Equality of all the humans irrespective of cast, creed, language, color and race is the fact that has been theoretically accepted by all nations of the world. But, since I came to Lahore, Pakistan, I have been listening the words PAINDU (villager) in the meaning of illiterate or ill mannered.
You know, words are not just the medium of communication. They represent background, intentions , the social structure and the whole philosophy of life of a community. The word PAINDU (villager) draws the boundary line between two social classes. In a society, which is divided on the basis of classes, people become very much conscious about their social standing. As social acceptance and being acknowledged by the others is the natural instinct of human being, people keep trying all the time to move from a lower class to an upper class. This migration is always uni-directional i.e. from lower to upper.
Now the question is, how the classes are created and who creates the classes. There are many factors. It may be due to social structure that prevails in a region for centuries. It also may be due to the government policy of divide and rule. There may be countless hidden factor but the apparent distinguishing feature is, money. The money decides which social class you belong to.
After getting money, outlook, culture and language come into play their role. People adopt new culture and language to migrate from low class to high class. If high class speaks french and wears gowns. The lower class individuals would do the same.
This phenomena can be observed in its worst form in Pakistan. Here the society is divided into many layers on the basis of economic standing. The UP/CP region ruled the subcontinent for centuries. So the people from the rest of the country started considering the UPite as the higher class. The popularity of Urdu cum Hindi films is proof of this tendency. The process is still in progress. People are disowning there mother tongues and adopting Urdu / Hindi.
Those who are already in the zone of Urdu/Hindi, they still consider themselves as inferior. so they are disowning Urdu/Hindi for English. Calling somewhat PAINDU (villager) means terming him/her from lower class.
So for English speaking class, the word PAINDU (villager) means the one who speak Urdu and for Urdu speaking class, PAINDU (villager) means the one who speaks Punjabi.
It is very dangerous aspect. Not only it is endangering the native languages of our region but also degrading us morally, socially and internationally. We take pride only on non-local things. Anything that is local, has no value for us. Whether it is product or language and culture. If this phenomena does not stop, I have no idea, where our next generation would stand.
Calling some one PAINDU (villager) is not only humiliating but also against international laws of human rights. Such behavior should be strongly condemned and challenged in the court.