ANALYSIS OF URDU LANGUAGE COLLECTION IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES OF LAHORE, PAKISTAN.

Author:Hussain, Iftikhar
 
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Background of the Study

According to the factual evidences, the information communication system began with the birth of human kind on the earth. Purpose of the communication was, is and will be to present one's views, feelings, information, knowledge, thinking and so on to others. In the beginning, the oldest source of communication was gestures. Then with the passage of time and development of the world, sources of communication developed, expanded and man learnt to speak for communication. Presently there are so many sources of communication exist in the world such as gestures, body language, written communication, verbal communication, symbols and so on.

In the beginning of 15th century with the invention of printing press the source of written communication emerged on a broad way as earlier this source was used at very minor level. During the previous centuries after 1405 the written communication adopted the shape of books which are considered as major sources of information, knowledge as well as source of communication. Ameen (2005) stated that the objective of the writing was to preserve and conserve the human communication and knowledge. In this regard the books have always an important value for the dissemination of information and learning.

Libraries always considered the places where knowledge and sources of communications kept safe for the followers. Library of Alexandria and library of Ashurbanipal are historical examples which contains the information, communication and knowledgeable material in form of clay tablets, cuneiforms and leather skins.

Now libraries are serving as social institutions which are providing information according to the users' need and preserve human knowledge for future generations. In the academic settings libraries are imparting much more in the dissemination of information and communication. Libraries hold collections in various languages but, as the Urdu is National Language in Pakistan therefore, this study is being conducted to explore the real situation of the library collection in Urdu language in the public sector university libraries of Lahore, user satisfaction with the available Urdu language collection and the convenience level with the material in Urdu or English as well as the hurdle faced by the libraries in the acquisition of library material in Urdu language. This study will also endeavor to discover the library collections in Urdu Language in the academic libraries so that importance of the Urdu collections may be gauged in the academia with respect to the user's preference, satisfaction and perception.

Languages in Pakistan

In Pakistan there are many languages exist like Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashtu, Saraiki and Urdu etc. but Urdu Language is the National Language of Pakistan while other languages are considered as Mother Languages. Nizamani et al. (2016) defined mother language as a language that a child acquired in a natural setting. A large number of books, journals, magazines, newspapers etc. are being published all over the world in Urdu language for the sake of information and knowledge transfer. A special attention is being awarded to Urdu Language in our country. Initial education is being awarded in national language (Urdu) while higher education in international language (English).

Struggles and Movements for the Adoption of Urdu Language in Pakistan

Many struggles and movements had been started for the promotion and adoption of Urdu language as official language in the country as currently English is being used in offices and for educational purposes in various schools, colleges and universities as well offices. One of the movements was "Save Urdu Movement ([phrase omitted])". It was a nationwide movement in Pakistan. This movement was especially started for safeguarding Urdu education in schools. The aim of this movement was to made Urdu as a universal language and also stressed that Urdu language must be considered cultural and political identity of the Muslims in British raaj (Urdu movement, 2017).

An association "Anjuman Taraqqi-yi-Urdu ([phrase omitted])" started promotion and dissemination of Urdu language literature in India and Pakistan. It was a largest association that worked for the promotion of Urdu language literature (Anjuman-I Taraqqi-I Urdu, 2017).

On 21 March 1948, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali at Racecourse Ground declared that Urdu language should be state language because it embodies the spirit of Muslim nations those who disagreed with this view considered them "Enemies of Pakistan" ("Tribute to language movemen," 2014).

Pakistan Quami Zuban Movement (PQZM) organized a conference "Quami Nifaz-e-Urdu Conference--Pesh Raft and Amli Taqazey" at Aewan-e-Qaid (Nazriya Pakistan Council), Islamabad on July 24, 2016. This conference was stressed on that Urdu language should be included compulsory in educational curriculum because Urdu language was our national language and also symbol of unity. Government was also working on the implementation of Urdu language as an official language ("Govt working on implementation of Urdu as official language," 2016).

Legal Efforts toward Adoption of Urdu as Official Language

It was mentioned in the article 251 of constitution of Pakistan 1962 that Urdu language should be used as an official and national language for next fifteen years. It might be possible that English language could be used for official purposes in the absence of its replacement in Urdu language.

Recently the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered to implement the Urdu Language as official language and also to take examinations of Central Superior Services (CSS) in Urdu medium/ language. A similar judgment was issued in October 2015 by the Supreme Court in response to two various petitions No. 56 of 2003 and petition No. 112 of 2012, when the honorable court issued directive to federal and provincial governments to adopt Urdu as official language. The court also cited Article 251 of the Constitution of Pakistan regarding implementation of Urdu as official language and referred certain recommendations made by the National Language Authority, (presently renamed as National Language Promotion Department vide Notification dated 17.08.2012), for implementation of Article 251 (Supreme court, 2015).

Lahore High Court (LHC) also issued a similar decision and directed the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) to conduct Central Superior Services (CSS) examination in the Urdu language from next year. The decision was issued in February 2017. The court further issued directive to the FPSC to ensure that the examination in 2018 will be conducted in accordance with the dictum laid down by the apex court (Court orders FPSC to conduct CSS exams in Urdu next year, 2017).

The departments of Punjab Government had been asked to translate the rules and regulations of different departments, official orders by the government, and also the laws and policies of the government. All the translations are to be verified by the Department of Law and Parliamentary Affairs (Punjab government introduces Urdu as official language, 2017).

The Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also constituted a committee response to the judgment of apex court when the court asked the federal government to make sure the official correspondence in the national language and sought a compliance report from the government in this regard ("PM forms body to implement Urdu as official language," 2016). A letter to the government departments have been written for the adoption of Urdu language as official language as well as to translate the Statutory document in Urdu language.

Statement of the Problem

Government is taking initiatives to implement Urdu language as an official language in Pakistan. Recently, Supreme Court of Pakistan had been declared that Urdu language should be considered as an official language as well as the examination of Central Superior Services (CSS) should be taken in Urdu medium/language. There are some websites which are also transferred from English language to Urdu language e.g. http://www.pakistan.gov.pk/, http://www.cabinet.gov.pk/. However, it is assumed that user's expectations from libraries are high because they need good collection in Urdu Language to fulfill their information needs. In order, to implement the decision it is pertinent to know the availability of Urdu language reading collections in the libraries so that educational as well as informational needs may be fulfilled.

So, it is important to know the status, usage and subject coverage in Urdu language collections at university libraries of Pakistan. Which factors affect the acquisition of Urdu language collection in universities and what user expect.

Research Questions of the Study

  1. What is status of library collections in university libraries?

  2. What is the status of collection in Urdu Language in University Libraries?

  3. What is the status of Subject coverage of Urdu Collection in University Libraries?

  4. What kinds of problems are being faced by libraries in Collection development of Urdu Collection in University Libraries?

  5. What is user's perception about Urdu Collection in University Libraries?

  6. Are users satisfied with the available Urdu collection in University Libraries?

  7. What is the most convenient language medium for Users in their studies in the University Libraries?

    Delimitations of the Study

    The present study is only limited to Urdu language collection of university libraries, Lahore. Public, research and special libraries as well as private sector university libraries are also not part of the study only university libraries including public sector are part of the study.

    Review of Relevant Literature

    Accroding to Dhir (2005) Language is considered as a fundamental medium through which a nation or culture transmits their knowledge or exchange information that informs about culture. Tardy (2004) investigated the role of English language...

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