WATCH: Young student 'humiliated' for speaking Urdu

Rana Javaid

A screengrab from the viral video showing the signboard of the school in Karachis North Nazimabad area. —
A screengrab from the viral video showing the signboard of the school in Karachi's North Nazimabad area. — 

KARACHI: A young child studying at a private school in Karachi’s North Nazimabad was allegedly humiliated by the school for speaking in Urdu.

A video made by the child’s father has been going viral on social media, in which the man narrates the details of the incident.

The child's father alleged that his son was ridiculed for speaking in Urdu in school and black ink was applied to his son’s face in school as punishment for speaking in his national language.

The child's father also alleged that said that his son was mocked in front of other children, who were encouraged to berate him.

The man also claimed to have taken up the issue with the management of the school. However, the management claimed that it could do nothing in the matter.

On the other hand, the Directorate of Private Schools took notice of the video circulating on social media and sought a response from the private school.

The directorate says that the incident has not been confirmed or denied yet, but a 3-member committee has been formed to investigate.

As the video circulated on social media, many people have spoken up against the act and have termed it an attack on the child’s mental well-being and self-esteem.

Taking to Twitter, one user said: “Speaking in Urdu has become a crime, at Civilization School in North Nazimabad area of Karachi, a student was mocked and black ink was applied to his face for speaking in Urdu.”

Language debate

The video has underscored an underlying issue in society regarding the fast-growing culture of giving precedence to English in the country. Pakistan, where English is one of the official languages has been seeing a decline in the importance given to its national and regional languages — a much-argued debate in social and cultural circles.

Many claim that giving so much attention the English not only hinders the growth of the language but also proves detrimental to students as their first language is usually not Urdu.