Interview with

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.

The International Association of Hyperpolyglots - HYPIA. (c) 2020

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