By Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui and Farhan Khan
Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT) organized a seminar on the topic of adopting English/foreign terminology in Urdu, as is on Thursday 9th March 2017. The official invitation was captioned: ‘the obstacle of translation of terminologies in making Urdu (the national language), as medium of instruction is no more an issue of debate’. Renowned educators including Professor Dr. Mansoor Ahmed, DSC (former Dean Pharmacy and ex-Registrar of Karachi University), Professor Dr. Wasim Qazi, VC-Iqra University, Dr. Zubair Ahmed, Associate Professor at Iqra University and Professor Syed Karamatullah Hussaini, Director-ORIC at KASBIT delivered their speeches for the topic, while famous educator, poet and Director KASBIT, Professor Muhammad Rais Alvi (former Registrar-Karachi University) and Professor Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhri, Hilal–e–Imtiaz & Khwarizmi-laureate shared their thoughts as the President and Chief Guest on the occasion, respectively.
A unison was found in the speeches of the distinguished speakers that the debate on whether to adopt foreign terminology (esp. in science) in Urdu, without any change or not was useless, since the same was coined by the foreign/Western inventors of various scientific inventions long ago and it was ‘un-ethical’ to amend in any other language.
The seminar was successful in the sense it was largely attended by the university students who approved the resolution in majority, in the end of the programme. However, some 30 to 40% of the audience comprised of senior people from the fields of Education, Literature and Journalism in particular.
Keeping in view the importance of the burning issue, it was expected that:
- There might be some disagreement from some distinguished guest, with some evidences on technical grounds AND
- There could be some mention to the translation work of terminology (esp. in science subjects), rendered during past 200 years, with specific note on the role of Fort William Collage (Calcutta), Dehli College (Delhi) & Jamiya Usmania (Hyderabad, Deccan) and the life-time services of Professor Dr. Razi-ud-deen Siddiqui (considered for Nobel Prize, thrice), Professor Salimuz Zaman Siddiqui, Major Aftab Hassan and others.
However, no such thing came into discussion. Dr. Abdus Salam, the Nobel-laureate was mentioned by the learned President of the seminar, as the strongest and the most authentic source in favour of implementing all foreign terminology, without further delay.
It is heartening to see that the able speakers were of the opinion that there should be more exchange of thought and brainstorming on the topic and a few similar ones.