CSS in Urdu or English?
Lahore High court decision to conduct CSS (Central Superior Services) Examinations 2018 in Urdu language has sparked a new debate in Pakistan. There are two schools of thoughts. One school of thought prefers English over Urdu while other call English a colonial Language. But the ground reality is that, English is now a medium of education in almost every institution of Pakistan. The new generation has learnt everything in English even Pakistan Studies and Islamic Studies while the CSS aspirants put extra effort to learn English.
No doubt Urdu is our national language, and lingua franca. But it is also a reality that only 8% people in Pakistan speak Urdu as their first language. 92% people of Pakistan still have to learn a second language either English or Urdu. For Punjabis, Sindhis, Siraikis, Baluchis, Pastuns, Baltis, Gilgitis and Kashmiris ,it doesn’t matter which language they have to learn. The school of thought who prefers Urdu by calling it a national language should know this fact. Majority Pakistanis have to learn a second language so before deciding to conduct CSS paper in any language, policy makers need to do a thorough research on both languages and their impact in future.
To understand this language ambiguity we have to look back in the history of Romans and Greeks. The western scientists as we know today learnt Greek and Roman languages to learn science from Greek and Roman books. And both languages were the medium of education. All books were written in these two languages.
It is 21st century and west is the source of modern education either we accept it or not but it is a fact. Therefore English is the medium of education. Not only scientific and technology books are written in English, majority of information on internet is in English. From computer Science, Engineering, Political Science, Medical, Mathematics to social sciences majority of books are written in English. Beside this English is widely spoken language in the world.
Urdu is a lingua franca and it will remain. As mentioned earlier the 92% population still have to learn a new language so why not English. The policy makers have to understand this simple logic.