Has English not yet become a Medium of Knowledge?
If English made people “knowledgeable”, there would have been a lot of scholarly writings in English newspapers. After reading the books of the people who are considered as “Imams” of English fiction in Pakistan, one thinks that why are they so shallow, trivial and contemptible? Why is there not even two percent of the depth in any of his writings which is found in the fictions of “Qarat-ul-Ain Haider”, “Bedi and Manto”.
It is clear from this that at least here; English has not yet become a medium of knowledge. When the first batch of students left Sir Syed’s Aligarh College, Sir Syed was shocked to see that these students knew nothing but to wear English clothes and speak English. But here, most of the English medium students do not even know how to speak English.
However, they must have the “ability” to wear English clothes. We remember some time ago Zubaydah Mustafa wrote in the daily Dawn that she went to an English medium school and asked the students to tell her a story in English. According to Zubaydah Mustafa, no one told the story in English except for a As soon as Zubaydah Mustafa was allowed to speak in Urdu, there was a flood of conversation in the classroom. This proves that Urdu is a medium of “expression of caste” for a large majority of our students, on the contrary, for a large majority of our students the English expression, caste, is not even a medium of “expression of bad caste”.
We have been studying English for two hundred years, but we have not produced a great thinker in English, nor a great commentator, nor a great poet, nor a great novelist, nor a great fiction writer. nor has produced a great critic. Despite this, here we have English as the language of knowledge.
After a while, Zubaydah ended the condition of telling the story in English. He told the students that if they want, they can also tell the story in Urdu.
In this regard, there is no competitor of English, but is employment the whole life of a person, his whole culture, his whole history? It is no secret that English is neither the language of our religion, nor the language of civilization, nor the language of history, nor the language of our knowledge, nor the language of our literature. It is not even the language of our environment. The great majority of our people do not think, feel, or dream in English. From these facts we can know why English is still a stranger to us despite two hundred years living among us.
When a language is a symbol of a civilization, dozens of its words become a part of human memory without learning. When a language is the language of environment and communication, many of its words come automatically to humans. Urdu has become the language of the entire subcontinent due to its very qualities and English is playing the role of a foreign language in our life due to the lack of these qualities.
The creative aspect of language is a matter of life and death for an individual, group or nation. The biggest disadvantage of English for us is that English is not the language of creation for us. This is because the language of creation can be the language that paves the way for understanding.
English has developed through English. The French have developed the French language. The Japanese have developed the Japanese language. Russia has developed in the Russian language. China has developed so in the Chinese language.