In quest of Language and National Identity: A Case of Urdu language in Pakistan
Keywords:language identity; national identity; national language promotion
Language is an inherited endowment and has a strong link to identity. The paper, building on historical identity narratives, overviews the national identity challenges to Pakistan with aiming further to bring forth the integrative function of language in the process of nation binding and unification. The article investigates the views of Pakistani graduates from major ethnic groups on national language and discusses their responses to the administered survey questionnaire and follow up interview data. Despite the varied perceptions towards other identity variables such as mother tongue, religion, birthplace, customs, and traditions, etc., the study identifies common attitudes towards national language. This research finally finds out that a large majority of the respondents advocate national language as the central marker of national identity and feels an intense need to revitalize, promote and publicize Urdu in sustaining national integrity.