Is Pashto Academy a teaching department?
Dr Humayun Huma
Before I express my views on the previous work of Pashto Academy I want to quote from a pamphlet written by Maulana Abdul Qadar, the first director of Pashto Academy. This pamphlet is in Pashto and does not bear the date of publication. It shows how the Academy’s workers were unaware of the publication method. However, the pamphlet consists of 30 pages of which from 22 to 30 pages contain the aims and objectives of the Academy. The objectives have been written in 22 paragraphs. It is said in these objectives that research work be carried out in Pashto language and literature, Pashtoon culture and history, traditions and other relevant fields.
It is evident from these objectives as explained by its first director that Academy was established for the sole purpose of doing original research. The research work of the Academy from the first day of its establishment, I would not say nill but it was hardly proved according to its objectives. In the recent past, the Academy has completely ignored its objectives and it is converted into a teaching department and is distributing Ph.D degrees like hot cakes. During the last seven or eight years if we compare the original research work of the Academy with the numbers of distributed degrees, one would see degrees are more in number than its research books.
By doing odd jobs (for) earning extra money by self appointment as a supervisor of Ph.D thesis, the director and his staff are committing serious irregularities of a complex nature. The rule is that when the staff of the Academy and its director would undertake some work for earning money for themselves, the written proposal from them first should be submitted to the finance committee of the university.
If the finance committee of the university approves it in principle, then proposal would be submitted to the syndicate of the university through the Vice Chancellor. If the syndicate also approve it and the Vice chancellor gives a written permission to the director and his staff to undertake the extra job on payment, even then they would submit one third of the money earned to the university or the government. Now the question arises whether the staff of the Academy has followed the above procedure or not to earn extra money?
In this context, I would say that the Academy has confined its research work merely to write a few pages on old deewans which does not fall within the purview of original research work.
No doubt, Pashto Academy’s dictionary (Pashto to Pashto) is a great achievement but this great work has been completed almost in 65 years. The renowned researcher and writer Syed Taqweem ul Haq Kakakhel always said that a worker was paid for his work while lexicographer of the Academy was receiving money for not doing his job. If he completed the work, his services will be terminated. This dictionary has recently been published containing all its volumes. It's first volume contained alphabets from alif to meem in 1970 when Syed Rasool Rasa was the director of Academy.
The dictionary was started when the Academy was established in 1955. How it was completed, who was its first lexicographer and what drawbacks it contains? It will be discussed in the next column. (To be continued)
The writer is a senior columnist, author, poet, playwright and educationist based in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.