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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 31, New Delhi, July 17, 2021

Language as an Identity Marker: Placing Language Movements in Ethnic Conundrum of South Asia | Akansha Chandra

Friday 16 July 2021


by Akansha Chandra*

Language has always been an important identity marker in the domain of Social Sciences. Within the framework of ethnicity, language movements have played a significant role in the politics of identity. The South Asian region especially has been rigged with such movements as the concept of ethnicity started to become more popular with the era of decolonization. People started identifying themselves with their ethnic historicity, and the repression of the language of the minority ethnic group by the dominant ethnic group led to many struggles in various countries of the subcontinent.
As per the Oxford Dictionary of Politics, the definition of Language is "The essence of politics is the argument between principles and theories of society. Thus, language is to politics as oxygen is to air, its vital and distinct ingredient. The political dimension of language raises complex and ultimately mysterious questions. Questions of culture, identity, and manipulative power are inseparable from linguistic structures. Language sometimes seems definitive of identity, at other times almost irrelevant. One must beware of simplification or generalization about language and politics, yet always remain aware that language is not separate from political reality but part of that reality." [1] Exploring this definition, we see that language bears firm ground as an identity marker. To understand how language is intertwined in ethnicity, we need to understand what ethnicity is in the first place.

The etymology of the word ’Ethnic’ is derived from the Greek word ethnos, meaning "people" or "nation." [2] The term ethnicity has been used variously to signify ’nation,’ ’race,’ ’religion,’ or ’people,’ but the central generic meaning is collective cultural distinctiveness. Benjamin Akzin termed the ’similarity-dissimilarity’ pattern, where members of an ethnic community are similar and alike in those cultural traits in which they are dissimilar from non-members. [3] The most common shared and distinctive characteristics are language and religion, but customs, institutions, laws, architecture, dress, food, color, and physique may augment the differences or take their place. [4] Anthony Smith says that to qualify as an ethnic community, there must also emerge a strong sense of belonging and active solidarity, which in times of stress and danger can override class, factional or regional divisions within the community. [5] Here Language plays a significant role in this sense of belongingness.

Ethnic tension has been growing the world over since the post-second world war period. The term ethnicity became increasingly crucial in the social sciences in the 1960s, a period marked by the consolidation of decolonization in Africa and Asia as numerous new nation-states were created. It is believed that group tension and ethnic conflict in modern multi-ethnic societies underlie political separatism.

Ethnicity is a Political problem, but the language remains at the heart of it. Language is ideological in the sense that it encodes a certain worldview, a certain conception of life. The dominance of a language always favors a particular concept of life and those who believe in it.

Theoretical Underpinning:

Two Schools of thought to understand the origin of the concept of Ethnicity are Primordialists and Instrumentalists :

According to Primordialists, ethnic identity is a natural phenomenon, and they argue that it is felt as shared paternity, bio kinship, commonality of descent, and blood relationship. It is a subjectively held sense of shared identity based on objective cultural criteria. The instrumentalists suggest a modern phenomenon that helps social groups gain a more significant share in power and wealth. It rests on the use of ethnic identity for political or economic purposes by the elite. [6]

Interplay of Language and Identity:

How Language, Ethnicity, and Identity are related can be seen in Francis Fukuyama’s definition, which postulates that the inner sense of human dignity seeks recognition from the outer world. Self-esteem arises out of esteem by others, and since human beings naturally crave recognition, the modern sense of identity evolves quickly into identity politics, in which individuals demand public recognition of their worth. Identity politics thus encompasses a large part of the political struggles of the contemporary world. Indeed Hegel argued that the struggle for recognition was the ultimate driver of human history, a force that was key to understanding the emergence of the modern world. [7]

Language and Power Struggle:

Functionalist theories, exerting upon the writings of Durkheim, view society as being generally in equilibrium, but the social changes, such as language-based, alter this equilibrium. Conflict theories based on Marx’s ideas focus on the forces that disrupt the societies to produce domination by the elites. [8]

The rejection or acceptance of languages is explained by both- where on the one side, there is a desire to accept a dominant language of wider communication, and on the other, a desire to create a new order by rejecting the dominant language.
Mesh of Nationalism and Ethno-Nationalism in South Asia:

Nationalism, Ethno-nationalism and their interplay in South Asia can be very easily seen through the interpretation of these renowned theorists:

• Yuval Noah Harrari said, "Internal hatred and weak national sentiments have led to the complete disintegration of the state and murderous civil wars." Talking about the ’wrong’ kind of nationalism, he explains that Instead of strengthening national unity, they widen the rifts within the society by using inflammatory language and divisive politics, furthermore, by depicting anybody who opposes them not as a right rival but rather as a dangerous traitor. [9]

• Paul Brass said: "Ethnicity and nationalism, interethnic conflicts, and secessionist movements have been major forces shaping the modern world and the structure and stability of contemporary states. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, such forces and movements emerged with new intensity." [10]

• Urmila Phadnis says that looking at the ethnic plurality in South Asia, post-colonial nation-building approaches focussed on creating a unified ’national identity based around either common political values and citizenship or a putative majoritarian ’ethnic’ identity. [11]

Language expresses and constructs identities, often taking precedence over nationalism, religion, gender, and race in defining one’s identity. Within national boundaries, collective and individual identities are often shaped by membership in regional groups. Particularly in South Asia, the tongue has proven to be more powerful than the flag. From the creation of Bangladesh into a separate nation to the constant demands for secession that have intimidated to tear India apart, language has united and divided the people of South Asia.

Ethnolinguistic Xenophobia in South Asia:

This region of South Asia has experienced many cries for secession, and it is important to understand that an extraordinary number of these movements were motivated by linguistic differences. Language is a culturally constructed terminology that can make you feel superior or inferior. It is a significant identity marker in the nation making.
In order to understand the role of Language in an overt power struggle, let us analyse some of the language-based conflicts in South Asia.


In South Asia, the country which came into existence because of Language being a significant factor of Identity is Bangladesh. The division of India and Pakistan was based on the two-nation theory, but Bangladesh’s creation as a separate country shows the falling apart of that theory and defying the myth of religion being the binding factor for all Muslims.

The primary reason for the discontentment of east Bangladesh was the inferior status given to the Bengali ethnicity. The architects of Partition failed to properly account for the significant linguistic divide between the Urdu-speaking Western half and Bengali-speaking Eastern half of Pakistan.

Bengali Language Movement, which was launched in 1948, began as a cultural movement but turned political by the 1950s. It eventually inspired Bengalis to take to the streets in the War of Bangladeshi Independence in 1971. The Language Movement of Bengal had similar demands to those of Sri Lanka- inclusion of Bengali as a state language of Pakistan. In 1948, massive protests were launched in what was formerly known as East Bengal when Urdu was designated as the sole official language. Mass massacre of student protestors at the University of Dhaka took place on February 21, 1952. [12] To honor those who died in the protest, UNESCO declared February 21 as International Mother Language Day. Though the movement was diffused by 1955 when the government gave in and official status was granted to the Bengali language in 1956, soon after, language became the primary determinant of East Pakistani nationalism. The irony of the situation was that religion did not prove to be the unifying factor for the conglomeration of multiple ethnic identities, including Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists; instead, it was a profound love for the mother tongue. With a strong heritage created by Bengali writers such as Rabindranath Tagore and Kaji Nazrul Islam, Bengali nationhood was rooted in language. [13] When a Bengali, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was denied the position of Prime Minister despite his party (Awami League) having won the largest number of seats, the Liberation War of 1971 was launched that eventually lead to the secession and creation of a separate nation.

Sri Lanka

It is a classic example to show that lack of compromise can result in communal tensions. Sri Lanka is the homeland of two major ethnic groups: the Sinhalese and the Tamils, and language has served as a significant dividing factor between the two.
In Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese ruling elite made Sinhala the dominant language in 1956 and tried to use the state’s power to create linguistic uniformity. This decision was opposed by the Tamil minority, who asserted their own language policy, giving Tamil the national language status along with Sinhala. This has contributed to the acute social tension between the Tamils and the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka.

After independence from colonial rule, the power of language as a force for a revolution in the country manifested itself through agitation against the continued use of English as an official language. Simultaneously, Tamils held a disproportionate share of power in the civil administration due to the unequal educational opportunities in the colonial era. Sinhalese nationalism tried to curb Tamil influence at the intersection of these two trends, sparking the confrontation between Sinhalese and Tamil forces. In 1956, Bandaranaike, in his Prime Ministerial campaign, promised to make Sinhalese the country’s official language. After winning, he passed the Sinhalese Only Bill (Official Language Act, No. 33 of 1956). Violence broke out upon the passing of this bill and its notable exclusion of the Tamil language. New education policies in the 1970s was also a problem area since it ensured that the quota for speakers of a particular language qualifying for university entrance would be proportional to the number appearing for the examinations in that language. It implied that Tamilians would have to score much higher than other groups to get the same position. According to the 1990 census, the alleged over-representation of Tamils in administrative, civil, and professional ranks in state services deteriorated to a mere 5.9 percent. [14]

Ethno-linguistic violence between Sinhalese and Tamils broke out in periodic riots, most notably in 1958, 1977, and 1981. The violence of July 1983 was a turning point, after which a more institutionalized form of violence replaced sporadic violence through political parties. Furthermore, Tamil youth began to organize themselves into armed guerrilla groups to seek a separate independent Tamil state. One of the most ill-famed of these groups was the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Political violence included bank robberies, massacres of Sinhalese and Muslims in border villages and disputed areas, assassinations of Tamils who were deemed to be traitors, and indiscriminate bomb attacks in the Sinhalese south, especially in Colombo. [15] The 1983 conflict escalated into a civil war with periodic intervention by the Indian Peacekeeping Forces. An armistice was signed between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government in 2009. The number of deaths in this civil war was estimated between 70 to 80 thousand and many thousand displaced civilians.


The use of language in the creation of identity, especially in the nineteenth century, is intimately related to politics in the Indian subcontinent. Islam has been a key symbol for the Pakistan movement, and Urdu is a significant part of this symbolism. Most of the work in Urdu-Hindi controversy is in the instrumentalist tradition. [16]

Pakistani nationalists have always asserted that the ethno-nationalists, who support the multinationalism thesis (of which the language movements are an expression), are Pakistan’s enemies and have an agenda to break up the country. The latter is accused of using Hindus, left-wing intellectuals, communists, and selfish politicians to instigate and support language movements. The nationalists assert that gullible people, generally students, join these movements without even realizing what they are doing.

Within the ethnolinguistic dimensions of politics in Pakistan, a lot of divisions within the nation can be found. While the state appears to support Urdu over the indigenous and vernacular languages, the Punjabi-speaking ruling elite supports English. The language issue in Pakistan is about hegemonic and counter-hegemonic movements, compromises and balances between groups, strife, and equilibrium. All these factors are significantly responsible for the elections, martial laws, and the objectives of political parties.
The Urdu- Hindi controversy and the movement for the Bengali language and their links with identity construction, politics, and ethnicity have already been extensively explored by social scientists. Sadly, the other language movements of Pakistan have been mainly ignored. Few major linguistic issues in Pakistan which are worthwhile discussing are as follows.

Before the nineteenth century, Balochi used to be an unwritten language used only in conversation in the Baloch court. The official written language used to be Persian. The British replaced Persian with Urdu and English. [17] Similarly, in its attempt to forge a common identity and jettison any provincial sentiments, Pakistan did not allow Balochi to be the language of instructions in schools, even at the primary level. The irony of the situation is that Balochi is not taught at the primary schools but the master’s level in the University of Baluchistan situated in Quetta. Balochi language has also not got the privilege to be used in the domains of power. [18]

The Balochistan Mother Tongue use Bill, No. 6 of 1990 sought to make Balochi a compulsory medium of instructions at the primary level in rural schools. The elitist schools were exempted from this act. Teachers were imparted training and textbooks were also published for primary classes. In November 1992, the cabinet decided to discontinue this experiment. The textbooks board was asked not to produce any more books or impart any further training to teachers. Many writers called this decision a conspiracy of the Punjabi bureaucracy that did not favor the development of a Baloch identity. [19]

A major element in the underdevelopment of the Balochi language is the Arabic script. There are only six vowels in Arabic, and the Balochi language has ten, as a result of which Arabic script confuses the Baloch in writing. Native Balochi speakers can easily read Urdu written in Arabic but, on the other hand, find it difficult to read their own language in the same script. The reason is that Balochi is a vowel-sensitive language, and the Arabic script supports only consonant-sensitive languages. The first draft of written Balochi by British officers came in the Roman script, but later, for religious reasons, the Arabic script was chosen, though the issue was purely linguistic. Apparently, the man who standardized the current Arabic script for Balochi in the 1950s, Syed Hashmi, was himself convinced that Balochi was well fixed with the roman script. [20]

Similar is the situation of the Pashto language, which was chosen as an identity marker by Pakhtun nationalists in modern times for political reasons. Pashto defines Pakhtun nationalism through aspirations to independence or the assertions of cultural distinctiveness. Abubakar Siddique also emphasizes the importance of Pashto in Pashtunwali (traditional code of conduct for Pakhtuns) by calling it the foremost identity-marker of Pakhtuns. He further elaborates that following Pashtunwali is closely tied to speaking the Pashto language. [21]

At the height of the Pakhtunistan issue in the 1950s and 1960s, the government was paranoid about Pashto, to the extent that the police monitored all Pashto publications and all efforts to develop the language. [22] As Pakhtun nationalists, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, also known as Frontier Gandhi and his son Wali Khan, prioritized their Pakhtun identity over the Muslim or Pakistani one. Abdul Ghaffar Khan was very fond of Pashto and firmly believed that it is only with the development of the mother tongue that people can prosper, and it is this which gives one pride in one’s origin and identity. [23]

Nevertheless, Pashto was not introduced even at the primary school level as a medium of instruction till 1984. Even when it was introduced in selected areas of NWFP, because of the devaluation of Pashto in the domains of power, people felt they cannot use it as they still can not aspire to positions of power in Pakistan without the knowledge of Urdu and English. [24]

Currently, Pakhtun nationalists find themselves surrounded by all sides and corners; Pakistan is shedding Pakhtun blood in tribal regions of FATA with their military operations. The Al Qaeda and Taliban militants are spilling Pashtun blood across the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Americans and NATO forces are splashing Pakhtun blood in Afghanistan. All these factors are reinforcing feelings of injustice and oppression.

The Sindhi language has also faced the brunt in Pakistan. Sindh province had also been deprived of its local language as a medium of instruction during the "One-Unit" period. After its abolition, it was demanded that pre-1958 status should be re-established. Mohajir students protested against the move, and violence followed, resulting in Sindhi students burning pictures of Mohammad Iqbal and Mohajir students burning Sindhi books in the Institute of Sindhology in retaliation. The army had to be called in Hyderabad, and many parts in Karachi were put under curfew. [25]
The Sindh teaching, promotion, and use of the Sindhi language Bill of 1972 created much chaos in the history of Sindh province. This bill established the Sindhi language as the sole official language of the province, creating an ethnic tussle between Mohajirs and Sindhis. The Mohajirs attacked Sindhis in Karachi, and the Department of Sindhi at the University of Karachi was blazed. Curfew was imposed in Karachi and Hyderabad. Urdu newspaper JANG carried lurid headlines proclaiming the death of Urdu: "Urdu ka janaza hai zara dhoom se nikle" (It is the funeral procession of Urdu, let it go out with fanfare). Pro- Urdu and pro-Sindhi processions continued to clash, and violence spread all over Sindh. [26]

The Punjabi movement activists want Punjabi to be used for educational, administrative, and judicial purposes in the Punjab province. Punjabi vanished as a subject in University soon after the creation of Pakistan. The Punjabi language was pushed to the periphery because of its association with Sikhs and the state’s promotion of Urdu. Supporting Punjabi language and literature was labeled an anti-state act in 1959, and Punjabi Majlis, a Lahore-based literary organization, was declared a political party and banned. In 1963, the Punjabi group of the writers guild was banned because it had started the Punjabi-Urdu controversy. [27] As in the case of the other language movements in Pakistan, language planners of Punjabi are also driven by the imperative of creating an authentic Punjabi identity through language planning. Many Punjabis complain that ordinary spoken Punjabi is repleted with Urdu words to be authentic. This is conceived to be a threat to the Punjabi identity. Some Punjabi activists use words of native origin even at the cost of lucidity or intelligibility in their writings.

Punjabi movement could have been avoided if the use of English and Urdu in the domains of power, which were perceived as an imposition by all the ethnic groups of Pakistan, had not estranged the Punjabi intelligentsia from its cultural roots. It is distinctive and idiosyncratic among all the language movements of Pakistan as it is the only one that is not motivated by goal-directed, rational, and instrumentalist reasons. It mobilizes people for sentimental reasons rather than instrumental.

Secessionist movements have tormented India since its birth, many based on language. The situation is made more acute with the sheer diversity of Indian languages. The Indian constitution recognizes 22 official languages written in 13 distinct scripts, 121 spoken languages, and a conservative estimate proposes at least 720 different dialects and around 19,500 mother tongues. [28]

One of the primary linguistic distinctions in India is between Indo-European North Indian languages and Dravidian South Indian languages. Even before independence, the Southern part of India saw protests in Tamil Nadu against the imposition of the Hindi language. In 1937, C. Rajagopalachari, under Congress, tried to impose Hindi on the Madras presidency by making Hindi education mandatory in schools, leading to an outrage in the area. [29]

There were more than 560 princely states when India got independent. The primary challenge was to combine these princely states and create a nation by dividing it into different territorial states. Cultural homogeneity and language compatibility was kept in focus while creating the federal units. Nehru appointed a Linguistic Provinces commission in 1948 regarding reorganization, which was later replaced with State Reorganization Commission. [30] Based on the state reorganization commission, 21 states were created, but very soon, it was felt that these 21 states might not fulfill the aspirations and needs of the people. The post-1956 efforts soon witnessed the creation of some more states purely on a linguistic basis. The old Bombay Presidency region was divided into the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra to maintain the linguist compatibility. The Gujarati-speaking area was carved into the new state of Gujarat, while the Marathi-speaking area was carved into the new state of Maharashtra. The State Reorganisation Commission had created the state of Punjab, encompassing the present states of Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh. The Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab constantly struggled to make a separate state of Punjab, which ultimately resulted in the bifurcation of Punjab into the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh in the year 1966.

Similarly, in the north-eastern part, the state of Assam was divided into the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Manipur, and Tripura. This was primarily done to protect the people’s distinct cultural, linguistic, and tribal identity in these regions. [31] This shows that Nehru was prudent enough to consider the creation of the Linguistic Commission, looking at the language affinities of people.

The proto elites of Southern India protested against the Hindi-speaking ruling elite’s policy of making Hindi the official language of India in 1965. Apart from attachment to the Dravidian cultural tradition, of which language was an important part, students from South India felt that they would not be able to compete for employment with students from the north, whose mother tongue was Hindi. The compromise solution was the 3+1 language formula, according to which Hindi and English share the status of national languages. The state language must be learned in school while people from minorities may also learn their own language in addition to all the others. By compromising, Nehru enhanced the legitimacy of his government and promoted the state’s image as a fair arbitrator of conflicting interests.

In 1968, the Tamil Nadu Students Anti-Hindi Agitation Committee met with the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. They handed her a letter stating their demand of discontinuation of imposition of Hindi, failing which they will fight for the independence of Tamil Nadu. Later that year, students in Coimbatore hoisted a flag for an independent Tamil Nadu, arguing that independence was the only way to maintain their mother tongue against the imposition of Hindi. With the rise of regional parties like the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhakham) dethroning the dominant INC (Indian National Congress), resentment began to subside as local leaders started to look after local interests. [32] This reduced the sentiments of imposition of foreign languages of the Hindi-speaking North and Union government on the south. Subsequently, open hostilities between opposing linguistic groups died down.

The anti-Hindi agitation was not limited only to the Southern part and also appeared in the state of Punjab in the Northern region in the 1970s. The roots of this insurgency were in the inadequate recognition of the Punjabi language and the Sikh religion.
All schools in Punjab were required to teach Hindi even after the states in India were divided along linguistic lines in 1956. The Punjabi Suba Movement began with the purpose of restoring the Punjabi language in the Gurmukhi script sanctioned as the official language of the state. Violence in the state increased with peaceful protestors arrested and beaten and temples raided. The movement was also banned later because of its violent activities. In 1966, Punjabi was finally recognized as the official language. [33] However, by this time, the linguistic demand escalated to a religious demand for more rights to the Sikhs. Sikh and anti-Sikh riots consumed the province until the 1990s. After weeks of violence, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, under Operation Blue Star, commanded forces to shoot on the Golden Temple, the holiest monument in Sikhism. In retaliation, Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. Tensions eased out after Rajiv Gandhi accepted many Sikh demands. Rajiv Gandhi also was eventually assassinated because of Tamil extremism due to the Tamil-Sinhala ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka

Further separatist movements rooted in language can be seen in the North-eastern part of the country as well. Over representation of Bengali-speaking groups in the Assam state services and other professional jobs has always been contested by the Assamese-speaking people because the former had more significant educational opportunities under British rule. In 1960, the legislature made Assamese the sole official language as a measure to limit opportunities for the Bengali-speaking population. After the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, a mass influx of Bengali refugees came to Assam, which perturbed the Assamese even further. This led to six years of agitation from 1979-1985, compelling the Indian government to expel the Bengali immigrants without any documents. United Front for the Liberation of Assam spearheaded many insurgent movements in the state. [34]

Identities in the South Asian subcontinent have long been shaped by language. While language is mainly a product of the socio-historical experience of any group, it is also an instrument to form and change the existing social order. In South Asia, the strengthening of collective identities through a common language as a base of one ethnic group led to demands for autonomy and secession from other ethnic groups, which were seen as oppressing their cultures and languages. These ethnolinguistic demands have changed South Asia’s looks, employing their power to create new countries and divide the old ones. Language being a vital component of the ethnic conundrum, has always played a significant role in identity politics, more so in the subcontinent whose existence as an amalgamation of sovereign nations is unhackneyed.

* (Author: Akansha Chandra, Assistant Professor (Senior Scale), Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi | Correspondence Email: akanshachandra[at] )

[1Iaian McLean and Alistair McMillan, The concise Oxford dictionary of Politics (Oxford University Press: New York, 2003)

[2Etymology of the word ‘Ethnic’, available at (accessed on April3, 2021)

[3Benjamin Akzin, State and Nation (Hutchison Press: London, 1964), pp.31-32

[4Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Basil Blackwell: New York, 1986), p.26

[5Ibid, p.24

[6Urmila Phadnis and Rajat Ganguly, Ethnicity and Nation- building in South Asia (Sage Publications: London, 2000)

[7Francis Fukuyama, Identity: Contemporary Identity Politics and the struggle for Recognition (Profile Books: London, 2018), p-10

[8Tariq Rahman, Language and and Politics in Pakistan (Sang-E-Meel Publications: Lahore, 2011), p.12

[10Paul R Brass, Ethnicity and Nationalism: Theory and Comparison (Sage Publication: London,1991)

[11Urmila Phadnis Rajat Ganguly, op.cit.

[12Savita Pande, Identity conflict in Pakistan: The challenge of Ethno-Nationalisms, in Insights into evolution of Contemporary Pakistan, Edited by Satish Chandra and Smita Tiwari (Pentagon Press: New Delhi, 2015), p.135

[13Roshni Chakraborty, Language and identity in South Asia, Harvard International review, Vol. 39, No. 3, A Global Dialogue: The politics of Language (Summer 2018), pp. 14-17, available at (accessed on April 4, 2021)



[16Tariq Rahman, op.cit., p-59

[17Inayatullah Baloch, The problem of Greater Baluchistan: A study of Baluch Nationalism (Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden GMBH: Stuttgart, 1987),p.51

[18Tilak Devasher, Pakistan: The Balochistan Conundrum (Harper Collins Publishers: Noida UP, 2019)

[19Tariq Rahman, op.cit., p- 168-169

[20Sajid Hussain, Faith and politics of Balochi script, Balochistan Times, March 18, 2016, available at ( accessed on April 7, 2021)

[21Abubakar Siddique, The Pashtuns: The unresolved key to the future of Pakistan and Afghanistan (Penguin Viking: Haryana India, 2018), p.14

[22Tariq Rahman, op.cit., p- 145

[23Imtiyaz Ahmad Sahibzada, My life and Struggle: The Autobiography of Abdul Ghaffar Khan (translated from Pukhto) (The Lotus Collection: New Delhi, 2021), p.511

[24Tariq Rahman, op.cit.,p- 148-150

[25ibid,p- 122-123



[28More than 19,500 mother tongues spoken in India: Census, The Indian Express, July 1, 2018

[29Roshni Chakraborty, op.cit.,pp. 14-17

[30Joseph E. Schwartzberg, Factors in the Linguistic Reorganization of Indian States, in Language and Politics in India, edited by Asha Sarange (Oxford University Press: New Delhi, 2009)

[31Sanjay Kumar, Creation of New States: Rationale and Implications, Economic and Political Weekly, Sep. 7-13, 2002, Vol. 37, No. 36 (Sep. 7-13, 2002), pp. 3705-3709

[32Roshni Chakraborty, op.cit., pp. 14-17



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