Urdu and Digital Colonialism

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Abstract

Urdu, a language spoken by millions of people, is finding it hard to retain its true identity in the digital environment. From a computer keyboard based on the Latin alphabet to the lack of software support, Urdu has started fading from the web. This paper highlights the major concerns for Urdu and the shortcomings of digital infrastructures in this regard. Three important aspects are explored in this paper where Urdu has been at a disadvantage. These include the QWERTY keyboard, the absence of the Nastaʼlīq script, and linguistic hegemony in academic circles. A case for decolonization is made with the hope that the technological world can be made more inclusive.