The future of Gujarati language in Pakistan
The Gujarati language is facing an uncertain future in this country, to put it mildly. At least its written form is in danger of a slow death. Although a living and vibrant language in India, Gujarati is suffering from an apparent indifference from the very people who speak it as their native language in Pakistan.
A recent decision by the National Database and Registration Authority sums up the plight this language now finds itself in. Nadra has omitted Gujarati from the column asking the applicant about his mother tongue.
Interestingly enough, both Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi spoke Gujarati. Mr Jinnah, by the way, knew Persian as well because his mother spoke the language.
Spoken by over 50 million people, Gujarati is the 26th most widely spoken language in the world. The majority of native speakers of Gujarati lives in the Indian state of Gujarat. Apart from Gujarat, the regions where the language is spoken as first language include some area of Maharashtra (like Mumbai), Pakistan (especially Karachi), Bangladesh, a few African countries — where Gujarati-speaking Indians had settled centuries ago — and, of course, countries where Gujarati-speaking immigrants live in large numbers, such as the United Kingdom and the United States.
Previously on Ismailimail…