Discrepancy: So What Is It?

Posted on May 1, 2008
Filed Under >Pervaiz Munir Alvi, Culture & Heritage, Society, Urdu
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Pervaiz Munir Alvi

Previously at ATP we have talked about ‘Redundancy’ and about ‘Naming Names’ in Pakistan. At those posts lively comments by many of our readers made the original post even more interesting. Once again we are hopeful that our loyal readers will come forward and add to this post with their own interesting questions.

So question is: what is it?

Is it Shala-mar as written in most Mughal historical manuscripts or is it ‘Shali-mar’ as written on the boxes of expensive French perfume named after the famous gardens in Lahore and in Kashmir? What is it?

Is it Mumtaz Mahal as the queen of Emperor Shahjahan for whom he built that magnificent mausoleum in Agra at the banks of river Yamuna, or is it the gaudy and tasteless casino Taj Mahal built by developer Donald Trump at the shores of Atlantic Ocean in the US of A. Which one is it?

Is it Badeshahi Qala or simply Shai Qila as pronounced by Lahorites?

Is it Poto-har, Pot-war, or Poth-war Plateau (all at once in the same government of Pakistan official publication)?

Again is it Ka-ra-chi or Ka-ran-chi as my great-aunt used to say? Which one is it?

Is it University of the Punjab as printed on the left side of my diploma or is it Punjab University as printed on the right side of the same document. What is it?

Is it Syed as in Tahira Syed the famous singer-daughter of the famous singer-mother, or is it Syeda as in Syeda Abida Hussain the famous politician-daughter of famous politician-father Syed Maratab Ali Shah.

Is it Mohammad Nawaz s/o Mohammad Sharif as stated on his original birth certificate or is it Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif Sahab as printed on his election campaign posters? Which one is it?

Is it Jillani as ‘Shaikh Abdul Qadar Jillani of Bagdad or is it Gillani as Pir-Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani of Multan.

And then, is it Enlightened Moderation or Moderate Enlightenment.
Which one is it?

The above are some of the questions in my mind and in the minds of other readers of ATP which need a resolution.

16 responses to “Discrepancy: So What Is It?”

  1. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    Ayaz K.: Some speak Urdu with ‘Hindustani’ accent while other speak with Punjabi, Sindhi or Pashto accent. One hears them all. That is the beauty of Urdu language. Much of Urdu vocabulary comes from Turkish, Persian and Arabic languages. Natives of those three languages have accent and pronunciation (of words found in Urdu) different than say those of Punjabi, Pashto or Hindustani origin. So, should we say that the ‘Hindustani’ accent and pronunciation of Persian/Arabic/Turkish origin words be ‘corrected’ in favor of their origin. And then again even those three languages have their internal variations. Have you ever heard of the ‘murder’ of English words by the Urdu speakers of all regions. Where does one stop in this ‘correction’.

  2. Ayaz K. says:

    Why do you have to speak Urdu in this Punjabi accent all the time? — if you can’t pronounce it right then do some research or ask those who can pronounce it correctly.

    This “tenu kee” attitude shows people don’t care and Urdu won’t be sounding so cool to our ears if nobody cares about its diction and the way words and sentences are delivered.

    Jilani and Gilani is a very trivial issue. First people should learn how to say “Nasir” properly — it is “Nasir” not Naasar :) — it is “Waqt” not “Wakat” ..it is “Sirf” not “Siraf” …. a long list is there but you get the idea :0)

  3. AtIF says:

    What lies in a name, sir, a rose by any name…..


  4. Roshan says:

    More than J or G sounds in Arabic, the family is called Gillani because their ancestors migrated to subcontinent from Gilan (along Caspian Sea) a province in Iran as Gardezi came from Gardez.
    Syeda is more common with women (feminine) and is generally used as prefix. But case of Tahira Syed is different as it is used both as suffix and masculine. Though other male members of her family have Syed as prefix.
    Lot of punjabi speaking pronounce Jh sound as Ch sound, for instance, Jhang as Chang or Jhaaroo as Chaaroo.
    I came across many people who say Raulpindi instead of Rawalpindi or Peshaur rather than Peshawar.
    Many seraikee speaking say Mudraffargarh rather than Muzaffargarh and also (I like it) Daakdaar to Doctor.

  5. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    Atelier: Thanks for the correction. Syeda Abida Hussain is not a daughter but a grand daughter of Pir Syed Maratab Ali Shah.

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