence. ”

    Well said, but i am still unable to figure out the causes of this hypocritical behavior. Why we selectively hate India but at the same time watch their movies and listen to their songs and even follow their rituals ?

    You are right, I have also come across people who find it uncool to speak Urdu on public places, but this beemari can be found more in girls than guys. What do you think ?

  6. Tanzeel – Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language and the script in which it is written in India is ‘Devnagiri’. When we say the word ‘Aryan’ it denotes its linkage to Iran (Persian largely known as Farsi) and I presume it may be Indus Valley Civilization migrating towards Gangatic Plains. This language has many dialects (e.g. Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Maithili, Chhattisgarhi, Dogri, Rajasthani etc. etc.). In case of Urdu the dialect is Hindi-Arabic and script is influenced by Arabic. We have 23 official languages in India and different scripts to write them, the main being Hindi, English, Urdu, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannara, Marathi, Gujarati, Bangla, Gurmukhi etc. etc. There is no national language and all of them are known as Official Languages. The Centre has adopted English and Hindi and States have their own official languages. Brother ….. it may surprise many, but more than half of India do not speak in Hindi and in education we have three language formula, wherein every Indian study English, Hindi and one local language upto 10th Standard.
    Due to animosity between both countries the word ‘Hindi’, ‘Hindu’, ‘Hindustani’ or ‘Hinduism’ develops a feeling of alienation in Pakistan. To a very limited extent, it is also true in case of Urdu in India, especially amongst young ones of the families who have suffered in partition. This is despite the fact that it is official language of various States. The oldies migrated from Pakistan loved Urdu being their medium of education. In the early years of partition the Muslims in India, due to fear psychosis of being uprooted any time, wanted their young ones to learn Urdu. The trend is now declining and mainly followed for knowing about the faith. The masses are indifferent about Urdu and for them it is one of the official languages. However, Urdu Zuban Hindustan Main, Lakhnawi Andaz Ka Aur Ek Tehzeeb Ka Ahsaas Karati Hai.
    It’s a well known saying that in our region the water changes at every 20 km and language changes at every 50 Km. Only difference is that you the language is Hindustani Urdu and for our next generation Urdu may be Pakistani Hindi. Similarly, Hindi speaking population when come in contact with other fellow citizens seeing his cultural ties try to speak Bangla Hindi, Sindhi Hindi, Kannara Hindi or Tamilian Hindi etc. etc. which one may see in many films. Sir, Ham Ek Doosre Se Juda Ho Sakte Hain, Apni Zuban Se Nahin. Ham Apna Deen Aur Mazhab Badal Sakte Hain Apni Zuban Nahin. Deen Hamin Khuda Se Jodta Hai Aur Zuban Us Khuda Ke Bandon Se.

  7. I don’t think we are forgeting and ruining our culture, I never saw any child blending Hindi into urdu, don’t know who man that was who stated it.

    However, I don’t concur, Indian culture, Muslims are also living there it doesn’t make sense to refer to India. Rather we can say Aryans or Hindus or any non-Muslim.

    Our culture is our strength!

    1. @ Gauri Shaikh – Sir, Urdu is nothing but Hindustani dilect written in script similar to persian. Urdu is developed in and around Lucknow and represent culture of people living in this region. Yes, the script is developed by Muslim inveders from West Asian region for their understanding and official working. It does not represent saparate culture but is confluence of two distinctive cultures. Though, Pakistan has adopted it as official language, but to my understanding the number of Pakistanies speaking Urdu is far less than the people speaking other languages in Pakistan. Please correct me if I am wrong?

  8. strange they try to speak like us, and loved PTV dramas , i think our media is now followin them…and we need to REDO all great PTV DRAMAs like Khuda ki Basti, Taleem-e-Balighan- Uncle Urfi- Shama – tele Dramas 81-86, Alif Noon, Ashfaq Ahmad’s Work , Waris all were big hits and in modern time we remembered Dhuan from Quetta TV …all gone now….The Language, The Wardrobe, Even The SET DESIGN !!! woh kehtay hain na ” Kauwa Chala Huns ki Chal …Apni Chal Bhi Bhool Gaya ” but thanks God in our families the language is still alive….

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