Home » Class XII » XII Pakistan Studies » Regional Languages of Pakistan

Introduction

Pakistan is a multi-lingual country. No less than 24 languages and dialects are spoken by the people of Pakistan. There are five regional languages. Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Baluchi, Brahvi and Kashmiri. These languages are rich in literature, poetry, folk songs, spiritual quotes of their respective saints and contribute greatly to the culture of Pakistan.

The regional languages, though distinct from each other in their forms, dialects and expressions of thoughts, have several common factors in them. They cultivate in them love, respect and a firm adherence to the Pakistan Ideology.

Punjabi

Punjabi is the language of the province ‘Punjab’. It links back to the Aryan language Prakrit. However, with time, the vocabulary of Punjabi language became a mixture of Persian, Arabic and Turkish words. It has different dialects in different parts of Punjab like ‘Saraiki’ and ‘Potohari’. But the basic language remains the same.
Panjabi is rich in mystical and romantic poetry. The highly imaginative and artistic exquisite literature, mostly in verses has two forms. One is “Lyric Poetry,” which includes Bait, Kafi-si-harfi, Bara Mah and Satwara. The other one is “Narrative Poetry,” which is composed of various rhythms and meters. Examples are Qissa Noor Namah, Gulzar, Jang Nama and Vaar.

Famous Punjabi Poets

Some of the famous poets of Punjabi language include:
Baba Farid Shakar Ganj Baksh
Shaikh Ibrahim Farid Sani
Madhu Lal Hussain
Sultan Bahu
Bhullay Shah
Ali Haider
Waris Shah

Sindhi

Sindhi is one of the important regional language of Pakistan. It appears that Sindhi was spoken in the Indus Delta from time immemorial. It is said that the language of the people of Moen-jo-Daro contained elements of present era Sindhi language.

The origin of this language is not exactly known. However, travelers like Al-Beruni have told us about the original script of the language. Chach Nama is an authentic document that proves that the dialect of Sindhi language was the same in the 12th century, as it is today. With the advent and influence of Arabs in the subcontinent, Sindhi changed its forms and adopted maximum words of Arabic as well as Persian and Turkish.

Famous Sindhi Poets

Some of famous Sindhi poets are following:
Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai
Sachal Sarmast
Makhdoom Noor
Shah Inayat
Bedil
Sabit Ali Shah
Kazi Kazah

Steps taken to grow Sindhi

Various steps have been taken to develop Sindhi. Organizations like ‘Sindhi Literary Board’ and Bazm-e-Talib-ul-Maula were set up. Several newspapers are being published in Sindhi. These include Kawish, Ibrat, Naw-e-Sindhi and Khadim-e-Watan besides a number of weeklies.

Baluchi

Baluchi is the regional language of Baluchistan. It is the least developed of all the regional languages. It was spread by Baluchi tribes that migrated from Iran.

The history of Baluchi literature may be divided into four periods:
Early Medieval Period – 1430 to 1600
Later Medieval Period – 1600 to 1850
Modern Period – 1850 to 1930
Contemporary Period – 1930 to date

Literature produced by earlier poets is not in records, as it was preserved traditionally in the memories of the people. No newspapers or books were published in Baluchi up till 1940. After partition, however Baluchi literature received a little boost. It was due to the efforts made by various organizations and due to establishment of TV stations. At present, Baluchi literature is on the road to development.

Types of Baluchi

There are two types of Baluchi namely:
Sulemani
Makrani

Famous Poets of Baluchi

Some of the most literary figures of Baluchi are:
Azad Jamaldini
Ulfat Naseem
Abdul Qadir Shahwani
Malik Mohammad Ramzan
Mir Aqil Maingal
Well known poets of Baluchi language are:
Jam Darag
Shah Mureed
Shahdab

Pushto

Pushto is the regional language of the N.W.F.P. and tribal areas. It belongs to the East Iranian group of languages and contains many Persian, Arabic, Greek and Pehlevi words.

Steps taken to enhance Pushto

Although Pushto is an old language but its literature is comparatively a new one. After independence education spread rapidly and Pushto literature received a great boost. The Pushto Academy Peshawar, some other literary societies and educational institutions such as Islamia College Peshawar helped develop Pushto literature.

Famous Pushto Poets

Some of the well known poets of Pushto language are:
Amir Karoro
Khushal Khan Khatak
Rehman Baba
Sher Shah Soori
Saif Ullah
Kazim Kazim

Brahvi

Brahvi is the next spoken language of Baluchistan. In fact, it is said to be spoken by a greater number of people than Baluchi. The Brahvi language is said to be one of Dravidian family of languages. It has borrowed heavily from Sindhi, Persian, Arabic and English. It remains in an unexplained isolation among the Indo-Iran dialects.
Brahvi literature has a vast treasure of folklores. It’s script has been borrowed much from Pushto script. Malik Dad was a great poet and a learned personalty of Brahvi language.

Kashmiri

Kashmiri is the language of the people of the Indian-occupied Kashmir and Azad Kashmir. This language has been derived from Sanskrit. Kashmiri is generally spoken in Muslim families of the valley. It contains many Turkish, Arabic and Persian words. It is written in the Persian script.

Kashmiri, like all the regional languages of Pakistan, had its early literature in the form of poetry. It began with the composition of folk songs and ballads.

Kashmiri Literary Figures

Famous authors of Kashmiri language are:
Sh.Nooruddin
Khatoon Lillah Anifa
Baba Nasiruddin
Ghani

Conclusion

The regional languages of Pakistan, i.e., Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Brahvi and Baluchi are the most modern Pakistani languages. They have several common features and their literature bears the same eternal message for mankind. Government has been doing its best to develop the regional languages and introduction of regional TV channels is a positive step for promotion of regional languages.

Fahim Patel

By Fahim Patel

Fahim Patel is the Content Manager of guesspapers.net. A graduate from Karachi University, he has intensive experience in content production.

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