Daily Archives: February 22, 2010

Jinnah And Urdu-Bengali Controversy

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

This is a quick blog to correct a historical fallacy.  A false impression persists – thanks to people like Amar Jaleel and the like who in the right royal Urdu press fashion have a hard time sticking to the facts- that Jinnah- who according to Jaleel was drugged or cornered into making the speech in question- somehow told Bengalis to outlaw Bengali language when he declared Urdu to be the state language of Pakistan.  This is historically inaccurate. This blog is not to discuss whether Jinnah’s declaration was politically suave or naïve but to set the record straight about what it was that Jinnah said which laid foundations for the Urdu-Bengali discord in Pakistan and led to Pakistan ultimately declaring both Urdu and Bengali the “national languages” of Pakistan.  Ironically Jinnah did not even use the term “national language”, drawing the very valid distinction between a state language or lingua franca and a national language. Continue reading



Filed under Bangladesh, History, Languages, Liberal Democratic Pakistan

MFA Creative Writing Program in HongKong: The Best Writers for Asia

The Department of English at City University of Hong Kong are
looking for the top creative writers who want to write Asia.  This summer,
the University is starting a ground-breaking Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
specialising in Asian writing in English, the first programme of its kind in
the world.  Based in the Department of English, the innovative 45-credit,
two-year programme will accept a limited number of students in creative
non-fiction, fiction & poetry.  The degree is benchmarked to international
standards for the MFA.  The Hong Kong-born author Xu Xi has assisted in the
design of the programme and is joining the Department as their first
writer-in-residence on March 1. Continue reading

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Filed under Pakistan

Pakistan’s Jinnah

By Ayesha Siddiqa             Dawn, 19 Feb, 2010

 Some time ago, I had a chance to read veteran columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee’s article ‘Bring back Jinnah’s Pakistan’ in which he talked about the founding father’s liberal vision for the country.

 Mr Cowasjee’s argument was that the state envisioned by Mohammad Ali Jinnah would have been governed by a different set of social norms than the one in place today.

I would like to inform the respectable writer that while he is searching for Jinnah’s Pakistan, we might be threatened with the eventuality of losing Pakistan’s Jinnah. Continue reading


Filed under Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan, Partition, Religion, secularism