‘My children speak Hindi, what do I do?’


Shanzay Ali, a mother of three, is upset over the changes she detects in her children’s everyday language. She says her children, Faizan, 8, Momina, 10, and Salman, 12, frequently use Hindi words in their everyday speech. “Cable television is responsible,” Shanzay says, “The language the next generation will speak is being transformed.”
The rise of Hindi
channels: While most imagined the Hindi-Urdu controversy would end with the creation of Pakistan, the debate is rising as inter-cultural interaction increases. The rise of Hindi-dubbed channels, with Hindi being the closest equivalent to Urdu, means children have begun to watch both informative and cultural programs in the Hindi language. Over 70% of channels being broadcast are either in Hindi or been dubbed in Hindi, with all children’s channels being broadcast in Hindi.
“What can be done? Children love watching cartoons and all cartoon channels have been dubbed in Hindi,” complained Shanzay.
Broadcast channels in Pakistan are transmitted from two sources; satellite and cable-networking. Cable operators have shown a preference for Hindi-dubbed over English channels to cater to an audience that rarely understands English.
Out of the top five channels watched by children; Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Baby Tv, Disney and Pogo; four are in Hindu, while one is in English. Similarly, all three informative channels, National Geographic, Animal Planet and History Channel are only available in Hindi on cable networks. Indian movie and Indian drama channels are also aplenty.
Only Hindi children’s programming: “All that children like to watch is available in Hindi. One can’t stop children from watching TV and I prefer my children not watch news channels,” said Ayesha Malik, a class 6 teacher and a mother of two. She said, “Children speak Hindi words in class too, but the school environment is not responsible for the change…televisions are.” Ayesha said, “Children subconsciously learn words like vishaal, shanti, mukti and adhikaar and use them in conversation at school.”
Talking to Pakistan Today, PEMRA Regional General Manager Khurram Siddique said only foreign channels given permission are being broadcasted. “All Indian channels are banned by PEMRA, and changing the language of the channel from English to Hindi is considered a violation,” said Khurram. He said cable operators are not allowed to change the language of approved channels and PEMRA keeps a check on the matter.
‘It’s public demand:’ Ijaz Mustafa, a cable operator in Allama Iqbal Town, said that they used to transmit children’ channels in English language but switched to Hindi on public demand. “People called and asked us to change the language to Hindi,” he said. He said competition between cable operators means that not- complying with a clients request means clients switch cable operators.
Culture guardians: Amjad Islam Amjad, a renowned poet and writer, looks at the picture from the perspective of globalization. Speaking to Pakistan Today, Amjad said, “We must understand that the world of today is the world of the economy and market. Instead of banning foreign channels, we must come up with better Urdu programming.” Amjad said, “The task begins at home. Mothers are responsible for reviving the value of Urdu and local languages.”
Orya Maqbool Jan, analyst and column writer, said media had no serious Urdu programming other than talk shows. He said no documentaries are made, no urdu cartoon channels are available and this is the media’s responsibility. He said media should operate in their own business environment and PEMRA should facilitate them. Jan demanded PEMRA ban Hindi-dubbed channels to create the space for new channels to come.


  1. This is because we are launching Indian Media in Pakistan on name of “Azad Media” and our Pakistani channels are doing affiliations with Indian Channels. Salam to Azad but Nadan Media.

    • But, in India, most of the Hindu understand Urdu and love to listen Urdu. Urdu is beautiful language. Usually we don't discriminate.

      • Surendra, I also live in India. I don’t know how is Urdu spoken? My Muslim friends talk in Hindi. I only come to know about it in News about Muslims.

  2. ZERO development on the language, ZERO resources for it in the digital age, no presence as a distinct language in the world and no one willing to do anything about it.Stop whining, start doing something if u people care so much!

        • kis bat k liya nafrat karte hai
          kyon ki 2 coror janta india may
          urdu likh the oor padhte hai bol ke

          ham to hindi 0r urdu dono ko hi pasand karte hai

          phir ve ham nepali hai

          • Agar apna dimag thora open keroge to baat samaj main ai gi. Urdu was never a language spoken in present day Pakistan. It comes from the states of UP (ever heard of lacknow and Aligarh?) and Bihar in India. Because it is a language developed by Mughals, and thus muslims, it was taken by M. A. Jinnah and misused to create tensions between muslims and non muslims, for his personal political gains. Which were fueled by another villain called W. Churchill. Thus even urdu is imported from India!!!

  3. Pakistan is facing a major existential crisis. What is it for? We know that it against Hindus, Jews, Christians, the US, Israel….

    Denying or trying to prevent the learning of Hindi is like denying the fact that all Pakistani’s where once Hindus. The removal of Devanagri script and its replacement of Arabic script is indicative of a troubling paranoia. The need to constantly affirm an Arabness and distance to their ancestors.

    The problem in Pakistan is their religion and the denial of their past. VS Naipaul in his book ‘Amongst the Believers’, stated:

    “Islam is in its origins an Arab religion. Everyone not an Arab who is a Muslim is a convert. Islam is not simply a matter of conscience or private belief. It makes imperial demands. A convert’s world view alters. His Holy places are in Arab lands; his sacred language is Arabic. His idea of history alters. He rejects his own; he becomes, whether he likes it or not, a part of the Arab story. The convert has to turn away from everything that is his. The disturbance for societies is immense, and even after thousand years can remain unresolved; the turning away has to be done again and again. People develop fantasies about who and what they are; and in the Islam of converted countries there is an element of neurosis and nihilism.”

    • aa jse 700 vers pehle pakistan bhi hinduon ka desh thha iss baat sb sehmt hai islaam ne jor se maar peet kr sbko hinduon se msulamaan bna diya kya ye sch nhin hai ki pakistan ke jnmdaata zinna hindu brhamn they.or jo mhaan sindu ghati kicivilisation mein hindu god siva or godess parvti ki idols mili hai kya ye sch nhin hai ki islaam 1400 hizri ka hai hindu dharm 5000 b.cse bhi phle ka hai.socho

  4. How the hell you speak Urdu without speaking Hindi. 90% sentences you utter in Urdu are smilar in Hindi and vice versa. And all most all the so called exclusive Urdu words are either found in Farsi or Arabic dictionaries. So they are not Urdu in the first place. If you check the roots of Urdu you will find out that its coming from Sanskrit like all the indian languages. You are whinging over some words. Teach your children some Hindi. They will be better off and come out of the hell hole called Pakistan. I m encouraging my children to learn Hindi.

  5. This is a joke. If you speak Urdu you cant avoid Hindi. Both are so similar that trying to avoid each other is not possible. There is nothing wrong in learning Hindi. These people will say not learn English as well as we get bombarded by un manned drones sent by English speakers. What a joke. Grow up

  6. Avoid watching Indian Channels and movies.It is a cultural invasion,but unluckily our women do not think about this poisning things.My sincere advice is to boycot Indian Movies and Indian Cables.

        • Of course..if there is worthy content to watch…is there any Pakistani channel having standard up to Indian Channel?

        • ham pyar karte hai pakistan se

          political leaders ke liya aaj ham
          aapne purane history ko vula baithe

          aap ve hameri jaise ho or hamve aap jaise he hai

          pyarkarna sikhiya na ki

          koi galat hai to ushe
          sahi karne ki kosis kijiya
          na ki
          love u one second mere bhai / bahne
          aap jo be ho

  7. Yeah right we should avoid Indian channels and watch American channels instead. Whats wrong in speaking some Hindi words. After all Urdu came to Pakistan from Hindustan. Do Bengali Muslims become lesser muslims because they share a common language with Bengali Hindus? They use a script which is similar to Hindi in many ways…Give us a break. You all speak as the biggest problem our country is facing is the invsion of Indian channels, not terrorism corruption etc. How many of you can speak Urdu without mixing English? Even the Prime Minister cant.

  8. It is unfortunate that we have become reactive about everything in this day and age and are quick to put BLAME on whatever annoys us in any way, whether it is religion or culture, the world is a global village and you cannot avoid intermingling of different cultures, religions and backgrounds, If one is not as strong and clear about his own identity, one cannot blame ANY outside source as a violating factor, because if you are weak ANYTHING can overcome you. I believe it is not an intelligent way to solve such issues. We have to face the fact that there is a lack of our own investment and interest as Pakistanis in ANY positive thing as a UNITED BLOCK and NATION, which is very important to be able to grow successfully. we are very singular and egotistic in terms of success and productivity. If we put everything in perspective ( including our own history) it is better to carry forward with HUMANISTIC values instead of NATIONALISTIC values, since nationalism promotes bad politics too! we have to remember who we are as INDIVIDUALS and what we can become TOGETHER.

  9. Keep in mind that Urdu is also an Indian language like other languages and mother of all languages is Sanskrit.
    Accept the truth and enjoy Hindi!!

  10. Hindi bolne ya samjhne me ko problem nahi to ise bann kyon karna chahte ho, desh me aur bhi masle hain unko suljhao bhaiyo, paduasi hamare. Hamne to kabhi Urdu ka koi virodh nahi kiya balki bharat men Urdu Bolne vale Pakistan se zyada hain. Hindi filmo ke Gaano mein bhi 60% Urdu shabd (alfaaz) hote hain. Grow up dud

  11. Hai Pakistan…Allah khair kare…ab kahan kahan bhagenge……idhar Gaddha (hollywood)..udhar hai Khai (Bollywood )…chose any… hum toh hain fakir nange.. apna toh kuch hai hi nahi…jayen to jayen kahan………

    • Bollywood ko apna hi samjho…and njoy karo.
      Pakistan ke hit me hoga agar vo India ko apna big brother samjhe.

  12. For Pakistanis here who are having trouble digesting this article, let me get this right…We should discard Urdu because its:

    a) not original anyway
    b) is very similar to Hindi
    c) Pakistan has bigger problems


    What about Pakistan's own cultural and national identity? Whats next, learn Indian national anthem and celebrate independence day on 15th August? After all we now speak Hindi and have shared the same territory not long ago with India, right?

    For those who fail to see the real problem: there is no harm in learning Hindi (or any foreign language) but not before you learn your own language. Exposing children to unrestrained Hindi 24/7 (sometimes even mislabeled as "Urdu" for channels like Nickelodeon) will only cripple them morally and defuse their national pride and growth. And our national language is even more vulnerable because of the similarities with Hindi leaving our culture and identity exposed to corruption. Learning about other cultures and adapting it are two different things. All Hindi content should be forbidden by the government and the media companies should act responsibly and not succumb to taking the easy way of promoting consumerism in order to boost their ratings.

  13. its common to label hindi channels as urdu channel in pakistan…and similarly in india urdu movies are called hindi…….
    i guess the fight is of language family…pakistanis of today are descendants of indus valley civilization which is actually the base of Hinduism, but they are made to believe that they are arab descendants…This is an epitome of assimilatory events that have gripped the whole nation so strong that they cannot get away from this.
    Pakistanis should first remove the bhoot of islam ..they must decide whats more important to them : Islam or Pakistan.

    • great Pakistan is more important, motherland first given to us by our god to nurture
      for me india comes first not my religion

  14. how can one speak urdu without hindi and vice versa , i think author should seek a good doctor first , are you trying to create an artificial wall among two languages which are actually different names of same language ( minus arabic and persian ).

    eg:: i will write a text message :: rizwan mera dost hai.now since i have written hindi/urdu using roman alphabets then what will you say about language of text message:: ,urdu ,english or urdu.Only virtual difference is the script but i can easily write urdu in devnagari or hindi in nashtaliq.
    If urdu is closer to arabic or persian then UK english is closer to spanish rather than australian english.
    I think author should ask his grandfather and he will be able to answer this question quite easily.20 year old kids are talking differences about hindi and urdu whereas both are same language from 500 years.

  15. i still have books of urdu borrowed by indian muslim friend , jannab, adab arz hai. huzurewala, khuda hafiz, allah o akbar, Bismillah-he-rahman-er-ra-heem"بَسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

  16. Biggest problem with Pakistanis ( Muslims) is that they want to run away from reality. Instead of having close relations with their own ancestors (Indians/Hindus) they have turned towards Arab world. They have adopted a foreign culture and religion and discarted what was their own. My dear Pakistani friends please do not run away from accepting the truth. Try to remember your past ? Try to find out your origin and roots, you may find solution to your problems, after all we have same blood whether you accept or not. With love……. dr. Ravi kumar Bhargava

    • Going back to ancestors ..all of us are human race..whether arabs or indians.Islam is actually against racism and promotes good relations among neighbours.If history has left us with some grudges against each other its not to be blamed on any religion be it Islam or Hinduism…

        • mein tanasji ki baton se sehmt hoon humein english se ldna chaaiye ki do behno se [urdu hindi] se or doosre islaam to arb se aaya pehle to sb hindu hi they pakistani sach ko kyon nhin maan lete kya haz krne wale hazzi siv a ka nhin. kiss krte jise[ sange aswd khajata hai

  17. as an indian i wud never mind speaking urdu or any other language….as a free country indians are giver rights to speak any language ….i m sure my parents also wudnt mind speaking any other language because they knw by speaking any other language their son wont become a pakistani or they loose their son.

  18. pakisani dosto, main apni baat hindi mein likh raha hoon kyonki mujhe urdu nahin aatee. par kamaal yeh hai ki aap is hindi ko samajh rahe hain jabki aapko hindi nahin aatee. dosto, baat itnee see hai ki hum donon eik hee zabaan boltey hain. script badalne sey zaban nahin badaltee theek vaisey hee jaise eik script honey sey do zabanen eik nahin ho jateen. hindustan mein hindi, maarathee aur nepali devnagari mein likhee jatee hain, lekin vey alag-alag zabanen hain.

    • wel done Ajay..mujhe hindi nahin aati lekin me urdu me likh rahi hoon.aap ne baat boht teek liki he.Just want to add you can speak Hindi or any other laguage and still be good muslim. I want to give a messege to all the parents that they should find better educational alternatives for their children rather than watching tv.

      • good sadia ma to nepali ho phir ve mai nepali se jada hindi may bateyan karna pasand karta hoo oor chata hoo ki hindi world ki best language bane

  19. Have you headed of toffee tv? It's an original Urdu channel and they do a phenomenal job, better than any Hindi cartoon I have seen, comparable to American cartoons. If the pakistan government can throw funds there way they can probably develop a PBS station.

  20. The issue is NOT Hindi or Urdu. Even though, all of you have very interesting views and opinions, yet none of you, have tried to ask the RIGHT question. The question should be something like this, " Why most Pakistani Muslims NOT want to be associated with Hindi (language & culture)?"

    The way, I have understood this phenomenon is that Muslims and Hindus of India and Pakistan believe in two very opposite belief systems of each other. No matter how many similarities may there be, it is the difference between the two that need to be addressed, accepted and tolerated on both sides.

    One should NOT take this article and the length of this blog lightly, as it is pointing exactly right back at the core issue of "What is truly the difference between a Muslim and a Hindu, and everything thing they do or don't do ". See if you can come up with an answer that will stand the test of all times, the past, the present and the future. GOOD LUCK!

  21. why are these people fighting over language. Urdu and Hindi are closely related and pakistan largerer community like to watch all hindi dramas, cartoons and serials. If pakistan cannt entertain us, then atleast indian channels are welcomed.

  22. i was reading an article over net which was on hindustani languages. I came to know that, urdu language originated in India during mughal era. Some farsi and arabic words were mixed with hindi and the new language formed was urdu. Though the mughals didnt knew devnagari script so they used to write urdu in farsi script. So i dont see any difference between hindi or urdu. So i request pakistani people not to create barrier or issue on languages.

  23. It is simple. Do not let the children watch Hindi channels.
    A man is known by the company he keeps.
    This simply shows you are watching most of the time, Hindi channels.
    So this is the fault of parents and not children.

  24. aap science padhna chahte ho.agar urdu mein achhi kitab nahin milti to english me padhtey ho.jabke english different hai phirbhi.usi tarah aap entertainment ya knowledge ke liye hindi channels dekhte ho.ye asan kam hai.kyun ke 90% urdu hindi hee hai.kaha jaye to hindi urdu me koi fark hai hee nahee.faltu paisa ,energy aur time waste karne se achha hai english ke badley hindi channel dekha jaye.agar tv dekhna ghalat hai to kisi bhi language me dekhna ghalat hai.isme language ki bat hai hee nahin.bachchon ka dimagh open honey do.life me zyada kamyab honge.apni dushmani bachchon par nahin thopo.agar batchon ka mustakbil banana chahtey ho to.

  25. Pakistanis are hypcrites.
    Hating India and the language but in Holland they have restaurant named Indian tandoori restaurant why not named it pakistani restaurant.


    • Ha ha Bhosriwalla you are right..If they will name it Pakistani Restaurant, nobody will come to their restaurant as everybody will think its a terrorist/al kaida's restaurant 🙂

  26. پاکستانی بھائیوں کو سلام
    पाकिस्तानी भाईयों को सलाम

    Kuchh log pahla vaakya/jumlah samjhenge kuchh duusraa. Magar is vaakya/jumle ko dono (Pakistani aur bharatiya) samjhenge. aakhir kyon? KyoN kii zabaan ek hai bas rasmul khat/lipi/script ka farq/fark hai.

    Love from Bangalore.


  27. Hindi is closer to Urdu than Arabi or persian. In the name of Islam, why do we impose unnatural things on Muslims? Urdu was never a local language of Pakistan. It was imposed by UP & Bihari Muslims on us.

  28. It's not a very big issue to worry about. I am an Indian and came to this page accidentally and was shocked to read all the non-sense. It's not only Pakistan that is seeing a rise in Hindi's use but also India, but vice-versa! If you notice the speeches of Indian leaders or journalists or common Hindi-speaking population, then you'll come to know that they utter more Urdu words than pure Hindi words. Because, for Indians, the Urdu words seem small and easy-to-remember than Hindi words. [E.g. : We use INSAAF (انصاف) instead of NYAY (for justice) also SAARA (سارا) instead of PRATYEK (for every).] Urdu words are really simple to speak for Indians as they are non-tongue twisters 🙂 In the same way, Hindi words may be simple, easy-to-remember and non-tongue twisters for the Pakistanis. It just that reason behind the silly worries, isn't it? 🙂

  29. Jahil log, Urdu aur Hindi ek hi bhasha hai. There I used a Sanskrit word, even present in Urdu dictionaries. Grow-up uneducated people and learn Urdu history !!! The divide was political not to do with linguistics !

  30. jin logo ko issh se dikkat ho rahi hai vo jahil gadhe hain na unko juban ki samagh hai na majhab ki, bantwara logo ka kiya ja sakta hai tahjeeb aur juban ka nahi, baaki murkh addmi ko samghana aasan nahi hai.

Comments are closed.