Dear Khalid Suhail Ji:
I hope you are doing well. Thanks for sharing the article with me. I have read it with great interest. Since it is a _expression of your personal experience with and discovery of Punjabi language, there is not much I can say here as a reviewer. I am glad, though, that an Urdu/English writer of distinction has decided to share his views on the reasons and implication of depriving Punjabi's from learning to write in their own language. You have hit most of the key points on this unique phenomenon. It is a very well written article. I only paused at one place where you had replied to friends who may have asked you to write in Punjabi.
need to make your point a bit more clear. The main point here is that one
would naturally write in the same language one learns in school and view as the
literary language. We were taught in schools to view Urdu, and to some
extent later English, as literary language. No one ever exposed
us to the fact the Punjabi is and can be a literary language. It was quite
natural then for us to start writing creatively in Urdu from the get go and
get all the training and learning that goes with it until writing in
Urdu became an unconscious creative process, just as after
reading English at higher level over a number of years makes
writing in English an unconscious process. My point is that there is a
long process before writing in Urdu or English or for that matter in any
other language becomes an unconscious process. This chain of events starts
in early grades in schools when one learns the simple poetry and prose
writings in Urdu or English and slowly learns the beauties of these languages in
an atmosphere where all the people around us are full of praise of
various Urdu or English writings, and no one ever mentions Punjabi
literature. Otherwise, writing in any foreign language, which is not our
mother language, does not happen naturally. Our previous generations
in India, for centuries, went through the same learning process in Persian and
most of the creative minds expressed themselves in Persian. This is
how it came "naturally or in your terminology unconsciously" to Allama
Iqbal to write his best poetry in Persian. Since the end of formal education in
Persian, it is now hard to find anyone in our present generations who can
appreciate the beauties of Persian poetry, let alone be able to write in Persian
(and most of the best work of Alllama Iqbal is now hidden from our eyes).
that being a creative writer, you fully understand this
phenomenon. That is the reason that all Punjabi activists are now focusing
on the need to introduce Punjabi as the medium of education in Punjab's
schools since that is the root cause of why almost all educated
Punjabi's and writers abandon their mother tongue.
there is really no need to justify your choice of writing in Urdu, which is a
product of your education and learning experience and not a mysterious
unconscious phenomena, by pointing out that Punjabi language is only
two-generations deep in your family. Whether Punjabi has been in
one's family for two or two hundred generations, once we put a child
through Urdu schools and teach him, consciously and unconsciously, to
consider Urdu as the high language and Punjabi as the low language, the result
will be the same - he/she will write in Urdu quite well (and speak in Urdu in a
very poor Punjabi accent).
thanks for mentioning Sain Suchas book. I was not aware that he has
written a book under the title Roots of Mystery. I just called his home in
Sweden to find out where I can get a copy of his book. He was not home and
I will call him later.
get reports of the activities of Family of the Hearts from Ahmad Jan Niazi who
is a dear childhood friend.
I would like to post your article on APNA web page to share it with a very large
community of Punjabi's around the world who regularly visit APNA web page. Let
me know if I have your permission.