a difference of opinion

S: You know, forming an opinion about our apex court is the hardest job in the world; they hound the provincial government to hold LG polls, then they give the green light to military tribunals. They dismiss PTI’s rigging claims, then the order the government to carry out business in Urdu. They see-saw all over the place.

A: I know why you are squirming, your Urdu is weak. You ivy- league graduates lord over us when it comes to other matters, but when you are asked to read a signboard in your official language all your righteous wisdom leaks out. I’m glad the court has done this; Urdu is dying out someone needs to protect it.

S: Yes my Urdu is weak; it is weak because I never had to use it. The world’s knowledge is contained in English, if it were in Urdu; I would be as fluent as Allama Iqbal. Anyway, you think this will protect the dying language? You have lost your mind. Urdu is a literary language, it is meant for flowing couplets and rhythmic poems, not for defining the the composition of a plant cell or auditing a tax return. You are going about it the wrong way.

A: Exactly, you never had to use it! By doing this, everyone will be forced to use it, and hence learn it. We will be speaking in flowing sonnets in no time.

S: No Ameen, the Urdu of officialdom and he Urdu of literature are different. People will only learn the bare minimum needed to navigate government offices, the literary Urdu will still be beyond people’s reach. If you want to protect that, the real essence of this beautiful language, then you must promote Urdu literature. Teach someone how to appreciate Faiz Ahmed Faiz, not how to read a utility bill in Urdu.