A person educates in mother tongue is much brainy: Abdul Jabbar Kakar (Editor Daily Zaland, (Pashtoo) Quetta)
21st February is international mother tongues day, in accordance with this day Bolan Voice has interviewed a linguistic and seasoned editor of daily of Pashtoo language newspaper.
Interviewed by Ahmed Khan (Blv stands for Bolan Voice and AJK Stands for Abdul Jabbar Kakar)
Blv: Please elaborate how languages came in being in human history?
AJK: As you know human came in being or was sent in the world, then it has been from phases of evolution. We have had two ways, one is religious faith and the second is Darwin’s theory. We don’t go in depth to mention assumptions but simply, when human learned walking and other arts, so it was propelled by nature to intricate will fellow people and at that time it had been in need of a language to communicate thoughts. First human become able to convey the messages to others and then these indications were developed into sounds which got shape of languages. That sounds were known as words and with passage of time developed into languages, to which today we are speaking.
Blv: Human folks have different languages and dialects; various terrains are divided into multi groups, how these happened?
AJK: History tells that human with evolution development doesn’t stay on a single locality, but travels one place to another. Some people suppose that Adam A.S (Islamic theory that first human in world sent by Divine) was born in Dajla or Moen-jo-daro, and likewise, afterward this specie number is growing, consequently they couldn’t live at single place but exodus to all directions and region, where it had affinity with different climate, circumstances, mode of production and people, resultantly odd codes and sounds were used for communication, hence this way various languages came in being. As concern dialect, so it is also linked with geography, suppose urban dwellers are erudite and educated, so they speak softly but populated in mountains speak sturdily and those factors change in dialects.
Blv: Please distinguish between mother-tongue and languages?
AJK: A human gets birth from abdomen of a mother and learns first word from her, so a mother-tongue is its entity and conscious. And human nature’s all limbs, like brain, heart etcetera embrace mother-tongue like a part of instinct, and there is no alternative of it in cosmos, eventually.
Language is communicative bunch of sounds or codes which we learn in young age, suppose Urdu, now we are speaking and other people also speak in Pakistan. English is also a language, internationally people speak to convey a message to opposite person, but these are not our mother-tongue. It is implicit that how much education or knowledge you get in any language, it never can be alternative of a mother-tongue. It is natural phenomenon that human what can conceive through the mother-tongue, never ever can gain via any language, and it is proved by science and educationalist, too.
Mother-tongue is your own and language is of others, but as requisition of time use it, for instance it is cold, so you wear coat or sweater and if it is hot you put it off. Similarly, on various occasions the various languages can be used but mother-tongue covers a great portion of human life and is part of instinct.
Blv: Globalization is affecting the regional languages, how it can be dealt?
AJK: Yes, it is affecting but tells me that how much you are doing for your languages. If you have edified your language as international world has done, then no problem, otherwise imbalance affects worst to undeveloped through this globalization.
Blv: Do you consider Globalization good or bad?
AJK: I consider globalization good, because we have attained numerous advantages from it, but globalization preserving a defect, in the world is by-polarized; one is very advanced in every field of life and second is much backward in all fields of life, and both are synchorize and compelled to run simultaneously even with negative impacts. Globalization would be better, if the entire world would be equal in fields of economy, education, defense, literacy and so on. As you said, it is influencing our regional languages, it is true, because they have all technology and they (European) are dominating on all the tools of media, like TV, Radio, Internet and like wise, as well as their economy is stronger than us, so they are affecting our regional languages. Suppose, English is a language and not more than this, though several countries, like Japan, Germany, Russia and others without using it got developed in its languages. But here unfortunately we couldn’t get developed in its languages, but here unfortunately we couldn’t get free from English psychologically, yet. It is obsessed here that Engineering, Doctor, Architect and other skills can be gotten only by English, which is totally wrong. In above discussed states English is being used as a language, but here in Pakistan, it has status of earning or criteria of jobs. Consequently, our regional languages are getting devalued and in up-coming times it is drastically cautions that average in week one or two languages will get extinct. Being Baloch, Pashtoon and other nations it is our responsibility to defend our languages from globalization impacts and struggle further for promotion of these.
Blv: Do you have any program or strategy to evade from repercussions on our languages?
AJK: Yes, Here our ruling class to which a declare remnant of English, and they are totally unaware from value and significance of mother-tongues. Because of these rulers, our languages are being influenced by outsiders. Our politicians on 21st February will emerge with processions and functions but next day they will be dormant about this topic till next year. In this way languages can’t be served, but for survival of identification, language and culture required industry and sincerity with tireless efforts. The irritancy shows are not enough in this regard.
Blv: Science tells that all particles are varying in evolution process, and with passage of time mode of production also got changed, therefore it affected languages too, you don’t think these changes ought to be embraced?
AJK: You are right, these things are to be adopted but as before I told that inventions are required interpret into our own languages. Suppose in Germany, Russia, Japan, and other countries are much advanced in technology field but they have brought innovation in their languages, too. In Germany, one of our friends spoke English, there was a native standing fought with him that why he spoke English, he replied “I’m a foreigner and don’t know German language”, then they let him to go. Means, they only speak English as a language, not as marketing or economical language. In those countries, it is out of question that you speak English.
Blv: In Russia, Germany and other countries many languages have extinct or small languages have merged into large?
AJK: Problem is this that how much you have worked on your language, and through TV, Radio, Internet and other such ways children can know better in their mother-tongue, have you provided them this facility? One thing is implicit that read as much but taste of reading is only in mother-tongue, and nowhere can you find if except this. If you watch speech on TV or other way in mother-tongues, hence it impacts you deep as compare to any other language. It is not my claim, but science proved it. If here official language, books, economy and other routine needs be used in mother-tongue or in regional languages then no way language will extinct, otherwise certainly will died-out. We are drastically backward economically, because of this worrying our language may not extinct. This factor is also true that languages are on the verge of extinction due to ignorance.
Language is not like a black-board that you erase it by a eraser. In Pakistan, for 65 years it is happening that ruling authorities have coerced the mother-tongue and think they will erase languages like inscription be eliminated from a black-board. It is proved by educationalists that a child educated in mother-tongue is wise than others. Now in examination cheating is common due to not educating in mother-tongue. A child goes to School but can’t grasp the lesson, so starts cramming, eventually starts cheating. Finally, the child must be educated in mother-tongue and educationalists also declared brilliant to educated in mother-tongue persons, it is not my claim.
Blv: How do you see the advancement of world toward a single or a centralized language, globally?
AJK: If entire world’s economy and other life departments would have equal, it was possible but now it can’t be. Will Russia allow its language be converted into English. Similarly, Germany, China, Japan and other countries will let for conversion its languages into others, no never they. Develop your own mother-tongue and only use English as a language. Here it is trend that enroll child in English Medium School and this way mother-tongues are being killed.
Blv: The economy is only reason of dominating any language or religion or something else can be?
AJK: Islam has revealed in era of Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH), but it couldn’t convert Iranian into Arabic similarly Baloch, Pashtoon and others couldn’t convert into Arabic.
Sure, effects are, but totally religion couldn’t convert us into Arabic, even Arab states have different identifications, like Syrian, Jordan, Egyptian, and etcetera. We are living in such region that our languages are not developed like Arabic, secondly Persian is also developed. I concede religion has impacted our languages and culture but if some one name is Balach and wearing Balochi cloth then doesn’t mean he is not Muslim. But it is also fine that wholly solely religion is reason.
Blv: How languages contribute its role in human folk’s economic lifespan?
AJK: Economy has great deal in languages fields, suppose here it is trend that when children grow to School age, parents instantly enrolls them in English Medium Kindergarten. What is reason behind this? Reason is this that English speaking states economy is sound and they are dominating on us, and their language is also prevailing here. In condition of industries existence, well developed agriculture and in other field of life, here’s people were not be reliant on European or English speaking state, so do not give priority to English more than your own mother-tongue Technology and industry are influencing regional languages due to lack or lagging in mentioned fields. English can only be used for international transaction other all ways are due to backwardness mainly economy and some others, too.
Blv: What status Marxism theory grants to languages?
AJK: Marxism is a theory, wants to keep alive even thrive of languages, culture, and custom so on, it never tended to demise of these. Look! Language isn’t only this to which you and I speaking, but it is linked with art, culture, literature, poetry, like-wise and Marxism never tended to vanish these at all. Tragedy is this that nowhere Marxism has been applied in world, the Russia also it was neither fish nor flesh but dubbed it with socialism and people also didn’t profoundly explore it, but capitalist brought it opposite of Islam as counter body. Marxism is a philosophy of economy; confers parity to all human. Today all problems are because of inequality; languages extinct, states assault on each other, wars and all calamities are born of economical unbalance. Eventually, Marxism theory causes flourish of language, but never decay.
Blv: How small factions are being exploited in language field, especially in province of Balochistan?
AJK: The state Pakistan since its formation day has not been in hand of genuine patriots but had gone in hand remnants of English, and they don’t know value of language, nation, culture, territory, literature and so on. Such people can be called English-minded and also don’t give importance to their own mother-tongue and speak English in offices and at home. Mentioned layer exploited all languages including Punjabi, which is considered dominant here. They from foremost day designed to erase languages as if these are inscribed script on black-board. Fact is this, the languages have centuries old history, and thus these can’t be wash-out in centuries. Alas! They would promote languages and culture, so Pakistan never would be alike today as it is. The new provinces issue why have roused, because their language, culture survival is on threats. If ruling authority were not scathe their languages and let them get education in mother-tongues, and Urdu only was let only as national language, so I take guarantee never such contention would rise.
Blv: Here for exploitation wasn’t used religion?
AJK: Of course, you are right, many tools were used for exploitation including religion and same methods were used against languages. Here in Pakistan, one proclaims my interpreted Islam is correct and second claim mine is true, but others are totally false; it is indicating that Islam is also not being used fairly but for interests. Tell me, Islam where injects to kill others by blast or by suicide attacks. Here, we don’t have dare to call spade a spade we are yoked. You get newspaper and see, only Mullah’s advertisements and statement have published, but before some years they had decreed that politics is taboo through Islam. Today, Islam is perilous in world. It means, our clerk never taught us true spirit of Islam, but only used for exploitation.
Blv: Tell us causes of languages extinction and in this region how many languages are about to extinct?
AJK: 6000 languages are being spoken in the world. Those, whose economy is the worst or didn’t give considerable concentration to their mother-tongues and didn’t get education in it, hence many languages are about to wash-out from face of earth. Those languages, which lacks literature, it haven’t got space in multimedia are also vanishing-out, like here Urdu, and English are dominating but other languages i.e Balochi, Brahvi, Pashtoo have no coverage. But Sindhi has got enough developed and it has larger print media than Urdu, electronic media is well developed and no doubt this nation worked too much on its own language. Simply, for safeguard of languages, it is utmost necessary that till primary children is to be educated in mother-tongues. Approximately within 10 days average of vanish-out languages are two.
Blv: What would be the pre-requisite roles of a mother-tongue for development of a nation?
AJK: We are leading lives in back-ward country and particularly some nations are leading tribal lives most pitiful, and lacking system of education, if the system is for elites it is English medium. The state authorities are responsible to bring modification in educational system for securing to mother-tongues; otherwise these all will wash-out. In past, we use to read Sheikh Saadi maxims in mother-tongue which are memorized till today. And in local languages are many prose, proverb and idioms which are required to be included in curricula. It has known that children only can adopt in School age and from here foundation must be strong. If child gets education in any other language, consequently it doesn’t be able to gain smoothly or easily, and the foundation of its life gets frail, and it is great coerce with it. In hubbub nation’s foundation can’t be fortified, which is needed to perceived by ruling class, otherwise we will be on same path and leading lives like animals without the civilization. Nation is lacking morality and it can be edified via folk stories, lull and like-wise which can on-track it on morality and civilization, the conclusion is this, the educational system has exterminated and not meeting requirements of nation.
Blv: As we know that after world-war-II, English is dominating language, so what are reasons it become so?
AJK: The dominant nation imposes its language and tradition by power or by promulgating its laws on others. But we had been subjugated by English and can’t get deliverance psychologically, yet. In Iran, totally things are in Persian and similarly in Afghanistan you find media, literature all in Pashtoo. They have got freedom physically and psychologically. Here in Pakistan, only five percent Pashtoons can speak Pashtoo purely, but in Afghanistan its ratio is totally hundred percent. The reason is this; they have got emancipated from English mentally and physically. Mother-tongue is need of human physically, traditionally, spiritually etcetera, but English is only a language.
Blv: In Balochistan, a secession movement has roused, do you think lingual exploitative behind it. And this movement can secure Balochi because Baloch is executing it?
AJK: In a family among the brother unbalance behaviors be practiced, consequently it turns into provocative clashes. Similarly, state is also combined inhabitance of heterogeneousness, where they live formulated pacts for barter objectively convenience. If these settled agreements don’t be practiced fairly, hence emerging of divulgences is naturally. In past, in this region, the sub-continent people reacted against British because of misdeeds and exploitation, so how nations recede from rights only declaring brother. The reaction of nationalities in Pakistan is rational, natural and according to ground realities and they never will be withdrawn from their natural rights. The Baloch is dominated and its anxiety or turmoil is valid because they haven’t treated as accords Baloch, Pashtoon, Sindhi and Punjabi are nationalities, which own to Pakistan and if someone comes from abroad as an agent of English, so that he/she can be coerced and unacceptable, because he isn’t a son of soil. Like in our Pashtoon, outsiders came and claimed for Sardar or Nawab, but they are not son of soil. We categorically say that people never can be tranquil unless their rights are given.
Blv: Can different dialects of a mother-tongue from a single language remove linguistic communication gapes?
AJK: The educationalists and intellectuals had compiled curricula to collaborate and it was taught in the days of Schools that the dialects have some resemblance or tiny differences among, as Mekurani spoke in different dialects and those who are settlers of NASSEER ABAD others, if a child has not been taught Balochi idioms, proverbs and stories, how would he/she be able to adopt Balochi accent or dialect, so somehow, it is appropriate to merge or understand the different dialects of a language to remove the gapes of communication in this era of modernization.
Blv: What are the impacts of using the terms of another language in someone’s own?
AJK: We haven’t developed our languages not to use the terms of others. An inventor occasionally gives name of the invented commodities of his/her own language, such as TV, so we are compelled to use the names of invented commodities in their languages. We don’t have sufficient economy to establish huge academies and experts to cogitate over it and create own names of these commodities. I think let it be called TV, computer etcetera, it will not effect alarmingly.
Blv: What role linguistics can play for the development of a mother-tongue?
AJK: Here in Balochistan we don’t have reader and writers, only Sindhi has. In Sindh, Sindhi people read in a large number and can write with a sufficient sphere, too. Our people have not been taught in mother-tongues that’s why local languages readers couldn’t thrive. Government is also behaving like a step-mother with local language papers. I commenced a Pashtoo paper and have seen it without government advertisements; even now they are not giving us to meet financial needs. If they give very insufficient that it neither keep us alive nor dead. Being Pakistani I need my right but these naïve don’t’ know importance of a mother-tongue just consider English is all. These relics of English are intruding with nations and its languages. The politicians also committed unjust with languages by suspension of education in mother-tongue which was commenced by Akbar Khan Bugti. Government must take initiatives for implementation of education in mother-tongues to child. This thought of vanishing languages out for a communal difference is totally wrong, albeit these must be promoted and to be brought on equal level, then no one will underhand of other as give respect each other. Slavery mind-set must be give-up now. Our local intellectual if writes book or any other material he/she might not be having money to publish it, if publishes, then has no reader, become compel to distribute it free of cost. Our provincial and federal governments are neglecting a language which is a sort of idiocy. I am intended, in ongoing year I will challenge that these languages have given due status in constitution but authorities opposing or got bureaucracy to oppose languages, the enemy of their freedom. They are embracing English but we never do this. We derived-out English from here that our culture and tradition were not secure. It is only possible that grant constitutional rights to people otherwise by power Hitlor couldn’t then who you are.
Blv: Please forecast future of languages in Pakistan?
AJK: The system of education exists to be changed and children should be educated in mother-tongues, but I am seeing dark future of languages in Pakistan and it seems me that they are advancing to their old master English. I met a professor in university, who was educated in mother-tongue in Bugti; he was prominent among others because of prudence, wit, knowledge and intellectual wisdom. It tells, mother-tongues make brilliant to a person. The attitude of authorities doesn’t seem me positive at all.