KARACHI: President Mamnoon Hussain Saturday urged scholars and literary figures of the country to help in the revival of Urdu as a medium of instruction at higher education and research centres.
Addressing a ceremony organised to mark the foundation laying ceremony of “Urdu Bagh,” a dedicated facility of Anjuman-e-Tarraqi-e-Urdu, Pakistan, here, he said nations strongly rooted in their culture and language were witnessed to be achieving heights in terms of social, economic and technological development.
“We had a strong treasure and precedent set through Usmania University Hyderabad (India) where degree level courses including MBBS were offered in Urdu, through thousands of well-translated books,” reminded President Mamnoon Hussain.
He said Anjuman-e-Tarraqi-e-Urdu needed not only to promote Urdu as a mission but also took it as a challenge and made efforts to ensure that higher education was imparted to the youth in the national language. He said urgent attention was needed to strengthen Urdu as a viable link among all countrymen.
“These efforts are equally needed to be complemented through promotion of regional languages,” he added.
Tracing back the history of Anjuman-e-Tarraqi-e-Urdu, established in 1903 by Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, a close comrade of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, he said the body established for protection and promotion of Urdu had paved the way for “Two Nation Theory,” unfolding into the demand for a separate Muslim state in the Indian Sub-continent.
“This was not a mere co-incidence that men of calibre like Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali, Maulana Shibli Nomani, Allama Iqbal, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Baba-e-Urdu Moulvi Abdul Haq served as its board members at one or the other point of time,” said President Mamnoon.
Regretting that 60,000 books carried by Baba-e-Urdu from Hyderabad Deccan (India) to Pakistan alongwith several precious manuscripts and publications that despite being property of Anjuman Tarraqi-e-Urdu could not be adequately utilised, he hoped that the Bagh-e-Urdu project would duly serve the purpose.
The President also expressed the hope that all those associated with Anjuman Tarraqi-e-Urdu would stand united and ensure that the organisation achieves the purpose and helps scholars as well as researchers.
Sindh Governor, Dr. Ishrat- ul- Ebad Khan, on the occasion referred to measures adopted to get vacated the Anjuman Tarraqi- e- Urdu property by the encroachers and getting Urdu Bagh project materialised along with dedicated facilities for research, library, conservation of manuscripts and relevant material.
Federal Government alongwith the Sindh Government would remain involved till the project was completed and would also ensure that the objectives were achieved in the years to come, he said.
Responding to the submission made by Honorary Secretary of the Anjuman Tarraqi- e- Urdu, he announced that the allocated grant to the Anjuman by KMC would be raised from Rs 10 lacs to Rs 50 lacs annually.
“I will also approach the Sindh Government to streamline the endowment fund for the organisation in the forthcoming budget”, said the Governor.
Commissioner of Karachi, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui citing the project Urdu Bagh an extremely relevant scheme and referred to Urdu Dictionary Board, that though was working in close coordination with Anjuman Tarraqi- e- Urdu, yet was a separate entity under the control of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
“The Urdu Dictionary Board is devoid of any in-charge since long,” he said.
Dr. Fatima Hassan, the honorary secretary of Anjuman Tarraqi- e- Urdu regretted indifference towards the organisation and particularly highlighted the efforts made by Noor- ul- Hasan Jaffery (late), a former honorary president of the Anjuman who after years of struggle managed to get a plot allotted in 1987 that was later encroached upon.
She expressed her gratitude to President Mamnoon Hussain for taking interest in the project that was witnessed to be fast being completed through active involvement of prestigious institutions as NESPAK and Sindh Building Control Authority.
The ceremony was also attended by Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi, Zahida Hina and other known figures of Urdu literature.
The presentations were followed by recital of poetry by Rasa Chughtai, Naseer Turabi, Imdad Hussaini, Dr. Fatima Hasan, Anwar Shaoor and Dr. Uzma Navaid.