I read an interview regarding the decline of Urdu vocabulary which was originally published on the day Pakistan appeared as an independent country on the world map. Reading it made me feel guilty, looking at the state of our national language. ‘Babye Urdu’ Molvi Abdul Haq must be ashamed of us, for having sidelined Urdu and nurturing other languages. A lack of Urdu vocabulary prevails in today’s generations. 

The man of many words, Musharraf Ali Farooqui, an acclaimed novelist and translator, has added another feather to his cap by creating an online Urdu thesaurus and a free mobile application. In its compilation, 9 dictionaries were used. The online thesaurus is currently being used by 74 countries apart from Pakistan; with a high amount of users from US, UK, India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Canada. Its usage may become a source for promoting the Urdu language among people. 

Our language seems alien to us because we are not familiar with classic literature of the region. We are not involved in reading Urdu prose or poetry, and our education system does not assist us in developing good communication skills. If our vocabulary is limited to the daily newspaper or the noise coming out of out television sets, it is not our language that is dying, but our brains. 


Karachi, August 23.