Make and Break

Articles

Make and Break

By Prof. Dr. Satish Rohra

It is commonly believed that it is easier to break than make. A building might take years to be constructed, but can be crushed into pieces within a few days, or perhaps, a few hours. With reference to languages, it would not be incorrect to say that they are not made and broken but are made and face a downfall; because the damage is not done by an individual alone. In case of languages, it takes thousands of years for it to originate, grow, develop and get acceptance; whereas it takes only 60 years for a language to die and perish and come to an end!

Yes, just 60 Years!!

It takes thousands of years for any language to strengthen and become a part of the education and literature of a nation. The process of development of a language depends on its use; i.e. the more a language is used by people; the greater is its development. As against this, when a language is not used widely, it starts losing its identity soon. And if two successive generations (approx 60 years), stop using a language it almost comes to an end. The origin of the Sindhi Language, spoken in Sindh and othe parts of India, may or may not be traced back to the ancient civilization of Mohan jo daro, but one can say with surety that even the Sindhi spoken today must be at least a 1000 years old. But unfortunately, the language is going through difficult times in India, these days. Though, on one hand, the language is being used in India, but on the other hand it is equally true that the use of the language is rapidly declining.

The existence of a language depends on its use. If a language is used in our routine life (one which becomes the backbone of a civilized society and is used for the purpose of education and literature), it is not threatened to disappear. But if a language does not find entry and acceptance in the everyday lives of people, it can soon become a forgotten chapter of history. A language can be considered 'living' untill it has the capacity to establish contact and communication between the 'living' beings. Therefore, just by raising slogns, our language will not be protected or preserved, but it will remain alive only when we do not let it go away from our lives.