Learn Urdu Not French

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Bilingualism is not a problem, it is an asset. As so many pupils in UK have English as a second language or alternative language. We should be celebrating the fact that we have such a diverse language culture in our schools. Indeed, we should try to encourage some of our monolingual native pupils to join in the learning of a community language. Five of the languages that are gaining in popularity are Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Urdu. The future for languages in the United Kingdom is very bright, if we abandon the notion that we have to stick rigidly to French and German.

Welcome to a brave new world in which pupils learn Urdu in all schools right from Nursery level. Bilingual Muslim teachers should be appointed in all schools who are well versed in Urdu Language. It is spoken and understood by nearly four million British Asian. It is a common language from Kabul to Burma and from Sydney to Surinam. Lord Hasting was appointed the first Governor General of Bengal because he was well versed in Farsi and Urdu. It is a lingua franca in all inner cities where Asians are in majority.

British education system has never taken keen interest in the teaching and learning of Urdu and majority of British born Muslim children could not learn to read and write. Credit goes to the Imams from the sub-continent who use Urdu in their Masajid and keep the Urdu language alive. But the British establishments with the help of the so-called leaders are forcing Masajid to use English instead of Urdu. Indian and Pakistani films are being shown every where. There are nearly a dozen TVs Channels and radio stations broadcasting in Urdu/Hindi for 24 hours, entertaining Asians through out Western Europe. BBC has been requested to set up a TV Channel in Urdu/Hindi. Musical concerts are being arranged all over the country and top singers from the Sub-continent sing songs for the entertainment of the Public.

It is crucial for the Muslim children from the sub-continent to learn Urdu to keep in touch with their cultural roots. Most of Islamic literature and poetry is in Urdu and not in any other Indian Languages. Therefore, in my opinion, both Muslim parents and schools must teach Urdu so that the children can enjoy the beauty of Urdu literature and poetry. I would like to see even native children learning Urdu and not French so that they can learn to respect and understand British Muslim community through Urdu literature and poetry. The Independent news paper also asks for the teaching of Urdu instead of French in British schools for better race relations through a language.

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