I am Dr. Mona Dawar, General Secretary and Treasurer of Jannat Pakistan Inc. I begin tonight’s program by welcoming all of you here at our Dinner Program at the Zaika Restaurant. My thanks to all of you who are attending.
The Mission of Jannat Jannat Pakistan USA has been to bring our Desi, i.e. Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi, communities together through social programs aimed at education and enlightenment. Through light entertainment, in words of my sister Nayla Syed, “through intelligent gossip,” we aim to build relationships of love within our American communities. “Intelligent gossip” indeed is the best way of education. Through such an education we aim to prevent radicalization and Talibanization of our communities. We aim to eliminate bigotry and hate. This is our eleventh Urdu Baithak program. Each of our previous Urdu Baithak Program has had a certain theme. The word theme in literature does not mean topic. For instance, Motherhood, Patriotism, and Loyalty, are all subjects, not themes. A theme is a statement about a subject. The statement, “Motherhood sometimes has more frustrations than rewards” or “Loyalty to country inspires self sacrifice,” are statements and therefore themes for our purposes.
The theme for today’s program is Baba Bullhey Shah and his war against Worship. The theme may have come as a jolt to some. It was Baba Bullhey Shah who in a war torn India of the 17th Century proclaimed his theme aloud in his Kakis and songs, “Beshak mandir masjid todo, Bullhay Shah yeh kehta, par pyar bhara dil kabhi na todo, es dil mein hai rab rehta.”
We selected this theme in the light of the fact that just recently relationships between our mother countries, India and Pakistan, have gone gravely strained. India and Pakistan are both nuclear powers. Once again we need Baba Bullhey Shah’s philosophy which symbolizes unification of all mankind through love. For this reason , today we want to talk of Baba Bullhay Shah. Tonight, we plan to learn more about Baba Bullhay Shah, talk of his beliefs, his poetry and of what we know of his life. Our Urdu Baithak programs are professionally filmed, as you can see, and these programs are watched by thousands of Pakistanis and Indians on Social Media and Facebook.
A few words about the Urdu language. I was asked by Dr. Asarulislam, Amir of Jannat Pakistan Party, to read a paragraph written by Mr. Shaheryar Azhar, his school mate, another Abdalian, who is a celebrated Pakistani American, political analyst and who recently wrote the following about Urdu language on Facebook.
“Urdu is an organically developed language. Not as some misled have opined that it is ‘an imposed language’ by the British. The word “Urdu” comes from Turkish language, meaning Hordes of Army. The criss-crossing armies/people from Central Asia, Persia, Turkey when mixed with the native northern Indians spontaneously developed this language as a means of communication between diverse people. Most of Urdu derives from Sanskrit, Hindi, Hindustani & Persian taking also Persian words from Turkish and Arabic. It is an extremely versatile and dynamic language, which later internalized many English words. Usmania University in Hyderabad Deccan used to teach all subjects in Urdu, including Engineering (scientific words like “bending moment”, “compression”, “tension”, “pressure” were easily rendered in Urdu as “Khammao”, “Dubbao”, “Khichao” and “Tannao” respectively). Besides, 200 million Pakistanis, where it is the Lingua Franca, it is the official language of six Indian states. In India, an additional 85-100 million speak this language. Urdu began supplanting Persian as the court language in the 18th and 19th centuries with the decline of the Persian influence. One of the world’s greatest literature has been and continues to be written in Urdu. Urdu gave rise to the great civilizations of Oudh and Delhi Sultanate besides Bhopal, Hyderabad Deccan and many other principalities. But the greatest modern contribution has come from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa which produced giants like Iqbal, Faiz and Faraz. Long before the creation of Pakistan, where Aligarh University played a huge part, it had become a language of identity for the elite Muslims of India (but also adopted by great Indian writers who happened to be Hindus) from Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa to Balochistan, Punjab to Sindh, and UP to all over India. In the first 50-years of Bollywood, it was Urdu, not Hindustani or Hindi, which was the language of its films and music. Urdu indeed is the binding language, the common language and medium for communication for an extremely diverse and pluralistic Pakistan, whose mother tongues are different from Urdu. Finally, it is also the language that binds Pakistan to all of India, particularly, Northern India, where political power resides.”
These were a few words about the significance of our language, Urdu.
Ab Mein URDU main baat Karoun gi. Mein Aap sap ko o dobara Khush aamdeed kehti houn. Mein apni Behen, Muhtarma Nayla Syed Se Darkhwast karoun gi ke woh tashreef Layein aur aaj ke program ki ibtidai baat karein. Dr. Nayla Syed.