Sunday, May 07, 2006

Basha or Bhasha?

Letter published in Dawn, May 7, 2006

IRONIC as it may seem for one sitting in New York to point this out, but the fact is that the word Basha (as in Basha dam) is not a Hindi word and is, therefore, not Bhasha as is frequently referred to in the press.

It is a word of the local language of the Northern Areas and is pronounced and written as Basha.

New York

A response to the above letter published on May 15, 2006

MR Aziz Akhmad (letter, May 7) is right —- the word in Shina (the local language) is “Basha”. The spoken lilt in the vowel following the ‘B’ has been misconstrued as “Bhasha” by lowlanders. This is unfortunate because the spelling is correct in the original Survey of Pakistan maps. I was hesitant to bring this up this earlier for fear of appearing overly pedantic, but Mr Akhmad’s letter gives us hope that our planners may yet correct this mistake.



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