by Manzur Ejaz
Probably, it was the first time in the history of Punjab assembly, that a member of provincial assembly from Rai Wind, Mr. Abdul Rashid Bhatti, opened his speech in Punjabi with the remarks that "I am not a literate person." His colleagues smiled knowing fully well that he has a masters degree in science, however, Mr. Bhatti went on to clarify that "He is not literate because he cannot read and write in his mother tongue, Punjabi." It stunned many in the assembly chambers because when the last time, an MPA from Faisal Abad, Mr. Fazal Hussain Rahi, tried to make a speech in Punjabi, he was forced out of the chambers by security guards, on the order of the speaker. This time, assembly speaker, Hanif Rammah, let Mr. Bhatti deliver a speech in Punjab assembly, in Punjabi. What an achievement!
Shameful for the mighty Punjabis who want to rule every corner of the country but cannot dare to speak their own mother tongue in their own assembly. A language which is described by Bhola Nath Tivari as: "Punjabi is the oldest among Indian Aryan languages. Still many Prakarati word are used in their original form. For example, sat, ath [instead of saat and aath of Hidi and Urdu] are Prakarti forms." Nevertheless, Mr. Bhatti led to a splendid and historical achievement because this has happened first time in the history of the center of power of Punjab: A power center that has seen, all kinds of rulers from central Asia, their own Jat Raja Ranjeet Singh and the Britishers who are said to be in love with this part of the sub continent, nevertheless, none of them gave Punjabi language its deserved position.
It is understandable that invaders and rulers from the North and Central Asia had no interest in promoting this language but one cannot easily explain why Ranjeet Singh could not make it the language of his court? Several popular explanation have been around for a long time, however, on closer examination, these explanations do not hold the water. We will examine these explanation in the following section and show how these explanation are false from a logical viewpoint.
The most popular explanation has been that it was a British conspiracy to subjugate Punjabi to Urdu. The proponent of this explanation hold that Britishers established institution for the development of Urdu, Hindi, Sindhi and several other Indian languages, however, they did not encourage Punjabi. The question were they more hostile towards Punjabis than Bengalis?
All indicators point out that Bengal was more oppressed area than Punjab. Furthermore, Bengali was a much more potent and modernized language, than Punjabi, to be used for anti British struggle. As a matter of fact, it was the most sophisticated Indian language of that period. Rabindar Nath Tagoor was writing poetry, fiction and other forms on a level that was more sophisticated than Urdu and Hindi of that period. Therefore it is not probable that the Britishers conspired to kill Punjabi and promote Bengali. It is said that once Tagoor commented that a comparison between him and Allama Mohammad Iqbal is irrelevant because he does not write in his own mother tongue. "His language is fully developed while mine is not", replied Dr. Mohammad Iqbal. "My language was not developed when I started writing, however I have developed it", responded Tagoor. It is irrelevant whether this dialogue actually took place or not, nevertheless, it profoundly juxtaposes linguistic evolution in both lands, thousands of miles away from each other.
Another popular explanation has been that it is the Urdas of U.P who suppressed Punjabi by a thought out strategy, It might be true in case of Sindh after 1947, where Sindhi was full grown language being used in every sphere of life and was coerced to take a back seat. However, it does not appear to be a plausible explanation about Punjab where the bulk of the elite was using Urdu much before any migrant from U.P entered Punjab. As a matter of fact, from Allama Iqbal onward, major writers of Urdu have been coming from the Punjab. Moreover, the Urdas were a very small minority in Punjab, who themselves had to learn to speak Punjabi to carry on their day to day business with vendors, shopkeepers and other working class persons who had not learnt Urdu like Faiz or Qasmi. Therefore, it was not Altaf Hussain of MQM who asked speaker of the Punjabi assembly to throw out MPA Mr. Fazal Hussain Rahi. It was an indigenous Punjabi, acting as the speaker of the house, who did it on his own volition.
One cannot even say that the political ideology of Muslim League overwhelmed the Punjabis. Ashiq Hussain Batalvi, K.K Aziz and many other have established an undeniable fact that Muslim League was almost non existent in Punjab till early forties. A few years before the creation of Pakistan, Unionist Party was at the helm of affairs in Punjab. This was a pure Punjabi party composed of ruling elites of three major religions, Muslim Hindu and Sikhs: Chauhdry Chotto Ram, a Hindu, was the general Secretary of the party while Sir Fazal Hussain, a Muslim was the president of the party. The composition of Unionist Party and its prolonged rule accepted by the Britishers, negates the notion that the Britishers created friction among different religions of the Punjab and the suppression of Punjabi language was a thought out strategy of the colonialist to keep the people from uniting. Britishers knew very well that the love of a mother tongue is not the only factor that can eliminate the sectarian hatred: Love of Bengali language, both by Muslims and Hindus, did not stop them from killing each other. Furthermore, they promoted Sindhi in Sindh despite a strong presence of Hindus besides Muslims. In the light of these facts, such a conspiracy theory assigned to the colonialist does not explain much. Nevertheless, it serves a therapeutic device to blame somebody else for one's own weakness.
One does not get very far trying to find the answer to this question through the history of written Punjabi literature which, at best, has been sporadic. One finds very little between eleventh century Shalook's of Baba Farid Shakar Ganj of Pakpattan recorded in Guru Granth, and fifteenth sixteenth century poetry of Guru Nanak and Shah Hussain. Eleventh Twelfth century was a period when a great transformation of idealogies was taking place; where the Turko Persian ruling classes were seeking their counter parts among Jats and Rajputs of India and, on another level, the migrant intellectuals from the same lands were trying to reach an ideological synthesis among the masses. Great mass of down trodden people of the lower castes were converting to Islam under the Chishtia Sufis who also were encouraging the creation of new forms of music, arts and were nourishing the local dialects to become full grown languages: It is not accidental that Farid of Pakpattan and Amir Khusro of Dehli were the pioneering writers in the languages of their areas.
The following four centuries saw no new upsurge of powerful schools like Chishtias which corresponds with absence of any noteworthy written literature in Punjabi. It was the fifteenth sixteenth century that a new wave of reformist/revolutionary ideas engulfed Punjab: Baba Nanak's revolutionary synthesis of Hindu Muslim ideologies reverberated the masses, particularly, the artisan classes while the rebellious, Shah Husain (a Malamtia sufi intellectual) is said to have been a source of inspiration for the famous nationalist peasant leader Dullah Bhatti. On also observes that Shah Hussian's sphistication of articulation of ideas and use of language raised Punjabi to new heights. The tradition of great epic writing also started during this period.
Demodar Das was the first great poet who created the epic of Heer Ranjha. Heer and Ranjha were mostly used as powerful poetic symbols to express cosmic philosophies. Demodar Das transformed these characters into living socialized charaters representing the real world contradictions of all kinds. Following two centuries, till the end of eighteenth century, Punjabi language saw its mid prime in form of several poets creating greatest Punjabi masterpieces. Waris Shah and Bulleh Shah are the most renowned and popular poets of that era, although several other poet less known among masses, were of the great calibre.
This mid prime of Punjabi literature reflects a point in history where the society itself has gone through a great evolution between fifteenth and eighteenth century. Such an evolution relects itself in Punjabi literature very clearly. For example, if we compare the epic of Heer Ranjha written by Demodar Das in the sixteenth century and, the same epic written by by Waris Shah in the eighteenth century, (which has remained best seller since than in Punjab) the evolutionary process becomes very vived. Demodar Das's Punjab is mostly tribal where the institutions of property, mullaism, qaza and feudal hierarchy have still not taken roots. On the other hand, these institutions are well developed in Waris Shah's society. For Demodar Das, Heer and Ranjha are struggling as exceptional individuals striving for justice for themselves and other persecuted semi slave artisans like the boatman, Luddan. For Waris Shah, Heer and Ranjha are representatives of a struggle against established institutions of property, mullaism, jog, family, and justice system.
To elaborate this point let us examine a few examples from Demodar Das and Waris Shah.
(1) Demodar Das's Ranjha leaves Takhat Hazara, his home town, due to a rivalries of his brothers but Waris Shah's Ranjha is forced out of his home town because his brothers have deprived him of his due share in the property by bribing the qazi (magistrate) and the elders of the village. Ranjha's brothers in Demodar Das are after his life, while the brothers in waris Shah's epic are after his property. As a matter of fact, Ranjha's brothers, in Waris Shah, hypocritically try to stop him from leaving his home, while Demodar Das's Ranjha runs away because his brothers have hatched a conspiracy to kill him. In other word, property institution has become the source of fundamental contracitions in eighteen century which was not that much intense in sixteenth century.
(2) For Demodar Das's story, mullah is an irrelevant character, probably, because the institution of mullaism is still not established to play any meaningful rule in the society. For Waris Shah, mullahism is a full grown institution of imposition of formalistic religion and has to be exposed. Therefore, Waris Shah composes most provocative verses against mullah.
(3) In Demodar Das the boatman, Luddan, is a semi slave artisan who rebels against his master and seeks refuge by Heer. The same Luddan is an independent commercial individuals who transports trading commodities across the river. Demodar Das's Luddan works for the pleasure of his tribal masters while Waris Shah's Luddan is obsessed with monetary gains to the extent that he says:
(4) Demodar Das ends his story by a mystical unity of Heer and Ranjha, while Waris Shah makes them to meet the tragic end. For Waris Shah, it is clear that in the presence of oppressive institutions, man and woman cannot unite by their own will.
Similar comparison can be made between Shah Husain's and Bulleh Shah's poetry. For Shah Hussain the property classes are composed of lords of land while Bulleh Shah's portrayal is more of a society where commercialism has been very common. Furthermore, for Shah Husain mullah is an ill advised person, who should be ignoreed where for Waris Shah and Bulleh Shah mullah is a tyrannical character which is perilous for the society. For example, Shah Husain describes mullah who should not be paid any attention.
These comparison show a marked transition in Punjabi society between sixteenth and eighteenth century. More importantly, it shows that not only the conceptional framework of the Punjabi elite has qualitatively progressed, the language necessary for such advanced system of ideas had also taken a qualitative leap. Students of Punjabi literature know how, both Waris Shah and Bulleh Shah reconstruct the language in a very unique way to accommodate the new ideas. It appears from the linguistic constructions of both poets that the next step in articulation of evolving ideas can be only accommodated in prose. A careful reading of these poets leaves no doubt that Punjabi language was not very far away from the next stage in the development of a languagei.e. prose. However, the history cannot be written, with ifs and buts and in flowing two centuries the evolution of Punjabi language retrogressed.
The period between eighteenth and twentieth century is extremely crucial because many languages of the sub continent matured during this time. Punjab remained unsettled during this period. Not only, it became a target of annual invasions from the north, Sikh guerilla movement against Moghals transformed it into several municipalities (Misals), till Raja Ranjeet Singh consolidated his empire in Punjab and expanded its borders to Sukkar on one side and Peshawar on the other side. To the surprise of many Muslim historians of present times, Ranjeet Singh was very secular and enlightened ruler who had given key posts to Muslim commanders and incidently, the first one to abolish death penalty. Ranjeet Singh ruled affectively through consensus building between different religions, however he did not adopt Punjabi as his court language. Partly, it may been due to the absence administrators who could conduct the state business in Punjabi rather than in Persian which had been the language of urban elites for many centuries. Partly, it might have been a part of his confidence building measures among the Muslims for his consensus based politics. Furthermore, it should not be ignored that Sikhism was a religion and partially a nationalist movement of Punjab, but half of its Gurus were non Punjabis. Therefore, it should not be surprising that Sikhs produced more scholars in Persian than in Punjabi.
The last twenty years of Sikh Raj, (known as Sikha Shahi), after Ranjeet Singh's death, played havoc with Punjab. Anarchy ravaged the land where Sikh generals fought each other every day, in addition to unchecked religious bigotry by armed Sikh army bands who were not payed their salaries regularly, and were set loose to do whatever they please. The brutalities became indiscriminate to the point that Ranjeet Singh's own family was not spared which prompted his wife, Rani Jindan, to invite the Britishers to take over. Consensus of Punjabi society was shattered to the point that British were welcomed by the majority. It is probable that non Sikhs might have been more enthusiastic in receiving the alien rulers, however, the history of following years show that even the Sikhs were not very disturbed and were soon incorporated in British empire as leading land lords and soldiers.
It is the irony of history while the soldiers of Punjab were crushing the upsurge in Dehli, the educated and enlightened elite of Punjab was getting ready to accept the linguistic hegemony of UP. Not only the Muslim elite preferred Urdu, at the expense of their own mother tongue Punjabi, Hindus and Sikhs also fell in line. Of course, the greatest Urdu poet of that period was Allama Iqbal, a Kasmiri Punjabi, but Raj Narian and Chakbasat were also non Muslim Urdu poets from Punjab during the same period. In the following years, if Saadat Hassan Muntoo and Ahmad Nadeem Qasim were muslims, non Muslim writers, like Rajinder Singh Bedi, Krishan Chandar, Ram Laal and several others far outnumbered them. One can easily conclude that the domination of Urdu in Punjab was not a religiou (Muslim) Phenomenon. It was function of other socicio political factors some of which is given below.
(1) Last twenty years of Sikh Raj had done an irreparable damage to the Punjabi nationalism. One feels rebervations of Punjabi nationalism in eighteenth century in Sikh wars and nationalistic peasant revolts against the Moghals and in an epic like (Shah Mohammad De War)written against the other invaders from the north. Probably, this was the backdrop that prompted Waris Shah, to depict beauty of Heers eyes in the following verses:
Kajal nanan de dhar wich phab reha, charia Hind tay katak Punjab da Jee Kajla is reflecting in the sword edge eyes, like the Punjab's army has mounted an attack on Hind (UP).
However, the circumstances of Punjabi nationalism had dissipated under the heavy weight of anarchy and brutality when the Britishers entered the scene. Ruling classes, comprised of Muslim feudals and urban merchants ruled Punjab collaborating fully well with the Britishers. Alienated, urban middle class and their educated elite looked toward UP for the leadership (or, in case of Muslims looked further towards Khalafit i Usmania for their salvage). On linguistic level, they adopted Urdu without much hesitation. However, the domination of Urdu was not limited to the use of language only, the culture of UP became the model of gentrification for the Punjabis for many years to come. It is said that the first badges of students in Aligharh were entirly filled with Muslim feudals from Punjab while the Urdu speaking of UP were still not very enthusiastic. It shows that, primarily, the ruling class of Punjab accepted UP culture as a symbol of the gentrification.
(2) Persian was the language of the courts and elites in UP, Punjab, Sindh and many other states. However, in Punjab, Persian elite was so overwhelming that, even Raja Ranjeet Singh, a typical jat of Punjab, had to depend upon them for running of his day to day affairs of the state. As a matter of fact, Lahore was considered to be an extention of the Dehli Darbar, for all practical purposes. Consequently, the Persian elite was much more entrenchened in Lahore than those areas that were far away from Dehli. Therefore, when the transition from Persian to Urdu took place in UP, Punjab followed.
It is still an unanswered question why the Britishers promoted Sindhi but not Punjabi. British patronage of the languages has proven to be crucial in the sense that most of the modern languages of India developed after comming in contact with the Britishers and the propensity of the Britishers to implement those languages on state level. I do not know whether a causal relationship exists between the British occupation of Bengal earlier than other areas and earlier development of its language, or it is a just corelation or an accident of history. However, the areas that came under their control earlier developed their languages faster. One can hypothesize that the rise of nationalism was much stronger in the said areas and it played a significant role in the development of language. Furthermore, British patronage might have been a ploy to pacify nationalistic aspirations in those areas.
(3) Secular themes developed earlier in Urdu poetry. The concepts of ishaq, mahboob, sharab etc were more individualistic and personalized than symbolic expressions of cosmic reality expressed in Sufi poetry. Urdu poetry could be sung on the kotha also while the Sufi and folk poetry was still shrouded in metaphysical ethos. Again, Punjabi poetry had taken a great leap towards secular concepts in eighteenth century, however, it retrogressed in the ensuing periods. Urdu recieved a further boost when the Britishers founded the Fort William College for the promotion of Urdu and Hindi. Early Urdu prose was written on demand in this college. Latter, Progressive writers' movement was also born in UP and most of its leaders were Urdu writers. Therefore, it is understandable that the enlightened middle class elite of Punjab, looking for individualistic, secular and non mystic expressions, readily adopted Urdu as their medium of expression.
Primarily, they were coming out of Persian tradition and they had no model in Punjabi to follow. Nationalist movement was not deep enough to force this tiny middle class to improvise their own mother tongue. (
4) Expansion of commerce and industry also create classes and social groups that are conducive for the development of nationalism and language. Industrial proliferation accelerate the sophistication of culture and language. It can be argued that it is not accidental that languages in the coastal states like Sindh, Gujrat, Bengal developed more rapidly: The possibility of trade is much better in those areas than in land locked Punjab. Therefore, it should not be surprising that Bengal had a better industrial network even before the Britishers came and similarly the Bengali language was ahead of language of UP and Punjab. As a matter of fact, when Fort William College was giving assignments to write folk stories (Dastan), Bengal was ready to read Rabindar Nath Tagoor's developed form of novel.
Punjab had surges of industrial seedings, that we observe in eighteenth century literature. However, the political instability and systematic intervention of the ruling elites, commerce and industry could not progress. Therefore, bulk of the population lived in self contained village settlements, while the cities were few and inhabited by the administrative bureaucracy, court aristocracy and a small merchant class which again depended on the feudals patronage. Forward looking middle class, that comes as a product or by product of commercial activity, was absent in Punjab.
(5) A certain part of Punjab had a long tradition of supplying mercenaries to different invaders and rulers. These mercenaries came from all religions and creeds. Now, it is a known fact that non Muslim mercenaries from Punjab were also part of the Mahmood Ghaznvi's army that looted and destroyed Somnat: The purpose was to collect gold that had piled up in the mandar. Ranjeet Sinhgh's military was also expanded by these mercenaries. But when going got tough in Punjab after Ranjeet Singh's death, Britishers took over this military and used them around the world, (including shooting at Khana Kaaba). This section of the society also contributed towards negation of nationalism. Most of the history of Pakistan is also a proof of this fact.
The situation of Punjabi remained quite oblique during the British era. Punjab University only offered Punjabi Fazal which was understood to be a subject of via Bathanda: A short cut to get a college degree because after having passed Punjabi Fazal one has to take examination in English only. A few writers, like Amreta Pretam. Mohan Singh, Benarsi das Jain and some other non Muslim kept the movement of Punjabi alive. However, after the partition, the situation of Punjabi became very murky.
After the partition of Punjab, Punjabi Hindus aligned themselves with the Hindi speaking UP and divided Punjab on religious lines: Haryana and Hamachal Pardesh for Hindi oriented Hindus and Punjab for Sikh majority. Punjabi was declared as the state language of Punjab and one can see a mamoth growth of language in that province. Several daily newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals are published in Punjabi. Furthermore, Punjabi is the medium of education at all levels. This shows that the opponents of Punjabi are wrong in saying that this language is a mere dialect and does not have the potential of becoming a full grown language. Implementation of Punjabi in the East Punjab, proves that ultimately, the languages are standardized when they are accepted on state level.
Situation of Punjabi was very precarious in Pakistani Punjab in the early periods. All the known writers of Punjabi had left for India and the state of Pakistan was intent to impose Urdu on every province. Two developed languages, Bengali and Sindi resisted this irrational decision of the state. First riots broke out in Dacca when Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared that Urdu will be the national language in all the provinces. Two students died in these linguistic riots and Shaheed Chowk of Dacca was named in honor of these students. Jinnah had to take his decision back in case of East Bengal, but the coercion of Sindhi and other languages continued.
In addition to religion, imposition of Urdu and suppression of other languages became the corner stone of Pakistan ideology popular among Punjabi ruling classes and Urdu speaking immigrants. Suppression of Sindhi was more visible because it was the medium of education and the language of the state in 1947. Daily newspaper and other types of magazine and journals were very common in Sindhi at that time. Punjabi was in its infancy, however, the ruling elite was so paranoid by every language that smelled non Urdu, that a small Punjabi literary society in Lahore was declared a political party and was banned by Ayub Khan.
Despite the state suppression and the attacks of the Urdu crusaders of all sizes and shapes, Punjabi started attracting a small segment of urban intelligentsia. Dr. Faqir Mohammasd Faqir, Sharif Kunjahi were probably the early prose writers, however, several enlightened progressive intellectuals started writing in late fifties and early sixties. Mohammad Anwar (creator of cartoon Nanna in Pakistan Times) published a beautiful book of short stories and Najam Hussain Syed, besides writing poetry, introduced literary criticism in Punjabi during this period. Latter he wrote some short and long plays. Well known Urdu poets like Munir Niazi, Zafar Iqbal and many others started writing in Punjabi also. A basic infrastructure of Punjabi had come into being that could inspire the coming generations. However, the major qualitative change occurred after the Anti Ayub upsurge of late sixties. Several progressive activists were attracted towards Punjabi as a result of this mass politicizing. The largest progressive party in Punjab, Mazdoor Kissan Party, adopted Punjabi as its party language. Furthermore, its president, Maj. Mohammad Ishaque wrote two plays that were staged. The litrary atmosphere changed in such a way even star poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi were felt an obligation to write in Punjabi. Bhutto government was quite receptive towards the right of national languages and it introduced Punjabi at M.A level in Punjab University. Latter Punjabi was introduced as an optional subject in several colleges in Punjab. It was offered as a subject for the competition examination through which the civil servants are recruited. However, Punjabi was not introduced at the elementary level which was more crucial. Central government also created Punjabi Adabi Board that has published several hundred books which were out of print for decades and some of them for centuries. Zia ul Haq's government did not role back these programs started by the earlier government, although it created an environment that was not conducive for the development of Punjabi.
In the preceding discussion. we have tried to show that socio politico economic circumstances were more in the way of development of Punjabi rather than a cooked conspiracy by one part or the other. However, these conditions have changed dramatically and Punjab is at the verge of accepting the language of the land. This statement might be seen as day dreaming for the eternal pessimists and skeptics but a scientific examination shows otherwise. In the following section, I will try to give some key indicators that have been associated with the development of languages and have been lacking in Punjabi society.
(1) In our earlier discussion we noted that the socio plitico economic conditions affect the development of languages. The expansion of commerce and industry creates independent sectors and bulk of enlightened middle classes. Such conditions may not be necessary for the development of a language, however these conditions help the growth of the language. Punjab was traditionally a farm land with almost no industry at time of independence. Most of the population lived in self contained isolated village settlements. Urban centers were few and inhabited by the administrative bureaucracy and a small merchant class that was again dependent on agricultural communities. Punjab of today has sizable industrial infrastructure and commercial classes have been expanding. As a result, it has a large independent mined middle class a section of which has nationalistic inclinations. We will haste to add that, calvinism and hegemonic nationalism is still prevalent in Punjab, although it stands firmly behind Urdu at the expense of Punjabi.
Furthermore, the globalization of Pakistani economy, due to mass immigration into Middle East and the western countries and proliferation of information technology has increased the use of English. Nowadays, increasing number of lower middle class kids go to English medium schools that has diminished the value of Urdu as a medium of communication and as a process of gentrification. Now the shirwani and pajama are being replaced with jeans and western style jackets. It appears that English will become the language of business and state while Punjabi will fill the vacuum created by Urdu.
In essence the changing conditions have resulted in reconfiguration of social groups and economic classes. Unlike the past, Punjabi has become the `party language' in the gentry gatherings, that has added to its respectability. Furthermore, it has created a new political leadership that is culturally different from the traditional elite. Mr Abdul Rashid Bhatti and Mr Fazal Hussain Rahi are the early reflections of a political elite that is yet in the making. This elite is more indigenous and more supportive of national culture and language of Punjab. The emergence of such a political elite in Punjab has a dynamic affect on the traditional ideological alliances between different ethnic groups and nationalities.
It may not be empirically evident, nonetheless, emergence of MQM is also a related to new configurations of social groups in Pakistan and particularly in Punjab. Urdu speaking immigrants have realized that they have to protect their cultural and linguistic identity, that was taken for granted in the past. Inadvertently, it has made Punjabis to realize that they should find their own identity which cannot be found without owning one's culture and language.
(2) Media has also contributed towards the changes in perceptions. The most popular serials of Lahore TV are mostly those where the main characters represent Punjabi culture. To the irritation of Punjabi intelligentsia, the language of these character is Punjabiazed Urdu. However, such a Punjabiazed Urdu is Punjabi in the viewer's perception. More importantly, the main characters in the TV serials have replaced the tractional symbols like Nawab of UP etc. Punjabiazed Urdu is a transitory stage, partly dictated by market mechanism, however we know that mixing of Punjabi and Urdu has not succeeded in the past on literary level. Zafar Iqbal (in Gulaftab) and Afzal Jaafary did these experiment several years back, but they did not succeed in triggering any major trend. Furthermore, the structures of these languages are different from each other and cannot be reconciled. Ultimately, Punjabi will replace Punjabiazed Urdu.
Punjabi has been the choice language when the demand of an entertainment product is market dependent. This is the reason that Punjabi Film has outnumbered Urdu films by a staggering margin. Revolution in audio video technology has also changed the market conditions in other forms of arts. Punjabi folk singers and semi classical singers have started dominating the market. Since the popularity of artists does not depend on the state sponsored media, the market oriented forces have taken over. Shalimar Company or EMI produces and commercializes those recordings which have a larger market. Now, the ghazal singers on a retreat while the folk and kafi singers in Punjabi and Sindhis are the best sellers. The situation has changed so dramatically, that even the best classical singers like Ustad Salamat Ali Khan are obliged to use Punjabi kafi or other verses in rendering different raags. It is not the commoners who listen Atta Ullah Aisa Khalvi in the buses and vans but the educated elites also listens more of Pathana Khan and less of Mehdi Hasan. Incidently, Mr Bhatti, the MPA from Rai Wind also reported in the interview with Maan Booli that he kept listening Pathana Khan's kafis for two years that changed his perspective about the importance of Punjabi.
(3) Urdu language has been patronized by Pakistani state on all levels. However, despite these efforts, it has not been able to make it suitable for the expression and articulation of modern branches of knowledge. It has inherent limitations and lacks dynamism that make a language to create new word and phraseology as the needs change. The main problem is that (a) its structure are taken from Persian and Arabic and therefore, it has go back to Persian Arabic dictionaries to find proper terminology for the new needs (b) It lacks mass participation that enriches the language. Most of the words added to a language come from the production process. Since it is not the language of working masses in Pakistan, it is deprived of this life source for a language. Therefore, it will not be unreasonable to argue that Urdu has not and will not be able to fulfill the needs of a changing society. Furthermore, some knowledge of Persian is required for the appreciation of Urdu literature. Iqbal, Faiz and Fraz can be enjoyed only if one has a reasonable grooming in Persian. With the passage of time, Persian is going out of circulation in Punjab. As a result, the number of people who can appreciate niceties of Urdu language are dwindling with every new generation. It is possible that, Faiz or Fraz will be remembered in Punjab as much as the great Persian poets of seventeenth century of North India. After all, we should remember that for almost ten centuries, Persian was the only language that was used by the elite of this area. Did they ever thought of Lahore of 1990s where the ruling elite knows all other languages but Persian? In my opinion, Punjabi, will replace Urdu, the way Urdu replaced Persian. (4) The quality and quantity of Punjabi writing has increased manifolds in last two decades. Now, there are several emerging novelist and short story writers. Enough material now exist for a Punjabi reader which was absent two decades ago. Most importantly, a daily Punjabi newspaper was started from Lahore and remained in circulation for almost two years. It was very well received among the readers, however, it cold not be continued due to financial difficulties. Furthermore, the management consisted of activists who lacked organizational skills. Their efforts proved it beyond doubt, that if proper resources are made available, Punjabi media will be more viable than its competitive languages. It should be noted that except two Urdu daily newspapers, most of the others, with huge staffs, are running on state subsidies. Furthermore, the most successful newspapers are dependent upon the advertisement which are mostly given and controlled by the government. Therefore, if state stops subsidizing all newspapers or starts supporting Punjabi media, we will have a level field in which Punjabi newspapers will be more successful than others. It is a matter of time, that venture capital in Punjab is going to discover this huge potential market which is already known to film makers. It has been observed that major transformation in the history of a languages are associated with writers who are enlightened, reformist/revolutionary in their thinking, who have strong command of language and are persistent to continue their work in all circumstances. Such intellectual usually, create a sustainable network of writers and activists who can take the movement of the language forward. Rabindar Nath Tagoor, in Bengali, played this role. He would not have exaggerate if he had claimed that his language was not developed but he developed it. Punjabi has several committed scholars and creative writers. However, fortunately, Najam Hussain Syed, is one of those writers who have not only inspired a whole generation of writers, he has created a conceptual framework and a network of intelligentsia that can carry the burden for a long time. (5) There are some negative indicators that point out that Punjabi is going to be a major language of this area. The division between Sariaki and Punjabi indicates the growing up process for both the languages. Thirty years back, when Punjabi was considered a closed case, there were no apprehension on the part of the intelligentsia of the western Punjab. However, as the possibility of Punjabi being a realistic alternative in this region has improved, western Punjab has started differentiating itself as a separate entity distinguished from Punjabi. I agree with Balraj Puri, an intellectual and journalist of Jammun that" the friction between Punjabi and Sariaki shows that both are reaching an age of maturity. When the children get older, they go their own way .. Such a separation is a process of growing up and one should not be scared of it". CONCLUSIONS Our search shows that the progress of Punjabi was hindered mostly by internal factors. The conspiracy theory that blames the Britishers and the Urdu speaking does not explain the phenomenon. Punjab was a favored region in the British empire, however, its language was ignored for reasons to be discovered yet. The domination of Urdu was not a religious phenomenon because there were more non Muslim Urdu writers than Muslim Urdu writers before 1947. Lahore's approximation to Dehli, dissipations of Punjabi nationalism due to historical circumstances and lack of independent enlightened social groups can be identified as a partial explanation of the neglect of Punjabi. The situation after 1947 has changed where Punjabi is used for all practical purposes in East Punjab. A new configuration of social and political groups are more helpful for the progress of Punjabi. Punjabi has out shined other languages in Punjab where the market forces are in control, however, the state patronage in form of open and hidden subsidies to other languages has a negative impact on Punjabi. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that Punjabi is ready to become the language of Punjab, if the state intervention in form of patronage and subsidizing, directly and indirectly, of other languages is terminated. Furthermore, the socio political condition are ripe for the upsurge of Punjabi, even if the state does not change its course voluntarily. This argument is further strengthened by the fact that Punjabi language has developed an intellectual infrastructure required for the historical role it is destined to play.