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The story comes from a person who has been in the profession of words his whole life and who virtually lived off Urdu. He is known for the words he spoke and now writes, adding to the vast literature in and about Urdu. And the word was varsa ; we made it virsa. Abidi sahib says changes like these have been accepted into Urdu language.

But he highlights the need to correct the Urdu pronunciation of many of our radio and TV presenters. He tells us that Idrees Siddiqui had authored a page book, Ye masael-e-talafuz , that documented the frequently-mispronounced words.

The book has been consigned to oblivion and is out of print now. Abidi sahib has travelled far and wide in Indo-Pak. After the Partition, Indian govt. The Hindi Doordarshan and Akashvani broadcast is not the language the ordinary Indians spoke and understood. One wonders whether we are losing Urdu script because popular Urdu poets like Ghalib, Fraz, and Parveen Shakir are selling more in India in Devanagari script than in Urdu one.

And in Pakistan, youths are more comfortable with roman Urdu. Urdu is the 2nd official language in Bihar and is also thriving in Bengal. Uttar Pradesh, however, feels uncomfortable with its very own language. Abidi sahib disagrees that Urdu is the language of Muslims only and not of Hindus and other Indians.

Of international Urdu conferences, Abidi sahib advises Urdu world would do well to implement the past resolutions than to hold more conferences. The book also talks about the communication gap between the new and older generations in Urdu speaking families in the UK, the US and Canada, where one asks in Urdu and is responded back in English.

Two chapters discuss Urdu kay qaiday. Many of them were written in 19th and 20th centuries and are still in use in Indo-Pak. They are still educating our children and serving Urdu.

What Urdu needs today are modern readers and teaching methods, observes the author. Urdu and Punjabi are widely-spoken languages in these cities. BBC started Urdu programmes during the World War II to propagate their version among Indians and to reach to Indian soldiers fighting at various frontiers around the world.

How Rabte ki zubaan lingua franca is different from the national language? Abidi says they are as much different as the Urdu word aurat and khatoon. There, however, was hustle and bustle at a grand bookstore. The main hall, behind-the-wall store rooms and the upper story are full with nothing other than Urdu fiction and non-fiction.

The owner Ijaz Ahmed says this is because of his love for Urdu language. But his legacy remains, I thought to myself. Beside Sang-e-Meel, another genre that strikes one is popular romantic Urdu poetry. Ahmed says a certain class of readers still buys these titles. He published an account of his trip to India, Hind Yaatra.

Another row is the gentleman series by Colonel R Ashfaq Husain. Ahmed tells me that Urdu readership has certainly gone up over the past decades. Unlike many booksellers and publishers these days, he says there has been a steady increase in his clientele. But then he concedes that not many young people frequent the store. The latter, he says, is quite popular among women. Ahmed says people usually tend to religious books as they grow old. Another shelf contains Wehshatnak kahaniyan, Dracula kahaniyan, holnak kahaniyan, jinnati kahaniyan, khofnak kahaniyan, khoon asham kahaniyan, wehshat angez kahaniyan and the list goes on.

I wonder who reads them. Small books of stories of Tarzan, sheikh Chilli and Umru Ayar reminds of the childhood. But what the scenario will be fifty years down the lane, only the time will tell. Article 25 of the constitution of Pakistan says all citizens are equal before law, are entitled to equal protection of law and that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex. They are still dependant on their fathers, brothers, and husbands even to open a bank account or apply for a visa.

The Pakistan Citizenship Act guarantees citizenship by descent only through the father. There is discrepancy in the law: minimum age of marriage for girls is 16 and 18 for boys. Furthermore, women do not have an equal right to divorce. Right of divorce given to women through delegation Tafweez is permissible in Islam, yet the attitude of the majority has led to its misuse.

And then the procedures of women seeking divorce are very complex. Legislations regarding sexual crimes against women favour men. The Zina ordinance confuses rape with adultery and, Society for Advancement of Community Health, Education, and Training says, places female victims rape as well as that accused adultery at particular risk.

The Muslim family Law Ordinance made marriage registration mandatory and introduced a uniform marriage contract form. The ordinance laid down a procedure for divorce. However, it lacked a fair post-divorce settlement. Some relatively recent legislation for women empowerment includes the revision of the Hudood laws, resulting in the Protection of Women Act. The incumbent parliament has enacted a number of legislations for the women empowerment. And women MPs are actively engaged in the legislation process.

Literacy rate is improving; more and more youths are entering universities. The judiciary is more independent than ever before. A vibrant media is leaving no stones unturned and parliament is more powerful in this nascent democracy.

There certainly is a lot more to do, but the situation is gradually improving. The book is a must read for all those interested in Urdu linguistics. A chapter details the eccentricities of Urdu Mushaira poetic symposium. Over 22 per cent seats in the member national assembly are held by women parliamentarians. What needs to be done is to implement the women empowerment legislation done by the parliament. Post to Cancel. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

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