Liaqat Ali Sani
Rare Language Specialist - Brahui (Dravidian)
Name: Dr. Liaqat Ali Sani
Nationality or Ethnicity: Baloch (Pakistani)
Where do you live?: Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan
Rare language: Brahui
Language Family: Dravidian
Also a speaker of: Balochi, Urdu, Dehwari, Sindhi, English
1. What’s your story? How did you get exposed to this rare language?
I was exposed as a native speaker of Brahui, due to both of my parents being Brahui speakers. Secondly, I have seen the nomadic life in early childhood. Mehr Garh is known as oldest portion of the then Indus civilization, and I have a great vocabulary associated with folk wisdom, which sadly has been not written in Brahui dictionaries yet.
The Brahui speakers are scattered specially in rural areas. Although 4 million people speak in Brahui in whole world but it is not accepted as an official language of Balochistan, and it is not accepted as medium of instruction at the primary level. Brahui folk literature has a great richness. I feel that there is an impact of globalization/localization and nationalization which is making the Brahui language ever rarer.
2. How would you describe the efforts being made, at the civil, social, and governmental languages, to preserve this language?
So far, any serious steps have yet to be taken for the preservation of Brahui Language. In higher education, the university-level Brahui department has been established, but from the governmental side, it seems no one is interested in preserving this language. However, locally a few literary circles in their capacity are working to promote the Brahui language. But it needs to be preserved.
3. How often do you get the chance to use this language in your daily life?
I get the chance to use the Brahui language on a full-time basis, except in those moments where any other language’s speakers meet me or ask me some thing.
4. Are you satisfied with the response of students in your department and your university to the available offerings in your language?
No, I am not satisfied with the student’s responses within my department, nor is the university playing its role as the Brahui language's preservation would require. Students take admission in Brahui courses for the sake of job opportunities, and on the other hand the government is not offering privilege to Brahui degree-holders in competitive examinations, as should be the case.
5. What is your message to young people who wish to learn this language?
Nowadays, due to globalization, the youth is shifting from the Brahui language due to market pressures. It is a point of alarm for me if the young speakers of a language begin to shift away. The youth should increase their usage of the Brahui language in every sphere. Brahui literature should also be translated into other international languages, and a standard writing script is also needed for Brahui.