My fondest childhood memories are trips to small bookshops to purchase the 25 paisa Urdu story books of Umro Ayar and his mischievousness.These small stories platitude in my childhood have long since disappeared into oblivion. The closure of iconic Ferozsons in Lahore and Saeed bookstores of my vibrant childhood in Peshawar have created small permanent voids in my heart.I have longed for reliving the magic of Urdu story telling of days bygone. Then, one day I came across and picked up the English translation of Dastaan-e-Amir Hamza by Musharraf Ali Farooqi. Such English translations are keeping the young generation connected to the beloved characters of Urdu stories. Being an ardent fan of the likes of Gabriel García Márquez, I feel that the English translations of native authors are an amazing way of connecting to the foreign world. But translations no matter how intricate, still leaves one yearning for more.Being an ardent fan of the likes of Gabriel García Márquez, I feel that the English translations of native authors are an amazing way of connecting to the foreign world. But translations no matter how intricate, still leave one yearning for moreI grew up in a time that saw the beginnings of Minglish, a hotchpotch of English mixed Urdu that most of us speak now. Minglish has systematically altered our brains and we have gradually become at a loss to find Urdu words for run of the mill minglish phrases like light on/off kardo, road cross ker lo. Even our beautifully adorned trucks do minglish through phrases like “pass ker ya bardasht ker”.There is a well-researched link between the language and biodiversity. A research by Cambridge University has found that demise of language has a causal relationship with bio diversity. Languages evolve over time, assimilating and creating memory banks of knowledge and local practices, of sustaining local species, flora and fauna.When native people lose their languages, much of indigenous knowledge also disappears: the dominant languages do not have the ethno-biological and ethno-medical vocabulary, and the stories will not be translated. Regional speakers learning other languages in addition to their own native tongue become multilingual. Children are considered the fastest learners by virtue of learning any tongue taught by the age of five. However, when languages as English are learned in exclusion of native languages like Urdu, they become murderer languages instead of complementary assets.The demise of any language is a natural process like demise of a living being. What is disturbing is the deliberate murder of a language. Schools are the best possible places to foster multilingualism. In Pakistan, private schools have started to encourage multilingualism but in favour of languages like mandarin, French not to mention English at the expense of Urdu. This is a systematic way through which schools participate in linguistic genocide, as it has been defined in the United Nations Genocide Convention.Urdu itself flourished as a language of the common soldiers “Zuban-e-Urdu” (Camp’s language) around 1193 onwards through ethnically diverse Mughal army. In process of cultural assimilation, it acquired words of Arabic, Persian and Turkish, Urdu being itself a Turkish word for camp or army. Its claim to fame has been its simplicity, ease of use and understanding.In words of eminent Urdu poet Gulzar,“Badisha is taleh je mein kisi se Urdu sun karKya nahilagtake ek tehzeeb ki awaaz hai, Urdu”In the process of evolution, Urdu replaced Persian by the time India gained independence and became Pakistan’s national and India’s one of 20 official languages. Ironically, the linguistically assimilated Urdu was fielded as the lone national language of Pakistan. National language is a symbol of identity all over the world. Pakistan however garnered resentment from federating units in sidelining regional languages. The first one coming from then East Pakistan. The alienation resulted in divergence of regional language speakers to learn the colonial legacy English in place of Urdu. This was further exacerbated by state keeping English as post-colonial medium of preferred instruction and route to assent on the economic ladder.Despite being declared as the official language of work at government departments after the 2015 decision of Supreme Court, there is less eagerness to embrace Urdu. There are a plethora of reasons for that. Two of the foremost culprits in any language genocide are media and educational systems. Parallel education systems where English medium schools fare better than Urdu medium ones in terms of future careers is the leading reason for demise of Urdu. At the literary front, Urdu children magazines lost their following over the years. Rising operational costs as well as dipping demand has affected their readership.At the electronic media front, there is dearth of all kind of diversity on Urdu media most prominently promotion of Urdu literature. Culture and arts are defined through morning shows hosting marriage ceremonies and beauty contests.It is still much easier to plant new trees and rescue eco system. It is very difficult to restore languages once they die. Evidence show that half of the world’s 6,000-7,000 languages will survive by 2100.Time is not far, when Urdu speakers may become a species on verge of extinction.“Koe Milta nahin hai mahram e RaazHamein kehna hai kuch apni zuban mein”“I cannot find anyone who understands,To whom I can speak to, in my beloved tongue” The writer is a policy practitioner, an Oxford public policy alumnus and Oxford Global Leadership Initiative fellow Published in Daily Times, August 23rd 2017.