Urdu: Female Minister, Ministers and PM

Sheikh_14

Senior Member
English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
Dear Foreros,

Whilst I am not sure to what degree these terms is used, there is no reason why it ought not to be in the Urdu languages given that we have a trend of importing both the masculine and feminine terms for Arabic derived terms. Thence I will put forth my supposition that a female wazeer would be a wazeera, the plural form being wazeeraat as opposed to wuzuraa and lastly the PM being a wazeera e a'zm.

Do you agree with the above or would proffer alternatives?

Regards,
Sheikh
 
  • marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    IMO there is no such function as "Female Minister", therefore no need has presented itself for introducing such a differentiation in the terminology.
     

    Jashn

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    These professions have the gender they do because they've been historically held overwhelmingly by men, and the prevailing social ideologies when the terms were coined usually taught that women's work was in the home, and that women were inherently deficient to hold such an office. Having an appropriate term for a female holding the office isn't to indicate that the job is 'woman minister', but that women can be ministers. Many countries that speak languages with gender have been updating their terminology to reflect the equality of women with men. It would be nice if Urdu did the same, as it certainly would not hurt the language and would promote the status of women by giving them more visibility.

    My complaint about 'wazeera e azam' is that it's a mouthful with those vowels. But maybe that's just me?
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    Sheikh_14 said:
    Whilst I am not sure to what degree these terms is used, there is no reason why it ought not to be in the Urdu languages given that we have a trend of importing both the masculine and feminine terms for Arabic derived terms. Thence I will put forth my supposition that a female wazeer would be a wazeera, the plural form being wazeeraat as opposed to wuzuraa and lastly the PM being a wazeera e a'zm.
    This is an interesting topic. The same question arises for why وکیلہ isn't used for female lawyer and why خاتون is usually used as a prefix with وزیر/وکیل/etc. This is despite the fact that feminine forms are very commonly used for a variety of other professions in Urdu, such as معالجہ/طبیبہ - doctor, عالمہ - scholar, مدرسہ - lecturer/professor, مہندسہ - engineer, اداکارہ - actress, ہدایت کارہ - director (film/TV/etc.), صنعت کارہ - producer, مصنفہ - author, شاعرہ - poetess, تاجرہ - businesswoman, etc.
    Sheikh_14 said:
    Do you agree with the above or would proffer alternatives?
    Searching online yielded results that show وزیرہ and وکیلہ being used in various Urdu news articles, forums, etc. The frequency of usage, however, isn't as high as some of the aforementioned terms. In some cases, people have redundantly/superfluously written خاتون وزیرہ، وکیلہ، وغیرہ نے, even though the feminine form already indicates that the person being referenced is female. (Similar redundancy can also be observed in phrases like مرد معالج، وغیرہ نے, where the use of the masculine form clearly indicates that a male physician, professional, etc. is being discussed and there seems to be no need of adding مرد.)
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    This is an interesting topic. I'm open for discussion.
    Yes, it is.
    The same question arises for why وکیلہ isn't used for female lawyer
    Whatever it's worth, I do quite often use it, even last week.
    why خاتون is usually used as a prefix with وزیر/وکیل/etc.
    in all probability it's a calque from oft-heard "leDii DaakTar
    This is despite the fact that feminine forms are very commonly used for a variety of other professions in Urdu, such as معالجہ/طبیبہ - doctor, عالمہ - scholar, مدرسہ - lecturer/professor, مہندسہ - engineer, اداکارہ - actress, ہدایت کارہ - director (film/TV/etc.), صنعت کارہ - producer, مصنفہ - author, شاعرہ - poetess, تاجرہ - businesswoman, etc
    Thank you for having come forward with these examples.
    Searching online yielded results that show وزیرہ and وکیلہ being used in various Urdu news articles, forums, etc. The frequency of usage, however, isn't as high as some of the aforementioned terms. In some cases, people have redundantly/superfluously written خاتون وزیرہ، وکیلہ، وغیرہ نے, even though the feminine form already indicates that the person being referenced is female.
    Please, would it be possible for you to share a few of such search results?
    Having an appropriate term for a female holding the office isn't to indicate that the job is 'woman minister', but that women can be ministers. Many countries that speak languages with gender have been updating their terminology to reflect the equality of women with men.
    This is one approach, while according to a different attitude, the names of offices one holds should not be made different on basis of holder's sex/gender.
    My complaint about 'wazeera e azam' is that it's a mouthful with those vowels. But maybe that's just me?
    I agree!
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    marrish said:
    Please, would it be possible for you to share a few of such search results?
    As you might remember from our previous interactions and discussions, I usually avoid posting anything related to politics or potentially controversial/offensive/defamatory* material in the forum. This was the reason I just mentioned them briefly in post #4 without quoting any examples. All of the examples of the word وزیرہ - minister include references to various political personalities of the world as well as authors' opinions *(which aren't always positive) about those personalities based on their actions/political policies/etc. Therefore, posting such examples in this thread doesn't seem appropriate, but I will share them via private message.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    For some background, below follows a write-up on the word "SaaHibah" by Shamsul Rahman Faruqi (a renowned professor from India), which touches on a few of points of interest to this thread : :arrow:
    صاحبہ -------"بہار عجم" میں "صاحبہ" درج نہیں۔ "آنند راج" میں اس کے معنی لکھے ہیں، "وہ عورت جو کسی کی بیوی ہو"۔ یعنی اردو میں جن معنی (بیوی) میں "صاحب" ہے، فارسی میں "صاحبہ" انھِیں معنی میں ہے۔ اردو میں صاحبہ کو "صاحب" کی تانیث قرار دے کر عورتوں کے نام یا عہدے کے ساتھ "صاحبہ" کا لاحقہ گذشتہ پچاس ساٹھ برس میں رواج پا گیا ہے۔ ورنہ شبلی نے اپنے مکتوبات میں زہرا فیضی کو ہمیشہ "زہرا صاحب" لکھا ہے۔ آج بھی "بیگم صاحب" زیادہ رائج ہے، "بیگم صاحبہ" کہنا معیوب سمجھا جاتا ہے۔ لیکن "شہزادی، ملکہ" وغیرہ جیسے الفاظ اور رشتوں کے ساتھ اب "صاحبہ" کا چلن عام ہو گیا ہے۔

    نامناسب :​
    • استانی صاحبہ،
    • بی بی صاحبہ،
    • بیگم صاحبہ،
    • خاتون خانہ صاحبہ، وغیرہ۔
    مناسب :
    • استانی صاحب،
    • بی بی صاحب،
    • بیگم صاحب،
    • پرنسپل صاحب،
    • خاتون خانہ صاحب،
    • ڈاکٹر صاحب،
    • سکریٹری صاحب،
    • لیڈی ڈاکٹر صاحب، وغیرہ۔
    مناسب :
    • بھابی صاحبہ،
    • پیرانی صاحبہ،
    • خالہ صاحبہ،
    • دادی صاحبہ،
    • رانی صاحبہ۔ [لیکن اگر اس جگہ کا بھی نام بتایا جائے جہاں کی رانی ہے، تو "صاحب" لگانا بہتر ہے۔ مثلاً "رانی صاحب جے پور، رانی صاحب دربھنگہ" وغیرہ]،
    • شہزادی صاحبہ،
    • ملکہ صاحبہ وغیرہ۔
    -------عبدالرشید کہتے ہیں کہ یہ لفظ "آصفیہ" میں بھی ہے۔ یہ درست ہے، لیکن وہاں جو معنی لکھے ہیں وہ بہ مشکوک ہیں (جنابہ، صاحب کی تانیث)۔ ان سے کچھ ثابت نہیں ہوتا۔ جناب فیصل احمد بھٹکلی نے مجھے بتایا ہے کہ عربی میں "صاحب" بمعنی "شوہر" اور "صاحبہ" بمعنی "بیوی" عام ہیں۔


    (Edited) As an addition, in line with the above, I'm quoting the author's advice under the headword "جنابہ*" :arrow:

    جنابہ ------- صاحب آصفیہ نے اسے صاحبہ کا مرادف لکھا ہے جو عیب بات ہے۔ یہ لفظ جناب کی تانیث نہیں ہے بلکہ تعظیم ظاہر کرنے کے معنی میں یہ لفظ ہے ہی نہیں۔ بعض پرانے لوگوں نے اسے رکیک اور بازاری لفظ کہا ہے۔ اس سے مکمل احتراز کرنا چاہئے۔


    Finally some guidance is to be found from the quote where the Professor is treating the issue of addressing ladies "بیگم" :arrow:

    بیگم -------اس لفظ کے ساتھ کلمۂ تعظیم لگانا ہو تو لفظ کے پہلے جناب لگایا جائے گا اور لفظ کے بعد صاحب۔ یعنی جناب بیگم صاحب کہا جائے گا۔ صرف بیگم نہیں کہتے اور نہ جنابہ کہتے ہیں۔ دیکھئے جنابہ؛ صاحبہ۔
     
    Last edited:

    Gop

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    marrish SaaHib, this is most interesting. Could you possibly give the reference to professor Shamsul Rahman Faruqi’s book? Thanks.
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    marrish said:
    اردو میں صاحبہ کو "صاحب" کی تانیث قرار دے کر عورتوں کے نام یا عہدے کے ساتھ "صاحبہ" کا لاحقہ گذشتہ پچاس ساٹھ برس میں رواج پا گیا ہے۔ ... آج بھی "بیگم صاحب" زیادہ رائج ہے، "بیگم صاحبہ" کہنا معیوب سمجھا جاتا ہے۔

    نامناسب : ... بیگم صاحبہ
    Interesting, yet potentially *confusing:
    صاحِبَہ
    ...
    مصرعِ تاریخ لکھ دے لوحِ تربت پر منیر
    نورِ لطفِ حق ہے شمعِ قبرِ بیگم صاحبہ


    (۱۸۷۳، کلیات منیر ، ۳ : ۵۳۱).
    * In cases/analyses like these, what allows one set of usages to be considered مناسب and the other نامناسب? Is the determination made solely based on how مروّج the expressions are or are there other factors as well?
     
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